So people have become so much foolish that they do not see the defects of the material . . . materialistic way of life. They think only that the time, the small duration of life, if you can somehow or other gratify our senses, that is perfection of life. This is called ignorance, mūḍhaḥ. That is described in the śāstras: sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13). Go-kharaḥ means animals, like cows and asses. This is not life.
So religious life, dharmasya hy āpavargasya. One should become religious or accept religious principle to stop this pavarga, the different kinds of hard struggle for existence. To stop, that is the purpose of dharma. But generally people execute dharma to get some artha. Dharma artha. Artha means some material profit.
So Sūta Gosvāmī said that dharmasya hy āpavargasya na artaḥ arthāya upakalpate. Arthaya, for some material profit, does not mean . . . of course, if you take the meaning of artha as paramārtha, that is required. But material profit, as it is stated here in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by Sūta Gosvāmī, that to go to the church or to the temple or to become a religious person does not mean that it is meant for improving your material condition.
Generally, people come to us or the temple for āśīrvāda. What is that āśīrvāda? "Now I have got five hundred rupees' income. Please give me āśīrvāda it may become five thousand." So this is not the purpose of dharma. Here it is stated, dharmasya hy āpavargasya na artaḥ arthāya upakalpate.
Then we require artha. Without artha, without money, how we can live? That is also explained here, nārthasya dharmaikāntasya kāmo lābhāya hi smṛtaḥ. You require money, that's all right, but not for sense gratification, not for going to the cinema. Here in Bombay city, people are earning money, lots of money, but we see there are lots of cinema advertised, and people go there—there are hundreds and thousands of cinema house—and spend their money. They're standing for three hours, four hours to take a ticket for going to the cinema.
Therefore actually those who are going to be religious for getting relief from this hard struggle for existence, for them arthasya, you require some artha, money. Nārthasya dharmaikāntasya. If you are actually religious, then your artha should not be spent for sense gratification. Nārthasya dharmaikāntasya kāmo lābhāyo hi smṛtaḥ. Kāmaḥ means sense gratification. It should be properly utilized, if you have got money, that you should be properly utilized, not for sense gratification—wine, women, and hotel and cinema. No. Then by your artha you are going to hell. Artha, everything.
Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, the great politician, he says . . . he was not a . . . he was a religious brahmin, but he was not for salvation—he was more or less politician—still he says, san-nimitte varaṁ tyāge vināśe niyate sati. San-nimit, if you have got some money, it will be spent up. In your life or your next life, your son's life, it will be spent up. Vināśe niyate sati, that is the nature's way. Suppose you earn crores of rupees. It will not stay after one generation, after two generation. It will not stay, because in this material world, Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, is called cañcalā. She does not remain at one place. We have got experience. Today one man is very rich; next generation is no longer rich.
That is also nationwise applicable. Just like we have seen British Empire. While I was in London I was thinking that, "These Britishers brought money from all parts of the world, by business or all other means." I saw in front of St. James Park Lord Clive's statue. Very, very nice buildings, but it is now difficult for them to repair. That opulence has gone. They have lost their empire. No more income, sufficient income.
This is the nature of material world. So many empires were there. There was Roman empire, there was Carthagian empire, there was Moghul empire, there was British empire, and so many empires. They are no longer existing. Sometimes when I pass by the side of the Red Fort, we see the department, the apartments of the great Moghul emperors in Red Fort, they are now lying vacant. So this is the material nature.
Therefore Cāṇakya Paṇḍita advises, san-nimitte varaṁ tyāgo vināśe niyate sati: "If you are actually religious, then don't spoil your money for sense gratification. Use it for sat karyam." Sat karya means for service of Kṛṣṇa. Oṁ tat sat paraṁ brahma. San-nimi. San-nimitte varaṁ tyāgo vināśe niyate sati. That is Vedic civilization. If money comes, you don't hate it. Welcome. But it should be used properly. That is proper use. If you use properly your money, then you make your path parapavarga, clear. And if you misuse your money, then you become again entangled in the 8,400,000's of species of life.