Bhagavad-gita (16.7) says, pravrttim ca nivrttim ca jana na vidur asurah: demons, who are less than human beings but are not called animals, do not know the meaning of pravrtti and nivrtti, work to be done and work not to be done. In the material world, every living entity has a desire to lord it over the material world as much as possible. This is called pravrtti-marga. All the sastras, however, advise nivrttimarga, or release from the materialistic way of life. Apart from the sastras of the Vedic civilization, which is the oldest of the world, other sastras agree on this point. For example, in the Buddhist sastras Lord Buddha advises that one achieve nirvana by giving up the materialistic way of life. In the Bible, which is also sastra, one will find the same advice: one should cease materialistic life and return to the kingdom of God. In any sastra one may examine, especially the Vedic sastra, the same advice is given: one should give up his materialistic life and return to his original, spiritual life. Sankaracarya also propounds the same conclusion. Brahma satyam jagan mithya: this material world or materialistic life is simply illusion, and therefore one should stop his illusory activities and come to the platform of Brahman.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Sixth Canto, Chapter 05 – Text 20

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