In the lower stage of human civilization there is always competition between men in their attempt to dominate material nature. In other words, there is continuous rivalry in an attempt to satisfy the senses. Thus driven by sense gratificatory consciousness, men perform religious rituals and pious activities with the aim of acquiring some material gain. But if such material gain is obtainable in another way, this so-called religion is neglected. This can be seen in modern human civilization. Since the economic desires of the people appear to be fulfilled in another way, no one is interested in religion now. The churches, mosques and temples are practically vacant, for people are more interested in factories, shops and cinemas than in the religious places erected by their forefathers. This definitely proves that religious rituals are generally performed for the sake of economic development, which is needed for sense gratification. And when one is baffled in his attempt to attain sense gratification, he takes to the cause of salvation in order to become one with the supreme whole. All these activities arise with the same aim in view—sense gratification.
In the Vedas, the four primary subjects mentioned above are prescribed in a regulative way so that there will not be undue competition for sense gratification. But Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is transcendental to all these sense-gratifying activities of the material world. It is a purely transcendental literature, understandable by the devotees of the Lord, who are above the competition for sense gratification. In the material world there is keen competition between animals, between men, between communities and even between nations in an attempt to gratify the senses. But the devotees of the Lord are above all this. Devotees have no need to compete with materialists because they are on the path back to Godhead, back home, where everything is eternal and fully blissful. Such transcendentalists are a hundred percent nonenvious and are therefore pure in heart. Because everyone in the material world is envious, there is competition. But the transcendentalists, or devotees of the Lord, are not only free from all material envy but are also kind to everyone in an attempt to establish a competitionless society with God in the center. The socialist's idea of a society devoid of competition is artificial because even in the socialist states there is competition for the post of dictator.