Quotes from Srila Prabhupada
Room Conversation with Professor Durckheim German Spiritual Writer -- June 19, 1974, Germany
Prabhupāda: My idea is that all our centers should be self-supported. We do not like that idea that for your support you have to go 100 miles to get your bread. That is a very dangerous drawback. You produce your food locally and then support yourself. The main problem is what to eat, where to sleep. So we get some place and support ourself by producing our own food. We have already begun in New Vrindaban, New..., West Virginia, Virginia, and similarly in other centers, we are producing our food, grains, vegetables, fruits and milk. That is sufficient. But we don't kill any animals. That we don't do.
Letter to Yasomatinandana -- 14 October, 1976
But we are not going to develop a competitive farming enterprise for making money. The basic principle is to become independent of artificial city life, working in factories producing nut and bolts. Gandhi has this idea, the one defect was that there was no Krsna in the center. So the same village organization, but keeping Krsna in the center should be introduced on our farm projects.
Letter to Rupanuga -- Mayapur 21 February, 1976
Yes, this supplying of milk to the temple is wanted. Thank you. In the way that Atlanta is doing, every center must have a farm so we can get all milk and if possible vegetable, even fruit, flowers and milk.
Lecture - SB 1.8.35 -- Mayapura, October 15, 1974
Here it is said that avidyā-kāma-karmabhi. By ignorance, they are thinking by opening factories they will be happy. That is avidyā. He does not know that this is ignorance. Why you should open factory? That is... This is called ugra-karma. There is no need of opening factory. You have got land. Here are so many lands. You produce your food grains. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni (BG 3.14). You eat sumptuously food grain, milk, and that will be available without any factory. The factory cannot produce milk or food grain. The present scarcity of foodstuff means everybody is engaged in the city, producing bolts and nuts. Who is producing food grain? This is the solution of economic problem. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni. Therefore we are trying to engage our men to produce their own food. Be self-sufficient so that these rascals may see that how one can live very peacefully, eating the food grains and milk, and chant Hare Krishna. This is our mission.
Letter to Subhavilasa -- Mayapur 16 March, 1977
Whatever is available easily we can use. There is no objection to using electricity. But we should not be dependent upon it. Produce oil from castor seeds and stock the oil sufficiently. It can be used in so many ways—for burning, grease, cooking, and as a purgative to cure all diseases. And oxen can be used for driving carts and go preaching village to village. What is the question of killing them? Here in India our Lokanatha Maharaja has successfully organized such a program and it is a great success. He has traveled all over India and everywhere they distribute books, prasadam and perform kirtana. Each night they stop at a different village. We can introduce many millions of such carts all over the world.
As far as possible try to adjust to a natural way of life free from dependence on machines. But our principle should be that we are against nothing and for nothing. Only for Krishna. We want whatever is favorable for Krishna. From the farms we should get sufficient foodstuffs and these can be sent to be used at our restaurants. Along with the restaurants there can be "Bhaktivedanta Reading Room" where all my books can be kept and people can come and sit comfortably and read. The people will like these restaurants and reading rooms. They will take them as non-sectarian.
Letter to Satyabhama, 30th March, 1969
The basic principle of our life in Vrindaban will be cow keeping. If we can keep cows sufficiently and grow our necessary foodstuffs, then we shall show a new way of life to your countrymen . . . completely spiritual life in healthy atmosphere in divine consciousness. And you will have ample opportunity to educate children and write books for them because there is sufficient matter for publishing such books from the Puranas, Mahabharata, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and many other allied literatures. There are thousands of ideal historical events, which if we can put with suitable pictures, it will be a great idea and people will like to have such literature.
Letter to Mahamsa Swami, 19th January, 1975
“Now we should have self sufficiency. This means to make our own food grains grow and weave our own cloth-like Mayapur. If we have good grains,milk, and cloth life becomes easy and we can save time for preaching and chanting.
Letter to Hayagriva, 7th October, 1968
“Regarding hippies, I know hippies have no money. But in New Vrindaban, our program is that the inhabitants should produce their own food, somehow or other they should be self-independent. Otherwise, what is the use of occupying such great tract of land? If we can think of starting a small institution, I think we shall get help from government and many foundations, if they understand that we are actually training people for building up character and health along with imparting education.
Letter to Hladini -- Calcutta 28 January, 1973
"This modern civilization is always artificial. You are actually learning in New Vrindaban the self-sufficient mode of living, simple living, high thinking, that is our policy, and as long as Krsna remains in the center of all these activities, then you are actually in Vrindaban. And the more you please the Deities there with your service, the more they shall reciprocate by bestowing upon you love for Sri Sri Radha Krsna."
SB 3.2.29, Purport
With only these two things, cows and grain, humanity can solve its eating problem. Human society needs only sufficient grain and sufficient cows to solve its economic problems. All other things but these two are artificial necessities created by man to kill his valuable life at the human level and waste his time in things which are not needed.
Lecture on BG 16.10 -- Hawaii, February 6, 1975
Prabhupāda: And it is said by Cānakya Pandita that if you want worldly happiness, then these things are required. Mūrkha yatra na pūjyante. Don't worship rascals and fools, mūrkha. Mūrkha yatra na pūjyante dhanya yatra susañcitam:(?) "And food grains are properly stocked." That is the Vedic civilization, that you work for three months, not very hard, simply till the ground and sow some food grain seed, and within three months it will grow, and you will have ample food grains, and you'll keep it in stock. And keep some cows. Dhanena dhanavān. They say that a rich man means one who has got sufficient stock of food grains. Food grains. Dhanena dhanavān. That is Vedic economic system. Gavaya dhanavān. Gavaya means by possessing some number of cows one is supposed to be rich. It is actually the fact. Everyone should possess some land for growing food grains and some cows to take milk. Then the whole economic problem is solved. But the asuras, they, as we have discussed in the previous verses, ugra-karmā... Where is that verse?
Letter to Yasomatinandana -- Vrindaban 28 November, 1976
You say we must have a gosala trust, that is our real purpose. krsi-goraksya-vanijyam vaisya karma svabhava-jam, (Bg 18.44). Where there is agriculture there must be cows. That is our mission: Cow protection and agriculture and if there is excess, trade. This is a no-profit scheme. For the agriculture we want to produce our own food and we want to keep cows for our own milk. The whole idea is that we are Iskcon, a community to be independent from outside help. This farm project is especially for the devotees to grow their own food. Cotton also, to make their own clothes. And keeping cows for milk and fatty products.
Our mission is to protect our devotees from unnecessary heavy work to save time for advancing in Krsna consciousness. This is our mission. So there is no question of profit, but if easily there are surplus products, then we can think of trading. Otherwise we have no such intention. We want a temple, a gosala and agriculture. A community project, as in Europe and America.
Address to Indian Association -- Columbus, May 11, 1969
So our program is to live there, depending on agriculture and cow, cow protection and agriculture. That should be the economic solution. And peacefully be in Krishna consciousness, chant Hare Krishna. That is the Vrndāvana scheme. Yuktāhāra-vihārasya yogo bhavati siddhidah. This human form of life is not meant for increasing artificial needs. We should be satisfied just to maintain the body and soul together, and balance time we should save for enhancing our Krishna consciousness, or spiritual consciousness, so that after this body we haven't got to make another material body, but we go back to home, back to Godhead. That should be the motto of human life.
Lecture 11/04/66 New York
“A man was considered to be rich man if he has sufficient quantity of grains in his possession. Similarly, if one has sufficient number of cows in his possession, he was considered rich man. Not that bank balance. There was no such bank, neither this paper money. They actually possessed the foodstuff and milk. And actually this is economic solution. If you have got sufficient milk, then you can make so many nice nutritious, full of vitamin values preparation and grains. There is no question of economic starvation if you have got simply grains and cows. So that was the standard of economic solution in days yore.”
SB 1.10.4, Purport
The basic principle of economic development is centered on land and cows. The necessities of human society are food grains, fruits, milk, minerals, clothing, wood, etc. One requires all these items to fulfill the material needs of the body. Certainly one does not require flesh and fish or iron tools and machinery. During the regime of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, all over the world there were regulated rainfalls. Rainfalls are not in the control of the human being. The heavenly King Indradeva is the controller of rains, and he is the servant of the Lord. When the Lord is obeyed by the king and the people under the king's administration, there are regulated rains from the horizon, and these rains are the causes of all varieties of production on the land. Not only do regulated rains help ample production of grains and fruits, but when they combine with astronomical influences there is ample production of valuable stones and pearls. Grains and vegetables can sumptuously feed a man and animals, and a fatty cow delivers enough milk to supply a man sumptuously with vigor and vitality. If there is enough milk, enough grains, enough fruit, enough cotton, enough silk and enough jewels, then why do the people need cinemas, houses of prostitution, slaughterhouses, etc.? What is the need of an artificial luxurious life of cinema, cars, radio, flesh and hotels? Has this civilization produced anything but quarreling individually and nationally? Has this civilization enhanced the cause of equality and fraternity by sending thousands of men into a hellish factory and the war fields at the whims of a particular man?
It is said here that the cows used to moisten the pasturing land with milk because their milk bags were fatty and the animals were joyful. Do they not require, therefore, proper protection for a joyful life by being fed with a sufficient quantity of grass in the field? Why should men kill cows for their selfish purposes? Why should man not be satisfied with grains, fruits and milk, which, combined together, can produce hundreds and thousands of palatable dishes. Why are there slaughterhouses all over the world to kill innocent animals? Mahārāja Parīkṣit, grandson of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, while touring his vast kingdom, saw a black man attempting to kill a cow. The King at once arrested the butcher and chastised him sufficiently. Should not a king or executive head protect the lives of the poor animals who are unable to defend themselves? Is this humanity? Are not the animals of a country citizens also? Then why are they allowed to be butchered in organized slaughterhouses? Are these the signs of equality, fraternity and nonviolence?
Therefore, in contrast with the modern, advanced, civilized form of government, an autocracy like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira's is by far superior to a so-called democracy in which animals are killed and a man less than an animal is allowed to cast votes for another less-than-animal man.
We are all creatures of material nature. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that the Lord Himself is the seed-giving father and material nature is the mother of all living beings in all shapes. Thus mother material nature has enough foodstuff both for animals and for men, by the grace of the Father Almighty, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The human being is the elder brother of all other living beings. He is endowed with intelligence more powerful than animals for realizing the course of nature and the indications of the Almighty Father. Human civilizations should depend on the production of material nature without artificially attempting economic development to turn the world into a chaos of artificial greed and power only for the purpose of artificial luxuries and sense gratification. This is but the life of dogs and hogs.
SB 1.14.34, Purport
The Lord is the protector of cows and the brahminical culture. A society devoid of cow protection and brahminical culture is not under the direct protection of the Lord, just as the prisoners in the jails are not under the protection of the king but under the protection of a severe agent of the king. Without cow protection and cultivation of the brahminical qualities in human society, at least for a section of the members of society, no human civilization can prosper at any length. By brahminical culture, the development of the dormant qualities of goodness, namely truthfulness, equanimity, sense control, forbearance, simplicity, general knowledge, transcendental knowledge, and firm faith in the Vedic wisdom, one can become a brāhmana and thus see the Lord as He is.
SB 1.16.18 Text & Purport
“The personality of religious principles, Dharma, was wandering about in the form of a bull. And he met the personality of earth in the form of a cow who appeared to grieve like a mother who had lost her child. She had tears in her eyes, and the beauty of her body was lost. Thus Dharma questioned the earth as follows.”
Purport: "The bull is the emblem of the moral principle, and the cow is the representative of the earth. When the bull and the cow are in a joyful mood, it is to be understood that the people of the world are also in a joyful mood. The reason is that the bull helps production of grains in the agricultural field, and the cow delivers milk, the miracle of aggregate food values. The human society, therefore, maintains these two important animals very carefully so that they can wander everywhere in cheerfulness. But at the present moment in this age of Kali both the bull and the cow are now being slaughtered and eaten up as foodstuff by a class of men who do not know the brahminical culture. The bull and the cow can be protected for the good of all human society simply by the spreading of brahminical culture as the topmost perfection of all cultural affairs. By advancement of such culture, the morale of society is properly maintained, and so peace and prosperity are also attained without extraneous effort. When brahminical culture deteriorates, the cow and bull are mistreated, and the resultant actions are prominent by the following symptoms.”
SB 10.6.19, Purport
There are so many facilities afforded by cow protection, but people have forgotten these arts. The importance of protecting cows is therefore stressed by Krishna in Bhagavad-gītā (krsi-go-raksya-vānijyam vaiśya-karma svabhāvajam (BG 18.44)). Even now in the Indian villages surrounding Vrndāvana, the villagers live happily simply by giving protection to the cow. They keep cow dung very carefully and dry it to use as fuel. They keep a sufficient stock of grains, and because of giving protection to the cows, they have sufficient milk and milk products to solve all economic problems. Simply by giving protection to the cow, the villagers live so peacefully. Even the urine and stool of cows have medicinal value.
SB 1.17.3 Text and Purport
"Although the cow is beneficial because one can draw religious principles from her, she was now rendered poor and calfless. Her legs were being beaten by a sudra. There were tears in her eyes, and she was distressed and weak. She was hankering after some grass in the field."
Purport: "The next symptom of the age of Kali is the distressed condition of the cow. Milking the cow means drawing the principles of religion in a liquid form. The great rsis and munis would live only on milk. Srila Sukadeva Goswami would go to a householder while he was milking a cow, and he would simply take a little quantity of it for subsistence. Even fifty years ago, no one would deprive a sadhu of a quart or two of milk, and every householder would give milk like water. For a Sanatanist (a follower of Vedic Principles) it is the duty of every householder to have cows and bulls as household paraphernalia, not only for drinking milk, but also for deriving religious principles. The Sanatanist worships cows on religious principles and respects brahmanas. The cow’s milk is required for the sacrificial fire, and by performing sacrifices the householder can be happy. The cow's calf is not only beautiful to look at, but also gives satisfaction to the cow, and so she delivers as much milk as possible. But in the Kali-yuga,the calves are separated from the cows as early as possible for purposes which can not be mentioned in these pages of Srimad Bhagavatam. The cow stands with tears in her eyes, the sudra milkman draws milk from the cow artificially, and when there is no milk the cow is sent to be slaughtered. These greatly sinful acts are responsible for all the troubles in present society. People do not know what they are doing in the name of economic development. The influence of Kali will keep them in the darkness of ignorance. Despite all endeavors for peace and prosperity, they must try to see the cows and bulls happy in all respects. Foolish people do not know how one earns happiness by making the cows and bulls happy, but it is a fact by the law of nature. Let us take it from the authority of Srimad Bhagavatam and adopt the principles for the total happiness of humanity."
SB 8.24.5 Text & Purport
"Sri Sukadeva Goswami said: O king, for the sake of protecting the cows, brahmanas, demigods, devotees, the Vedic literature, religious principles, and principles to fulfill the purpose of life, the Supreme Personality of Godhead accepts the forms of incarnations."
Purport: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead generally appears in various types of incarnations to give protection to the cows and brahmanas. The Lord is described as go-brahmana-hitaya ca; in other words, He is always eager to benefit the cows and brahmanas. When Lord Krsna appeared, He purposefully became a cowherd boy and showed Personally how to give protection to the cows and calves. Similarly, He showed respect to Sudama Vipra, a real brahmana. From the Lord's personal activities, human society should learn how to give protection specifically to the brahmanas and the cows. Then the protection of religious principles, fulfillment of the aim of life and protection of Vedic knowledge can be achieved. Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained; and without brahminical culture the aim of life cannot be fulfilled. The Lord therefore is described as go-brahmana-hitaya because His incarnation is only for the protection of the cows and brahmanas. Unfortunately, because in Kali-yuga there is no protection of the cows and brahminical culture, everything is in a precarious position. If human society wants to be exalted, the leaders of society must follow the instructions of Bhagavad-gita and give protection to the cows, the brahmanas and brahminical culture."
CC Adi-Lila 17.110-111
“When the astrologer was speaking so highly of Him, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu stopped him and began to smile. " My dear sir," he said, "I think you do not know very clearly what I was, for I know that in My previous birth I was a cowherd boy."
"In My last birth I was born in the family of cowherd men, and I gave protection to the calves and cows. Because of such pious activities, I have now become the son of a brahmana."
Purport: "The words of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the greatest authority, herein clearly indicate that one becomes pious simply by keeping cows and protecting them. Unfortunately, people have become such rascals that they do not even care about the words of an authority. People generally consider cowherd men lowly members of society, but herein Chaitanya Mahaprabhu confirms that they are so pious that in their next lives they are going to be brahmanas. The caste system has a specific purpose. If this scientific system is followed, human society will get the greatest benefit. Heeding this instruction by the Lord, people should serve cows and calves, and in return get ample quantities of milk. There is no loss in serving cows and calves, but modern human society has become so degraded that instead of giving protection to the cows and serving them, people are killing them. How can they expect peace and prosperity in human society while committing such sinful activities? It is impossible."
Letter to Satyabhama, 27th December 1968
"I thank you very much for your taking my time in this way. May Krsna be pleased upon you; both you and your good husband will be more and more spiritually happy by your nice service attitude in Krsna consciousness. Actually I have no desire to start the school in any city. City life, especially in this age of Kali-yuga, is very much polluted. Poet Cowper stated that the city is made by man and the village is made by God.
So in the village there is a natural tendency for Krsna consciousness, so we want to develop such atmosphere in New Vrndavana. Your cooperation in this matter will very much encourage me."
Letter to Nityananda -- Bombay 12 April, 1977
Yes, if our householders cannot distribute books, then let them live in the farm communities. They can produce thread for cloth, spinning, and other such activities. But they must do something, not sit idly, for an idle brain is the devil's workshop.
Garden Conversation -- June 14, 1976, Detroit
Prabhupāda: Yes, increase farm projects. It is very nice project. Self-dependent. Very good. Krishna personally, He lived in village, farm, cows, calves, land, Govardhana Hill. It is very nice. Land, in America, you have got so much land. Produce vegetable, grains, milk, eat sumptuously, no economic question. Prepare very nice product. And make some money by sending ghee in the city.
Evening Darsana -- February 15, 1977, Mayapura
Prabhupāda: Farm project is very nice. Krishna gives. Krsi-go-raksya-vānijyam vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). This is economic problem solved. And brāhmana, brain problem solved, and ksatriya, protection problem solved, and śūdra, labor problem solved. Four things combined together, live peacefully, happily. Chant Hare Krishna. Introduce this farm project. In America there is enough scope. So much land is lying vacant. And if there are jungles, cut the jungles; use the wood. Just like our Virginia. Big, big jungles. You cut the woods, you get ground, open field, and utilize the logs for house-making. Food, shelter, everything there. In Africa, everywhere, the nature's way. Pūrnam idam (Īśopanisad, Invocation). Everything, complete arrangement by Krishna. We have to little work.
Letter to Nityananda -- Denver 1 July, 1975
This farm project you should consider very important. The idea is that people can be self sufficient and raise their own foodstuffs and have sufficient milk to save time and chant Hare Krishna. Why should they work so hard in the hellish factories? Let everyone live simply and be Krsna conscious.
Letter to Rupanuga -- Bombay 18 December, 1974
Our farm projects are an extremely important part of our movement. We must become self-sufficient by growing our own grains and producing our own milk, then there will be no question of poverty. So develop these farm communities as far as possible. They should be developed as an ideal society depending on natural products not industry. Industry has simply created godlessness, because they think they can manufacture everything that they need. Our Bhagavad-gita philosophy explains that men and animals must have food in order to maintain their bodies. And the production of food is dependent on the rain and the rain of course is dependent on chanting Hare Krsna. Therefore let everyone chant Hare Krsna, eat nicely and keep their bodies fit and healthy. This is ideal life style. We do not condemn modern civilization but we don't like to get it at the cost of God Consciousness, that is suicide.
Letter to Kartikeya, 19th October, 1975
Now our next program will be to organize farming land to set an example to the whole world how people can be peaceful, happy and free from all anxieties simply by chanting Hare Krsna maha-mantra and living an honorable life in Krsna consciousness.
Letter to Uthal -- Allahabad 13 January, 1977
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated Dec. 31st and have noted the contents. I do not think this ship will be successful. Getting and managing a farm is a good proposal. I am encouraging farm projects everywhere. That is a very important, solid program. So do this enthusiastically and Krsna will be pleased.
Letter to Von Paul Reed, January 2nd, 1972
“Whenever we get some land available we should take the opportunity to develop it into an ideal community as envisioned for New Vrndavana. We can have a great many such communities all over the world so that the people everywhere can see how, by leading a pure and simple life of Krsna consciousness, all one’s needs in life can be satisfied. Actually, the so-called civilization of the Kali-yuga with its all over industrialization, has not been able to give man the happiness he is seeking. So as you say that your land is very suitable for cow protection and for Tulasi to grow, then Krsna is giving you the opportunity to develop the program. Protect some cows, grow crops, and if possible provide fresh milk and butter for the temples nearby.
Letter to Mahamasa Swami, 2rd August, 1975
“Of course you should not be thinking to sell any of the crops for profit. That is not our purpose. The village organization is that the local people produce their necessities like grain, vegetables, milk, and cloth; for recreation they have the chanting of Hare Krsna. They should live there comfortably and have spiritual recreation. They should not come to the cities. I wish to introduce this ideal now. Then if we are successful this cheating civilization will stop. They have made these cities as hell. If people do no cooperate with them, then how will the factories run on?
01/77 room conversation in Bhubaneshwar
“The potential is wonderful, so why are they not attracted to live in the farm and be self-independent and chant Hare Krishna? That is our farm project. Our farm project is that they should be satisfied with simple living. That is nice living. If you get milk, if you get fruit, if you get grain and open air, it is very healthy life. Why they should not be attracted?”
Letter from Tamal Krsna Goswami, Secretary to Srila Prabhupada, August 10th, 1977
(to Hari Sauri Das, ISKCON Melbourne, sent from Krsna Balarama Mandir, Vrndavana)
“Srila Prabhupada always enjoys hearing from you as you have gained an eternal position at His Divine Grace’s lotus feet. Srila Prabhupada appreciated your opening prayers.
“Srila Prabhupada was most enlivened to hear the report of New Govardhana Farm. His Divine Grace in the last month or so has been stressing the importance of these farm projects, and said, “This is the next aspect of Krsna consciousness which I wish to push forward. If I am able to travel again, then I shall visit the farms and make them perfect. On these farms we can demonstrate the full varnasrama system. If these farms become successful then the whole world will be enveloped by Krsna consciousness.
“From your letter I can understand how nice this farm is. I am very happy to see fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, grains, the devotees taking sumptuous prasadam and chanting Hare Krsna. This is the actual meaning of human life. It is a very good farm, from your letter I can understand. Whatever you build, get the building materials locally. If you can manufacture tiles locally, then your house problem is solved. Build up bamboo frame, and on it place tiles. In any event get everything locally. I wish to make a farm tour and then I shall surely visit your farm.”
“I suggested to Srila Prabhupada that he was the Farm Acarya, but Srila Prabhupada said, “Krsna is the Farm Acarya. Baladeva is holding a plow, and Krsna is holding the calf. Krsna advised Nanda Maharaja not to perform Indra puja but to worship the land, Govardhana because it was supplying all foodstuffs for the residents of Vrndavana and the cows as well.” So Srila Prabhupada wants you to develop this farm very nicely as it will be the future program to present to the world as the ideal of Krsna consciousness. In the cities, we are interested for preaching but we cannot present the ideal varnasrama system, this is only possible at the farms, so they are very important.”
Conversation New Vrindaban, West Virginia, June 24, 1976
Therefore, for the sake of the people in general, I am requesting you to pursue this farming life with great enthusiasm. Help people to see this traditional, natural way of living. You must help them see how they can become happy, how they can go back to Godhead.
So advance this project -- plain living, high thinking. This modern civilization is so nasty, A nasty civilization, artificially increasing the so-called necessities of life. Anartha -- unwanted; unbeneficial "improvements."
Letter to Rayarama dasa, 17 October, 1968
Better one should be satisfied with agricultural produce than go into large cities to be engaged in industry. Peaceful life depending on agricultural produce can bring him real happiness and prosperity, not otherwise. The more persons will be satisfied at their home, with home economics, not to go outside the home, that is peaceful life.
Vrindaban in June of 1976
Kulashekara Dasa: Once, at John Lennon’s estate in London, you said that the tractor is the cause of so much of the trouble today. It took all the work from the young men and forced them to go to the city for work, and they became entangled in sense gratification. I’ve noticed that life in the country is simpler, more peaceful. It’s easier to think of spiritual life.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. The country is less disturbing, less taxing on the brain. Just work a little for your food, and the rest of the time engage yourself in Krishna consciousness. This is ideal life.
Letter to Rupanuga -- Ahmedabad 29 September, 1975
The people are innocent. The rascal leaders say it is primitive to remain on the farm, but to do business in the city and become rogue and rascal, that is advanced. They have dog race, horse race, gambling, coca cola, pepsi cola—all unnecessary. There is no use for it but the business is going on. They take to cigarette and T.V. because they have no good engagement. They are chewing the already chewed
Room Conversation with Richard Webster, chairman, Societa Filosofica Italiana -- May 24, 1974, Rome
Yogeśvara: But ultimately isn't our idea that the city complexes shouldn't remain, that things should become more spread out to farm and rural areas?
Prabhupāda: Yes, naturally. If this man is fed up with this industry, he can go back to village and produce his own food. But he is attached to this industrial activity because he is thinking that "We are getting more money for wine and woman and meat. Let me enjoy." That is the perfect, imp... But if he chants Hare Krishna mahā-mantra, his consciousness will be purified and he will be made not interested this kind of work. He will go back to village and produce food.
Letter to: Bahudak, Bombay, 15 December 1974
I am very glad to hear about your new farm-asrama existing there. We want to develop many such farms all over the world. You are enthusiastic and intelligent and it appears that you are managing it nicely. Why not call it New Gokula instead of New Mayapur. I think that is better. It is all right that you have purchased machinery and are using on the farm but if you can do without as much as possible that is better. It sounds as if the living conditions there may be a little extreme. But if the devotees can learn to tolerate as you say they are determined, and can stay and work there that is very good. And I give all encouragement to them.
Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, ch.2, text 14; matra-sparsas tu kaunteya, sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah, agamapayino'nityas, tams titiksasva bharata O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed. So remember Krishna's instructions in the Bhagavad-gita and continue to work with all enthusiasm and encourage the others also to do the same.
As far as you opening a local Gurukula program there, I have no objection if it can be done nicely. So consult with Satsvarupa Maharaja for further instructions.
To develop a farm community such as the one you are doing, it requires much hard work and endurance. But if you work sincerely then Krishna will give you all facilities and men. Therefore continue working and follow the good example that the devotees in New Vrndavana have set and everything will go very nicely. If you have any specific questions you can refer to New Vrndavana and they may be able to help you.
Room Conversation -- January 31, 1977, Bhuvanesvara
Prabhupāda: We should not be attracted by the modern city life. Simplified life. Save time and utilize for advancing in Krishna consciousness. That is perfect life. Just like Vrndāvana. Vrndāvana life means agriculturist, cowherd boys, uneducated girls, cows and calves, and tree, fruits. This is Vrndāvana. The center is Krishna.
Yogeśvara: Simple living.
Prabhupāda: But they are the topmost devotees. These (chuckling) uneducated, without any town life, cow-men, they are Krishna's best friend. Unsophisticated, no education, but love intense—that is perfect. That attracted Krishna more. Vrndāvanam parityajya na padam ekam (sic:) na kartavya... Krishna is so much attached to Vrndāvana that He goes nowhere... What is that? They are not educated girls, up-to-date fashion, (indistinct) or nothing. Crude. As soon as there was blowing of the flute, immediately they began to run towards Krishna. Somebody is taking care of children, somebody is engaged in boiling milk, and somebody was even lying down with her husband. Still, immediately... Very crude, unsophisticated, but intense love for Krishna—that is Vrndāvana. We want to introduce this farm project means intense love for Krishna. And other things—very simple: little milk, little food grain, little vegetable, that's all.
Letter to Rupanuga dasa, 4th September, 1974
“Regarding the Buffalo project, New Vrndavana is the example. You should develop in a similar way. Have milk, vegetables, simple living, and chanting Hare Krsna. The whole world is engaged in unnecessary hard labor with their factories. It is a brain killing civilization. Let them come to free life, spend time chanting Hare Krsna, reading books and making their life successful. This is very essential propaganda. People must be informed.
Letter to Rupanuga das, 29th September, 1975
“Now, our next program will be to organize farming land to set an example to the whole world how people can live peaceful, happy and free from all anxieties simply by chanting Hare Krsna maha-mantra and living an honorable life in Krsna consciousness.
Letter to Tusta Krsna dasa, 23rd August, 1976
“You can visit our farm project at New Vrndavana and the New York Farm in Port Royal,Pennsylvania. They do everything very nicely and you can develop your farm on their model. That you are growing all your own grains is very good. It is my ambition that all devotees may remain self independent by producing vegetables, grains, milk, fruits, flowers, and by weaving their own cloth in handlooms. This simple life is very nice. Simple village life saves time for other engagements like chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra.
Letter to Kirtanananda Maharaja, 27th July, 1973
“Yes! Go on acquiring the surrounding lands and in this way we will establish a local self governing village and show all the world a practical example of spiritual life as Krsna Himself exhibited in Vrndavana. Agriculture and protecting the cow, this is the main business of the residents of Vrndavana and above all simply loving Krsna. The cows, the trees, the cowherd men and gopis, their chief engagement was loving Krsna, and in New Vrndavana we want to create this atmosphere and thereby show the whole world how practical and sublime our movement is.
Letter to Rupanuga dasa, 29th September, 1975
“So you get from all the farms your necessities, then it will be successful. Fodder, milk, grains, vegetables, and animals and man will be satisfied, and you can chant Hare Krsna. No unnecessary cow killing and no unnecessary needs of the body.”
Letter to Syamasundarji,Sri Purusottama Math, Puri, 15th November, 1976
“As we are doing in Mayapur and many other places, I want to develop self-sufficient centers with cloth and food production by devotees locally and save time as much as possible to devote themselves to chant Hare Krsna”
Morning Walk -- October 28, 1975, Nairobi
So similarly, in villages, everyone, if he has got some land, he can live simply without any gorgeous building. What is the use? Just have a cottage and have garden. You'll live very peacefully. But they're constructing big, big skyscraper building in the downtown, and they will have to come here by car for some peace of mind, and in the meantime, accident, police. This is the civilization, nonsense civilization. At weekend they will go to the village, country, and during the week-time they will work hard. This is their civilization, with the risk of life, running motor car eighty miles' speed. Every moment there is risk. What is this civilization? Most ludicrous civilization. So farming means if you live in a farm... Just like in New Vrndavana they are doing. Produce your own food, live peacefully, fresh vegetable, fresh grains, fresh milk, and prepare so many nice milk preparation, kachori, halavā with ghee. Offer to the Deity. Eat sufficiently. What is the use of going outside? Simple life and chant Hare Krishna
Grow food first of all to feed yourself sumptuously. You must get strength, and that is needed. But not for trade. The policy should be that you should be self-sufficient and save time for advancing in Krishna consciousness. That is wanted.
Interview with Newsday Newspaper – July 14, 1976, New York
Interviewer: Are they working farms, producing farms?
Prabhupada: Yes, there are many farms in your country. Just now I am coming from New Vrindaban in West Virginia. They are living. If you go sometime, you can see how independently they are living. And there are other farms, New Orleans, and just now we are going tomorrow...
Prabhupada: Pennsylvania. So there is no economic problem. So we get enough milk, enough food grains, enough fruits. So there is no economic problem. Our purpose is to save time from unnecessary necessities of life, from unnecessary necessities of life, to save time and utilize the time for developing Krishna consciousness. And so far the body is concerned, as much as it is required take and maintain the body. That's all."
Letter to Hayagriva -- Montreal 17 August, 1968
"My idea of developing New Vrndavana is to create an atmosphere of spiritual life where people in bona fide order of social division, namely, Brahmacaris, Grhasthas, Vanaprastha, Sannyasis, or specifically Brahmacaris and Sannyasis, and Vanaprasthas, will live there independently, completely depending on agricultural produce and milk from the cows. The life should be simplified without being hampered by laboring day and night for economic development, without any spiritual understanding."
"The New Vrndavana idea is that persons who live there will accept the bare necessities of life to maintain the body and soul together and the major part of time should be engaged in development of Krishna Consciousness. The whole Vedic principle is to develop Krishna Consciousness, without creating much botheration for the program of sense gratification."
Letter to Radha Krishna Dhawan -- Honolulu 10 June, 1975
"Yes, we are trying to set a perfect example according to the Bhagavad-Gita as it is, how to execute simple living and high thinking. We are not interested in any material comforts of life, which are limited and temporary. We are interested in solving the real problems of life, birth, death, old-age, and disease."
Lecture on SB 7.12.4 -- Bombay, April 15, 1976
"So if you want to be peaceful, happy, you have to again bring in the Vedic culture, simple life and high thinking. That is wanted. If you introduce more and more anarthas only, unwanted things, how you can be happy? We have to minimize even whatever we absolutely require. Absolutely we require ahara nidra bhaya maitunam ca. It has to be curtailed. That is civilization, not that increasing. This is a misguiding civilization."
Morning Walk, Delhi, November 29, 1975
Civilization will collapse very soon, all over the world. It will collapse. Either you bring this 'ism' or that 'ism', this civilization will collapse. People will become mad, being harassed in so many ways. When one is harassed in so many problems, he commits suicide. So that position is coming."
Gokularanjana das Prabhu memories vol 3 tape 44
With his cane Srila Prabhupada pointed to the skyline and said, ‘Do you see this city? This city and all cities will collapse very soon. Do you know why?’ Everyone hesitated, wondering. But Tamal Krishna quickly said, ‘Because the people here don’t know how to grow food.’ Srila Prabhupada said, ‘Yes.’ Growing food is the whole purpose of our farm communities and we are still trying to grasp their importance.”
Lecture at World Health Organization -- Geneva, June 6, 1974
Prabhupāda: No. The new thing is that they do not go outside for bread. That is the new thing. Here, at the present moment, in every big, big city, they are coming from hundred miles to the office. Now there was railway strike in Bombay. I was there at that time. Oh, people are suffering so much. You see? From five o'clock in the morning, they are standing in queue for catching one... Not bus, it is truck. The 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?
Prabhupāda: No. Grow food for eating, and then they read all these books. They become spiritually advanced. That's all. Deity worship.
Letter to Satyabhama, 27th December, 1968
City life,especially in this age of Kali-yuga, is very much polluted. Poet Cowper stated that the city is made by man and the village is made by God. So in the village there is a natural tendency for Krsna consciousnes, so we want to develop such atmosphere in New Vrndavana.
Letter to Kurusretha, 23rd July, 1973
“Yes, the city will be more dangerous place as Kali-yuga advances. It will be very deteriorating. The modern civilization is so corrupt and as sinful activities are more and more committed, the people will be forced to face more troubles, by natures order. Our business, however is to simply take shelter of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and pray to the holy name to give us protection.
Letter to Balavanta, April 28th, 1974
“Yes, inflation is due to paper currency. As for land ownership, in Vedic civilization the land was given to the people for cultivation, not for ownership, and a tax was collected which was twenty-five percent of the person’s income. The land belonged to the state and the man would cultivate it and pay twenty-five percent to the sate. If he has no income then he doesn’t have to pay. One cannot get land from the government unless he agrees to produce something and if everyone produces food then there is no scarcity. At least he has his own food produced by himself. Now people are educated as sudras. They are going to work to produce what is not urgently needed society.”
Conversation New Vrindaban, West Virginia, on June 24, 1976
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. In the city, people must naturally fall into the mode of passion: constant anxiety due to needless lusting and striving. In the city we are surrounded by all sorts of artificial things for agitating our mind and senses. And naturally, when we have this facility we become lusty. We take to this passionate mode and become filled with anxiety.
Disciple: The country is more peaceful. It's easier to think of spiritual life.
Grow our own Food
Morning Walk -- October 19, 1975, Johannesburg
Prabhupāda: Huh? What is that economical progressing? So that means busy fool. Fool, they do not know how to satisfy the economic problem. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-Gita, annād bhavanti bhūtāni: [Bg. 3.14] You grow food grains. Then all economic question... But why you are not producing food grains? Why you are producing iron stools and instruments and motor and tire and collecting petrol far away from Arabia? That is... Krishna never says that "You do all this nonsense." H Be said, "Grow food grains." Why don't you do that? That means fools. After all, you have to eat. So you are not busy in growing your food, but you are busy in producing tire tubes, motor cars, stools and instruments. Then how you will get your food? Where is your economic? First economic is, first necessity, you must eat.
Pusta Krishna: But with the tire tubes and nuts and bolts they can make a tractor. And the tractor can help produce food, they think, much faster.
Prabhupāda: No, that is waste of energy. Because you are eating the bulls, therefore you require a tractor. Otherwise you don't kill the bulls. This animal will do the business of tractor.
Lecture on SB 1.10.4 -- London, November 25, 1973
Just see how the economic problems will be solved simply by one movement, this Krishna consciousness movement. Try to understand. Mahī. Because mahī will produce everything. Just like here in this Letchmore Heath there are so many, so much land lying vacant. You produce your own food. Why you are going to London, to the factories? There is no need. This is wrong civilization. Here is land. You produce your food. If you produce your food, there is no need of going hundred miles, fifty miles on your motorcycle or motor to earn your livelihood. Why? There is no need. Then you require petrol. And petrol there is scarcity. Then you require so many parts, so many That means you are making the whole thing complicated unnecessarily. Unnecessarily. There is no need. Simply you keep to the land and produce your food, and the cows are there. They will supply you milk. Then where is your economic problems. If you have sufficient grains, sufficient vegetables, sufficient milk from the land where you are living, where your economic problem? Why you should go to other place? That is Vedic civilization. Everyone should remain in the spot and produce everything as he requires, and God will help you. Because you can produce from the land anywhere. The rainfall is there. If you have got land and the rainfall is regular, then you can produce anything
SB 1.9.26, Purport
For a human being, agricultural produce, fruits and milk are sufficient and compatible foodstuffs. The human society should give more attention to animal protection. The productive energy of the laborer is misused when he is occupied by industrial enterprises. Industry of various types cannot produce the essential needs of man, namely rice, wheat, grains, milk, fruits and vegetables. The production of machines and machine tools increases the artificial living fashion of a class of vested interests and keeps thousands of men in starvation and unrest. This should not be the standard of civilization.
Lecture - SB 6.1.49 -- New Orleans Farm, August 1, 1975
Why should you go in the city, hundred miles in car and again hundred miles come back and take unnecessary trouble? Stick to this spot and grow your own food, your own cloth, and live peacefully, save time, chant Hare Krishna. Very nice program. This is actual life. What is this nonsense life, big, big cities and always people busy?
Room Conversation -- October 5, 1975, Mauritius
Prabhupada: The idea which I am giving, you can start anywhere, anywhere, any part of the world. It doesn't matter. Locally you produce your own food. You get your own cloth. Have sufficient milk, vegetables. Then what you want more? And chant Hare Krishna. This is Vedic civilization: plain living, high thinking. And poor thinking, poor in thought, poor in behavior, and living with motorcar and this, that, nonsense. It is all nonsense civilization.
Letter to Kirtanananda, 31st July, 1969
The whole idea of New Vrndavana is that men who are living there should produce their own food, of which milk is the principles thing. Unless that position is achieved it will not be advisable to ask anyone to go there. Better to ask them to go there if they are willing to work and produce their own food.
Conversation New Vrndavana, West Virginia, on June 24, 1976
Anyway, learn to love this natural mode of life, life in a wide-open space. Produce your own grain. Produce your own milk. Save time. Chant Hare Krishna. Glorify the Lord's holy names. At life's end, go back to the spiritual world to live forever. Plain living, high thinking -- ideal life.
Lecture - Bhagavad-gita 13.35 Geneva, June 6, 1974
Ksetra means field of activities. Just like in agricultural land. You get a piece of land, and you produce your own food grain, or as you like. The government gives you a piece of land, and you have to pay a little tax, and you can grow your food grains as you like.
The same example: You are given a field, a piece of land. You can grow twice, thrice in a year very nice foodstuff, sometimes pulses, sometimes paddy, sometimes the mustard seed. Any land... In India, we have seen that a cultivator produces three, four kind of food grains in a year. That is the system... (Aside:) Not this...
That is the system that in India every man is producing his food grains independently. Now it is stopped. Formerly, all these men, they used to produce their food grain.
So they used to work for three months in a year, and they could stock the whole year's eatable food grains. Life was very simple. After all, you require to eat. So this Vedic civilization was that keep some land and keep some cows. Then your whole economic question is solved.
The whole economic question can be solved. If you have got excess, then you can trade, you can send to some place where there is scarcity. But every man should produce his own food. That is Vedic culture. You get a piece of land and produce your family's foodstuff.
So this example is given: idam sariram ksetram. That means to own a certain piece of land is the basic civilization. Everyone must have a portion of land to produce his food. There will be no economic problem.
So anyway, the whole world situation is degrading, that people are not producing their own food. This is the problem, real problem. Ksetra-ksetrajna. This example is given. As every man must possess a piece of land... Therefore this... Because it is very common thing, this example has been given. Ksetra-ksetrajnah.
Morning Walk, April 1, 1975
Satsvarupa: So if all the land belongs to God, then who decides who will distribute it to the people?
Prabhupada: You don't distribute. You live only, till the ground and take your food. Where is the question of distribution? Whatever you can till, you take so much land. God has enough land. Why do you possess more? One acre of land is sufficient for producing your food. Why do you take more?