The anartha… In the name of civilization, we have increased so many unwanted things, unnecessarily. This is called anartha. Artha means which is substance. So just like we can give so many examples. When there was no so-called advancement of civilization, people used to eat on utensils made of silver, gold, at least metal. Now they're using plastic. And still, they are proud of advancement of civilization. Actually it is anartha, anartha, unwanted things. At least, two hundred years ago in India, there was no industry. I think I am correct. Yes. But people were so happy. They did not have to go two hundred miles or five hundred miles away from home and for earning livelihood. In Europe and America, I see people are going for earning their livelihood by aeroplane, daily passengers. I've seen. From Vancouver, they were coming to Montreal and other places. Five hundred miles. At least fifty miles, one must go. In New York, many people are coming from distant place, Long Island, crossing the sea, and then again bus, again… Anartha, simply unnecessary.
Canakya Pandita says that "Who is happy?" He says, "The man who does not go out of home, and who is not a debtor he is happy." Very simple thing. Who does not go out of home, and he's not a debtor, he's happy. So now we see everyone is out of home, and everyone is a great debtor. So how you can be happy?
So actually we are creating anarthas. Anarthas means unwanted things.
From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.18 — Vrndavana, October 29, 1972