Below is a very short lecture where Srila Prabhupada clearly explains the material disease – from Lord Brahma down to the ant – which is, to think I am Master and avoid being the Eternal Servant of God.
Lecture – Mayapur, March 2, 1976
The karmis, they are trying to enjoy life by increasing the duration of life. The modern scientists, they are trying that there will be no more death. They think like that foolishly, that by scientific methods, the duration of life will be increased. Everyone is trying that. Nobody wants to become old. If you ask any old man, "What is your age?" he'll decrease it. He is eighty years old, he'll say, "I am sixty years" or "sixty-five." That means he wants to live for long duration of life. That is the intention. Nobody wants to die. But still… They cannot do anything. Still, they are trying. One Marwari gentleman, at the age of seventy or eighty years old, he went to somewhere in Germany for undergoing surgical operation of the gland so that he can continue his sex life. Many monkeys are exported from India to Western countries for taking away the sexual glands, they know, hormone or something like, and replace it to man so that in old age they can enjoy sex. Perhaps you know all these things. So this attempt is going on, how to keep young and how to enjoy life. But nature will not allow. You may try your best. Nature's law is there. They forget that. And nature will not allow us to live here or to remain as young for all the years of life. It is not possible. But they're trying for that.
In this way, when one is experienced that these things are not possible, that is knowledge. We cannot increase our duration of life. We cannot increase our vitality of life. We cannot increase even our opulence than what we are destined to enjoy. Karmana daiva-netrena. Just like here it is said, vibhavam aindriyam avirincyat. Virinci means Lord Brahma. So beginning from Brahma… "A." "A," this word, is used, this affix is used, with this meaning of beginning. So here in this material world Brahma is also a materialist, Brahma, what to speak of ourselves, Brahma, who is directly appointed the creator of this universe by the grace of God. Why he is in this material world? Because he has got some desire that "I shall be the master of a brahmanda." Just like everyone is trying to become the master of his house or the society or the community or the country. Just like in your country so many people are trying to become the President. Everywhere, everyone is trying to become master. It doesn't matter it is a small circle or big circle. This is material disease. So Brahma is also trying to become the master of this universe. The same mentality is there. Hiranyakasipu underwent severe penances. Why? To become the master of the world. This is the material disease. Krishna bhuliya jiva bhoga-vancha kare. So this bhoga-vancha are different degrees. One man is satisfied having a family, three, four men. He thinks, "I have become master." But other is not satisfied. Other wants, "No, no. Why a family? I must be master of a society or a community or a nation." So Brahma is also the same thing, same degree – not same degree; different degree – but the desire is how to become master. That disease is there.
Some of you have seen that my friend, Dr. Bose. I have said many times that when he was student, so one professor, he – in those days medical professors were Englishmen – he said in the class that "In our country, seventy-five percent of the students, they are infected with syphilis." So this doctor, he was a student. He said in the class, "Oh, horrible." So that professor said, "Why you are saying "horrible"? In your country eighty percent, ninety percent, they are infected with malaria, and they are in syphilis. So what is the difference? As a medical man, why should you make difference that 'This disease is better than that disease'? Disease is disease." Actually that is the fact. You say that "We are suffering from malaria. It is better than to suffer from syphilis." No. Disease is disease. Similarly, either Brahma or the ant, the disease is how to become master. This is the disease. Therefore, to cure this disease, Krishna comes to cure this disease, to say plainly, "Rascal, you are not master; you are servant. Surrender unto Me." This is the cure of disease. If one agrees that "No more," ara nare bapa (?), "No more trying for becoming master," that is the cure of disease.
Therefore Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, as Prahlada Maharaja says, nija bhrtya-parsvam: "Engage me as the servant of Your servant." The same thing Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, gopi-bhartur pada-kamalayor dasa-dasa-anudasah. So this Krishna consciousness movement means we have to give up this nonsense idea of becoming master. This is Krishna consciousness. We have to learn how to become servant. Not only servant, servant of the servant, That is cure. Therefore Prahlada Maharaja said, "So I have understood all this nonsense of becoming master. My father also tried to become master. So this knowledge, now I am perfect. There is no use of becoming master. Better, if You kindly want to give me some benediction, kindly make me the servant of Your servant." This is benediction. So one who has learned to become the servant of Krishna's servant, he is perfect. Therefore Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna. A servant has to tolerate. Tolerate. Servant, sometimes master orders so many things, so he becomes disturbed. But still, he has to execute and tolerate. That is perfection. Here in India still, when a person goes to marry, so his… This is a custom. His mothers ask the bridegroom, "My dear son, where you are going?" He replies, "Mother, I am going to bring one maidservant for you." This is the system. "Mother, I am going to bring one maidservant for you." That means "My wife, your daughter-in-law, will serve you as your maidservant." This is Vedic civilization.
When Krishna with His sixteen thousand wives went to Hastinapura, so Draupadi… It is natural between woman and woman, they talk about their husband. That is natural. So Draupadi was inquiring from each and every wife of Krishna. Not all of them. It is impossible, sixteen thousand. At least the principal queens, beginning from… What is the end called?(?) Rukmini, yes. So every one of them were describing their marriage ceremony. Rukmini explained that "My father wanted to hand over me to Krishna, but my elder brother, he did not agree. He wanted to get me married with Sisupala. So I did not like this idea. I wrote Krishna a private letter, that 'I have dedicated my life to You, but this is the situation. Please come and kidnap me.' So in this way Krishna kidnapped me and made me His maidservant." The queen's daughter, king's daughter… Everyone of them were king's daughter. They were not ordinary person’s daughter. But they wanted to become maidservant of Krishna. This is the idea, to become servant and to become maidservant. This is ideal of human civilization. The every woman should try to become maidservant of her husband, and every man should try to become the hundred times servant of Krishna. This is Indian civilization, not that "Husband and wife, we are equal rights." That, in Europe, America, the movement is going on, "Equal rights." That is not Vedic civilization. Vedic civilization is the husband should be a sincere servant of Krishna, and the wife should be a sincere maidservant of the husband.
Therefore here it is said, upanaya mam nija-bhrtya-parsvam. This is the best association. When Narada Muni is describing how the man should behave, how the woman should behave… We are discussing now in our tape Dictaphone. You'll hear that. That there is no such thing to become master. It is useless. You cannot become master. Ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate. You cannot become master. Jivera svarupa haya nitya krsna dasa. Either man or woman, everyone is servant of Krishna. We have to be trained up in that platform, how to become the best servant, not only servant directly, but servants, of the servant. This is called parampara servant. My spiritual master is the servant of his spiritual master, and I am also servant of my spiritual master. Similarly, we think "servant of the servant." There is no question of becoming… This is material disease.
krsna bhuliya jiva bhoga vancha kare
pasate maya tare japatiya dhare
As soon as we become puffed up – "Now I shall become master. I shall be simply giving order. I shall not follow anyone" – that is maya. So that disease is going on beginning from Brahma down to the ant.