There's a dedicated team of people working at the Krishna.com office and warehouse to share Lord Krishna’s teachings with more than 2700 visitors a day (985,239 per year) from 228 countries, territories and islands. This time of year is when Krishna.com’s annual bills are due, such as property tax, insurance, and email newsletter services, adding up to several thousand dollars. We need your help to keep Krishna.com alive and vibrant. Please give a donation.

Smart Quote of the Day, December 13, 2019

Complexity: 
Easy

"… if one simply ceases from materialistic activity one cannot remain inactive for very long, and therefore everyone should engage himself in spiritual activities, which will solve the problem of suffering in this material world."

<< previous                                                          next >>

This is a quote from Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.13.27

[This chapter of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "The Perfect Society: Four Social Classes," relates a conversation between the sage Narada and King Yudhisthira. Yudhisthira asks Narada—one of the primary authorities on Vedic knowledge—how a common man may achieve the perfection of life. In today's verses, Narada is replying in detail.]

TRANSLATION

The actual form of life for the living entities is one of spiritual happiness, which is real happiness. This happiness can be achieved only when one stops all materialistic activities. Material sense enjoyment is simply an imagination. Therefore, considering this subject matter, I have ceased from all material activities and am lying down here.

PURPORT:

The difference between the philosophy of the Māyāvādīs and that of the Vaiṣṇavas is explained herein.

Both the Māyāvādīs and Vaiṣṇavas know that in materialistic activities there is no happiness. The Māyāvādī philosophers, therefore, adhering to the slogan brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā, want to refrain from false, materialistic activities. They want to stop all activities and merge in the Supreme Brahman.

According to the Vaiṣhṇava philosophy, however, if one simply ceases from materialistic activity one cannot remain inactive for very long, and therefore everyone should engage himself in spiritual activities, which will solve the problem of suffering in this material world.

It is said, therefore, that although the Māyāvādī philosophers strive to refrain from materialistic activities and merge in Brahman, and although they may actually merge in the Brahman existence, for want of activity they fall down again into materialistic activity (āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ). Thus the so-called renouncer, unable to remain in meditation upon Brahman, returns to materialistic activities by opening hospitals and schools and so on.

Therefore, simply cultivating knowledge that materialistic activities cannot give one happiness, and that one should consequently cease from such activities, is insufficient. One should cease from materialistic activities and take up spiritual activities. Then the solution to the problem will be achieved.

Spiritual activities are activities performed according to the order of Krishna (ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam). If one does whatever Krishna says, his activities are not material.

For example, when Arjuna fought in response to the order of Krishna, his activities were not material. Fighting for sense gratification is a materialistic activity, but fighting by the order of Krishna is spiritual. By spiritual activities one becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead, and then enjoy blissful life eternally.

Here, in the material world, everything is but a mental concoction that will never give us real happiness. The practical solution, therefore, is to cease from materialistic activities and engage in spiritual activities. Yajñārthāt karmaṇo ’nyatra loko ’yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ. If one works for the sake of pleasing the Supreme Lord — Yajña, or Vishnu — one is in liberated life. If one fails to do so, however, he remains in a life of bondage.

More: