The goal of life is cultivating spiritual knowledge but the whole world is full of busy fools. From a morning walk with Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
19 October 1975, Johannesburg, South Africa
Indian man: Don’t you think the people in South Africa are lazy also?
Prabhupada: Well, you are the same Indian. Why you are not lazy here? It is the government’s policy or government’s management. You see? To become lazy is the recommendation of the sastra. It is a bad word, “lazy,” but actually life means not to work very hard, that is real life. And to work hard just for eating, sleeping sex and defending, that is animal life, that is not human life. Human life should be very peaceful, without any hard work, and cultivating spiritual knowledge. That is human life, not that, to work hard like hogs and dogs throughout the whole day for find out some stool where it is ( Srila Prabhupada purposely said stool because He knew the perfectly beautiful superiority of love for God, which in comparisson, makes all other happiness and material enjoyment tasteless) That is not human life. So people are being educated to work very hard. That is not human life. Therefore those who have got money, they build nice bungalow in a secluded place to live peacefully, to become lazy. Is it not?
Indian man: Yes.
Prabhupada: Perfection of life means ultimately you become lazy; you haven’t got to work. That is perfection, they say. Otherwise why they get a cottage in a secluded place and live? All these Americans, they go weekend. They leave aside all working, they become tired, hard working, and they go. That is the intention, that you should live peaceful life, not working very hard. That is human life. Huh? Otherwise why they go outside the city at the weekend? Why do they go? Hm?
Indian man: They want rest, I suppose. They want rest.
Prabhupada: So that means lazy.
Indian man: No.
Prabhupada: Yes. Rest means lazy; you don’t work.
Indian man: If one works five days a week, you rest for two…
Prabhupada: That is another thing. You have to work to become lazy. (laughter) That is another thing. But the goal is to become lazy. You work five days very hard just to become lazy for two days. That’s all. So if you have got means to become seven days lazy, you’ll prefer it.
Pushta Krishna: But I think people would… Most people would go crazy if they didn’t have any work.
Prabhupada: No, that means their life is not properly conducted. And therefore the word laziness has come. Laziness is not actually the word. Laziness means minimizing the bodily labor and engaged in spiritual work. If you ask people, “Please come to our temple,” who is coming? Because he says, “I have no time.” But we are not working hard. So real aim of life is to… In German, I think, or somewhere there is classification: “Lazy intelligent, busy intelligent, lazy fool, and busy fool.” So at the present moment (laughs) the whole world is full of busy fools. (Srila Prabhupada is well meaning when He speaks like this) But the first-class man, he is lazy intelligent. Lazy and intelligent, that is first-class man. And second-class man, busy intelligent. And third class means lazy fool and fourth class means busy fool.
Like monkey, he is very busy. You see? And they prefer to be generation of monkey, busy fool. That’s all. Fools, when he is busy, he is simply creating havoc. That’s all. Better… Lazy fool is better than him because he will not create so much harm, but this busy fool will simply create harm. And first class-man is lazy intelligent. He knows the value of life, and soberly he is thinking. Just like all our great saintly persons. They were living in the forest, meditation, tapasya, and writing books. All, you will find, lazy intelligent. They are first-class men.
Indian man : Not like the monkey jumping from one …
Prabhupada: Busy fool, what is the value? He is fool, and he is busy. So nowadays the education is to make busy fool. That’s all.
Indian man : About the busy intelligent?
Prabhupada: The second class.
Indian man: How does he behave?
Prabhupada: Busy intelligent means at least whatever he is doing, there is some meaning, busy intelligent. And lazy intelligent means he is doing higher things. Lazy intelligent means brahmana, and busy intelligent means kshatriya. So the catur-varnyam maya srishtam [Bg. 4.13]. The society should be divided into four classes. The sudras, they are busy fools. Therefore they are to be guided. They are to be guided. If there are, hundred workers are there, then one leader must be there to give the direction: “Why you are doing this? Why you don’t do this?” Otherwise he’ll create havoc. Busy fool. So the whole world is full of busy fools. That’s all.
In the Bhagavad-gita you will find that for brahmana, samo damah satyam saucam titiksha arjavam, jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma sva… [Bg. 18.42]. There is no recommendation that “You work hard day and night.” The brahminical qualification is controlling the senses, controlling the mind, truthful, clean, knows everything nicely, practical application of the knowledge, full faith in sastra and Bhagavan. Jnanam vijnanam astikyam. These things are recommended, not that a brahmana should become very busy whole day and night for getting food. So sastra says, “There is no use of becoming busy for your food. Food is there already.” Food is already there. He’ll get his food. That is arrangement by God. But they are busy fool. They do not understand the God’s arrangement. Only for food they are busy whole day and night like cats and dogs. Now this land is there. You can… Everyone can grow food if he works for two months. Everyone can grow his whole year’s foodstuff. There is so much land. But no, they’ll not grow food. They will grow hammer, manufacturing it. You see? Tire tube, then atom bomb, then this and that. They are busy. They are busy fool. Actually they are fools, and they are very busy. Everyone is busy. There are so many parts in the motorcar, three thousand part, and they are busy in manufacturing three thousand parts of motor parts. So everyone is busy in producing things unwanted. But they have created a society in such a way that they have to do that.
Indian man: Otherwise they think that they not economically progressing.
Indian man : Grains can solve the Worlds economic problems
Prabhupada: Huh? What is that economical progressing? So that means busy fool. Fool, they do not know how to satisfy the economic problem. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gita, annad bhavanti bhutani: [Bg. 3.14] You grow food grains. Then all economic question… But why you are not producing food grains? Why you are producing iron tools and instruments and motor and tire and collecting petrol far away from Arabia? That is… Krishna never says that “You do all this nonsense.” He said, “Grow food grains.” Why don’t you do that? That means fools. After all, you have to eat. So you are not busy in growing your food, but you are busy in producing tire tubes, motor cars and instruments. Then how you will get your food? Where is your economic? First economic is, first necessity, you must eat.