His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.19

Aachen, Germany

9 September 2005

Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
[Gurudeva sings three times and devotees repeat]

So, today we are reading from Srimad Bhagavatam, second Canto, third chapter, text number 19.

sva-vid-varahostra-kharaih
 samstutah purusah pasuh
na yat-karna-pathopeto
 jatu nama gadagrajah

Word for word

sva — a dog; vit-varaha — the village hog who eats stool; ustra — the camel; kharaih — and by the asses; samstutah — perfectly praised; purusah — a person; pasuh — animal; na — never; yat — of him; karna — ear; patha — path; upetah — reached; jatu — at any time; nama — the holy name; gadagrajah — Lord Krsna, the deliverer from all evils.

Translation

Men who are like dogs, hogs, camels and asses
praise those men who never listen to the transcendental pastimes
of Lord Sri Krishna, the deliverer from evils.

Purport

The general mass of people, unless they are trained systematically for a higher standard of life in spiritual values, are no better than animals, and in this verse they have particularly been put on the level of dogs, hogs, camels and asses. Modern university education practically prepares one to acquire a doggish mentality with which to accept the service of a greater master. After finishing a so-called education, the so-called educated persons move like dogs from door to door with applications for some service, and mostly they are driven away, informed of no vacancy.

SDA: They put their diploma in their mouth and they hang it from their teeth. They come in humbly and they say, "Please accept me as your dog” and Prabhupada says their tail is in between their legs. When a dog is very humiliated, he puts his tail down in between his legs instead of up. He said their tail is down in-between their legs. So they come in very humbly and say [in a crying tone] “Will you please accept me as your dog". They say, "No. No vacancy". So he goes to the next one. He just goes begging for a master with his tail between his legs and his diploma hanging from his mouth. That is called modern education. They train you to become a dog. You go begging for a master, "Will you please accept me as your dog? I'll be a nice dog".

[Purport continues] As dogs are negligible animals and serve the master faithfully for bits of bread, a man serves a master faithfully without sufficient rewards.

SDA: They make money like anything off of their employees and they give them a mere tip so they somehow can survive so they don't die. Just barely enough to eat and survive and they exploit you like anything. That is called employee or in Vedic language "dog". Sorry! We have to tell things as they are.

[Purport continues] Persons who have no discrimination in the matter of foodstuff and who eat all sorts of rubbish are compared to hogs. Hogs are very much attached to eating stools.

SDA: We have especially seen in Vrindavana. People pass stool in their house, it comes out in the open. They don't have underground sewage system in Vrindavana, a little ditch running along the side of the road and stool comes out of the house and into the open ditch. And who is there waiting with great delight? [Mimics the grunt of a pig] The hog, he is there waiting in great delight.

VPM: Even in forest when people go they take a stick.

SDA: Yeah. You have to take a stick when passing stool in the forest so the hog doesn't knock you over to get your stool. So we have seen them when they had a full breakfast of stool and their belly is filled up with stool then they lie down in that stool and urine water and take a nap. Ah! This is life!

[Purport continues] So stool is a kind of foodstuff for a particular type of animal. And even stones are eatables for a particular type of animal or bird. But the human being is not meant for eating everything and anything; he is meant to eat grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, sugar, etc. Animal food is not meant for the human being. For chewing solid food, the human being has a particular type of teeth meant for cutting fruits and vegetables. The human being is endowed with two canine teeth as a concession for persons who will eat animal food at any cost. It is known to everyone that one man’s food is another man’s poison. Human beings are expected to accept the remnants of food offered to Lord Sri Krishna, and the Lord accepts foodstuff from the categories of leaves, flowers, fruits, etc. (Bg. 9.26). As prescribed by Vedic scriptures, no animal food is offered to the Lord. Therefore, a human being is meant to eat a particular type of food. He should not imitate the animals to derive so-called vitamin values. Therefore, a person who has no discrimination in regard to eating is compared to a hog.

SDA: Now we are down to the camel. There was even a popular song back in the sixties, “Have you seen the little piggies with their piggy wives”. It was a song about the material society comparing them to the pigs. It is a popular Beatle song actually comparing the materialists to pigs. “Have you seen the little piggies?”

[Purport continues]The camel is a kind of animal that takes pleasure in eating thorns. A person who wants to enjoy family life or the worldly life of so-called enjoyment is compared to the camel. Materialistic life is full of thorns, and so one should live only by the prescribed method of Vedic regulations just to make the best use of a bad bargain. Life in the material world is maintained by sucking one’s own blood. The central point of attraction for material enjoyment is sex life. To enjoy sex life is to suck one’s own blood, and there is not much more to be explained in this connection.

SDA: In other words it takes 40 drops of blood to make one drop of semen. So the man he is thinking, "Ah this feels so nice, I am passing my semen”. But actually it is like taking a knife and slashing your wrist. "Ah, it feels so good to bleed. All this blood is coming out, very good; very, very nice”. So the camel, he chews the thorns and it cuts its tongue. His tongue is bleeding profusely and he is thinking "Hmm. Very nice taste", sucking his own blood. This is compared to sex pleasure. You are simply sucking your own blood.

[Purport continues]The camel also sucks its own blood while chewing thorny twigs. The thorns the camel eats cut the tongue of the camel, and so blood begins to flow within the camel’s mouth. The thorns, mixed with fresh blood, create a taste for the foolish camel, and so he enjoys the thorn-eating business with false pleasure. Similarly, the great business magnates, industrialists who work very hard to earn money by different ways and questionable means, eat the thorny results of their actions mixed with their own blood. Therefore the Bhagavatam has situated these diseased fellows along with the camels.

SDA: Now we are down to the ass.

[Purport continues] The ass is an animal who is celebrated as the greatest fool, even amongst the animals. The ass works very hard and carries burdens of the maximum weight without making profit for itself.*

SDA: There is a footnote here. Let me see if I can find the footnote, a very nice footnote that Prabhupada gives.

*Human life is meant for earning values. This life is called arthadham, or that which can deliver values. And what is the greatest value of human life? It is to return back to Godhead as indicated in the Bhagavad-gita 8.15, "One's selfishness must be aimed at the point of going back to Godhead". The ass does not know his self-interest and works very hard for others only. A person who works very hard for others only forgetting his personal interests available in the human form of life is compared to the ass. In the Brahma Vaivarta Purana it is said

ashitim chaturas chaiva
laksams tan jiva-jatisu
bhramadbhih purusaih prapyam
manusyam janma-paryayat

tad apy abhalatam jatah
tesam atmabhimaninam
varakanam anasritya
govinda-carana-dvayam

The human life is so important that even the demigods in the higher planets sometimes aspire for a human body on this earth because in the human body only can one easily go back to Godhead. In spite of having obtained such an important body if one does not re-establish his lost eternal relationship with Govinda, Lord Krishna he is certainly a fool who has forgotten his real self-interest. This human form of material body is obtained by a gradual process of evolution to one body after another in the cycle of 8,400,000 varieties of life. And the poor man, forgetting this importance for his own interest, involves himself in so many illusory engagements for uplifting the position of others as a leader of political emancipation and economic development. There is no harm in trying for political emancipation or economic development, but one should not forget the real aim of life: all such philanthropic activities must be dovetailed to returning to Godhead. One who does not know this is compared to the ass who works only for others, without their or his own welfare in mind". [End of footnote]

[Purport continues] The ass is generally engaged by the washerman, whose social position is not very respectable. And the special qualification of the ass is that it is very much accustomed to being kicked by the opposite sex. When the ass begs for sexual intercourse, he is kicked by the fair sex, yet he still follows the female for such sexual pleasure. A henpecked man is compared, therefore, to the ass.

SDA: The little donkey, he struggles like anything carrying this huge burden of laundry on his back. His back is like caving in like this. It is a huge burden. And the washerman is pressuring him back and forth between the village and river to do all the laundry. He is thinking “if I don't carry this heavy burden I will starve”. On the way there is so much grass growing on both sides of the road. There is grass everywhere and this foolish ass thinks “I have to serve the master or I will starve”. And after a whole day of struggling, struggling, struggling he gets back to the stable and he wants to enjoy his sex life with a she-ass. As soon as he tries to mount her for sex, she kicks him in the face and his face is bleeding. But still he wants to try to enjoy in this way. So this is called the life of an ass.

[Purport continues] The general mass of people work very hard, especially in the Age of Kali. In this age the human being is actually engaged in the work of an ass, carrying heavy burdens and driving thela and rickshaws.

SDA: We have seen this in India. These huge heavy carts and some man would be just struggling, physically working like an ass, and carrying a huge burden of weight, pulling this cart with no help, no animal, no motor, just his own physical strength struggling in a horrible hellish polluted crazy, mad atmosphere so abusive. In India we see this thing. It is horrifying to see a human being reduced to such a level. But that is the position in Kali yuga.

[Purport continues]The so-called advancement of human civilization has engaged a human being in the work of an ass. The laborers in great factories and workshops are also engaged in such burdensome work, and after working hard during the day, the poor laborer has to be again kicked by the fair sex, not only for sex enjoyment but also for so many household affairs.

So Srimad-Bhagavatam’s categorization of the common man without any spiritual enlightenment into the society of dogs, hogs, camels and asses is not at all an exaggeration. The leaders of such ignorant masses of people may feel very proud of being adored by such a number of dogs and hogs, but that is not very flattering. The Bhagavatam openly declares that although a person may be a great leader of such dogs and hogs disguised as men. If he has no taste for being enlightened in the science of Krishna, such a leader is also an animal and nothing more. He may be designated as a powerful, strong animal, or a big animal, but in the estimation of Srimad-Bhagavatam he is never given a place in the category of man, on account of his atheistic temperament. Or in other words, such godless leaders of dogs and hog like men are bigger animals with the qualities of animals in greater proportion. [End of Purport]

om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

SDA: So, Prabhupada when lecturing on this verse, he said, "When the dogs, hogs camels and asses vote for one leader who will they elect?" He says, "Another pashu, another animal". Pashu means animal. These so called human beings, they are not interested to hear about Krishna. Bhagavatam says they are simply dogs, hogs, camels and asses. So, the dogs, hogs, camels and asses get together and vote, who they will elect? Another dog, another hog. And we have seen in America, the Democratic Party, the symbol for their party is an ass, a donkey, a mule! That is the symbol for their party. It is actually their party symbol. The mascot for their party is an ass. [Laughter from the audience]. And for the Republicans, the elephant, the elephant is known for having no brain. He has a big huge body. He has no brain.

VPM: It is big and auspicious. It is pious.

SDA: Well, that is another matter but the elephant is known for having no brain. He can be captured when they use the she elephant as a decoy. They can capture a male elephant by a trained she elephant and luring the male elephant into a trap and they can capture him. In this way we have to understand what is the position in the modern day society. We are living in a society which is nothing more than a society of dogs, hogs, camels and asses. Really that is all it is. So what is our mission in this Krishna conscious movement?

Our mission is to turn the dogs, hogs, camels and asses into human beings. That is our mission. So the first step is we have to become human being. We have to take up the sadhana bhakti process as given by our acharyas, by the goswamis. Follow the system. It is a standard system which is given in full detail in the ‘Nectar of Devotion’. So nice system, we take shelter of a spiritual master, we follow the teachings of the great sadhus, and we follow the scriptures. These are the three things Guru, sadhus and shastra. We have Guru, we take shelter of the society of devotees and we study the scriptures. We have Guru, sadhu, shastra. Those three things are there. If we take shelter of these three things then we become solidly situated on the platform as human beings. Human life begins actually when we inquire "Why am I suffering?” That is human life beginning. As long as I am thinking “I am enjoying, I am working and making some money, I am fairly well in the office politics so I am happy”. But that is not human life. One who does not cultivate knowledge of “who am I?” and “who is the Supreme Self?” they are committing suicide actually. “They are drinking poison knowingly”, Narottama said. Having obtained this rare human form if one does not utilize it to reestablish one's lost loving relationship with Krishna then they are committing suicide actually. So I give you one cup of poison and I say, "Here, you drink this cup of poison". Would you like to drink some poison?

Devotee: Of course not.

SDA: Yeah. That is what we are doing in our modern society. The leaders are giving us poison.

Devotee: Sometimes I am forced to drink poison.

VPM: Sometimes he is forced.

SDA: Ah! Sometimes we have seen Prahlada was also forced to drink poison but he offered that poison to Krishna and it didn't affect him. So if one can follow the pathway of Prahlada and dovetail everything even if you are forced to drink poison, if you can dovetail that with Krishna you will never be affected.

mayadhyaksena prakrtih
suyate sa-caracaram
hetunanena kaunteya
jagad viparivartate

If we can simply always take shelter of Krishna in this material nature,

daivi hy esa guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te

This material nature is very, very difficult to overcome but for one who takes shelter of Krishna, who surrenders to Krishna, it is easily overcome.

So whatever situation we may be placed in by this material nature, in every step if we can take complete shelter of Krishna then that poison will not poison us. Actually even to have to take care of the material body is a poisonous situation. But as Prabhupada always says, "If we make the best use of a bad bargain then we will not be polluted”. It is a fact that we are forced just for bodily maintenance to do so many things which poison us. Just like reporting to work on Monday morning. It is poisonous. It is a poisonous atmosphere like we go in there and swim with the sharks. Get in there and be one of them apparently. But if that is all done in Krishna's service, then we are not polluted. That is the key we have to dovetail everything with Krishna's service. But the fact is, for one who is advanced in Krishna consciousness, that person sees Krishna within everything and everything within Krishna. Just imagine going to Erikson Corporation. When you go, you don't see Erikson Corporation, you actually see the energy of Krishna. This Erikson Corporation is emanating from Krishna. And you see Krishna within every atom and molecule of the corporation. Within the carpet there is Krishna, within the chairs there is Krishna, within the workers there is Krishna, within the managers there is Krishna, within the stockholders there is Krishna, within the computer systems, and all the projects, you can see Krishna. You can extract Krishna from all the projects. There is Krishna within this project.

bhumir apo nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakritir astadha

You can see actually Krishna is within everything. Krishna says, "Everything rests upon Me as pearls are strung upon a thread”. You can see actually there is a thread called Krishna that is running through Erikson Corporation and holding it together. If we pull the thread out from that string of pearls, they will just fall out on the floor. So actually Krishna is holding that corporation together, a place where you work or even like the German government, another level. The German government is being held together by Krishna. If you take Krishna out "Pshhht" the pearls will just fall all over the floor scattered, mayhem! And Krishna can do that sometimes. Just like what happened in New Orleans. It was a thriving city and all of a sudden within two days, now they are evacuating the whole city. It is just a dead city. And who knows when and how it will be revived? A huge major city of the world reduced to nothing. It can happen anywhere to any city. Krishna is that string that is holding everything together and if He wants He can pull the plug and in any situation and completely dismantle it, within a minute. So Krishna is holding that corporation together, so utilize that. Krishna consciousness requires Vidyam cavidyam ca yas tad vedobhayam saha (Sri Isopanisad mantra-11) A track has two rails, material and spiritual rail, running side by side. Of course, the spiritual rail is more important because the material rail is simply the energy of the spiritual rail. The material rail is inferior and the spiritual rail is superior. There are such things as monorail trains but most trains are not monorail. There are some very rare personalities who live without any material maintenance. But that is only for someone..., even Prabhupada took prasadam. Even though he was a pure devotee he still took prasadam, he took rest, he took care of the body. So bodily needs are there, they are the inferior rail but the rail has to be taken care of. But the Isopanishad says that both have to be taken care of, Vidya and avidya both have to be taken care of nicely and by doing that then you will achieve the full blessings of immortality. So we take care of that material side in the mood of Krishna's service, seeing this as energy of Krishna. “Let me maintain it in such a way that it will be pleasing to Krishna”. So in this way even our ordinary worldly activities we dovetail them with Krishna's service. They are helping to maintain you and you are engaging them in Krishna's service. Of course they are in the mood of exploiting you. But still you are taking some portion of earnings of that corporation and engaging in Krishna's service and being Krishna conscious. Prabhupada told us in Vrindavana that if you simply keep yourselves as neat and clean, nice Vaisnavas, then when they offer you respect they will make advancement. So just by being respected, just by being a nice person in your job, the people will like you and by liking you and respecting you they unknowingly are making spiritual progress. So in this way you can use that situation to benefit the people and to help yourself be Krishna conscious. If you had no money and just scrounging through the garbage can and no place to live, you are sleeping every night on the sidewalk, it will be difficult for you to peacefully chant Hare Krishna and to study Prabhupada's books and offer arati. So you are taking some austerity to earn your livelihood in a corporate situation for the sake of serving Krishna, for a transcendental purpose. So it is not mundane, not at all mundane. But for everyone else it is. But for you it is not a mundane thing. So you can be as Christ says, "Be in the world but not of the world". The devotee can be completely immersed in the material society. Prabhupada even said, “A Krishna conscious businessman can aspire to be the wealthiest businessman in the world.” Because then he can just think of the service, if you become more wealthy than Bill Gates you can be a banker for all of ISKCON. Then we will expand it even more. We want that there is ISKCON center in every town and village throughout the whole world. That was predicted.

prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama

“In as many towns and villages there are throughout this entire world this Krishna consciousness movement will be spread”. Caitanya Mahaprabhu predicted.

Everything can be used, whatever talent, whatever ability you have, use that for Krishna and then your life will be successful and this movement will spread.

Devotee: I have read so many articles of Prabhupada and Prabhupada said that “Bhima sometimes ate meat”. Meat is categorized in Vedic culture as tamasic. [Aside: child crying loudly].

SDA: Shut the door. So the question is about Bhima sometimes eating meat. So one may think, "Well, Bhima ate meat so I can also eat meat".

Devotee: Yes. [not clear]

SDA: Yes. If you become a great devotee like Bhima then maybe you can eat meat. First you do what Bhima did and then talk about imitating Bhima. First you become a great devotee like Bhima. Liberated souls, I don't know whether he did it or not but eternally great liberated souls, they can do things that you may not be able to do, just like when you are sick, the doctor puts you on restricted diet. The sick man, he cannot eat anything and everything. He has to follow restricted diet. If you are sick, the doctor may put you on a restricted diet. So you are now caught up in the cycle of birth and death, so you have to follow strict rules and regulations if you want to get healthy. Bhima is a liberated soul. Why do you want to imitate someone who is a liberated soul when you are conditioned? You are in a conditioned state. You have to do what is necessary. The doctor has given you to get healthy again. So don't think that you can eat meat imitating Bhima. Do you think you can eat meat imitating Bhima?

Devotee: No.

SDA: Very good. Questions more?

Devotee: I have read in Srila Prabhupada's book where he writes about perfect society. How we can all live together perfectly. He writes that we should be the teachers.

SDA: We should what?

Devotee: We should be the teachers.

SDA: Listening?

Devotees: Teachers.

SDA: Listening to the teachers?

Devotee: We should be the teachers.

SDA: Oh. Be the teachers.

Devotee: The other people will work on the land, grow the grains and make the food. I seem to remember that he said that they are allowed to eat meat because they are working.

SDA: No. The agricultural class is not allowed to eat meat. The ksatriya class, they are the only ones allowed to eat meat. They are killing the animals. In fact they are going to the forest to rid the forest of dangerous animals and also they practice for killing. They are sometimes given a facility for meat eating. But there is no facility for slaughterhouse. And the low class, the muchi [unclean] class like the cobblers who make the shoes, they are allowed to eat the meat of the animals that died naturally. But there is no facility in Vedic culture in any level for a slaughterhouse. No facility whatsoever for a slaughterhouse. Like the modern day society is running on the principle of slaughterhouse. There is no such thing as slaughterhouse.

Devotee: Regarding this example dogs, hogs, camels and asses and we are in the middle of such society and it is very difficult to be free from such mentalities. How we can do in a better way?

SDA: Hmmm. You have to be in the mood of a spiritual revolutionary. That is the easy way out. You either buy into the mentality or you oppose it.

VPM: Or you can be like a lotus leaf.

SDA: That is difficult. It is the "I will be transcendental". I agree with that. But I'll tell you that is difficult to do. It is difficult to just say “I will be transcendental”. It is difficult. It is much easier to be transcendental if you are in the mood of a spiritual revolutionary that I want to transform this thing. Prabhupada taught us to be in that mood, the revolutionary mood of transforming the world. Not that I would be just aloof and be transcendental to it. Prabhupada taught us to be in the mood of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

yare dekha tare kaha krsna upadesa,
amara ajnaya guru hana tara ei desa

“Whoever you meet, you instruct them in the teachings about Krishna.
In this way you become Guru and deliver the people.”

That is a much easier way to be transcendental than to just say "Ok. I would just be aloof and transcendental". Be in the mood "No. I have to reform this thing". I have to do everything I can do with my every thought, every word, and every deed to bring about the transformation of global consciousness. The easiest way is to think “What can I do?”. Just like today our devotees are going on Harinama, this is the spirit. Take the Holy Name out. Let's be instruments for the acharyas to transform the atmosphere of the planet. Then you are always in the mood of that activity of revolutionizing the world. Then it is much easier to be transcendental, rather than to just say "Ok I would just be transcendental".

Devotee: My point is very similar to Ramachandra's. That is why I find it is funny that he asked nearly the same question in a different way because this spiritual revolution to spread is only possible if the bhakti lata is strong and big enough we have the responsibility to protect the bhakti lata. But when we have so much bad association and to contact it becomes very painful. This is also my point. I like the example very much when you said first we have to see Krishna everywhere, in the computer, in the concepts, in the building. This is very nice but to get a steady intelligence and steady peace in the heart to go ahead with this point of view, it takes a lot of time.

SDA: Three things are there. You have to be solidly situated with Guru. Prabhupada says that without Guru, without initiation there is no connection with Krishna. Prabhupada says that in the ‘Nectar of Devotion’. It is very important to have a strong relationship with the spiritual master. Guru-disciple relationship, the sadhus, the ISKCON devotees who are solidly plugged in to the ISKCON movement and to be dedicated to the ISKCON mission and then shastra, Prabhupada's books stresses those three things. That’s what will strengthen you and empower you. You develop a strong relationship with the spiritual master. There are many siksha gurus but you should be gravitating to find one particular devotee within IKSCON that you can have as your Guru, your initiating spiritual master. You should be looking for such a person. You can have a strong relationship where you are totally surrendered to that person. He is your authority and that is it. You need such a strong relationship on one hand and then solidly connected with ISKCON, and working cooperatively as a member of Prabhupada's spiritual family ISKCON. And then Prabhupada's books, to be studying the books, know the books, live the books, and breathe the books, everything with Prabhupada's books. Always be thinking how I can distribute them, always be trying to increase your understanding, always trying to increase your appreciation. Those three things, Guru, sadhus and shastra, if those three things are very solid in your life then that will give you a very solid position. Then you will be able to handle the material energy and not be overwhelmed by it. Those three things. That is the answer, Guru, sadhus and shastra. Increase the intensity of your relationship with those three things. Become very, very intensely, tightly wrapped up with Guru, sadhus and shastra. That will protect you from material nature.

VPM: But for that you have to revolutionize yourself first.

Devotee: Yes.

SDA: To do what?

VPM: To revolutionize oneself first, then the answer will...

SDA: That is right.

VPM: That is what I was thinking when I was talking about the lotus leaf.

SDA: That comes back to your answer. Your answer was correct, but I was emphasizing another aspect. It really ultimately does come back, as mataji is pointing out, that we have to become like a lotus because only then can we have any impact to revolutionize the world anyway. We become lotus-like by taking shelter of Guru, sadhus and shastra, those three things.

Devotee: One more question. When we take Krishna consciousness, Prabhupada wrote in the scriptures that it is also written in the scriptures that we have to follow the Vedic way of life like self-producing organic vegetables, grains and be self-sufficient.

SDA: Yes.

Devotee: Especially here in modern society, yesterday I was talking to one of my office colleagues, I was telling him that “I would like to be here for a longer term. I would like to go back to Nepal or India and have some cows and grow some vegetables.

SDA: Yes. Yes.

Devotee: Make some namahatta program. He was telling me “I cannot dream about these things because here the land costs so expensive. To organize the farming is practically impossible for me”. He was telling. I said “fortunately my parents, they have some lands and I can use these lands in Krishna's service”.

SDA: Your parents?

Devotee: Yes. But there is similar problem even with me, for so many years I am fighting myself that, 'To live in my profession is very hectic which does not give me so much peace. But I would like to go somewhere first and have natural way of life and live under the instruction of Srila Prabhupada and Vedic instructions.' Nowadays, for example here you cannot buy the normal natural vegetables even. They all are with different chemicals and conserving things. It is very difficult to have basic natural vegetables just to give you an example. There are so many artificial things. Does it mean that devotees should live with such a situation and try to implement the more natural way of life?

SDA: Prabhupada wanted both actually. He wanted us to develop that natural living. He wanted very much that our society should do that. He established various communities which did not really manifest what Prabhupada wanted. He wanted that model to be established. That is a fact. So on one hand we have devotees who are living off of the modern society and preaching to educate the general mass but he also wanted the devotees to be living off the land, to reestablishing the Vedic economic system and the Vedic culture and everything. Prabhupada definitely wants that. If you can do that you will be a great revolutionary within ISKCON. Because how many devotees will be able to do that? In America the devotee who is in charge of the ox and cow protection ministry, he works as a security guard, the last I heard. He takes care of the cows and then he goes and works as the security guard to support his hobby. Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu gave a brilliant lecture on this in Dallas earlier this year. He said right now in our society cow protection is an expensive hobby. We just came from Simhachala. They have one cow and one bull and they don't give any milk. They get some milk from a neighbor's cow. There is no cow protection program there and when these cows are gone, that might be it and they might not get any back. Actually, cows are meant to be the whole basis for the economy. And even having children is part of the economic system. Because you will be on the farm and you would have lots of children and children would go out and work in the fields and help with the harvest. Nowadays people are trying to have as few children as possible because it is very expensive to have children. Children are economically detrimental in the modern society. Of course, in the Vedic culture you had as many kids as possible because they can go out and work the land, farm workers. If you had 12 kids and when it comes to harvest time, you have the whole family, a big crew to harvest the crops.

Devotee: We used to do like that.

SDA: Yes. So the whole thing is completely distorted now. Cow protection has become an expensive hobby, that’s all. We have to do it because it is our duty and it costs a lot of money. Places that have a big cow protection like New Talavana get donations from people in the city to support the cows. It is just the opposite, the cows are supposed to be the whole basis of the economic success. Cows are becoming economically detrimental and we have to do it as a duty, working in the factory and giving a portion of our factory income to take care of the cows on the land. But actually it is supposed to be the other way around. We are supposed to depend on the land and cows for our sustenance. So we have a long way to go to actually establish Prabhupada's movement the way he wanted it done. We have a long way to go and if you can do that and establish an ideal agrarian based village.

VPM: But also it cannot be your hobby. When you are discharging Prabhupada's mission on the mental platform in a place that you cannot afford it, just like in the winter here there will not be any grass and you will have to buy the hay. It has to be agricultural land. It has to be done in a place where the cows can naturally graze.

SDA: It makes it easier then, in a part of the world where it is easier to do it, like in Mayapura.

VPM: Like in Mayapura or southern part of Texas. But then it is very dry also. It can be done in Mexico and places like that. Where there are no cold winters, there is rain and there are forests. Cows can naturally graze, and then it can be done.

SDA: Yes, it is easier to go and stroll off in some part of the world where the weather is more conducive. Actually formally the weather was more conducive but because of sinful activities the weather has become not conducive all over the world.

Devotee: These things are gradual. I myself was born in a village and my parents had farms. At that time I was working very hard in the fields and at that time I never wanted to work in the field. I had to always look after the cows. I had a two months holiday every year from the school and two months completely from early morning until the evening I had to look after the cows. And we had twenty cows.

VPM: Because your parents felt that this was not the right thing they send you to college. [Laughs]

Devotee: Because it is hard task. Especially nowadays the weather is not so favorable even the farms they are not able to produce the things and due to the environmental destruction there are so many insects which just eat the food. The ecosystem does not work properly. It is difficult and all people from the village they are coming to the cities. I have heard that Mahatma Gandhi wanted to develop some project that people remain in village.

SDA: Gandhi's followers completely reversed it. Nehru he wanted to industrialize India. He completely reversed. He was not actually a follower of Gandhi. Gandhi lost everything. He got the British out of India but India was devastated. After Gandhi in fact some villagers they said after independence if we vote for the British will they come back? Because they found India was better managed under the British than it was under the Indian.

Devotee: They should.

SDA: Even though the British were exploiting in many ways, things just got deteriorated even more after independence.

VPM: After independence they were too many riots between the Hindus and Muslims.

SDA: Same thing happened in Fiji. When the British were ruling Fiji some Indians said, “Can you give us independence?” They said, “Ok” and there was this whole conflict between the Indians and the Fijians and there is no peace ever since. After independence in Fiji, there is this constant fear.

Devotee: Same thing in Africa.

VPM: Everywhere, wherever the British were ruling, in Guyana and other places, Mauritius.

SDA: Real solution is to bring Krishna consciousness in every country and every culture of the world. And your idea that if you can go back to the land and establish an agrarian-based economy in your area then that is very good. I know one American man he was very successful in making money in America. He had a large family, maybe they had about eight children, big family. He said he realized that there is no way to make it in America even to buy a toy.

VPM: Yes. He went to India.

SDA: Just when your child wants a toy, to buy one nice toy in America is very expensive. He went back to India and he and his wife settled in India, in Gujarat. He started one business with organic cheese business. He struggled. Everybody was cheating him because he did not know the economic ways and he struggled and finally he learned how to deal in India without being cheated by everyone who dealt with him and now he is successfully doing a cheese business in some small Gujarati village. Marketing cheese and putting it in stores. He relocated to India so that it would be a more simple life for his children and they can grow up in a more spiritual atmosphere.

Devotee: Yes. Especially it is good there for children and very dangerous here.

SDA: Yes. Children growing up in this culture, it is murder. One thing in America, you can do home schooling. You don't have to send them to public schools. You can raise them and educate them at home. I don't know about Europe but in America that is legal. You can keep them at home and educate them. That was done when two of our devotees, Ananta Rupa Prabhu and his wife, they raised two boys, Ravi and I forget the other one's name. But this Ravi Gupta he was raised at home, he never went to public school. And he was so well learned that he went to the university at age thirteen. He was making top grades and he went on to medical school by the time he was like 16 or 17 perhaps. He was in medical school.

VPM: The younger brother at the age of 11 he went too.

SDA: The younger brother at the age of 11 he went to the university. We see the advantage. They are from Rajasthan. The parents are Rajasthanis, Indians. They are Rajasthanis.

VPM: They are devotees also.

SDA: Yes. They are ISKCON devotees. They run our center at Boise, Idaho. So they kept their boys at home. The father was working at Hewlett Packard. The mother was staying at home and home schooling the boys. They became big brains. Actually the young boy Ravi he was writing a column for the material newspaper ‘Boise Sun’ or whatever it was called. He was writing a column and it was being published by the local newspaper. He was recognized as a great scholar by even the materialists in the city where he was living.

VPM: I have heard in the congregation also that they are home schooling the children and they are bright.

SDA: So we should take advantage of every possible facility to protect our children from this material society. The parents may think “We would like to get extra income” so both parents work and they put them in daycare until they are old enough to go to school. If you have a child then you have to think more of the child's need than your making money. The first thing when you bring a child into this world, your first duty is to liberate that child from the cycle of birth and death. Even if you have to struggle financially, it is alright. The first duty is to deliver the children from birth and death. Make sure they become pure devotees.

So we are very, very happy to be here with such nice Krishna conscious people. This is like an oasis in a desert. We went through this vast desert called Germany, for 800 Kilometers yesterday. Kilometer after kilometer after kilometer, we would get out at these rest stops and I was thinking “I feel like a stranger in this strange land”. I asked mataji, "What do you think of Germany"? She said, “This is like everywhere else". And I was thinking that “Yes. This whole material world is like a very weird place”. This whole material world is a very strange and very weird place. As Bhakti Siddhanta used to say, "It is no place for a gentleman, this whole material world.”

VPM: Germany is a little more advanced also. We have to pay 50c for going to the urinal. [Laughs]

SDA: You have to pay money to pass urine in this country. Every time you have to pass urine you have to pay money.

Devotee: We have this different activity in our office. They make this group event. Every week the group of people they organize some group event and go outside to do some nonsense things.

VPM: Party.

Devotee: Yes. Most of the time they go to play in the go karting, bowling, I never go. In the 4 years I was working, I was never there. And my manager came, "You are never there, at least once you should go there".

SDA: To go at least once.

Devotee: You should go. He was pushing me several times. They are going sometimes to eat in restaurant and drink alcohol. I said “Ok. I will take part”. Once I was in this bowling. They all were drinking and smoking and they are exhausted with heat and they laugh there. They have to pay money every time.

VPM: Did you explain it to your manager?

Devotee: He Knows. He is an Indian actually. But he is so ignorant. He doesn't understand. They don't want to understand. For them it is a way of life. I was trying to convince him but he doesn't accept. They give money and drink some alcohol.

SDA: In this way they completely spoil their human life. Earn money and spend on nonsense.

Devotee: When we were in the village, I never had toys. My parents didn't. No children used to ever have toys. They had something natural, we used to make ourselves and play with it, we never payed money to play some games. When I was young I heard that in cities you have to buy the water. I was wondering how is it possible everywhere there is water, you have rivers, wells, everywhere you get water.

SDA: Just wait until the day, now people are buying air to breathe. Do you know that?

Devotee: Yes. I have heard that. That would be the last thing.

SDA: Now they are paying money to buy air to breathe.

VPM: It is already happening.

SDA: It is already happening.

Devotee: They say in Japan... I heard that.

SDA: Even in Los Angeles they are doing now. People are now paying money for breathing also.

VPM: Technology has advanced so much now that we can't breathe air naturally.

SDA: You can buy little tubes, a little canister for breathing. No one ever drink bottled water, now bottled air is also coming in.

Devotee: I have seen this for the past 5 years, during rush hour, the oxygen bars are open. You can go there because the air outside is so polluted you can go to the oxygen bar and buy some liters of pure oxygen. [Laughs]

SDA: They have one place where they put your whole body inside this tube and they close it on you. You lay down and they put this whole thing over your body and you can breathe.

Devotee: That is very famous in Germany as well. There is this box and you lay down just to make the skin brown.

VPM: No no. That is different.

SDA: Tanning, yes. That is tanning.

VPM: This is breathing. This is oxygen.

SDA: It is there also. You can lie down and get some air for breathing.

VPM: For 40 minutes or so you just breathe.

SDA: It is called dungeon of the demons.

VPM: It is advancement.

SDA: Yes, they call it advancement. We call it dungeons of the demons.

VPM: For living a long life.

SDA: So we want to make one revolution now in our Krishna conscious movement. We want to transform the whole world. That is our goal. We want to work together. There are so many revolutions in history. So we also want to make one revolution but a peaceful revolution, not one of violence. One of educating the people so that the people will... we want to educate everyone not to vote for someone unless they are Krishna conscious. We want to educate the general population. So unless someone is ISKCON member they will not be elected to office. If you want to be elected you have to be a certified ISKCON member, bona fide follower of ISKCON then you will get my vote, otherwise forget it.

VPM: Someone should revolt for it.

SDA: Actually it is already a little bit like that in Alachua, Florida where we have a huge community of devotees. It is the largest devotee community in the world. It is a small town. So the local politician when they run for office they come to the temple and set up a table at the Sunday program to win the Hare Krishna vote.

VPM: They do that.

SDA: Because if you want to get elected in Alachua, Florida you have to definitely go after the Hare Krishna vote. If you get the Hare Krishnas behind you then you can definitely win in Alachua. We want to see that all over the world, they have to get the support of ISKCON if they want to get elected. We want to be in the position where all the politicians will have to read Prabhupada's books and sincerely try to implement what is in Prabhupada's books if they want to keep their office.

VPM: Right now it is opposite. I don't know if you can use that as an example instead of the devotees needing their support.

SDA: My point is they are courting the Hare Krishna support. Yes, that is my point.

VPM: Yes. The devotees are also supporting them to win instead of changing them.

SDA: Anyway these are details. My point is we want to...

VPM: We know what your point is.

SDA: Yes, the detail is that it should be a devotee running.

VPM: Not a devotee running. I am not saying that. We are not training them to give up meat eating or anything. Right now we are saying [not audible]

SDA: Our preaching mission is to convince everyone to follow these principles.

VPM: Yes.

SDA: That is our preaching mission. That is why we distribute books to the general public. We want everyone to follow these principles. If they want to remain Christian that is alright, but they should stop this meat-eating business. Close the slaughter houses.

VPM: Inaudible

We can stop here. Things have to move forward anyway. Grantharaj Srimad Bhagavatam ki Jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

Devotees: Srila Sankarshan Prabhu ki jaya!

[Transcribed by Her Grace Bhaktin Priya]

Index of Transcribed Lectures