740606 - Lecture at World Health Organization - Geneva
(Redirected from Lecture at World Health Organization -- Geneva, June 6, 1974)
Prabhupāda: So you can give some introduction. Then I'll speak.
Guru-gaurāṅga: So we are very honored to be able to address here today. Our spiritual master, His Divine Grace Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, not only is the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which is a cultural organization with branches throughout the world, one hundred branches, but he's also an eminent writer. He has presented single-handedly, so far, six volumes of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which are going to be completed within sixty volumes, and other such books as Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. The monthly magazine of the Society distributes some one million copies per month. And the aim of this International Society for Krishna Consciousness, of which Śrīla Prabhupāda is the founder, is a cultural respiritualization of society. We have made so much progress in technology, in science, and yet there is a certain disparity in the society. The point of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and the Vedic scriptures is that any type of technology without fundamental spiritual technology cannot succeed. So it is in the hope of complementing the work of this World Health Organization by deepening its knowledge of the spiritual technology, which is equally important, if not more so, that we have requested this opportunity to speak to you. (break)
Prabhupāda: So Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your participating in this meeting. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is based on the authority of this Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā, I think most of you know, Indians or foreigners. And some of you must have read Bhagavad-gītā. We have published Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without any malinterpretation. In the Bhagavad-gītā, the author of the Bhagavad-gītā is announced as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Hindus, especially the Vaiṣṇava . . . Vaiṣṇava or not Vaiṣṇava, Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We . . . our Indian spiritual life is guided by the ācāryas, sampradāya ācārya, the Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī and Nimbārka. There is . . . whole Indian spiritual culture is dependent on the guidance of these ācārya. And in the Bhagavad-gītā also, in the Thirteenth Chapter, it is advised, ācārya upāsanam: "One should follow the instruction of the ācārya." That is our Vedic civilization. And in the Bhagavad-gītā also, it is said in the Fourth Chapter, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). The science of God . . . imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1). This is a yoga system, this Bhagavad-gītā. So Kṛṣṇa says that, "Formerly, this yoga system was spoken by Me to the sun-god, Vivasvān." And visvasvān manave prāhur, then the sun-god, whose name is Vivasvān at the present moment . . .
We get all information from the śāstra. Each and every planet has got a predominating personality. Just like we have got on this planet a few presidents. But in other planets, there are also presidents, and their name is also . . . because the duration of other planet is very, very great. The topmost planet, which is known as Brahmaloka, that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ (BG 8.17). Many millions of years, sahasra-yuga. One yuga means forty-three hundred thousands of solar years, and multiply it by one thousand. That becomes the duration of one day in the Brahmaloka. So in different planets, there are different duration of life, different standard of life.
So all these information we get from the Vedic scripture, just like Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Upaniṣad, like that. And we follow the instruction. That is good for human society. Human society, if they do not follow the footprints of great ācāryas, great saintly persons, then there will be trouble. And that is happening actually. In the Bhagavad-gītā, when Kṛṣṇa was . . . Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna was talking, so Arjuna presented the aftereffects of war, that women will be widows and their . . . they will not be able to keep their character, and then adharma, irreligious principle, will begin.
So He said . . . he was arguing like this, that:
- adharmābhibhavāt kṛṣṇa
- praduṣyanti kula-striyaḥ
- strīṣu duṣṭāsu vārṣṇeya
- jāyate varṇa-saṅkaraḥ
- (BG 1.40)
The Vedic civilization is varṇāśrama-dharma. If the varṇāśrama-dharma is not properly protected, then there will be population who are called varṇa-saṅkara, mixed population. Brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra—that is the natural division. The society must be divided, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). (feedback) (aside) There is no need. The natural division . . . just like you have got natural division in your body: the head, the arms, the belly and the leg, similarly, social division there is. Some of them are very intelligent class of men, and some of them are martial-spirited persons, and some of them are interested in trades and industry, and some of them are interested only for filling up the belly.
So this is natural division. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam. If this cātur-varṇyaṁ, this division . . . the most intelligent class of men, they should be trained up as brāhmaṇa. Śamo damo titikṣa ārjava jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). The social division must be there. The most intellectual class of men, they should be engaged in studying the Vedas and acquire the knowledge and spread it to the human society so that they may be guided and do the needful for peaceful situation of the society. That is guidance. The kṣatriyas, they're meant for protecting the society, military power, or martial-spirited. When there is danger, attack, they'll give us protection. Similarly, there must be a class of men for producing food grain and giving protection to the cows. Kṛṣi-go-rakṣya vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). And the rest of the people, who cannot work as intellectuals or as martial-spirited person or cannot take to production of foodstuff, they should assist all these three classes of men. And they are called śūdras. This is the social division. So this is called varṇāśrama-dharma. The word dharma is used. Dharma means occupational duty. Dharma does not mean some religious sentiment. No. Natural division and the occupational duty. So here Arjuna says:
- adharmābhibhavāt kṛṣṇa
- praduṣyanti kula-striyaḥ
- strīṣu duṣṭāsu vārṣṇeya
- jāyate varṇa-saṅkaraḥ
- (BG 1.40)
So the precaution was to stop varṇa-saṅkara. Varṇa-saṅkara means, I mean to say, chaotic condition of these four classes of men. And next he says:
- saṅkaro narakāyaiva
- kula-ghnānāṁ kulasya ca
- patanti pitaro hy eṣāṁ
- (BG 1.41)
There are so many talks about to keep the varṇāśrama intact for peaceful condition of the society, and the modern problem, the overpopulation. We . . . in the śāstras, in the Vedic literature, we don't find such thing as overpopulation, because the living entities are already fixed up. From the Padma Purāṇa, we can understand that the living entities, they're very, very small particles of the supreme spirit soul, or God. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7). And their dimension is also mentioned, keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 5.9): the one ten-thousandth part of the top of the hair. And jīva-bhāgo sa vijñeya sa anantaya kalpate. So the living entities are already ananta, unlimited. In another place of Upaniṣad, Kaṭhopaniṣad, we find that nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). These living entities, they are maintained. Their provision for their maintenance is already there, made by God. So there is no question of overpopulation. The question is varṇa-saṅkara. Varṇa-saṅkara, that is the problem.
So the human life is meant for systematic organization of spiritual realization. That is human life. There is evolutionary process from low-grade life, from aquatics to trees, plants, from trees, plants, to insect, from insect to birds, and then from birds to the beast, from beast to human being. So there are 8,400,000's of living entities in different species of life. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said:
- sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
- sambhavanti mūrtayo yāḥ
- tāsāṁ mahad-yonir brahma
- ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
- (BG 14.4)
So Kṛṣṇa, or God, claims that He is the seed-giving father of all these living entities. So as the father makes provision for maintenance of the sons and children, so God is not incapable. He has made provision for all these living entities. But when we mismanage, we become varṇa-saṅkara, there is calamity. So far I have studied—I am touring all over the world—there are enough place uncultivated. Especially I have seen in Australia and . . . and Africa, there is enough place that is not being utilized. In India also, there are enough places still that is not being utilized. And Bhagavad-gītā says, annād bhavanti bhūtāni (BG 3.14). The maintenance of the living entities—bhūtāni means living entities—can be done by production of food grains. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni. Then parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ. And then it is said, parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ, yajñād bhavati parjanyo yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavam (BG 3.14). This formula is given in the Bhagavad-gītā, that living entities, it doesn't matter whether animal or men, they are flourished, they are raised very nicely, provided there is anna. Anna means food grain.
So we can produce enough quantity of food grains all over the world. And if we actually produce food grains, we can feed ten times of the population which are at present. But unfortunately, we are not producing food grain. That is the problem. It is not the problem of overpopulation; it is the problem that we are not producing food grain. This is clearly stated, that unless you have sufficient food grain, how you can maintain? They have taken a policy that they would not . . . especially in the Western countries, I see that they will not produce food. They will raise some cattles and send them to the slaughterhouse for eating. This policy is going on. And this is not a very good policy. You produce your food grain. Why you should kill the innocent animals and eat them?
So on account of these sinful activities . . . according to Vedic civlization, there are four kinds of sinful activities. One sinful activity is illegitimate, illicit sex life. According to Vedic civilization, without marriage no sex life is allowed. Therefore marriage is compulsory. In every human society, there is marriage. But according to Vedic civilization, marriage is compulsory saṁskāra. So therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, strīṣu duṣṭāsu vārṣṇeya jāyate varṇa-saṅkaraḥ (BG 1.40). If the women are not married, then varṇa-saṅkara population will increase. It is said. And as soon as there is varṇa-saṅkara population, the whole world will be in chaotic condition.
So the our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we are suggesting from the śāstras, from the Vedic literature, how to reorganize the human society. Actually, there is no scarcity of food, there is no scarcity of land. Everything, there is sufficient. From the Īśopaniṣad we understand . . . not only this planet, in every planet there is sufficient arrangement.
- pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ
- pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
- pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
- pūrṇam eva avaśi . . .
- (Īśo Invocation)
It is factually complete. There is no problem. The problem is that we are not following the, I mean . . . the principles of life as they are enunciated, as they are enjoined. Dharma, the word dharma, it is not a, a religious sentiment. Dharma means occupational duty. So in the . . . from Vedic literature, we understand that dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Dharma means the laws given by God. Unfortunately, at the present moment they have no information what is God and what is God's law and how to abide God's law. They're all in ignorance, and they're manufacturing their own way of life, every day changing. This will not solve the problems of human society.
If we actually follow the Vedic injunction, it is very simple thing. The whole idea is that everything belongs to God. Actually, that's a fact. This is the . . . īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). Everything bel . . . now this United Nation, they're trying to be united, but actually, in the heart, they have got this, "This is my land," "This is my land." The American thinking, "This is my land," the German thinking, "Oh, it is my land," Indians thinking, "My land." Actually, there is no knowledge. Every land belongs to God. But they cannot come to this conclusion, because they are godless, without any God consciousness. Actually, that's a fact. Just as the America, two hundred years ago, this land did not belong to the Americans. It was there already. So to whom it belonged? Similarly, everything . . . this is the statement of the Vedas: īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). If we accept this, if the United Nation makes this resolution that, "From this date, let us dissolve this so-called nationality; accept this whole planet belonging to us, all the human being, all the animals, all the birds, beasts, trees, as they are on this planet," if we accept this philosophy, there is no question of chaotic condition of the society.
Actually, that is the fact. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated that whatever there is, property, on the land, on the sky, or on the water, anywhere, everything belongs to God. This is, some way or other, communistic idea, but it is spiritual communistic idea. The Communists, they are making their center as the state. The Bhāgavata makes the center as God. Everything belongs to God. The Communist says that everything belongs to the state, and the Bhāgavata says everything belongs to God. So from the idea, this is very nice idea. Now we are . . . Kṛṣṇa claims in the Bhagavad-gītā that, "All the species of life, they are My sons. I am the seed-giving father." So the property is belonging to God, the supreme father, and we are the sons of God. Not only human being. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-yoniṣu: "All species of life." Therefore God has provided for everyone's sufficient necessities of life. For example, just like we are, human being, only 400,000's of species. But other species, they're eight million. Eighty hundred thousand species. In Africa, there are millions of elephants. They eat, at a time, fifty kilograms, kg. What is that kg?
Prabhupāda: Kilos. But they are also eating. There is no scarcity of food for them. So it is a fact that eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). But because we don't believe in God, we manufacture our own ideas; therefore we create simply chaotic condition.
So according to Bhagavad-gītā, as we are preaching, we are also opening centers, self-help center. In New Vrindaban, West Virginia, we have already opened a very big community center. We are going to open in California also, and we have already opened in India also, that we occupy a certain tract of land, we produce our own food, we keep our cows and take their milk, and there is no scarcity. Everything there. We don't require to go outside the land for our livelihood. So we are advising, we are making centers like that, that "Be self-sufficient. Save time for spiritual culture." That is human civilization.
This was advised some thousands of years ago by Ṛṣabhadeva. I will recite some verses that is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It is stated in the Fifth Chapter of the Fifth Canto. It is said, ṛṣabha uvāca. Ṛṣabhadeva was a . . . the emperor of this world. He was advising His sons. So He said:
- nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke
- kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye
- tato tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁ
- śuddhyed yasmād brahma-saukhyam anantam
- (SB 5.5.1)
This is the instruction of Ṛṣabhadeva to His sons. "My dear sons, this human form of body," ayaṁ deha, "this body," na, "not . . ." Na ayaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke. Everyone has got a body. Cats and dogs, they are also possessing a body, and the human being also possessing body. So what is the difference between the cats and dogs and human society? Ṛṣabhadeva says, ayaṁ deha-bhājāṁ nṛlo . . . kaṣṭān kāmān na arhati yad viḍ-bhujām. To accept too much labor for the necessities of life, kāmān . . . kāmān means the necessities of life. This life, this human form of life, is not meant for that. It is meant for viḍ-bhujām, the hogs and dogs. They are . . . the hog is whole day working to find out, "Where is stool? Where is stool?" The human life should not be like that. Human life should be very peaceful and prosperous and save time for spiritual culture. That is stated here. Tapo divyam (SB 5.5.1), for tapasya, tapasya, voluntarily accepting renouncement. This is human life.
That is our Vedic principle, compulsory sannyāsa. There are varṇāśrama-dharma. So student life, brahmacārī; then married life, gṛhastha; then vānaprastha; then sannyāsa. That is tapasya. The brahmacārī is also trained up for austerity and penances. That is brahmacārī. The gṛhastha also . . . because from brahmacārī life, they go to gṛhastha life, they are trained up in tapasya. Then again, at the age of fiftieth year, they give up the family life, they take vānaprastha. Only the husband and wife go out of home and travels all over the holy places. Then, when one is little trained up, he sends back his wife to the care of his grown-up children, and he takes sannyāsa. This is varṇāśrama-dharma. The so-called Hindu dharma, that is a gift of the Muhammadans. We don't find the word "Hindu" in any Vedic scripture. This "Hindu" word has come from the Muhammadan countries. They used to say the people of this part of the world, means across the river Indus, they call "Hindas" or "Hindus." So actually, Hindu . . . that is not Hindu dharma. Our . . . from the Vedic literature, we understand the varṇāśrama-dharma. Varṇāśrama: four varṇas and four āśramas. Varnāśramacaravata. In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, you'll find this word. In the Bhagavad-gītā, you'll find. In the Bhāgavata you'll find. So really Indian civilization or Aryan civilization, Vedic civlization, means varṇāśrama-dharma.
- puruṣeṇaparaḥ pumān
- viṣṇur ārādhyate puṁsāṁ
- nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam
- (CC Madhya 8.58, Viṣṇu Purāṇa 3.8.9)
So this human form of life, here according to the instruction of Ṛṣabhadeva, is not meant for working hard simply for eating, sleeping, mating and defending. This is not human form of life. This is condemned in the śāstras. Human form, the civilization means they should mold the form of the society in such a way that easily we can live and save time for spiritual culture. Therefore it is said, tapo divyaṁ putrakā (SB 5.5.1). The tapasya, the spiritual culture, is necessary. Divyam. Tapasya. Tapasya means . . . there are so many scholars, they also undergo tapasya for finding out, discovering . . . just like we have now discovered this atomic energy. That is also tapasya. Or something wonderful, discovery, that also, tapasya. But here it is said, tapo divyam: "Undergo tapasya, austerity, penances, for transcendental realization." Divyam. In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9).
So we should undergo tapasya, penance, austerity, for transcendental realization, divyam. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā (SB 5.5.1): "My dear boys, this life, human form of life, is not meant for working so hard like hogs and dogs. This life is meant for tapasya, and for transcendental realization." Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁ śuddhyet. Sattva means existence. We exist, but this existence is not pure. Therefore we have to accept birth and death, old age and disease. This is not pure. Actually, we are living entities. Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācit. The living entity never takes birth, neither dies. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20): "This body being destroyed, the living entity is not destroyed." So as eternal part and parcel of the Supreme Lord . . . the Supreme Lord is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1), eternal, full of bliss and full of knowledge. But we have got this body, material body, which is full of ignorance, full of miseries and neither . . . it is only temporary. This is our position. Therefore tapasya should be executed, how we can also revive our original constitutional position, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha. This is called śuddhyet sattva. Just like when a man becomes diseased, it is his duty to go to the physician, consult him, take some medicine to get out of the disease, similarly, human life is meant for to get out of this disease. What is that disease? Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9).
So there are so many nice things. And they are very, very beneficial for the human life. If we do not utilize the already information we have got in the Vedic literature, so then this temporary program to save us, that will not solve the problem. It will never solve. The problems will be more intricate day by day, and it is stated in the Bhāgavata that some day will come when there will be no food grains, no sugar, no milk and no fruits, that these things will not be available. So these, they are all acting under the direction of the Supreme Lord. Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10). Prakṛti, this material nature . . . in the Bhagavad-gītā . . . it is working under the direction of the Supreme Lord. It is not blind. So there is some direction. It is very simple to understand. Just like my bodily activities are being carried under my direction. So similarly, the huge cosmic body, there is also a director. But we have no information. Or we have information, but we don't take, utilize it. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10). So they are simply seeing the wonderful activities of the material nature, but behind this material nature there is the direction of the Supreme Lord. So we have to study all this information and utilize for the social benefit. Then everything will be adjusted. If we simply become disturbed by the external symptoms, it is not possible to make them solved. It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). You cannot make solution of the stringent laws of material nature. It will go on. Just like the fire: If you touch fire, it will burn your finger. It will not consider that . . . even if you are a child, if you touch fire . . . the material laws are very stringent. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya sad-asad-janma-yoniṣu (BG 13.22).
So our only request is: Those who are working in the United Nation in so many different departmental situation, if they will take advantage of this great cultural book, Bhagavad-gītā, and try to study and, if possible, to implement in social life—everything is there—then people will be happy, and there will be no problem, and the chaotic condition will not exist.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Guru-gaurāṅga: So as this was a colloquium, I hope you may have some questions you would like to ask. Vedic knowledge touches on everything from art, literature, science, technology, and overpopulation has already been discussed five thousand years ago in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So we hope we can share this knowledge with you. If you have some questions, His Divine Grace would be disposed to answer.
Indian man (1): Swāmījī, nobody will disagree with you that taking the world population at its present level, and also the production at its present level, one can see that the distribution is very uneven. And it is also true, just leaving aside the predictions, the pessimistic predictions of demographers as to what will be the human population five hundred years from now, or in the year 2,300 or whatever it is, but also leaving aside the deterioration of the environment as a result of wrong technologies that have begun here, it is true that there is, as you said, there is lot of scope of additional sources, food production and other resources, if it is evenly distributed over the existing populations. Yet the fact remains that there are areas of the world where people are living in luxury, and they are guarding their rights, territorial ones, as you rightly said, national . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. So-called nationalism.
Indian man (1): . . . and on the other hand, there are river valleys overpopulated in certain parts of the world where people are living in misery. They are willing to work, and they are willing to contribute their talent to the world in whatever way they can, and yet they have no opportunity.
Indian man (1): Now, the problem is, eventually, of course, if we agree as you said, that everything belongs to God . . . and this idea is also, as you pointed out, in the . . . in the Bhagavad-gītā, but also in the Bible they say: "The earth is the Lord's." And in the Koran also it is said that al-Adha Eid, which means the same thing.
Indian man (1): The idea has been there for thousands of years, but the question is, until this idea is accepted and put into practice the way you said, what is to be done in the interim period? Because lot of people are dying in misery and . . .
Prabhupāda: Now, one thing is that . . .
Indian man (1): You see. What is the solution?
Prabhupāda: The solution is that . . . as soon as there is problem and you want solution . . . suppose there is some problem in legal affairs. So you go to lawyer. When there is problems of your health, you go to the physician. Similarly, our Vedic instruction is for solution of this all chaotic condition, one should . . . tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigaccet samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham (MU 1.2.12). So you have to approach persons who can make the solution. So that is, that is the injunction, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigaccet. Who is guru? Guru means śrotriyam, who knows all the Vedic literature, the information. Śrotriyam. And brahma-niṣṭham. Brahma-niṣṭham means completely God conscious. These are two qualification. Those who are claiming that "I am God," cheating people, they are not gurus. Guru means he's always . . . sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya. That is the definition of guru. Guru is accepted as good as God, sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstraiḥ, in all Vedic literature, tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ, and those who are learned, advanced, they accept it. But what is the position of guru? Kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya: "Guru is the most confidential servant of God." That is his position.
So people do not come to us, but we are going, canvassing. This is the position. Solution is there, but they do not come to us for solution. We are going door to door all over the world that, "Here is the solution, sir. Here is the solution." But they do not take, what can I do? This is our position. The solution is there. And we are canvassing that, "Please take this solution." But they'll not take it. They'll not hear us. They'll hold big, big conference and talk all nonsense, and that's all. This is their business. And make the things more complicated, that's all.
Indian man (1): Yes. Do you have any suggestions for . . .?
Prabhupāda: Suggestion is already I have given, that utilize this land for cultivation. I have seen so much land vacant. In Austria . . . Australia. Eh? Yes, Australia, and special . . . in USA also, there are so much land vacant. They're not utilizing . . . whatever production they . . . sometimes they throw it in the water. And I, I have heard in this Geneva, that there was excess of milk production; therefore they want to kill twenty thousand cows to reduce the milk production. This is their brain. Actually, there is no brain. So they, for brain, they should come to these śāstras. They should take guidance. Produce. Produce, utilize. But they'll not utilize. Rather, the limited number of people . . . at least in India, all the villagers, they have been drawn in the city for producing bolts and nuts. Now eat bolts and nuts.
So, so Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi's program was that village organization. And our big Pandit topsy-turvied everything. So Gandhi's program was very nice, to organize a because . . . (break) . . . and produce your own food. If you work only three months, you get whole year's provision. Whole year's provision. The balance time you save, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is our movement. And be spiritually advanced. Be human being. Otherwise, it is risky. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). After all, we have to change this body. However big plan we may make, we have to give up this plan, and we have to change this body. But there is no guarantee what kind of body we are going to get. Suppose I, this time, this life, I am very busy for constructing a big skyscraper building, and next time, next life, if I get the body of a cat or dog, so I'll have to live in that house because I have got attraction as a cat and dog, and who will care for me? So these are the facts. Because nobody can change the nature's law. Nature's law is exactly like infectious disease. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-sango 'sya sad-asad-janma-yoniṣu (BG 13.22). They do not even believe that there is life after death. I talked, in Moscow, a big professor, Kotovsky. He said: "Swāmījī, after death there is nothing." You . . . he's a big professor. He has no knowledge of the soul, and he's a big professor. Just see. This is going on.
So as far as possible . . . now, as gradually this godless civilization will go on—that is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata—there will be problems. Anāvṛṣṭi. Anāvṛṣṭi: there will be no rain. And durbhikṣa. As there will be anāvṛṣṭi, no sufficient rain, there will be no sufficient production. Actually, these things are already begun. Anāvṛṣṭi. And on the other side, taxation, the government taxation. In this way, people will be so much disturbed that they will give up their hearth and home and go to the forest. Ācchinna-dāra-draviṇāṁ gacchanti giri-kānanam (SB 12.2.8). They will be so much harassed because there will be no . . . there will be scarcity of rainfall, there will be scarcity of food, and there will be taxation. Then how one can keep the brain equilibrium? He will be mad. So unless we take the instruction of the śāstras . . . immediately we should take this instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, annād bhavanti bhūtāni parjanyād anna-sambhavam, yajñād bhavati parjanyaḥ (BG 3.14). Therefore we have introduced this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. This is yajña. In the Kali-yuga, this yajña is possible.
So if all over the world . . . or make an experiment in some portion. Just go. Just like we are making samples in New Virginia. They are self-sufficient, and the saved time is being utilized for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is the remedy. But they'll not take this remedy. They have got their own remedy. So a few men may be happy, so-called happy. The other day, I saw in Calcutta Mr. Kanungo. He's the son of a late governor of Gujarat. So he said . . . he's the manager of that coal distribution, government . . . so he said that "Now, being government concern, the laborers, they're not working. They're sitting idly. So we have to increase the price. Cost is . . ." So this is the problem. People, being godless, they are dishonest, they are not working honestly, and so many things. The only remedy is that people should be taught to become God conscious. And this method is very simple: chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma eva kevalam, kalau nāsty eva . . . (CC Adi 17.21). And samples are there, these European, American boys. They were addicted to so many bad habits. Now they are . . . just see how sober they are, and they're chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. So everything is possible, provided you people take our instruction. Otherwise, there is no other remedy. What can be done? The remedy's there. The medicine is also there. But if you don't take the medicine, how the disease will be cured?
Indian man (2): I would ask the respected Swāmījī, you referred to the departure of the villagers to the city and getting invested in city life and the villagers becoming factory worker, and all evils which follow. And you suggested as a solution that if you live in the village and work only for three months, then you'll have food to eat. But I'd like to point out that there is such a vast amount of unemployment in our villages in India. The vast populations are there who, despite all these settlements, are not able to make enough food because they don't own the land and they are not . . . they are unemployed. And that's why they go into the cities. It is not necessarily the good life in the city which attracts them, but they don't own the land. The land is owned by other people, and they are not free to live in the village as free men and grow enough food for them. Now this is a question of the means of owning, of the means of production. And we still have the zamindar system. We still have the system, and the rich people are being exploiting; therefore they go. Unless there is some kind of a revolution by which you can curb the power of the landlord, how can you be for land distribution in the village, of those people who live in the village, and not go to city to pull a rickshaw or do other labor to . . .?
Prabhupāda: (aside) You can come in. The thing is that it is the government's duty to see that nobody's unemployed. That is good government—nobody's unemployed. That is the Vedic system. The society was divided into four divisions: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. And it was the duty of the government or the king to see the brāhmaṇa is doing brāhmaṇa's duty, and the kṣatriya's duty, uh, kṣatriya . . . his duty is kṣatriya's duty. Similarly, vaiśya . . . so it is the government's duty to see that why people are unemployed. Then the question will be solved.
Indian man (2): But they are the people who are also in the government.
Indian man (2): They are also . . . the influential people, the moneyed people, landlords, they also have a strong voice in the government.
Prabhupāda: No. That, that means bad government.
Indian man (2): Yes. That is, that is true.
Prabhupāda: That is bad government. Otherwise, it is the duty of the government to see that everyone is employed.
Indian man (2): That's what I am looking forward to, the day when the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement can become a real revolutionary movement which will change the face of society.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I think it will bring revolution, because the American and European young men, they have taken into hand. I have introduced to them. So I hope the European and American boys, they're very intelligent, and they take anything very seriously. So that . . . now we are working for a few years, five, six years. Still, we have spread the movement all over the world. So I am requesting. I am old man. I will die. If they take it seriously, it will go on, and there will be revolution. Because we are not working whimsically, capriciously. We are taking authoritative version from the śāstra. And we are . . . our program is to publish at least one hundred books of this size. There are so many information. They can read all these books and take information. And we are now being received. In America especially, the higher circle, in colleges and universities, they are reading now these books, and they are appreciating. So we are trying our best, introducing the literature, practically working, instructing, as far as possible. But I think if the . . . these boys, young boys, take it very seriously, it will bring revolution.
Indian man (2): Is there a center in Geneva where this literature . . .?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, yes. (aside) Give . . .
Guru-gaurāṅga: We have a center in Petit Lancy, neuf Chemin du Credo, with daily program, philosophy, classes, kīrtana, and general training.
Prabhupāda: You have not any literature having the address?
Guru-gaurāṅga: Yes. Yes.
Prabhupāda: Give them.
Guru-gaurāṅga: This is our monthly magazine, which we publish in French language, and this is a presentation book which shows the scope of our activities in the world. Our center is open; admission is free. There is no cost or pain to come, and if you only learn one thing, where is the question of loss? Kṛṣṇa consciousness means that everyone can win something for the benefit of everyone else.
Indian man (3): There is one thing, Swāmījī, if I may, which I cannot reconcile. As an Indian, the question bothers me very, very often. I believe in a great many things which you say. There's no question about that. I'm not a Westernized Indian. But what I cannot reconcile is the fact that we who had this Vedic knowledge and all the things which you have just now said is the solution to all our problems, with all this knowledge, we have not been able to keep our society free from so many evils to come . . . I'm not only referring to the poverty, but to the other things . . .
Prabhupāda: No. It is due to bad leaders. It is due to bad leaders.
Indian man (3): They are our own people. They . . .
Prabhupāda: They may be own, your father. Just like Prahlāda's father was Hiraṇyakaśipu, a demon. So what can be done? Prahlāda was a devotee, and his father was a demon.
Indian man (3): Yes. He has to be destroyed.
Prabhupāda: So he was destroyed. He'll be destroyed. They are being destroyed. These demonic leaders will not stay. They'll be destroyed. But everything takes some time. Just like I told you that Gandhi, he understood the pulse of the country. He wanted to reorganize the villages. But our big Paṇḍitajī topsy-turvied everything.
Indian man (3): Yeah, and we killed him.
Indian man (3): That was the first thing.
Prabhupāda: And we killed him, Gandhi. Yes. So this is . . . mūrkhāyopadeṣo hi prakopāya na śāntaye. If a mūrkha is advised to do something, he becomes angry. Payaḥ-pānaṁ bhujaṅgānāṁ kevalaṁ visa-vardhanam. So at the present moment, our Indian leaders are not very good. Blind. They have no knowledge, and they are leading. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). They have killed our original Vedic culture, and they cannot give anything. Gandhi wanted to give something, but he was also killed. What can be done?
Yogeśvara: I can show them our book, Moscow Talks.
Yogeśvara: We have the Moscow Talks book here, your conversation with Professor Kotovsky.
Guru-gaurāṅga: You may see that in this presentation book we have a center in Māyāpur, in Navadvīpa, in West Bengal. We are distributing kṛṣṇa-prasāda. There is no problem.
Prabhupāda: Yes. In all our centers, we distribute prasādam. Anyone who may come, "Take prasādam."
Indian man (4): Has the movement involved itself in social philosophy, then? Because sometimes I'm sure you . . . if you propagate your good will, the moral path, you come into conflict with the . . . (indistinct) . . . of the time.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We are spreading this, the best moral principle, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Indian man (4): But don't you come . . . (sound of jet drowns out) . . . who don't like you? Does it not mean there is a bit of problem?
Prabhupāda: We are getting a better response from the Western countries than in India. In India, we see that the leaders, they do not like it. They are now opening beef shop, wine shop, and we are preaching, "No intoxication, no meat-eating." So actually, we are not very favorable to their propaganda. (laughs) They don't like us, the leaders. Now there are big, big signboards. In Juhu we have got a center, and the government has opened beef shop, very big. And wine shop, you'll find everywhere. And we are preaching, "No intoxication, no meat-eating." So how they'll like us? That is the difficulty. "It is folly to be wise where ignorance is bliss." But still, we are struggling.
Guru-gaurāṅga: The value of this movement is that if we can prove on a small level, on a model level, that it works, then any scientific man . . . this is the empirical method. If it works on a small level, it shall work on a large level.
Indian man (5): Yeah, like what?
Guru-gaurāṅga: Well, for example, when Isaac Newton discovered gravity. That discovery was a universal discovery. It was an axiom. If it works here, it will work anywhere.
Indian man (5): No. That I understand. But I mean in regard to your own work, can you give an example of something having worked that . . . whatever you mean by work?
Guru-gaurāṅga: Yes. Cultivating the land, for example. We have communities. New Vrindaban, in West Virginia; California. We are establishing in France. We can absorb as many people as wish to come, and we can feed them all, and we still have surplus of foodstuffs.
Prabhupāda: Yes. In Virginia, it has proved very successful. We are getting eighty pounds of milk daily. And from that milk . . .
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Eight hundred.
Prabhupāda: Eh? Eight hundred. Yes. Eight hundred, I am sorry. So that milk product is sufficient for give them nutritious food. We are preparing ghee. Just like in India, they utilize milk so nicely. And vegetables we are growing. They are making sweetmeats, sandeṣa, rasagullā. There is enough milk product. And ghee, lucī, purī. Very satisfying. So that is the basic principle.
Indian man (5): This is just an example of a successful corporative enterprise which is . . . but would you speak something very new, which has not been tried before?
Prabhupāda: No. The new thing is that they do not go outside for bread. That is the new thing. Here, at the present moment, in every big, big city, they are coming from hundred miles to the office. Now there was railway strike in Bombay. I was there at that time. Oh, people are suffering so much. You see? From five o'clock in the morning, they are standing in queue for catching one . . . not bus, it is truck. The bus is on strike. So people are so much in difficulty. And if one train or two train was running, so many people smashed the . . . they were on the top of the train. So the problem is why one should be induced to go hundred miles off from his home for earning his livelihood. This is a very bad civilization. One must have his food locally. That is good civilization.
Indian man (5): Yeah. What do these people do for a living? Only grow food? Or do they do other things?
Prabhupāda: No. Grow food for eating, and then they read all these books. They become spiritually advanced. That's all. Deity worship.
Indian man (5): And did you need money?
Indian man (5): Did you need money?
Prabhupāda: Well, we get money. We sell these books also. If they require money, there is money also. But we live very simple life. Whatever little necessity of money is there, that we can gather by selling these books. Even in Indian parliament, the question was raised, "Wherefrom this ISKCON movement gets their money?" Some Communist member raised this question. And the Home Member replied: "They get money by selling literature." That's a fact.
Guest (6): I would like to ask also a question. In your rural communities . . . I call them rural because obviously, from what you said, the main purpose is to be self-supporting as regards food. In your rural communities, do you utilize the most modern techniques with fertilizers, with mechanical means for cultivating the land? This is one question. The other is that obviously, from what you say, the necessary money for buying anything else, that is provided by the selling of your books. But of course, if you would imagine communities having not, as you have, something of . . . (indistinct) . . . announce, and therefore put into books which can be sold, such a community would not be at ease to be self-supporting in regards to everything, food and all the rest. And if, by any chance, put your system into . . . (indistinct) . . .? Supposing we could transform all the members of the Swiss community into peasants, having their piece of land and living in rural communities, I suppose from what I know that many would starve and would have not sufficiently to eat, because the conditions here, of the climate conditions, etc., are not of the same caliber of the ones which may exist in Asia or in other countries. The basic problem is that in former centuries most, or a great part of the male population of that country which population was mainly composed of peasants had to expatriate and become soldiers abroad because there was not enough food in the country. So what do you say about these things?
Yogeśvara: His first question was do we use machines and modern methods on our āśramas and farms.
Prabhupāda: We have no objection. We want to be self-sufficient. That is our point of view. We have no objection with . . . it is not that we don't touch machine. We don't say like that. But we want to be self-sufficient. That is our point. We have not taken a vow that we shall not touch any machine. No, no. We're not like that.
Guest (6): Well, I think it's an admirable objective. Certainly it can be realized in small rural communities which acquire the necessary surface to have each member in the community being self-sufficient. Like in the Middle Age in this country the monks were more or less self-sufficient within the frame of their domain. But outside this, the peasants were really always hungry.
Guru-gaurāṅga: He says that on a small level that may be valid, like the monks who had their monastery and they made food enough, but for most people, especially where the climate is so unfavorable . . . he said that the Swiss people, they could not even stay on the land in the past, but they had to go away to find food because of the climate. So on the whole he does not see the practicality.
Prabhupāda: Well, after all, this is material world. The miserable conditions are there. But as far as possible, try to minimize. Our only aim is how to save time for spiritual cultivation. That is our main aim. So we have to find out the opportunity according to the time, circumstances. We . . . we do not reject anything. Whatever is favorable, we accept.
Yogeśvara: So, in other words, the absolute platform that you were speaking of, where everyone would be engaged in that kind of rural cultivation of the ground, isn't any kind of long term goal for us necessarily. We have our smaller communities, and then there's also activity going on in other areas as well. The idea our spiritual master is describing, as far as possible we utilize every opportunity for advancing in spiritual life, whether it be by cultivating the ground or whatever occupational duty we may have to perform.
Guest (6): But I understand that your goal is to have everybody becoming self-supporting in regards to food. But if everyone who is engaged in food production, who will be providing other things?
Yogeśvara: He thinks that we have been saying that ultimately we'd like everyone to be engaged in food production. Is that our . . .?
Prabhupāda: No. We don't say that. According to the Bhagavad-gītā, the . . . there is a section of men who will produce food, there is a section of men who will be spiritually elevated, and there will be section of men who will manage as the government or the king, and the balance men, they're all śūdras. They'll help these three men. This is Bhagavad-gītā. Not that everyone will be cultivator. No. There must be management, and there must be brain also, and there must be worker also. This should be . . . this is natural division. But all should combine together for spiritual cultivation. Just like we have got our brain, our arms, our belly, our legs. They're all required. We cannot reject the legs and keep only hands. That is not possible. But the hand, legs, brain and belly should combine together to keep the body healthy. That is the aim. (aside) So we shall now go?
Guru-gaurāṅga: So if there are no other questions, I guess we can take leave of each other, and thank you very much.
Prabhupāda: Yes, have some kīrtana.
Guru-gaurāṅga: There is more prasāda. We have brought this for you. So we hope you'll take. You can . . . (break) (end)
- 1974 - Lectures
- 1974 - Lectures and Conversations
- 1974 - Lectures, Conversations and Letters
- 1974-06 - Lectures, Conversations and Letters
- Lectures - Europe
- Lectures - Europe, Switzerland - Geneva
- Lectures, Conversations and Letters - Europe
- Lectures, Conversations and Letters - Europe, Switzerland - Geneva
- Lectures - General
- Audio Files 60.01 to 90.00 Minutes