Constant transmigration of the soul from one body to another is the cause of suffering in material existence
SB Canto 3
Constant transmigration of the soul from one body to another is the cause of suffering in material existence. This conditional life in material existence is called saṁsāra. One may perform good work and take his birth in a very nice material condition, but the process under which birth and death take place is like a terrible fire. Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, in his prayer to the spiritual master, has described this. Saṁsāra, or the repetition of birth and death, is compared to a forest fire. A forest fire takes place automatically, without anyone's endeavor, by the friction of dried wood, and no fire department or sympathetic person can extinguish it. The raging forest fire can be extinguished only when there is a constant downpour of water from a cloud. The cloud is compared to the mercy of the spiritual master. By the grace of the spiritual master the cloud of the mercy of the Personality of Godhead is brought in, and then only, when the rains of Kṛṣṇa consciousness fall, can the fire of material existence be extinguished. This is also explained here. In order to find freedom from the stereotyped conditional life of material existence, one has to take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, not in the manner in which the impersonalists indulge, but in devotional service, chanting and hearing of the activities of the Lord. Only then can one be freed from the actions and reactions of material existence. It is recommended here that one should give up the conditional life of this material world and the association of so-called civilized human beings who are simply following, in a polished way, the same stereotyped principles of eating, sleeping, defending and mating. Chanting and hearing of the glories of the Lord is described here as tvad-guṇa-vāda-sīdhu. Only by drinking the nectar of chanting and hearing the pastimes of the Lord can one forget the intoxication of material existence.