Cart before the horse

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Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

To protect the country, to protect the society, military arrangement should be there. Nobody disapproves. But not the brāhmaṇas. It is putting the horse before a cart. Horse is required for different purpose. Another beast of those, asses, mules and bulls, they are required for towing cart.
Lecture on BG 7.1 -- San Francisco, March 17, 1968:

The head is considered to be the intellectual part of the body. Similarly, if there is no brāhmaṇa in the society, that is a dead body. If there is no spiritual man in the society, that is a dead society. This is very nice, natural division. Therefore Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa says, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ: (BG 4.13) "I have created the four divisions of society according to quality and work." If somebody is working just like a brahmacārī, brāhmaṇa, and he has acquired the quality... What is that quality? To understand Kṛṣṇa or the Supreme Lord. So he's a brāhmaṇa. Why he should be called for the action of the arms? The arms for defending, that is kṣatriya. Of course, that is required. To protect the country, to protect the society, military arrangement should be there. Nobody disapproves. But not the brāhmaṇas. It is putting the horse before a cart. Horse is required for different purpose. Another beast of those, asses, mules and bulls, they are required for towing cart.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

If a person is employed according to his natural tendency, he becomes successful. But if you give some employment, just like to put a cart before a horse, like that, no, that will not be successful.
Lecture on SB 1.8.46 -- Los Angeles, May 8, 1973:

This is actually Vedic culture. You will find all this from Mahābhārata. Bhāgavata also, we are trying to explain as far as possible. The brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, this is natural division. So for fighting, kṣatriya. In India, because still there are some kṣatriyas, there is no such draft board. The kṣatriya class, they would come forward to be recruited by the military department. They will not go away. They will be very glad to accept military service, because in their blood the kṣatriya spirit is there. In India there is no scarcity to find out a fighter. But when people are trained as śūdra, how he can fight? Therefore it is very scientific. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). The society must be divided. There is division already, natural. We have to simply pick out, that "This boy is brāhmaṇa, this boy is kṣatriya, this boy is vaiśya, and this boy is śūdra." So they should be given separate employment. Then there will be peace. If a person is employed according to his natural tendency, he becomes successful, he becomes successful. But if you give some employment, just like to put a cart before a horse, like that, no, that will not be successful.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1971 Conversations and Morning Walks

You cannot put a cart before a horse. That is not possible. Of course, the Communists, they are trying to do that, but they have also failed.
Room Conversation with Dr. Karan Singh, -- November 25, 1971, Delhi:

Dr. Singh: Can't we all be combined in a single person rather than dividing them into four, at least in the present age?

Prabhupāda: No. That is not possible. Suppose if you are a kṣatriya, you are ruling, you cannot go to work in the field.

Dr. Singh: We go to work in the office, which is equally hard, I can assure you. (laughs) We go from morning till evening. I wish I could go to the field, in fact.

Prabhupāda: You cannot put a cart before a horse. That is not possible. Of course, the Communists, they are trying to do that, but they have also failed. I went to Moscow. They have got a worker class and they have got a manager class, manager class. They cannot do without it. It must be there. Someone must be their manager. So this division of the society... Just like natural division, one can study by his own body. This body has got four divisions—the head division, the arm division, the belly division, and the leg division. All of them are important in cooperation. But the hand cannot do the work of the leg, nor the leg can do the work of the head.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

This is to bring a horse before a cart. Politics and nonviolence, it is incompatible.
Morning Walk -- May 8, 1975, Perth:

Paramahaṁsa: Gandhi also read the Bhagavad-gītā, and he made so many wonderful comments on the Gītā.

Prabhupāda: That wonderfulness is for the rascals and the fools. What wonderful he has done? He preached nonviolence, but he was killed by violence. That is his wonderful example. He preached the philosophy of nonviolence, which is impossible. Therefore Kṛṣṇa killed him by violence. This is his wonderful. And his foolishness was proved, that there cannot be nonviolence. So he was a fool.

Paramahaṁsa: But he himself was nonviolent.

Prabhupāda: Nonviol... That's alright, he was a fool. Therefore I say you cannot bring nonviolence in politics. There is no such history. Just like Arjuna wanted to be nonviolent. Kṛṣṇa chastized him, that you are a foolish number one. So... This is to bring a horse before a cart. Politics and nonviolence, it is incompatible. It is not possible. And he did it. Therefore he was a fool. Just like if you want to cook without fire. Is it possible?

Devotee: No.

Prabhupāda: So, this is foolishness. You become very bold enough, "Now I shall cook without fire." You are a rascal number one. Gandhi did it. Actually he could not drive away the Britishers by nonviolence, for thirty years, thirty-five years he struggled. When Subash Bose introduced violence, they were forced out. This is politics. Politics and nonviolence (incompatible). There is no history in the world that politics has been successful without violence, and he introduced this. So how much foolish he was, you can understand. It is same thing like that, if somebody says, "I'll cook without any. I shall scientifically do that a man can give birth to a child." There is no history, and if I say, "Now I shall do it. I shall see that equal rights. As a woman is giving birth to a child, the man will also will give child." These things are foolishness. This is not intelligence. The women are claiming equal rights. So, stop giving birth to a child? Then equal rights. Can it be possible? The man and woman unite, but the woman becomes pregnant, not the man. And if somebody says, now the man will become pregnant, is it not foolishness?

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Everyone is required for Kṛṣṇa's service, but there must be division. Don't put horse before a cart.
Room Conversation About Gurukula -- November 5, 1976, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: You cannot expect that everyone is brāhmaṇa. No. He has got śūdra mentality, so let him till the ground for Kṛṣṇa. Svakarmaṇā tam abhyarcya. He is fit for tilling so let him till and produce grain for Kṛṣṇa.

Jagadīśa: Hyderabad?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Hard work. He should be given hard work. This gurukula is for high, high class brāhmaṇa, kṣatriyas, not for the vaiśyas and śūdras. (man laughs in background) No, everyone is required for Kṛṣṇa's service, but there... That I was describing today. There must be division. Don't put horse before a cart.

There is no subject matter there. You have no right to bring that. To bring a horse before a cart. We are talking of Bhagavad-gītā. There is no mention of Kṛṣṇa and gopīs' saris there.
Room Conversation -- December 29, 1976, Bombay:

Guest (2): Most Hindus, they are not properly able to understand Kṛṣṇa direct.

Prabhupāda: No, I have already explained, that when you cannot understand, then you interpret. But when it is clearly understood why should you interpret?

Guest (2): How you explain the act of Kṛṣṇa taking away the saris of the gopīs?

Prabhupāda: First of all, try to understand Bhagavad-gītā. Then go to the sari of gopī. You do not know what is Kṛṣṇa and you are going to His gopīs. This is another malinterpretation. You are studying Bhagavad-gītā, talk of that. In the Bhagavad-gītā the gopīs' saris are not mentioned. So why you are bringing gopīs' saris now? This is our fault.

Guest (2): Normally, you know our people...

Prabhupāda: No, no. This is our fault There is no mention of gopīs' saris. We are talking of Bhagavad-gītā, why you are bringing gopīs' saris?

Guest (2): Because that...

Prabhupāda: Again because. There is no subject matter there. You have no right to bring that. That is our fault. To bring a horse before a cart. We are talking of Bhagavad-gītā. There is no mention of Kṛṣṇa and gopīs' saris there. So let us talk. Finish that.

Correspondence

1969 Correspondence

I am very sorry to learn that our press is lying idle, and your remark in this connection that we have purchased the cart before the horse is appropriate.
Letter to Advaita -- London 19 November, 1969:

I am very sorry to learn that our press is lying idle, and your remark in this connection that we have purchased the cart before the horse is appropriate. I have immediately asked Aravinda from Los Angeles, to go there for doing layout work. I have asked also Pradyumna why the composition work is going so slowly. I have received one letter from Satsvarupa also in this connection, so all the composition and layout work must now be centralized in the press. For editing, already Satsvarupa is there, and Hayagriva will send his editorial matters without any delay. The actual difficulty is composing and layout. Satsvarupa informs me that there is a girl, Palika Dasi, who is a good typist, and Satsvarupa also agrees to purchase another machine. So if possible, immediately purchase this composing machine and begin the composing work for Krsna.

Facts about "Cart before the horse"
Compiled byVisnu Murti + and Madhavi +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryNovember 29, 0009 JL +
Date of last entryNovember 30, 0009 JL +
Total quotes7 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 2 +, Conv: 4 + and Let: 1 +