(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 20 March 2014, Melbourne, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.7.52)
We are not free to live life just as we want to: prakrteh kriyamanani, gunaih karmani sarvasah, the bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities which are in actuality carried out by nature, Bhagavad-gita 3.27.
Rather, there is a script and this script is going along even though we have so many desires. In the middle of all that, “I want this, I want that. I want to be here, I want to be there. I want to do all these things.” But ultimately, the script will determine what we are allowed to do and what we are not allowed to do, where success will be and where failure will be. With time, we begin to realize more and more that things are not in our control because with time, we see in so many situations that we wanted things and it did not happen. We are controlled by the material energy, simply by circumstances.
Sometimes, we are successful and we are surprised. It was something very difficult and it worked; everyone says, “Wow, you did that very expertly.”
But actually the truth is, it just happened, somehow or other, it just happened and was successful. Other times, you work so hard, you know you worked so hard and it was just not successful, “It is just not logical. I’ve done it a hundred times and it worked a hundred times. Now it’s just not working; why not?” So like this, we are in the material world, depending on the arrangement of Krsna and who is providing things to us through the material energy.
Spiritual life is different. In spiritual life, you can be sure. In material life, you are never sure. You never know, you cannot be sure about anything in material life but in spiritual life you can be sure, actually. The result is guaranteed; it is certain.
When you engage in devotional service, success will be there, etavaj janma-saphalyam (CC Adi 9.24), if you want to make this life successful, dehinam iha dehishu (CC Adi 9.24), while we are now in this body, then use it in the service of Krsna. Then surely, it will be successful. This is the injunction of scripture.