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(The material world is a perverted reflection of the spiritual world—click to enlarge—see below*)

Prabhupāda: When we come to this material world there are connections with so many persons, bhūtāpta-pitṛṇām, nṛṇām. As soon as we come down from the womb of the mother, there are so many relatives, friends, bhūta-āpta, pitṛ, bhūtāpta, bhūtāpta, ṛṣi, pitṛṇām nṛṇām. We become connected. But some of them are dear and some of them are not very friendly—enemies. This is the condition in the material world. Nobody can say that "I am situated in a very nice condition. Everyone is my friend. No enemy." It is not possible. That is the nature of this material world, that you come in contact with so many persons, animals, and suppose your forefathers… It is described, bhūtāpta-nṛṇām pitṛṇām. So we get connections. This is the way of nature. But not all of them are friendly. Even one is friendly today, tomorrow he can become enemy. This is the condition.

So yasmāt priyāpriya-viyoga-samyoga-janma. Viyoga-samyoga-janma. As soon as one child is born, he is separated from the former life, and he is connected with another new life, new body, viyoga-samyoga. Maybe the former body was very pleasing, and this body is not very pleasing, degraded. That is possible. Dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG. 2.13). It is not that you’ll always get a body very pleasing. But the illusory energy is so strong, even one gets the body of a pig, he thinks, "It is very nice." This is called prakṣepātmika-śakti. Māyā has got especially two energies: āvaraṇātmika and prakṣepātmika. Generally māyā keeps us covered with illusion, and if one is little enlightened, wants to get out of the clutches of māyā, there is another potency of māyā, who is that prakṣepātmika. Suppose one thinks, "Now I shall become Kṛṣṇa conscious. This ordinary material consciousness is so disturbing. Let me become Kṛṣṇa conscious." So māyā will say, "What you will do with this? Better remain in material consciousness." This is called prakṣepātmika-śakti. Therefore sometimes some man comes in our society; after staying for days, he goes away. This is prakṣepata, thrown away. Unless he’s very sincere, he cannot stay with us; he’ll be thrown away. So Prahlāda Mahārāja said that these two positions—somebody is pleasing and somebody is not pleasing—it is going on perpetually. Not that "If I change my this body, this process will also stop." No. So long you have got this body in the material world, you’ll have these two processes. Somebody will be your friend, and somebody will be your enemy. Yoga-samyoga-janma.

So as soon as there are enemies, there is lamentation, anxiety. Śokāgninā. Such lamentation is just like fire of lamentation. Śokāgninā sakala-yoniṣu. If you think that only the human society such things are there—somebody’s enemy, somebody’s friend—no. In any society, any yoni… You have seen in the even in the sparrows, the bird society, they are also fighting. You have seen it. They are also mixing very intimately, again fighting. So either you take birds… Or dogs: they are famous for fighting. So this is going on—somebody very dear, somebody inimical, and fighting between them. Sakala-yoniṣu dahyamānaḥ. You cannot get escape by avoiding one society and go to the other society. That is not possible. Thus fire of disagreement, enmity and friendship, it will go on, not only here, even in the heavenly planet. In the heavenly planet there is fight between the devas (demigods) and asuras (demons). The asuras are envious of the devas, and devas are also envious of the asuras. Everywhere. Even King Indra, he has got enemies although he’s very opulent. We want to go to the heavenly planet for enjoying the opulence of that atmosphere, but there is also the same thing. So you cannot avoid it, Prahlāda Mahārāja says.

So we can try to counteract. Just like in this material world there are so many attempts to mitigate. Just like the United Nation. They have formed the United Nation formula to mitigate—no more fighting, no more war, no more enmity. This is an attempt. Enmity is there; otherwise why there is proposal of United Nations? Because we are disunited, therefore the counterproposal is "Let us become united." So he says, "To organize such thing is also very difficult and troublesome. Although it is remedial measure, let us settle our misunderstanding"—it is very good proposal. But to settle up this misunderstanding is more troublesome. You have got experience. When you make some agreement with other party, he proposes something, you propose something. So although the agreement is a remedial measure, but come to the agreement is very, very difficult. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja says this remedial measure, auṣadha, is still more troublesome. When there was enmity, that is troublesome. Just like when there is some disease, something—you have got a boil in your body—it is painful, but when you take the remedial measure, surgical operation, it is still more painful, still more. You have to take anesthetic, chloroform, because it is more painful. So anywhere there is fight, there is enmity, and if you want to settle up, it is more troublesome. So duḥkhauṣadhaṁ tad api duḥkham. The remedial measure is more troublesome than the disease, than the painful condition.

Duḥkhauṣadhaṁ tad api duḥkham atad-dhiyāham. Atat. Atat means untruth, flickering, not… Atad-dhiyāham. We do not know what is our identification. Misunderstanding. Dehātma-buddhi. Asad-grahāt. Atad, asat, the same thing. We have accepted this body, identifying this body, on account of this. If you are on the spiritual platform, then there is no trouble, there is no misunderstanding. If we understand properly by education or knowledge that "You are also part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. I am also part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Our real position is to serve the Lord," so if we serve that, then there is no misunderstanding. If we be engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, there cannot be any misunderstanding. Otherwise, if we work on the platform of this body, material body, there must be misunderstanding. Atad-dhiyāham. Bhūman: "My Lord, the great,” bhramāmi, "in this way I am wandering life after life, changing the body, changing the situation, and in different situation, different mentality. But there is no peace; there is no happiness—simply changing the body." Bhūman bhramāmi vada me tava dāsya-yogam: "In this way I am wandering throughout the whole universe. Now please engage me in Your service."

So this is the right prayer, that unless you engage yourself in the service of Kṛṣṇa, you’ll never get peace. This is a fact. We can discover so many plans and remedial measures, and that will not help us. Only solution is to surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa gives this nice advice: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇam (18.66). That will cure your all disease. And this mentality comes by practical experience after many, many births, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyante (BG 7.19), when one understands properly that without becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious, without being servant of Kṛṣṇa, there cannot be peace or happiness.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Mayapur, February 23, 1976)

* In the above painting Krsna and His eternal consort, Radharani, are shown in Their eternal abode, Goloka Vrndavana. The upside-down tree below Them is the banyan tree, representing the material world, which is a perverted reflection of the spiritual world. The demigods are on the top branches, the human beings are on the middle branches, and the animals are on the lower branches. On the right a man is disentangling himself from the tree by cutting it with the weapon of detachment.

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