(Sinful living entities are under the strict control of Krishna's material energy)
"Every one of us who is in this material world is more or less a demon. Every one of us. Because just like in the prison house there may be some first-class prisoners, second-class prisoners or third-class prisoners, all of them to some extent are criminals—violated the laws of the state. That is the position. Everyone. Similarly, anyone who is in this material world, he is to some extent a criminal. Criminal in this respect: that he has defied the authority or the supremacy of God. The degree may be different, but all of them, they have defied.
That is the explanation given by one Vaiṣṇava kavi:
kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vāñchā kare
pāsate māyā tāre jāpaṭīyā dhare
Our this material contact is due to our forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa—that Kṛṣṇa is the only enjoyer, Kṛṣṇa is the predominator, Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme, Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor. That we have forgotten. 'Why Kṛṣṇa should be only proprietor? I shall be proprietor. Why Kṛṣṇa should be only enjoyer? I shall also enjoy.' This mentality has put us in the material world."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Calcutta, March 6, 1973)
"The demons and the rākṣasas, they're existing always. As I have told you, two classes of men are always there. But in this age the number of atheist class, or demons, are very much increased. Otherwise, material world means for the demons, atheistic class. Just like the prison house. The prison house means it is meant for the criminals. One may be a first-class prisoner, one may be a third-class prisoner, but it is prison house. Similarly, anyone who is in this material world—never mind whether he is Lord Brahmā or the insignificant ant—they are more or less all criminals. Criminal means disobeying, disobeying the Lord or His order. They are materially criminal."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Hawaii, February 5, 1975)
"You may be a first-class prisoner, it doesn't matter, but you are a prisoner, you are a criminal. Sometimes the big, big politicians, they are put into the jail and they're given all comforts. But that does not mean he's not a criminal. He's a criminal. Either he may be Gandhi or anyone; because he's put into the jail, he's a criminal. Similarly, anyone who is enwrapped with this material body, he's a criminal. He's a criminal. Either he may be in the heavenly planet or in this earthly planet or in the cats' and dogs' life or insect or aquatics. There are varieties of life. Every one of us, as long as we are put into this material body, it is to be understood that we are all criminal."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, September 23, 1976)
"Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa says that, 'This place...' The supreme authority says: 'This place, this material world, is duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15): it is the place for suffering.' That is a fact. One person is trying to accept suffering as enjoying, and another person is trying to end actually suffering. This is the difference between sane and insane person. I'll give you a practical example, that in the prison, government prison house, there are some prisoners who are called first-class prisoners. They are given special favor by the government. So... and there are third-class prisoners also. But both of them are prisoners. And prison is not meant for comfortable life. It is meant for suffering. The Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura therefore sings, anādi karama-phale padi' bhavārṇava-jale taribāre nā dekhi upāya (from Gītāvalī). One who is sane person, he knows that, 'I may be first-class prisoner, but that does not mean I am not prisoner. I am prisoner.' The suffering of the prison house, that I have no independence to do anything, that is prison life. We are... everyone is thinking that we are independent, but that is not the fact.
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
Actually, everybody is being carried by the laws of material nature, but a foolish person is thinking that he is doing himself. So here it is said that prāyeṇa etad bhagavata īśvarasya viceṣṭitam: we cannot do anything without the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just like in the state you cannot do anything without the sanction of the government; similarly the supreme state, the supreme order-giver, Kṛṣṇa, or God, without His sanction we cannot do anything."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, December 3, 1973)
"The so-called scientists, thinker, they are thinking that 'We are everything. We can create, and we can control over the nature.' These are all mad thinking. It is not possible. Nobody has ever been able to control over the nature, what to speak of understanding God. God is the controller of nature. Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10). Nature is not independent. So anyway, we are dependent on the laws of nature. That nobody can deny, even the greatest scientist, he cannot also deny. And because we are under the control of the laws of nature, we must admit, if we are sane man, that there is a system of ruling. If we deny the supreme ruler, we may do it madly, but there must be a systematic, I mean to say, action, reaction.
So here is Dharmarāja. Just like we have got magistrate, so magistrate's duty is, when a criminal is brought before him, to judge what kind of punishment he should be allowed. Justice there is. Similarly, this Dharmarāja means the criminals are brought before him. Dharmarāja is appointed magistrate by the Supreme Lord. So everyone, after death, he is brought before Dharmarāja, the Yamarāja, and he judges what kind of next body this criminal will have. That is Dharmarāja. He is judged by his work. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa jantur deha-upapattaye (SB 3.31.1). Just like the magistrate punishes the criminal, what kind of punishment he should be awarded, how he will be allowed to live within the prison house. Just like a political prisoner.
In our country just now they have... so many big, big leaders have been arrested. But they are not put in the same level of ordinary criminals. They are given all facilities. They are given nice house, servants and newspaper. They are given all facilities of indepen... outside life, according to the position. They are called first-class prisoners. And there are similarly second-class prisoners, third-class prisoners. So this is judged by a person."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, San Francisco, July 17, 1975)
"Some of the living entities are relatively happy in better conditions of life, whereas others are in distressed conditions of life. But factually, none of them are actually happy in material conditional life. No one can be happy in prison life, although one may be a first-class prisoner and another a third-class prisoner. The intelligent person should not try to be promoted from third-class prison life to first-class prison life, but should try to be released from the prison altogether. One may be promoted to first-class prisoner, but the same first-class prisoner is again degraded to a third-class prisoner in the next term. One should try to be free from prison life and go back home, back to Godhead. That is the real goal for all types of living entities."
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.10.37-40, Purport)
"In the grim clutches of māyā, the first-class prisoners of this material world wrongly think themselves happy because they are rich, powerful, resourceful and so on. These foolish creatures do not know that they are nothing but play dolls in the hands of material nature and that at any moment material nature’s pitiless intrigues can crush to dust all their plans for godless activities. Such foolish prisoners cannot see that however they improve their position by artificial means, the calamities of repeated birth, death, disease and old age are always beyond the jurisdiction of their control. Foolish as they are, they neglect these major problems of life and busy themselves with false things that cannot help them solve their real problems. They know that they do not want to suffer death or the pangs of disease and old age, but under the influence of the illusory energy, they are grossly negligent and therefore do nothing to solve the problems. This is called māyā. People held in the grip of māyā are thrown into oblivion after death, and as a result of their karma, in the next life they become dogs or gods, although most of them become dogs. To become gods in the next life, they must engage in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; otherwise, they are sure to become dogs or hogs in terms of the laws of nature.
The third-class prisoners, being less materially opulent than the first-class prisoners, endeavor to imitate them, for they also have no information of the real nature of their imprisonment. Thus they also are misled by the illusory material nature. The function of the ācārya, however, is to change the activities of both the first-class and third-class prisoners for their real benefit. This endeavor makes him a very dear devotee of the Lord, who says clearly in the Bhagavad-gītā that no one in human society is dearer to Him than a devotee who constantly engages in His service by finding ways to preach the message of Godhead for the real benefit of the world."
(Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi 3.98, Purport)