By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Here the perfection of life is to get a comfortable life of the body. But that is not possible. However comfortably you may be situated – you may be a very rich man, you may have very rich connection or good apartment – but still, you cannot be happy because you are not this body. But they do not know.
Therefore one should be inquisitiveness that “I want to be happy. I am arranging for my happiness with so many material paraphernalia, but still I am not happy.” This inquiry should be there. That is called jijnāsuh śreya uttamam. And that is brahma-jijnāsā. So brahma-jijnāsā is not for everyone.
And for brahma-jijnāsā, one should make a guru, not for any material welfare. If I get some money, if some guru gives me some money, some gold, I think he is Bhagavān. Because I am attached to this gold and material things. But people like that. If somebody, by miracles, gives you some money, some gold, they think, “Oh, here is God. Here is God, here is God.” But that is not śreyas (the ultimate benefit). And if gold is the standard of happiness, then there are many persons – Birlas and others – they possess huge stock of gold. Does it mean that they will not die? They will not suffer from disease? But foolish persons, they think, “If I get some gold, then I’ll be happy.” And that is foolishness. Nothing material will make you happy. Therefore Krishna says, real happiness means to approach Him. (Krishna says), “By coming to Me, one does not again get this place, which is duhkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15].” Nāpnuvanti mahātmānah duhkhālayam aśāśvatam…
This place is duhkhālayam – a miserable place. Therefore Krishna, who has created this cosmic manifestation, describes this material world as duhkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15], “It is a place of miserable conditions. And that is also aśāśvatam, not permanent.” You cannot make any compromise that “All right, let it be duhkhālayam. I shall stay here.” You cannot stay. You’ll be kicked out. You cannot stay. Therefore it is called aśāśvatam, non-permanent.
But we are seeking after permanent bliss, permanent eternal life. That is our searching out. That is real jijnāsā, “Where I can get eternal life of bliss and knowledge?” That is brahma-jijnāsā. So this life, this human is meant for brahma-jijnāsā.
[An excerpt from a room conversation in Bombay on September 19, 1973]