"This material world is certified by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the place of misery. Now, if this place is made for that purpose, just to give us miseries only, how you can make it a place of happiness? The place is meant for that purpose. So Lord Kṛṣṇa says that 'Somebody, anybody who comes back to Me, he hasn't got to come back again to this place of miseries.' Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti (BG 4.9). And again He says, mām upetya kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15): 'This place is full of miseries.' We are deluded, illusioned. We are accepting this place as permanent settlement. We are making plans, so many plans, to make a permanent settlement, but the Lord says it is not only full of misery; aśāśvatam, you cannot remain here permanently. However you make your plan to live here permanently, you cannot live here. You have to give up. You can spoil your energy for making this material world very comfortable, or you may live for some years very comfortably, but cruel death will come and snatch you from all comfortable position and put you into another position which is beyond your control. You cannot say that 'I have made my position very secure. I am very comfortable with great endeavor by advancement of economic development, by advancement of material science. Let me remain here. I am very happy.' The time will say, 'No, that will not be allowed. You must leave immediately, immediately, without delay.' You know your President Kennedy. He was going in a procession, and the time came, and he had to leave everything at once, at once, without any hesitation. You cannot hesitate.
So we are in the grip of the material nature. However we may declare ourself that we are independent, we are not independent. We are dependent, completely dependent. We may foolishly mislead ourself by the sense of independence. No. You are not independent. You are completely under the control of the material nature. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). The material nature is so strong that it is very difficult to get out of the entanglement. But there is a way. That is also said in the Bhagavad-gītā. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te: 'Anyone who surrenders unto Me...' The whole process, the whole process of material activities, material nature, is going on under this principle, that we are required to go back to the eternal world, to get our eternal life and eternal blissful knowledge. These things are awaiting us. But if we do not try, do not endeavor for attaining that sublime position and spoil our reserve energy in making an adjustment of this temporary material world, that is our foolishness. You will find in the Seventh Chapter Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says:
na māṁ prapadyante mūḍhāḥ
āsurī bhāvam āśritāḥ
Lord says that 'There are persons who are duṣkṛtina, duṣkṛtina, or miscreants; mūḍha, foolish; duṣkṛtina, mūḍha and narādhama—and the lowest of the humankind—and māyayāpahṛta-jñānā—and they have been plundered of their real knowledge by the stringent laws of material nature. Such people do not come unto Me.' So these things are... if we study Bhagavad-gītā, we have to take it, Bhagavad-gītā, as it is. We cannot give our own interpretations just to suit our purpose. This thing already been explained in this Fourth Chapter, that it is understood by the paramparā system, by the disciplic succession. So we have to take up this knowledge from the disciplic succession."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New York July 20, 1966)