(Click photo to enlarge image of Srila Prabhupada explaining the Vaisnava philosophy.)
"The ways of material nature is that you cannot remain in comfort. That is not possible, by laws of nature. Tri-tāpa-yātana, three kinds of miseries, adhyātmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika, they must be there always. Just like I am your spiritual master. You have kept me very nicely, to your best capacity, but I am coughing. I am coughing. So even if we are situated in one kind of comfortable position, the another uncomfort will come and attack you. That is called tri division: adhyātmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. Or there is no cough, or there is no trouble, but you receive one very unsatisfactory letter from a friend; you become very sorry. This is called adhyātmika, pertaining to the mind, pertaining to the body. Adhyātmika. Adhibhautika: troubles offered by other living entities; and adhidaivika, trouble offered by the higher authorities. Just like excessive heat. You cannot control. Excessive cold.
So in this material world we have to work very hard under these three kinds of miserable conditions of life, and we are actually doing that. Still, we are thinking that we are happy. And after all, after doing this, we have to change this body. That means death. We cannot avoid it. But still, we are thinking that we are happy, and we have no sense to try to understand actually what is the standard of happiness, where that happiness can be had, if it is possible. These things are understood and answered by this Krishna consciousness movement. That is the importance of the Krishna consciousness. All-round. It is not one-sided, that we are thinking of Krishna. Thinking of Krishna means thinking of everything, because Krishna is everything. Without Krishna, there is no other thing."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, May 16, 1973)
"So there are three kinds of miserable condition in this material world, and either of them or all of them, they are always troubling us. This is our position. We have to understand that. We are suffering. That everyone knows. But by illusion we think that 'This is not suffering. This is natural.' No. It is not natural. Just like if you have got fever, it is disease. Don't think that it is natural. Why you should be suffering from all these troubles? That is not natural; that is unnatural. Because we are part and parcel of God, we living entities, we should be as happy as God is. That is our position, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. God is described, īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac cid ānanda vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1). Sat, cit, ānanda. This is three different features of God's body. What is that? Sat. Sat means eternal. Sat. And cit. Cit means knowledge, full of knowledge. And ānanda means full of bliss. That is ānanda. So this is God's body. And we are part and parcel of God. Just like gold and particle of gold: it may be very small particle, but one shall say it is gold. It is not anything else. Similarly, in quality we are same as God. Now we have got this body which is not eternal. God's body is eternal and my..., this body is not eternal. And sat, cit. God is full of knowledge, omniscient, but my body is full of ignorance. Why these universities are there? Because we do not know what is what; therefore we are being educated. So that means this body is not full of knowledge; it is full of ignorance. So... And again, God's body is blissful, and our body is miserable. So the aim should be how again we come to the original position like God or the same type of body -- blissful, full of knowledge and eternal. That is the aim of human life."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Johannesburg, October 20, 1975)
"Materialistic activities are always mixed with three kinds of miserable conditions -- adhyātmika, adhidaivika and adhibautika. Therefore, even if one achieves some success by performing such activities, what is the benefit of this success? One is still subjected to birth, death, old age, disease and the reactions of his fruitive activities.
According to the materialistic way of life, if a poor man, after laboring very, very hard, gets some material profit at the end of his life, he is considered a success, even though he again dies while suffering the threefold miseries -- adhyātmika, adhidaivika and adhibhautika. No one can escape the threefold miseries of materialistic life, namely miseries pertaining to the body and mind, miseries pertaining to the difficulties imposed by society, community, nation and other living entities, and miseries inflicted upon us by natural disturbances from earthquakes, famines, droughts, floods, epidemics, and so on. If one works very hard, suffering the threefold miseries, and then is successful in getting some small benefit, what is the value of this benefit? Besides that, even if a karmī is successful in accumulating some material wealth, he still cannot enjoy it, for he must die in bereavement. I have even seen a dying man begging a medical attendant to increase his life by four years so that he could complete his material plans. Of course, the medical man was unsuccessful in expanding the life of the man, who therefore died in great bereavement. Everyone must die in this way, and after one's mental condition is taken into account by the laws of material nature, he is given another chance to fulfill his desires in a different body. Material plans for material happiness have no value, but under the spell of the illusory energy we consider them extremely valuable. There were many politicians, social reformers and philosophers who died very miserably, without deriving any practical value from their material plans. Therefore, a sane and sensible man never desires to work hard under the conditions of threefold miseries, only to die in disappointment."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.13.31, Purport)
"Actually the living entity does not take birth nor does he die, but he has to fight with the stringent laws of material nature throughout the entire span of his lifetime. He must also face different kinds of miserable conditions. Despite all this, the living entity, due to illusion, thinks that he is well situated in sense gratification."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.27.16, Purport)
"Sādhu is titikṣava, tolerates all kinds of miserable condition. He is sādhu. Because this is a place of miserable condition. A sādhu learns how to tolerate. Sādhu is never disturbed. Yasmin sthite guruṇāpi duḥkhena na vicālyate (BG 6.21). A sādhu who has got the shelter of Krishna, if he is placed in the severest type of dangerous condition, he is never disturbed. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja: his father was putting him in so many dangerous condition, even he was supplying with poison.
He knew that 'My father has given me poison to drink. All right, let me drink. If Krishna likes, He will save me. I am now put into such dangerous position, I have to drink. Father is giving poison. Who can check?' And such a big, powerful Hiraṇyakaśipu. The mother cried, requested... He forced the mother, Prahlāda's mother, 'Give your son this poison.' So she begged so much, but he was a rascal demon. 'No, you must give.'
So the mother knew, the son knew that the rascal father is giving this poison. What can he do, a small child? 'All right, let me drink.' Guruṇāpi duḥkhena na vicālyate (BG 6.22). He is not agitating. 'All right. If Krishna likes, I will like.' This is the position of sādhu. He is not disturbed. Titikṣavaḥ. In all circumstances he is tolerant. That is sādhu. Sādhu does not become disturbed. Titikṣavaḥ. At the same time, kāruṇikāḥ. He is himself disturbed, but he is merciful to others.
Just like Jesus Christ. He is being crucified, and still he is merciful: 'God, these people do not know what they are doing. Please excuse them.' This is sādhu. He is personally being disturbed by the demons, but still, he is merciful to the general people. They are suffering for want of Krishna consciousness. So even up to the point of death, he is trying to preach Krishna consciousness. 'Let the people be benefited. Eh, what is this material body? Even if I am killed, I am not killed. This body is killed, that's all.' This is sādhu. Titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ. In one side he is tolerant, and other side, merciful.
The material world, when one man is disturbed, he cannot do any beneficial work to any others. He is disturbed. 'No, I am very much disturbed. Don't talk with me.' No. But sādhu still goes on benefiting the people in general. Titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ (SB 3.25.21). And what kind of benefit? The so-called rascals' humanitarian work? No. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām (BG 5.29). He is beneficial to all kinds of living entities."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, July 18, 1973)
"On account of this material body, we have got threefold miseries within this material world. One is called adhyātmika. Adhyātmika means miserable condition due to this material body and the mind. The another miserable condition is adhibhautika: miserable condition offered by other living entities. And the third miserable condition is which is offered by the nature, just like earthquake, famine, pestilence and so many other things on which we have no control. We have no control in any kind of miserable condition, especially the miserable condition offered by nature. We cannot avoid it. So therefore... Here it is said that if you take up this religious system -- means how to love God -- then you will be transcendental to all this miserable condition of material existence. And these information, these practices, are given in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is compiled by..., not by any ordinary person, but śrīmad-bhāgavate mahā-muni-kṛte, the greatest sage, Vyāsadeva. He has given us."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Caracas, February 23, 1975)
"So we cannot violate the laws of God, or dharma. Then we'll be punished. The punishment is there, awaiting, by the laws of nature. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). The laws of nature is to punish you. So long you are not Krishna conscious, the laws of nature will go on punishing you -- three kinds of miserable conditions: ādhyātmika, ādhibhautika, ādhidaivika. This is the law. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). You are thinking independent, but that is not the fact. We are dependent, completely dependent on the laws of nature. And laws of nature means laws of God. What is prakṛti? Prakṛti is acting under the direction of Krishna. Just like a police constable is working under the direction of magistrate or superior officer, similarly, prakṛti is giving us various types of miserable condition of life directed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ suyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10). Krishna says, 'Under My superintendence the laws of nature is working.' And what is the laws of nature? That in the human form of life, if you do not endeavor to understand what is God, what you are, what is your relationship with God, what is your duty -- these things, if you do not learn, then you are punishable immediately.
kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vañcha kare
pasate māyāra tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare
As soon as you forget Krishna and you want to act independently, then immediately you are captured by māyā and you are punished.
So when you come to this senses, that 'I am punished by māyā on account of my forgetting Krishna consciousness; therefore my duty is to come back again to Krishna consciousness and be saved from the punishment of the material nature,' that is human duty. You cannot say that 'I don't want Krishna consciousness.' If you don't want, then you must suffer. If you want to save yourself from suffering, then you must take to Krishna. It is a question of 'must.' It is not your option. Your option is there. Because you are part and parcel of Krishna, you have got little independence. But if you misuse that independence, then you are punishable. You cannot. Just like everyone has got little independence to violate the laws of the state. You can do that, but that is punishable. So if we take the risk of being punished, then we can violate the laws of nature, or laws of God.
So laws of God is very simple thing. It is not very difficult. God personally says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65): 'Just always think of Me.' So it is not at all difficult. Krishna is here. You see the Deity of Krishna, have impression in your heart how Krishna and Balarāma is standing, how Rādhā-Krishna is standing, how Gaura-Nitai is standing. So you can think always. Man-manā. Or you can think of Him by chanting Hare Krishna. Where is the difficulty, man-manā? You become devotee, come here in the temple, offer your respect. So to become Krishna conscious is not at all difficult. But people will not take to it; therefore they must suffer. This is the law."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, September 4, 1975)
"Krishna says, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9). Anyone who simply understands Krishna, then the result will be that after quitting this body you won't have to come back again in this material world and accept a body for different kinds of miserable condition. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9): 'He doesn't take birth again here.' Then where does he go? Mām eti, 'He comes to Me.' So these are simple truths, all explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. It is open to everyone. Krishna is everyone's father."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, August 3, 1971)