Spiritual Development over Economic Development

One thing is permanent, the other temporary. What will you choose?

yotsyamanan avekse 'ham
ya ete 'tra samagatah
dhartarastrasya durbuddher
yuddhe priya-cikirsavah

“Let me see those who have come here to fight, wishing to please the evil-minded son of Dhatarstra.”
To usurp others’ property is durbuddhi, mischievous. Why one should encroach upon others’ property? tena tyaktena bhunjitha ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam (Isopanisad mantra 1): “You accept only what is given to you. Don’t encroach upon others’ property.”

Durbuddhi – a Rascal

Everything belongs to Krishna . Accept whatever Krishna gives you as prasada, as His favor, and be satisfied. This is the basic principle of peace in the world. But because people are not educated in that way, everyone is wanting more and more and more and more. There is no satisfaction. That is durbuddhi. The Vedic culture teaches us, “You be satisfied with your position.”

There is no question of starvation in any position of life. People are trying to make economic development, but according to çastra, it is not possible to develop your economic position simply by endeavor. You are destined to have some happiness and some distress. Dharmartha-kamamoksa (Bhagavatam 4.8.410): these are the four principles of human activities. Dharma means to abide by the orders of the Supreme. People do not know who is the Supreme and what is His order. They accept dharma as religion, a superfluous faith only. But that is not dharma, religion. Dharma means to abide by the orders of the Supreme. Dharmas tu saksad bhagavatpranitam (Bhagavatam 6.3.19): dharma means obedience to God. If there is no conception of God, what can we speak of obedience? God is the supreme proprietor, maintainer and enjoyer of everything. Therefore we are maintained, we are predominated, we are servant; we should remain obedient to God. This is religion. Where is the difficulty? Unfortunately, they do not know what is God, what is His command, what is religion. They will manufacture their own system of religion. And because they do not know the simple process, they are called durbuddhi, unintelligent – in other words, a rascal.

The Bhagavad-gita calls such people mudhas. A Mudha means an ass, or a rascal. He does not know his own interest. An ass works the whole day with loads of cloth on his back, yet not a single piece of cloth belongs to him. And he works so hard just to get a morsel of grass, which he could get anywhere. But he thinks, “This washer man is so nice – he gives me food.”

A karmi, or an ordinary materialist, is compared to an ass. He will work all day and night just so he could eat two or four capatis. When you go to see him, he will say, “Oh, I have no time.” He cannot think, “Why I am working so hard just to get a few capatis?” He is working, working, working, “More money, more money, and more money.” The Bhagavata says, “No, no. This is not your business.” The four capatis are already destined for you; you will get in any circumstances. You cannot get more, you cannot get less. Don’t waste your time simply under the pretext of economic development. Utilize your time for understanding Krishna . That is your real business. Foolish people will not accept it. They think, “Oh, listening to Bhagavadgita is waste of time. By this time I could have earned hundreds of dollars.” This is durbuddhi, not very intelligent – all mudhas, or asses.

Sign of Intelligence

An intelligent person is he who is satisfied with what Krishna has given him: “If Krishna wants, He will give me more. Let me become Krishna conscious. Let me study about Krishna . Let me chant about Krishna . Let me hear about Krishna . Let me see the Deity of Krishna with my eyes. Let me engage my hands in worshiping Krishna , in cleansing the temple. Let my legs be engaged in going to the temple.” In this way all our senses should be engaged in the service of Krishna . That is our real business. tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhah (Bhagavatam 1.5.18). Tasyaiva hetoh: “For that purpose only.” Which purpose? That which we could not achieve even after wandering the whole universe. The living entity is transmigrating from one body to another. Sometimes he is Brahma, Indra or Candra in the higher planetary systems, or sometimes he becomes a worm in the stool. This is called bhramatam upary adhau. Those who are strictly following the brahminical principles will be situated in upper planetary system. urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha [Bg. 14.18]. But a Vaisnava is above these.

Our Krishna consciousness movement is meant to help people to go back to home, back to Krishna . Krishna says, janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah (Gita 4.9). Try to understand Krishna in truth, not vaguely. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna Himself says this, and all great authorities like Vyasadeva and Narada Muni say this. Why not accept this fact? Why this rascaldom? Why are you searching after any other God? Here is God – His name, address, activities – and all are authorized statements of the Vedas. But the rascal will not take it: “Oh, why only Krishna ? I have manufactured my own God.” This is misfortune. The Bhagavad-gita (7.15) says,na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah. These are the qualifications of persons who do not surrender to Krishna : miscreants, mischievous, sinful, mudha, rascal, asses, naradhama, lowest of the mankind. They are all durbuddhi. Human life is an opportunity to understand Krishna . Krishna says simply by trying to know Him, one becomes liberated. Simply by trying to serve Krishna , even though imperfectly, one becomes liberated.

Actually it is not possible to understand Krishna , because He is unlimitedly great. Even Ananta, an expansion of Krishna , cannot estimate Krishna ’s glories. But still, if we accept whatever Krishna says about Himself in the Bhagavadgita, then we immediately become fit for going back to Godhead.

Different Stages of Success

manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye yatatam api siddhanam kascin mam vetti tattvatah (Gita 7.3)

“Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.”

Siddhas, or those are materially perfect, may not understand Krishna . Even spiritually advanced people like brahma-jnanis and paramatma-jnanis, who are partially perfect, cannot understand Krishna . Only devotees can understand Krishna perfectly. Brahma-jnanis understand the eternity (sat) portion of the Supreme Lord, while paramatma-jnanis understand the knowledge (cit) portion of God. Both are incomplete and therefore imperfect. When one comes to know Bhagavan, then his knowledge becomes perfect and complete. When one comes to the understanding of a personal God, there is bliss (ananda). In other features, there is eternity and knowledge, but no ananda.

anandamayo ‘bhyasat (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12): By nature, we are pleasure-seeking. We are searching after ananda, bliss, but we do not know where to get bliss. We are trying to get bliss in this material world by eating meat, drinking wine, by sex. But this is not ananda, because these activities offer flickering pleasures, which last only for a few minutes or few hours. Real ananda is satyananda, or brahma-sukha. That ananda is in exchange with the Supreme Brahman. Brahma-saukhyam anantam (Bhagavatam 5.5.1]. That is anantam, unlimited ananda. When you join with Krishna in His rasa dance as gopis, or play with Him as cowherd boys, or become His father and mother, or even become like water in Yamuna, or land in Vrndavana, or like trees, fruits and flowers, cows or calves, you enjoy unlimited happiness. Join with Krishna and you get ananda, real ananda. That is the description in all Bhagavatam, how Krishna ’s associates are enjoying life.

So that opportunity is there in bhakti-yoga. Krishna is anxious to take you back. Why are you wasting time in the name of economic development? You cannot get more than what is destined for you. The effects of pious activity include getting nice opulence. Janmaisvarya-sruta-sri (Bhagavatam 1.8.26): Birth in very high family; beauty; education; and riches. The effects of impious activities are exactly the opposite. Both pious and impious effects are material, which means they are destined; you cannot change them. If you are white, you cannot become black, or if you are black, you cannot become white. That is not possible. But you can become first-class Krishna conscious person. Whether you are black or white, it doesn’t matter. This is Krishna consciousness. Therefore our endeavor should be how to become Krishna conscious. tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhah tal labhyate duhkhavad anyatah sukham kalena sarvatra gabhira-ramhasa (Bhagavatam 1.5.18)

Kalena, by time, you will get whatever you are destined to get. Don’t bother about so-called economic development. So far food is concerned, Krishna is supplying (eko bahunan yo vidadhati kaman). Even cats, dogs and ants get their daily food, so why not you? There is no need to bother Krishna , “God give us our daily bread.” Try to become a faithful servant of God. “Oh, God has given me so many things. So let me give my energy to serve Krishna .” This is required. This is Krishna consciousness. “I have taken so much, life after life, from Krishna . Now this life let me dedicate to Krishna .” This is Krishna consciousness. “This life I will not let it go uselessly like cats and dogs. Let me utilize it for Krishna consciousness.” This is Krishna consciousness.

Thank you very much. Hare Krishna .