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Practically there is no criminal charge against a brahmana, against a woman, a child. Suppose a child steals something. Who is going to prosecute him? It is not taken very seriously. So they require protection. They should not be given freedom

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"Practically there is no criminal charge against them—against a brāhmaṇa, against a woman, a child. Suppose a child steals something. Who is going to prosecute him? It is not taken very seriously. So they require protection. They should not be given freedom"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Practically there is no criminal charge against them—against a brāhmaṇa, against a woman, a child. Suppose a child steals something. Who is going to prosecute him? It is not taken very seriously. So they require protection. They should not be given freedom.

Prabhupāda: Arakṣyamāṇāḥ striya urvi bālān. According to Vedic culture, first protection: to the cows, to the women, to the brāhmaṇas, to the children and to the old man. This is the first business of the government, to give protection. Practically there is no criminal charge against them—against a brāhmaṇa, against a woman, a child. Suppose a child steals something. Who is going to prosecute him? It is not taken very seriously. So they require protection. They should not be given freedom. Like a child, he is not given freedom, similarly freedom . . . of course, there is. Protection means to some extent no freedom. If I want to protect the child, then I sometimes say: "Don't do this." That is one of the item of the protection.

So here description of cow-killing is already done. Now in this age, Kali, these things will be lacking. First thing is that no protection for woman. Woman requires protection by the father, by the husband and by the elderly children. But that is now finished. Practically no protection. They are, under the name of so-called freedom, loitering in the street. It is a very abominable condition of life. Now these things are very prominent in the Western countries especially. In India they are still dragging the Vedic culture, so women are given protection. The father gives protection to the woman, child, and up to sixteen years, utmost. Then she must be married. The father's duty will be finished when the daughter is given to a suitable boy to take charge. That is marriage system. Marriage system is that it is necessary, necessary for social equilibrium. And it is the duty of the father to get the daughter married to a suitable boy. And when she is married, then the father's duty is finished. Unless she is married, the father's duty is not finished. This is Vedic culture. It is called kanyā-dāya. Kanyā means daughter, and dāya means obligation. Kanyā-dāya.

There are so many debts. Putra-ṛṇa, pitṛ-ṛṇa, deva-ṛṇa, bhūtāpta.

devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṟṇāṁ
nāyam ṛṇī na kiṅkaro ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam
(SB 11.5.41)

We have got debts to so many people. First debt is to the demigods. Just like the sun-god, moon-god, they are supplying heat, light. The Varuṇa. In this material world we have got so many debts. But people do not care for it. Just like we are receiving light from sun, but what we are paying to the sun? Therefore we remain debtor. This is Vedic idea. You are getting this electricity. If you don't pay the bill, how long you will be able to use it? After some days the connection will be cut off. But although we do not pay any bill to the sunlight, because it is the order of Kṛṣṇa, it is giving us light. But how long it will go on? This is sinful. If you take something from a person and if you do not repay, that is sinful. Ṛṇa. It is called ṛṇa.

So there are so many debts. First to the demigod, then to the ṛṣis, saintly persons. Because we get knowledge, Vedic knowledge, from the ṛṣi, we must be debtor. Guru-ṛṇa: debtor to the spiritual master, to the sages, to the saintly persons, because we are getting knowledge from them. Therefore the Vyāsa-pūjā is there. Once in a year the disciples are worshiping the spiritual master and trying to repay that he has received from the spiritual master. Devarṣi-bhūta. Similarly, in our ordinary dealings also, you are my friend, I am your friend; you are getting some help from me, I am getting some from you. So we are debtors, obligation. Devarṣi-bhūta, āpta. Āpta means relatives or family. We are indebted to the father, mother, elderly family members. In this way we are implicated with so many debts. Devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṟṇām (SB 11.5.41).

So you can liquidate the debts simply . . . it is practically impossible. Therefore, if you take shelter of Mukunda, śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyam, the worthy of taking shelter . . . if you take shelter of anyone else, he cannot give you protection. Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi. If you cannot liquidate your debts, you become sinful. But if you surrender to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa says:

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi . . .
(BG 18.66)

"I shall get you release." This is one side. And . . . from spiritual angle of vision. But from material angle of vision, ṛṇa, debts, you can become insolvent, "I cannot pay." If you apply to the court . . . I do not know whether this act is there in your country. In India there is insolvency act. If one is debtor, then his asset, then he submits to the court that, "I have got so much asset and I have got so much debt. So people may not harass me, the court may divide amongst my creditors whatever I have got." This is called insolvency. So court decides that he has got thousand dollars' debt, but he has got only one hundred dollar, so that one hundred dollar is divided: "You take this and be satisfied." He is not . . . that is called insolvency. That is in terms of debts.

But so far the debts of the daughter, it is not debt; it is called dāya, kanyā-dāya. Debt you can take insolvency, but dāya means it is so obligatory, there is no such question that you can get relief from it. It must be met. Therefore the word is used, kanyā-dāya. Still in India, the process is as soon as the girl is grown up, the father is very anxious to find out a suitable boy and hand her over. Then . . . so that protection will be finished. It is already finished, at least in Western countries. There is no obligation of the father how to get the daughter married. Therefore the question is, "Whether you are lamenting that in this age of Kali these things will happen, cow slaughter, no obligation for the daughter . . ." And bālān, children, they are also not taken care of. Not only that they are taken care of, but now child or baby is being killed. This is Kali-yuga. This is called Kali-yuga. And how one can be happy? So many sinful activities are going on. How they expect to become happy? It is not possible.