(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 25 January 2018, Radhadesh, Belgium, Srimad Bhagavatam 8.12.23-24)
The human form of life is very different from the animal form of life. In the human form, we have responsibility. An animal has no karma in whatever they do – karma-free! You want a karma-free life with no restrictions and the ability to do anything? No problem, here is a tail and a snout to go with it; become an animal! Here, all you get as an animal is your old karma from previous lives and you do not create any new karma. So isn’t it great to be an animal? Not really, because then you do not proceed anywhere.
You may say, “Oh, I will do it. I will sign up for that. I will opt for an animal birth next time. Where do I sign up to be free from karma? Phew!” But what you may forget is that when the previous karma comes, so will happiness and distress, so it is not that good.
The other thing is that you will not go anywhere and make no progress. You are stuck here in the material world, chained by sex life. How long have we been locked away in this jail where the bars of this jail are sex life? These bars keep us here within the jail of the material body. We should not think that this body is for enjoyment. It is actually a cell within a jail. Some may have a big jail cell, whereas some may have a small jail cell, some may have a beautiful jail cell, whilst others may have an ugly jail cell. But which one is good? We may look at each other and think, “That one looks much better. I want to have what they have.” We may look at others with envy, but there is no need to be envious as everyone is actually suffering within different cells of this jail.
When my spiritual master was in New York, a policeman approached him and asked, “What is it that you monks have to give up?” My spiritual master replied with, “Suffering!” The policeman said, “Well, that makes sense.” This is because we can see all layers of society in a city like New York. We get a good overview of the varieties of the sense-gratification that are available to us and its results. But since the ultimate result is not happiness, we voluntarily embrace restrictions in our life.