(New York skyline, September 11, 2001—click to enlarge)

Prabhupāda: Saṁsāre māyāra janeiya, moha janeiya, jīva ke karaye gāḍha. This māyāra vaibhava, this material advancement, advancement of māyā. Big, big building, nice road, nice motorcar, nice. Surely it is material advancement, admitted. But this advancement is advancement of the illusory energy. So what is the wrong there? Suppose...The wrong is there that this material world is temporary. We have come here temporary—say twenty-five years, fifty years or, at most, hundred years.

So we are already illusioned, and we become more illusioned. Then we forget our real business. Mūḍha, we remain mūḍha. Supposing if there is next birth, so who is very much anxious to know what is our next birth? Nobody is. Blindly going on. Māyāra vaibhava. (break) ...very nice church, but understand what for this church is, what is God, what is God consciousness. Just cultivate this knowledge. "No. Big church will be finished." Live nice building, nice happy life, but don't forget Kṛṣṇa. Then what is the use of this life? And if you forget Kṛṣṇa, then the result will be crime, and you will be facing with problems, "Why, and now what to do?" So many problems will be there. So the problems cannot be solved simply by possessing big, big buildings. (break)

(sings:) Śrī kṛṣṇa caitanya prabhu... These are all university house, or private?

Devotee: Some university and some private. After here, these are private homes.

Prabhupāda: All very nice house.

Devotee (2): Yes.

Prabhupāda: Let them, every house, small temple, perform kīrtana. Then this will be all success. Do not cook meat. Nice prasādam. Everything can be utilized for better purpose. Now in the morning they are sleeping. Nidrāya hriyate naktaṁ vyavayena ca vā vayaḥ (SB 2.1.3). At night either sleeping or sex, and daytime, divā carthehaya rājan kutumba-bharaṇena vā. Daytime, "Where is money? Where is money?" Oh, seventy miles' speed: "Go there. There is some money." All right, take money. Then what is your next business? Kutumba-bharaṇena vā: just to purchase for the family, finish money; again tomorrow. "But where is the business of your spiritual life?" "No time. What can we do? Night we are busy in this way, and day we are busy. Where is the time? Don't bother us." (laughs) Divā carthehaya rājan kutumba-bharaṇena vā (SB 2.1.3). (break) ...try to make them devotees, they will not become.

Devotee: Not very easily.


    vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ
    ...na vidhīyate
    (BG 2.44)

Therefore too much attachment for material enjoyment is disqualification for spiritual life. So the Western world is trained up for being too much attached to material enjoyment. Therefore lagging behind in spiritual life. Vedic civilization is not to encourage too much for material enjoyment. Minimize. That is Indian civilization. They, if they had money, they used to spend for constructing big temple, not for residential house. Maybe the king only had a big palace. Common men, they didn't care for big palace, the palatial building. Common man would be very glad to live in a cottage, and a small garden for growing vegetables, fruits, small lake, that's all. Not wasting time for big, big buildings, big, big... What is called? Amenities?

Devotee: Amenities.

Prabhupāda: It is good you have done this, but make this Kṛṣṇa consciousness also one of the paraphernalia. Then it is very nice. But they are not inclined. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Chicago, July 5, 1975)
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Big, Big Buildings Can't Solve Our Problems