Prabhupāda: That is the nature of this material world, that everything deteriorates. Whatever good thing you may prepare, in due course of time, it will deteriorate. That is the nature of material nature, that something is produced which in the beginning it goes on nicely, then gradually it deteriorates. Influence of time, and then vanish. So even in religious movement, if there is materialistic motive, then it will deteriorate. It will not stand.
So beginning of religious life should be without any material motive. Pure devotion means anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ (Brs. 1.1.11), no material motive. Generally, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, people go to the temple and the churches or any religious..., synagogue, with a material motive. Ārto arthārthī. Generally they are in need of money or they are unhappy some way or other, and they go to God, Kṛṣṇa, or according to their religious principle, and pray for material benefit. But that is also accepted as good, because they are approaching Kṛṣṇa, or God.
But that is not pure devotion. If such material motive continues, then he will fall down from that devotional service. Because as soon as his distress is mitigated, he will think that there is no more need of worshiping. Naturally he forgets. Just like rich man. A rich man becomes rich not very easily—with great austerity either in this life or in the past. But when he gets money, he becomes extravagant and again falls down. Similarly, we may go to Kṛṣṇa in times of distress, but as soon as the distress is gone, we forget Kṛṣṇa.
There is a very nice verse in Hindi that,
duḥkha se saba hari bhaje
sukha se bhaje koī
sukha se agar hari bhaje
duḥkha kāthāṅ se haya
Generally people take to devotional service when they are in materially distressed condition. The rich man, they do not care for it. But if a rich man takes care that "I have got this money by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. I must use it for Kṛṣṇa," then he will never be unhappy. He will never be unhappy. Because after all, whatever we get, it is by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (Īśo 1). Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. So by His favor we get opulence, riches, but when we are opulent we forget Kṛṣṇa, because māyā is very strong. Māyā will detect, "Oh, you have got so much money, why don't you enjoy wine and woman?" as it is going on in European and American countries, anyone who gets money, he utilizes it for wine and woman; he has no other engagement. He does not know how to utilize money. Therefore, now the British Empire, we have seen it practically how opulent British Empire was, and now how they are coming down. Recently we have seen in London that people are lying down on bench. So this is the nature. Luxury leads to poverty.
So we should be very much careful. Don't think that "Because I am now initiated, I am chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, now everything is guaranteed. Now I shall do whatever I like." No. Then it will deteriorate. We should not utilize this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement for any material purpose. Then it will fall down. Either the man will fall down or the status will fall down, as it has become in India. Practically they have lost all spiritual interest, although India is the country for spiritual advancement of life.
So either individually, collectively, socially, or politically, if we forget God, Kṛṣṇa, then it is sure to deteriorate. But foolish people, they do not know this. They think that "Our good days will go on like this," as the Britishers thought. I give the example of the Britishers because I have seen in my life how opulent were these Britishers, and I have seen now in London how they are dwindling. Everywhere.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Delhi, November 16, 1971)