(Lord Vishnu and Mayadevi)
Devotee: How is Māyādevī in such a distasteful position? How did she acquire her position?
Prabhupāda: She’s not acquired. She's given that position by Kṛṣṇa. Because there are many individual souls who will defy Kṛṣṇa, therefore Māyādevī is required to punish them... Māyādevī is required to punish them. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14): "It is very difficult to surpass the stringent laws of My māyā." The laws..., the māyā is not independent. Just like police force. What is the value of police force unless government gives the power? Does it mean... Suppose a Mr. John, he comes as a policeman. He's Mr. John. What power he has got? But because government has given him power, he can arrest you. Similarly, Māyā has no powers. Kṛṣṇa has given her power to chastise these individual souls who are defying the authority of Kṛṣṇa. They should be punished. It is Māyā's thankless task, but Māyā is obedient servant of Kṛṣṇa. Mama māyā. He says, "My māyā." So Māyā is not degraded. Māyā is faithful servant of Kṛṣṇa. She is faithfully serving. That is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā. You should read. So many nice books you have got. What is Māyā doing? That is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā:
chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni vibharti durgā
Durgā is Māyā. Now what is the position of Māyā? Māyā is so strong that sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya: she can perform creation, maintenance and dissolution of this whole universe. She's so powerful. The material nature is so powerful. So sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhan a-śaktir ekā. Alone, she can do this as good as Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā chāyeva. But she is just like shadow. Chāyeva yasya. Chāyeva yasya... She is working just like shadow. Just like here is shadow of my hand. If I shake my hand, the shadow also shakes. The Māyā is acting like that. In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is said, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10): "Under My superintendence, prakṛti, the nature, or Māyā, is acting." Chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni vibharti durgā. And next line, icchānurūpam api yasya ca ceṣṭate sā: that Māyā is acting under the direction of the Personality. And who is that personality? Govindam Adi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. "That personality is Govinda, the Supreme Person. I am offering my respectful obeisances." So Māyā is acting under the direction of Kṛṣṇa just like the shadow is moving under the movement of the original. So Māyā's position is not degraded. Don't think like that. Therefore Vaiṣṇava offers all respect to Māyā, because she is working under Kṛṣṇa. She is Vaiṣṇavī. She is also energy of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore she is also Vaiṣṇavī.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, November 27, 1968)