Bob Cohen: Could you tell me what is the difference between, uh.... Kṛṣṇa controls everything, so how, how does Kṛṣṇa control a nondevotee?
Prabhupāda: By māyā. By having... Just like government controls everything. A criminal is controlled by the police department.
Bob Cohen: And how does Kṛṣṇa control a devotee?
Prabhupāda: Just like you control your beloved. Just like you have got a beloved child. So you control him, for his benefit. If he's going to touch fire, you immediately say to him, "No, no, my dear child, don't touch it." So a Kṛṣṇa conscious person, devotee, he is never misled, because Kṛṣṇa is always guiding him, whereas those who are not Kṛṣṇa conscious, they're in charge of māyā, and māyā will do the needful, as you have seen(?).
Bob Cohen: Is is preset when we're born, the time that we'll die?
Bob Cohen: Is the time that I'm going to die, and everybody going to die, is this preset before they're born? Do I have, when I'm born, do I have a certain given lifespan?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: And he cannot change that?
Prabhupāda: No. He cannot change, but Kṛṣṇa can change.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: If he commits suicide, if somebody commits suicide, that is also preset?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Not preset. That you can do, because you have got little independence. It is not natural to commit suicide. It is unnatural. So, because we have got independence, we can go from nature to unnature, and we shall be prepared for that. Just like a prisoner cannot go out of the prisonhouse naturally, but somehow or other he arranges to jump over the wall and goes away. Then he becomes again criminal, for farther (indistinct). Naturally, the prisoners cannot go out of the prisonhouse. Somehow or other, he manages to go out. That means he becomes again criminal. He will be again arrested, and his term of imprisonment will be increased, or he will be punished more. So naturally we cannot violate the destiny, but if we do it, then we suffer(?). But our destiny can be changed by Kṛṣṇa when we are Kṛṣṇa conscious. That we do not do, but Kṛṣṇa will do. Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi: (BG 18.66) "I shall give you protection." So that change takes place for my protection by Kṛṣṇa. There are two stages: nondevotee and devotee. The nondevotee is under the control of material nature, and devotee is under the direct control of Kṛṣṇa. Just like a big man. In the office there are many employees, they are controlled by different departmental superintendent. But the small man at home is controlling his children directly. The controller, he is controller both in the office and factory and home, but at home he is controller directly; outside home he is controller indirectly. But he is controller always. Similarly, God is controller always. When one becomes devotee, he is controlled directly by God. When he is nondevotee, he is controlled by His agent, māyā. But he has to be controlled. Just like every citizen of America is controlled by the government. When he's all right, his civil department controls him. When he's not all right, then the criminal department controls him. But he cannot say that "I am not controlled." That is not possible. If somebody says, "I am not controlled," he is not sane. He is crazy. Everyone is controlled. So either you be controlled directly by God or you be controlled by his agency. Being controlled by māyā, you spoil your life. That means you remain in the material existence, one after another. You simply change your body. But if you give yourself to be controlled by God, then after this body you go back to home, back to Godhead. Then your life is successful. You cannot be without being controlled. That is not possible. Therefore one who is intelligent, he puts himself under the control of God directly. That is intelligence. And that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate: (BG 7.19) "After many births of struggling, or speculation, one surrenders unto Me." Vāsudevaḥ sarva..., "Kṛṣṇa, You are everything. So I am.... Accept me. I am now fully surrendered unto You, and You control me." Because I am controlled. So, so long I am being controlled by these rascals, so there is no benefit. I'm controlled. I have been controlled by my senses. So under the control of the senses, I have served family, so-called family, society, country, nation, up to serving the dog, but nothing has given me the satisfaction. Therefore now I have got sense, good sense. I put myself under Your power. Instead of being controlled by dog, let me be controlled by God. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You have not seen, man, how he is controlled by a dog, in the street? The dog stops, passes stool. "Yes, I stand." Is it not? He's passing stool, his urine, and the master is thinking, "I am master," but he's being controlled. That is māyā. He has become servant of dog, but he is thinking that "I am master of dog." This is māyā. This is māyā. So unless one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, one cannot understand. We can understand that this rascal is being controlled by this dog, but he's thinking that he is the master. We can understand. What do you think? Does he not become controlled by the dog?
Bob Cohen: It's very true.
Bob Cohen: That, it's very true.
Prabhupāda: But he's thinking that "I am master of the dog." A family man, he's controlled by his wife, by his children, by his servant, by everyone, but he's thinking, "I am master." President Nixon is thinking that he's master of his country, but he's controlled. At once he can be dismissed by the public, his servant. And he gets that position, placing himself that "I'll give you very good service. I shall be your first-class servant." Therefore people vote, "All right, you become president." And he's advertising, "Re-elect me. Re-elect me." That means he is servant. But he's thinking, "I am master." That is the position. Māyā. One who is controlled by māyā, he's thinking himself master, but he's servant. And a devotee, he'll never think himself, "I am master." "I am servant." That is the difference between māyā and not māyā. He at least knows that "I am never master. I am always servant." But these rascals, they think that they are master when actually they are servant. That is the difference. That is the difference. When a servant is thinking, "I am master," that is called illusion. And when a servant thinks "I am servant," that is not illusion; that is mukti. That is liberation. Because he is not controlled by a false thought. Try to think about this subject matter. A devotee is never controlled by a false thought. He knows his position. Svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ (SB 2.10.6). Mukti, liberation, means to be situated in his own constitutional position. That is called mukti, liberation. I am servant, so if I know that "I am servant," that is my liberation. And I am servant; if I think "I am master," that is his bondage. That is the difference between conditioned life and liberated life. So these Kṛṣṇa conscious devotee, they're always thinking that they are servants of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore all, they are all liberated. They haven't got to endeavor for liberation. They are already liberated, because they are situated in their constitutional position. They're not artificially thinking that "I am master." Otherwise everyone is thinking, "I am master." Everyone is thinking. That is illusion. You cannot be master in any stage of your life. You must have to remain servant. That is your position. But when one thinks artificially that he is master, that is his conditioned life. And when one voluntarily surrenders to the supreme master, that is his liberated life. The devotee hasn't got to try for liberation separately. As soon as he surrenders to Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa's representative, he is liberated.