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If you are completely under the rules and regulations of the material nature, what is the meaning of this independence?

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"rules and regulations of material nature" |"rules and regulations of the material nature" |"rules and regulations of the nature"

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

The soul, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, is very, very dear to all living entities. Unfortunately, the soul forgets his constitutional position and thinks he is only the body. Thus the soul is subjected to the rules and regulations of material nature.
CC Madhya 20.162, Purport:

Everyone's body is very dear to oneself, and one wants to protect the body by all means because within the body the soul is living. Due to the intimate relationship between the soul and the body, the body is important and dear to everyone. Similarly, the soul, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, is very, very dear to all living entities. Unfortunately, the soul forgets his constitutional position and thinks he is only the body (deha-ātma-buddhi). Thus the soul is subjected to the rules and regulations of material nature. When a living entity, by his intelligence, reawakens his attraction for Kṛṣṇa, he can understand that he is not the body but part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Thus filled with knowledge, he no longer labors under attachment to the body and everything related to the body. Janasya moho ‘yam ahaṁ mameti (SB 5.5.8). Material existence, wherein one thinks, "I am the body, and this belongs to me," is also illusory. One must redirect his attraction to Kṛṣṇa. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.7) states:

vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam

"By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world."

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

We have got imperfectness, coughing something. So how we can become perfect? We are under the stringent rules and regulations of the nature. A little difference will put me into difficulty. So we are not all independent so long we are conditioned.
Lecture on BG 9.15 -- New York, December 1, 1966:

Just see our imperfectness. (after spitting, coughing:) This body... We have got imperfectness, coughing something. So how we can become perfect? We are under the stringent rules and regulations of the nature. A little difference will put me into difficulty. So we are not all independent so long we are conditioned. So if... Suppose you are a businessman. You send your representative for securing business. And if he represents himself to the customer, "I am the proprietor. I am the proprietor," how long he can prolong? As soon as the master will know that "This foolish man is representing himself as the proprietor of this firm," at once cancel. Because there is cheating. He's not proprietor. Similarly, anyone who says that "I am God" he should not preach. He can think himself for acquiring knowledge of God. That is another thing. "I am God." "I am God" means to understand the quality of God, because I am qualitatively God. Because I am part and parcel of God, therefore my qualities are the same. Just like I have several times repeated that a part of gold, even a molecular part, a particle of gold, so it is gold. It is nothing but gold. Similarly, although we are very minute fragments of the Supreme, still, the quality is the same.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

What he's thinking, independence, that is illusion. Where is, where is your independence? Illusion. Māyā. When you are under the strict rules and regulations of the material nature, how you are independent?
Lecture on SB 2.1.7 -- Paris, June 15, 1974:

So we have no independence. As in materially also, we have no independence. In... There is no independence, either materially or spiritually. But we're falsely thinking to become independent. That is called illusion, māyā. The rascals do not know that there is no independence at all, either materially or spiritually. Just like the outlaws, they have no independence, either criminally or civilly. When he's a civil citizen, good citizen, there is no independence, and when he's criminal, there is no independence. So why he's thinking that "I shall act this work criminally and become independent"? That is not possible. And because they cannot understand it, they are rascals. What he's thinking, independence, that is illusion. Where is, where is your independence? Illusion. Māyā. When you are under the strict rules and regulations of the material nature, how you are independent? Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). They think that to surrender to Kṛṣṇa, this is slave mentality. "I shall remain free." But where is your freedom, sir? That is illusion.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Actually, where is independence? This independence, has it meaning? If you are completely under the rules and regulations of the material nature, what is the meaning of this independence?
Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.100 -- Washington, D.C., July 5, 1976:

Sva-rūpeṇa, legally, constitutionally, I am servant of God, or Kṛṣṇa. Now I have become servant of dog and māyā. So if I give up this service and again become servant of God, that is mukti. That is mukti. Muktir hitvānyathā rūpam. We are trying to become... Here māyā means "which is not." Ma-ya. We are every one of us, we are thinking, "I am master." "I am the monarch of all I survey." Here is a poetry. Everyone is thinking. I made my plan, I make my survey, and I become king. But that is māyā. You cannot become. You are already servant of māyā.

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā
kartāham iti manyate
(BG 3.27)

Everyone is under the clutches of these material laws. You cannot violate even an inch. And still the rascal, ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā, by false prestige, he's thinking that "I am the master." I was asking this morning that what is this independence meaning? Actually, where is independence? This independence, has it meaning? If you are completely under the rules and regulations of the material nature, what is the meaning of this independence? So those who are paṇḍita, they do not take it as independence.

Sri Isopanisad Lectures

The rascal, blind leaders are leading to hell. All of them are tied up by the stringent rules and regulations of the material nature. And they have become leader. They do not like any authority. This is called māyā.
Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 8 -- Los Angeles, May 12, 1970:

So we should very seriously execute this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Without any deviation, very seriously. We should not be neglectful, that this is fashion or something imposed. No. This is the most important function. Human life is meant simply for developing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He has no other business. But unfortunately we have created so many engagements so that we forget Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is called māyā. This is called māyā. We are forgetting our real business. We are engaged in different, so many businesses. Misleaders. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). The rascal, blind leaders are leading to hell. Te 'pīśa tantryām uru-dāmni-baddhāḥ. All of them are tied up by the stringent rules and regulations of the material nature. And they have become leader. They do not like any authority. This is called māyā. This is called māyā. They are being misled; still they are following that. This is called māyā.