Nārada Muni is advising Vyāsadeva, tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ (SB 1.5.18). Kovida means intelligent, expert. One who knows things as they are, he's called kovida. So one who is intelligent, he should try to achieve that thing which is not available—na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ—which is not available even by wandering up and down.
This we have already explained in the last meeting, that according to our karma, we are being sometimes elevated to the very high position, and sometimes we are being degraded to become an insignificant creature like ant. This is going on.
(aside) This boy . . . (chuckles) She, she can go to the . . . yes. This is very disturbing child.
(reading commentary) Nanu sadharmam atradapi karma pitṛ-loka iti śruti pitṛ-loka-prapti phalaṁ aptaiva hatrasapi kovidaḥ viveki; tasyaiva hetoḥ tad artham yartham na kuryad yad upary brahmaloka paryantam adhaḥ sthavara paryantam brahmad bija na labhyate; tato viṣaya sukham anyathā eva praptino sva karmaṇā sarvatra narakadapi labhyate duḥkhavat; yataḥ duḥkham prajadnavina labhyate tadvad; tad uktam apraptithani duḥkhāni tathaiva ayaṁ hi dehināṁ sukhāni api tathā manye daivatra atir-icyata.
So our duty is, as I mean to say, indicated by Nārada Muni, our only duty is how to achieve full Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Other things, there is no need of trying. Actually, I have seen that in India—everywhere the same case—a person without any education, even without any . . . practically illiterate. I have seen so many merchants, he cannot sign even his name. In Calcutta I've seen practically a Marwari, merchant, he, he cannot . . . he has deposited money in the bank.
Simply he can sign his own name with great difficulty. So he's canvassing, "Will you kindly write here . . ." That means the check to be paid to the gentleman, he cannot write. He's asking somebody's help, "You write the name of the person whom I can pay," and he'll simply sign. If he writes something wrong, he'll have to accept. (laughs) If he writes his own name . . . (laughter) So that man is earning millions of dollars. You see?
And I have seen also very educated medical man, England-returned, M.R.C.P—I am speaking from my practical experience—so he goes to a hospital, big doctor, but I have seen in his house, he had not even a good utensil at home. He's so poor, in spite of so much education and highly qualified, England-returned doctor.
So the statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham (SB 1.5.18): you don't try for so-called economic development. You cannot have more than what you are destined to get. It is already settled up. This, this living entity . . . you see different grades of standard of living condition. So they're according to the past karma, daivena, daiva-netreṇa, karmaṇā. So you cannot change that. That nature's law, you cannot change.