prāṇasya hi kriyā-śaktir
It has been explained in the previous verses that mind is the product of ego in goodness and that the function of the mind is acceptance and rejection according to desire. But here intelligence is said to be the product of ego in passion. That is the distinction between mind and intelligence: mind is a product of egoism in goodness, and intelligence is a product of egoism in passion. The desire to accept something and reject something is a very important factor of the mind. Since mind is a product of the mode of goodness, if it is fixed upon the Lord of the mind, Aniruddha, then the mind can be changed to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is stated by Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura that we always have desires. Desire cannot be stopped. But if we transfer our desires to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that is the perfection of life. As soon as the desire is transferred to lording it over material nature, it becomes contaminated by matter. Desire has to be purified. In the beginning, this purification process has to be carried out by the order of the spiritual master, since the spiritual master knows how the disciple’s desires can be transformed into Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As far as intelligence is concerned, it is clearly stated here that it is a product of egoism in passion. By practice one comes to the point of the mode of goodness, and by surrendering or fixing the mind upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one becomes a very great personality, or mahātmā. In Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly said, sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ: “Such a great soul is very rare.”
In this verse it is clear that both kinds of senses, the senses for acquiring knowledge and the senses for action, are products of egoism in the mode of passion. And because the sense organs for activity and for acquiring knowledge require energy, the vital energy, or life energy, is also produced by egoism in the mode of passion. We can therefore actually see that those who are very passionate can improve in material acquisition very quickly. It is recommended in the Vedic scriptures that if one wants to encourage a person in acquiring material possessions, one should also encourage him in sex life. We naturally find that those who are addicted to sex life are also materially advanced because sex life or passionate life is the impetus for the material advancement of civilization. For those who want to make spiritual advancement, there is almost no existence of the mode of passion. Only the mode of goodness is prominent. We find that those who engage in Kṛṣṇa consciousness are materially poor, but one who has eyes can see who is the greater. Although he appears to be materially poor, a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not actually a poor man, but the person who has no taste for Kṛṣṇa consciousness and appears to be very happy with material possessions is actually poor. Persons infatuated by material consciousness are very intelligent in discovering things for material comforts, but they have no access to understanding the spirit soul and spiritual life. Therefore if anyone wants to advance in spiritual life, he has to come back to the platform of purified desire, the purified desire for devotional service. As stated in the Nārada-pañcarātra, engagement in the service of the Lord when the senses are purified in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is called pure devotion.