ust like we offer Kṛṣṇa our obeisances: namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca: "Kṛṣṇa, You are worshipable by the brahminical culture, brahmaṇya-devāya," not by others, "because You are go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca, You are well-wisher of the cows and the brāhmaṇas." Why Kṛṣṇa is not said tiger? Why this prayer is devoid of tiger? Hitāya ca, Kṛṣṇa is always, I mean to say, thinking how to protect the cows and the brāhmaṇas. When Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet He became a cowherd boy to give protection to the cows. He was tending cows by His personal example. You will read in the Kṛṣṇa book how He was taking care of the cows. Therefore go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. The first prayer is that "You are protector of the cows and the brāhmaṇas." Jagad-dhitāya. "You are well-wisher of the whole universe, but Your special interest is to give protection to the cows and the brāhmaṇas." Why that special interest? Because if the human society does not give protection to the cows and does not cultivate the brahminical culture, then it is cats and dogs society. Therefore it is given. And as soon as the whole society becomes full of cats and dogs, how can you expect peace and prosperity? The dog's business is "Gow gow gow gow! Why you have come here? Why you have entered in our neighborhood? Please get out. Please get out." Not "Please." "Get out."
Brahminical culture and cow protection
- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 3 Lectures
- 4 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 5 Correspondence
SB Canto 1
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa descended Himself at Vrajabhūmi with all His transcendental entourage and paraphernalia. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore confirmed that no one is as fortunate as the residents of Vrajabhūmi, and specifically the cowherd girls, who dedicated their everything for the satisfaction of the Lord. His pastimes with Nanda and Yaśodā and His pastimes with the cowherd men and especially with the cowherd boys and the cows have caused Him to be known as Govinda. Lord Kṛṣṇa as Govinda is more inclined to the brāhmaṇas and the cows, indicating thereby that human prosperity depends more on these two items, namely brahminical culture and cow protection. Lord Kṛṣṇa is never satisfied where these are lacking.
The brāhmaṇas and kṣatriyas are meant to cooperate for the welfare of the mass of people. The brāhmaṇa sages endeavor to enlighten the people by perfect knowledge, and the kṣatriyas are meant for their protection. Lord Rāmacandra is the ideal king for maintaining and protecting the highest culture of humanity, known as brahmaṇya-dharma. The Lord is specifically the protector of the cows and the brāhmaṇas, and hence He enhances the prosperity of the world.
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 brāhmaṇa and thus see the Lord as He is. And after surpassing the brahminical perfection, one has to become a devotee of the Lord so that His loving affection in the form of proprietor, master, friend, son and lover can be transcendentally achieved.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit went out to conquer the world after his ascendance to the throne, but this was not for the purpose of aggression on other states. He was the Emperor of the world, and all small states were already under his regime. His purpose in going out was to see how things were going on in terms of the godly state. The king, being the representative of the Lord, has to execute the will of the Lord duly. There is no question of self-aggrandizement. Thus as soon as Mahārāja Parīkṣit saw that a lower-class man in the dress of a king was hurting the legs of a cow and a bull, at once he arrested and punished him. The king cannot tolerate insults to the most important animal, the cow, nor can he tolerate disrespect for the most important man, the brāhmaṇa. Human civilization means to advance the cause of brahminical culture, and to maintain it, cow protection is essential. There is a miracle in milk, for it contains all the necessary vitamins to sustain human physiological conditions for higher achievements. Brahminical culture can advance only when man is educated to develop the quality of goodness, and for this there is a prime necessity of food prepared with milk, fruits and grains. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was astonished to see that a black śūdra, dressed like a ruler, was mistreating a cow, the most important animal in human society.
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.
Protection of bulls and cows and all other animals can be possible only when there is a state ruled by an executive head like Mahārāja Parīkṣit. Mahārāja Parīkṣit addresses the cow as mother, for he is a cultured, twice-born, kṣatriya king. Surabhi is the name of the cows which exist in the spiritual planets and are especially reared by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself. As men are made after the form and features of the Supreme Lord, so also the cows are made after the form and features of the surabhi cows in the spiritual kingdom. In the material world the human society gives all protection to the human being, but there is no law to protect the descendants of Surabhi, who can give all protection to men by supplying the miracle food, milk. But Mahārāja Parīkṣit and the Pāṇḍavas were fully conscious of the importance of the cow and bull, and they were prepared to punish the cow-killer with all chastisement, including death. There has sometimes been agitation for the protection of the cow, but for want of pious executive heads and suitable laws, the cow and the bull are not given protection. The human society should recognize the importance of the cow and the bull and thus give all protection to these important animals, following in the footsteps of Mahārāja Parīkṣit. For protecting the cows and brahminical culture, the Lord, who is very kind to the cow and the brāhmaṇas (go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya), will be pleased with us and will bestow upon us real peace.
I am uncivilized and sinful due to my neglect of brahminical culture, God consciousness and cow protection. Therefore I wish that my kingdom, strength and riches burn up immediately by the fire of the brāhmaṇa's wrath so that in the future I may not be guided by such inauspicious attitudes.
Progressive human civilization is based on brahminical culture, God consciousness and protection of cows. All economic development of the state by trade, commerce, agriculture and industries must be fully utilized in relation to the above principles, otherwise all so-called economic development becomes a source of degradation. Cow protection means feeding the brahminical culture, which leads towards God consciousness, and thus perfection of human civilization is achieved.
Where wealth and strength are not engaged in the advancement of brahminical culture, God consciousness and cow protection, the state and home are surely doomed by Providence. If we want peace and prosperity in the world, we should take lessons from this verse; every state and every home must endeavor to advance the cause of brahminical culture for self-purification, God consciousness for self-realization and cow protection for getting sufficient milk and the best food to continue a perfect civilization.
The system of varṇāśrama-dharma prepares a man for going back to Godhead, and thus a householder is ordered to go to the forest as vānaprastha to acquire complete knowledge and then to take sannyāsa prior to his inevitable death. Parīkṣit Mahārāja was fortunate to get a seven-day notice to meet his inevitable death. But for the common man there is no definite notice, although death is inevitable for all. Foolish men forget this sure fact of death and neglect the duty of preparing themselves for going back to Godhead. They spoil their lives in animal propensities to eat, drink, be merry and enjoy. Such an irresponsible life is adopted by the people in the age of Kali because of a sinful desire to condemn brahminical culture, God consciousness and cow protection, for which the state is responsible. The state must employ revenue to advance these three items and thus educate the populace to prepare for death. The state which does so is the real welfare state.
SB Canto 3
The behavior exhibited by the descendants of Yadu in the pilgrimage site of Prabhāsa was highly cultured and exactly to the point of human perfection. The perfection of human life is attained by following three principles of civilization: protecting the cows, maintaining the brahminical culture and, above all, becoming a pure devotee of the Lord. Without becoming a devotee of the Lord, one cannot perfect one's human life. The perfection of human life is to be elevated to the spiritual world, where there is no birth, no death, no disease and no old age. That is the highest perfectional aim of human life. Without this aim, any amount of material advancement in so-called comforts can only bring the defeat of the human form of life.
Kṣatriyas are specifically meant to maintain the brāhmaṇas because if the brāhmaṇas are protected, then the head of civilization is protected. Brāhmaṇas are supposed to be the head of the social body; if the head is clear and has not gone mad, then everything is in proper position. The Lord is described thus: namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. The purport of this prayer is that the Lord specifically protects the brāhmaṇas and the cows, and then He protects all other members of society (jagad-dhitāya). It is His will that universal welfare work depends on the protection of cows and brāhmaṇas; thus brahminical culture and cow protection are the basic principles for human civilization. Kṣatriyas are especially meant to protect the brāhmaṇas, as is the supreme will of the Lord: go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. As, within the body, the heart is a very important part, so the brāhmaṇas are also the important element in human society. The kṣatriyas are more like the whole body; even though the whole body is bigger than the heart, the heart is more important.
SB Canto 4
The Supreme Person is described herein as brahmaṇya-deva. Brahmaṇya refers to the brāhmaṇas, the Vaiṣṇavas or the brahminical culture, and deva means "worshipable Lord." Therefore unless one is on the transcendental platform of being a Vaiṣṇava or on the highest platform of material goodness (as a brāhmaṇa), he cannot appreciate the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the lower stages of ignorance and passion, it is difficult to appreciate or understand the Supreme Lord. Therefore the Lord is described herein as the worshipable Deity for persons in brahminical and Vaiṣṇava culture.
- namo brahmaṇya-devāya
- go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca
- jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya
- govindāya namo namaḥ
- (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 1.19.65)
Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the prime protector of brahminical culture and the cow. Without knowing and respecting these, one cannot realize the science of God, and without this knowledge, any welfare activities or humanitarian propaganda cannot be successful.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshiped with the prayer namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. Thus it is clear that the Supreme Personality of Godhead respects and protects the brāhmaṇas and brahminical culture, as well as the cows; in other words, wherever there are brāhmaṇas and brahminical culture, there are cows and cow protection. In a society or civilization in which there are no brāhmaṇas or brahminical culture, cows are treated as ordinary animals and slaughtered, at the sacrifice of human civilization. The specific mention of the word gavām by Pṛthu Mahārāja is significant because the Lord is always associated with cows and His devotees. In pictures Lord Kṛṣṇa is always seen with cows and His associates such as the cowherd boys and the gopīs.
Since it is stated in the Vedas that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the maintainer and leader of all living entities, the king or the executive head of the government must be a representative of the Supreme Person. Then he can claim honor exactly like the Lord's. How a king or leader of society can become the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also indicated in this verse by the statement that because Pṛthu Mahārāja was preaching the supremacy and the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, he was therefore a proper representative of the Lord. To remain under the jurisdiction or administration of such a king or leader is the perfect status for human society. The primary responsibility of such a king or leader is to protect the brahminical culture and the cows in his state.
SB Canto 7
O Lord Brahmā, your position within this universe is certainly most auspicious for everyone, especially the cows and brāhmaṇas. Brahminical culture and the protection of cows can be increasingly glorified, and thus all kinds of material happiness, opulence and good fortune will automatically increase. But unfortunately, if Hiraṇyakaśipu occupies your seat, everything will be lost.
In this verse the words dvija-gavāṁ pārameṣṭhyam indicate the most exalted position of the brāhmaṇas, brahminical culture and the cows. In Vedic culture, the welfare of the cows and the welfare of the brāhmaṇas are essential. Without a proper arrangement for developing brahminical culture and protecting cows, all the affairs of administration will go to hell. Being afraid that Hiraṇyakaśipu would occupy the post of Brahmā, all the demigods were extremely disturbed. Hiraṇyakaśipu was a well-known demon, and the demigods knew that if demons and Rākṣasas were to occupy the supreme post, brahminical culture and protection of cows would come to an end. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (5.29), the original proprietor of everything is Lord Kṛṣṇa (bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram). The Lord, therefore, knows particularly well how to develop the material condition of the living entities within this material world. In every universe there is one Brahmā engaged on behalf of Lord Kṛṣṇa, as confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (tene brahma hṛdaya ādi-kavaye). The principal creator in each brahmāṇḍa is Lord Brahmā, who imparts Vedic knowledge to his disciples and sons. On every planet, the king or supreme controller must be a representative of Brahmā. Therefore, if a Rākṣasa, or demon, were situated in Brahmā's post, then the entire arrangement of the universe, especially the protection of the brahminical culture and cows, would be ruined. All the demigods anticipated this danger, and therefore they went to request Lord Brahmā to take immediate steps to thwart Hiraṇyakaśipu's plan.
At the present, especially on this planet earth, the influence of Lord Brahmā has decreased considerably, and the representatives of Hiraṇyakaśipu—the Rākṣasas and demons—have taken charge. Therefore there is no protection of brahminical culture and cows, which are the basic prerequisites for all kinds of good fortune. This age is very dangerous because society is being managed by demons and Rākṣasas.
SB Canto 8
In flattering a woman to bring her under control, in joking, in a marriage ceremony, in earning one's livelihood, when one's life is in danger, in protecting cows and brahminical culture, or in protecting a person from an enemy's hand, falsity is never condemned.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead generally appears in various types of incarnations to give protection to the cows and brāhmaṇas. The Lord is described as go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca; in other words, He is always eager to benefit the cows and brāhmaṇas. When Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared, He purposefully became a cowherd boy and showed personally how to give protection to the cows and calves. Similarly, He showed respect to Sudāmā Vipra, a real brāhmaṇa. From the Lord's personal activities, human society should learn how to give protection specifically to the brāhmaṇas and 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-brāhmaṇa-hitāya because His incarnation is only for the protection of the cows and brāhmaṇas. 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-gītā and give protection to the cows, the brāhmaṇas and brahminical culture.
One becomes abominable by adopting an abominable profession or by associating with people who are naturally abominable. Rūpa and Sanātana, as Dabira Khāsa and Sākara Mallika, associated with Muslims, who were naturally opposed to brahminical culture and cow protection. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Seventh Canto) it is stated that every person belongs to a certain classification. A person is identifiable by the special symptoms mentioned in the śāstras. By one's symptoms, one is known to belong to a certain caste. Both Dabira Khāsa and Sākara Mallika belonged to the brāhmaṇa caste, but because they were employed by Muslims, their original habits degenerated into those of the Muslim community. Since the symptoms of brahminical culture were almost nil, they identified themselves with the lowest caste.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
So it is a culture, Vedic culture, which, if it is spread all over the world, people will be benefited because at the present moment people do not know what is the treasure house of spiritual culture. They do not know. They have got some vague idea. Neither they are offered such volumes of books. So those who are present here, our disciple or not disciple, should understand that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is a great scientific movement; it is not a bogus bluffing movement. Very scientific movement. So in this movement, our one program is to respect the cows. We chant this mantra, namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. The brahminical culture and the cows... Why they have selected the cows? There are so many animals. Why cow protection is so important in Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Why Kṛṣṇa personally Himself became a cowherd boy and was taking the care of the cows and the calves? Oh, that is very essential.
So especially in India we should be very careful not to follow the go-kharaḥ civilization. We must follow real civilization, Brahman civilization. This is the land of brahma-jñāna. This is the land of brāhmaṇas, brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. We are losing that. Be careful. It is that we offer our respect to the Supreme Personality of Godhead that
- namo brahmanya-devāya
- go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca
- jagad-hitāya kṛṣṇāya
- govindāya namo namaḥ
God's first business is go-brāhmaṇa hitāya ca, brahmanya devāya. Kṛṣṇa is very, very eager to maintain the brahminical culture in the human society, brahma jānāti, understanding of Brahman and go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca, go, cows, cow protection. Where is that civilization? Where is that brahminical culture? Where is that go-rakṣa? Very precarious condition. Therefore we should accept the standard of civilization.
So the example is set by the Supreme Personality of Godhead that human civilization will advance only on the basis of brahminical culture and cow protection. As soon as there is falldown from brahminical culture, and as soon as there is discrepancy in the protection of cows, there will be no more peace in the world. Therefore He specifically said, go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for the protection of brahminical culture and cows. Then automatically the peace of the world will come, if two things are done. This is Vedic literature. They pick up the essence of the things, and all other things follows.
So try to make some percentage of the population actually brāhmaṇa. Go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. And protect the cows. Actually, we are taking so much advantages. So from the cows, the milk. And from the milk we can make hundreds of vitaminous foodstuff, hundreds. They're all palatable. So such a nice animal, faithful, peaceful, and beneficial. After taking milk from it, if we kill, does it look very well? Even after the death, the cows supply the skin for your shoes. It is so beneficial. You see. Even after death. While living, he gives you nice milk. You cannot reject milk from the human society. As soon as there is a child born, milk immediately required. Old man, milk is life. Diseased person, milk is life. Invalid, milk is life. So therefore Kṛṣṇa is teaching by His practical demonstration how He loves this innocent animal, cow. So human society should develop brahminical culture on the basis of protecting cows. The brāhmaṇa cannot take any other food except it is made of milk preparation. That develops the finer tissues of the brain. You can understand in subtle matters, in philosophy, in spiritual science.
So the brāhmaṇa department, or the adviser department, is described in this verse: namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. The first thing is taken into consideration, go-brāhmaṇa. Why these two things are stressed upon? Because in a society where there is no brahminical culture and where there is no cow protection, it is not human society. So in a chaotic condition, any business you do, it will never be perfect. But in a systematized, systematic, cultural society, you do business. That is perfect. That is the instruction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavata, Bhāgavatam. In a meeting in Naimiṣāraṇya, where many learned scholars and brāhmaṇas assembled, and Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī was giving instruction, he said: ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ. The varṇāśrama is stressed. The Vedic culture means four varṇas and four āśramas: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra; brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. Unless we take to this institution of varṇāśrama dharma, the whole society will be in chaotic condition.
Jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya. Kṛṣṇa wants welfare of the whole universe. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati (BG 4.7). He comes personally. So we are trying to establish this brahminical culture, go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. You'll be very much pleased that in a country where go-hatyā is so prominent, now we have established so many farms in Europe and America. We shall show the pictures how we are giving protection to the cows and how we are trying to revive this brahminical culture all over the world. And they are accepting. It is not that they are rejecting. You can see the presence of so many European and American devotees here. And they are very sincere. They are not superficial. They are very sincere. Their countrymen, the priests, the Christian priests, the Jewish priests, priests, they become surprised that "These young boys, they never cared for any religion or they never cared to come to the church or the synagogue. How they have become so much interested in understanding God as to become a devotee?"
Conversations and Morning Walks
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Jagadīśa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, in your books you've stated that the position of the cow is as important as the position of the brāhmaṇa.
Prabhupāda: Hm ? Yes. Go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. We offer respect to Kṛṣṇa as the well-wisher of the cows and the brāhmaṇas. Brahminical culture and preparation from milk makes a man perfect for spiritual understanding. Therefore they are two very important items, go-brāhmaṇa hitāya ca. In the society, if there is no brahminical culture and no cow protection, that is animal society. That is not human society. We are trying to bring the animal society to human society to fulfill the mission of human life. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: So how would, for example, the government.... In a perfect society, how would the government check to see that the brāhmaṇas are actually practicing, and how would...?
Prabhupāda: There is.... The brāhmaṇa... This is brāhmaṇa. This formula is there. Satya śamo damas titikṣā ārjava. So you have to see whether he is possessing this quality. Or train them. Have brahminical school, what I am willing to do. That is required absolutely. There must be a class of men, perfect brāhmaṇa. Otherwise society will be ruined. In the Western countries there is no brāhmaṇa. There may be some kṣatriyas and vaiśyas only, and śūdras. Brāhmaṇa there is none. So the same thing is here also now. Therefore the whole society is going down. There is no brāhmaṇa. What is this? This is brahminical culture. We are asking them not to be sinful, become devotee. This is brahminical culture. Namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca, for the benefit of brahminical culture and cow protection. That is brahminical culture.
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: ...the varṇāśrama established, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra-division, scientific division of the society. Ideal state. Just like the legislative assembly. They should be composed of men with complete brahminical culture. And the ministers, president, they should be kṣatriya, and the productive, vaiśyas, and balance śūdra, worker. Unless an ideal class of men is on the top of the state to give advice—just like Britishers, they assemble Parliament—there cannot be any improvement to the human society. All nonsense and rascals, simply by votes go to be member of the Parliament. They assemble. What they know? What they'll do? The whole world is mismanaged because there is no brahminical culture. Namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca, jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya govindā... I am proposing this because Kṛṣṇa consciousness means namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. That must be... The state must be in favor of brahminical culture and cow protection. Then everything will be all right. So Manipur is small state. If they agree, the leaders of the... It is not politics. It is betterment of the situation. And without brahminical culture, all these third-class, fourth-class, loafer class, simply by votes hooks and crooks and becomes president, Nixon and so on. Where is the betterment? It will never be.
This site situated in the midst of the beautiful West Virginia mountains provides an ideal setting for demonstrating the simplicity of naturalistic living based on brahminical culture and cow protection in Krsna consciousness. Cow protection practically solves the problems of sustenance and the greater portion of time of the devotees, being not engaged in the frantic scramble of materialistic competition for food and shelter, is kept engaged in the pursuit of spiritual perfection.