Hayagrīva: In his Politics, Plato changes his mind later in life. In the beginning he believed that in an ideal state the leaders should possess nothing of their own, neither property nor family. He felt that they must live together in a community where wives and children are held in common to guard against corruption, bribery and nepotism in government. He felt that the elite philosophers should mate with women of high qualities in order to produce the best children for positions of responsibility. Now, how does this view of common wives and children correspond to the Vedic version?
Prabhupāda: Yes, Vedic civilization is that, that putrārthe kriyate bhāryā. A man should accept a wife for putra, for son. Why son? Putra-piṇḍa-prayojanam: a putra should be responsible for offering piṇḍa, so that after death, even by mistake or somehow or other I am in a wrong position, by the piṇḍa I am elevated. This is idea. So marriage is for having good son, that's a fact, who will deliver me even if I am in the hell. Therefore the śraddhā ceremony in there. So even the father is in hell, by this śraddhā ceremony he will be delivered. This is the idea. So unless one has got son, nobody is going to offer him śraddhā oblation, and even one may be very benevolent, but it is not expected. But it is the duty of the son, as it is said, putra. Pu means there is a hell pundama (?). The hell's name is pundama, pun. So I mean, pu and tra, tra means one who delivers. If by chance I am put into pundama naraka trayate, one who delivers me from that hellish condition of life, he is putra, and for this kind of putra I accept a wife, not for my sex enjoyment. And it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, one who uses his sex for these religious activities, that "I shall get good father, a good son who can deliver me," then marriage is required. Otherwise it is useless. Dharmāviruddho kāmo 'smi. Kṛṣṇa says, "Sex life which is not against religious principle, that is I am." And sex life which is, which has no religious principle, that is sense gratification leading one to hell. So this theory: that we should marry, we should have sex life for creating good progeny. And my Guru Mahārāja used to say—he was a sannyāsī brahmacārī—but he said that "If I could produce really Kṛṣṇa conscious children, I can use hundred times sex life. Otherwise why shall I use my sex for cat, producing cats and dog?" He has said like that. So the śāstra also says, pitā na sa syāt janani na sa syāt: the father's, mother's duty is how to rescue their children from the cycle of birth and death. That is real father and mother. Otherwise cats and dogs, they are also father and mother. That is not wanted. Vedic culture is different. Produce children for such education and such accomplishment that he can be saved from the cycle of birth and death, and the putra should be such qualified that even his father goes to the hellish condition of pundama, he will deliver him. That is the idea of becoming father and family.
Hayagrīva: He believed that the best form of government is an enlightened monarchy, enlightened monarchy.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. That is we say, rājarṣi, rājarṣi. Imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Rājarṣi means king, at the same time saintly.
Prabhupāda: That is idea. He has taken these ideas from the Vedic literature.
Hayagrīva: When this form degenerates, it becomes a tyranny.
Hayagrīva: When it degenerates.
Hayagrīva: The second best form is an aristocracy, and when it deteriorates it becomes an oligarchy, rule of corrupt men. And he considered democracy to be one of the worst forms of government...
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is my, I have said...
Hayagrīva: ...for when it deteriorates, it degenerates into mob rule.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, that's a fact, very good. But the best thing is monarchy, because if the monarch is rājarṣi, he is not only king... That is necessary. Kṛṣṇa wants that, that the government should be ruled; therefore we praise, offer so much respect to Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Parīkṣit and Lord Rāmacandra, how to become an ideal king. He is Personality of Godhead. He showed how to become Rāma-rājya. So this is very good because it is not expensive. One man is maintained by the state very nicely, and nowadays these democracies' mob rule means instead of one king there are 300,000 kings in a state, and they are looting the hard-earned money by income tax, and everything is so polluted. So the condemnation of democracy is supported by us. It is mob rule. It has no value.
Hayagrīva: Socrates and Plato.
Prabhupāda: That's all right.