His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(founder of the Hare Krsna movement)
His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(founder of the Hare Krsna movement)
by Purujit Dasa
When the scientific background for religion is missing, people become hypocrites. They use religion simply as a sentiment or social decoration without following any rules and regulations and thus deviate from the bona fide teachings of God.
Prabhupada: Secular means government's duty is that "You call yourself a Hindu. Whether you are acting as Hindu? You call yourself as Muslim. Whether you are acting as Muslim?" This is government's duty. Govern ment does not say or prefer that "You are Christian. It is not good. You become Hindu." No, that is not government's... You remain your Christian, but government's duty is that whether he is acting as Christian. This is government's duty. Not that you are acting like a something else, and you are calling yourself Christian. You are acting like a sudra, and you are advertising yourself as a brahmana. So just like a, what is called, quack. If he writes, "Dr. something," that is punishable.
Vrndavana, April 20, 1975
Conversation With Governor
But although people in general are fond of criticizing the religious fanaticism, they still do not realize that godless secularism is as equally limited and narrow minded.
aharit sarvasya prabhavo
mattal], sarvarit pravartate
"I am the origin of everything. Everything is emanating from Me." (Bg.
10. 8) The Vedanta-sutra also states: janmadyasya yatah,. "The Supreme
Being is He from whom everything is emanating." It is a fact that there
must be a source of everything, and it is the business of philosophy to
find that original source. It is neither scientific nor philosophic to try to
obscure or ignore the original source.
Discussion on Bacon
The contribution of His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder and spiritual master of the Hare Krsna movement to the modern world is therefore immense. On the authority of the Vedas, he is connecting our concept of science and our concept of religion explaining them not as separate processes working against each other, but as simultaneously helping in understanding the true universal knowledge- the Absolute Truth, Krsna, or God who connects us all on all possible platforms.
Science must be based on logic and philosophy. Science means that. And religion means sometimes sentiments. So religion without philosophy is sentiment, and philosophy without religion is mental speculation. Both must be combined. Then it is perfect. You cannot have religion without philosophy. That is sentiment, fanaticism. And if you simply take philosophy without religion, without sense of God, this is mental speculation. So religion must be on the basis of science and logic. That is first-class religion.
Bhagavad-gita 7.1-3 -- Stockholm, September 10, 1973
Because there is God, the supreme leader in the spiritual world, there must be a political leader in the material world. Janmadya yasya yatha. God is the original cause, and all the different varieties are coming from Him. Someone is stronger, someone weaker. To put everyone on an equal level is simply a denial of God’s variegated and therefore blissful nature. To want a situation without a leader is yet another form of atheistic hallucination.
So in that Vedic literature this is, this verse is there, nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13). A leader, the supreme leader of all living entities—God, or whatever you say, the Absolute Truth, the Absolute Person. Generally, we say God. God is also a person like you and me. Just like whenever you find out some leader, he must be a person. Impersonal cannot be leader. Is there any instance... In the modern history they have abolished monarchy, personal government. They have got democratic government or republican government. But still, they have to find out a president. Why? Why not without president? No. That cannot be done. There must be one leader. Any movement, any organization, there must be. And he must be a person.
Lecture -- Seattle, October 11, 1968
The proposition, that the society can work without a head or that any part of the body can do the head’s work is very unnatural. Such nonsense ideas are the very source of all conflicts.
Syamasundaia dasa: He states that values must obey the will of God as
expressed in natural law, the laws upon which men agree, such as social
contracts, and the established traditions, customs, and opinions of mankind.
He states that our laws must be obeyed in such a way that we will
exist in harmony.
Srila Prabhupada: And what is that harmony? Perfect harmony is in
knowing that we are part and parcel of God. In this body, there are
different parts, and each part has a particular function. When each part
performs its function, the body is harmonious. The hand is meant for
touching, lifting, and grasping, but if the hand says, "I shall walk," there
is disharmony. Being part and parcel of God, we have a particular function.
If we fulfill that function, there is harmony. If we do not, there is
disharmony. The law of nature means working in harmony with the desire
''This material nature is working under My direction, 0 son of KuntT,
and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this
manifestation is created and annihilated again and again." (Bg. 9.10)
Under Krsna's superintendence, everything is functioning in harmony.
Events do not happen blindly. In any organization, there is a supreme
authority under whose orders everything moves in harmony. Harmony
means that there must be some supreme superintendent. It is generally
said that obedience is the first law of discipline. There cannot be harmony
Discussion on Locke
Just as the active soul is controlling the inactive body, similarly the intelligent men control the rest of the society through knowledge. If therefore the intelligent men of present society are victims of lust, the whole society suffers. In order to avoid this, there’s a scientific social system given by Krsna which helps to transform material lust into love of God.
According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.
In the material world, we have different material propensities. Someone is a teacher, someone a mechanic, someone an artist and instead of denying these propensities and suppressing them for the sake of imaginary equality, Krsna clearly indicates that these propensities should be fully engaged in devotional service.
sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah
sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah
It is far better to discharge one's prescribed duties, even though they may be faulty, than another's duties. Destruction in the course of performing one's own duty is better than engaging in another's duties, for to follow another's path is dangerous.
The four classes of men, namely the intelligentsia (brahmanas), the rulers(ksatryias), the mercantile community (vaisyas) and the regular workers(sudras) are already present in every society. These castes are not created artificially, as it is seen in the deviant Hindu tradition, but they are existing by nature. In every society, there are those who are inclined towards intellectual work just like big philosophers, scientists, priests, teachers. There are also those who have an inclination towards leadership like politicians and administrators. Also we see there are men who are inclined to do business and those who like to to work in some menial job. Not everyone has the same propensity. People are different.
The problem is that although the propensities are there, people are not educated how to dovetail these propensities in the performance of yajna (sacrifice) so their energy is used to please Krsna, or God, so everyone can benefit. Instead we see that due to misguided philosophy of life one selfish animal through different cheating tactics is leading other less-powerful animals. And because the cheating animal is simply led by his lust, naturally he is simply exploiting his power by protecting the interest of a certain group only. When the other groups find out, they drag him down. In this way, there’s a constant change of different animals who take turn in exploiting the mass without any substantial program on how to benefit everyone equally.
In modern civilization, the so-called social, national and government leaders mislead people more and more, under the bodily conception of life, with the result that all the leaders, with their followers, are gliding down to hellish conditions birth after birth. An example is given in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanah: [SB 7.5.31] when a blind man leads several other blind men, the result is that all of them fall down in a ditch. This is actually happening. There are many leaders to lead the ignorant public, but because every one of them is bewildered by the bodily conception of life, there is no peace and prosperity in human society.
Without yajna, all their programs are based on lies and it cannot last. Therefore, there’s a need for change of the cheating on regular basis. In capitalism it’s called democracy, in communism it’s called revolution. Or as the saying goes in capitalism men control men, in communism it’s the other way around. One animal is followed by another one. Sometimes, the public becomes so disgusted that they prefer to have no leader at all and they take up anarchy or terrorism. This however cannot solve their problem either. Unless we come out of animal platform, there’s no question of peace.
Disciple: Last night in your lecture you made the analogy that if people don't follow God's laws, they'll be punished by God, just as they're punished for disobeying the state laws. So the young people thought you must be a fascist.
Srila Prabhupada: But this is actually happening all over the world. How can they deny it9 Government today means, "Might makes right." Somehow you take power, and then you are right. It is a question of which group gets the power.
Disciple: But they want to give the power to the people.
Srila Prabhupada: How will it be possible? There are so many people and so many different opinions—you have your people, and someone else has his people. As soon as you want to give the power to your people, the others will oppose. This is human nature; you cannot change it. They're thinking that the power should be given to the people, but there are many other people who will disagree. This is the nature of the material world: everyone is envious of everyone else. But these rascals don't have the intelligence to understand this. In India there was Gandhi—a gentleman, a very nice politician—but he was killed. So you cannot stop this. It is the nature of the material world—everyone is envious of others. You'll never be able to find a group of materialistic men who are perfect. So why do they say, "Give the power to the people"? They are simply rascals. Therefore, the Srimad-Bhagavatam says, paramo nirmatsaranam satam: Krsna consciousness is for the perfect, nonenvious person. Those who are not Krsna conscious must be envious. Everywhere you'll find competition, Krsna had enemies. Jesus Christ had enemies, or else why was he crucified? He had no fault, he was preaching God consciousness. Yet he was crucified. This is the material world. Even though one is perfect, still he'll have enemies. How can you stop it? They say, "Give the power to the people," but as soon as there is one good group of people governing, another group will stand against it. They will say, "Give the power to us." So where is your perfection? This is not perfection. Therefore, we have to give up all connection with this material world—that is perfection.
Disciple: But how can you avoid anarchy and have good government if you give up all connection with this world?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, this is the point—you have to follow the perfect authority.
Disciple: And this was their contention—you advocate following a superior authority,
Srila Prabhupada: If you want a perfect society, you must follow the perfect authority. You cannot Find perfection through mundane politics. You have to follow the real, recognized authorities—the perfect, liberated souls. This was the system in the Vedic culture. The authority was Lord Krsna and the Vedic literature, and society was directed by Manu [the forefather and lawgiver of mankind] and the Manu-samhita. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah: to attain perfection, we must follow the mahajanas—perfect, self-realized authorities.
Disciple: But these young people said even spiritual authorities are imperfect.
Srila Prabhupada: They may say that, but why should we accept their opinion—the opinion of imperfect rascals? Their only idea of authority is, "Might makes right." For instance, that group yesterday was advocating "Power to the people." So they have got some might, and they are pressuring, "You must accept this idea." And this is going on all over the world—"Might makes right." All the rascals are fighting with one another, and the one who is a little mightier becomes prominent. Thai's all.
Disciple: They say this is always the case—with any authority, it's just some leader who's pushed himself forward. So they've rejected all authorities.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, because all their so-called authorities have been imperfect. But there is a perfect authority also: Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And any authority who follows and teaches according to the instructions of Krsna is also perfect. That is authority. We Krsna conscious devotees are exactly following the authority of Krsna. In presenting Krsna consciousness, we are simply presenting the words of Krsna and trying to convince people, "Here is the real authority; if you follow you'll be happy." Krsna says, "You surrender unto Me." And we are saying, "Surrender to Krsna." We know that Krsna is perfect and that to surrender unto Him is perfection. And whenever we speak, we always Quote Krsna and Krsna's representatives.
Disciple: But in order for someone to surrender, doesn't he have to have faith in whoever is asking him to surrender?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, faith must be there. Therefore, in the Bhagavad-gita Krsna first of all proves that He is the Absolute Truth; then He asks for you to surrender. But you need to have the intelligence to understand—"This is Krsna"—then you surrender. In Bhagavad-gita Krsna does not say in the beginning, "You must surrender." First He explains everything—the body, the soul, all forms of yoga, all different kinds of knowledge. Then He gives the most confidential knowledge: "Give up everything else, and just surrender unto Me."
Everyone in this material world is imperfect. Without voluntary submission to a perfect person, everyone is imperfect. But one who has completely surrendered to Krsna or His representative-he is perfect. But if you do not surrender to the perfect authority, then you remain an imperfect rascal. You may be Napoleon, or you may be a small ant, but we want to see whether you have surrendered to Krsna or not. If not, then you're a rascal, that's all.
Conversation On “Might Makes Right”
to be continued...