Srimad Bhagavatam 11.10.21 - Change Conception for Right Perception (download mp3)
by Avatar Lila Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
srutam ca drsta-vad dustam
krsi-vac capi nisphalam
That material happiness of which we hear, such as promotion to heavenly planets for celestial enjoyment, is just like that material happiness we have already experienced. Both are polluted by jealousy, envy, decay and death. Therefore, just as an attempt to raise crops becomes fruitless if there are many problems like crop disease, insect plague or drought, similarly, the attempt to attain material happiness, either on earth or on the heavenly planets, is always fruitless because of innumerable obstacles.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura comments as follows on this verse. “Ordinarily, if there is no specific impediment, agricultural endeavors will yield their fruits. If, however, there is a defect in the seed, or if the soil is too salty or barren, or if there is drought, plague, excessive rain or heat out of season, or if there are disturbances caused by animals, birds or insects, then agricultural activities will not yield the desired harvest. Similarly, those who are expert in analyzing the material world see that the heavenly situations offered in the Vedas are not basically different from life on the earth. By the interaction of conditioned souls there will inevitably be jealousy as one becomes distinguished as superior and another as inferior. By the power of time these positions are reversed, and therefore violence and intrigue disturb life even on the heavenly planets. In fact, the attempt to promote oneself to the heavenly planets is itself full of problems and disturbances. One should therefore understand that the kingdom of God, Vaikuntha, is transcendental to the limitations and disturbances imposed by the laws of material nature in this world. If one wrongly concludes that such imperfections are also present in the kingdom of God, then one will be polluted by material contamination.”