Prabhupada, New York, April 27, 1966: [...] Now, if we are sons of God, then we are very rich man’s son. Then why should we suffer? We should not have suffered. But some way or other, by material contact, we are suffering.
We are suffering. Now, this suffering, we have become so much accustomed to sufferings that we have taken it granted that these sufferings are nonmaterial. “Let us enjoy this material life. This suffering…”
They don’t care for suffering. You see? They want this material enjoyment, which is the cause of their bondage. It is cause of bondage. So they do not want… Just like there are some prisoners who do not like to get out of the prison life.
They think it is better to remain in the prison because, “I have no responsibility. If I go outside the prison, oh, I will have to search out some work. Oh, that is botheration. Let me remain here.”
Or even after the termination of the prison life, when he comes out, he commits again some criminal act so that he may be put again into the jail. He has been accustomed. Similarly, he does not take seriously the miseries of prison life. He is so accustomed that he does not take. That is ignorance.
That is ignorance. Similarly, those who are in this material world under the shackles of material modes of nature, they have completely forgotten that we have got a spiritual life which is full of freedom, full of knowledge, full of bliss, and we can become exactly almost like God.
These things they have forgotten. They think that, “If, from the C-class prisoner’s life, I can become an A-class prisoner…” Just like in the prison life there are some classes, A-class prisoner, B-class prisoner, C-class prisoner, similarly, our endeavor is going on in this material life to become A-class prisoner.
The program is not for getting out of the prison life, but we want to become A-class prisoner. That is ignorance. That is ignorance.
So here the Lord says that,
yada samharate cayam kurmo ’nganiva sarvasah indriyanindriyarthebhyas tasya prajna pratisthita
And what are the shackles of this prison life? The shackles of prison life… Just like in ordinary prison, prisoner… Of course, I do not know what is the case here of prison life, but I have seen. Sometimes in New Delhi I was invited to give some good lessons to the prisoners.
So I have seen so many prisoners. They were shackled with iron chains, iron chains. So we are also chained up here, and what is that chain? That is our sense enjoyment. Yes. We are chained in this material world by sense enjoyment.