Published on April 4th, 2011 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Full size image1
Srila Prabhupada Addresses The World Health Organization
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 grains. That is the problem. It is not the problem of overpopulation. It is the problem that we are not producing food grains.
Lecture at World Health Organization
Geneva, June 6, 1974
Prabhupada: So Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your participating in this meeting. Our Krsna consciousness movement is based on the authority of this Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita, I think most of you know, Indians or foreigners. And some of you must have read Bhagavad-gita. We have published Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any malinterpretation. In the Bhagavad-gita, the author of the Bhagavad-gita is enounced as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Hindus, especially the Vaisnavas… Vaisnava or not Vaisnava, Krsna is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We… Our Indian spiritual life is guided by the acaryas, sampradaya acarya, the Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnuswami and Nimbarka. There is… Whole Indian spiritual culture is dependent on the guidance of these acarya. And in the Bhagavad-gita also, in the Thirteenth Chapter, it is advised, acarya upasanam: “One should follow the instruction of the acarya.” That is our Vedic civilization. And in the Bhagavad-gita, also, it is said in the fourth chapter, evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh. The science of God… Imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam. This is a yoga system, this Bhagavad-gita. So Krsna says that “Formerly, this yoga system was spoken by Me to the sun-god, Vivasvan.” And visvasvan manave prahur, “Then the sun-god, whose name is Vivasvan at the present moment…” We get all information from the sastra. 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-gita, sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmano viduh. 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-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam and Upanisad, like that. And we follow the instruction. That is good for human society. Human society, if they do not follow the footprints of great acaryas, great saintly persons, then there will be trouble. And that is happening actually. In the Bhagavad-gita, when Krsna was…, Krsna and Arjuna was talking, so Arjuna presented the after-effects of war, that women will be widows and their, they will not be able to keep their character, and then adharma, irreligious principles, will begin. So he said… He was arguing like this, that,
strisu dustasu varsneya
The Vedic civilization is varnasrama-dharma. If the varnasrama-dharma is not properly protected, then there will be population who are called varna-sankara, mixed population. Brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra–that is the natural division. The society must be divided… Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah. (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 legs, similarly, social divisions, there is. Some of them are very intelligent men, 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 Krsna says, catur-varnyam maya srstam. If this catur-varnyam, this division… The most intelligent class of men, they should be trained up as brahmana. Samo damo titiksa arjava jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam. 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 the guidance. The ksatriyas, 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. Krsi-go-raksya vanijyam vaisya-karma svabhava-jam. And the rest of the people, who cannot work as intellectuals or as martial-spirited persons or cannot take to production of foodstuffs, they should assist all these three classes of men. And they are called sudras. This is the social division. So this is called varnasrama-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,
strisu dustasu varsneya
So the precaution was to stop varna-sankara. Varna-sankara means, I mean to say, chaotic condition of these four classes of men. And next he says,
kula-ghnanam kulasya ca
patanti pitaro hy esam
There are so many talks about to keep the varnasrama intact for peaceful condition of the society, and the modern problem, the overpopulation… We… In the sastras, in the Vedic literature, we don’t find such thing as overpopulation, because the living entities are already fixed up. From the Padma-Purana, we can understand that the living entities, they’re very, very small particles of the supreme spirit soul, or God. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah. And their dimension is also mentioned, kesagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca: the one ten-thousandth part of the top of the hair. And jiva-bhago sa vijneya sa anantaya kalpate. So the living entities are already ananta, unlimited. In another place of Upanisad, Kathopanisad, we find that nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. 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 varna-sankara. Varna-sankara, 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 insects, from insects to birds, and then from birds to the beasts, from beasts to human being. So there are 8,400,000′s of living entities in different species of life. And in the Bhagavad-gita it is said,
sambhavanti murtayo yah
tasam mahad-yonir brahma
aham bija-pradah pita
So Krsna, 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 varna-sankara, 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 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-gita says, annad bhavanti bhutani. The maintenance of the living entities–bhutani means living entities–can be done by production of food grains. Annad bhavanti bhutani. Then parjanyad anna-sambhavah. And then it is said, parjanyad anna-sambhavah, yajnad bhavati parjanyo yajnah karma-samudbhavam. This formula is given in the Bhagavad-gita, 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 grains. That is the problem. It is not the problem of overpopulation. It is the problem that we are not producing food grains. This is clearly stated, that unless you have sufficient food grains, 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, samskara. So therefore in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, strisu dustasu varsneya jayate varna-sankarah. If the women are not married, then varna-sankara population will increase. It is said. And as soon as there is varna-sankara population, the whole world will be in chaotic condition.
So the, our Krsna consciousness movement, we are suggesting from the sastras, 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 Isopanisad, we understand… Not only this planet; in every planet there is sufficient arrangement.
purnam adah purnam idam
purnat purnam udacyate
purnasya purnam adaya
purnam eva avasi…
It is factually complete. There is no problem. The problem is that we are not following the, I mean to…, 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 dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam. 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… Isavasyam idam sarvam. Everything be… Now this United Nations, 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: isavasyam idam sarvam. If we accept this, if the United Nations makes this resolution, that “From this date, let us dissolve this so-called nationality, accept this whole planet belonging to us, all the human beings, 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 Srimad-Bhagavatam 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 Bhagavata makes the center as God. Everything belongs to God. The Communist says that everything belongs to the state, and the Bhagavata says everything belongs to God. So from the idea, this is very nice idea. Now we are… Krsna claims in the Bhagavad-gita 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. Krsna says, sarva-yonisu: “All species of life.” Therefore God has provided for everyone’s sufficient necessities of life. For example, just like we are human beings, 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?
Prabhupada: Kilos. But they are also eating. There is no scarcity of food for them. So it is a fact that eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. But because we don’t believe in God, we manufacture our own ideas; therefore we create simply chaotic condition.
So according to Bhagavad-gita, 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 are. 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 Rsabhadeva. I will recite some verses. That is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is stated in the Fifth Chapter of the Fifth Canto. It is said, Rsabha uvaca. Rsabhadeva was a, the emperor of this world. He was advising his sons. So he said,
nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke
kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye
tato tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam
suddhyed yasmad brahma-saukhyam anantam
This is the instruction of Rsabhadeva to his sons. “My dear sons, this human form of body, ayam deha, this body, na, not…” Na ayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke. Everyone has got a body. The cats and dogs, they are also possessing a body, and the human being also possessing a body. So what is the difference between the cats and dogs and human society? So Rsabhadeva says, ayam deha-bhajam nrlo…, kastan kaman na arhati yad vid-bhujam. To accept too much labor for the necessities of life, kaman… Kaman means the necessities of life. This life, this human form of life, is not meant for that. It is meant for vid-bhujam, 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, for tapasya, tapasya, voluntarily accepting renouncement. This is human life. That is our Vedic principle, compulsory sannyasa. There are varnasrama-dharma. So student life, brahmacari; then married life, grhastha; then vanaprastha; then sannyasa. That is tapasya. The brahmacari is also trained up for austerity and penances. That is brahmacari. The grhastha also… Because from brahmacari life, they go to grhastha life, they are trained up in tapasya. Then again, at the age of fiftieth year, they give up the family life, they take vanaprastha. 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 sannyasa. This is varnasrama-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 not…, that is not Hindu dharma. Our… From the Vedic literature, we understand the varnasrama-dharma, varnasrama: four varnas and four asramas. Varnasramacaravata. In the Visnu-Purana, you’ll find this word. In the Bhagavad-gita, you’ll find. In the Bhagavata you’ll find. So really Indian civilization or Aryan civilization, Vedic civlization, means varnasrama-dharma.
purusena parah puman
visnur aradhyate pumsam
So this human form of life, here, according to the instruction of Rsabhadeva, 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 sastras. 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 divyam putraka. 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-gita you’ll find, janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah. So we should undergo tapasya, penance, austerity, for transcendental realization. Divyam. Tapo divyam putraka: “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 divyam putraka yena sattvam suddhyet. 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 jayate na mriyate va kadacit. The living entity never takes birth, neither dies. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire: “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-ananda-vigraha, eternal, full of bliss, and 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-ananda-vigraha. This is called suddhyet 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-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam.
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 literatures, 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 Bhagavata, 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. Mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram. Prakrti, this material nature… In the Bhagavad-gita… 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-gita it is said, mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram. 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-gita, daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya. 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. Karanam guna-sango ‘sya sad-asad-janma-yonisu. So our only request is: Those who are working in the United Nations in so many different departmental situations, if they will take advantage of this great cultural book, Bhagavad-gita, 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 Krsna.
Guru Gauranga: 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 Srimad-Bhagavatam. So we hope we can share this knowledge with you. If you have some questions, His Divine Grace would be disposed to answer.
Guest (1) (Indian man): Swamiji, nobody will disagree with you that taking the world’s 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, 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…
Prabhupada: Yes. So-called nationalism.
Guest (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.
Guest (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-gita, but also in the Bible, they say, “The earth is the Lord’s.” And in the Koran also it is said that Al addha lila, which means the same thing.
Guest (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…
Prabhupada: Now, one thing is that…
Guest (1):. You see. What is the solution?
Prabhupada: 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-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigaccet samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham. So the… You have to approach persons who can make the solution. So that is, that is the injunction, tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigaccet. Who is guru? Guru means srotriyam, who knows all the Vedic literature, the information. Srotriyam. And brahma-nistham. Brahma-nistham means completely God conscious. These are two qualifications. Those who are claiming that “I am God,” cheating people, they are not gurus. Guru means he’s always… Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya. That is the definition of guru. Guru is accepted as good as God, saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastraih, in all Vedic literature, tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih, and those who are learned, advanced, they accept it. But what is the position of guru? Kintu prabhor yah 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 if 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.
Guest (1): Yes. Do you have any suggestions for…?
Prabhupada: 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 U.S.A. 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 sastras. 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… (break) …and produce your own food. If you work only three months, you get the whole year’s provision. Whole year’s provision. The balance time, you save. Chant Hare Krsna. This is our movement. And be spiritually advanced. Be human being. Otherwise, it is risky. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati. 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. Karanam guna-sango ‘sya sad-asad-janma-yonisu. They do not even believe that there is life after death. I talked, in Moscow, a big professor, Kotovsky. He said, “Swamiji, 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 Srimad-Bhagavata–there will be problems. Anavrsti. Anavrsti: there will be no rain. And durbhiksa. As there will be anavrsti, no sufficient rain, there will be no sufficient production. Actually, these things are already begun. Anavrsti. 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. Acchinna-dara-dravinam gacchanti giri-kananam. 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 sastras… Immediately, we should take this instruction of Bhagavad-gita, annad bhavanti bhutani parjanyad anna-sambhavam, yajnad bhavati parjanyah. Therefore we have introduced this Hare Krsna Movement. This is yajna. In the Kali-yuga, this yajna 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 Krsna 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. Kanunga. He’s the son of late governor of Gujarat. So he said… He’s the manager of that coal distribution, government… So he said that “Now, being government concerned, 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 Krsna. Harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam, kalau nasty eva… And samples are there, these European and American boys. They were addicted to so many bad habits. Now they are… Just see how sober they are, and they’re chanting Hare Krsna. 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?
Guest (2) (Indian man): I would ask the respected swami(?), you referred to the departure of the villagers to the city and getting in that city life and the villagers(?) become factory and all workers the evils which follow. And you suggested as a solution that if you live in the villages 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 doomed,(?) and despite all these settlements, (indistinct) 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 exploited. They do. 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(?) of the village, of those who live in the village, and not go to city to pull a rickshaw or do other labor to…?
Prabhupada: (aside:) You can come in. Thing is that it is the government’s duty to see that nobody’s unemployed. That is good government. That is the Vedic system. The society was divided into four divisions: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. And it was the duty of the government or the king to see the brahmana is doing brahmana’s duty, and the ksatriya’s duty, uh, ksatriya… His duty is the ksatriya’s duty. Similarly, vaisya… So it is the government’s duty to see that why people are unemployed. Then the question will be solved.
Guest (2): But they are the people who are also in the government.
Guest (2): They are also… The entrenched(?) people, the monied people, landowners, they also have a strong voice in the government.
Prabhupada: No. That, that means bad government.
Guest (2): Yes. That is, that is true.
Prabhupada: That is bad government. Otherwise, it is the duty of the government to see that everyone is employed.
Guest (2): That’s what I am looking forward to, the day when the Krsna consciousness movement can become a real revolutionary movement which will change the face of society.
Prabhupada: 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 sastra. 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.
Guest (2): Is there a center in Geneva where this literature…?
Prabhupada: Yes, yes, yes. Give…
Guru Gauranga: We have a center in Petit-lancy, neuf(?) de Credo, with daily program, philosophy, classes, kirtana, and general training.
Prabhupada: You have not any literature having the address?
Guru Gauranga: Yes. Yes.
Prabhupada: Give them.
Guru Gauranga: 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? Krsna consciousness means that everyone can win something for the benefit of everyone else.
Guest (3) (Indian man): There is one thing, Swamiji, 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…
Prabhupada: No. It is due to bad leaders. It is due to bad leaders.
Guest (3): They are our own people. They…
Prabhupada: They may be own, your father. Just like Prahlada’s father was Hiranyakasipu, a demon. So what can be done? Prahlada was a devotee, and his father was a demon.
Guest (3): Yes. He has to be destroyed.
Prabhupada: 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 Panditaji topsy-turvied everything.
Guest (3): Yeah, and we killed him.
Guest (3): That was the first thing.
Prabhupada: And we killed him, Gandhi. Yes. So this is… Murkhayopadeso hi prakopaya na santaye. If a murkha is advised to do something, he becomes angry. Payah-panam bhujanganam kevalam visa-vardhanam. So at the present moment, our Indian leaders are not very good. Blind. They have no knowledge, and they are leading. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanah. 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?
Yogesvara: I can show them our book, Moscow Talks.
Yogesvara: We have the Moscow Talks book here, your conversation with Professor Kotovsky.
Guru Gauranga: You may see that in this presentation book we have a center in Mayapur, in Navadvipa, in West Bengal. We are distributing Krsna-prasada. There is no problem.
Prabhupada: Yes. In all our centers, we distribute prasadam. Anyone who may come, “Take prasadam.”
Guest (4) (Indian man): Has the movement involved itself in social philosophy, then? Because sometimes I’m sure you, if you propagate your good will, the moral path…
Prabhupada: Yes. We are spreading the best moral principle, Krsna consciousness.
Guest (4): But don’t you come… (sound of jet drowns out) …who don’t like you? Does it not mean a bit of problem?
Prabhupada: 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 Gauranga: 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.
Guest (5) (Indian man): Yeah, like what?
Guru Gauranga: Well, for example, Isaac Newton discovered gravity. That discovery was a universal discovery. It was an axiom. If it works here, it will work anywhere.
Guest (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 Gauranga: 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 in foodstuffs.
Prabhupada: Yes. In Virginia, it has proved very successful. We are getting eighty pounds of milk daily. And from that milk…
Pusta-krsna: Eight hundred.
Prabhupada: 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, sandesa, rasagulla. There is enough milk product. And ghee, luci, puri. They are satisfied. So that is the basic principle.
Guest (5): This is just an example of a successful corporative enterprise which is… But would you speak something new which has not been tried before?
Prabhupada: 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 buses 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.
Guest (5): Yeah. What do these people do for a living? Only grow food?
Prabhupada: No. Grow food for eating, and then they read all these books. They become spiritually advanced. That’s all. Deity worship.
Guest (5): And did you need money?
Prabhupada: 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) (European man): I would like to ask also a question. In your rural communities… I call them rural because 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 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. Of course, if you would imagine communities having not, as you have, something which (indistinct), and therefore books which can be sold, such communities would not be eased to be self-supporting in regards to everything. Food is also there. And if, by any chance, would your system…? 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 conditions here, conditions of climate, etc., are not of the same category of the ones which may exist in Asia or in other countries. The basic problem is that in former centuries most 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. So what do you say about these things?
Yogesvara: His first question was do we use machines and modern methods on our asramas and farms.
Prabhupada: 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 to be self-sufficient. Like in the Middle Ages in this country the monks were more or less self-sufficient within the frame of their land. But outside this, the peasants were really always hungry.
Guru Gauranga: He says that on a small level that may be valid like the monks who have 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.
Prabhupada: 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.
Yogesvara: 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 small communities, and then there’s also activity going on in other areas as well. But the idea in our spiritual master’s 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?
Yogesvara: He thinks that we have been saying that ultimately we’d like everyone to be engaged in food production. Is that our…?
Prabhupada: No. We don’t say that. According to the Bhagavad-gita, 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 sudras. They’ll help these three men. This is Bhagavad-gita. 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 hands, leg, brain and belly should combine together to keep the body healthy. That is the aim. So we shall now go?
Guru Gauranga: So if there are no other question, I guess we can take leave of each other and thank you very much.
Prabhupada: Yes, have sankirtana.
Guru Gauranga: There is more prasada. We have brought this for you. So we hope you’ll take. You can… (end)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada