As an affectionate friend or envious enemy, we have got some relationship. With everyone with this world we have got some. Either it may be affectionate or envy; it doesn’t matter. So in this way we are living forgetting that death is ahead. Therefore we are mudha. Mudha means rascal, ass, who does not know what is actual interest. Just like ass. Ass, the… Mudha means ass. The ass does not know his own interest. We have seen that ass is loaded with three tons of cloth by the washerman, and he cannot go; still, he has to do it. And he does not know that, “I am loading so many tons of cloth on my back, and what interest I have got with it? Not a single cloth belongs to me.” So the ass has no such sense. Ass means he has no such sense. He is thinking, “It is my duty. To load upon me so much clothing, it is my duty.” Why it is duty? Now, “Because the washerman gives you grass.” So he has no sense that “Grass I can get anywhere. Why I have taken this duty?” This is the… Everyone is anxious about his duty. Somebody is politician, somebody is householder, somebody is something else. Because he has taken up some false duty and working hard for it, therefore he is an ass. He is forgetting his real business. Real business is that death will come. It will not avoid me. Everyone says, “As sure as death.” Now, before death, I have to act in such a way that I may have a position in Vaikuntha, in Vrndavana, and I may have permanent life to live with Krsna. This is our real duty.
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Philadelphia, July 12, 1975