There Is No Question of Retirement
Devotee (reading): "Foolish persons or neophytes in Kṛṣṇa consciousness often want to retire from activities without having knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Arjuna's desire to retire from activities on the battlefield was not approved by the Lord. One need only know how to act. To retire from activities and to sit aloof, making a show of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is less important than actually engaging in the field of activities for the sake of Kṛṣṇa."

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa consciousness does not mean laziness. We do not indulge. Just like Arjuna. This Bhagavad-gītā was taught to Arjuna. He wanted to retire, that 'Kṛṣṇa, why You are engaging me in this battlefield? Let me retire.' So Kṛṣṇa did not allow him to retire. To understand his position, that is required. Retirement, how you can retire? You cannot retire. So long you have got this body you have to work. If you do not work you have to beg. If you do not beg then you have to steal or you have to borrow. How you can retire? There is no question of retire. Retire means to retire from all foolish activities and engage yourself in real activities. Retire is the negative side. But unless you have got positive side you cannot retire. You'll have to come back again.

There are so many yogīs and jñānīs, they say that 'This world is false. Let me retire from it.' But after some time he again falls down again to the sense gratification in this material world. So what is retirement? Retirement is not required. But what is required that purify your activities. Not to stop your activity, but to purify it. Just like when you are diseased it is not required that you should be killed. No. Your disease should be, I mean, cured, then you can work in healthy life. So that is required. Retirement means to become cured from the diseased activities, but to place yourself in healthy activities. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, January 8, 1969)

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