When Srila Prabhupada went along with one of his friends to visit Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura for the first time, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta immediately said to them, “You are educated young men. Why don’t you preach Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message throughout the entire world?”
Taken by surprise by this immediate instruction, Srila Prabhupada said, “Who will hear your Caitanya’s message? We are a dependent country. First India must become independent. How can we spread Indian culture if we are under British rule?”
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta replied in a quiet, deep voice that Krsna consciousness didn’t have to wait for a change in Indian politics, nor was it dependent on who ruled. Krsna consciousness was so important—so exclusively important—that it could not wait. Whether one power or another ruled was a temporary situation; but the eternal reality is Krsna consciousness, and the real self is the spirit soul. No manmade political system, therefore, could actually help humanity. This was the verdict of the Vedic scriptures and the line of spiritual masters. Although everyone is an eternal servant of God, when one takes himself to be the temporary body and regards the nation of his birth as worshipable, he comes under illusion. The leaders and followers of the world’s political movements, including the movement for svaraj, were simply cultivating this illusion. Real welfare work, whether individual, social, or political, should help prepare a person for his next life and help him reestablish his eternal relationship with the Supreme. (Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta)
In the very first meeting between Srila Prabhupada and his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, explained that Krsna consciousness is not dependent on any external situation or condition, and is the most beneficial process for all. Every intelligent person should adopt it in order to utilize his human form of live and to be freed from the cycle of birth and death. Whether it be war, a pandemic, social unrest, natural disasters or any other disturbance, the truth of this material world is that it is always a place of miseries. Srila Prabhupada says in his purport to Bhagavad-gita 2.51:
Owing to ignorance, one does not know that this material world is a miserable place where there are dangers at every step. Out of ignorance only, less intelligent persons try to adjust to the situation by fruitive activities, thinking that the resultant actions will make them happy. They do not know that no kind of material body anywhere within the universe can give life without miseries. The miseries of life, namely birth, death, old age and diseases, are present everywhere within the material world.
In the purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.2.32 also, Srila Prabhupada has stated:
This material world is described as padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām (SB 10.14.58), which means that at every step there is danger. A fool wrongly thinks that he is happy in this material world, but in fact he is not, for one who thinks that way is only illusioned. At every step, at every moment, there is danger. In modern civilization one thinks that if he has a nice home and a nice car his life is perfect. In the Western countries, especially in America, it is very nice to possess a good car, but as soon as one is on the road, there is danger because at any moment an accident may take place and one will be killed. The record actually shows that so many people die in such accidents. Therefore if we actually think that this material world is a very happy place, this is our ignorance. Real knowledge is that this material world is full of danger. We may struggle for existence as far as our intelligence allows and may try to take care of ourselves, but unless the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, ultimately saves us from danger, our attempts will be useless.
To this one may ask that why would the most merciful Lord create such a miserable world. The answer is given by Srila Prabhupada in the purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.21.20:
It is clearly stated here that the material world is not created by the personal will of the Supreme Lord; it is created by His external energy because the living entities want to enjoy it. This material world is not created for those who do not want to enjoy sense gratification, who constantly remain in transcendental loving service and who are eternally Kṛṣṇa conscious. For them, the spiritual world is eternally existing, and they enjoy there. Elsewhere in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated that for those who have taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this material world is useless; because this material world is full of danger at every step, it is not meant for the devotees but for living entities who want to lord it over the material energy at their own risk. Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He allows the sense-enjoying living entities a separate world created by Him to enjoy as they like, yet at the same time He appears in His personal form. The Lord unwillingly creates this material world, but He descends in His personal form or sends one of His reliable sons or a servant or a reliable author like Vyāsadeva to give instruction. He Himself also instructs in His speeches of Bhagavad-gītā. This propaganda work goes on side by side with the creation to convince the misguided living entities who are rotting in this material world to come back to Him and surrender unto Him.
Knowing this to be the inevitable situation in this material world, where something or the other is always amiss, the pure devotees of the Lord stress on the execution of pure devotional service regardless of the situation in this non-permanent material existence. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada says in his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.25:
One who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, which are accepted as the most suitable boat for crossing the ocean of nescience, can achieve liberation as easily as one leaps over the holes made by the hoofs of a calf. Such persons are meant to reside in the abode of the Lord, and they have nothing to do with a place where there is danger in every step.
Therefore, Srila Prabhupada said in a morning walk on February 21st 1975 in Caracas:
Instead of contemplating what will happen to this world, you have got a short duration of life, say fifty, sixty years. You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and go back to home, back to Godhead. Don’t consider what will happen to this world. The nature will take care of it. You don’t puzzle your brain with these thoughts. You utilize whatever time you have got in your possession and go back to home, back to Godhead. [break] You cannot check it. Best thing is that you mold your life and go back to home, back to Godhead.