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Smart Quote of the Day, September 19, 2019

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"… one may be very proud of possessing a vast empire, but such empires are impermanent; after one hundred or two hundred years, everything is finished. All such positions of economic development, although created with great endeavor and hardship, are vanquished very soon."

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This is a quote from Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.7.39

[In this chapter, to remove the doubts of his class friends, the sons of the demons, Prahlada Maharaja states how, within the womb of his mother, he had heard from the mouth of Narada Muni, who had instructed him in bhagavata-dharma (Krishna consciousness)]

TRANSLATION

One’s riches, beautiful wife and female friends, one’s sons and daughters, one’s residence, one’s domestic animals like cows, elephants and horses, one’s treasury, economic development and sense gratification — indeed, even the lifetime in which one can enjoy all these material opulences — are certainly temporary and flickering. Since the opportunity of human life is temporary, what benefit can these material opulences give to a sensible man who has understood himself to be eternal?

PURPORT:

This verse describes how the advocates of economic development are frustrated by the laws of nature.

As the previous verse asks, kim visayopapadanaih: what is the actual benefit of so-called economic development? The history of the world has factually proved that attempts to increase economic development for bodily comfort through the advancement of material civilization have done nothing to remedy the inevitability of birth, death, old age and disease.

Everyone has knowledge of huge empires throughout the history of the world — the Roman Empire, the Moghul Empire, the British Empire and so on — but all the societies engaged in such economic development (sarve ’rtha-kamah) have been frustrated by the laws of nature through periodic wars, pestilence, famine and so on. Thus all their attempts have been flickering and temporary.

In this verse, therefore, it is said, kurvanti martyasya kiyat priyam calah: one may be very proud of possessing a vast empire, but such empires are impermanent; after one hundred or two hundred years, everything is finished. All such positions of economic development, although created with great endeavor and hardship, are vanquished very soon. Therefore they have been described as calah.

An intelligent man should conclude that material economic development is not at all pleasing. The entire world is described in Bhagavad-gita as duhkhalayam asasvatam — miserable and temporary. Economic development may be pleasing for some time, but it cannot endure. Thus many big businessmen are now very morose because they are being harassed by various plundering governments. In conclusion, why should one waste his time for so-called economic development, which is neither permanent nor pleasing to the soul?

On the other hand, our relationship with Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is eternal. Nitya-siddha Krishna-prema. The pure souls are eternally in love with Krishna, and this permanent love, either as a servant, a friend, a parent or a conjugal lover, is not at all difficult to revive.

Especially in this age, the concession is that simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra (harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam) one revives his original relationship with God and thus becomes so happy that he does not want anything material.

As enunciated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye. A very advanced devotee in Krishna consciousness does not want riches, followers or possessions.

Rayah kalatram pasavah sutadayo grhamahi kuñjara-kosa-bhutayah. The satisfaction of possessing material opulences, although perhaps of a different standard, is available even in the lives of dogs and hogs, who cannot revive their eternal relationship with Krishna.

In human life, however, our eternal, dormant relationship with Krishna is possible to revive. Therefore Prahlada Maharaja has described this life as arthadam. Consequently, instead of wasting our time for economic development, which cannot give us any happiness, if we simply try to revive our eternal relationship with Krishna, we will properly utilize our lives.

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