...In human society, aversion to the principles of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the cause of all falldowns. That is the greatest offense of human life. Therefore, māyā, the material energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is always giving us trouble in the shape of the threefold miseries.
This material energy is constituted of the three modes of material nature. One has to raise himself at least to the mode of goodness before the path to understanding the Supreme Lord can be opened. Without raising oneself to the standard of the mode of goodness, one remains in ignorance and passion, which are the cause of demoniac life.
Those in the modes of passion and ignorance deride the scriptures, deride the holy man, and deride the proper understanding of the spiritual master, and they do not care for the regulations of the scriptures. In spite of hearing the glories of devotional service, they are not attracted. Thus they manufacture their own way of elevation.
These are some of the defects of human society, which lead to the demoniac status of life. If, however, one is able to be guided by a proper and bona fide spiritual master, who can lead one to the path of elevation, to the higher stage, then one's life becomes successful.
Srila Prabhupada: Bhagavad-gita As It Is 16.24 Purport, original edition Macmillan 1972)