(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
"A dog in the park is jumping very fast, walking. But as soon as the master, 'Come on. Come on,' immediately, 'Yes, sir.' 'Give me your neck.' 'Yes, sir.' Chain. Chain. He's thinking that he's very free, but as soon as the master calls, immediately he has to submit. This is our position. We are very busy, but the master is the material nature. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duraty... (BG 7.14). The fact is that we are under the stringent laws of material nature. We have no freedom. That we do not know. We are struggling so much. War has been waged in..., all over the world, especially in Europe, for freedom. You have got that freedom statue. And in America also, there is freedom. But where is freedom, sir? That they do not know. Why? Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam (SB 2.1.2). They do not know what is freedom and whose freedom. That they do not know. Therefore they have created so many newspapers for freedom, the so-called freedom. But there is no freedom. Even big, big leaders, they have no freedom. What we are?
Therefore Kṛṣṇa points out in the Bhagavad-gītā that real freedom is when you get freedom from four different problems. What is that?
If you get freedom from these four things—no more death, no more birth, no more eld age, old age, and no more disease—that is freedom. But where is that freedom? The so-called scientists, big, big scientists, they have very scientifically advanced, but they had no freedom from death. They had to die on a fixed-up date. Professor Einstein or any other big, big scientist, they could not manufacture any scientific instrument and keep it in the custody of his student, that 'As soon as I die, you just apply this machine. I shall come alive again.' Where is that freedom? So this so-called scientific improvement, advancement in civilization, it is just like jumping like the dog, that's all. It has no value. Real value is to understand ātma-tattvam, 'What I am? Why death is imposed upon me? I do not wish to die. Why old age is imposed upon me? I do not wish to become old man or old woman. I wish to remain a beautiful young...' 'No, sir, that is not possible.' Then where is your freedom? What for you are jumping so much? As soon as the master will call, 'Yes, sir. Bind me.' So you are completely under the nature's control."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Paris, June 11, 1974)