A child within the womb of his mother, is in a very precarious and horrible condition of life, but the benefit is that he revives pure consciousness of his relationship with the Supreme Lord and prays for deliverance. But once he is outside the abdomen, when a child is born, maya or the illusory energy, is so strong that he is immediately overpowered into considering his body to be his self. Maya means "illusion," or that which is actually not. In the material world, everyone is identifying with his body. This false egoistic consciousness of "I am this body" at once develops after the child comes out of the womb. The mother and other relatives are awaiting the child, and as soon as he is born, the mother feeds him, and everyone takes care of him. The living entity soon forgets his position and becomes entangled in bodily relationships. The entire material existence is entanglement in this bodily conception of life. Real knowledge means to develop the consciousness of "I am not this body. I am spirit soul, an eternal part and parcel of the Supreme Lord." Real knowledge entails renunciation, or nonacceptance of this body as the self.
- Srila Prabhupada