Public Lecture about Compassion
Tallinn, Estonia 10/1/2011
by HG Sankarshan Das Adhikari
I have been asked to come here today to speak about compassion. Compassion is what separates a human being from an animal. Compassion means caring. Compassion is universal. A truly compassionate person feels love for all living beings. If you say I love this person, and I hate that person, that is not compassion. If you say I love all human beings, but I do not love the other creatures, that is not compassion. Some people say I really love animals, I love to eat them. But that is not compassion. Lord Buddha appeared in this world to stop cow killing. The animals are our brothers and sisters. Simply because they are not as intelligent as we are, that does not mean that they are our food. A mentally retarded human being also is not as intelligent as we are. Does that mean that we can kill a mentally retarded human being and eat him? Plus we see that those people who kill and eat animals have a cruel nature in them. The animals have feelings just as we do. Do we think that they are just machines? They have feelings for their children just like we have feelings for our children. So how can you kill and eat an animal?
Human life means compassion. If one does not feel compassion, he can not be truly happy. Those who lack compassion abuse other living beings. If you abuse others, that abuse will come back to you. That is called karma. If I take a tennis ball and throw it to on that pillar, it will come bouncing back. So, people wonder why there was an attack on the twin towers in New York City. Thousands of people were killed in the terrorist attack. But every day they are sending thousands of animals to the slaughterhouse to terrorize them. As long as we terrorize the animals, we will be terrorized. If you want to stop terrorism, stop terrorizing the animals. If we can simply shut down all slaughterhouses on this planet, there wonít be any more war. War is a karmic reaction for slaughtering innocent animals. People are so blinded by blood lust. We try to introduce them to a vegetarian diet, and they just laugh. So it is time now that we will develop the quality of compassion, that we understand that there is a quality of divinity in every living being. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna describes what kinds of foods are eatable by the human beings:
patram puspam phalam toyam
He says that if one will offer Me a leaf, flower, fruit or water with love and devotion, I will accept it. If Krishna had wanted us to offer meat, He would have said meat. So the Bhagavad-gita, which is the oldest scripture in the world, mentions a vegetarian diet. It is very interesting to study the Sanskrit language. In Sanskrit the world for meat is mamsa. Every syllable has meaning in the Sanskrit language. Mam means me and sa means he. So meat is literally me, he. Eating meat means, it is me eating he. According to the law of karma, that animal will become a human being in the next life. You become the animal and he will eat you. Therefore we ask all of our friends who are going to eat in Mcdonald's: Are you ready to become a cow in your next life, and be eaten by that very same cow that you ate? Are you ready to take a cow birth, and be pushed in the slaughterhouse to be mercilessly murdered by the butcher, as many times as there are hairs in the cows body? If you are ready to do that, then go onward to Mcdonadl's and enjoy your cheeseburger, but you are going to pay for it very heavily. For thousands of lifetimes you will become a cow and you will be slaughtered and eaten. So close these slaughterhouses.
Do you know that they are cutting down the rainforests to raise cattle for these hamburger chains? A meat eating diet is environmentally insane. If you will feed the grain directly to the people, instead of fattening up the cattle, you can feed ten times as many people. I can show you that we can immediately end the hunger and starvation on this planet. We are demanding immediately close all of these slaughterhouses, right now. If the world leaders, if our leaders on this planet have any compassion, they will immediately close all the slaughterhouses. If they keep these slaughterhouses open, they are proving that they do not have compassion. Let us do something to make a world better place. Let us unite now together and shut down all of these nonsense meat eating activities.
We can take simple vegetarian foods and offer them to God to show our appreciation for this food. By offering that food to God, those foods become spiritual. So, we invite you all to come to our Hare Krishna temple. We have spiritual vegetarian food that you can enjoy. We have the best food. We call it prasadam. Prasadam is a Sanskrit world which means mercy. So eat our compassion food. When you eat this Hare Krishna food, you are eating compassion food. Purify your diet, become happy and letís revolutionize this violent planet with compassion - today. Thank you very much.
Edited by His Grace Jagannatha Dasa