Basically the material nature is very harsh, no matter how one manipulates, it remains harsh – Even when that harshness remains covered up over by celestial arrangements:
‘Go to the Heavenly planets and enjoy and…. Die!
That is the thing – we know that in all the planetary systems, from Lord Brahma’s abode all the way down to the lower planetary systems are the places of misery! All of them!
So that writes off the universe as a whole….
In one lecture Srila Prabhupada is speaking about the material world – He writes it off altogether. Just doesn’t go sort of: ‘But some things are good, a lot of things are bad but some things are actually really good.’
No Prabhupada is like: ‘Scrap, scrap the material world, finished, throw it in the bin.’
Yes we can engage it in the service of Krishna, that is true and then we can transcend the material energy. But material energy is capturing us. It is like the web of the spider, capturing the fly and entangling him. Hiranyakasipu became captured by the material energy and we also became captured by the material energy – and somehow or other we are not free as yet from this material energy.
But we can take shelter – we can take shelter of the process of devotional service, that is what protects us. If we somehow or other very carefully stay on this path of bhakti- yoga then we can walk through this material world unharmed.
We may compare it to a path which is going through a swamp which is full with quick sand and such substances. But there is a path, if one follows the path one can walk through. But if one just tries on his own without a guide, it wouldn’t be possible and one will surely go down!
So this is our condition in the material world that we are not strong, we are not powerful, we are all very much susceptible … the material energy is influencing us – but we just take shelter of bhakti yoga.
So when we find that spiritual life is just difficult then basiclally we can understand that we are not taking shelter.
(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 2010)