Bahulāśva: Śrīla Prabhupāda, in our material contaminated state, when we act in a foolishly or mad..., then we call that tamas, or ignorance. But in the spiritual sky when the living entity is in his pure state of consciousness, what acts... Does something act upon him to make him illusioned at that point also?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like Jaya-Vijaya. They committed offense. They did not allow the four Kumāras to enter. That was their fault. And the Kumāras became very sorry. Then they cursed him that "You are not fit to remain in this place." So we sometimes commit mistake. That is also misuse of independence. Or we are prone to fall down because we are small. Just like small fragment of fire, although it is fire, it is prone to be extinguished. The big fire does not extinguish. So Kṛṣṇa the big fire, and we are part and parcel, sparks, very small. So within the fire there are sparks, "fut! fut!" There are so many. But if the sparks fall down, then it is extinguished. It is like that. The fall down means material world, there are three different grades: the tamo-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and sattva-guṇa. If the... Just like the spark falls down. If it falls down on dry grass, the grass becomes ablazed. So the fiery quality is still maintained, although it is fall down. On account of the atmosphere of the dry grass, it again makes another fire, and the fiery quality maintains. That is sattva-guṇa. And if the spark falls down on the green grass, then it is extinguished. And the dry grass, if, when the green grass becomes dry, there is chance of again coming to the blazing. But if the spark falls down in water, then it is very difficult. Similarly, the soul, when comes in the material world, there are three guṇas. So if he contacts with tamo-guṇa then he is in the most abominable condition. If it falls down with rajo-guṇa then there is little activity. Just like they are working. And if he falls down in the sattva-guṇa, then he at least keeps himself in the knowledge that "I am fire. I do not belong to this dull material."
So therefore we have to bring him again to the sattva-guṇa, brahminical qualification, so that he can understand ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I am spirit soul. I am not this matter." Then his spiritual activity begins. Therefore we are trying to bring him to the platform of sattva-guṇa, means to give up the business of rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa: no meat-eating, no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling—so many no's—to deny him the influence of material qualities. Then, if he is situated in the sattva-guṇa, then he remains on the platform of... When he remains on the plat..., sattva-guṇa, then the rajas-tamaḥ, the other base qualities, cannot disturb him. The base quality, the platform of base quality, is this: illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication, gambling. So tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhādayaṣ ca ye (SB 1.2.19). When one is free from at least two, these base qualities... Base quality means kama, lusty desires, and greediness. In material world, generally they are under these base quality, means always filled up with lusty desires and not satisfied, greedy. So when we conquer over these base qualities, then we become happy. Tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhādayaṣ ca ye, ceta etair anaviddham... (SB 1.2.19). When the consciousness is not influenced by these base qualities, ceta etair ana..., sthitaḥ sattve prasīdati, being situated on the platform of sattva-guṇa, he feels happy. That is the beginning of spiritual life. When... So long the mind is disturbed by lusty desires and greediness, there is no question of spiritual life. Therefore, the first business is how to control the mind so that it may not be influenced by the base quality, lusty desires and greediness. We have seen in Paris old man, seventy-five years old, he is going to the night club, because the lusty desire is there. He pays fifty dollars for entering the club, and then he pays further for other things. So even he is seventy-five years old, the lusty desire is there.