So many - Roman Empire, Moghul Empire, British Empire, Hitler Empire - they came and gone. But my real problem is that I am eternal, so what I am doing for my eternal life? That is it

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Expressions researched:
"they came and gone. But my real problem is that I am eternal, so what I am doing for my eternal life? That is it"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

British Empire was for the time being that prosperity. Now to keep up your prestige you are concerned in so many ways. So anything you do in this material world, that is temporary. So many-Roman Empire, Moghul Empire, British Empire, Hitler Empire—they came and gone. But my real problem is that I am eternal, so what I am doing for my eternal life? That is it. Temporarily I may become very rich or poor, it doesn't matter.
Room Conversation and Interview with Ian Polsen -- July 31, 1972, London:

Ian Polsen: They only treat the symptoms, not the cause.

Prabhupāda: Huh? Well, you can give me some medicine, and for the time being I am cured, then again I fall diseased. You cannot stop disease. Suppose you have got a very nice coat. That's all right. But one who has got not so nice coat, so what is the difference?

Devotee: Coat.

Prabhupāda: Coat, yes. So this so-called scientific improvement, nice medicine, nice medicine or not nice medicine, what is the difference? I fall..., I become diseased. You cannot stop disease. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā says, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). You may think that "I have overcome so many distresses," but real distress is birth, death, old age and disease. What you have done for that?

Indian: That's the hardest (indistinct).

Prabhupāda: Just like your British Empire. You are British?

Ian Polsen: Yes.

Prabhupāda: British Empire, when there was British Empire, when they were getting money from all over the world, somehow or other they constructed so many big, big buildings. Now they are encouraging not so big, and now it is difficult to maintain it. We can see practically that you have got so nice buildings in London, but it is not being properly maintained. You haven't got sufficient means now to maintain them. Therefore it was..., British Empire was for the time being that prosperity. Now to keep up your prestige you are concerned in so many ways. So anything you do in this material world, that is temporary. So many-Roman Empire, Moghul Empire, British Empire, Hitler Empire—they came and gone. But my real problem is that I am eternal, so what I am doing for my eternal life? That is it. Temporarily I may become very rich or poor, it doesn't matter. But people are being taught, "Oh, you are poor? You become rich." That's all. Just like our India trying to imitate the Western world. But they do not see that in the Western world, in America, in Europe, why these young boys, they are rejecting this materialistic way of life? These boys have come to me because they have rejected, they don't like. Just like you are coming. Why you are surrendering to me? Because you are not satisfied. So our Indians, they do not see that "These men, they have already everything. Why they are rejecting?" All facility. Because this will not give us real happiness. We are spirit soul. We cannot be happy simply by material opulence. That is not possible. This is Vedic civilization: how people will be happy. They can be happy simply by self-realization, spiritual realization, because he is spirit. Material advancement will never make us happy, that's a fact. People have not become happy. In India they say that we neglected this material side therefore. But actually that is not the fact. They have lost their own spiritual culture; therefore they are not... But still, whatever spiritual culture they have got, still they are happier than others, if I make comparative study. In India still in village you'll find a man with practically no income but he has got his happy home, good wife, a cottage, little bread, but he is happy. Here I see they have no home, no family life. Even ordinary necessities of life means eating, sleeping, sex life and defense. They have no fixed-up eating. In America, in the Bowery street, lying down on the street, drinking. So many. Here also in your country. Day and night, in India they are lying, suppose they are poverty stricken, lying on the street. Now why you are lying on the street? When I go to the park I see so many there. Our philosophy is that there is no necessity of wasting time for economic development. Be satisfied whatever Kṛṣṇa has given you. That's all right. Be satisfied according to your position, save time, and be Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the verdict of the śāstra. Because your happiness and distress is already fixed up, according to the body you have got. You cannot change that. You cannot change that.