Human life is meant for reviving our relationship with God, but if you forget God, then what kind of civilization it is?
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das
[Posted 1 July 2006]

Technology Won't Help Us

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada
Excerpt from conversation with disciples, Paris, June 12, 1974

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Paramahamsa: People are believing that at the end of life, there's just death. So why worry about anything else? Therefore we should just enjoy right now.

Prabhupada: That is the difference between you and animal. The animal is in the slaughterhouse. He's not worried. But why you are worried. Suppose if you are brought in the slaughterhouse, and if you know that you'll be slaughtered, are you not worried? An animal is not worried. He's eating grass. That's all. So that is the difference between animal and man. If you are not worried, then you are animal. That's all.

Bhagavan: You once said that human life is pessimistic.

Prabhupada: Yes. Dissatisfaction. If you are not worried, that means you are animal. You are not human being.

Pusta-krsna: Is that like Prahlada Maharaja's prayer when he saw Lord Nrsimhadeva and he said, "I am not afraid of Your ferocious form, but I am afraid of this material world of samsara [repeated birth and death]."

Prabhupada: Yes, yes. He has given nice reference. A devotee, although sees God in His lion feature, and very ferocious, he knows He is God. "He's my Lord." But this so-called advancement of material civilization is the greatest enemy. That is not... Material civilization is very, very backward position. Maya-mohita. He'll be captivated by the so-called stones and bricks, and he'll forget God. That is the disease of the western world. They are very much fond of these stones and bricks, and therefore they have no knowledge about God. This electricity, the electrons, the radio, this, everything machine and stones. They have got, forgotten God. Jada-vidya jato mayara vaibhava. The more you materially advance, you forget God. So human life is meant for reviving our relationship with God, but if you forget God, then what kind of civilization it is? You are forgetting your real business.

Pusta-krsna: Some people use the argument, Srila Prabhupada, that by this advancement of technology, it will free us to think of philosophical.

Prabhupada: They will free us. They will free us. Oh, that will never come. That will never come. Therefore they are called bahir-artha-maninah. They are captivated by the external feature, and one who is leading them, he's also blind, and one who is following, he's also blind. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanas te 'pisha -tantryam uru-damni baddhah [Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.31]. They do not know that material laws are so strong that they are not free to do anything.

Pusta-krsna: They are thinking that the technology will free them.

Prabhupada: Eh? No. No.

Pusta-krsna: The technology cannot...?

Prabhupada: It will bind them.

Bhagavan: It simply creates newer problems.

Prabhupada: That's all.

Paramahamsa: Some people glorify suffering in the material world because they say this increases their sense of appreciating the momentary happiness they have.

Prabhupada: Yes. That is good. [laughter] That is good, yes. "Blessings of adversity." That is blessing.

Yogeshvar: Blessings of...?

Prabhupada: Adversity. Yes. Therefore, according to Vedic system, big, big king, they give up their kingdom and becomes a sannyasi, mendicant, voluntary acceptance of adversity. This is good. To live very comfortably and forget God is not good business.

Devotee: How can a devotee be free from being attracted to this worldliness?

Prabhupada: Eh?

Devotee: How can a devotee be free...?

Prabhupada: When he's attracted by Krishna, he'll forget. Just like we are more or less not attracted by these material features because we have little attraction for Krishna. That's all. So increase your attraction for Krishna; you'll forget all nonsense. Bhaktih pareshanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat [SB 11.2.42]. The bhakti means more realization of God and forgetting this, all this nonsense. That is bhakti. That is the test of bhakti: how much you have become disinterested with this material advancement. That is bhakti, advancement of bhakti. And the... Chaitanya Mahaprabhu therefore says, nishkinchanasya. At last, when you'll feel that "Now I am dispossessed of all this material nonsense," then you make progress. And so long you'll feel "I have got this, I have got that, I am in possession of this, I...," that means your material disease is continuing. When you'll feel that "I do not have anything material," that is the beginning of Bhagavata-dharma.

Devotee: Prabhupada, what is the devotee's greatest enemy? A devotee's greatest enemy?

Prabhupada: He, he himself. Because he's a rascal, he's his greatest enemy. So just get out of this rascaldom, and you become your friend. Nobody is enemy. You are yourself your enemy. Nobody is enemy.


Technology Won't Help Us/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
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