So we civilized human beings—never mind American or Indian or German or Englishman, it doesn't matter—we are very few. So we have got economic problems. We are trying for developing our economic condition. What is that economic condition? Eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. We are busy always, but the animals are also busy for eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, but they have no problem. We have got problems. So just try to understand, if the major portion of the living entities have no problem... Their necessities of life are being supplied by the supreme eternal, God. Just like an elephant. There are millions of elephants in African jungle. They eat at a time fifty kilos. But they're getting their food. Similarly, a small ant, it requires a grain of sugar. So he's also getting his food. So the supreme eternal has arranged food, or the economic problems are solved by nature. They do not do any business, they do not go to school or colleges to learn technology, to earn livelihood, but they are being supplied. They are healthy. There is no disease.
- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 3 Lectures
- 4 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 5 Correspondence
SB Canto 1
This sound of the Lord is identical with the Lord, as we have tried to explain by the nondual position of the Lord. The material existence of our present status is full of fear. Out of the four problems of material existence, namely the food problem, the shelter problem, the fear problem and the mating problem, the fear problem gives us more trouble than the others. We are always fearful due to our ignorance of the next problem. The whole material existence is full of problems, and thus the fear problem is always prominent. This is due to our association with the illusory energy of the Lord, known as māyā or external energy, yet all fear is vanished as soon as there is the sound of the Lord, represented by His holy name, as it was sounded by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in the following sixteen words:
- Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare
- Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare
We can take advantage of these sounds and be free from all threatening problems of material existence.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
The most important word in these verses is mahā-guṇam, indicating that the brāhmaṇas were offered very palatable food of exalted quality. Such palatable dishes were generally prepared with two things, namely food grains and milk products. Bhagavad-gītā (18.44) therefore enjoins that human society must give protection to the cows and encourage agriculture (kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāvajam). Simply by expert cooking, hundreds and thousands of palatable dishes can be prepared from agricultural produce and milk products. This is indicated here by the words annaṁ mahā-guṇam. Still today in India, from these two things, namely food grains and milk, hundreds and thousands of varieties of food are prepared, and then they are offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (Catur-vidha-śrī-bhagavat-prasāda**. patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26).) Then the prasāda is distributed. Even today in Jagannātha-kṣetra and other big temples, very palatable dishes are offered to the Deity, and prasāda is distributed profusely. Cooked by first-class brāhmaṇas with expert knowledge and then distributed to the public, this prasāda is also a blessing from the brāhmaṇas or Vaiṣṇavas. There are four kinds of prasāda (catur-vidha). Salty, sweet, sour and pungent tastes are made with different types of spices, and the food is prepared in four divisions, called carvya, cūṣya, lehya and peya-prasāda that is chewed, prasāda that is licked, prasāda tasted with the tongue, and prasāda that is drunk. Thus there are many varieties of prasāda, prepared very nicely with grains and ghee, offered to the Deity and distributed to the brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas and then to the general public. This is the way of human society. Killing the cows and spoiling the land will not solve the problem of food. This is not civilization. Uncivilized men living in the jungle and being unqualified to produce food by agriculture and cow protection may eat animals, but a perfect human society advanced in knowledge must learn how to produce first-class food simply by agriculture and protection of cows.
It is the duty of all gṛhasthas to invite a sannyāsī to their homes if he happens to be in the neighborhood or village. This very system is still current in India. If a sannyāsī is in the neighborhood of a village, he is invited by all householders, one after another. As long as a sannyāsī remains in the village, he enlightens the inhabitants in spiritual understanding. In other words, a sannyāsī has no housing or food problems even when he travels extensively. Even though Advaita Ācārya was supplying Caitanya Mahāprabhu with prasādam, the other devotees from Navadvīpa and Śāntipura also desired to offer Him prasādam.
Anna, ghṛta, dadhi and dugdha are food grains, ghee, yogurt and milk. Actually these are the basis of all food. Vegetables and fruits are subsidiary. Hundreds and thousands of preparations can be made out of grains, vegetables, ghee, milk and yogurt. The food offered to Gopāla in the Annakūṭa ceremony contained only these five ingredients. Only demoniac people are attracted to other types of food, which we will not even mention in this connection. We should understand that in order to prepare nutritious food, we require only grains, ghee, yogurt and milk. We cannot offer anything else to the Deity. The Vaiṣṇava, the perfect human being, does not accept anything not offered to the Deity. People are often frustrated with national food policies, but from the Vedic scriptures we find that if there are sufficient cows and grains, the entire food problem is solved. The vaiśyas (people engaged in agriculture and commerce) are therefore recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā to produce grains and give protection to cows. Cows are the most important animal because they produce the miracle food, milk, from which we can prepare ghee and yogurt.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
The soul, in its original spiritual body, can be transferred from this material world to the spiritual world. And there is the spiritual world as I've already explained, that is three times creation of the Lord. This is only one-fourth, this material world. So our problem of human life is to get out of these material clutches and transfer ourselves to the spiritual world. That is real problem. Not this food problem, that problem. This will go on. So long you are in the material world, such problems will come and go. They're not permanent. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Āgamāpāyinaḥ anityāḥ tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata. These problems, they'll come and they'll go. Just like seasonal changes.
So everyone is trying to be very happy, comfortable, but it is being finished within a second. Is it not a fact? Huh? Is there any disagreement on this point? That is the problem. Everyone is trying to solve this problem in his own way. They are manufacturing different ways only, but the problem is not solved. The problem is there. Here in America, whenever I meet some gentleman in the street and he understands that I am coming from India, he says, "Oh, India is very poverty-stricken." You see. So... As if there is no problem in America. There is one problem, food scarcity. But I told him that "You have got also many problems. You are not problem-free." So there is... Suppose you have got some pain here. Sometimes we think that "If pain would have been here, then it would have been nice. Here it is very painful." So pain, here or there, it is pain. You see.
So either you have got problem of food grain or problem of hippies, but the problem is there. A different feature only. Therefore one should be very much careful to know how to solve the problems. Actually, we are trying. We are trying to advance in education, in scientific knowledge. In so many things we are trying. The material nature is offering problems after problem. That is the nature's business. You solve one problem, and she'll present another problem. First of all, one, somebody thought, "If there is airplane, then it will be very nice to travel in the space." But now the problem is that by airplane, if there is enmity, another country can face my country without any fight. So another problem.
The present problem is food problem. It is not simply talking on this platform or that platform. Yesterday some news reporter, "Sir, what is your view of the Bhagavad-gītā, dvaita-vāda, advaita-vāda?" The dvaita-vāda, advaita-vāda—that we shall consider later on. Come to the practical field. Now, suppose there is scarcity of food. So Kṛṣṇa does not say that this problem of scarcity of food will be solved by dvaita-vāda philosophy or advaita-vāda philosophy. Kṛṣṇa says practical way: annād bhavanti bhūtāni (BG 3.14). Annād. You have, you must have sufficient food grains for the living entities, animal or man. This is practical. There is no question of talking. What is he talking of advaita-vāda philosophy or dvaita-vāda philosophy when you are needy, you require anna? That is practical solution given by Kṛṣṇa. Annād bhavanti. He never says that your food problem will be solved by philosophizing advaita-vāda or dvaita-vāda. Here is practical. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni. You must find out sufficient grains. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ. Parjanyāt. When there is sufficient rain, then there will be food grains, not by your advaita-vāda philosophy or dvaita-vāda philosophy. These are practical solution.
And we have seen even in our childhood that poor men, the laborer class, servant, they came from village in the town. We were residents of town, Calcutta, The servants class, they would come... Everywhere, not in Calcutta, everywhere. The villagers would come, and the small salary. Even in our young days, we were paying salaries to the servants, twelve rupees, fourteen rupees, without any food. And still they would save at least ten to twelve rupees out of that. And this money, the servant would send to his wife at home, and as soon as there is two hundred rupees, he'll purchase a piece of land. And in this way, when he has got sufficient land for producing food for the whole family, then he would no more come to city for working. We have seen it.
That means as soon as one has a land sufficient to produce, he is safe. His food problem—that is the real problem—is solved. So people are not being trained up to... In America, I have seen. Now the farmers, the father is working on the farm, and the sons, they do not come. They live in the city. This is the tendency all over the world. They are not producing food grains. Therefore there is scarcity.
So anyway, the whole world situation is degrading, that people are not producing their own food. This is the problem, real problem. Kṣetra-kṣetra-jña. This example is given. As every man must possess a piece of land... Therefore this... Because it is very common thing, this example has been given. Kṣetra-kṣetra-jña.
So as we till our land and gets foodstuff according to my labor, according to my intelligence... Food grains I can produce once twice, thrice, if I work hard. Generally, they work two times: three months, three months. And those who are very lazy, they work three months. But even working for three months, they can acquire foodstuffs for the whole year. That I have seen.
So He has provided everyone's food. There is no problem. It is mistake to accept it that "Because there is overpopulation in the world, there is problem." Just now like we were walking on the St. James Park, the swan, ducks, they are producing one dozen children at a time. And that is also twice, thrice in a year. So they have no problem. Where is the problem of overpopulation? They are not starving. Unless you go and capture them and kill them, they are not dying. You see from the birds, animals—nobody dies of starvation. Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. Kṛṣṇa is there. He is supplying food for everyone. So where...? There is no question of starvation. Then why rivalry? Rivalry means "I want to enjoy more sense gratification" That is rivalry. Otherwise, there is no question of rivalry. Everything is there, complete. Pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate (Īśopaniṣad, Invocation). God's creation is perfect. There cannot be any imperfectness. Even there is overpopulation, God will supply food. Don't bother. But because we have no faith in God, because we have forgotten God, we do not know what is God, therefore we have created the economic problem. Otherwise there is no problem. You can see how they are jolly, they are walking. So by nature's study we have to learn. If we don't go to the Vedic knowledge, we can see that "Where is the problem in the lower animals?" There is no problem. They are confident. The problems for lower animal is there when they are in the city, but if they live natural life, there is no problem.
So therefore people are not following the rules and regulations given by God or by nature's own way. They have invented their own way of living condition. Therefore they are suffering. Now we see in Calcutta or any other... Now it is a problem. Everywhere the problem will be food shortage and fuel shortage, power shortage. This is the prediction of many, many great scientists. Because people are committing so many sinful life, they must starve. That is the punishment. That is the punishment. These sinful rascals must be punished. Tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krūrān kṣipāmy ajasram andha-yoniṣu (BG 16.19). These godless persons, dviṣataḥ, envious of God: "Why there should be God? Why Kṛṣṇa shall be God?", envious...
I have several times explained in this class that nobody has got any food problem. Simply the so-called civilized, advanced in science, these people have got problems of foodgrains. Otherwise, there are millions of elephants, they are eating very nicely. There are ants, there are elephants, there are tigers, there are monkeys, there are trees... So many, 8,400,000 forms of body. How they are eating? Unless they are eating... We kill animals, but the animals do not come to the..., to us, that "We are starving. Give us food." Never. By nature, there is arrangement, foodstuff. The cows, the other animals, they are eating grass. There is profuse growth of grass. So they are not eating your nice foodstuff, sandeśa, rasagullā. You are making sandeśa, rasagullā from the milk which they deliver. They are eating grass and delivering you nice foodstuff, milk. And from the milk, you can make hundreds and thousands of nice, nutritious, full of vitamin foodstuff. But no. We are so fool that instead of utilizing the milk, we are utilizing the blood. You see?
So the idea is that there is no food problem. As the mother earth said to King Pṛthu that "I am restricting," so the more you become sinful, the food supply will be stopped. This is the law of nature. At the end there will be no foodgrains, at the end of Kali-yuga. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. There will be no foodgrain, no fruits, no milk, no sugar. You have to live on flesh and blood. At that time, being hungry, you will kill your own children and eat flesh and blood. That day is waiting. So this is the civilization. Most heinous civilization. It can only be saved by spreading this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Otherwise there is no way.
So in the Vedic civilization there was no such problem as petrol problem and food problem or... No. The problem was whether the civilization was going nicely, whether the human civilization is making progress toward the ultimate goal of life, not to bother with the temporary problems. Temporary problems has been described in the Bhagavad-gītā, tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata. Mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya.
- mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
- āgamāpāyino 'nityās
- tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
- (BG 2.14)
Anything except this problem... There are problems always. This is a world of problems. So... Just like this summer season, that is also problem. The winter season, that is also problem. So many people come here in Hawaii because they cannot tolerate too much severe cold in the mainland. They come here. Again, when you come here, when it is too much hot, warm, then we require fan, we require refrigerator, we require so many. So problem is there. So Kṛṣṇa is saying, "My dear Arjuna, problems there will be." This is material world. You cannot avoid problems. But you should tackle with the main problem, not the insignificant or temporary problem. That is the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā.
So why you are thinking of your food problem? The food is there in the tree and the garment is on the street. Then where is my home, apartment? Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, ruddhā guhāḥ kim, "Whether the caves of the mountain are closed?" They are open for you. The caves of the mountain are open for you, the trees are there to supply you food, and people throw away old garments, that is your dress. And water? Water supply? Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, "Whether the rivers are dried up?" There is water. In this way he gives a very nice list so that you can become very independent. There is no problem for your bodily demands. But one has to practice. Formerly the saints, mendicants, sages, they used to practice like that, that not dependent on any condition. And so far God, God is within you. So you haven't got to go anywhere to search out God. God is with you, and you can be independent in this way.
So in the spiritual culture the renounced order should be only dedicated for the service of the Supreme Lord, not for taking easy money from others and utilizing it for sense gratification. That is not renounced. This is the purpose of this verse. If somebody says that "If I do not get some money, then how I shall live?" to answer this question, Śukadeva Gosvāmī says that "Why you are anxious for your maintenance? What you want for your maintenance?" "I want an apartment. I want clothing. I want food. I want water." So many things, this is necessary. Therefore he says "All right, if you want cloth, don't you find cloth, torn cloth, thrown in the street," Cīrāṇi kiṁ na pathi santi. "Don't you find?" "All right, I can collect it, pick up some cloth. That's all right. Then where is my food?" Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, naivāṅghripāḥ para-bhṛtaḥ, bhikṣāṁ na diśanti. The trees... Formerly trees mean fruit trees. They used to go to jungle means there are enough fruits. Still there are so many jungles. In Hawaii there are so many jungles, enough food. Mango, and many others—banana, pineapple, guava, so many fruits. So going to the jungle means to be free from food problem, enough food.
Nowadays in India there are so many sannyāsīs, some three million sannyāsīs. They are wandering all over the country. They have no food problem. Still, although India is considered to be poverty-stricken. Either sannyāsī or gṛhastha, nobody has to have problem. You have created such... Simply artificially you have created such problem. Bhāgavata says, tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ (SB 1.5.18). One should try for that thing which is not obtainable either in the higher planetary system or lower planetary system. Because everywhere the food, shelter, sex life, and protection is there, in every planet. But the only want is that one is not Kṛṣṇa conscious. My Guru Mahārāja used to say that "There is no scarcity in the world. The only scarcity is that people are not Kṛṣṇa conscious. That's all. Otherwise there is no scarcity." He has declared like that. They have simply artificially created the problem.
Nectar of Devotion Lectures
The jñānī sannyāsīs, they give up this world as jagat mithyā, "This world is false." They take sannyāsa. Then, after working for some time, they again take to political activities, philanthropic activities. They see that "The people are suffering for want of education, for want of food. So let me engage in providing food, shelter, education." But this education, food problem is there in the material world. The Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, if they think that this world is false, why he is agitated by the sufferings of the world? It is false. But the thing is that in the spiritual field, because they have no engagement, advanced engagement...
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
In this morning walk we saw that such a big nation, but the problem is food problem. Early in the morning at six o'clock, they are going to work. They are going to work. Why? Now, for finding out the necessities of life. So what is this civilization? Early in the morning, six o'clock... According to Vedic civilization, one should rise early in the morning and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, perform maṅgala āratrika, worship the Deity. This is the morning business. But the richest nation of the world, they are going to work at 6:30 for earning their bread. Is it very good progress of life? And the whole day they will have to work. Not only here, everywhere, for earning their daily bread, they have to go fifty miles, hundred miles away from home, and every city, in India also, the same thing, in Bombay. They are coming hundred miles off and hanging in the daily passenger railway, very serious condition. And it is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that a human being at the end of the Kali-yuga will have to work... They are already working like an ass, and actually they will have to work like an ass simply to get their bread. The progress will be this. And not only that, the foodstuff, especially the sattvika foodstuff like fruits and vegetables, milk, rice, wheat, sugar, these things will be not available—completely stopped. So gradually we shall make such advancement.
Sri Brahma-samhita Lectures
So Nārada said, "So my request to you is that if you want to kill animals, please kill them immediately. Don't kill half. This is very great sinful." Then he inquired, "What is the sin?" He said that "You are killing so many animals, so you are accumulating sins." Then he explained everything, so he became little softened, and he inquired that "How to get out of these sinful activities?" That Nārada said that "If you follow my instruction, then you can get free from these sinful activities." "Now, what I will have to do?" He said that "First of all break your bow, then I shall tell you." "Oh, if I break my bow, then my business instrument is gone." "No, don't be afraid." "Then how shall I eat?" "Oh, I shall send you food." So then he agreed: "If you solve my food problem, then I will follow you." So Nārada said, "Yes, I shall send you all kinds of food. You give up this business, and come with me." So the hunter and his wife went with Nārada, and Nārada fixed them a place on the bank of the Ganges at Prayāga, and he said that "You sit down here and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. I shall send you all food that you require." "All right sir. Don't forget (laughter), because I have given up my business." (laughter)
Kṛṣṇa was a cowherd's boy, and with His friends, other cowherd's boy, He used to go with His cows in the pasturing ground the whole day. That was the system. Because people at that time were satisfied with land and cows, that's all. That is the means of solution of all economic problems. They were not industrial, they were not servant of anyone. Simply get production from the land and take milk from the cows, the whole food problem solved.
Prabhupāda: Produce your food wherever you are there. Till little, little labor, and you will get your whole year's food. And distribute the food to the animal, cow, and eat yourself. The cow will eat the refuse. You take the rice, and the skin you give to the cow. From dahl you take the grain, and the skin you give to the... And fruit, you take the fruit, and the skin you give to the cow, and he will give you milk. So why should you kill him? Milk is the miraculous food; therefore Kṛṣṇa says kṛṣi-go-rakṣya vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya (BG 18.44). Give protection to the cow, take milk from it, and eat food grains—your food problem is solved. Where is food problem? Why should you invent such civilization always full of anxieties, running the car here and there, and fight with other nation, and economic development? What is this civilization? Therefore we require to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness to become happy every way-economically, philosophically, religiously, culturally, everything. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1969 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Bhāgavata says that for economic solution... religion is not meant for economic solution. Economic solution is there, either you be religious or not religious. In God's kingdom there is wheat, there is rice, there is water, rainfall, and the production. Everything is there. There is fruit, there is flower. So either you be religious or not religious, it doesn't matter. Your economic problem is settled already. Just like in the prisonhouse, they are all criminals. That does not mean they will starve to death. The government has all arrangement to feed them. Similarly, although this material world is prisonhouse, all criminals are here, revolt, to a person are here, those who do not care for God. But still, their fooding problem, their lodging problem is there by arrangement of God. Everything is there. So Bhāgavata says, dharmasya hy āpavargyasya nārtho 'rthāyopakalpate (SB 1.2.9). Don't execute religious principles for making your economic problem solved.
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: The money is to be kept in cattle and grains. That is Indian economy, cattle and grains. If you have got many cows, you get milk. Milk preparation. And if you have got grain, then where is your problem? You prepare your foodstuff at home and eat and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Where is your problem? You want to eat and live peacefully. So if you have got grains and milk, you have got enough food and there is no problem. You haven't got to go fifty miles for your work, and then you require a tin car. So many problems. But if you get your food at home, then eat them and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and go back to home, back to Godhead. Simple thing.
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Richard Webster: Do you think it's worse now than it used to be? Can you say that it is worse, the condition of the world is worse now than it used to be or is it relatively the same or...?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, yes. Worse now in these days because people cannot eat even. The facility which is given to the birds and beasts... They have no problem of eating. But you have created such a civilization that people are facing the problem so acutely that they have no means to eat. Do you think it is progress?
Richard Webster: Well, I would tend to doubt it very much.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the problem.
Richard Webster: But some things have improved.
Prabhupāda: Many countries... Especially we are Indian. We have seen in India. Nowadays there is no eatables. The government cannot supply food, failure, the problem which is not even amongst the beasts and birds. The birds and beasts, they have no such problem.
Bhagavān: Now they have... the other day in the paper that India exploded its first atomic bomb.
Prabhupāda: Yes, and therefore yet it has become very great.
Yogeśvara: Now its in the top six.
Prabhupāda: But there is no food. Never mind, you starve, but get your atom bomb. That's all. This is civilization. There was a cartoon. Somebody approached some politician, and he said, "Yes, I know there is food problem. So I cannot say what can I do for you, but from next week, you will have television." This is their program, "From next week you will have television." As if television will minimize my hunger. This is the civilization. Hare Kṛṣṇa. So you ask problem, I will answer. Your energy, problems of energy, petrol, it will be automatically solved. If we are localized, there is no question of petrol.
Devotee: Now they've found out, Śrīla Prabhupāda, that India has been, over the past few years, spending crores of rupees to develop the...
Prabhupāda: Hm. And people are starving for want of. There was a cartoon that some public came to some minister: "Sir, we are starving. Give us our food." So the reply was: "Of course, that's a problem, food problem. But I can assure you that from next week you'll have television." (laughter) These rascals are like that. "Next, from next week, you'll have television, atom bomb. Never mind. Starve." (laughter) So that is also becoming fool's paradise. Jaḍa-vidyā jato māyāra vaibhava. In this way, the more we increase sense, sense gratification by advancement of material..., the more we forget Kṛṣṇa. And more we forget Kṛṣṇa, we are more fools.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Hṛdayānanda: ...policy towards the problem of overpopulation and food shortage in the world now when the world leaders are not willing to do anything? What is our policy towards these problems?
Prabhupāda: Produce food. But you are producing bolts and nuts. You eat them. Motor tire, you are producing motor tire, bolts and nuts. You eat it. (Hṛdayānanda translates into Spanish) (laughter) The energy is spoiled, creating problem. Everyone is engaged in manufacturing motor parts.
Prabhupāda: So what is the problem? Real problem is birth, death. So have you any proposal?
Dharmādhyakṣa: No, he has no proposal for those.
Prabhupāda: Then what is this nonsense problem? So far eating, sleeping, even the birds and beasts, they have no problem. They are eating, sleeping. What is this problem in eating, sleeping and mating? There is no problem. Why you are creating problem? You are creating problem, rascal. There is no problem. Where is the... Out of 8,400,000 species, only men are 400,000. Eight million they are all lower animals. Where is their problem? They have no population problem, they have no food problem, no quarter problem. They do not go to office, they do not start factories. So where is their problem? Eight millions, they have no problem. And out of the 400,000, the so-called rascal civilized men, they have problems. Others they have no problem. They don't require a scientist rascal like you.
Prabhupāda: Nature's arrangement... In this material world you cannot eat without working. Even if you are lion-lion is considered to be the most powerful animal—he has to capture one animal. He cannot think that "Let me sleep, and the animal will come automatically in my mouth." It is not possible. You have to work; this is the material world. So that work is simple work. If you have got land... Everyone has got land. You just work little, and it will produce your food grains. And the food grains will give food to the animal and man. The animal, cow, he will eat the grass, and you will take the grains. Why should you kill the animal? You haven't got to arrange for his food. You produce paddy. The plant, when it is dried, it is good for animals, and you take the grains. Why should you kill him? And he will deliver you. If you protect his life, he will give you nice milk. So you keep animal, cows, and grow food grain; then your food problem is solved. So if your food problem is solved and your cloth problems is solved, then where is your economic necessity? Then you save time and cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So real business will be how to cultivate, how to become advanced in God consciousness.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Saurabha: Cleaning is very big job to maintain, especially with exhibitions that...
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Maintenance.
Jayapatāka: We can get a lot of people, village people, to come and live without pay and do the cleaning, but they won't be productive. I mean, they'll have to be supported by the temple. They'll just be cleaning all day.
Prabhupāda: Supporting is no problem. To everyone we can give place and food. There is no problem.
Scheverman: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the homeless.
Prabhupāda: A man is poor when he's in ignorance.
Scheverman: So you see that as a greater poverty, is the ignorance, rather than the physical poverty of not having enough food.
Prabhupāda: So food problem can be solved simply by accepting.... That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Find out. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni (BG 3.14). How everyone can.... Find out.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: "All living bodies subsist on food grains which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by the performance of sacrifice, and sacrifice is born of prescribed duties."
Prabhupāda: So if you produce enough food grains, both the man and the animal will live very peacefully. Food grains. And I've seen in your country, in America, in Africa, in Australia, so much vacant land without producing food grains. So men are not engaged to produce food grains, but they are brought in Detroit to manufacture of wheels of motorcar.
Kern: For ambulances to bring the sick to the doctor.
Prabhupāda: So we have to correct this. First of all, produce food.
Scheverman: So if I understand you correctly, you are saying utilize intelligence to correct the problem. Produce more food rather than worry about the fact.... So that the poor can have to eat and the animals can have. So your approach, then, is not one of direct assistance to the person who is starving or suffering, but rather indirect, utilizing intelligence to produce food.
Prabhupāda: Yes, and there will be no starvation.
Scheverman: It's an intellectual approach. I think our approach would be, we would be concerned with a person-to-person assistance. That is the way, our way, that Jesus has taught us. He said, "Feed the hungry and harbor the harborless and visit the imprisoned."
Prabhupāda: Yes. If you have got enough food grains.... Just like in our headquarter in Bengal, we are giving food daily, at least one thousand men.
Scheverman: So you are feeding the hungry at your headquarters in (sic:) London. You do utilize then the direct approach as well.
Prabhupāda: No, our process is that everyone who is hungry, come and take your food. But our program is going on, but feeding the poor is automatically there. If anyone comes to our temple, even here, anyone comes and take prasāda.
Prabhupāda: So the first, intellectual brāhmaṇas, then kṣatriya. Then vaiśyas, their business is to produce food. Food production you can do by agriculture, kṛṣi, and by giving protection to the cows. If you get sufficient food grains, like rice, wheat, pulses, and sufficient milk—from milk you get yogurt, butter, ghee—then your all food problem is solved. You must eat. You must eat, you must live properly. So this first, second, third, the intellectual class, the administrative class, and the productive class, these three classes must be there in the society. And those who cannot be grouped either of these three classes, they should generally help as workers. They are called śūdras.
Here is an ideal brahmacari with me. He works day and night with me. Why don't you become a brahmacari like him and come here? One who is a householder, he has to work because he has to maintain a wife and children at home. But for a brahmacari, why should he take the botheration of working simply for the matter of satisfying the belly? So far as belly satisfaction is concerned, that is already arranged by Krishna. Krishna is supplying food to the birds and beasts, so why should He not supply a brahmacari? Food is not a problem.
The father gives food to the sons as much as they require. One son may be a very voracious eater so he may eat more than the other son, but the father supplies him, he does not stop him, the father is competent to supply all the sons as much as they require. But if one son is hoarding food stuffs, that is sinful. You cannot take more than what you need. We see practically if we throw one bag of grain in the street many birds will come, they may eat two three four or ten grains, but they do not stock away for the future. But if we put a bag of rice into the street and allow people to take there will be regular fight, because every human being will want to take more than his immediate need. So this is also due to lack of God consciousness. If one can understand that the father is there, and he is supplying daily bread then why shall I stock more than I need. the present scarcity of food stuffs is due to hoarding by the capitalist. There is enough food stuff in the world, but at the same time there is a scarcity. If you pay more money on the black market then you will get enough. So from God's side there is enough food, but from our side we are mismanaging everything simply to make more money. Unless there is God Consciousness, understanding that everything is the property of the supreme father, there are so many children so he will supply, why should I hoard food, the problems will not be solved.
Your proposal for co-operation with ISKCON is welcome. I very much appreciate your proposal. The mass problem at the present moment in India is actually a food problem. I have therefore decided to start some village organization program—namely, people should be invited to live in the village, produce their own foodstuff (grains, fruits, and vegetables), maintain a sufficient number of cows to get a large quantity of milk, produce their own cloth, eat sumptuously for keeping fit in health, and then they can regularly sit down and chant the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra. I shall arrange for the irrigation of the land and the people living there should give their labor for their own food and clothing, and then chant Hare Krishna Maha-mantra and cultivate Krishna Consciousness. Besides that, our men should go from village to village with Sankirtana party, hold festival, namely distribution of Bhagavat prasadam and induce them chant and join with us in vibrating the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra. In India, they are not less than 95% villagers and Mahatma Gandhi wanted this village organization. I think this is a solid program.
Regarding opening a center in Saurastra, it will be my pleasure to do it immediately if the local important men like you will co-operate with me. I wish to open centers in the villages. The mass problem at the present moment in India is actually a food problem. I have therefore decided to start some village organization program—namely, people should be invited to live in the village, produce their own foodstuff (grains, fruits, and vegetables), maintain a sufficient number of cows to get a large quantity of milk, produce their own cloth, eat sumptuously for keeping fit in health, and then they can regularly sit down and chant Hare Krishna Maha-mantra. I shall arrange for the irrigation of the land and the people living there should give their labor for their own food and clothing, and then chant Hare Krishna Maha-mantra and cultivate Krishna Consciousness. Besides that, our men should go from village to village with Sankirtana party, hold festival, namely distribution of Bhagavat prasadam and induce them to chant and join with us in vibrating the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra. In India, they are not less than 95% villagers and Mahatma Gandhi wanted this village organization. I think this is a solid program.