We Are All Criminals in the Material World
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(Goddess Kali—superintendent of the prison house of the material world)

Prabhupāda: So the first question is, "What is the practice you preach?" Yes. We are preaching the original practice. Practice means which is practically done. And sometimes things are impractical when they are unnatural, and natural things can be practiced very easily. So our preaching is to reinstate the living soul to his original condition. The original condition of living being is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. As such, the part and parcel is meant for rendering service to the whole. Just like this finger is part and parcel of my body. The finger is expected to give service to the whole body. When I am feeling itching, my finger is helping it. When I want to pick up something, my finger is helping. Similarly, any part of my body... When I want to go out, my leg is walking. When I want, I want to see something, my eyes are helping. So in this way you can understand what we mean by part and parcel. Take materially also, any machine. The part and parcel... Just like here is a machine, tape recorder. There are different parts. One part is required to give, adjust speed; one part is required how to move, how to start, how to stop, how to increase. So different parts. Similarly, we are living entities, and the Lord is also a living entity. And we are originally created to help the Lord. He does not require... Because He's complete. But just to give a crude example, as the part and parcel required: now, suppose this finger is not giving me service. It is diseased. So sometimes doctors advise that "You have to amputate this finger, otherwise it will affect the whole body." Similarly, we living entities, being part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, when we rebel, that is our diseased condition. We, when we don't want to render service to the Lord, that is a state which is called demonic state.

The demonic state... Just like a citizen of this state is part and parcel. A citizen expected to render service to the state, but if he refuses, then he's considered a traitor or a criminal and is put into punishment. Similarly, all the living entities who are in this material world, they have rebelled. They are part and parcel, sons of the Lord, but they have refused to give service under certain condition. It may be... And they are all put into this material world. And in this material world there are different varieties of living entities. So all of them are criminals, maybe first-class criminal, third-class criminals, second-class criminal. Amongst the criminals also, in the prison house, there are divisions. So here those who are materially prosperous, they are also criminals but first-class criminals. That is the difference. And those who are suffering materially, they are also criminals. They are third-class criminals. But all of them—criminals. How they're criminals? Because either one is rich or poor, he's subjected to the tribulations of this material nature. It does not mean that the rich man will not die, but everyone wants to live, either rich man or poor man. It is not that the rich man will not be diseased, but everyone wants to take precaution against disease. No one wants to become diseased, but everyone becomes diseased. Everyone dies. It is not that rich man will not become old and the simply poor man will become old. No. Everyone will become old. It is not that... When a child takes birth, the condition within the womb of the mother, air-tight packed, cannot move—we forget, but that is a great suffering. The suffering of death, suffering of birth, suffering of disease and suffering of old age—these are imposed on the living entities, those who are criminals. Criminals means revolted against the service of the Lord.

So we are trying to bring them into practice, how to serve Lord, how to, how to serve the Supreme Lord. That is our movement. It is not patchwork. Other humanitarian societies or welfare societies, they are trying to give some patchwork. They cannot give relief to the stringent laws of nature: birth, death, old age and disease. But we are giving the final cure of the disease of condition of material existence. That is the teaching of Bhagavad-gītā: māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ (BG 9.32). In this material world there are consideration of pious activities or impious activities. By pious activities one gets very good family, birth in very good family, and nice education, beautiful body, janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrī (SB 1.8.26). Four things: birth either in good nation or in good family, janma; and aiṣvarya means wealth, richness; and ṣruta means education; and śrī means beauty. So this is the consideration of material pious or impious. And impious means just the opposite: birth in abominable species of life, just like cats, dogs, hogs, or uncivilized people, ugly feature, no education. These are consideration, pious or impious. But either you become pious or impious, you cannot get out of these stringent laws of nature: birth, death, disease and old age. So we are educating our students to practice how to revive his old, the eternal constitutional position to serve the Lord. This is our practice. Just like here you can see the boys have decorated the sitting place of the Lord, how nice, with flowers and candles. It is not very expensive, but it is so beautiful that immediately it attracts. You see? So everyone can practice at home. Is it very difficult task, to gather some flowers and some leaves and decorate and have some picture or statue of the Lord, offer Him some fruits, flower? Everyone can do this. And by doing this, he gets the highest perfection of life: no more coming into this material world and suffer all these nonsense. This is our practice.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Hawaii, March 23, 1969)

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