(Click to enlarge painting of the spiritual world)
Devotee: Verse 41. "Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched. Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to the heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing wrong in this." (BG 2.41)
Prabhupāda: In the Vedas there are many allurements for elevating oneself to higher standard of life. Just like in this life also the father says, "My dear boy, if you become highly educated, then you'll get a very nice job, you'll get good salary, and you'll have nice apartment, and nice wife, children." Just like these are allurements for enticing one in this materialistic way of life, similarly there are many allurements in the Vedic literatures. People are also, I mean to say, allured to execute such thing, that if you make such and such pious activities, then you get elevated to such and such higher planets and you get such and such high standard of life. These are explained there. But Kṛṣṇa says that don't be misled by these allurements. He will explain also later on. Ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ. Just like people are trying to go to the moon planet. They are trying to go to the moon planet by some airplane or sputnik. Similarly, in the Vedic literature the travel to moon planet is also stated, that if you act in this way, then you get promotion to get your life in the moon planet. There you shall live for ten thousands of years, and you will have soma-rasa beverages, and you'll... So many promises. But Kṛṣṇa says that "Don't be allured." They are fact. They are not false statement. Actually they are facts, that if you act in such and such way, you can enter in higher planetary system and you have higher standard of life. But this Bhagavad-gītā proposition is that don't try to live within this material world anywhere. Anywhere.
There is Vedic instruction also. Tamaso mā jyotir gamaya. Don't remain within this darkness. This material world is darkness. Therefore there is need of sunlight, need of moonlight. Just like just now, night. What is this night? Night means this is the real appearance of this material world. It is dark. And when the sunlight will be visible, we shall think that it is daytime. But actually it is dark. But there is another nature. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyaḥ (BG 8.20). Another spiritual nature where there is always illumination. Jyoti. Jyoti means illumination. So Vedic injunction is that don't stay within this dark material world. Just come to the illuminated world. Jyotir gamaya. The same thing Kṛṣṇa also advises, that don't be allured to stay in any nice planet of this universe. Come out of it. Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6). "That is My eternal abode, or the best abode, where going you'll never come back again." So what is that? Go on.
Devotee: Verse 44: "In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination for devotional service to the Lord does not take place."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Here is very important thing. The exact Sanskrit word is,
samādhau na vidhīyate
In the beginning it has been said that you make your determination that "In this life I shall execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness in such a way that after leaving this body I enter into the spiritual world and go directly to Goloka Vṛndāvana, Kṛṣṇaloka." This is called vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ. Niścayātmikā means determination. But He says that persons who are attached, bhoga, material enjoyment, aiśvarya, material opulence: bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānām (BG 2.44). Those who are too much attached to material enjoyment and material sense gratification, material opulence, tayāpahṛta-cetasām, and those who have become bewildered or mad after it, tayāpahṛta-cetasām, vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ, they cannot have such determination. They will fail to have such determination. Therefore, according to Vedic civilization, there is voluntary renunciation. Just like Mahārāja Bharata, he was the emperor of the world, and at the age of twenty-four years he gave up everything. Mahārāja Bharata is a very... Long, long ago he appeared. But Lord Buddha, he was also princely order, and he was young man. He also gave up everything, his father's kingdom, everything. That you know because Lord Buddha is known at the present moment.
So this renunciation is recommended. If we simply remain in material opulence and enjoyment, that will be our disqualification for entering into the kingdom of God. Too much attachment, too much increasing of material civilization means that next life is very much dark. Bhogaiśvarya. God. Too much attachment, too much increasing of material civilization means that next life is very much dark. Bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānām (BG 2.44). Just like the other day I was explaining, rāja-putra ciraṁ jīva. "Oh, the son of royal order, you live forever. Because you do not know, next life is very dark for you. Because you do not cultivate any Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You have got money, and you are enjoying sense enjoyment, and as soon as this body will be finished, no more your control. Then you are completely under the control of material nature, and you'll have to accept a body as you have done in this life, because this life is preparation for the next life." You have got very concrete example. Just like President Kennedy. He was young man, very rich man, and he got the president post with great endeavor, spending so much money. He had his wife and children. But in one moment everything finished. Everything finished.
So we do not know that we are standing on a tottering platform. So however nice arrangement we may make, this will be finished in one moment. That is, we are missing. We are simply sticking to a false platform that "This will save me, this will save me." No. Therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says that jaḍa-bidyā jato māyāra vaibhava. This material advancement of civilization, very nice, very dazzling. Just like when we pass on the street or road of your American cities, it looks so nice. So many lights and so many night—illuminating signboards. But we should always remember that this nice situation is not permanent settlement. Any moment I'll have to give up everything. Everything. So therefore, if one becomes attached to this false platform, illuminating, so-called illuminating, false platform, then his determination to go back to Godhead will not be very much intense. That is being explained. So bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānām. What is the English translation? Yes.
Devotee: "In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment..."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Minds of those who are too much attached to the sense enjoyment. And?
Devotee: "...and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination for devotional service to the Lord does not take place."
Prabhupāda: Yes. They cannot take. Therefore we have to voluntarily accept simple life. Simple life. Just like we are sitting here on the floor. According to your American standard of life, this is not good. Therefore no very rich class of men or high class of men, they do not come to this because we have no sitting place. But actually, what is the difference? If you sit down on the floor or if you sit on a very nice comfortable couch, after all, you are sitting. But to secure a very nice couch, you have to waste your time so much. Your valuable time which you could use for cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you'll have to waste for securing a comfortable seat of couch. This is called material civilization. That's all. You are extending the comforts of life, but you do not know that this life is temporary. How long you shall live in this comfort? Your real thing is spirit soul which is eternal. That is also the instruction of Lord Jesus, that after gaining everything, if you lose your own soul, what is the gain? Bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānām (BG 2.44). Therefore this is another kind of disqualification for advancing in spiritual consciousness, if one becomes too much attached to these material comforts of life. Therefore according to Vedic civilization, a boy is trained to become brahmacārī. Brahmacārī. Brahmacārī means complete celibacy. No sex life, no amusement. Because just to train him not to be attracted by this material sense enjoyment. Then he'll be able to grasp what is spiritual life. Therefore restriction. But if from the very childhood, in the school, college, the boys and girls are allowed to enjoy sex life, then it is very difficult to understand or to enter into spiritual life. Bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānām. If we teach our children simply for sense enjoyment, how they can be spiritually advanced? The result will be confusion. Therefore in your country the hippies are there—confusion. They have been brought up in material sense enjoyment very nicely, but still, there is confusion, frustration, because he's hankering after something better. So that is spiritual happiness. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So one has to understand this point and voluntarily he has to accept this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and then he'll find happiness. This is sure. Those who have taken to it, just ask them, just argue with them, and see actually. This is happiness. Yes.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, December 13, 1968)