Both the material and spiritual worlds belong to Kṛṣṇa. We are not proprietors of anything. It is all the property of the Supreme Lord, just as everything in the state belongs to the government, either in the prison house or outside the prison house. Conditioned life is just like life in a prison house in this material world. A prisoner cannot freely change from one cell to another. In free life one can go from one home to another home, but in prison life one cannot do that but must stay in his cell. All these planets are like cells. We are trying to go to the moon, but it is not practical by mechanical means. Whether we are American, Indian, Chinese or Russian, we have been given this planet to live on. We cannot leave—although there are millions and billions of planets and although we have machines by which we can—because we are conditioned by the laws of nature, God's laws. A man who is put into a certain cell cannot change at will without superior authority. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that one should not try to change from one cell to another. That will not make anyone happy. If a prisoner thinks, "I am in this cell—let me request the warden to change my cell, and I will be happy," that is a mistaken idea. One cannot be happy so long as he is within the prison walls. We are trying to be happy by changing cells—from capitalism to communism. The aim should be to become free from this "ism" and that "ism." One has to change completely from this "ism" of materialism; then he can become happy. That is the program of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
- 1 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 2 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 3 Lectures
- 4 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 5 Correspondence
At present, human society is specifically cultivating the mode of ignorance (tamo-guṇa), although there may also be some symptoms of passion (rajo-guṇa). Full of kāma and lobha, lust and greed, the entire population of the world consists mostly of śūdras and a few vaiśyas, and gradually it is coming about that there are śūdras only. Communism is a movement of śūdras, and capitalism is meant for vaiśyas. In the fighting between these two factions, the śūdras and vaiśyas, gradually, due to the abominable condition of society, the communists will emerge triumphant, and as soon as this takes place, whatever is left of society will be ruined. The only possible remedy that can counteract the tendency toward communism is the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, which can give even communists the real idea of communist society. According to the doctrine of communism, the state should be the proprietor of everything. But the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, expanding this same idea, accepts God as the proprietor of everything. People cannot understand this because they have no sense of God, but the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement can help them to understand God and to understand that everything belongs to God. Since everything is the property of God, and all living entities—not only human beings but even animals, birds, plants and so on—are children of God, everyone has the right to live at the cost of God with God consciousness. This is the sum and substance of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Nectar of Instruction
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.
Easy Journey to Other Planets
The human life is given a chance by the nature, that "In this life you make a solution of this birth and death," janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). So these rascals do not know that janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi is actually problem. They are simply trying to solve so many temporary problems. They do not know the real problem is janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi. Therefore, following the real religious principle means sad-dharma. That is lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau, the greatest benefit to the human society—to stop their repetition of birth and death. That is the greatest... That is the business of the Gosvāmīs. Not this, this party or that party, capitalism and communism, this "ism," that... What they will derive? You may follow capitalism or communism or this "ism," that "ism"; after death, you'll be immediately under the grip of material nature, karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa (SB 3.31.1). "Now all your so-called rascal nationalism go to hell. You become a dog. Finish." That is nature's course. You have treated your life like cats and dogs. You did not take advantage of your human life. Now nature will give you, "All right, again you become cats and dogs." Punar mūṣiko bhava. They do not know. They do not know the secret science of nature. You may be a very great leader, prime minister now. Next life you are going to be a dog in Scandinavia. (laughter) You see?
So Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that don't try to change this cell, from this cell to that cell. That will not make you happy. If you think, if a prisoner thinks that "I am in this cell. Let me request the superintendent of the jail to change my cell and I'll be happy," that is a mistaken idea. One cannot be happy so long he is under the prison walls. One should become free. That should be the aim of our life. So we are trying to be happy by changing the cell, by this "ism" to that "ism," by capitalism to communism, from communism to this "ism," that "ism." That will not make us happy. You'll have to completely change from this "ism," this materialism. That's all. Then you'll be happy.
Hayagrīva: He feels that a materialistic Western capitalism cannot possibly defeat a pseudoreligion like Marxism. He says that the only way to combat atheistic Communism is for the individual to adopt, to adopt a nonmaterialistic religion.
Prabhupāda: That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It has nothing to do with materialistic "isms." It is directly connect, connected with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. God demands that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām (BG 18.66). So we are teaching that "You, you are servant, but your service is wrongly placed; therefore you are not happy. You place or render the service to Kṛṣṇa, you will be happy." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We are neither for capitalism nor for so-called Communism, or not for so-called religion also. We are only for Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Hayagrīva: Jung laments the fact that such a nonmaterialistic faith does not presently exist in the West. He writes, "Not only does the West lack a uniform faith that could block the progress of a fanatical ideology"—that is Marxism—"but as the father of Marxist philosophy," because Marx was a Westerner, "it makes use of exactly the same spiritual," so-called spiritual, "assumptions, the same arguments and aims." So he feels that man is desperately in need of a religion that has immediate meaning, and he feels that Christianity is no longer effective in combating this.
Prabhupāda: He has predicted very nice. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, which is above everything, either Christianism or Marxism or capitalism or anything. It is based on Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). So actually it is a fact. Kṛṣṇa says that if you adopt this principle of life, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you will remain above all sinful reaction of life and make progress spiritually, gradually.
Śyāmasundara: He stresses two aspects (in the) theory of dialectical materialism. The one on which he placed the most emphasis is the aspect of the pragmatic element of philosophy, that philosophy must have practical effect. And the other aspect is the contradiction between capitalism and communism, and this contradiction involves conflicts and eventual revolution. He agrees with Hegel that without conflict, there can be no progress. Do we accept this? Without conflict, there is no progress?
Prabhupāda: Our Kurukṣetra battle is a conflict between Kurus and Pāṇḍavas. So after the conflict, the Pāṇḍavas became the kings. So that is admitted; without conflict, you cannot make progress.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: At the present moment, the people in general, they are engaged in service, in factories, in big, big office, big, big establishment. So they're all śūdras, fourth-class men. And the fourth-class men select their representative. So they must be also fourth-class. Democracy means selected, I mean to..., voted, elected. So because they are being elected by the fourth-class men, the leaders are also fourth-class men. The fourth-class men cannot appreciate the first-class men. And there is lacking of second-class men. So the result is that at the present moment, the whole world is being managed by the fourth-class men. Therefore, there are so many anomalies.
Pṛthu-putra: He says this concept is against the...
Yogeśvara: "Traditional western capitalism..."
Pṛthu-putra: The traditional western capitalists.
Yogeśvara: It is against capitalism, this idea?
Prabhupāda: No. It is the movement to qualify men to their respective positions. It is an educational system to divide first-class, second-class, third-class, fourth-class. They all required, but at the present moment, the fourth-class man is occupying the first-class man's place. We want to divide the society into real first-class, second-class, third-class... They're all required, but they have got their respective positions, not topsy-turvied. As the, as to keep the body fit, we require the head, the hands, the belly and the legs. If we simply keep legs, it is useless. (French)
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Rāmeṣvara: Prabhupāda, in the Ādi-līlā, you wrote that the Communist movement is greater than the capitalist movement because there are more śūdras than vaiśyas so that in a war between Communism and capitalism, the Communists would win.
Prabhupāda: Naturally. They are in greater number.
Rāmeṣvara: But these modern wars are fought with missiles and bombs more than armies.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Formerly, also, there were brahmāstra, fire, firearms, brahmāstra.
Prabhupāda: The Vietnam and everything, Korea, all these things. Not to allow the communists to become very powerful. That is American political policy is going on. And the presidents may change, but the national policy cannot be changed. Therefore they want fighting between Pakistan and India. So Russia... Actually that happened. Russia will come to the help of India. That arrangement is already there with Indira Gandhi. Naturally they'll come to help Pakistan. And then between the big two.
Devotee (1): That's why you said this morning that India will suffer more than any other country.
Bhagavān: The last time there was a war between Pakistan and India the American government put their whole fleet and aimed their guns at India.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They wanted to help Pakistan. But when the Russian came, they took time. Otherwise, fighting would have begun at that time.
Devotee (1): So it almost happened one time before.
Prabhupāda: Maybe that Nixon thought: "If some settlement can be done, without fighting..." Therefore he went to Russia.
Devotee (1): Yes.
Prabhupāda: Later on. He went to China also.
Prabhupāda: But they are uncompromising. The communists, they, they are staunch enemy of the capitalist. Their whole philosophy is against God and against capitalism. So if America becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious and fights, they have got strength plus God's blessing. They'll come out victorious. Fight is going on. We cannot stop. But if the American people take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and fight with the communist, they'll come out victorious. Then the menace of communistic movement will stop. And we want that. We want that these demonic communists should be finished. The Russians, as people, they are not communists. They are not communists. A certain class. Just like in India, a certain class is communist. The mass of people is not communist. They cannot become communist. It is not possible.
Prabhupāda: No, what Marx has explained that a man is born in a rich family, from the birth he is millionaire, and another man is trying whole life, but he could not secure more than his provision? That's all. Why this is here?
Harikeśa: That's due to the capitalistic system. Because he is born in a certain kind of a system, then this hereditary birth and wealth comes. But that capitalistic system, if it's more in a socialistic or communistic system, then there is no possibility of that happening. So therefore this inequality doesn't exist.
Prabhupāda: They are trying for the last fifty years. Why the capitalism is not yet gone? Fifty years at least. They started their movement in 1917. Huh? So how many years? More than fifty. Sixty years. Sixty years. What they have done, progress?
Harikeśa: Well, actually, Russia was the wrong place for communism to go. According to Marx, Russia was the last place that should be communistic, because it was agricultural. But the first place should have been like England,
Prabhupāda: So why they did not do that? Another rascaldom. Why you are taking chance in Russia, the foolish country?
Harikeśa: So that when if a country like England or America would become communistic, that would be very good.
Prabhupāda: Why would become? It is not the dictation of rascal Marx. Why they would? Why he is expecting like a fool like that? Why they would accept that philosophy?
Harikeśa: Well, they will have to accept it.
Prabhupāda: No, when they... That is another thing. Again, "they will have," future. Again rascal.
Harikeśa: Because just like New York has gone become bankrupt, so all the cities will go bankrupt, and then people will not have employment.
Prabhupāda: That is another thing. Bankrupt does not mean their philosophy is lost. Bankrupt may be due to some other reason. That does not mean the capitalistic philosophy is finished.
Harikeśa: Well, actually the communistic philosophy is strictly economic.
Prabhupāda: Not actually. Don't say "actually." Sometimes you say "accidentally" and sometimes "actually." Such a rascal. (laughter) "By some chance" and sometimes "actually."
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Chinese people, they are trying to raise their standard of civilization. Do they?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Śrīla Prabhupāda, many.... Their philosophy is called dialectic materialism. They want to advance materially and they.... We have prepared one report of an interview with the president of a committee on United States and China relations. He's one of the leading experts in China. So after researching and studying all the educational, the libraries, all the different functions in China, we went and spoke with this gentleman.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: First we got a lot of information ourselves, so we'd be knowledgeable. We read for one month. We got.... We wrote away to all the councils, we got hundreds of books like this, special reports about China, we read them, and then we went to meet this man, because he is the most knowledgeable expert person on China in the United States. And we made up a report which we wanted to read to you, because it gives everything very nicely. It tells what China is doing now, and what our program can be for book distribution.
Prabhupāda: No, what is their aim? After studying all these books, what do you think? What is the aim of China? What is the objective they are making progress towards?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Their aim is that everyone should be materially comfortable. There should be no...
Prabhupāda: In that case, they should, if they have got sense.... Just like in the whole world, these American people are materially comfortable. But why they are producing hippies now?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: They see this as a fault of the system, capitalism. They say that capitalism means the enjoyment of the few at the...
Prabhupāda: Materialism means capitalism.
Jagadīśa: I've understood that communism is presented by the administrative class when there is a condition of scarcity. When there is opulence, then there is room for personal individual enterprise, but when there is scarcity, that cannot be encouraged, and the common people have to be subjugated. So capitalism and communism are both simply philosophies how to keep the common man satisfied. So it's simply another means of exploitation.
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is exploitation, and actually they have done it.
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Rāmeśvara: So they may say this philosophy, that's like the communism, capitalism, Russia, America. The business of exploiting the masses is the same, they'll say. Different names, different dress, but the main business is going on.
Prabhupāda: Expert. Nobody is thinking (indistinct) "Everyone will be happy." That we are thinking because we are devotees. Otherwise what is the use of my going to America? So America is not in need of me, but I found there is need of me. So they are thinking, "This man has come to wash our brains." And I think that "Yes, we are going to do work (indistinct) they will be happy."
Hari-śauri: Their ideas run similar, that they wanted to... Their so-called philosophy was that all the working people should be supplied sufficient foodstuffs and there shouldn't be any capitalism and..., like this.
Prabhupāda: The Gandhi's philosophy is to wipe out the capitalist, Britishers, and his philosophy also, the same.
Satsvarūpa: But one was nonviolent.
Prabhupāda: That is only pretext.
Rāmeśvara: You have already defined violence as "Anything which does not save a man from repeated birth and death, that is violence."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Violence, I take it in this way, that you have got right to possess this. If I do not allow you to possess, that is violent. Somehow or other, I check it, and that is violence.
Hari-śauri: Yes. We have a natural right to understand God.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. There is natural right, and they are checking. That is violence. To check one from his rightful position is violence. That is called hiṁsā, that... Kṛṣṇa therefore says, amānitvam adambitvam ahiṁsā. You should not check anybody from his natural advancement, spiritual life. That is ahiṁsā.
Bhakti-caru: Charan Singh (Hindi) "Ninety murders in one district. 'There was a constitutional breakdown in the states,' he said. The chief minister of Maratha states had admitted to him that his government's reach was no longer running the way it had done earlier. He was receiving many complaints from the U.P., Rajasthan, and Haryana. Fifty murders have been committed in one district in Bihar in one week. Mr. Charan Singh's statement, which was preceded by the (indistinct) meeting earlier in the morning, led to a spate of questions. He was asked whether he was going counter to the spirit of the federal structure which permitted different ruling parties and centers and states, whether the ruling party M.P. would be asked to resign if a state..., if the states they came from turned down his party government and whether the central government would not invoke the power of an article which stated by the Constitution despite capitalism in the Janata party election manifesto."
Prabhupāda: So what is this yoga? (laughs) Sanjay Gandhi's yoga, just see. A rogue, devil, he is practicing yoga. His mother was practicing also yoga, the same.
Superficially, it appears that in the USA there is sufficient provision of eating, sleeping, mating and defending, but actually nobody is safe even in his good apartment. I have got practical experience in New York. Several times my typewriter and tape recorders were stolen and the police could not take any action. There are many persons in the Bowery street, they have no shelter to live. So if a certain fraction of the people are supposed to be very materially happy at the cost of others, that is not material advancement. Had it been so, then why there are so many persons confused and frustrated? So actually there is no material advancement here. Here, I am seeing practically that Gaurasundara, such a nice intelligent and qualified boy, he has to work hard 12 hours simply for his subsistence. I think there are many instances like that, so this is not material advancement. You can call it capitalist advancement, and the reaction for such advancement is communism. Such movement is simply suppressed in your country, but actually the reaction is this. So the Western type of civilization, industrialism and capitalism, is no material advancement. It is material exploitation. When one gets the bare necessities of life, namely peaceful home, sumptuous eating, necessary sex life, and feeling of security, then it is called material advancement. In the absence of such four preliminary necessities of life, it is not at all material advancement—just try to understand. According to Vedic civilization, a man is supposed to be rich when he has got sufficient grains and cows. Here we have neither sufficient grains or cows, but you have got sufficient quantity of papers only—falsely thinking that it is money. When there is some catastrophe, this bunch of papers will neither supply milk or grain. They will be seen only and the man will starve.
Please accept my greetings. I beg to thank you for your New Year's greeting card which I have received here in L.A. after returning from London via Boston. I am so glad to see your quotation from Srimad-Bhagavatam about the socialistic view of Sri Narada Muni. It is very nice and I have also mentioned it in the preface of my first volume of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Krishna Consciousness Movement is so nice that it can adjust the disagreement between socialism and capitalism. At the present moment, neither of these isms is perfect from the philosophical point of view, but if both parties take this common formula of Krishna Consciousness each one will supplement the other. I think, therefore, that this Krishna Consciousness Movement should be pushed thoroughly all over the world and I am seeing practically that it has got powerful effect.