Atreya Ṛṣi: In the beginning how does the spirit become ignorant, falls into ignorance?
Prabhupāda: He's not... Just like the same question, a criminal, if you say, "In the beginning, how he became criminal," is that very intelligent question? What do you think? A prisoner, criminal, is living in the prison house since a long time, and if you raise this question, "In the beginning, how he became a criminal," is that very intelligent question?
Atreya Ṛṣi: No, but not everyone is prisoner.
Prabhupāda: No, this question. Anyone can become criminal, any moment. There is no question of beginning. At any moment you can begin. You are honest gentleman, very good. You are working in a nice spot. At any time, any moment, you can become a criminal and go to prison house. That is... You are prone to... As soon as you misuse your little independence, you become a criminal. That is the difficulty. You have got some independence. As soon as we misuse that independence, immediately we are criminal, go to prison house. Daivī hy eṣa guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). You cannot cheat material nature. Immediately she captures. Kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vañcha kare pasate māyā tare japati 'dhare. That beginning is possible at any moment. You haven't got to trace out the history. Event if you are very honest, you can become subjected to these criminal law at any moment. You are prone to that. So there is no use wasting time how it was begun. You are criminal. Now make your treatment that you may not become criminal again. If you go to a doctor, you have got some sickness, and if the doctor inquires, "How it began?" How it began? What business? Now I have got sickness, you treat me. That's all. What is the use of wasting time how it began? Some way or other, it has begun. Now I've come to you, make treatment. That's all. Why should we waste our time to find out the history how it began? That beginning can be possible at any moment. As soon as we misuse our little independence, immediately the beginning is there. A criminal means one who has violated the laws of the state. That is a fact. So when that violation began, so that is not very important thing. You have violated, you are in the prison house. That's all. That is important thing.
Ali: Yes, that's right. My question is answered, but my confusion is still...
Prabhupāda: What is that confusion?
Ali: I'm amazed that... When someone tastes something, a nice fruit, something pleasant, he remembers, appreciates that, even in material world. How could someone see God and come from a source as powerful and lovable as that and then forget? How could he forget so easily and become so badly attached to this materialism? Why is it that we are so far? I know it's in due course to my actions.
Prabhupāda: That tendency is here. Because we are very small fragment of spiritual identity, that tendency is there. The example is given, just like fire and spark of the fire. The fire and the spark, the spark is very small, but it is fire. And the big fire, together they look very beautiful. With the fire, when the sparks come-sput sput—so many sparks, it looks very beautiful. But the sparks sometimes fall down from the original fire. Then it is no more fire. It is fire, but it's extinguished. The illumination is over. So we are small particles of God. God is big fire; we are small particles of God. So we are playing with the big fire very nice, but there is chance of falling down. That chance is there. The big fire does not fall. The big fire is always blazing. But the small fire, although it is possessing the same quality of fire, it may fall down. So we are small particle, very, very small, atomic portion God. Therefore we have got the tendency to be separated from the big fire, and then we begin our material body. Just like another crude example, just like a very rich man's son, he's enjoying life. Sometimes he thinks, "Why not independently live? Why dependent of father?" He goes out and he becomes a hippie. There are many examples. He was living very comfortably, rich man's son, but he left the house of his father and became a hippie. There are many practical examples. Why does he do so? I have seen in Allahabad one big lawyer, very famous lawyer, Ferolal Bannerji. He had two sons. One son became a good barrister like him, and another son became a car-wala, driving a car. The reason was that this son, a car-wala, he fell in love with a low-class woman, and he preferred to remain a car-wala.
Hari-śauri: What is that?
Prabhupāda: Low-class woman. So she was living in a cottage, hut, cottage. So out of love he also preferred that "I shall live with her, and I shall drive a car." So that is independence. He preferred. So that discrimination preference is there always. You can prefer a low-grade life out of your discretion. Nobody can check you. And by cultivation of knowledge, you can become a big man. The two tendencies are there. There is no stereotyped idea. Otherwise, he has no independence. Who was speaking of that owl? There is an animal, owl. He doesn't like to remain in the sunlight. So that is also an animal. He is also eating, sleeping, mating, but he doesn't like the sunlight. What can you do? So God has given him all facility to remain as an owl, in darkness. That is God's kindness.
Atreya Ṛṣi: So we can fall as far as we want.
Prabhupāda: Fall or rise also. Why do you say fall? You can rise to the highest platform from the fallen condition. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. That you are in a fallen condition, come to the highest platform and talk with God, play with God, dance with God. That is our opportunity. Now it is up to you to take it or not to take it. That is up to you. But our propaganda is this, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9). You simply try to understand Kṛṣṇa. Then janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ tyaktvā deham (BG 4.9)—this is our propaganda. We are trying to induce people to understand Kṛṣṇa. Then his life is successful. But if you don't try to understand, that is your business. But we are offering that here is a movement, you try to understand Kṛṣṇa. What is the wrong there? But if you don't like, who can force you? We are going country to country, door to door, town to town. What is our business? We are simply requesting that "You try to understand Kṛṣṇa." And Kṛṣṇa says, "As soon as you understand Me, you come to Me." Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti (BG 4.9). Now it is up to you. If you take theoretically, that "If by understanding Kṛṣṇa I can go to the eternal, blissful spiritual life," why not try it? And if you inquire that, "All right, it is very good proposal. By going back to Kṛṣṇa, everything is solved. Yes, I'll go. So what is the method?" Then if I say, "Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa," where is the difficulty? Why you are so much determined not to do anything to go back to home, back to Godhead? That is your misfortune. If it is so easy, and it is the means of solving all the problems, why not try it? "All right, let me try in this life." Why don't you do it? It is not a very difficult task. If you don't do it, then you are misfortunate. Therefore Caitanya, kono bhāgyavan jīva. This is the process to be adopted by the some fortunate persons. But they do not want to become fortunate. They want to remain unfortunate. That is the difficulty.