So the consciousness is there in the trees also. But that has been known by the scientific apparatus, but according to our Vedic injunction, that is already mentioned in the śāstras, that the trees have consciousness. They are also living entities. Don't say that they are without life. They have got life. And therefore the system is... Just like we pick up flowers from the trees for offering to Kṛṣṇa, but the injunction is that after evening you should not touch the tree. The idea is that they are sleeping, don't disturb. So the consciousness of the trees are admitted in the Vedic literature. Similarly, the consciousness is developed from tree to worms, microbes, worms, germs—their consciousness is little more higher. Then birds, their consciousness is little more higher; then beasts, their consciousness is little more higher. This is development, gradual process of evolution. Gradual process of evolution means gradual process of developing the status, the state of consciousness. In this way the consciousness in human form of body is further developed, very nicely developed. And similarly, there are other elevated living condition in higher planets. They are called demigods. They are far advanced, very more and more intelligent. Their standard of living, their everything, is far, far above than all these planets, thousands and thousands of times. Just like we can discriminate here, even on this planet. Your standard of living, from materialistic point of view... Just like to get a motorcar in this country is ordinary thing, but in our country, in India, if somebody has got a motorcar, he's considered to be very rich man. Here even a worker goes on motorcar, but in India only a person who is very rich, he can have a motorcar. As there is difference of standard of living from one country to another, similarly, there is difference of standard of living, standard of duration of life, standard of intelligence, standard of developed consciousness, everything different.
That is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā: yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi-vibhuti-bhinnam (Bs. 5.40). If you try to read Vedic literature... Not very many. Try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Try to understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. These two books will give you sufficient knowledge, and we should take advantage of it, because our consciousness is developed. We should not waste our time simply reading these all nonsense literatures, sex literatures. Simply wasting their time. Tad vayasaṁ tīrtham. To read nonsense ordinary literature and books or newspaper is compared just like the pleasure place of the crows. The crows, they are very much attached to the rejected refuse, garbage. In your country I don't see many crows, but in our country there are many crows, and the garbage section is pleasure, pleasuring place there. Where rejected things, they take pleasure in that. But the swans, the ducks, they take pleasure in clear lake with lily flower, nice garden, and nice birds are chirping. They take pleasure in that place. Similarly, there are classes of men also like crows and like swans. The swans, they will take pleasure in this kind of literature, Vedic literature. And the crowlike men, they will hunt after that rejected garbagelike things. Punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām (SB 7.5.30). What is there in the sex literature? There is no new information; the same sex life, that's all. Sometimes half-naked, sometimes naked, sometimes this, sometimes that, but the central place is sex.
So when you have got developed consciousness, try to understand Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Don't waste your time in nonsense literature. Don't waste. The life is very valuable. You don't think that "Because we have got human form of life, we shall live for one hundred years or sixty or seventy years, so let us enjoy." Bhāgavata says this kind of enjoyment is there everywhere—in animal life, in plant life. This enjoyment means sex pleasure. Viṣayaḥ khalu sarvataḥ syāt. Viṣaya. Viṣaya means eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. This is called viṣaya. One who is very much fond of these principles of life only... Just like animals. They have no other problem. They do not know what Kṛṣṇa consciousness, what philosophy, what is metaphysical understanding. They have no such problem. Their only problem is eating, sleeping, mating and defending. That's all. So this human form of life is not like that. Therefore this Śaunaka Ṛṣi says that,
- āyur harati vai puṁsām
- udyann astaṁ ca yann asau
- tasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nīta
He says that our duration of life is being taken away by the sun beginning from his rising up to the end of setting. We are daily losing the duration of our life. Just like this morning, today is 12th July, the sun rises at 5:30 in the morning, and now it is 5:30 again in the evening. These twelve hours have been taken away from the duration of our life. Is it not a fact? You'll never get it back. If you ask any scientist that "I'll give you twelve millions of dollars. Please give me back these twelve hours again," no, it is not possible. No scientist can give you. That is not... Therefore Bhāgavata says that from the beginning of the sunrise up to the end of sunset, your duration of life is being taken away. That is the business. Kalaḥ. This is called time: past, present and future. What is present, tomorrow it will be past, and again future. So past, present, future; past, present, future. But what is this past, present and future? This is past, present and future of this body. So far I am concerned, I am not past, present. I do not belong to the category of the past, present and future. I belong to the category of eternity. Therefore we should be careful how to attain, how to be elevated to the platform of eternity. That is our business. The developed consciousness of human being should be utilized not in the animal propensities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending, but we should search out the path or the way or the avenue which will help us to get that life of eternity.