3.38: As fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror is covered by dust, or as the embryo is covered by the womb, similarly, the living entity is covered by different degrees of this lust.
THERE ARE THREE degrees of covering of the pure living entity, and thereby the pure consciousness of the living entity, or Krishna consciousness, is embarrassed by non-manifestation. This covering is but lust, under different manifestations like smoke in the fire, dust on the mirror, and the womb about the embryo. When lust is compared to smoke it is understood that the fire of the living spark can be a little perceived. In other words, when the living entity exhibits his Krishna consciousness slightly, he may be likened to the fire covered by smoke. Although fire is necessary where there is smoke, there is no overt manifestation of fire in the early stage. This stage can be compared with the beginning of Krishna consciousness. The comparison of the dust of the mirror refers to the cleansing process of the mirror of the mind by so many spiritual methods. The best process is to chant the holy Names of the Lord. The comparison of the embryo being covered by the womb is an analogy illustrating the most awkward position, for the child in the womb is so helpless that it cannot even move. This stage of living condition can be compared also to the trees. The trees are living entities, but they have been put into that condition of life by such a great exhibition of lust that they are almost void of all consciousness. The covered mirror is compared to the birds and beasts, and smoke-covered fire is compared to the human being. In the form of a human being, the living entity can perceive a little Krishna consciousness, and if he makes further development, the fire of spiritual life can be kindled in the human form. By careful handling of the smoke in the fire, the fire can be made to blaze, and therefore the human form of life is a chance for the living entity to escape the entanglement of material existence. In the human form of life, one can conquer the enemy, lust, by culture of Krishna consciousness under able guidance.