The whole Vedic civilization is to elevate people. There are two kinds of system in the Vedas: pravṛtti-mārga, nivṛtti-mārga. Because we are all here criminals . . . criminal means we have come here within this material world with a purpose to enjoy to the fullest extent. Don't you see? Anywhere you go, people are struggling so hard because the idea is that, "I shall be greater than him" or "I shall be very great." "I shall be minister," "I shall be president," "I shall be big merchant," "I shall be very big leader." "How I can be bigger?" When he fails everything, then he thinks, "Now I shall become God." This is going on.
So up to the understanding to become God is materialism. All endeavors up to the point of becoming God is materialism. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that, "You cannot be happy by all these religious systems." Religious system . . . there are two kinds of religious systems. Some of them are pravṛtti-mārga, increasing the path of enjoyment, sense enjoyment. That dictates that, "You come to the heavenly planet. You'll have ten thousands of years' duration of life and very beautiful women to enjoy. Very nice garden, and drinking soma-rasa." So this is called pravṛtti-mārga.
And nivṛtti-mārga means a little more advanced, when one understands that there is no actual happiness in this way, then he says: "This is all false." Brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā: "The world is false. Now let me search out Brahma." Athāto brahma jijñāsā. But . . . that path of brahma-jijñāsa is called nivṛtti-mārga, negativating this path of enjoyment. But śāstra says that simply by understanding that "This is false, and I'll have to become away from these false engagement," so without knowledge of Kṛṣṇa, such elevators, they become impersonalist and voidist, to make negative this material enjoyment.
So we are manufacturing so many religious system on these two platforms. One platform is how to enjoy to the fullest extent, and another platform is how to become zero, voidism. But actually, neither you are enjoyer, nor you are zero. Both of them are false. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that any religious system on the basis of this renunciation or enjoyment . . . when we take this material world as fact, that means we want to enjoy it. And when are frustrated, then we want to make zero. So actually, it is neither zero, nor there is any cause of frustration. You have to simply to take to the right knowledge. The right knowledge is given in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says:
- bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
- suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
- jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
- (BG 5.29)
If you simply understand that Kṛṣṇa is the only enjoyer, then your propensity to become false enjoyer will be vanquished that, "I am not enjoyer. Kṛṣṇa is the enjoyer." Then there is no question of renunciation also. Bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram. And He says that, "I am the proprietor of all planetary systems," loka. Loka means universe. Then what you have got to renounce?
If Kṛṣṇa or somebody is proprietor of something, what is the meaning of your renouncement? And if He is the only enjoyer, then what is the meaning of you are enjoyer? So if you enjoy, then you become a thief. And if you renounce, you become a pretender—because we have nothing to renounce, and you cannot enjoy others' property. This is your position. So one who knows this perfectly well, he's in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is sum and substance of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So when we engage ourself in enjoying others' property . . . because Kṛṣṇa's property, how you can enjoy? That means you become criminal. Just like in the modern state, or any state, if you want to enjoy others' property, then you are a thief. That is the statement given in the Īśopaniṣad, īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1): everything belongs to God. Yat kiñcid jagatyāṁ jagat. Anything, anywhere in this universe, it belongs to God. "Then? How I can enjoy? I have to live. If everything belongs to God . . ." Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā. "Yes, you can enjoy."
Just like the father in a family. Father is very rich. Actually, the proprietor is the father, but the enjoyers are the sons. Similarly, whatever there is, it is the property of God. But because you are all sons of God, you have got the right to enjoy the property of the father. There is no denying. But you cannot enjoy the property of your other brother. Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā. Whatever the father says: "My dear boy, you enjoy this," you be satisfied with that. Don't try to encroach upon others', other brothers' property. Then you'll be criminal. You enjoy. Kṛṣṇa has give you sufficient. Kṛṣṇa is not poor. Sarvaiśvarya . . . saḍ-aiśvarya-pūrṇa.
So if you remain satisfied what is given to you by Kṛṣṇa and remain in Kṛṣṇa consciousness that, "My father is so kind, my father is so rich, so let me abide by the orders of my father and live peacefully," then the world becomes peaceful. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is very scientific and authorized. But as soon as we want to encroach upon others' property, to enjoy more than it is allocated to me, that is criminal.
So in order to become free from this criminality, there are so many prescription in the śāstras. They're called tapasya. The beginning is the tapasya. Tapasya means just like a thief wants to steal others' property, but if he thinks at the same time, "No, no, it will be criminal. Father has said it is criminal. I shall not steal others' property," this is tapasya. Because I have got the inclination to steal, to usurp other things, but if I restrain myself by the order of father or the śāstras, the laws . . . just like a thief. He knows that if he steals, if he takes others' property, he'll be arrested and he will be punished. But he has got that bad inclination. That is called pāpa-bīja.