By acts of so-called benevolence the leader may get recognition from his followers for some time. But the followers for whom this kind of leader has endeavored to do good will never get any lasting benefit out of such temporarily beneficial work

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"by such acts of so-called benevolence the leader may get recognition from his followers for some time. But the followers for whom this kind of leader has endeavored to do good will never get any lasting benefit out of such temporarily beneficial work"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Message of Godhead

A Hitler, a Mussolini, or any other leader of that materialistic persuasion may offer his followers the mental concoction of doing good together in violent or nonviolent programs, and by such acts of so-called benevolence the leader may get recognition from his followers for some time. But the followers for whom this kind of leader has endeavored to do good will never get any lasting benefit out of such temporarily beneficial work.
Message of Godhead 1:

Real peace and happiness can never come about through such advanced materialistic knowledge, deluded as it must be by the illusory modes of nature with a view to playing up this "unreal reality." Rather, as Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, confirms in the Bhagavad-gītā, only those who cultivate transcendental knowledge in relation to the eternal spirit soul and without being disturbed by temporary happiness and distress will be able to escape the cruel hands of birth, death, old age, and disease and will be truly happy by gaining eternal, spiritual life.

We therefore suggest that all those who have tried their utmost to do good for others but have failed despite all honest endeavors should approach Śrī Kṛṣṇa or His bona fide servitors, following the footsteps of Marshal Arjuna. One should try to do good for others, but only after knowing perfectly how to do good for others. Otherwise, if one embraces others in a false sense of altruism, one can get only a temporary benefit for himself in the shape of some profit, adoration, or distinction.

A Hitler, a Mussolini, or any other leader of that materialistic persuasion may offer his followers the mental concoction of doing good together in violent or nonviolent programs, and by such acts of so-called benevolence the leader may get recognition from his followers for some time. But the followers for whom this kind of leader has endeavored to do good will never get any lasting benefit out of such temporarily beneficial work. A void will be felt with the progress of all such benevolent activities. In fact, the followers will be put into more and more distressed conditions by following the path chalked out by this kind of so-called leader. If a blind man pretends to help another blind man cross a road, then both the blind leader and the blind follower shall fall into the further darkness of some unseen ditch. Everyone who is devoid of transcendental knowledge is just like a blind man; such a blind man must first eradicate his blindness before he can attempt to lead others to light.

Everyone who happens to take his birth in India is a potential benefactor of others, because it is on Indian soil alone that the culture of transcendental knowledge has been most elaborately presented, from ancient times to the present. The saints and sages of Bhārata-varṣa, as India has long been known, never tried to cultivate or satisfy artificially the needs of the body and the mind exclusively; they always cultured the transcendental spirit soul, which is above the material body and mind. And even now, the saints and sages continue to do so, in spite of all difficulties. But it would be sheer stupidity if Indian people attempted to do good to others without first themselves attaining transcendental knowledge.

Now, if we want to acquire transcendental knowledge, our first duty will be to understand that the spirit soul is eternal truth. The external ingredients, the body and the mind which develop around the spirit soul, are all relative or partial truths. In the second chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, the Personality of Godhead explains this fact elaborately:

"The spirit soul which pervades this body is eternal, and thus one should understand that no one can destroy the eternal, ever-existing spirit soul. Although this material body is subject to annihilation, the proprietor of the body is eternal. Therefore, O scion of Bharata, knowing this eternal truth, you can go on with your fighting engagement.

"Both the person who thinks the spirit soul can slay and the person who thinks that the spirit soul can be slain are ignorant of the fact that the spirit soul is neither slayer nor slain at any time. The spirit soul is never born, nor can he ever die. He has no past, present, or future, because he is eternal. And although very old, he is always fresh and does not become annihilated even after the annihilation of the body. One who understands the soul as eternal and indestructible—how can he hurt or kill anyone? It is only the outward body and mind that are destroyed.