(Shyamasundara in Vrindavan)
"Now, what is the purpose of religion? In human society, why there is some sort of religion? The animals, they have got no religion. Therefore if human society gives up the process of religion... Doesn't matter what religion he professes. It doesn't matter. If he doesn't care for religion, that society is no better than animals. That is animal society. Because animals, they have got no religion. So human society, if they have no religion... Must have some religion. It doesn't matter whether Christian or Buddhism or Hinduism or anything. A human being must follow. That is civilized. That is the behavior of civilized world. At the present moment they are neglecting. But in every country, either there may be temples or churches or mosque, people were very religious-minded before this age.
I was very much satisfied when I came to New York... no, not only New York. First of all, I went to Pittsburgh, Butler. In that Butler County there were at least one dozen churches, very nice churches. That's a small county. So I was very much satisfied. 'Oh, the American people are very religious. They have got these churches.' And I saw on Sunday people were attending churches. And in New York also I saw. They may understand or not understand, but that religious spirit is there. You are responding to my appeal because you have got that spirit. Otherwise, why should you come and waste your time with me? So religious principle must be there in the human society. And what is the purpose? Why? The religious principle means that this material life is not happy. And we are searching after happiness. So real happiness is not in this world. You take any, I mean to say, messiaḥ. You take Lord Jesus Christ or Buddha or Lord Caitanya or Kṛṣṇa, or anyone you take. Nobody says that 'You make adjustment here and live peacefully.' No. Nobody says. You know that. So religious principle means to know that this is not the place to live happily. This is the principle aim of teaching religion. We are trying to live here, making things nicely adjusted, peace and prosperity. That will never be possible. This is foolishness.
So religion means, religiously trained mind means he will know that 'This is not the place for me. I should (with)draw my attachment for this place, and I must know what is my necessity. I am a spirit soul. I am not this body. Therefore bodily necessities are not all my demands. I must have spiritual necessities also. So all this means that I must give up my attachment for this body and I must develop my spiritual needs.' That is the purpose of religion. So here it is stated that vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ (SB 1.2.7). All these religious principles can be achieved immediately if you place your love unto Kṛṣṇa. Vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ. Bhakti-yogaḥ means devotional... If you try to serve, in devotional service, Kṛṣṇa, then all these principles of religions will automatically come. You will know that 'I am not this body, I am a spirit soul. I have... The material attachment is useless for me. My real business is spiritual advancement of life.' Everything will be clear if you simply execute devotional service of Kṛṣṇa."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, San Francisco, April 1, 1969)