By:Compiled by Dama Ghosha Dasa (Seattle, USA)
The following are some important points that Srila Prabhupada makes about how a devotee or anyone for that matter who is a little intelligent should try to live in this material world. He explains that the Vedic culture was based upon INDEPENDENT LIVING which means one should not be dependent upon others constant "mercy" for one’s livelihood. Chanakya Pandit also explains in a similar way that if one is too dependent upon others’ "mercy" then it shortens the duration of one’s life. This means one becomes weaker and weaker by this method of so called living.
So this type of so called kali yuga living where everyone seems to be dependent upon so many others, cripples one’s innate strength and weakens one’s character because he or she has to beg for sustenance from others in order to live. (See quotes below)
Srila Prabhupada has given us the formula to eliminate this inherent weakness of this age. Everyone should grow their own food and depend upon Krishna and not kali yuga for his or her sustenance. .."Sarva kama duga mahih.."Everything one needs comes from mother earth. I am sure many who read this will get highly irritated thinking 'yeah right - I'm just going to pack it in and go live in the country somewhere'.
That is the real solution that Prabhupada gives and I have devoted several articles for this theme. But a practical step towards that end is that one should figure out a way to live in this world without begging from others. In others words, use our God given intelligence to figure out a way to live like a devotee, and be independent for the most part of the kali yuga rat race. It can be done and thousands are doing it.
Lecture, June 17, 1972, Los Angeles
Lecture, June 17, 1972, Los Angeles
Service of the Lord is the completely purified use of the senses, as it is described in the Bhagavad-gita. The Lord imparted instructions with full senses, and Arjuna received them with full senses, and thus there was a perfect exchange of sensible and logical understanding between the master and the disciple.
Spiritual understand(ing) is nothing like an electrical charge from the master to the disciple as it is foolishly claimed by some propaganda-mongers. Everything is full of sense and logic, and the exchange of views between the master and the disciple is possible when the reception is submissive and real only. In the Chaitanya-charitamrita it is said that one should receive the teaching of Lord Chaitanya with intellect and full senses so that one can logically understand the great mission."
Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.19 Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart
samstutah purusah pasuh
jatu nama gadagrajah
samstutah purusah pasuh
jatu nama gadagrajah
Men who are like dogs, hogs, camels and asses praise those men who never listen to the transcendental pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna, the deliverer from evils.
The general mass of people, unless they are trained systematically for a higher standard of life in spiritual values, are no better than animals, and in this verse they have particularly been put on the level of dogs, hogs, camels and asses. Modern university education practically prepares one to acquire a doggish mentality with which to accept the service of a greater master. After finishing a so-called education, the so-called educated persons move like dogs from door to door with applications for some service, and mostly they are driven away, informed of no vacancy. As dogs are negligible animals and serve the master faithfully for bits of bread, a man serves a master faithfully without sufficient rewards.
Lecture, June 13, 1972, Los Angeles
..." Why these four kinds of animals have been selected to compare? That is explained. Sva means dog. A dog, however powerful it may be, very strong, stout, but it, unless it has got a master, its life is very precarious. Dog. Just see our education at the present moment. Very advanced education. Many Indian students come here also to take advanced education. But actually, we consider this education creating dogs. Why? Now, because however technologist you may be, if you don't get a suitable service, all your education is finished.
Therefore, after education you'll have to write application, "My dear sir, I am such and such qualified dog. (laughter) If you'll kindly give me some service." And the tail is like this. (laughter) You see? Just imagine. If by education he becomes independent ... Just like Vedic culture. The brahmanas, the kshatriyas, the vaishyas, they are independent. The shudras are compared with the dogs because they cannot live without a master. Brahmana, he will not accept anyone's service. That is real brahmana. A kshatriya will never accept anyone's service. Why the battle of Kurukshetra was there? The Kurus, they took away the whole kingdom of the Pandavas. But they were kshatriyas. How they will live? Therefore the fight was necessity. The kshatriyas must be, must have some land to collect taxes. That is the kshatriya’s source of income. The brahmana's source of income, pathana pathana yajana yajana ... They must be learned scholar, they must teach others, they must be devotee and teach others how to become devotee.
They must take contribution and must spend for Krishna. This is brahmana. No service. Formerly, no brahmana ... Sanatana Gosvami, Rupa Gosvami, they were born in high-class brahmana family, Sarasvata brahmana, but because they accepted the service of Nawab Hussein Shah, immediately they were rejected from brahmana society. It is by the grace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that they again became gosvami. Otherwise, they were rejected. No brahmana could take service and especially service of a low-class man. That is ... In Bhagavata you will see especially that if a brahmana is in difficulty, he may accept the profession of a kshatriya or utmost of a vaishya, but never take the profession of a shudra. What is the profession of shudra? Shudra ... Paricaryatmakam karyam sudra-karma svabhava-jam. One who is hankering after service, he is shudra. He has no capacity to live independently. The brahmana, real brahmana, he will starve, he will die out of starvation. He will never accept anyone's service. That is brahmana. Uncha-vrtti. If he has no income, he will go on the field... And when the grains are taken away, some grains fall down. They will pick up all those grains and live on that. Still, they will not go to anyone that "I am hungry. Give me something." No. Uncha-vrtti. So our education ... And why we were so independent? Because the education was very high, Vedic education. Satisfied with Brahman realization. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma. Not very long ago, say about 300 years ago, there was a brahmana, a very rigid brahmana, in Krishna-nagara, near our Mayapura. And brahmana's business, he was teaching So the king of that place, means a big zamindar, Raja Krishnachandra ... By his name, that place is Krishna-nagara. So he heard about the brahmana, very learned brahmana, but very poor. So he one day came to him and asked him, "Brahmana, can I help you anyway?" So he said, "No, I don't require any help from you."
"No, I see you are so poverty-stricken. You have no sufficient means." "No, I am not poverty-stricken. My students, they get some alms of rice. So my wife boils the rice, and here is a tamarind tree. So I take some leaves and boil it, and that's sufficient. Why I am
poverty-stricken?" He's satisfied, whatever is coming automatically, that's all. He doesn't require any higher standard of life, any botheration. He is satisfied, little rice and tamarind juice. That's all. So in each and every home, formerly, this independence was very much valued. So at the modern education this independence is being killed. People are becoming unemployed, machine. Machine ... High technologist means he must find out a job where technological machines are there. Otherwise he will starve, and he will have to go round, factory to factory: "Will you give me some service?" "No vacancy." Yes. So we shall discuss further next, tomorrow. (end)
Lecture, June 14, 1972, Los Angeles
..The test should be... Public, general public, they may be like cats, dogs, hogs naturally because they have no sufficient education. Not they are expected to be highly educated, general mass of people. But if arrangement is made to give them chance of hearing Hare Krishna mantra, then they will be very big men, perfect men. That should be the policy of Krishna consciousness movement. We should accept the general mass of people no matter than dogs, hogs. It is in your country, "Dog is best friend." Because he is a dog. Therefore he has chosen a best friend dog. And cow, mother, giving milk and actually drinking--"Send her to the slaughterhouse." Just see. Is it not an animal, who is making friendship with dogs and sending mother to the slaughterhouse? What is your answer? This is my charge against your country. What is your answer?
Prabhupada: Yes. They are such foolish persons. They are making friendship with dog, which has no value except creating some offense. The dog's business is, you are not offender, still it will offend, "Gow! Gow! Gow!" (laughter) "Oh, I have not entered your house. Why you are barking?" No, it is his business. He will disturb you. He'll come. We have experience. Unnecessarily they come. At least, make a show of, to attack. That means offending. If... Suppose you are passing on the road, and if I come with a stick, "Why you have come here?" Is it not offense? All right, if I trespass in your house, you
can attack with me a stick. Or no, in your country one can kill. You see. Such a nice mentality. But men are also like that. They deserve to be killed. This is going on. So the animal society. You cannot believe a man, just like animal cannot believe another animal. This is... So it is very rightly written, sva-vid-varaha ustra khara. Sva-vid-varaha ustra-kharaih samstutah purusah pasuh.
Bhagavad-gita 4.22 Purport Transcendental Knowledge
A Krishna conscious person does not make much endeavor even to maintain his body. He is satisfied with gains which are obtained of their own accord. He neither begs nor borrows, but he labors honestly as far as is in his power, and is satisfied with whatever is obtained by his own honest labor. He is therefore independent in his livelihood. …
Bhagavad-gita 3.35 Translation Karma-yoga
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.
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.44 PurportSimple hearing is not all; one must realize the text with proper attention. The word nivista means that Suta Gosvami drank the juice of Bhagavatam through his ears. That is the real process of receiving Bhagavatam. One should hear with rapt attention from the real person, and then he can at once realize the presence of Lord Krishna in every page. The secret of knowing Bhagavatam is mentioned here. No one can give rapt attention who is not pure in mind. No one can be pure in mind who is not pure in action. No one can be pure in action who is not pure in eating, sleeping, fearing and mating. But somehow or other if someone hears with rapt attention from the right person, at the very beginning one can assuredly see Lord Sri Krishna in person in the pages of Bhagavatam.