Prabhupāda: That is the nature of the living being, that he is happy by nature because he is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1). So ānanda is nature, but he is finding... trying to find out nature in sinful life. Therefore he is being punished. That he does not know.
Devotee: So that's his ignorance.
Prabhupāda: That is ignorance. His nature is to become happy. He is happy, happy. Just like our natural position is we are healthy. Nature has made this body. But we create such situation that we become ill, sick. And at that time we see, "Oh, I am..." What is that? "I am infected. I have been contaminated," go to the doctor, injection. But the natural life is no disease.
Prabhupāda: But you create a situation; therefore become diseased.
Devotee: Otherwise it wouldn't be called "diseased," because it would be normal to be sick. But disease means...
Prabhupāda: Normal life means no sickness.
Prabhupāda: And as soon as there is sickness, that means punishment. So if you want to be punished, then violate the hygienic laws. You can see that there is hospital and medical treatment and medicine—for whom?
Devotee (2): Sick people.
Prabhupāda: No, for the human society. Not for the birds, beasts. Because they follow nature's law. But this rascal violates nature's law and suffers.
Devotee (3): What about for the devotees, Śrīla Prabhupāda? Sometimes they are very sick, have so many...
Prabhupāda: Devotees... To become devotee is not so cheap thing. You don't think that because you have got a tilaka you have become devotee. Why do you think like that?
Devotee (2): Jaya Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: That Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, eiṭa eka kalira chelā, nāke tilaka, galaya mālā: "Here is another follower of Kali. He has got tilaka and mālā." Sahaja bhajana kacen māmu, saṅga laiyā pārera wala: "He is worshiping, bhajana, taking another's wife." Sahaja bhajana kacen māmu, saṅga laiyā pārera wala, ei ṭa eka kalira chelā: "Here is a servant of Kali. Simply he has changed his dress with tilaka and mālā." Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says. If you take tilaka and mālā and do all nonsense things, then you are not a devotee. You are kali-chelā. To become a devotee is not so easy thing.
Devotee (4): Devotee means perfect.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Certainly. Devotee means sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate (BG 14.26). He is above these material laws. That is devotee. Brahma-bhūyāya kalpate. He is in the Brahman stage. That is devotee. If you take... That means sahajiyā. "Because I have got a tilaka and mālā, I have become devotee." This kind of cheating will not do.
Devotee (4): And in this modern age, this cheating is very prominent...
Prabhupāda: No, no. Modern or old, anyone who is a conditioned soul, he has got cheating propensity, four defects. One of them is the cheating propensity.
Devotee (4): Yes. But the mental stage in this age is very strong. Mental. They think mentally they have found a solution.
Prabhupāda: (laughs) That they can do.
Devotee (4): But they...
Prabhupāda: Within mind you can think, "I have become emperor of the world." That you can do. Who can check you? But that is not the actual fact.
Devotee (4): That is the characteristic.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is mental concoction. Within mind you can think, "I have become the proprietor of the banks, all the banks." Madman that is. He's a madman.
Devotee (4): They have so many philosophies, but it's all mental.
Prabhupāda: All mental. We say, therefore, don't say "philosophy." We say "mental speculation."
Devotee (4): Jaya.
Prabhupāda: Philosophy means tattva-darśinaḥ. That is described, tattva-darśinaḥ. One has seen the truth, he is philosopher. And who is hovering in the mental concoction platform, he's a rascal. "I think." This is... Their all European philosophy is...
Devotee (4): "I believe."
Prabhupāda: "I believe," "In my opinion." He's a rascal, and he is giving his opinion.
Devotee (5): Prabhupāda, are the laws of karma written?
Prabhupāda: Laws of karma is you touch fire, your finger will be burned. This is laws of karma. You cannot avoid it.
Devotee (4): They are so complicated, though. Are they actually written?
Prabhupāda: That is another... This is the law of karma: if you do something which is forbidden, then you suffer. This is laws of karma. Or you enjoy, both good and bad. That is the laws of karma, either you take the result good or the bad.
Devotee (4): To a devotee it is very clear, the laws of karma. He sees how that God, Kṛṣṇa, is just.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Devotee means tattva-darśī. He has seen the real truth. Devotee means who follows Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa is giving the real truth. If you take, then you are devotee. If you don't take, you are nondevotee.
Devotee (3): What is the role of mercy if one takes or doesn't take?
Prabhupāda: Mercy means... Suppose you are a devotee. Unknowingly or by some bad habit you have done something wrong. That is excused. But if you intentionally do, that "I am devotee; Kṛṣṇa will excuse me," then you are rascal.
Devotee (6): That's the greatest offense.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Cheating. Cheating Kṛṣṇa. Cheating Kṛṣṇa is no business. That is to be punished. You cannot cheat Kṛṣṇa. But if by accident, knowingly or unknowingly, you have done something which is not good, that is excused. Sva-pāda-mūlaṁ bhajataḥ priyasya (SB 11.5.42). If you are actually, because you have given so much service to Kṛṣṇa, you have become very dear to Him, so unknowingly you have done, committed sin—excused. Bhajataḥ priyasya. This word is used. You must have to become very dear to Him. Then if you accidentally commit some sin, that is excused.
Devotee: What does "unknowingly" mean, Śrīla...
Prabhupāda: Unknowingly means... Suppose you are a smoker. So now you have given up everything. But in the association of some smoker you incline, "All right, let me smoke." Then you regret, "Oh, I have done this." It can happen. So that is excused. But if you think, "Now I am a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. I can smoke like anything, and everything will be excused," then you are a rascal.
Devotee (4): Also, Śrīla Prabhupāda, we are knowing that we are so sinful and we're so rascals, but having the opportunity of association of pure devotee and Kṛṣṇa, that's also mercy.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes, yes.
Devotee (4): Because we can see that we are... our hearts are not clean, and we are constantly thinking of māyā...
Prabhupāda: Education, education.
Devotee (4): This is mercy. This is greatest mercy.
Prabhupāda: Just like you are being educated. Not that cent percent mark you are getting, but because you are trying to be educated, so that is also good. That is also good.
Devotee (7): Therefore the association is most important.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, very important, so that if I commit some mistake, I'll regret: "Oh, my other associate, he is not coming to act in that..." That chance he'll get.
Devotee (4): So we pay a little attention to Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa gives us a lot of attention.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Devotee (4): That is mercy.
Prabhupāda: If you give... If you go forward, Kṛṣṇa, one step, He comes forward ten steps.
Devotee (4): He runs.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is His mercy.
Devotee (4): That is mercy.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, March 25, 1976, Delhi)