“Srila Rupa Gosvami has analyzed the different sources of happiness. He has divided happiness into three categories, which are:
1) happiness derived from material enjoyment
2) happiness derived by identifying oneself with the Supreme Brahman
3) happiness derived from Krishna consciousness.
In the Tantra-Sastra Lord Siva speaks to his wife, Sati, in this way: “My dear wife, a person who has surrendered himself at the lotus feet of Govinda and who has thus developed pure Krishna consciousness can be very easily awarded all the perfections desired by the impersonalists; and beyond this, he can enjoy the happiness achieved by the pure devotees.”
Happiness derived from pure devotional service is the highest because it is eternal. But the happiness derived from material perfection or understanding oneself to be Brahman is inferior because it is temporary. There is no preventing one’s falling down from material happiness, and there is even every chance of falling down from the spiritual happiness derived out of identifying oneself with the impersonal Brahman.
It has been seen that great mayavadi (impersonalist) sannyasis – very highly educated and almost realized souls-may sometimes take to political activities or to social welfare activities. The reason is that they actually do not derive any ultimate transcendental happiness in the impersonal understanding and therefore must come down to the material platform and take to such mundane affairs. There are many instances, especially in India, where these mayavadi sannyasis descend to the material platform again. But a person who is fully in Krishna consciousness will never return to any sort of material platform. However alluring and attracting they may be, he always knows that no material welfare activities can be compared with the spiritual activity of Krishna consciousness.”
Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2011 edition), “The Nector of Devotion”, Page 10 & 11