(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 03 April 2016, Durban, South Africa, Sunday Lecture at NJP)
Life after life, we are adding more building blocks of karma, and more and more, we are adding to our material identity, that material destiny which will bind us deeply into so many complexities. So, we find everything difficult. “Do I really have to rise early in the morning? Oh! Just open my eyes! Ah! Lift a finger! Oh, do I have to WORK? All these things, and so few holidays! Do I have to go through all of this?”
Yes, we have to, because it is part of the karmic jail sentence that we are experiencing in the material world. The Vedic point of the view is that the material world is like a jail, a fort, where we are captured against our will.
But Srila Prabhupada describes an interesting phenomenon. He said there is a bird that has been kept in a cage for a long time, and one day you carry out the cage to the open field. You open the door of the cage and say to the bird, “You are free to go!” So the bird flies around in the sky for a little while, in a few circles enjoying the freedom, only to fly right back down into the cage. The door is still open, but the bird goes back into the cage, because it is comfy. Everything is there – you know what I mean… your lettuce leaf and other things you get as a bird, your seeds and everything else are all in the cage. Thus we voluntarily go back into our imprisonment.