The whole aim of life is to achieve the favor of Viṣṇu

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The whole aim of life is to achieve the favor of Viṣṇu. Oṁ tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padam. That is the Ṛg-Veda mantra. To reach Viṣṇu. But they do not know the goal of life. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇu (SB 7.5.31). They do not know. Anyone, or any society who does not know the aim of life, they are in the darkness.

Actually, at the present moment especially, the whole human society has missed the point. They are trying to be happy by material adjustment. By social adjustment, by political adjustment, by economic development or by religious adjustment, they are trying to make the whole human society happy. But Bhāgavata says, durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ: this is something which is beyond the fulfillment of hopes. This hope will never be fulfilled. Durāśayā. Bahir-artha-māninaḥ. Because they have accepted the external energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, bahir-artha.

Just like this body. Your body, my body, this is bahir-artha, external. Just like my this wrapper, this is external. Real person is not this wrapper or this body. The real person is the soul. But they have no information of the soul, neither information of Viṣṇu, the origin of soul. They are interested with the external body. That is called bahir-artha. Bahi means external; artha means interest. Just like you have seen our . . . in our Bhāgavata, the picture that one lady is taking care of the cage, and the bird within is dying. So bahir-artha-mānī means this, that we are taking care of the body, external body, but not taking care of the soul within. This is the civilization of cows and asses.

Lecture, Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.13, Vrndavana, October 24, 1972



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