(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada chanting in Tompkins Square Park, 1966)
Prabhupāda: The foolish human society, they do not know that their real profit is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa conscious, the same thing. Durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ. They are trying to be profitable by the external world. They are thinking that "I shall make profit by becoming a very big businessman," just like Ford and Rockefeller and so many. In our country, Birla. No. Durāśayā. That is your, what is called, durāśayā? The hope which is never to be fulfilled. What is called that in English language?
Prabhupāda: No. The hope. Suppose you are hoping something, but will never be fulfilled. What is called?
Devotee (2): Dreams?
Prabhupāda: No. Utopian, yes. That is the exact word. You are thinking something, building castle in the air. So Bhāgavata says durāśayā, utopian theory. He's thinking that "I shall be very great by doing this business or doing, having this education," or this or that. So many things. Everyone has got his own plan. But Bhāgavata says durāśayā, "This is utopian." Why this utopian they have taken? They are so much educated, they are so much wealthy, beautiful, and intelligent. Why durāśayā, utopian? Because bahir-artha-māninaḥ. They have taken their basic platform—the external energy. So what is the fault there? Because external energy is itself temporary. The Māyāvādī philosophy, it is called false, but we say temporary. So what is the profit by temporary achievement? Just like... There are many instances. President Kennedy: with great endeavor he became a president. Temporary. The post is temporary, say five years or four years. But still, people, they exert so much energy. And even if he is president, if there is something wrong in somebody's mind, he is killed. So is it not utopian? His energy should have been utilized for self-realization, "What I am?" But if somebody wastes his energy to capture some utopian post which will be finished at any moment, so is it not utopian?
Therefore Bhāgavata says they do not know their self-interest. Bahir arthaḥ maninaḥ: "Being captivated by the external energy." Na te viduḥ svārtha gatiṁ hi viṣṇum durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ (SB 7.5.31). But why they are so much captivated? Andhā yathāndaiḥ upanīyamānās te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ. Because they follow rascal leaders. Their leadership is andha. Andha means blind. And they are following the blind leadership. They are themselves blind. Why blind? They cannot see future. They do not know what is going to... Because they have no understanding that "I am eternal." This temporary body is only a flash in my life. I've changed so many bodies. Just like in this present existence I have changed my body so many times from my childhood to this old age. Similarly, I am changing my body. So this life, this body is temporary. Durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ. Andhā, and I do not see my future; therefore I am blind. And the leader which is leading me, he is also blind. So a blind man leading other blind men, what is the result? The result is catastrophic. Therefore in spite of so many great leaders, politicians, scientists, educationist, the result is that problematic. The whole world is full of problems. They do not know what is their interest. The interest is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That they do not know. So it is the task of the members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness to preach this. Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore has ordered, yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa upadeśa (CC Madhya 7.128). Whomever you meet, your business is just try to make him convinced of the instructions as given by Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā. That is the best service to the humanity.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Montreal, July 14, 1968)