Cycle of birth and death

Srila Prabhupada’s lecture – June 14, 1976, Detroit
Just like in the criminal court, those who are criminals, they are taken there. Thieves, rogues, cheater – not ordinary persons, honest persons – they are not taken there. Similarly, only a few number of the whole human society. Now in the Kali-yuga it is increasing. In the Satya-yuga,  there was no criminal. Everyone was paramahamsa. Then, in the next yuga, Treta-yuga, seventy-five percent paramahamsa, first class; twenty-five percent this third class, fourth class. And then in the Dvapara, half and half. Now in the Kali-yuga, seventy-five percent all rogues and thieves. Maybe twenty-five percent, that is also decreasing. And with the advancement of Kali-yuga, it will be practically nil. This is advancement of Kali-yuga.

Therefore the living entities, means human beings, they have been described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam as manda. Manda means all bad. Manda, there are two meanings, "slow" or "bad." Slow means bad. Slow, if you take the meaning of slow, that will be like this, that this human form of life is meant for spiritual realization. That is the advantage. In the cycle of birth and death, we are rotating. Once a chance is given to decide whether we shall rotate in the cycle of birth and death or we shall go back to home, back to Godhead. That decision rests on this life. It is a very responsible life. Labdhva sudurlabham idam bahu-sambhavante [Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.9.29]. Prahlada Maharaja says, durlabham manusam janma tad apy adhruvam arthadam: "Don't spoil this human form of life like animals." This is the special prerogative, to realize one's spiritual identity and engage oneself in spiritual activities. That is human life. And if we do not take care of it and get washed away by the waves of material nature, as Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings, mayar bose, yaccho bhese khaccha habudubu bhai… The ocean of nescience, if we place ourselves to be carried away by the waves of nescience, then our life is spoiled.