According to Vedic thought, there are four elevating principles, namely religiosity, economic development, sense gratification, and liberation. Persons who are simply interested in material enjoyment make plans to execute prescribed duties. They are interested in the three elevating processes of religious rituals, economic elevation and sense of enjoyment. By developing their economic condition, they can enjoy material life. Materialistic persons, therefore, are interested in those elevating processes, which are called trai-vargika. Trai means “three”; vargika means “elevating processes.” Such materialistic persons are never attracted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Rather, they are antagonistic towards Him.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is here described as hari-medhah, or “He who can deliver one from the cycle of birth and death.” Materialistic persons are never interested in hearing about the marvelous pastimes of the Lord. They think that they are fictions and stories and that the Supreme Godhead is also a man of material nature. They are not fit for advancing in devotional service, or Krishna consciousness. Such materialistic persons are interested in newspaper stories, novels, and imaginary dramas. The factual activities of the Lord, such as Lord Krishna’s acting in the Battle of Kuruksetra, or the activities of the Pandavas, or the Lord’s activities in Vrindavana or Dvaraka, are related in the Bhagavadgita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, which are full of the activities of the Lord. But materialistic persons who engage in elevating their position in the material world are not interested in such activities of the Lord. They may be interested in the activities of a great politician or a great rich man of this world, but they are not interested in the transcendental activities of the Supreme Lord.

Everyone is addicted to hearing of the activities of another person, whether a politician or a rich man or an imaginary character whose activities are created in a novel. There are so many nonsensical literatures, stories, and books of speculative philosophy. Materialistic persons are very interested in reading such literature, but when they are presented with genuine books of knowledge like Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, Vishnu Purana or other scriptures of the world, such as the Bible and Koran, they are not interested. These persons are condemned by the supreme order as much as a hog is condemned. The hog is interested in eating stool. If the hog is offered some nice preparation made of condensed milk or ghee, he won’t like it; he would prefer an obnoxious, bad-smelling stool, which he finds very relishable. Materialistic persons are considered condemned because they are interested in hellish activities and not in transcendental activities. The message of the Lord’s activities is nectar, and besides that message, any information in which we may be interested is actually hellish.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Third Canto, Chapter 32 – Text 18 & 19

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