Father Tanner: Why, why, why were we created free?
Father Tanner: Why were we created?
Prabhupāda: You are not free. You are thinking so-called free. You are not free. You are under the stringent laws of nature. You are not free. You are thinking foolishly that you are free.
Father Tanner: But if I am not free...
Father Tanner: ...then I can't give up my freedom for religion.
Prabhupāda: You are free to some extent, because you are part and parcel of God. God is completely free. So because you are part and parcel of God, therefore you have got that minute freedom. That minute freedom, when you misuse for other purposes, then you fall down. But if you use that freedom for the service of the Lord... You have got freedom. You may serve the Lord, you may not serve. That is your freedom. But if you serve the Lord, then you become happy. If you do not serve the Lord, then you become unhappy.
Father Tanner: If I serve the Lord, do I lose that little bit of freedom?
Prabhupāda: Because you are meant for that purpose.
Father Tanner: Do I lose that little bit of freedom?
Prabhupāda: No, that is real freedom. Just like this, my finger, is part and parcel of my body. So long the finger serves the body, it is healthy. If it is painful, it cannot serve, then it is unhealthy. Similarly, a living entity, when he cannot serve God, that is his material condition, or unhealthy condition. When he serves God, that is his natural condition. Because he's part and parcel of God.
Father Tanner: Where did we lose the contact with God?
Prabhupāda: When you misused your freedom. You have got little freedom.
Father Tanner: But at what point did I... No. Or, a child lose its contact with its Creator?
Prabhupāda: It is said... Suppose I am serving my master. I can think of, "Oh, why shall I serve him? I shall become independent." That is my freedom, little freedom. So I cannot become independent. That is not my healthy stage. Just like... Take for example, a dog. A dog is healthy when he has got a good master. And if he hasn't got a good master, he's a street dog, neglected. He's not healthy. Similarly our position is like that, that we must be dependent on God. Therefore in your Christian Bible also you go for your bread: "God, give us our daily bread." So you are dependent. So it is better to remain dependent on God than to use your so-called little freedom.
Father Tanner: But your dog can be healthy in two ways, can't he? The dog can be healthy... ,
Prabhupāda: No, no, this is an example.
Father Tanner: ...if he has a good master, and he can be healthy if he has no master.
Father Tanner: If your dog is just running free in its natural state, he is a healthy animal, but...
Prabhupāda: No, a dog is not healthy. I am giving that particular example. Then he's a street dog. A street dog has no position. He's not healthy. I am giving a crude example, that a dog's posit... Similarly, we are all dependent on God. That is in your Bible also.
Father Tanner: Oh, yes, I accept.
Prabhupāda: So to remain dependent on God is our healthy state. As soon as we declare independent of God, that is our unhealthy state. This is our philosophy. And your philosophy also. To remain there. That is the Vedic injunction, that nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām, eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). What is the difference between God and ourself? God is also a living entity like us, but He's the chief living entity. He's maintaining all others. Therefore we have to ask God, "Give us our daily bread." He's the maintainer; we are maintained. Just like in a family, the father is the maintainer, and the mother and the children and the servants, they are maintained, similarly the whole universe, whole creation, it is maintained by God, and we living entities, within this universe or within this creation, we are maintained. So as we are maintained, it is better to remain dependent on God than to declare our freedom.