So for spiritual realization this is very important thing, jijñāsā. Jijñāsā means inquiry. One who is not inquisitive, for him there is no progress, either spiritually or materially. In ordinary school also, the boy who inquires from the teacher always, he is considered to be very intelligent boy. Similarly, in our householder life, sometimes, generally, the children, they inquire from the parents: "Father, what is this? Father, what is that?" That boy, that child, is supposed to be very intelligent. This is experienced. So for spiritual life also, one should be very seriously inquisitive and studious.
It is a great science. It is not a bluff, that anybody can manufacture something spiritual. No. It is a great science. One has to study the science from bona fide spiritual master. Study means... It does not mean that one has to be very highly qualified in academic education. Spiritual science does not depend on one's academic education. You'll be surprised to know that my grand-spiritual master, my spiritual master's spiritual master, he was illiterate. And my spiritual master was the learned, greatest learned scholar of his age. Now, how he became the disciple of an illiterate man? So, but that Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja... His name was Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, my spiritual master's spiritual master, my grand-spiritual master. So he was illiterate, but when you asked him some question, some intricate question of spiritual significance, he'll answer you immediately very nicely. That is realization.
Now, how this realization takes place? Not by academic education, but by sincerity. If one is very sincere, that he wants to know what is spiritual science, what is God, what is self, what is Superself, what is this world, what is spiritual world—there are so many questions. Unfortunately, we are not inquisitive. And one who is not inquisitive, for him there is no need of accepting a spiritual master. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is directed, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta: (SB 11.3.21) "One should surrender to a spiritual master." Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ. Who will surrender? Who has become very inquisitive, "What is God?" Take for example, "What is God? What I am?" Now, unless one is very seriously inquisitive about this subject matter, there is no need of spiritual master. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ. Jijñāsuḥ means very inquisitive. And what sort of jijñāsuḥ, inquisitive? There must be some subject matter of inquiry. Just in the market place the businessmen, their inquiry, "What is the rate? What is the price of this thing?" He's interested in purchasing and selling. The Bhāgavata says, "Not that kind of inquisitiveness. Not for any material inquiry." There is no need of asking about any material things which are hackneyed. Jijñāsuḥ śreya. "What is my ultimate goal of life?" That inquiry. Now, everyone knows that "My ultimate goal of life is to accumulate a big bank balance." Generally, we think like that. Or somebody thinks that "If I possess a big skyscraper house and several motorcars, that is ultimate goal of my life." But Bhāgavata says, "Not that kind of inquiries. You do not require to enquire about how to achieve a skyscraper house or several motorcars or very good apartment." Just materialists, as they want. That you may enquire or not enquire. What is destined to you, it will come. It will come. The Bhāgavata says that "Either you enquire..." You go to astrologer, "What is in my fate? Whether I am getting such and such things or not?" You enquire or not enquire, if you are destined to achieve that thing, it will come automatically. Everyone is bound up by the reaction of his past work.
Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. There is another verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Kovidaḥ. Kovidaḥ means very intelligent person. He should work for that purpose. What is that? Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ (SB 1.5.18). Now we have invented so many instruments for flying in the space. Upary adhaḥ means very upward, fifty thousand miles up, and again down, you can travel. But the real goal of your life is not to be achieved in that way. Bhramatām upary adhaḥ. Suppose if you reach the moon planet or sun planet... There are so many planets higher and higher, bigger and bigger. That is not your goal of life. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ (SB 1.5.18). Your goal of life is that which you cannot achieve even by traveling the whole space. What is that? That goal of life is to search out God and your relationship with God. Because you are part and parcel of God, and somehow or other, you have been entrapped by this material atmosphere, and you are not happy. Nobody is happy. If one says that "I am happy," he must be a crazy man or he must be speaking lie. Nobody is happy. How you can be happy? Because we are always full of anxiety. That is our condition. Even if you are sitting here in the classroom of Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, still, I am thinking, "What will happen tomorrow? This business I have got to do." Some anxiety.
So, so long we have got anxiety, there is no question of happiness. And other things... Just like threefold miseries. Miseries means we have got three kinds of miseries: miseries pertaining to the body, pertaining to the mind, and pertaining to other people with whom we have got connection, and pertaining to the nature's disturbance. So there are so many miseries, threefold miseries. Adhyātmika adhibhautika adhidaivika. And besides that, we have got birth, death, old age and disease. So in this... So long we have got this body, there is no question of happiness. If somebody is satisfied that "I am happy," he is cheating himself. Happiness has to be found out. The Bhagavad-gītā says that sukham ātyantikaṁ yat (BG 6.21). If you want supreme happiness, then you have to search out beyond the sense happiness. We are entrapped here in this material world in sense happiness. If our senses are satisfied, we think we are happy. But Bhagavad-gītā says that real happiness is to be searched out beyond the senses, transcendental.
So Bhāgavata also says like that, that you should be inquisitive for the goal of your life. That goal of life—everyone is searching after happiness, but where I can get uninterrupted happiness, eternal happiness, blissful happiness? That you have to search out. That is the direction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. Intelligent persons who search out that kind of happiness, na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ, which cannot be achieved even by traveling or covering the whole space... Then one may question that "If I am engaged in searching out the goal of my life, accepting that spiritual realization is the goal of my life, then what about my living condition? I have to work." So Bhāgavata answers that "You be engaged in your whatever engagement God has ordained to you, and do it honestly. But the gain out of your engagement will automatically come. Don't be very much anxious. You should be anxious to realize yourself." And how it will be achieved, my material needs? The answer is, "As you achieve all these miseries." The miseries are enforced upon us. Nobody desires that such-and-such misery may come upon him. Nobody expects. Just like there is fire brigade always running. Nobody expects that "There may be fire in my apartment or house," but sometimes it takes place, and the fire brigade has to be called for. Similarly, as we do not expect fire but it takes place, similarly, even I do not try for my material happiness, whatever ordained, whatever I am destined to achieve, that will come. That is the answer of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Therefore we should not be wasting our valuable time of human life simply for economic development. We should be inquisitive about "What I am." This is the first inquiry. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is called brahma-jijñāsā. So Nārada Muni is instructing Vyāsadeva that "You have already inquired..." Because he's the spiritual master, he knows how Vyāsadeva inquired and how learned he was, how he studied very seriously. Everything known. Therefore he's asking, jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca brahma: "You have inquired very elaborately about Brahman, and you have studied about the subject matter Brahman, sanātanam, eternal, athāpi śocasi, but still, I see that you are morose. You are not happy." Śocasy ātmānam akṛtārtha iva prabho. Akṛtārtha means "Of this you have done nothing." Just like a foolish man sometimes, in very grave thought that "What is the ultimate goal of my life? I do not know what to do," so "You are thinking like that."