Published on September 21st, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada9
Develop Brahminical Culture on The Basis of Protecting Cows
So therefore Krsna is teaching by His practical demonstration how He loves this innocent animal, cow. So human society should develop brahminical culture on the basis of protecting cows. The brahmana cannot take any other food except it is made of milk preparation. That develops the finer tissues of the brain. You can understand in subtle matters, in philosophy, in spiritual science.
Prabhupada: Govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
laksavrtesu surabhir abhipalayantam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
Thank you very much. So we are worshiper of the original Absolute Personality of Godhead, Govindam. Govindam. Go means senses, go means cow, and go means land. And vindam, vindam means who gives pleasure–the pleasure potency of all these three things, senses, cows, and the land. The land. Sarva-loka-mahesvaram, in the Bhagavad-gita it is said. The proprietor of all land, the maintainer of all land, to give pleasure to the people of all land, is Govinda, Krsna. Govindam. And He is the protector, and pleasing to the cows. You have seen many pictures of Krsna, He is loving cow. Why cow is loved by Him? Why not another animal? There are many other animals. Why particularly cow? Because cow protection is the most important business of the human society.
In offering obeisances to Krsna, it is said, namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca: “I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Person, who is the protector of the brahmanas and the cows.” Go-brahmana-hitaya ca jagad-dhitaya. The first qualification is that He protects the brahmanas and the cows. Next, He protects the whole world. Jagad-dhitaya krsna. And He is Krsna, govindaya, this Govinda.
So the example is set by the Supreme Personality of Godhead that human civilization will advance only on the basis of brahminical culture and cow protection. As soon as there is falldown from brahminical culture, and as soon as there is discrepancy in the protection of cows, there will be no more peace in the world. Therefore He specifically said, go-brahmana-hitaya ca. This Krsna consciousness movement is for the protection of brahminical culture and cows. Then automatically the peace of the world will come, if two things are done. This is Vedic literature. They pick up the essence of the things, and all other things follows. Just like meditation. Meditation means… Not meditation, the yoga system. Yoga indriya-samyamah. Yoga system means to control the senses. This is the primary factor of practicing yoga. Now the senses, we have got five senses acquiring knowledge and five working senses.
So of all the senses, the tongue is considered to be the most powerful sense. The Vaisnava, they therefore try to control the tongue. They do not allow the tongue to eat everything and anything. No. Svami or gosvami means who has control over the senses. Generally, people, they are servant of the senses. When people, when a man becomes, instead of becoming servant of the senses, when he becomes master of the senses, then he is called svami. Svami is not this dress. This dress is superfluous, just to… As in everywhere there is some uniform dress to understand that “He is, he…” Actually, svami means who has control over the senses. And that is brahminical culture. Satya sama dama titiksa arjavam, jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam. Brahman, Brahman means brahmana, brahminical culture. Truthfulness, cleanliness, and controlling the senses, controlling the mind, and simplicity and tolerance, full of knowledge, practical application in life, faith in God–these qualifications are brahminical culture. Anywhere we practice these qualifications, he’ll revive brahminical culture. It is not that in a particular country or particular society or particular class of men they are brahmanas. No. Bhagavad-gita does not say that. Brahma-karma svabhava-jam. Svabhava-jam, natural activities.
So truthfulness, controlling the senses, controlling the mind, and simplicity, and cleanliness, and tolerance, and knowledge, and practical application of knowledge in life. So this Krsna consciousness movement is for training brahmacaris. Brahmacari means who are being practiced to the brahminical culture. So, there must be a portion of the population well versed in brahminical culture. Ekas candras tamo hanti na ca tara sahasrasah. Just like in a garden if there is one nice flower plant, rose, with good scent, the whole garden becomes flavored, you see? Scented. Similarly, we do not expect that the whole population of the human society will be taking to this brahminical culture; but even one percent of the whole population accepts this brahminical culture, Krsna consciousness, then the whole world will be peaceful. Not even one percent, less than one percent. It is so nice.
So Krsna consciousness movement is very scientific movement. Unless you raise the population from the animal propensities, how you can expect peace? Do you think is there any peace in the dog society, in the cat society? No, it is not possible. You keep some dogs. They meet.
As soon as they meet together there will be howling–“gow, gow, gow, gow.” So you cannot expect if you create dog society, then you cannot expect. You have to create a portion, a certain percentage of the population, brahmanas. Then there is possibility. Just like in the sky the numerical strength of the stars are greater, but there is one moon. That one moon is sufficient to illuminate the sky. Ekas candras tamo hanti na ca tara sahasrasah. Millions of millions of stars twinkling, they cannot dissipate the darkness. You see. Only one moon, only one sun. So try to make some percentage of the population actually brahmana. Go-brahmana-hitaya ca. And protect the cows. Actually, we are taking so much advantages. So from the cows, the milk. And from the milk we can make hundreds of vitaminous foodstuff, hundreds. They’re all palatable.
So such a nice animal, faithful, peaceful, and beneficial. After taking milk from it, if we kill, does it look very well? Even after the death, the cows supply the skin for your shoes. It is so beneficial. You see. Even after death. While living, he gives you nice milk. You cannot reject milk from the human society. As soon as there is a child born, milk immediately required. Old man, milk is life. Diseased person, milk is life. Invalid, milk is life. So therefore Krsna is teaching by His practical demonstration how He loves this innocent animal, cow. So human society should develop brahminical culture on the basis of protecting cows. The brahmana cannot take any other food except it is made of milk preparation. That develops the finer tissues of the brain. You can understand in subtle matters, in philosophy, in spiritual science. Just like in a scientific college, not ordinary man can understand the scientific intricacies. They require some preliminary qualification to enter into the scientific college. They require some preliminary qualification to enter into the law college, in the postgraduate classes. Similarly, to understand the subtle or finer implications of spiritual science, one has to become brahmana. Without becoming brahmana it is not possible.
Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. There are four classes of men created by God: catur-varnyam. How they are divided? How the classification is made? Guna-karma-vibhagasah: by classification of quality and work. Not by birth. In India, of course, this classification of guna-karma-vibhagasah was originally planned from the Vedic age. But later on, a class of men, without any qualification, without any practical work, they claimed that “I belong to such and such class.” Therefore India’s falldown was inevitable. So Bhagavad-gita says, “Not like that.” Bhagavad-gita says that these classes of men, catur-varnyam–the brahminical class, the ksatriya class, the vaisya class, and the sudra class–is everywhere. Not only in India, but also throughout the whole universe, in every country, in every nation, in every society, there must be some people who have brahminical tendency. Just like from your country, we have picked up some boys and girls who are inclined to adopt this way of life.
So this Krsna consciousness movement is simply picking up where there are brahminical class of boys, girls, men. Not that we are taking account, “Oh, who is your father? Is your father a brahmana?” No. We don’t take account. His father may be anything; it doesn’t matter. But if he has got tendency to accept this Krsna consciousness, we immediately welcome: “Come on.” And we teach him this brahminical qualification–to become brahmacari, not to indulge in illicit sex life, don’t take nonvegetarian diet. We recommend not exactly nonvegetarian diet. We are vegetarian diet, we restrict from nonvegetarian diet, but we recommend Krsna prasadam. We have no quarrel with the nonvegetarians, because vegetable also has got life. The plants, the grass, the trees, the fruits, the flowers, they have also life. They are not dead. So simply becoming vegetarian is no great qualification. Somebody is taking meat and somebody is taking vegetable, it does not make any difference. But we are taking vegetables not as vegetarian. We are taking as Krsna prasadam, remnants of foodstuff offered to Krsna. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita that,
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
Krsna said that “If somebody offers Me some foodstuff prepared from vegetables and fruits and grains”–grains are also fruits–“so with love and devotion, then I eat.” Therefore we offer these things to Krsna. Just like here, we have offered fruits. Not that because we are vegetarian, but Krsna wants this. Just like if you invite some of your friend, you ask him, “My dear friend, what do you like to eat?” So if he says, “I like this,” so you immediately supply. This is the sign of love. Similarly, because Krsna says, “If somebody offers Me fruits, flowers, grains, milk, with devotion and love, I will eat,” so we are pledged to Krsna, I offer these things to Krsna, and we eat. That is our process. We have no quarrel with nonvegetarian or vegetarian. No. Because vegetable has also got life.
And in the Bhagavad-gita it is also stated that yajna-sistasinah santo mucyante sarva-kilbisaih. You have to eat after offering sacrifice. Sacrifice means to worship the Supreme Lord. That is called sacrifice. So if anyone eats the remnants of sacrificial foodstuff, then he is freed from all kinds of sins.
The purport is that those who are vegetarian, they are thinking that “We are better than the nonvegetarian.” But it is not the fact. Either you eat vegetables or nonvegetable, you are liable to be punished because you are accepting something without offering to the supplier. That is the law. We must acknowledge at least that “This foodstuff is supplied by the Supreme Lord, and we are obliged to Him.” In Christian Bible also, they pray, “O God, give us our daily bread.” So one should accept that it is supplied by God. So if one does not even accept this obligation, then he is sinful, certainly. So, yajnarthat karmano ‘nyatra. Yajna-sistasinah santo mucyante sarva-kilbisaih. One who offers sacrifice and then he takes foodstuff, then he becomes freed from the sinful activities. In the eating there is sinful activity also. But bhunjate te tv agham papa ye pacanty atma-karanat: anyone who is simply cooking for himself, he is simply eating sins. These are the statements of Bhagavad-gita. Therefore it is our duty to offer foodstuff to the Lord and then take it: “My Lord, You have supplied so nice foodstuff for my maintaining my life, so You first of all taste it, and then I shall eat it.” It is very nice. This is Krsna consciousness. This is Krsna consciousness.
Krsna is not going to take your foodstuff. But simply if you think like that, then you become freed from the implication of sinful activities. We are in such a position that in every step there is sinful activity, every step. This world is so made. Just like nonviolence. Nonviolence, the Buddhist philosophy, the Jain philosophy, they advocate nonviolence. But how one can be nonviolent? We are walking on the street, there are so many ants and small germs, they are being killed. We are breathing, so many animals are being killed. We are drinking water, so many animals are being killed. How it is possible to become nonviolent? It is not possible. Therefore in every step we have to act in Krsna consciousness, or God consciousness. Then there is indemnity from the sinful activities. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gita, that yajnarthat karmano ‘nyatra loko ‘yam karma-bandhanah [Bg. 3.9]. Unless you act in Krsna consciousness, or God consciousness, or as ordered by Krsna, or God, then you become bound up by the reaction.
loko ‘yam karma-bandhanah
tad-artham karma kaunteya
“Therefore, My dear Arjuna,” Krsna is instructing Arjuna, that “you simply act for Krsna, or God,” tad-artham, “not for any other purpose.” Don’t create your action. Simply act according to the direction of the Lord. Mukta-sangah samacara. Then you will be freed from the reaction of your act. There are many examples. Just like a soldier: when he is killing in the battlefield on the higher authorities of government and commander-in-chief, he is not liable for killing. He is, rather, rewarded. The same man, if he kills on his own account somebody, he is hanged. Immediately he becomes liable to the law.
Therefore the whole life should be so modeled that we shall simply act for God, or Krsna. That is Krsna consciousness. The Krsna consciousness activities are called bhakti, devotional service. And how they are discharged, that is very nicely explained in many Vedic literatures, Bhagavad-gita also. Especially in Narada-pancaratra it is stated,
sevanam bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170]
One has to become freed from all designations. Freed from all designation. What is the designation? “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am brahmana,” “I am ksatriya,” “I am this,” “I am that.” These are all designations. Actually, I am spirit soul. I have got this designation on account of my accepting this material body, but I am not this body. This is the first instruction in the Bhagavad-gita. Spiritual instruction begins from this platform, that “I am not this body.” Because bodily concept of life is animal life. The dog thinks that “I am this body”; the cat thinks, “I am this body.” But if a human being thinks that “I am this body,” then what is the difference between cats and dogs? Human being must try to understand, “What I am?” This is called knowledge. And when he comes to the understanding aham brahmasmi, “I am spirit soul, oh, I am spirit soul…” Just like Socrates, he realized. When he was asked by the judge, “Mr. Socrates, how you want to be entombed?” he answered, “First of all, capture me; then you entomb me. You are seeing my body. You have no vision that I am soul.” This is right vision.
Bhagavad-gita says, therefore, panditah sama-darsinah.
brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
Panditah means one who is learned. He sees everything equally, because he does not see the body. He sees the spirit soul. He sees the spirit soul, both in human being… The different kinds of human being… Somebody may be very high, or somebody may be very, very low, or animal, or… But panditah, one who is learned, he sees the spirit soul. Panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]. He knows that this is only dress. Suppose a gentleman has come in this meeting. If he is not properly dressed, that does not mean he should be hated. Similarly, one who is pandita, learned, he does not discriminate between man and animal because they have got different dress. No. The animal life and human life, so far maintenance of the body is concerned, it is equal. The animal eats, the man eats. The animal sleeps, the man sleeps. The animal mates, the man also mates. The quality or degree of mating or eating may be different, but the eating is there, sleeping is there, mating is there, and defending is there. But what is the difference between man and animal? Man knows, at least, he should try to know, “What I am? What is God? What is this world? What is our interrelation?” This is man’s business. This is called athato brahma jijnasa. In the Vedanta-sutra, the first sutra, aphorism, is atha atah brahma-jijnasa: “This human form of life is meant for inquiry about the spirit, Supreme Spirit, Brahman.” That is the beginning of spiritual education.
So spiritual education-first to understand “What I am,” then “What is God,” “What is this world.” “What is our interrelation,” then “What is God’s position,” “What is my position,” “How I shall deal with God”–these things are spiritual education, and human life is meant for that purpose. The nature gives chance to the living entity, this developed consciousness of human being, in order to understand these things. And if he is fortunate enough to understand that he is spirit soul, he is Brahman, then the Bhagavad-gita gives definition of such man that brahma-bhutah prasannatma: [Bg. 18.54] as soon as he comes to the understanding of spiritual platform, then he becomes joyful, immediately-freed from all anxieties. Joyfulness means freed from all anxiety. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati [Bg. 18.54]. He has no more any hankering and no more lamentation. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati, samah sarvesu bhutesu… And he sees everyone on the spiritual platform, equally. And then the life of devotion, service to the Lord, begins.
So this is the process. This is the process of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the process is recommended that one should become freed from the designation. Because designation, accepting the designation, means ignorance.
That is ignorance. So we have to transcend this position of designation. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. And by reviving our lost relationship with the Supreme Lord, we become cleansed. That is brahminical stage. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Nirmalam means cleansed, and hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam. When your consciousness is cleansed, then you can only render service to the Lord. Otherwise not. So long our consciousness is not clean, consciousness is polluted, there is no possibility of rendering service to the Lord. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam [Cc. Madhya 19.170].
Hrsika, hrsika means senses purified by being freed from designation. When it is purified in connection with activities of Krsna, or God, then he can render service to the Lord, Hrsikena. That is called bhakti. This is bhakti. Bhakti is nothing artificial. It is the activity of healthy stage. Just like a man, when he is diseased, his activities are differing from the man who is cured and healthy. To become healthy does not mean to kill the patient. To kill…, not to kill him, but to cure him from the disease, that is real treatment. The whole treatment of the human society should be like that: to cure him from the disease of forgetfulness his relationship with God. Then when he is cured, when he is in healthy state, then there will be no more trouble in the world. Peace and prosperity can be established when people are no more in the designated stage, when he is free. So it is not expected, however, that cent percent population of the world will be such free from all contamination. But even a certain percentage only, even most insignificant, one percent or less than that, millions in one, then the face of the world will change.
So this Krsna consciousness movement is just trying to turn the face of the people towards the Supreme Lord and by practical application of the knowledge in life, brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, sannyasa… This is the process. So it is not sectarian process. Just like students can be picked up from any society, similarly, person inclined to understand the science of God can be picked up from any society. There is no question of designation. It is not that it is meant for the Hindu or meant for the Christian, meant for the Buddhist. Anyone who is interested in the science of God, they are welcome in this movement, Krsna consciousness.
Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances)
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture Los Angeles, December 4, 1968)