Dr. Mize: The question that bothers me in part is, then, why would the soul... Because I understand your conception that the soul is part of the spiritual sky originally, or part of God, and it somehow falls out of this blissful condition due to pride, much like the Christian thesis that the devil fell out of heaven due to pride. And it seems puzzling why the soul would be so silly, so foolish, so insane, as to do such a thing.
Prabhupāda: That is his independence.
Dr. Mize: Independence.
Prabhupāda: Instead of using independence properly, when he misuses independence he falls.
Dr. Mize: I'm sorry, he what?
Prabhupāda: He falls down.
Dr. Mize: He falls.
Prabhupāda: He falls down on account of his independence. Just like you have got independence. You are sitting here. You can go immediately. You may not like to hear me.
Dr. Mize: I wouldn't what?
Prabhupāda: You may not like to hear me.
Dr. Mize: Yes.
Prabhupāda: That independence you have got. I have got also. I may not talk with you. So that independence is always there. Similarly, as part and parcel of God, it is the duty of the soul to be always engaged in the service of the Lord.
Dr. Mize: Always engaged in...?
Prabhupāda: In the service of the Lord.
Dr. Mize: Service of the Lord.
Prabhupāda: Just like this finger is part and parcel of my body. Whatever I am ordering, it is immediately carrying out. I say, "Make it like this," he will..., it will do. So... But this is dead matter. It is acting mechanically. The brain directs immediately the finger and it acts, like machine. This whole body is just like a machine, but soul is not machine, mechanical part. It is spiritual part. So therefore, as I am directing the finger, as being machine, it is working, but if somebody else, a friend or servant, I may direct him to do something, he may not do it. So when the soul misuses the independence, then he falls down. That is material life. Material life means misusing the independence of soul. Just like a son. A son's duty is to obey the father. But he may not obey. That is his madness. So when the soul, misusing the independence, becomes mad, he is sent in this material world.
Dr. Mize: It is puzzling to me that one would be so foolish.
Prabhupāda: Because by independence you can become foolish. Otherwise, there is no meaning of independence. Independence means you can do whatever you like. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that yathecchasi tathā kuru (BG 18.63). (aside:) Find out this verse in the Eighteenth Chapter. That independence is there. After instructing the whole Bhagavad-gītā to Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa gave him the independence, "Now whatever you like, you can do." Kṛṣṇa never forced him to accept the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā. He gave him the independence, "Now whatever you like, you can do." And he agreed: "Yes. Now my illusion is over, I shall act as You say." The same independence. Yes.
Bahulāśva: This is in the Eighteenth Chapter.
Dharmādhyakṣa: "Thus I have explained to you the most..." Read Sanskrit first?
- iti te jñānam ākhyātaṁ
- guhyād guhyataraṁ mayā
- vimṛśyaitad aśeṣeṇa
- yathecchasi tathā kuru
- (BG 18.63)
"Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Now if you say, "Why the soul should become so foolish?" so that is misuse of independence. Intelligent father has got intelligent son, but sometimes he becomes a fool. So what is the reason? He is the part and parcel of the father. He should have become exactly like the father. But he does not become like the father. I have seen, in Allahabad was a big lawyer, barrister, Mr. Bannerjee. His eldest son was also barrister, and his youngest son, on account of bad association, he became a ekala-wala. Ekala means... In India there is a carriage drawn by one horse. So he liked to be an ekala. That means he fell in love, a low class of woman, and by her association, he became an ekala. There are many instances. The Ajamila upākhyāna. He was a brāhmaṇa and then he fell down very low. So this misuse of independence is always there.