(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada initiating a disciple)
"A Vaiṣṇava... Para-duḥkha-duḥkhī, kṛpāmbudhir yaḥ. Vaiṣṇava is very kind-hearted, merciful, because he feels for others. He feels for others in this sense, that he knows what he is. He sees every living entity as part and parcel of God: 'Now, here is a part and parcel of God. He would have gone back to home, back to Godhead, and danced with Him, and lived very nicely, eternally, blissfully. Now he's rotting here as a hog—or as a human being, or as a king. The same thing. It is for few years only.'
So a devotee therefore tries to take him out of this illusion. Therefore he's called para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. He's actually feeling others' distressed condition. Not these political leaders or social... What they can do? They make their own fortune. That's all. Or what is that fortune? That is also misfortune. If somebody thinks, 'I have got some money. I am very fortunate,' it is, actually it is not fortune. Real fortunate is he who is advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He is fortunate. Otherwise, all are unfortunate. All are unfortunate.
So in this way, one should come to the spiritual understanding, and the symptom is he's not disturbed by the material upheaval. Yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete puruṣaṁ puruṣarṣabha, sama-duḥkha-sukham (BG 2.15). The symptom is sama-duḥkha... Because he knows this is dreaming. Suppose you are dreaming. So either you suffer in the presence of a tiger or you become a king in dream, what is the value? It is the same thing. There is no difference. After all, it is dreaming. Therefore sama-sukha-duḥkha. If I become very happy because I have become a king or some big man, that is also dream. And if I think that 'I am so poor. Oh, I am suffering, I am diseased,' that is also the same thing.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa has in the previous verses said, tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata (BG 2.14): 'Just little practice to tolerate. Do your own business, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.' Yudhyasva mām anusmara (BG 8.7). The, our real business is, as Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65): 'Always think of Me.' So this practice should go on. Never mind I am so-called distressed or happy. Here... In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said,
'dvaite' bhadrābhadra-jñāna saba 'manodharma'
'ei bhāla ei manda' ei saba 'bhrama'
(CC Antya 4.176)
Dvaite, in this dual, the world of duality, here, in this material world, the..., 'This thing is very good, this thing is very bad,' it is simply mental concoction. Everything here is bad; nothing good. So this is our mental creation only, 'This is good, this is bad.' We are doing that. Just like in political field: 'This party is nice. This party's bad.' But any party goes in the power, your condition is the same—the commodities' price are increasing. It has no decreasing, either you change this party or that party. So these are all concoction. If you want really happy, happiness, if you want real goodness, then you try to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That will make you real happy. Otherwise, if you are simply disturbed by this material condition, that is not a very good position.
nāsato vidyate bhāvo
nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ
ubhayor api dṛṣṭo 'ntas
tv anayos tattva-darśibhiḥ
Tattva-darśibhiḥ, those who are, who have seen the Absolute Truth, or those who have realized the Absolute Truth, they have concluded that the matter has no permanent existence and spirit soul has no annihilation. These two things should be understood. Asataḥ. Asataḥ means material. Nāsato vidyate bhāvaḥ. Asataḥ, anything asat... Anything in the material world, that is asat. Asat means will not exist, temporary.
So you cannot expect permanent happiness in temporary world. That is not possible. But they are trying to become happy: so many plan-making commissions, utopian. But actually there is no happiness. So many commission, but there is... Tattva-darśī, they know. Tattva-darśī, one has seen or has realized the Absolute Truth, he knows that in the material world there cannot be any happiness. This conclusion should be made. This is simply phantasmagoria, if you want to become happy in this material world."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Hyderabad, November 21, 1972)