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SB 1.5 - Endeavoring only for the permanent

Persons who are intelligent and philosophically inclined should endeavor only for that which is not obtainable even by wandering from the topmost planet down to the lowest planet. As far as happiness derived from sense enjoyment is concerned, it can be obtained automatically in course of time, by the law of karma, just as in course of time we obtain miseries even though we do not desire them. Men are engaged in various activities to get happiness in this life, and some are engaged in fruitive work to become happy in the next life. By good work only, as prescribed in the scriptures, can one obtain birth in a good family, opulence, good education and good bodily features. The positions in the topmost Brahmaloka and in the lowest Pātāla are changeable according to our own work. But all these positions are impermanent.

The śrutis encourage people to seek happiness of Svarga in the next life by saying ‘karmaṇā pitṛ-loka’: by karma one goes to Pitṛ-loka (BṛA Up 1.5) and ‘apām somam amṛtā abhūma’ (Ṛg Veda 8.48.3). So how can one promote bhakti for people by rejecting one’s dharma and consequently the happiness in this and next life? True, but the wise are not deluded by this at all. A person with discrimination should endeavor for that which is not attained by wandering up to Brahma-loka or down to non moving bodies. Miseries and mixed happiness are two features of material life, and they are obtainable everywhere. They may vary by degree and quality but no one is free from the miseries of birth, death, old age and disease. No one can get more or less of happiness or misery simply by personal endeavors. One should therefore endeavor only to go back to Godhead.