We should learn what is vidyā and avidyā. Avidyā means this materialistic knowledge. That is avidyā. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung, jaḍa vidyā sab māyāra vaibhava: "Advancement of material knowledge means advancement of māyā's jurisdiction." The more you become implicated in material knowledge, entangled, you..., less you can understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness. People, those who are supposed to be very advanced in material knowledge, they think, "Eh, what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement?" They have no attraction. Just like some of our Indian boys sometimes come. They have come here to learn technology. So sometimes they question. They are surprised that... They have rejected these things, and they have come here to learn technology. So when they see that Swamijī introduced the things which they have rejected in India, so they are surprised.
So I also came for that purpose, because our modern India has rejected spiritual knowledge. They are thinking that if they can imitate Westernized technology, then they will be happy. This is māyā. They do not see that those who are advanced three hundred times more than us in technology, what they have got? They do not see that. India cannot advance in technology like America or Europe at least for three hundred years more, because in these Western countries they have taken this business since a very long time, but Indian culture, beginning from the creation, is spiritual culture. Vyāsadeva... Just see Vyāsadeva. He is the original guru, spiritual master, of Vedic knowledge. How he was living? In a cottage in Badarikāśrama. But just see his knowledge. He has written so many Purāṇas, and Bhāgavata-Purāṇa is one of them. The Vedānta philosophy, Mahābhārata, each and every verse if you study, you can study for the whole life. Similarly, in some book he has written 100,000's of verses, not less than 20,000, 25,000 verses. And each verse is so full of meaning that one has to learn it throughout his whole life. This is Vedic culture. There is no comparison of knowledge, not only in spiritual knowledge, in other department also—in astronomy, in mathematics. It is not that in the olden age there were no aeroplanes. We get so many information from Purāṇas. Their aeroplane was so strong and so, I mean to say, speedy, they could easily reach other planets. Arjuna went to the heavenly planet. So material knowledge, advancement, is not that there was no advancement of material knowledge in the Vedic age. It was there, but they did not take much care of it. They were interested for spiritual knowledge. It is not that material knowledge was not there. It was there. The opulence... That opulence you cannot compare now. Gold, jewels, full—every city, every individual person, and what to speak of kings and rich men. So avidyā and vidyā. So one should know side by side what is vidyā and what is avidyā.
So avidyāya, if we advance in avidyā, or material science, then we have to repeat this birth and death, birth and... And there is no guarantee where I shall get my next birth. That is not in your hand. You cannot dictate. Now you are happy American, but after quitting this body you cannot dictate, "Please give me again an American body." No. That is not possible. You may get an American body, but you may get the American animal's body. Then you are meant for slaughterhouse. So this material knowledge, this nationalism, this socialism, they are simply spoiling time. Real knowledge is the Vedic knowledge and the knowledge of Kṛṣṇa. That is real knowledge. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyante (BG 7.19). Therefore one who is in real knowledge, after many, many births, he comes to Kṛṣṇa and surrenders unto Him, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti: (BG 7.19) "Vasudeva, Kṛṣṇa, You are everything."
So that knowledge we are trying to distribute freely, without any charges. So our mission is very great. You should be conscious of this responsibility. We are giving this supermost thing to the human society. So you try yourself to understand thoroughly and distribute. That will make you very much, I mean to say, dear to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścid me priya-kṛttamaḥ: "Anyone who is preaching this Kṛṣṇa consciousness knowledge, oh, nobody is dearer than him to Me." So if you want to be very dear to Kṛṣṇa quickly, so you preach this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement very nicely.
Thank you very much. (end)