Prabhupāda: British Empire, when there was British Empire, when they were getting money from all over the world, somehow or other they constructed so many big, big buildings. Now they are encouraging not so big, and now it is difficult to maintain it. We can see practically that you have got so nice buildings in London, but it is not being properly maintained. You haven't got sufficient means now to maintain them. Therefore it was..., British Empire was for the time being that prosperity. Now to keep up your prestige you are concerned in so many ways. So anything you do in this material world, that is temporary. So many-Roman Empire, Moghul Empire, British Empire, Hitler Empire—they came and gone. But my real problem is that I am eternal, so what I am doing for my eternal life? That is it. Temporarily I may become very rich or poor, it doesn't matter. But people are being taught, "Oh, you are poor? You become rich." That's all. Just like our India trying to imitate the Western world. But they do not see that in the Western world, in America, in Europe, why these young boys, they are rejecting this materialistic way of life? These boys have come to me because they have rejected, they don't like. Just like you are coming. Why you are surrendering to me? Because you are not satisfied. So our Indians, they do not see that "These men, they have already everything. Why they are rejecting?" All facility. Because this will not give us real happiness. We are spirit soul. We cannot be happy simply by material opulence. That is not possible. This is Vedic civilization: how people will be happy. They can be happy simply by self-realization, spiritual realization, because he is spirit. Material advancement will never make us happy, that's a fact. People have not become happy. In India they say that we neglected this material side therefore. But actually that is not the fact. They have lost their own spiritual culture; therefore they are not... But still, whatever spiritual culture they have got, still they are happier than others, if I make comparative study. In India still in village you'll find a man with practically no income but he has got his happy home, good wife, a cottage, little bread, but he is happy. Here I see they have no home, no family life. Even ordinary necessities of life means eating, sleeping, sex life and defense. They have no fixed-up eating. In America, in the Bowery street, lying down on the street, drinking. So many. Here also in your country. Day and night, in India they are lying, suppose they are poverty stricken, lying on the street. Now why you are lying on the street? When I go to the park I see so many there. Our philosophy is that there is no necessity of wasting time for economic development. Be satisfied whatever Kṛṣṇa has given you. That's all right. Be satisfied according to your position, save time, and be Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the verdict of the śāstra. Because your happiness and distress is already fixed up, according to the body you have got. You cannot change that. You cannot change that.
Indian: Prabhupāda, I may be wrong here, but Lord Kṛṣṇa has given man brain, mind...
Prabhupāda: But misuse it.
Indian: No, if we use it properly.
Prabhupāda: But he does not know. That is... Therefore we call these rascal. Why we are calling these scientists, philosophers, politician rascal? Because they have got brain but they're misusing. Therefore they have been called duṣkṛtinaḥ. You have got brain, you can utilize it for smuggling and you can utilize it also how to understand Kṛṣṇa. The same brain.
Indian: But the development of my economy...
Prabhupāda: Development... If you become miscreants by utilizing your better brain, then what is the use? You are going to hell. This brain has no meaning. Misuser brain. Brain means to understand Kṛṣṇa. That is brain.
Ian Polsen: Yes.
Indian: Perform his duty.
Prabhupāda: He does not know what is his duty. He talks of so many big, big things, duty. But if I ask, "What is your duty?" he cannot explain. So these things will not help. Simply...
Indian: Every man in this world, every being in this world has got a duty, performance, object...
Prabhupāda: But first of all say what is your duty.
Indian: Duty of the soul.
Prabhupāda: Huh? What is your duty? If I ask you, "What is your duty?" what is your answer?
Indian: Lead a good life, develop soul, and ah, be honest, sincere to people, and ah...
Prabhupāda: These are simply words, but you cannot say what is your duty.
Indian: Disciple, all this... (laughter)
Prabhupāda: So, why don't you do that? (laughter) That is duty, yes.
Indian: So we agree.
Prabhupāda: We are teaching that it is your..., this your duty. Our so-called material duties as we have done, "This is my duty," this is called dharma. But Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya: (BG 18.66) "You give up your all nonsense duty." (laughter) Kṛṣṇa says sarva-dharmān parityajya.
Devotee: Give up your duty.
Prabhupāda: Give up your all nonsense duty. Kṛṣṇa says. So your first duty is to give up your nonsense duty. (laughter) That is your first duty. That "You have concocted so many duties, but please give up all these ideas." That is your first duty. Everyone has manufactured his duty. Just like in our country all the leaders, they thought, "This is my duty," and every other country also, "take to politics." Huh? But people did not become happy. Rather, they were so unhappy that a great leader like Gandhi was killed. But he thought, "I am doing my duty." But why he was killed?
Indian: That is inevitable.
Indian: It is inevitable. Someway or other he has to be...
Prabhupāda: But inevitable means... Inevitable, that's all right, but as we are speaking of duty. So Gandhi was working his duty but other man killed him. He thought that "You are not doing your duty."
Devotee: Hm. So who is the judge of what is your duty? What I may think is my duty, someone else may think it's his duty, it's not my duty.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is going on. So what is the duty?
Dhanañjaya: The duty is to serve Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the real duty. But people do not know that. They are manufacturing their duty. A big man like Gandhi, he also manufactured his duty, but he does not know what is his duty. He never preached Kṛṣṇa consciousness; therefore he does not know what is his duty.