Pradyumna: “Nature is said to be the cause of all material activities and effects, whereas the living entity is the cause of the various sufferings and enjoyments in this world.”

Prabhupāda: This is very funny, that you get the body according to your karma, but the, you are liable to enjoy or being suffering according to the body. The body is given by the nature. In another place it is confirmed, bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā [Bg. 18.61].

The living entity… Just like we, on this jeep car, we can move from here and there. Somebody has given you the car for movement. Similarly we are getting a yantra, a moving instrument, this body, with senses, different bodies. So I’m seated there and, but the movement is not in my direction. That is by nature’s own way. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni, in another place it is confirmed,

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
[Bg. 3.27]

This is our foolishness. So long we are under the clutches of māyā it is just like pulling by the ear, “Come here, sit down,” like that. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni. But the illusory māyā, by the influence of illusory māyā, the living entity thinks that “I am doing this, I am doing that.”

Everything is controlled. The ultimate controller is the Supreme Personality of Godhead because īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61], bhrāmayan, bhrāmayan, the passive. He is causing to move or wander sarva-bhūtāni, all living entities under different condition of the body. So how much foolish we are that we are getting a particular type of body and the sukha-duḥkha, happiness and distress, is already fixed up. That is called destiny. As soon as I get a particular type of body, my happiness and sufferings are all destined. This is our position.

So we are trying to make the situation improved because, after all, as soon as you get this material body, it is suffering. There is no question of happiness. But by the illusory energy, by illusion we are thinking we are enjoying. That is called illusion, māyā. Just like the same example, a hog is eating stool, but he is thinking he is enjoying. This is called prakṣepātmikā-śakti. Not only hog, even in human society, somebody eats the most abominable, most rotten fish; still, he’s thinking he’s enjoying. We have seen it. Unless he thinks like that, how… If he thinks that, “This is most rotten thing,” then he cannot live. The māyā must make him forget that he is eating the most rotten thing. He’ll think, “It is very nice.” Māyayāpahṛta-jñāna. So this is the consequence of all forgetfulness.

There are varieties of living entities, bodies. As Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura therefore says,

karma-kāṇḍa jñāna-kāṇḍa, kebala viṣera bhāṇḍa,
amṛta boliyā jebā khāya
nānā joni sadā phire, kadarya bhakṣana kore,
tāra janma adhahpāte jāya

Nānā joni sadā phire. We are wandering in different species of life. There are cockroaches in the commode. They are also thinking, “I am enjoying.” A tree is standing for seven thousands of years, and he’s also thinking, “I am enjoying life.” So this is going on.

And we are not very much serious about this thing, that “I am part and parcel of God, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. My, I am… Na jāyate na mriyate. “My position is that I never take my birth and never die.” Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. “I do not die even after the destruction of this body.” These things are my privileges, but I do not wish to take care of them. This is called māyā. We are satisfied in this abominable condition of life by a body given by the nature. We suffer or enjoy… No enjoyment. Everything is suffering according to the body, and the body is supplied by the nature. That is explained here. Kārya-kāraṇa-kartṛtve hetuḥ prakṛtir ucyate. Kartṛtve, my action, that is also directed by the material nature. Originally directed by īśvara, who is sitting within your heart, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca [Bg. 15.15], but it is being acted through the agency of material nature. Kārya-kāraṇa-kartṛtve hetuḥ prakṛtir ucyate.

Prakṛtiḥ. Just like one criminal is punished by the magistrate, that “This man should undergo six months imprisonment.” So the judge or the magistrate superficially is the cause of his punishment, but actually he’s not. He’s giving him punishment according to law. I have created such a situation, I have made myself a criminal, and the magistrate, according to law, giving me punishment. So actually, directly, the magistrate is not the cause of my suffering. Why he should be cause? He’s not your enemy. This is going on.

hetuḥ prakṛtir ucyate
puruṣaḥ sukha-duḥkhānāṁ
bhoktṛtve hetur ucyate

So bhoktṛtva, my enjoyment, because we have come to this material world for enjoyment. So everyone’s enjoyment is not on the same standard. We can see that. Somebody is enjoying some way, another is enjoying… “One man’s food, another man’s poison.” What is enjoyed by the hog is not enjoyed by other animal. This is going on.

Therefore when we get real consciousness by good association, if we can understand that “I am under the clutches of māyā, prakṛti, and I’m dictated according to my association with the quality of the nature and I am getting different types of bodies, different types of situation for my distress or happiness. This is my position, under, fully under the control of the prakṛti.” It cannot be changed. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā [Bg. 7.14]. Not possible. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā. You cannot change.

But you can change by one process. What is that? Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. If you surrender to Kṛṣṇa, then you can get out of this control of māyā. Otherwise it is not pos… Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. Then what should be our decision? That better not to try for improving our material condition of life. That cannot be changed. It is not possible. According to destiny we have to enjoy or suffer. This is called adṛṣṭa. Therefore the śāstra gives you advice,

tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido
na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ
tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukhaṁ
kālena sarvatra gabhīra-raṁhasā
[SB 1.5.18]

Śāstra says, “Don’t uselessly try to improve your position.” The modern economists, they’ll say, “No, we are not going to accept this.” But it is a fact. People are trying to improve the condition of the poor man, but… It is going on, but there are thousands and millions of poor men.

Fifty years ago, when I first came to Bombay, at that time I was gṛhastha. I saw there were persons lying down care of footpath, and fifty years after, we are seeing the same thing is going on. No change. There is a class of men who must lie down care of footpath. There are so many institutions, daridra-nārāyaṇa-sevā. But why there are daridras still? That means you cannot change. It is not possible. It is not possible. Just like a man who has done something criminal and he is in prison. Can you take him out? It will be another criminal action. If you try to take him away from the prisonhouse by some means, then you’ll be punished and he’ll be punished, both. This is the law state. Similarly, how you can surpass the stringent laws of nature and the laws of God? That is not possible.

That is Vedic civilization. They were not very much anxious to improve material position. Even at the present moment, you go to the village. The innocent villagers, they are satisfied with the position Kṛṣṇa has given, but they are anxious to improve their spiritual life. That is, still you’ll find. Of course, it is not that you’ll not try to earn your livelihood. That you must. But you should not endeavor or give more time for your so-called material improvement. Better save time and utilize that time for improving your Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is perfection. That is the injunction of the śāstras. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ.

“But shall I not try for my happiness?” No. If you try, where is your happiness? You can get so much degree of happiness as you are destined, not more than that. So why should you waste your time? “No, I see, so many people have improved.” So the answer is that tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham. The reason, very nice reason. Duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham. Just like nobody tries for unhappiness, but why unhappiness comes? I do not want something, unhappiness, but it is forced upon me. That means destiny. I must have it. You are very nice man, you are doing nicely, but some distress is enforced upon you by force. That is our experience.

So the reason is—logic is given—that even without trying for distress, if distress is enforced upon me, so similarly, if I am destined to enjoy something, that will be also enforced upon me. So why should I waste my time with so-called happiness. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido na labhyate [SB 1.5.18]. This trying for happiness, I have tried many lives. Fortunately I have got this human form of…

What is our trying? We try for eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. So that is available by the laws of nature. Even a bird, beast, he has got arrangement. Birds, when they take birth, there are two birds, one male and female. So sex arrangement is already, ar… Because they have no marriage, I mean to say, problem. They eat from tree to tree there is fruit. They sleep also, they have their sex life, and when there is danger they try to defend. Everyone. So if you also try to improve, but that cannot be improved.

So now we have got higher consciousness, developed consciousness we should try to understand the problems of life. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This human form of life is meant for inquiring about this Absolute Truth, the Supreme Soul. Ātma-tattva-jijñāsā. Therefore Bhāgavata says, parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam. Parābhavas tāvad abodha-jātaḥ. Everyone is born rascal and fool. Unless one is rascal and fool, one does not take birth in this material body. One who is actually in knowledge, he becomes liberated. Jñāna-vairāgya-yuktāya[SB 1.2.12]. That is the result of knowledge. If we are not liberated, if we have not stopped our repetition of birth and death, that means we are in ignorance.

Therefore śāstra says, tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. Kovida means very intelligent person, expert. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. These are the signs, symptoms of knowledge, wiseness. And another place Bhāgavata says, parābhavas tāvad abodha-jātaḥ. Everyone is born fools and rascals, and he’s acting in foolishness and rascaldom. Therefore whatever he is doing this is his defeat. This is his defeat. Actually, if we think very cool-headed… Suppose whole life I have earned so much money, bank balance, skyscraper building, everything, but if my next life I become a cat or dog or rat… There is possibility. Because if I am not destined to enjoy… Because this life I have committed so many sinful activities, I am not going to have very comfortable life. But I have got attraction for my building which I have constructed with so many efforts. Nature will allow you to live in that building again next life, maybe as a cat, dog or a rat.

Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. You do not know what kind of body you are going to… You completely under the stringent laws of nature. Here it is said, kārya-kāraṇa-kartṛtve hetuḥ prakṛtir ucyate. As soon as you give up this body, you are completely under the grip of material nature and you will get a type of body according to your karma. And then puruṣaḥ sukha-duḥkhānāṁ bhoktṛtve hetur ucyate. That puruṣa, the living entity, will have to enjoy or suffer according to that body.

So this is the science of Bhagavad-gītā. One has to learn these things; otherwise he’s spoiling his human life. One must know that what is the importance of this human form of life. One must take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness to save himself. Try to understand Kṛṣṇa only. Then you are saved. Janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. The problem is janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānu… [Bg. 13.9]. This problem we have set aside. We are busy for a few years life, fifty years, twenty years or… We have forgotten that we are eternal. We don’t die after the destruction of this body. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. This is my problem, what kind of body again I am going to get.

So therefore, parābhavas tāvat, yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam. So long we do not inquire about the ātma-tattva, whatever you are doing, it is all foolishness and defeat. It is actually defeat. We got opportunity, this human form of life, to get out of this control of material nature, get completely freedom. If we don’t try for that, simply if we try like cats and dogs, how to improve the method of eating, sleeping, sex life and defending, we are spoiling our life. This is the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā. Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)