(Srila Prabhupada giving class at 26 Second Avenue—click to enlarge)
Prabhupāda: We are all sons of God, Kṛṣṇa. So our relationship is eternal, but we have forgotten. Just you understand, God is all-powerful, all-famous, He possesses all wealth, He possesses all beauty, He possesses all knowledge and He possesses all renunciation. So we are sons of such a great personality. We have forgotten. Just as a rich man's son forgets his father and becomes mad and lying on the street and begging—oḥ, that is due to his forgetfulness. If somebody gives him information that "Why you are suffering in this way? You have got your father's riches. You go home and enjoy your father's property. Your father is very much anxious to have you. Why you are rotting in this condition?" And if he comes to his senses that "Oh, I have suffered so much. Now I shall go back to my father and enjoy life..."
This is our condition. We are under threefold miseries here in this material world. Always we are suffering by these threefold miseries: adhyātmika, adhibhautika, and adhidaivika, threefold miseries. Some miseries are pertaining to this body and mind. Just like one of our students—all of a sudden, he has got some aches and he has to undergo surgical operation. So this is going on. Something misery are due to the body, something miserable due to the mind, something miserable due to the nature. All of a sudden, it becomes very cold. All of a sudden, it becomes very hot, warm. Nature. All of a sudden, there is great snowfall. All of sudden, there is earthquake. So many miseries, due to nature, due to body, due to mind, and due to other living entities. Oh, somebody attacks me with dagger. A tiger attacks me with his jaws. So many difficulties, miseries in every step. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām (SB 10.14.58). So we should remember this. But due to the illusion, being covered by the illusion, we don't take account of these miseries. But we must remember that we are always in miseries. An intelligent person who is developed in consciousness, he inquires, "Why I am in miseries? I do not want miseries. Why I am in miseries?" When this question arises, then there is chance of becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious. You will find how one becomes, comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You will find, later verses. Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtino 'rjuna.
So bewildered by this interaction of these three modes of nature, we have forgotten our eternal relationship with God. And Kṛṣṇa consciousness means that we have to revive. Just like a psychiatrist, they by some lectures revive his consciousness. So we are, more or less, not the person who is going to the psychiatrist, but every one of us more or less mad, bewildered by this material nature. So we have to cure our madness and become situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the whole problem. Mohitaṁ nābhijānāti mām ebhyaḥ param avyayam (BG 7.13). Param avyayam. Avyayam means which has no end, which never, I mean to say, annihilates. That is called avyayam, eternal, never can be killed. So we are also avyayam. We have discussed all these points in the very beginning of Bhagavad-gītā, that we are living entities, we have no birth, no death. The birth and death is concerned with this body, but we are sons also of the supreme eternal, param avyayam. So we are also avyayam. The sons of gold is also gold. But we are in this miserable condition. Why? Because we are bewildered by these material three modes of nature.
daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te
This madness, this hallucination, this illusion of this material world, is very difficult to overcome. It is very difficult. But Lord Kṛṣṇa says, mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14). If anyone voluntarily, or understanding his miserable life, if he surrenders unto Kṛṣṇa, "My dear Kṛṣṇa, I forgot You for so many lives. Now I understand that You are my father, You are my protector. I surrender unto You." Just like a lost child goes to the father, "My dear father, it was my misunderstanding that I went away from your protection, but I have suffered. Now I come to you." The father embraces, "My dear boy, you come on. I was so much anxious for you all the days. Oh, it is happy that you have come back." The father is so kind. So we are in the same position. As soon as we surrender ourself to the Supreme Lord... That is not very difficult. A son's surrender to the father, is it very difficult job? Do you think is it very difficult job? A son is surrendering to his father. It is quite natural. There is no insult. Father is always superior. So if I touch the feet of my father, if I bow down before my father, it is glory. It is glorious for me. There is no insult. There is no difficulty. Why should we not surrender unto Kṛṣṇa?
So this is the process. Mām eva ye prapadyante. "All these bewildered living entities, when they surrender unto Me," māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14), "he has no more any miseries of life." He becomes at once under the protection of the father. You will find in the end of Bhagavad-gītā, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ (BG 18.66). When the father... When the child comes on the breast of his mother, the mother protects. If there is any danger, the mother is prepared to give her life first, then the child's life. Similarly, when we are under the protection of God, then there is no fear. We becomes fearless under the protection of God. The child... Small children, they have got this faith in the father and the mother. So we should take shelter of Kṛṣṇa—mām eva ye prapadyante. "Anyone who takes shelter unto Me, he is out of this danger at once." At once. So why not do this? Is it very difficult job? No. Then why the person do not take shelter? If it is so easy thing, a certain child is going to surrender unto the care of his father, it is so simple thing. Why people do not do this? Why? Because people are, I mean to say, challenging even the existence of God.
Now the Godless civilization: "Oh, nature is everything. Science is everything. God is nothing." Their advancement of this material knowledge means they are getting more and more mad. Their madness is increasing. Instead of being cured, their disease is being increased. This is the material civilization. "Don't care for God." All right, don't care. Then you care for this material nature. She will give you good kicks. She is engaged for kicking you always, twenty-four hours, threefold miseries. Mind that. But we are so much, I mean to say, accustomed to this kicking that we don't... We think, "It is all right. You go on kicking. My dear material nature, thank you very much for your kicking." You see?
So we have become so fools, and we are very much proud of our education. Can you conquer material nature? Who has conquered? The material nature is always inflicting upon us threefold of miseries. That's all right. Again the four things, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam: (BG 13.9) the birth, the miseries of birth; the miseries of death; the miseries of old age; and miseries of diseases—can you solve? No. Then what advancement of knowledge you have got? The death is there. The old age is there. The disease is there. Then what advancement you have made? You are so proud. This is called māyā. He is in the same stage, miserable stage, but he is thinking that "I am advanced in knowledge. I am advanced in knowledge." This false pride. You see?
So the simple thing is that the son has to surrender to the father. Simple thing. And the father, what kind of father? He is not ordinary father. He is Bhagavān. Bhagavān means possessing full power, full strength, full wealth, full knowledge. He's not ordinary father. He is not like material father, a poor father without any knowledge. But here is the father who is full of knowledge, full of opulence, and we have to surrender to such father. Don't you think yourself to be lucky to go to such a father and enjoy His property? Why you are so fools? This foolishness, why they are so much fools, that is described in the next verse.
na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ
These are the good qualifications of the fools. What is that? Duṣkṛtina. Duṣkṛtina means always doing against the scriptural or religious injunction. Always, continuously. Our business is now to break the rules of scriptures. That's all. That has become our business, duṣkṛtina, always. Duṣkṛtina, sukṛtina, means a pious worker and impious worker. Just a man, lawful; and law, outlaw. Who is outlaw, and who is lawful? One who obeys the state laws, he is called lawful citizen. And one who does not obey the state laws, who is put into the prison house, he is called outlaws. So these duṣkṛtina and sukṛtina, who is pious and who is impious, there must be some standard rules. The pious is he who follows the scriptural injunction, and impious is he who does not follow. Every civilized nation, every civilized man has got his scripture. May he be a Christian, may be a Hindu, may be a Muhammadan or may be a Buddhist. It doesn't matter. But everyone has got his authority, book of authority, scripture. So one who does not follow the scriptural injunction, he is outlaw. He is punishable. Duṣkṛtina. And mūḍha. Mūḍha means fool number one. These people do not go to God. These qualified peoples—duṣkṛtina, means impious; mūḍha, fool number one; and narādhama, and lowest of the human kind; and māyayāpahṛta-jñāna, and bewildered of his knowledge; and āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritaḥ, and atheistic mentality. These people. One who has developed...
Now, the simple thing is to surrender unto the father. Anyone can do it. There is no difficulty, there is no insult, and it is all prospective. Everything is good. But still, people do not do it. Why? These are the qualifications. What are the qualifications? That he is impious, he is fool number one, he is lowest of the mankind, his knowledge has been plundered by illusion, and he is atheistic. Anyone who is qualified all by these qualifications, he cannot surrender to his father. He is still to be punished by the agent of father, the material nature. He is still to be slapped and caned very good and kicked. He has to suffer. Just like the father chastises the unruly boy, so the father, Kṛṣṇa or God, has employed this material nature, nurse. She is nursing also. She is giving us very nice foodstuff, at the same time giving good slap. Both things are going on. Because we are all rich man's sons. We are not poor man's son, poor man's son. No. So we are getting all supply of food. That is all right. God is kind. Even we are rebelled, even we do not surrender unto Him, still, He is so kind. He is sending us grains, He is sending us fruits, so many things. And duṣkṛtina, instead of so many things for foodstuff, he is still doing impious acts for his eating, which is not sanctioned. So these things are going on.
So these kinds of people who are fool number one, impious, lowest of the mankind, and whose knowledge has been exploited by this illusory energy and who is atheistic, these people, they do not go to God. Now why mūḍha? Mūḍha means fool number one. Just like I explained that he is being kicked in every step; still, he is thinking that "Oh, I am very intelligent." This is a sign of fool number one. And narādhama, why narādhama, lowest of the mankind? Oh, because this human form of life is meant for recognizing our relationship with Kṛṣṇa, or God. This is an opportunity. In the life of cat or dog, oh, they cannot come here to understand what is spoken in the Bhagavad-gītā. Even they come, they cannot understand. First of all they will not come. But human being, it is made for human being. So if human being does not take advantage of this knowledge, any knowledge that will help him to rewake his forgotten relationship with the supreme father... That is called knowledge. So here is the book, the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally speaking. So if we do not take advantage of this knowledge, simply like cats and dogs we eat, sleep, and have sexual intercourse with the opposite sex, and die without taking advantage of the higher consciousness, developed consciousness, which have been given to us by the grace of Lord through the material energy... We have got intelligence, but if we misuse this intelligence, do not take advantage, then are we not the lowest of the mankind?
So lowest of the mankind, who does not take full advantage of this human form of life, he's the lowest of mankind. He should not have given this form of human life and developed consciousness, because he is misusing it. But Lord is so kind, gives us chance, gives us chance. The material nature, although it is very powerful, and it is punishing, but here is a chance by the will of God: "All right, let these living entities, who are suffering under different covers of this material body in 8,400,000 species of life, now here he has got a chance, the human form of life after many evolutionary process, many, many thousands and millions. Here is a chance." If you do not understand that "Here is a chance to get me free out of this entanglement," if you don't take the chance, are you not the lowest of the mankind?
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New York, October 7, 1966)