By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
In the Bhagavad Gita (15.7), Krishna says, “All these living entities, they are all My parts and parcels, but being influenced by mental concoction, they are struggling very hard within this material world.” This struggle for existence of the human being is due to his lack of knowledge of God. He does not know how God is great. There is no educational institution all over the world to discuss this subject matter – how God is great, how He is omnipotent, how I am servant of God? These things are not discussed.
When we forget our relationship with God we become subjected to the threefold miseries of material existence. Take for example… Just like an Australian citizen. He is under the laws of the state of Australia. But if he says, “I don’t care for the government,” and he becomes lawless and becomes a criminal, then he is put into prison. In the prison also, he has to abide by the laws of the government, and outside the prison also, one has to abide by the laws of the government. But outside the prison the citizens abide by the laws of the government voluntarily, whereas inside the prison house, the criminals, who defy the laws of government, are forcefully made to abide the laws.
So when we defy the laws of God, we are put into threefold miseries of life. That is called material existence. And when we abide by the laws of God, then we are happy. We should know this fact. And religion means to abide by the laws of God. In the Sanskrit language it is said, dharmam tu sāksād bhagavat-pranītam [SB 6.3.19]. Dharma, or religion, means the codes of God. Just like laws cannot be manufactured by some individual man. Laws are enacted by the government, similarly, religious principles are made by God. A Godless man does not care for religion, but those who are sober, devoted, godly, they abide by the laws of God, and they are happy. Just like in your Bible there are commandments. So one has to abide by the commandment; then he will be happy. And if one disobeys the commandments of God, he will be unhappy.
[An excerpt from a lecture delivered at Boys’ School, Sydney, Australia on May 12, 1971]