Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 7, Verse 13

त्रिभिर्गुणमयैर्भावैरेभि: सर्वमिदं जगत् |
मोहितं नाभिजानाति मामेभ्य: परमव्ययम् || 13||

tribhir guṇa-mayair bhāvair ebhiḥ sarvam idaṁ jagat
mohitaṁ nābhijānāti māmebhyaḥ param avyayam

tribhiḥby three; guṇa-mayaiḥconsisting of the modes of material nature; bhāvaiḥstates; ebhiḥall these; sarvamwhole; idamthis; jagatuniverse; mohitamdeluded; nanot; abhijānātiknow; māmme; ebhyaḥthese; paramthe supreme; avyayamimperishable


BG 7.13: Deluded by the three modes of Maya, the people in this world are unable to know me, the imperishable and eternal.


Having heard the previous verses, Arjun may think, “O Lord, if such are your vibhūtis (opulences), then why do billions of humans not know you, Lord Krishna, as the Supreme controller and the source of creation?” To answer this, Shree Krishna explains that people are deluded by the material modes of ignorance, passion, and goodness. These three modes of Maya veil their consciousness and as a result, they become fascinated by ephemeral allurement of bodily pleasures.

One of the meanings of the word “Maya” comes from the roots (not) and (what is). Thus, Maya means “that which is not what it appears to be.” As an energy of God, Maya is also engaged in his service. Its service is to veil the true nature of the Supreme Lord from souls who have not yet attained the eligibility for God-realization. Maya thus lures and bewilders the souls who are vimukh from God (having their backs turned toward him). At the same time, Maya gives distress to the souls by inflicting them with various troubles caused by subjugation to the three-fold material miseries. In this way, it tries to bring the souls to the realization that they can never be happy until they become sanmukh toward God (having their face turned toward him).