750419 - Letter to G.L. Nanda written from Vrndavana
April 19, 1975
Sriman G.L. Nanda
5, Tughlak Road, New Delhi
Krishna Balaram Mandir
Dist. Mathura, Vrindaban
My Dear Nandaji:
Please accept my greetings. It was very kind of you the other day to come to see me in my New Delhi center at Bengali Market. I have gone through the literatures left by you and as you have expressed your desire, "I shall appreciate greatly if your ideas and suggestions are embodied in a note. If it reaches in advance, copies will be circulated to the other participants."
Number 1. Regarding a broad survey of the situation, I may inform you that in the Srimad Bhagwatam the symptoms of the present day situation all over the world is given very broadly. Please refer to the 12th Canto, 3rd Chapter. The summary is that throughout the whole world not to speak of India, people have no idea that perfection of civilization means spiritual realization. Unfortunately the people have no spiritual interest, and if anyone has got a little interest he is misguided by so many concocted suggestions. Over and above this people are generally very unfortunate and they are always disturbed by a scarcity of rain and a scarcity of food grains and also taxation by the government. I think this is the right survey of the whole situation not only in India but all over the world.
Number 2. To answer your second item in the shastras it is said that to counteract the present situation of the world the only way is to chant the holy name of the Lord, harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam kalau nastyeva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha. Therefore we have started this Krishna consciousness movement to give people without distinction of caste, creed, or color a chance to chant the holy name of the Lord.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said that God has many names. One of them is Krishna. If one is reluctant to chant the name of Krishna, considering it as a Hindu god's name, one can chant another name if it is available in other religious systems. The point is that one should chant the holy name of God.
Unfortunately the people all over the world have no idea of God, what to speak of His name. Therefore we should pick up the holy name of God available from the Vedic scriptures. In the Vedic scriptures there are many names of the Lord, as it is stated in the Brahma Samhita:
ramadi murttisu kala niyamena tisthan
nanavataram akarod bhuvanesu kintu
krsnah svayam samabhavat paramah puman yo
govindam adi purusam tam aham bhajami
But, of all these names it is pointed out krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. Krishna is the original name of God. So if one can chant the holy name of God that will purify the whole situation as it is being proved by the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. Therefore my suggestion is especially in India we should organize the chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra village to village, town to town. In Europe and America I am doing this regularly by sending our men by buses and cars and it is appreciated all over the world. Of course there is some opposition from interested parties, still on the whole it is going on ahead with great effect. The word Hare Krishna is now well known all over the world. In this age there is no better way of executing dharma, and the statement available in Vedic literature is that it is bharatiya sanskriti. If you adopt this means I will fully cooperate with you, and I am sure you will be pleased to see the effective result.
Number 3. Regarding propagation of moral education, there should be a section of men fully trained up in moral values of life. That is to say a section of men fully equipped with brahminical qualifications as they are stated in the shastras. Samo damas tapah saucam, ksantir arjavam eva ca, jnanam vijnanam astikyam, brahma karma svabhaga jam. In this connection I suggest you to open the Varnasrama College in Kurukshetra or any other holy place like Naimisaranya. As there are different sections of educational institutions there must be one institution how to train up perfect brahmins with ideal characters as above mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita. If there is a section of people of ideal character, say 5 per cent, the other 95 per cent by seeing their example will follow. In other words a section of the society must be of ideal character. That is essential.
Number 4. Regarding propagation of manava dharma, manava dharma means the activities of the human beings. So the distinction between manava dharma and pasu dharma is that in the animal society there is no idea of god consciousness. God consciousness can only be propagated in human society. In the animal society they may be physically stronger than the humans like the tiger and the elephant or many other such animals, but they cannot be educated spiritually. But in human society even though one may be a low grade member of the society, he can be trained up to be purified as a first class brahmin. It only requires training. Therefore manava dharma means to impregnate a human being with spiritual knowledge. A human being must be educated spiritually. That means he must know that he is not this body. Krishna teaches this idea in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gita: dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara/ tatha dehantara praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati. 2:13. This is the beginning of spiritual education, that everyone of us is not this body. Unfortunately the whole world is in darkness, and therefore every human is identifying with this body and thinking wrongly I am Indian, I am American, I am brahmin, I am this, I am that. To drive away this misconception of life is actually manava dharma. You must know that we are not this body but spirit soul, and as such we are part and parcel of God; and therefore qualitatively one with God; exactly like a small particle of gold is also gold as is the gold from the big gold mine, but quantitatively the particle of gold is not equal to the gold in the mine. This is very elaborately described in the Bhagavad-gita, and if we accept these principles of Bhagavad-gita as manava dharma then the whole world will appreciate, and this is being done by our Krishna consciousness movement.
Number 5. Regarding elements in our tradition relating to dharma and sanskriti, we must adopt the whole varna and ashramas as they are recommended in all the shastras. If you give up these directions of the shastras, that is neither dharma or sanskriti at least in the Indian tradition. As it is directed in the Bhagavad-gita that the four divisions of social and four divisions of religious systems like brahmin, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmachary, grihastra, vanaprastha, and sannyasi must be adopted. Otherwise there is no tradition of bharatiya sanskriti.
Number 6. So the mutual relationship of dharma and politics in the light of our history and tradition can only be revived when we observe the system of varnasrama. It is actually like this. The brahmin is like the head, and the ksatriya is like the arms. The vaisya is the stomach or the abdomen, and the sudra is like the legs. Similarly spiritually the brahmachary is the trained up disciple, the grihasta is a trained up householder, the vana prastha is experienced as a retired gentleman, and the sannyasi is completely in the renounced order of life for spiritual advancement. There is no question of the head being in an exalted position without the cooperation of the leg. When there is a pinprick in some part of the leg, the head immediately takes it very seriously and takes out the thorn in some part of the leg. Similarly whenever there is some outside attack, the arms or the hands spread to protect the whole body. In the same way within the abdomen there is the machinery of digesting foodstuffs and after digestion the secretion turns into blood and it is infused throughout the whole anatomical structure of the body. Similarly the cooperation between the head, arms, stomach, and legs is the perfect situation of the human society.
Number 7. The injunction of the shastra about charity is that charity should be given to qualified brahmin or sannyasi because they will spend it for the benefit of the whole human society. This is called charity in goodness. In the shastras there is no recommendation for giving charity to the unqualified men. In this connection I am enclosing a copy of one chart reproduced from our "Back to Godhead."
In Ignorance-performed at an improper time and place, to an unworthy person like a gambler or drunkard, or contemptuously without respect.
In Passion-performed to get something in return, with a desire for fruitive results, or in a grudging mood.
In Goodness-performed as a duty, at the proper time and place, to a worthy person and with no expectation of material returns.
In Pure Goodness-performed only to satisfy the Supreme Lord.
In the shastras, there is no recommendation of giving charity in passion and ignorance is completely rejected in the shastras, although people do it unconsciously. Charity in goodness only is recommended.
Number 8. Srila Rupa Goswami was the chief minister of the government of Nabwab Hussain Shah. He gave us a good example how to divide the property in the society. 50 per cent of the income must be spent for Krishna, 25 per cent of the income should be spent for family, and 25 per cent should be kept in reserve for emergency expenditure. Spending 50 per cent of the income for Krishna means for the whole society by encouraging the Krishna consciousness movement.
Number 9. I think that if the Manava Dharma Parishad takes these suggestions of mine very seriously, certainly it will be of great benefit to the Indians and the whole world. The Krishna consciousness movement is going on this principle, and if the Parishad inaugurated by you cooperates with us, certainly we can render a very great service to the human society.
So far manava dharma is concerned it should not be restricted within the Indian borders, because human beings are in all parts of the world.
Number 10. Therefore the constitution of manava dharma or the institution of varnasrama must be interesting for the whole world, and it should be exemplified by practical demonstration. The immediate program should be village organization as Mahatma Gandhi contemplated. In India the majority of the population is in the villages. The difficulty is that there is no sufficient supply of water to produce food grains. Mother nature or Mother Durga punishes the godless demons by restricting the supply of food grains. The godless demons are very enthusiastic to produce motor cars, skyscrapers, brothels, and cinemas and many other unnecessary demands of the body, but they are not interested in producing food grains. This is the defect of the modern society. If food grains are produced in an organized way, the human society can produce ten times what they are presently producing. In the Bhagavad-gita, it is confirmed annad bhavanti bhutani parjanyad anna sambhavah/ yajnad bhavati parjanyo yajnah karma samudbhavah. (BG 3.14).
I hope you will give your serious consideration to my suggestions, and I am prepared to cooperate with you to my best capacity, if you think my suggestions are right.
Our festival is going on until the 26th instant. The Governor of U.P. Dr. Channa Reddy is coming tomorrow. If you kindly find time to come here at least for one day to become Chief Guest, kindly let me know and we shall make the proper arrangement.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami