Srimad Bhagavatam 11.31.42-43 - The Five Ignorances created by Lord Brahma (download mp3)
by Srikanta Krishna Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
nāyaṁ jano me sukha-duḥkha-hetur
na devatātmā graha-karma-kālāḥ
manaḥ paraṁ kāraṇam āmananti
saṁsāra-cakraṁ parivartayed yat
The brāhmaṇa said: These people are not the cause of my happiness and distress. Neither are the demigods, my own body, the planets, my past work, or time. Rather, it is the mind alone that causes happiness and distress and perpetuates the rotation of material life.
mano guṇān vai sṛjate balīyas
tataś ca karmāṇi vilakṣaṇāni
śuklāni kṛṣṇāny atha lohitāni
tebhyaḥ sa-varṇāḥ sṛtayo bhavanti
The powerful mind actuates the functions of the material modes, from which evolve the different kinds of material activities in the modes of goodness, ignorance and passion. From the activities in each of these modes develop the corresponding statuses of life.
In the mode of goodness one considers oneself to be a saintly or wise person, in the mode of passion one struggles for material success, and in the mode of ignorance one becomes cruel, lazy and sinful. By the combination of the material modes one identifies oneself as a demigod, a king, a rich capitalist, a wise scholar, etc. These conceptions are material designations generated from the modes of nature, and they arrange themselves according to the tendency of the powerful mind to enjoy temporary sense gratification. The word balīyas in this verse, meaning “very strong,” indicates that the material mind becomes insensitive to intelligent advice. Even if we are informed that we are committing many sins and offenses in order to earn money, we may still think that money should be acquired at all costs, since without it one can neither perform religious ceremonies nor gratify the senses with beautiful women, mansions and vehicles. Once the money is achieved, one suffers further problems, but the stubborn mind will never heed good advice in this regard. One must therefore give up mental concoction and control the mind in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as exemplified here by the brāhmaṇa from Avantī.