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According to Vedic culture, first protection: to the cows, to the women, to the brahmanas, to the children and to the old man. This is the first business of the government, to give protection

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"According to Vedic culture, first protection: to the cows, to the women, to the brāhmaṇas, to the children and to the old man. This is the first business of the government, to give protection"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Arakṣyamāṇāḥ striya urvi bālān. According to Vedic culture, first protection: to the cows, to the women, to the brāhmaṇas, to the children and to the old man. This is the first business of the government, to give protection. Practically there is no criminal charge against them—against a brāhmaṇa, against a woman, a child.


Nitāi: Translation: "Are you feeling compunction . . . compassion for the unhappy women and children who are left forlorn by the unscrupulous persons? Or are you unhappy because the goddess of learning is being handled by brāhmaṇas addicted to acts against the principles of religion? Or are you sorry to see that the brāhmaṇas have taken shelter of administrative families that do not respect brahminical culture?"

Prabhupāda: Arakṣyamāṇāḥ striya urvi bālān. According to Vedic culture, first protection: to the cows, to the women, to the brāhmaṇas, to the children and to the old man. This is the first business of the government, to give protection. Practically there is no criminal charge against them—against a brāhmaṇa, against a woman, a child. Suppose a child steals something. Who is going to prosecute him? It is not taken very seriously. So they require protection. They should not be given freedom. Like a child, he is not given freedom, similarly freedom . . . of course, there is. Protection means to some extent no freedom. If I want to protect the child, then I sometimes say: "Don't do this." That is one of the item of the protection.

So here description of cow-killing is already done. Now in this age, Kali, these things will be lacking. First thing is that no protection for woman. Woman requires protection by the father, by the husband and by the elderly children. But that is now finished. Practically no protection. They are, under the name of so-called freedom, loitering in the street. It is a very abominable condition of life. Now these things are very prominent in the Western countries especially. In India they are still dragging the Vedic culture, so women are given protection. The father gives protection to the woman, child, and up to sixteen years, utmost. Then she must be married. The father's duty will be finished when the daughter is given to a suitable boy to take charge. That is marriage system. Marriage system is that it is necessary, necessary for social equilibrium. And it is the duty of the father to get the daughter married to a suitable boy. And when she is married, then the father's duty is finished. Unless she is married, the father's duty is not finished. This is Vedic culture. It is called kanyā-dāya. Kanyā means daughter, and dāya means obligation. Kanyā-dāya.

There are so many debts. Putra-ṛṇa, pitṛ-ṛṇa, deva-ṛṇa, bhūtāpta.

devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṟṇāṁ
nāyam ṛṇī na kiṅkaro ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam
(SB 11.5.41)

We have got debts to so many people. First debt is to the demigods. Just like the sun-god, moon-god, they are supplying heat, light. The Varuṇa. In this material world we have got so many debts. But people do not care for it. Just like we are receiving light from sun, but what we are paying to the sun? Therefore we remain debtor. This is Vedic idea. You are getting this electricity. If you don't pay the bill, how long you will be able to use it? After some days the connection will be cut off. But although we do not pay any bill to the sunlight, because it is the order of Kṛṣṇa, it is giving us light. But how long it will go on? This is sinful. If you take something from a person and if you do not repay, that is sinful. Ṛṇa. It is called ṛṇa.

So there are so many debts. First to the demigod, then to the ṛṣis, saintly persons. Because we get knowledge, Vedic knowledge, from the ṛṣi, we must be debtor. Guru-ṛṇa: debtor to the spiritual master, to the sages, to the saintly persons, because we are getting knowledge from them. Therefore the Vyāsa-pūjā is there. Once in a year the disciples are worshiping the spiritual master and trying to repay that he has received from the spiritual master. Devarṣi-bhūta. Similarly, in our ordinary dealings also, you are my friend, I am your friend; you are getting some help from me, I am getting some from you. So we are debtors, obligation. Devarṣi-bhūta, āpta. Āpta means relatives or family. We are indebted to the father, mother, elderly family members. In this way we are implicated with so many debts. Devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṟṇām (SB 11.5.41).

So you can liquidate the debts simply . . . it is practically impossible.