If I want to get rid of this bodily encagement or the threefold miseries of material existence, then I must put myself under treatment. Just like a diseased man goes to a physician for treatment to get out of, get relief from the sufferings of the disease

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"if I want to get rid of this bodily encagement or the threefold miseries of material existence, then I must put myself under treatment. Just like a diseased man goes to a physician for treatment to get out of, get relief from the sufferings of the disease"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Now, if I want to get rid of this bodily encagement or the threefold miseries of material existence, then I must put myself under treatment. Just like a diseased man goes to a physician for treatment to get out of, get relief from the sufferings of the disease, similarly, our material existence consisting of threefold miseries and birth, death, old age, and diseases... If we are actually conscious for our happiness, we must make a permanent solution of these miseries. That is the mission of human life. So for making that mission fulfilled, we have got developed consciousness than the animals. That developed consciousness should not be misused only for the animal propensities of life. That is the whole thing.
Lecture on BG 3.13-16 -- New York, May 23, 1966:

Prabhupāda:

yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo
mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ
bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā
ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt
(BG 3.13)

This verse we were discussing last meeting, that we should eat after offering sacrifice. Lord Kṛṣṇa says that things which are eatable, we receive by the grace of the Lord. We should acknowledge it. We should not be forgetful, that our eatables, which come to us, they can be manufactured by our sweet will. No. The arrangement is so nice in the administration of nature that we shall get all our necessities of life by the grace of God, and our duty is to advance ourself in the right knowledge of our spiritual existence without unnecessarily engaging ourself for sense gratification. That is the difference between human civilization and animal life.

The beginning of our Bhagavad-gītā lesson is based on that we are spirit consciousness. We are not this body. And the whole function of the human society is to be enlightened in that spiritual consciousness of life instead of wasting time in sense gratification like the animals who are concerned with eating, sleeping, fearing, and mating. That is the background of our, this discussion, that we are different from the ordinary animals.

So the common factor of animal life and human life is these four principles of bodily demands, namely that we require to eat, and we require to sleep, we require some defensive measures for protecting ourself from the enemies, and we require some extent of sense gratification. That is the needs of my body. They are not the needs of my self as I am, spirit soul.

Now, if I want to get rid of this bodily encagement or the threefold miseries of material existence, then I must put myself under treatment. Just like a diseased man goes to a physician for treatment to get out of, get relief from the sufferings of the disease, similarly, our material existence consisting of threefold miseries and birth, death, old age, and diseases... If we are actually conscious for our happiness, we must make a permanent solution of these miseries. That is the mission of human life. So for making that mission fulfilled, we have got developed consciousness than the animals. That developed consciousness should not be misused only for the animal propensities of life. That is the whole thing.

And therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa says that in order to reach to that stage of perfection, you should work. Your work should not be stopped. We have already discussed this point, that niyataṁ kuru karma tvaṁ karma jyāyo hy akarmaṇaḥ, that "Your prescribed duty should be prosecuted nicely. Go on. Don't stop it, but work for the life of karma-yoga. Karma-yoga. Ordinary work is called karma. Ordinary work is karma. And when it is added with yoga, that means spiritualized work. Yoga. Yoga means spiritual perfection or linking up with the Supreme.

So karma and karma-yoga, there is gulf of difference. Karma means ordinary work. I work whole day; I get some remuneration and enjoy for my sense gratification. That is called karma, in this life or that life or next life. Somebody, they make charities and other pious acts so that in their next life they get good parentage, good education, opulence, so that they can also enjoy life. There are others also who make more advanced karma to get himself promoted in other planetary system. Just like moon planet, or Svargaloka, heavenly planet. There are many planets in which the standard of life is far, far comfortable than here. So these are not required.

To get yourself promoted in higher standard of life, from C-class prisoner to become A-class prisoner, that is not required. Bhagavad-gītā does not teach us that you improve your life in the respect that you are now C-class prisoner; you become A-class prisoner. No. You should not remain a prisoner. You should get yourself this prison life. This material life is prison life. Just like in prison house we are forced to undergo some sort of miseries. We may agree or not agree; we have to undergo. In prison life you cannot deny. The state agents are there. He prescribes some work; you must do it. If you say, "No, I cannot do it. I am not accustomed to do it, no." Then you'll be again more punished.

Similarly, this is our prison life. This material existence is our prison life. And prakṛti, nature, is the forceful agent. She is always enforcing us to do, to act. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). So this is going on. Now, if you want to get rid of this imprisonment, then you should begin this karma-yoga, karma plus yoga. Yoga means in connection with the Supreme. That connection with the Supreme begins with this formula, yajña, sacrifice.

What you are going to sacrifice? What you have got? Everything is given by God. Anything which you possess... You have not brought anything with your birth. You have come naked from the womb of your mother. And when you shall die, you shall go naked. So whatever you possess, that is given to you for proper use. We should understand that. The whole resources of material nature, they are under your control for making proper use. You can live comfortably. You can eat comfortably. You can live peacefully without any creating animosities or quarrel with your neighbors and prosecute your spiritual life so that you get rid of this material existence. That is the whole program of material nature. But misusing our developed consciousness, we are trying to misuse the resources of material nature in a different way for aggravating the sense gratification. That is the whole mistake. So Kṛṣṇa says that "Whatever mistakes you have done, I don't mind. But you act in this way." Yajñārthe: "You work."

Suppose you have misused your developed consciousness in so many ways and you are now entrapped. Suppose you have started a very complicated industry. Now, if I say that "This complicated industry is not required by you. You simply require some fruits and grains to eat. Why you are engaging yourself into this complicated and dangerous form of earning your livelihood? Stop it." No, that is not possible. That is not possible. Now you are entangled. You cannot stop. Śrī Kṛṣṇa says that "Don't stop your work, but by the result of your work, you try to make sacrifice for the cause of the Supreme. Then your entanglement will be automatically loosened." The whole energy which you apply in your industry, if the result is offered to Kṛṣṇa, that means that energy is utilized for Kṛṣṇa, not for that industry, but for Kṛṣṇa. That is the thing.