To convert a prison into a kingdom is a fool’s errand
When criminals are sentenced to a jail, they may, especially if they are driven by megalomania, attempt to convert the jail into their kingdom, by making other prisoners do their will.
Gita wisdom indicates that for us eternal souls, material existence is like a prison. Just as a prison restricts prisoners’ freedom, similarly, material nature, especially through our material body, restricts what all we can do. The Bhagavad-gita (16.13-15) while delineating the mentality of the ungodly states that they imagine themselves to be the controllers and enjoyers – essentially, they imagine themselves to be God. As long as they have followers and power and wealth, they may hold on to their grandiose illusions. But ultimately, they can do nothing to counter the sentence of death that is the inescapable destiny of everyone in material existence. Even if the walls of a prison might be breachable, the walls of death that stonewall them during their life-journey are utterly unbreachable. Even if some people succeed in living king-size, they have to die rat-size – death reduces them to the same fate that befalls rats and indeed all living beings in material existence: From dust to dust; from ashes to ashes. Despite imagining themselves to be royal order-givers, they are sent on a fool’s errand by the forces of illusion.
Does the inevitability of death mean that we accept the status quo passively?
Not at all. Gita wisdom guides us to constructively channelize our innate longing for lasting life – not by futilely dreaming about changing the prison to a kingdom, but by getting out of the jail of material consciousness. By practicing yoga, we can raise our consciousness to the spiritual level, realize our indestructible spiritual nature and thus attain Krishna’s kingdom, where we can delight in a life of eternal love.