Pradyumna: "As far as material necessities are concerned, the human civilization at the present moment is very much advanced in living comfortably, but still we are not happy because we are missing the point. The material comforts of life alone are not sufficient to make us happy. The vivid example is America: the richest nation of the world, having all facilities for material comfort, is producing a class of men completely confused and frustrated in life. I am appealing herewith to such confused men to learn the art of devotional service as directed in The Nectar of Devotion, and I am sure that the fire of material existence burning within their hearts will be immediately extinguished. The root cause of our dissatisfaction is that our dormant loving propensity has not been fulfilled despite our great advancement in the materialistic way of life. The Nectar of Devotion will give us practical hints how we can live in this material world perfectly engaged in devotional service and thus fulfill all our desires in this life and in the next."
Prabhupāda: So, people are misled. They are thinking that by material comfort they will be happy. And practically we are seeing, this competition of material comfort... The capitalist and the labor class, worker class, they are fighting—strike. Actually, the propensity is that... That is explained in Marshall's theory of economics. We were student of economics. So in that book Mr. Marshall explained that the family affection is the origin of economic impetus. That's a fact. These hippies, they have no family affection. They are not married, and therefore there is no economic impetus. They can live in any way, any wretched condition of life. And one who is married, responsible man, he has got some responsibility to see that..., provided he has got affection for the family. Otherwise, practically, so-called family life, there is no affection.
So this is a fact. The family affection... Puṁsaḥ striyā mithunī-bhāvam etat. There is a propensity of men, association with woman, mithunī-bhāvam etat. Everyone is trying to find out a man or woman. And when they unite, that attraction becomes tightly knot. Tayor mitho hṛdaya-granthim āhuḥ (SB 5.5.8). Hṛdaya-granthim. And then the economic impetus starts. Ataḥ gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittaiḥ. Gṛha, home; kṣetra, land, or the office for earning money; gṛha-kṣetra-suta, children; friends, āpta; and vitta, money—in this way one becomes entangled in the so-called economic development. Dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90). People take to religion mostly for economic development. People go to temple, church, for economic development. "O God, give us our daily bread," in the church they pray. This is economic development. So materially they want... Anyway, they want to be happy materially. That is bahir-artha-māninaḥ. Materially means this body. This body is matter, and I, the person who is living within the body, I am spirit. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe. Asmin dehe, dehinaḥ (BG 2.13). There is the proprietor. We have several times explained, but people do not know this. As soon as one understands that "I am not this body. I am different from this body," then his interest becomes different. Because he is under ignorance that "I am this body," therefore he's acting, working for this body. And as soon as he comes to the spiritual platform, brahma-bhūtaḥ, he is no more interested in bodily comforts. That is the Vedic civilization, that one is educated to become introspective. He is educated to become introspective. The brāhmaṇas, just like they are happy in any condition of life. That is our Vedic civilization. They accept poverty... Not accept poverty. They are not very much interested. Either lie down on the ground or lie down on the sofa—they don't find any difference, because they are not interested with these bodily comforts. People may say, "Oh, this is very uncivilized way, the primitive way of life, that he is lying down on the ground just like animal." But he does not know that he is not interested either lying down..., because when we sleep he forgets whether he lying down on the ground or lying on... (laughter) So that is not very important thing. But at the present moment they have taken that lying down on a very nice bedstead, cot, and silken bed, that is advancement of civilization. But that is not advancement of civilization—yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke (SB 10.84.13)—because he is under the bodily concept of life. So what is this body? It is made of tri-dhātu: kapha, pitta, vāyu. So I am kapha-pitta-vāyu? No. I am different. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. This knowledge is lacking.
So the actually our desire is that "There must be easygoing life. I shall not work very much. I shall live in a comfortable house in a secluded place and live peacefully." That is his desire. But because he does not know how to get that desire fulfilled, he is trying to get that desire fulfilled on the bodily comforts of life. This is the mistake. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). They do not know. That is the svārtha. Because, as it is said in the Vedas, God... Na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate. He has nothing to work. God has nothing to work for His economic development. Na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate. Na tasya sama adhikaś ca dṛśyate. And because He is God, nobody is equal to Him and nobody greater than Him. Sama adhikaś ca na dṛśyate, parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport). His energies are multi-energies, varieties of energies, and the energies are so perfect that svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā ca: everything is happening automatically. So that is actually life. Why one should...? Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is dancing with the gopīs, that's all. Why should He work? Why God should work? Na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate. Ānanda-cinmaya-rasa. So because we are part and parcel of God, Kṛṣṇa, we are also trying to achieve that life, that "There will be no, no more to work. Let me accumulate some bank balance, the interest will come, and I shall sit down in a nice apartment, and everything will come automatically and I will enjoy life." That is actually life, because we are part and parcel of God. So God has nothing to do. Kṛṣṇa has nothing to do. So we also have nothing to do. Why we are working? They are taking, "This is pleasure." This material life means... Because mostly they are infected with two qualities of material modes of nature, namely ignorance and passion. So impeded by this ignorance and passion they are working very hard, just like an ass, and still they are thinking that "I am happy." He comes back to home, working very, very hard in the office, and he thinks, "Now I... My successful... I have earned so much money." This is the nature of material life, that he will work very hard and he will think, "That is my life." This is material life. But actually, if you are actually happy, then why you have to work so hard? But that is nonsense. He is nonsense. He does not know. Therefore the karmīs are called mūḍhas, asses. The ass works hard for the washerman, and the washerman gives him a morsel of grass and he thinks, "I am happy." This is ass mentality. He has worked very hard, but getting that little bunch of grass. He can get it anywhere, but he thinks that "This washerman gives it. Therefore I have to work..." Or he does not know that "I'm working for it." This is ass mentality.