Bhagavad Gita 7.13: ‘Deluded by the three modes of Maya, the people in this world are unable to know me, the imperishable and eternal.’
BG 3.34: ‘The senses naturally experience attachment and aversion to the sense objects, but do not be controlled by them, for they are way-layers and foes.’
BG 3.42: ‘The senses are superior to the gross body, and superior to the senses is the mind. Beyond the mind is the intellect, and even beyond the intellect is the soul.’
BG 3.25: ‘As ignorant people perform their duties with attachment to the results, O scion of Bharat, so should the wise act without attachment, for the sake of leading people on the right path.’
BG 7.4: ‘ Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect, and ego—these are eight components of my material energy.’
BG 2.64: ‘But one who controls the mind, and is free from attachment and aversion, even while using the objects of the senses, attains the Grace of God.’
The entire downward spiral leading to ruin begins with contemplating happiness in sense objects. Now, the urge for happiness is as natural to the soul as thirst is to the physical body. It is impossible to think “I will not contemplate happiness anywhere,” because it is unnatural for the soul. The simple solution then is to envision happiness in the proper direction, i.e. in God. If we can repeatedly revise the thought that happiness is in God, we will develop attachment toward him. This divine attachment will not degrade the mind like material attachment; rather, it will purify it. God is all-pure, and when we attach our mind to him, the mind will also become pure.
BG 2.72: ‘O Parth, such is the state of an enlightened soul that having attained it, one is never again deluded. Being established in this consciousness even at the hour of death, one is liberated from the cycle of life and death and reaches the Supreme Abode of God.’
By his grace, he grants divine knowledge, divine bliss, and divine love to the soul. All these are divine energies that are given by God to the soul at the time of God-realization. At the same time, he liberates the soul from the bondage of Maya. The account of karmas of endless lifetimes are destroyed. The ignorance within, from endless lifetimes in the material world, is dispelled. The influence of the three modes of material nature, ceases. The three defects of the materially conditioned state come to an end. The five defects of the material intellect, are destroyed. The five sheaths of the material energy, are burnt. And from that point onward, the soul becomes free from the bondage of Maya for the rest of eternity.
When this state of God-realization is achieved, the soul is said to be liberated even while residing in the body. Then, at the time of death, the liberated soul finally discards the corporeal body, and it reaches the Supreme Abode of God. The Rig Veda states:
“Once the soul attains God, it always remains in union with him. After that, the ignorance of Maya can never overpower it again.” That state of eternal liberation from Maya is also called nirvāṇ, mokṣha, etc. As a result, liberation is a natural consequence of God-realization.
BG 3.43: ‘Thus knowing the soul to be superior to the material intellect, O mighty armed Arjun, subdue the self (senses, mind, and intellect) by the self (strength of the soul), and kill this formidable enemy called lust.’
The Upaniṣhads say there is a chariot, which has five horses pulling it; the horses have reins in their mouths, which are in the hands of a charioteer; a passenger is sitting at the back of the chariot. Ideally, the passenger should instruct the charioteer, who should then control the reins and guide the horses in the proper direction. However, in this case, the passenger has gone to sleep, and so the horses are holding sway.
In this analogy, the chariot is the body, the horses are the five senses, the reins in the mouth of the horses is the mind, the charioteer is the intellect, and the passenger seated behind is the soul residing in the body. The senses (horses) desire pleasurable things. The mind (reins) is not exercising restraint on the senses (horses). The intellect (charioteer) submits to the pull of the reins (mind). So in the materially bound state, the bewildered soul does not direct the intellect in the proper direction. Thus, the senses decide the direction where the chariot will go. The soul experiences the pleasures of the senses vicariously, but these do not satisfy it. Seated on this chariot, the soul (passenger) is moving around in this material world since eternity.
However, if the soul wakes up to its higher nature and decides to take a proactive role, it can exercise the intellect in the proper direction. The intellect will then govern the lower self—the mind and the senses—and the chariot will move in the direction of eternal welfare. In this way, the higher self (soul) must be used to control the lower self (senses, mind, and, intellect).
BG Chap 14: ‘Material nature consists of the three modes-goodness, passion and ignorance. When the living entity comes in contact with nature, he becomes conditioned by these modes.’
V 6: O ‘sinless one, the mode of goodness, being purer than the others, is illuminating, and it frees one from all sinful reactions. Those situated in that mode develop knowledge, but they become conditioned by the concept of happiness.’
V 7: ‘The mode of passion is born of unlimited desires and longings, O son of Kunti, and because of this one is bound to material fruitive activities.’
V 8: ‘O son of Bharata, the mode of ignorance causes the delusion of all living entities. The result of this mode is madness, indolence and sleep, which bind the conditioned soul.’