Plain living and high thinking

From Vaniquotes
Jump to: navigation, search

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 2

The materialistic advancement of civilization is called "the civilization of the demons," which ultimately ends in wars and scarcity. The transcendentalist is specifically warned herewith to be fixed in mind, so that even if there is difficulty in plain living and high thinking he will not budge even an inch from his stark determination.
SB 2.2.3, Purport:

For this reason the enlightened person should endeavor only for the minimum necessities of life while in the world of names. He should be intelligently fixed and never endeavor for unwanted things, being competent to perceive practically that all such endeavors are merely hard labor for nothing."

The bhāgavata-dharma, or the cult of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, is perfectly distinct from the way of fruitive activities, which are considered by the devotees to be merely a waste of time. The whole universe, or for that matter all material existence, is moving on as jagat, simply for planning business to make one's position very comfortable or secure, although everyone sees that this existence is neither comfortable nor secure and can never become comfortable or secure at any stage of development. Those who are captivated by the illusory advancement of material civilization (following the way of phantasmagoria) are certainly madmen. The whole material creation is a jugglery of names only; in fact, it is nothing but a bewildering creation of matter like earth, water and fire. The buildings, furniture, cars, bungalows, mills, factories, industries, peace, war or even the highest perfection of material science, namely atomic energy and electronics, are all simply bewildering names of material elements with their concomitant reactions of the three modes. Since the devotee of the Lord knows them perfectly well, he is not interested in creating unwanted things for a situation which is not at all reality, but simply names of no more significance than the babble of sea waves. The great kings, leaders and soldiers fight with one another in order to perpetuate their names in history. They are forgotten in due course of time, and they make a place for another era in history. But the devotee realizes how much history and historical persons are useless products of flickering time. The fruitive worker aspires after a big fortune in the matter of wealth, woman and worldly adoration, but those who are fixed in perfect reality are not at all interested in such false things. For them it is all a waste of time. Since every second of human life is important, an enlightened man should be very careful to utilize time very cautiously. One second of human life wasted in the vain research of planning for happiness in the material world can never be replaced, even if one spends millions of coins of gold. Therefore, the transcendentalist desiring freedom from the clutches of māyā, or the illusory activities of life, is warned herewith not to be captivated by the external features of fruitive actors. Human life is never meant for sense gratification, but for self-realization. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam instructs us solely on this subject from the very beginning to the end. Human life is simply meant for self-realization. The civilization which aims at this utmost perfection never indulges in creating unwanted things, and such a perfect civilization prepares men only to accept the bare necessities of life or to follow the principle of the best use of a bad bargain. Our material bodies and our lives in that connection are bad bargains because the living entity is actually spirit, and spiritual advancement of the living entity is absolutely necessary. Human life is intended for the realization of this important factor, and one should act accordingly, accepting only the bare necessities of life and depending more on God's gift without diversion of human energy for any other purpose, such as being mad for material enjoyment. The materialistic advancement of civilization is called "the civilization of the demons," which ultimately ends in wars and scarcity. The transcendentalist is specifically warned herewith to be fixed in mind, so that even if there is difficulty in plain living and high thinking he will not budge even an inch from his stark determination. For a transcendentalist, it is a suicidal policy to be intimately in touch with the sense gratifiers of the world, because such a policy will frustrate the ultimate gain of life. Śukadeva Gosvāmī met Mahārāja Parīkṣit when the latter felt a necessity for such a meeting. It is the duty of a transcendentalist to help persons who desire real salvation and to support the cause of salvation. One might note that Śukadeva Gosvāmī never met Mahārāja Parīkṣit while he was ruling as a great king. For a transcendentalist, the mode of activities is explained in the next śloka.

The supply source is complete, and only a little energy by the human being is required to get his necessities into the proper channel. There is no need of machines and tools or huge steel plants for artificially creating comforts of life. Life is never made comfortable by artificial needs, but by plain living and high thinking.
SB 2.2.37, Purport:

Those who drink through aural reception, fully filled with the nectarean message of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the beloved of the devotees, purify the polluted aim of life known as material enjoyment and thus go back to Godhead, to the lotus feet of Him (the Personality of Godhead)."

The sufferings of human society are due to a polluted aim of life, namely lording it over the material resources. The more human society engages in the exploitation of undeveloped material resources for sense gratification, the more it will be entrapped by the illusory, material energy of the Lord, and thus the distress of the world will be intensified instead of diminished. The human necessities of life are fully supplied by the Lord in the shape of food grains, milk, fruit, wood, stone, sugar, silk, jewels, cotton, salt, water, vegetables, etc., in sufficient quantity to feed and care for the human race of the world as well as the living beings on each and every planet within the universe. The supply source is complete, and only a little energy by the human being is required to get his necessities into the proper channel. There is no need of machines and tools or huge steel plants for artificially creating comforts of life. Life is never made comfortable by artificial needs, but by plain living and high thinking. The highest perfectional thinking for human society is suggested here by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, namely, sufficiently hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. For men in this age of Kali, when they have lost the perfect vision of life, this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the torchlight by which to see the real path. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī Prabhupāda has commented on the kathāmṛtam mentioned in this verse and has indicated Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to be the nectarean message of the Personality of Godhead. By sufficient hearing of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the polluted aim of life, namely lording it over matter, will subside, and the people in general in all parts of the world will be able to live a peaceful life of knowledge and bliss.

SB Canto 4

A devotee should not live very gorgeously and imitate a materialistic person. Plain living and high thinking are recommended for a devotee. He should accept only so much as he needs to keep the material body fit for the execution of devotional service.
SB 4.22.24, Purport:

Another feature of the devotee is nirīhayā, simple living. Nirīhā means "gentle," "meek" or "simple." A devotee should not live very gorgeously and imitate a materialistic person. Plain living and high thinking are recommended for a devotee. He should accept only so much as he needs to keep the material body fit for the execution of devotional service. He should not eat or sleep more than is required. Simply eating for living, and not living for eating, and sleeping only six to seven hours a day are principles to be followed by devotees. As long as the body is there it is subjected to the influence of climatic changes, disease and natural disturbances, the threefold miseries of material existence. We cannot avoid them.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Instruction

Human life is meant for plain living and high thinking. Since all conditioned living beings are under the control of the Lord's third energy, this material world is designed so that one is obliged to work.
Nectar of Instruction 2, Purport:

One's devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required; (2) overendeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to obtain; (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters; (4) Practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically; (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements."

Human life is meant for plain living and high thinking. Since all conditioned living beings are under the control of the Lord's third energy, this material world is designed so that one is obliged to work.

If people are advised not to collect too many goods, eat too much or work unnecessarily to possess artificial amenities, they think they are being advised to return to a primitive way of life. Generally people do not like to accept plain living and high thinking. That is their unfortunate position.
Nectar of Instruction 2, Purport, Purport:

Collecting and eating more than necessary also causes prayāsa, or unnecessary endeavor. By God's arrangement, anyone in any part of the world can live very peacefully if he has some land and a milk cow. There is no need for man to move from one place to another to earn a livelihood, for one can produce food grains locally and get milk from cows. That can solve all economic problems. Fortunately, man has been given higher intelligence for the cultivation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or the understanding of God, one's relationship with Him, and the ultimate goal of life, love of God. Unfortunately, so-called civilized man, not caring for God realization, utilizes his intelligence to get more than necessary and simply eat to satisfy the tongue. By God's arrangement there is sufficient scope for the production of milk and grains for human beings all over the world, but instead of using his higher intelligence to cultivate God consciousness, so-called intelligent men misuse their intelligence to produce many unnecessary and unwanted things. Thus factories, slaughterhouses, brothels and liquor shops are opened. If people are advised not to collect too many goods, eat too much or work unnecessarily to possess artificial amenities, they think they are being advised to return to a primitive way of life. Generally people do not like to accept plain living and high thinking. That is their unfortunate position.

Human life is meant for God realization, and the human being is given higher intelligence for this purpose. Those who believe that this higher intelligence is meant to attain a higher state should follow the instructions of the Vedic literatures. By taking such instructions from higher authorities, one can actually become situated in perfect knowledge and give real meaning to life.

Kṛṣṇa conscious devotees know very well that this material world is designed by the complete arrangement of the Lord to fulfill all the necessities of life for all living beings, without their having to encroach upon the life or rights of one another. This complete arrangement affords the proper quota of wealth for everyone according to his real needs, and thus everyone may live peacefully according to the principle of plain living and high thinking.
Nectar of Instruction 2, Purport:

Kṛṣṇa conscious devotees know very well that this material world is designed by the complete arrangement of the Lord to fulfill all the necessities of life for all living beings, without their having to encroach upon the life or rights of one another. This complete arrangement affords the proper quota of wealth for everyone according to his real needs, and thus everyone may live peacefully according to the principle of plain living and high thinking. Unfortunately, materialists who have neither faith in the plan of God nor any aspiration for higher spiritual development misuse their God-given intelligence only to augment their material possessions. They devise many systems—such as capitalism and materialistic communism—to advance their material position. They are not interested in the laws of God or in a higher goal. Always anxious to fulfill their unlimited desires for sense gratification, they are conspicuous by their ability to exploit their fellow living beings.

When human society gives up these elementary faults enumerated by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī (atyāhāra, etc.), all enmity will cease between men and animals, capitalists and communists, and so forth. In addition, all problems of economic or political maladjustment and instability will be solved. This pure consciousness is awakened by the proper spiritual education and practice offered scientifically by the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Kṛṣṇa conscious devotees know very well that this material world is designed by the complete arrangement of the Lord to fulfill all the necessities of life for all living beings, without their having to encroach upon the life or rights of one another. This complete arrangement affords the proper quota of wealth for everyone according to his real needs, and thus everyone may live peacefully according to the principle of plain living and high thinking.
Nectar of Instruction 2, Purport:

Kṛṣṇa conscious devotees know very well that this material world is designed by the complete arrangement of the Lord to fulfill all the necessities of life for all living beings, without their having to encroach upon the life or rights of one another. This complete arrangement affords the proper quota of wealth for everyone according to his real needs, and thus everyone may live peacefully according to the principle of plain living and high thinking. Unfortunately, materialists who have neither faith in the plan of God nor any aspiration for higher spiritual development misuse their God-given intelligence only to augment their material possessions. They devise many systems—such as capitalism and materialistic communism—to advance their material position. They are not interested in the laws of God or in a higher goal. Always anxious to fulfill their unlimited desires for sense gratification, they are conspicuous by their ability to exploit their fellow living beings.

When human society gives up these elementary faults enumerated by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī (atyāhāra, etc.), all enmity will cease between men and animals, capitalists and communists, and so forth. In addition, all problems of economic or political maladjustment and instability will be solved. This pure consciousness is awakened by the proper spiritual education and practice offered scientifically by the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Why you should work so hard to satisfy your senses like the dogs, hogs and other animals? That is the Kṛṣṇa philosophy. Be satisfied, plain living and high thinking. That is required. If you miss this opportunity of human life and spoil it like dogs and hogs, then you lose the opportunity.
Lecture on BG 4.19 -- Bombay, April 8, 1974:

Kṛṣṇa has given you everything. So many varieties of fruits, so many varieties of grains, and sufficient milk. You can make milk products, so many. This is Vedic civilization, that be satisfied...

And you can produce food anywhere. Anywhere, any part. You haven't got to go from hundred miles away from Bombay city by the electric train hanging, full, for earning your livelihood. This is not civilization, making all people like asses. Kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye. This is the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke kaṣṭān kāmān arhate... (SB 5.5.1).

Why you should? Kāma. We require to fulfill our, some desires. That desire means we have to eat something, we have to sleep somewhere, we must have a little sense gratification also, and we must defend. That is allowed. That is allowed. But why kaṣṭān kāmān? Why you should work so hard to satisfy your senses like the dogs, hogs and other animals? That is the Kṛṣṇa philosophy. Be satisfied, plain living and high thinking. That is required. If you miss this opportunity of human life and spoil it like dogs and hogs, then you lose the opportunity.

Be satisfied, whatever God has given you, and culture, devote your time for reviving your eternal relationship with God. Plain living and high thinking—that is the best type of civilization.
Lecture on BG 7.15-18 -- New York, October 9, 1966:

So far your material necessities are concerned, oh, there is enough. All right, you are eating? Can your manufacturing process can supply eating from the factories? No. Then why do you bother about the factory? Why you spoil your energy? Just eat. Be satisfied, whatever God has given you, and culture, devote your time for reviving your eternal relationship with God. Plain living and high thinking—that is the best type of civilization. You want sex? Can you manufacture sex in the factory? No. Then? It is supplied by God. So everything, whatever you require, that is supplied by God. You take advantage of it and be God conscious or Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is your business.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

That is simplicity, simple living, high thinking.
Lecture on SB 1.8.21 -- Mayapura, October 1, 1974:

The brāhmaṇa, their duty is how to practice to control the mind, to control the senses, śamo damas titikṣā, to be tolerant, to be very simple, simple living, not very gorgeous living. Whatever is absolutely necessary, a brāhmaṇa will accept, not more than that. That is simplicity, simple living, high thinking.

And that is the best type of civilization. Plain living, high thinking.
Lecture on SB 5.5.3 -- Boston, May 4, 1968:

We have manufactured in so many ways encumbered ways of life. Therefore we have neglected spiritual life. And because we have neglected spiritual life there is no peace. If you want really peaceful life, then you have to make your material necessities simplified and engage your time for spiritual cultivation. Then you will have peace. And that is the best type of civilization. Plain living, high thinking. Now, in the modern days, the high living and plain thinking. Eating, sleeping, mating. This is plain thinking. This thinking also in the animals. They are also thinking what to eat, where to live, how to defend, how to have..., have semen or sex life. These are problems in animal life also. So if we keep that animal life problem, at the same time we claim that we are civilized, is it very nice? Civilization means how to get out of this material miseries—birth, death, disease and old age. That is real advancement of civilization. If there is any way and means to get out of this problem, then we must adopt in this human form of life. And that is possible in this human form of life. In no other life.

Simple life: plain living, high thinking—simplicity.
Lecture on SB 6.1.7 -- San Francisco, March 1, 1967:

Kṛṣṇa consciousness means it is above the modes of goodness. The goodness characteristic is manifested in a true brāhmaṇa. What is that characteristic? He is truthful. First thing is satya. Satya means truthful. A brāhmaṇa is supposed to speak truth even to his enemy. Everyone hides his secret before the enemy, but truthful means that he does not hide anything even to his enemy. That is brahminical qualification. Satya śama, controlling the senses, controlling the mind. Dama, controlling the senses, satya-sama-dama-śaucam, always clean, taking bath three times daily. Antar-bahiḥ. Outwardly, to wash with soap and other materials to clean, keep oneself clean, and inwardly, always thinking of Kṛṣṇa—that is cleanliness. So satya-sama-śaucam ārjavam, simplicity. Not to encourage artificial necessities of life. Simple life: plain living, high thinking—simplicity.

Make life very simple. And simple living, high thinking, and always conscious to go back to home, back to Kṛṣṇa. That is life.
Lecture on 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 Kṛṣṇa. Very nice program. This is actual life. What is this nonsense life, big, big cities and always people busy? If he wants to see one friend, he has to go thirty miles. If he has to see a physician, he has to go fifty miles. If he has to go to work, another hundred miles. So what is this life? This is not life. Be satisfied. The devotee's life should be yāvad artha-prayojanam. We require material necessities as much as it is required, no artificial life. That is spiritual life. Simply increasing artificial life, even for shaving, a big machine is required. What is this? Simply wasting time. Devil's workshop. Make life very simple. And simple living, high thinking, and always conscious to go back to home, back to Kṛṣṇa. That is life. Not this life, that simply machine, machine, machine, machine. So if you show practical example that how you are living simple life and how you are advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then people will learn from you.

So I'm glad that in spite of all difficulties you are trying to... But do it nicely. Plain living, high thinking, that is required.
Lecture on SB 7.6.10 -- New Vrindaban, June 26, 1976:

Don't be attached to sense gratification. Satisfy senses as little as possible, which is essential, needed. It is not stopped. Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa, anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ. Don't be attached to the sense gratification. Just like eating, it is also a kind of sense gratification, to satisfy the tongue, satisfy the belly. But eating is also necessary if we want to maintain our body, and with the body you have to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Without maintaining the body, or disturbing the body, we cannot.

So everything can be adjusted. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness education. And we are trying to establish an ideal colony in New Vrindaban and other places. So I'm glad that in spite of all difficulties you are trying to... But do it nicely. Plain living, high thinking, that is required. It is not necessary that unnecessarily we increase objectives of sense gratification and be entangled. Minimize it and live peacefully, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

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?
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 āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca. It has to be curtailed. That is civilization, not that increasing. This is a misguiding civilization. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). This is a civilization where a blind man is guiding a few others or many other blind men.

Arrival Addresses and Talks

So we shall advise according to Bhagavad-gītā that "Make your life very simple, plain living, but the thinking should be very high." Plain living and high thinking. So thinking is that "I am the soul. I am not this body. I am eternal. I am changing only body. And due to change of body I am suffering."
Arrival Address -- Mauritius, October 1, 1975:

So Bhagavad-gītā says, "Yes. Economic problem will be solved very easily if you produce food grains." Annād bhavanti bhūtāni (BG 3.14). You produce food grain. Just like in your country I see there is enough land. If you people produce your food grain, within three months you can get all the necessities of life for the whole year. And the balance time you can save, nine months. And these nine months you can utilize for advancing in spiritual life, because your life or my life, this human form of life, it is distinct from the cats' and dogs' life. The cats and dogs, they cannot understand what is the basic principle of life. But a human being can understand. If he takes little care, he can understand that his problem of life is due to misunderstanding, accepting this body as self. This is the problem.

So we shall advise according to Bhagavad-gītā that "Make your life very simple, plain living, but the thinking should be very high." Plain living and high thinking. So thinking is that "I am the soul. I am not this body. I am eternal. I am changing only body. And due to change of body I am suffering."

Conversations and Morning Walks

1969 Conversations and Morning Walks

So we have to live that. Plain living, high thinking.
Room Conversation with Allen Ginsberg -- May 11, 1969, Columbus, Ohio:

Prabhupāda: So we have to live that. Plain living, high thinking. The necessities of this bodily existence, that should be minimized and not unhealthy. Healthy. To keep oneself fit. But the time should be utilized-develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness, spiritual life. Then his whole problem is solved.

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

So work is required. But godly persons, they want to live a simple life and high thinking, save time for understanding of God. The demonic people, they are engaged in horrible activities.
Room Conversation with Lord Brockway -- July 23, 1973, London:

Pradyumna:

etāṁ dṛṣṭim avaṣṭabhya
naṣṭātmāno 'lpa-buddhayaḥ
prabhavanty ugra-karmāṇaḥ
kṣayāya jagato 'hitāḥ
(BG 16.9)

"Following such conclusion, the demoniac, who are lost to themselves and who have no intelligence, engage in unbeneficial, horrible works meant to destroy the world."

Prabhupāda: So work is required. But godly persons, they want to live a simple life and high thinking, save time for understanding of God. The demonic people, they are engaged in horrible activities.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

India's culture is plain living, high thinking. You require some food. Produce food, and take it, and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Morning Walk -- March 6, 1974, Mayapura:

Viṣṇujana: Prabhupāda, they say they've already done so much. The scientists will say...

Prabhupāda: What they have done? What they have done? Why people are starving? What you have done?

Viṣṇujana: But they'll say we have created so much machineries and gone to the moon.

Prabhupāda: You cannot eat machine. You produce. You produce rice, wheat in the machine. What you have done? You have simply misled the people that instead of tilling the ground, they have come to machine, and there is no food.

Siddha-svarūpānanda: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: You have done this. You have, on the false plea that "We'll give you five hundred rupees salary. You come in the city and be engaged." Oh, he saw, "Oh, I am simply producing my food. If I get five hundred rupees, then I'll go to cinema, I'll have a good dress." Now there is no food even. You have done this. That's all. What is the benefit of this machine. Machine benefit is that we were purchasing, when there was no so much machine, in our childhood, three rupees, four annas per mound, first-class rice. Now we are purchasing one Kg.

Devotee: Ten rupees Kg. For one rupee (indistinct) first-class wheat.

Prabhupāda: Just see. So if one is rascal, they will be misled by this. Otherwise, any sane man will not accept. They say that, "We have done so much." What you have done? You have done this. At least in India, the effect of machine and factories: that there is no rice, no food.

Devotee: With the machines they're mixing stones in the rice.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Devotee: With machine help, they're mixing stone in the rice.

Prabhupāda: That's it. That's it, that you cannot get. Oh, you have done so much. But India is not meant for machine. These rascals, they do not know. India is, India's culture is plain living, high thinking. You require some food. Produce food, and take it, and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. But they'll not accept, "Oh, this is primitive. Nowadays we have got... We must have the motor car, motor tire."

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

This is Vedic civilization: plain living, high thinking.
Room Conversation -- October 5, 1975, Mauritius:

Prabhupāda: 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 Kṛṣṇa. 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. A first-class Rolls Royce car, and who is sitting there? A third-class negro. This is going on. You'll find these things in Europe and America. This is going on. A first-class car and a third-class negro. That's all.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Chanting produce plain living, high thinking. The modern leaders, they don't want.
Morning Walk -- May 26, 1976, Honolulu:

Devotee (2): There were so many mangoes here that were dropping to the ground, and they've gotten rid of some of the mango trees because they said that the people were stopping on the side of the road picking up the mangoes, it was causing a traffic hazard.

Prabhupāda: Causing what is that?

Devotee (2): They were causing traffic disturbance. So therefore they took away the mango trees. There were much more mango trees in Hawaii than there are now. Anyone could go and take mangoes off the ground.

Prabhupāda: They don't want natural things.

Devotee: (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: Hmm. Chanting produce plain living, high thinking. The modern leaders, they don't want.

Hari-śauri: We're a threat to the society.

Prabhupāda: Their policy is "High living and poor thinking." They live in skyscraper but don't care for where they are going to next life, as a cat and dog. Never mind.

This project should be advanced-plain living, high thinking.
Room Conversation -- June 24, 1976, New Vrindaban:

Prabhupāda: And still they are maintaining this farm.

Dhṛṣṭadyumna: And building very nice buildings.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Very nice projects they are building.

Prabhupāda: This project should be advanced-plain living, high thinking.

Dhṛṣṭadyumna: I think we'll take around that film of New Vrindaban to all the colleges this year when we are preaching and show it to the students as our practical example.

Live in open place, produce your food grains, produce your milk, save time, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Plain living, high thinking, ideal life.
Room Conversation -- June 24, 1976, New Vrindaban:

Kulaśekhara: The country is more peaceful. It's easier to think of spiritual life.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Less disease. Less brain taxing. Everything is less. So balance time, utilize for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And if you have got temple, it is very happy life. Just for your food work little, and balance time engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is ideal life. Just see minute fibers on the flower. Can anyone manufacture this? So small fibers. And how brilliant it is. If you study only one flower, you become God conscious. There is a machine which we call nature. From that machine, everything is coming. But how machine is perfect? And who has discovered this machine?

Kulaśekhara: In London you said they do not know that the butterflies and flowers are painted, but Kṛṣṇa paints them with thought.

Prabhupāda: Yes. How you can expect without painting it has come so beautiful? This is foolishness, "nature"—what is this nature? Everything is being done by the machine of Kṛṣṇa. Parāsya śaktir vividaiva śrūyate. Anyway, improve this mode of life. Live in open place, produce your food grains, produce your milk, save time, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Plain living, high thinking, ideal life. Artificial necessities of life do increase your so-called comforts, but if you forget your real business, that is suicidal. We want to stop this suicidal policy. We don't want to stop the modern advancement of technology, although the so-called advancement technology is suicidal. But we don't talk of this. (laughter) Caitanya Mahāprabhu has therefore given a simple formula-chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Even in your technological factories, you can chant. What is the wrong there? You go on pulling on with your machine and chant, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa.

Kīrtanānanda: They know that if people take up the chanting, gradually they will give up this technology.

Prabhupāda: That is, of course.

Kīrtanānanda: You are actually putting the seeds of their destruction.

Prabhupāda: Yes. No, what is destruction? It is, rather, construction. (laughter) He'll live. He'll live forever. This is destruction. You have to change body. But our method, this tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9). You don't get anymore material body. So that is saving.

If you can maintain a perfect community of plain living, high thinking, that is sufficient.
Room Conversation -- June 24, 1976, New Vrindaban:

Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Śrīla Prabhupāda, we can point out all the defects in their system but then they say "But there is no proof that such a perfect society has ever existed as you speak of. We have no evidence that such a perfect society exists."

Prabhupāda: You can see, come and see with us. Live in our New Vrindaban, you'll see.

Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Then they say "Well, that is all right for you, but that is not practical for everyone."

Kīrtanānanda: Why not? We are human beings, and you are human being.

Prabhupāda: So what is not practical for you, our system, your system is also not practical for us. We cannot live in this way. Anyway, if you can maintain a perfect community of plain living, high thinking, that is sufficient. We do not canvass, but naturally they will see that this is convenient. After all, they are human beings. They are learning. So that is part of our business to preach, but to practice personally, that is our main business. To practice personally, that is our main business. Not that everyone will be preacher, but at least his own life be perfect.

Our devotees are instructed in that way, plain living, high thinking.
Interview with Newsday Newspaper -- July 14, 1976, New York:

Interviewer: Are they working farms, producing farms?

Prabhupāda: Yes, there are many farms in your country. Just now I am coming from New Vrindāban 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...

Rāmeśvara: Pennsylvania.

Prabhupāda: Pennsylvania. 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 Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And so far the body is concerned, as much as it is required take and maintain the body. That's all.

Interviewer: Your devotees' health is looked after, then.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Interviewer: By who?

Prabhupāda: They are instructed in that way, plain living, high thinking.

Our "plain living, high thinking" is very nice idea.
Room Conversation -- November 13, 1976, Vrndavana:

Surabhi: No, Washington, D.C. That's in America. They invited one of our devotees there to discuss this Māyāpura and all this social type of... Dharmādhyakṣa. He's writing for that Back to Godhead magazine. He worked with Gurudāsa together.

Prabhupāda: His article, one is there?

Hari-śauri: Yes, "Simple Living High Thinking." You saw that.

Prabhupāda: So he met him.

Surabhi: Not Carter. He met the government officials who were representing the United States Government at that exhibition, and they were very favorable. They were one of the most favorable, he said, the United states.

Prabhupāda: Yes, our "plain living, high thinking" is very nice idea.

Hari-śauri: Actually it's the only practical solution.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

You can make home. Where is the scarcity? Plain living, high thinking, and prepare for next life. Go back home, back to Godhead. Finish this hellish life of repeated birth and death.
Room Conversation -- January 29, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Prabhupāda: So if you can educate people, they will be united. This is actually united nations movement. Actually see how these Europeans, Americans, and Africans, and others, without any artificial allurement, how we are keeping together. Nobody is dissatisfied with humble eating, humble living, humbly, plain living. So it is possible. There is possibility. We live simple life, high thinking-United Nation. We can possibly... And there will be no scarcity. If we live simple life with Kṛṣṇa conscious thinking, There will be no scarcity.

Hari-śauri: Just like India has so many villages. Because they are living simply, then there's enough for everyone.

Prabhupāda: No scarcity. Population increasing? You increase your food. So much land everywhere vacant, all over the world. But that they will not do. They will keep the cattles and eat. Cattle also, they want vegetables. Otherwise where you'll get cattle? But therefore in Bhagavad-gītā, annād bhavanti bhūtāni (BG 3.14). Produce food grains. Just like this is. How nice it is, from paddy. So you take the paddies, rice, eat, and the grass you can utilize in so many ways. Anywhere you can till the ground, you get paddy and the grass. Make your cottage. So shelter is there. And the animals also like this grass. You can make home. Where is the scarcity? Plain living, high thinking, and prepare for next life. Go back home, back to Godhead. Finish this hellish life of repeated birth and death. There is no knowledge. And when we try to give them this knowledge, they say, "You are brainwashed. You have imported some new way of life, style of life. Brainwash." So our European, American devotees, they like rice? No.

Hari-śauri: Yes.

Correspondence

1968 Correspondence

Our motto is simple living, high thinking; we should think of Krishna without being hampered by material disturbances, as far as possible.
Letter to Mukunda -- Los Angeles 18 February, 1968:

I have already instructed Jayananda not to occupy the storefront in Berkeley if it is too much risky. We should not accept anything very risky because that will hamper us in our program of Krishna Consciousness. Our motto is simple living, high thinking; we should think of Krishna without being hampered by material disturbances, as far as possible. So too much risky thing is not for us. If something comes very easily for our manipulation we welcome it. You have got already a center in S.F. so it is better to make propaganda so that people may come there in throngs. Gargamuni can make this propaganda by sellng Back To Godheads. Personally, I shall advise you to try for our own temple, either in S.F. or in L.A.

New Vrindaban may be an ideal village where the residents will have plain living and high thinking.
Letter to Hayagriva -- Montreal 14 June, 1968:

So, if you seriously want to convert this new spot as New Vrindaban, I shall advise you not to make it very much modernized. But as you are American boys, you must make it just suitable to your minimum needs. Not to make it too much luxurious as generally Europeans and Americans are accustomed. Better to live there without modern amenities. But to live a natural healthy life for executing Krishna Consciousness. It may be an ideal village where the residents will have plain living and high thinking. For plain living we must have sufficient land for raising crops and pasturing grounds for the cows. If there is sufficient grains and production of milk, then the whole economic problem is solved. You do not require any machines, cinema, hotels, slaughterhouses, brothels, nightclubs—all these modern amenities. People in the spell of maya are trying to squeeze out gross pleasure from the senses, which is not possible to derive to our heart's content. Therefore we are confused and baffled in our attempt to eschew eternal pleasure from gross matter. Actually, joyful life is on the spiritual platform, therefore we should try to save our valuable time from material activities and engage them for Krishna Consciousness. But at the same time, because we have to keep our body and soul together to execute our mission, we must have sufficient (not extravagant) food to eat, and that will be supplied by grains, fruits, and milk. So if you can develop this place to that ideal life and the residents become ideal Krishna Conscious men, in that part of your country, I think not only many philosophically minded people will be attracted, but they will be benefited also.

1970 Correspondence

This natural environment for living in pure Krsna consciousness or plain living and high thinking develops the spiritual character of the inhabitants and especially the Society's children who are conceived, born, raised and educated in Krsna science or natural spiritual consciousness.
Letter to Nevatiaji -- Los Angeles 16 July, 1970:

New Vrndavana, a transcendental community project, modeled on the Vrndavana site of Lord Krsna's pastimes, is developing nicely in the mountains of West Virginia. The primary message of Lord Krsna to surrender all one's activities unto Him, that is to carry out one's duty for the sake of Krsna, as it is delivered in the Bhagavad-gita is practically undertaken in New Vrndavana. All work in Vrndavana is specifically executed in full knowledge of its being transcendental loving service to Krsna the supreme proprietor of everything and all souls. This natural environment for living in pure Krsna consciousness or plain living and high thinking develops the spiritual character of the inhabitants and especially the Society's children who are conceived, born, raised and educated in Krsna science or natural spiritual consciousness. New Vrndavana school system provides education for children which is both practical and spiritual.

1973 Correspondence

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.
Letter to Hladini -- Calcutta 28 January, 1973:

It is so nice to see how enthusiastic you are in executing this process of devotional service and how much you like your engagement there in New Vrindaban. So you continue in this way, always thinking of Krsna, chanting 16 rounds, reading the books, and doing your daily chores all on behalf of Krsna. As your devotional service becomes mature you shall see Krsna more and more, and more and more you shall realize the qualities of the holy land of Vraja. 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. So I am always looking forward to coming back to New Vrindaban, and I remember very fondly the sandesh, milk, and other nice products that the devotees are preparing there. Thank you very much.

1975 Correspondence

Our philosophy is "simple living and high thinking"—not sense gratification. The temple presidents and leaders (elder students) must show this by example.
Letter to Kirtiraja -- Bombay 12 January, 1975:

Any householder devotee who is working full-time (with his wife) as a sankirtana book distributer, of temple managerial duties, artist, cook, etc. shall be provided food, shelter, and other bare minimum necessities by the temple itself. They should not cook their own meals separate from the temple meals. If they have children, then some minimal allowance may be given according to the number of children. If they want anything extra or over and above what the temple president sees as absolute necessity, then they should work outside—the temple cannot pay for anything beyond the bare necessities. And definitely, the BBT cannot pay any salary to anybody. Our philosophy is "simple living and high thinking"—not sense gratification. The temple presidents and leaders (elder students) must show this by example. Temple or asrama means for renunciation and renounced persons. If one is engaged in self-realization process, then his material necessities become almost nil. Persons who do not like this can work outside.

We are trying to set a perfect example according to the Bhagavad-gita as it is, how to execute simple living and high thinking.
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. These problems must be solved, and Krishna gives the formula in the Bhagavad-gita. So, we are preaching that simple formula given by Krishna, and people are trying it and finding real happiness in life, therefore the Hare Krishna movement is an undeniable success. Everyone is accepting. I am very glad that you are also accepting. Please visit our temple there in Juhu as much as possible, and try to read our books. We have many books, about 50 400 pages long each, as well as many smaller ones. Study this movement carefully and you will find it very rewarding.

The total scheme is for simple life and high thinking and exalted character of the human society.
Letter to Giriraja -- Detroit 4 August, 1975:

The idea is that local inhabitants will be satisfied with their bare necessities of life and their attention will be diverted towards spiritual development of life. That is the aim of human birth. We are trying this also in Africa, and it is partially successful. The whole scheme is that if a man becomes a devotee all good qualities inherent in him become manifest, whereas a person without being a devotee even though he has so-called academic qualifications, he will remain on the mental platform and will again be brought to the material field of activities which will always bring dissatisfaction. The total scheme is for simple life and high thinking and exalted character of the human society. As a matter of fact all of our members refrain from eating meat, gambling, intoxication, and illicit sex. In this connection Prof. J. Stillson Judah of the University of California, Berkeley, has remarked, "Krishna consciousness has transformed lives from drug addicted hippies to loving servants of Krishna and humanity."

Develop the farm in New York nicely. Show by example what it means plain living and high thinking.
Letter to Rupanuga -- New Delhi 21 August, 1975:

Regarding the Washington temple why are you selling the present building? Why are you changing it? We are not businessmen that we sell for profit and then move the Deity. Develop the farm in New York nicely. Show by example what it means plain living and high thinking. Regarding the letter to the lawyer, I have heard from Brahmananda Swami that the lawyers did not like the letter and threatened to Ramesvara that if it was not retracted then they would bring suit. So if necessary then retract it. Do not write in a way to accuse them. Just terminate their service. So after retracting, then write a new one.

Whatever is suitable, that you should do. This is the meaning of plain living and high thinking. If the chanting of Hare Krsna is not there, then there will not be any high thinking.
Letter to Jayatirtha -- Bombay 20 November, 1975:

Regarding the Vancouver farm, yes, the log cabin type structure you have mentioned, that is nice. Whatever is suitable, that you should do. This is the meaning of plain living and high thinking. If the chanting of Hare Krsna is not there, then there will not be any high thinking.

1976 Correspondence

I am in due receipt of your "Simple Living and High Thinking" magazine. The article is very well-written and convincing.
Letter to Dharmadhyaksa -- Honolulu 29 May, 1976:

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your "Simple Living and High Thinking" magazine. The article is very well-written and convincing. Thank you very much.

We are trying to construct a city where people from all over the world can come to visit and live according to the Vedic tenets of "simple living and high thinking."
Letter to Mr. Hunter -- Los Angeles 5 June, 1976:

I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter with enclosed contribution towards the development of our Mayapur City in W. Bengal, and I thank you very much. We are trying to construct a city where people from all over the world can come to visit and live according to the Vedic tenets of "simple living and high thinking." I am pleased to hear that you appreciative of our humble efforts and if you would like to contribute in the future towards this great spiritual city you can send your contributions to me care of:

Hare Krishna Land,

Juhu Road, Juhu,

Bombay 400-054, India

I am enclosing one copy of our latest issue of Back-to Godhead magazine as you mentioned you have read some of our past issues. I hope that this meets you in good health.

Facts about "Plain living and high thinking"RDF feed
Compiled byMatea +, Visnu Murti +, Haya +, Sahadeva + and Labangalatika +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entry18 July 8 +
Date of last entry26 June 12 +
Total quotes38 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 3 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 4 +, Lec: 9 +, Conv: 11 + and Let: 11 +