“The Supreme Personality of Godhead ordered Yoga-māyā to bewilder His associates in His pastimes and bewilder demons like Kaṁsa. As stated previously, yoga-māyāṁ samādiśat. To give service to the Lord, Yoga-māyā appeared along with Mahā-māyā. Mahā-māyā refers to yayā sammohitaṁ jagat, “one who bewilders the entire material world.” From this statement it is to be understood that Yoga-māyā, in her partial expansion, becomes Mahā-māyā and bewilders the conditioned souls. In other words, the entire creation has two divisions — transcendental, or spiritual, and material. Yoga-māyā manages the spiritual world, and by her partial expansion as Mahā-māyā she manages the material world. As stated in the Nārada-pañcarātra, Mahā-māyā is a partial expansion of Yoga-māyā. The Nārada-pañcarātra clearly states that the Supreme Personality has one potency, which is sometimes described as Durgā. The Brahma-saṁhitā says, chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni bibharti durgā. Durgā is not different from Yoga-māyā. When one understands Durgā properly, he is immediately liberated, for Durgā is originally the spiritual potency, hlādinī-śakti, by whose mercy one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead very easily. Rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī-śaktir asmād. The mahā-māyā-śakti, however, is a covering of Yoga-māyā, and she is therefore called the covering potency. By this covering potency, the entire material world is bewildered (yayā sammohitaṁ jagat). In conclusion, bewildering the conditioned souls and liberating the devotees are both functions belonging to Yoga-māyā. Transferring the pregnancy of Devakī and keeping mother Yaśodā in deep sleep were both done by Yoga-māyā. Mahā-māyā cannot act upon such devotees, for they are always liberated. But although it is not possible for Mahā-māyā to control liberated souls or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, she did bewilder Kaṁsa. The action of Yoga-māyā in presenting herself before Kaṁsa was the action of Mahā-māyā, not Yoga-māyā. Yoga-māyā cannot even see or touch such polluted persons as Kaṁsa. In Caṇḍī, in the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa, Eleventh Chapter, Mahā-māyā says, “During the twenty-eighth yuga in the period of Vaivasvata Manu, I shall take birth as the daughter of Yaśodā and be known as Vindhyācala-vāsinī.”

The distinction between the two māyās — Yoga-māyā and Mahā-māyā — is described as follows. Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā with the gopīs and the gopīs’ bewilderment in respect to their husbands, fathers-in-law and other such relatives were arrangements of Yoga-māyā in which Mahā-māyā had no influence. The Bhāgavatam gives sufficient evidence of this when it clearly says, yoga-māyām upāśritaḥ. On the other hand, there were asuras headed by Śālva and kṣatriyas like Duryodhana who were bereft of devotional service in spite of seeing Kṛṣṇa’s carrier Garuḍa and the universal form, and who could not understand Kṛṣṇa to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This was also bewilderment, but this bewilderment was due to mahā-māyā. Therefore it is to be concluded that the māyā which drags a person from the Supreme Personality of Godhead is called jaḍa-māyā, and the māyā which acts on the transcendental platform is called yoga-māyā. When Nanda Mahārāja was taken away by Varuṇa, he saw Kṛṣṇa’s opulence, but nonetheless he thought of Kṛṣṇa as his son. Such feelings of parental love in the spiritual world are acts of yoga-māyā, not of jaḍa-māyā, or mahā-māyā. This is the opinion of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura.”

Source:A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Tenth Canto, Chapter 01 – Additional Notes

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