(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
"Everyone is suffering who has got this material body. That is the condition. If you have got material body, you must suffer. It is not the question of European, American or white, black. There is no such question. If you are animal or man, as soon as you have got this material body, you must suffer. This is condition. This is material condition. Therefore our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not meant for, I mean to say, mitigating the so-called sufferings of the body. When there is body, there must be suffering. So we should not be very much disturbed by the sufferings of the body. Because you'll have to suffer. Even though you make very nice arrangement. Just like in comparison to Europe and America. In European cities we see so many nice arrangements, living condition, big, big house, big, big road, nice cars. In comparison to India, if some Indian comes from Indian village, he'll see, 'It is heaven, so nice house, so nice building, so nice motorcars.' But do you think you are not suffering? He may think, the rascal may think that 'Here is heaven.' But those who are residing in this heaven, they know what kind of heaven it is. (laughter)
So suffering must be there. Suffering must be there as soon as you get this material body. 'Why suffering? We are enjoying.' What you are enjoying? Is there any guarantee that you'll enjoy?
You have got nice building, nice road, nice car. That's all right. You are enjoying. You are thinking enjoying. But is there any guarantee that you will enjoy? Any moment, you'll be finished. Any moment. So there is no guarantee. That is not enjoyment. Real enjoyment is permanent enjoyment. Just like we construct some house, making the, what is called, foundation very strong. In your country, they make very strong foundation. But what is your foundation, sir? Is it very strong? You can be taken away at any moment. So before making the foundation strong, why don't you make your foundation strong that you shall be able to live here permanently? But that intelligence they haven't got. They'll waste time, making the house foundation very strong, not for himself. His foundation tiltering at any moment, any second. This is called yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātu..., sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13).
So this kind of intelligence, they are called animals. The animal does not know. The dog does not know. The dog will live for six years to ten years, but he is very proud: 'I have got a very nice master. Gow! Gow!' You see? So this kind of intelligence is no good. Therefore it is said here, ātmavit-sammataḥ. This kind of question, approved by persons who are self-realized. Ātmavit, one who knows what he is. Sammataḥ. Sammataḥ means approved. Ātmavit sammataḥ puṁsāṁ śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ. Yaḥ paraḥ. Paraḥ means superior.
We are accustomed to hear so many things, radio and dictaphone and so many things. We are hankering after hearing tape record or this gramophone album, and news from in the newspaper. We are always anxious, very anxious. Big, big news... In your country especially, millions of papers, newspaper, such big, just to hear what is going on in the world. But after seeing one or two pages, you throw it away. Because you are hackneyed. You know that there was political strife, there was fire, there was burglary, there was this, there was this... The same story. Carvita-carvaṇānām, chewing the chewed. No, actually, no pleasure. By... We have seen in your country, and nowadays in our country so many nice news magazines, but they see one or two pages and they throw away. Because there is no pleasure, although I have got hankering to hear so many things. But this kind of hearing will not give me pleasure.
Therefore here it is said, śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ. This, it is not ordinary hearing. This kṛṣṇa-praśna, question about Kṛṣṇa and answer about Kṛṣṇa, this is not ordinary question and answer. It is ātmavit-sammataḥ. Those who are self-realized, they will understand, they will approve of it. Because it is transcendental. śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ. So one can say that 'There are many subject matter for hearing. It may be one of them.' No. It says, he says, Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, 'No, it is paraḥ, transcendental, the most superior kind of question and answer hearing."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Paris, June 9, 1974)