There is a spiritual sky, where there are innumerable spiritual planets and innumerable spiritual living entities, but those who are not fit to live in that spiritual world are sent to this material world. Voluntarily we have accepted this material body, but actually we are spirit souls who should not have accepted it. When and how we accepted it cannot be traced. No one can trace the history of when the conditioned soul first accepted the material body. There are 8,400,000 forms of living entities 900,000 species of living entities are within the water, 2,000,000 species of life are among the plants and vegetables. Unfortunately, this Vedic knowledge is not instructed by any university. But these are facts. Let the botanist and anthropologist research into the Vedic conclusion. Darwin's theory of the evolution of organic matter is, of course, very prominent in the institutions of learning. But the Bhāgavata Purāṇa and other authoritative scriptures of scientific magnitude describe how the living entities in different forms of body evolve one after another. It is not a new idea, but educators are giving stress only to Darwin's theory, although in Vedic literature we have immense information of the living conditions in this material world.
Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 7 - 12
It is said in Bhagavad-gītā that simply by surrendering oneself unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality Kṛṣṇa one can surmount the stringent laws of material nature. At this point a question arises: How is it that educated philosophers, scientists, businessmen, administrators and all the leaders of ordinary men do not surrender to the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the all-powerful Personality of Godhead? Mukti, or liberation from the laws of material nature, is sought by the leaders of mankind in different ways and with great plans and perseverance for a great many years and births. But if that liberation is possible by simply surrendering unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then why don't these intelligent and hard-working leaders adopt this simple method?
The Gītā answers this question very frankly. Those really learned leaders of society like Brahmā, Śiva, Kapila, the Kumāras, Manu, Vyāsa, Devala, Asita, Janaka, Prahlāda, Bali, and later on Madhvācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Śrī Caitanya and many others—who are faithful philosophers, politicians, educators, scientists, etc.—surrender to the lotus feet of the Supreme Person, the all-powerful authority. Those who are not actually philosophers, scientists, educators, administrators, etc., but who pose themselves as such for material gain, do not accept the plan or path of the Supreme Lord. They have no idea of God; they simply manufacture their own worldly plans and consequently complicate the problems of material existence in their vain attempts to solve them. Because material energy (nature) is so powerful, it can resist the unauthorized plans of the atheists and baffle the knowledge of "planning commissions."
In the Gītā it is clearly mentioned that material energy works fully under the direction of the Supreme Lord. It has no independent authority. It works as the shadow moves, in accordance with the movements of the object. But still material energy is very powerful, and the atheist, due to his godless temperament, cannot know how it works; nor can he know the plan of the Supreme Lord. Under illusion and the modes of passion and ignorance, all his plans are baffled, as in the case of Hiraṇyakaśipu and Rāvaṇa, whose plans were smashed to dust although they were both materially learned as scientists, philosophers, administrators and educators. These duṣkṛtinas, or miscreants, are of four different patterns, as outlined below.
BG Chapters 13 - 18
A person in the mode of goodness is satisfied by his work or intellectual pursuit, just as a philosopher, scientist or educator may be engaged in a particular field of knowledge and may be satisfied in that way. A man in the mode of passion may be engaged in fruitive activity; he owns as much as he can and spends for good causes. Sometimes he tries to open hospitals, give to charity institutions, etc. These are signs of one in the mode of passion. And the mode of ignorance covers knowledge. In the mode of ignorance, whatever one does is good neither for him nor for anyone.
SB Canto 7
One may ask why highly educated persons do not take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The reason is explained in this verse. Unless one takes shelter of a bona fide, fully Kṛṣṇa conscious spiritual master, there is no chance of understanding Kṛṣṇa. The educators, scholars and big political leaders worshiped by millions of people cannot understand the goal of life and take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, for they have not accepted a bona fide spiritual master and the Vedas. Therefore in the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (3.2.3) it is said, nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo na medhayā na bahunā śrutena: one cannot become self-realized simply by having an academic education, by presenting lectures in an erudite way (pravacanena labhyaḥ), or by being an intelligent scientist who discovers many wonderful things. One cannot understand Kṛṣṇa unless one is graced by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Only one who has surrendered to a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa and taken the dust of his lotus feet can understand Kṛṣṇa. First one must understand how to get out of the clutches of māyā. The only means is to become Kṛṣṇa conscious.
As indicated in the previous verse by the words manuṣya-janma, these injunctions are for human beings. Unfortunately, human beings, although they have the bodies of men, are becoming less than animals in their behavior. This is the fault of modern education. Modern educators do not know the aim of human life; they are simply concerned with how to develop the economic condition of their countries or of human society. This is also necessary; the Vedic civilization considers all aspects of human life, including dharma (religion), artha (economic development), kāma (sense gratification) and mokṣa (liberation). But humanity's first concern should be religion. To be religious, one must abide by the orders of God, but unfortunately people in this age have rejected religion, and they are busy in economic development. Therefore they will adopt any means to get money. For economic development one does not need to get money by hook or by crook; one needs only sufficient money to maintain his body and soul. However, because modern economic development is going on with no religious background, people have become lusty, greedy and mad after money. They are simply developing the qualities of rajas (passion) and tamas (ignorance), neglecting the other quality of nature, sattva (goodness), and the brahminical qualifications. Therefore the entire society is in chaos.
Unfortunately, people in general do not know what is to take place in the next life. To prepare oneself for his next life is common sense, and it is a principle of the Vedic civilization, but presently people throughout the world do not believe in a next life. Even influential professors and other educators say that as soon as the body is finished, everything is finished. This atheistic philosophy is killing human civilization. People are irresponsibly performing all sorts of sinful activities, and thus the privilege of the human life is being taken away by the educational propaganda of the so-called leaders. Actually it is a fact that this life is meant for preparation for the next life; by evolution one has come through many species, or forms, and this human form of life is an opportunity to promote oneself to a better life.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Easy Journey to Other Planets
Renunciation Through Wisdom
We have included this portion of Dr. Ane's speech, taken from a local newspaper, because we want to impress upon the reader the urgent need for introducing religious studies into the universities. Because in the past strong objections were raised against including religious classes in the schools, they have been excluded, and now severe reactions are being seen in today's youth. I think that excluding spiritual studies from education thwarts all chances for the human mind to awaken and blossom. Because of a lack of spiritual education, today's youth are undisciplined. Students who do not pray or meditate in the early morning, and again in the evening, gradually become agnostics, and their minds float about aimlessly without purpose. They reject religious ideas and ethics and instead embrace logic and argument as supreme. Often they fall into the vicious grip of some unscrupulous politician. The exclusion of religious courses from the universities is the main reason one does not see nowadays a pure and sublime relationship between student and teacher. Many educators feel the need for religious education today.
According to the Bhagavad-gītā (2.42, 7.15), mistaken mundane educators are known as veda-vāda-rata and māyayāpahṛta-jñāna. They may also be atheistic demons, the lowest of men. Those who are veda-vāda-rata pose themselves as very learned in the Vedic literature, but unfortunately they are completely diverted from the purpose of the Vedas. In the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15) it is said that the purpose of the Vedas is to know the Personality of Godhead, but these veda-vāda-rata men are not at all interested in the Personality of Godhead. On the contrary, they are fascinated by such fruitive results as the attainment of heaven.