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When we are emphasizing this Krsna consciousness, we are in danger of forgetting the social political dimension. So how to bring this...?

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"when we are emphasizing this Krsna consciousness, we are in danger of forgetting the social political dimension. So how to bring this"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

You are thinking wrongly that we are not responsible. Why you are thinking like that? You are thinking wrongly. Kṛṣṇa did not take in politics, part? Then why you are thinking?... It is clear. If you are actually surrendered soul, then to you it is clear, it is very clear. Kṛṣṇa gives direction, that this is the business of the brāhmaṇa, this is the business of kṣatriya. So politics is the business of the kṣatriya. So if you act according to Kṛṣṇa's direction in politics, then you are surrendered soul.
Room Conversation with Reporter from Researchers Magazine -- July 24, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: So we are teaching this sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), just to surrender to Kṛṣṇa. That's all. Then everything is all right. And then Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi. He's taking charge. Then what is the anxiety? Just surrender, that's all.

Reporter: Yes, yes. But what happens that some people have a social dimension, social political dimension, and have no spiritual consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But then it seems to me—I'm just asking—that we, when we are emphasizing this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we are in danger of forgetting the social political dimension. So how to bring this...

Prabhupāda: You are thinking wrongly that we are not responsible. Why you are thinking like that? You are thinking wrongly. Kṛṣṇa did not take in politics, part? Then why you are thinking?

Reporter: No, no, I'm not saying Kṛṣṇa did not take... I'm just saying that it seems that He sometimes, it seems, that people who emphasize the spiritual consciousness do not clarify enough..., it is not clear enough—and I'm not saying it's not there but it's not clear enough—the social political dimension, social action, political action, how we run our society in its practical terms. So it is not clear.

Prabhupāda: It is clear. If you are actually surrendered soul, then to you it is clear, it is very clear. Kṛṣṇa gives direction, that this is the business of the brāhmaṇa, this is the business of kṣatriya. So politics is the business of the kṣatriya. So if you act according to Kṛṣṇa's direction in politics, then you are surrendered soul. It is not that because we have got this mālā and tilaka we are surrendered soul, and a kṣatriya cannot be surrendered soul, or a vaiśya cannot be surrendered soul. You have to act according to the direction. Kṛṣṇa is giving direction: "This is brāhmaṇa's karma." You do it. That means you are surrendered soul, at the same time you are acting as a brāhmaṇa. But if you act whimsically, then what is your surrender? And why did you become a brāhmaṇa? Then there is chaos. That is the present position of the society. They are not surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, they do not abide by the direction of Kṛṣṇa. Still, they have become leaders. Then the whole thing is chaos.

Reporter: Chaos, yes. Yes. Now what we are, Ann and myself, we are publishing a magazine called Researchers.

Prabhupāda: Hm.

Reporter: And John Temple(?) was here?

Devotee: John Temple(?) was here a few days ago, yes.

Prabhupāda: He is a very thoughtful man. I talked with him.

Reporter: Yes, he was editor before.

Prabhupāda: Hm.

Reporter: Now he has become special advisor to President Kaunda in Africa. So we have taken it up to continue the magazine. Now I was talking-Mahādeva was also in it—but how we can bring this total understanding together? So when we talk people outside, how to communicate this consciousness in simple language, so that they are not at first...

Prabhupāda: We are presenting...

Reporter: ...they understand the way of communication.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But we are asking all these students... When I came first in America, in 1965, I simply asked them, "You chant with me, Hare Kṛṣṇa." They did it, and gradually everything has come. So where is the difficulty? (everyone laughs)

Reporter: (laughs) Yes.

Prabhupāda: If they chant, then they'll understand everything. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). Everything is misgiving within the heart. So if the ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam, if the mirror of the heart is cleansed, then when the mirror is cleansed you can see your face correctly. Similarly when all misgivings, all dirty things is cleared from the heart, you can see things as they are, correctly.

Reporter: In order to clear your heart you have to chant.

Prabhupāda: That is it.

Reporter: Right.

Woman: What about meditating?

Prabhupāda: This is the best medicine, meditation.

Woman: What about the other kind?

Prabhupāda: When meditation, meditation, dhyāna, it is very difficult nowadays. You chant to meditate, you think of your own business. That's another thing. So this is forced meditation: "Hare Kṛṣṇa!" Even if you do not want to hear, you will hear. (laughter) And there is chanting and dancing, everyone who doesn't wanted to hear they also hear.

Woman: What about people who believe in Jesus, God? I mean, what about Christians? It might not have the same effect on them.

Devotee: But Kṛṣṇa is God, and Jesus is teaching exactly what Kṛṣṇa's taught, so there is no difference to a person that has a pure heart. If we chant, all of us who have come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we've realized that Jesus Christ's teachings are fulfilled in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Woman: Oh, I see.

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: But Jesus said that he's son of God. So we say Kṛṣṇa is God. So what is the conflict? God must have a son, one or two? So he's also the son. Where is conflict? (everyone laughs).

Reporter: No conflict.

Woman: I am not sure, I think people might think there was a conflict. I mean...

Prabhupāda: Conflict is there when you disobey Christ. That's why Christ said, "Thou shalt not kill." All the Christians are simply killing. Where is a Christian? There is conflict. They'll support: this killing is this, this isn't that, this isn't that (?). They want to kill. That's all. That is conflict. If you actually follow the tenets of Christianity, there is no conflict. But if you do not follow, at the same time you say you are not Christian, there is conflict. It is clearly stated—I've asked so many Christians—that "Why do you kill?" Christ said "Thou shalt not kill." They want to support their killing process in so many ways. They'll never agree that "Yes, Christ says not to kill. We should stop it." No. They want to support it by various interpretations. That is conflict. Clear word is there, "Thou shalt not kill." And why they're maintaining so many slaughterhouses?

Woman: But it's the same with Arjuna, wasn't it?

Prabhupāda: But you are talking of Christianity. Don't talk of Arjuna now. If you talk of Christianity, don't take support from Arjuna. You talk of Christianity. It is clear statement, "Thou shalt not kill." Why you are killing? "Thou shalt not covet." And illicit sex and illicit man and woman intermingling is going on. Who's stopping it?

Reporter: True.

Prabhupāda: Just see Arjuna—you are talking of Arjuna—before fighting, before killing so many things, he getting clarified. Ah? (Sanskrit) Just see, "Why shall I kill?" So you have to understand why you should kill, why you should not kill. (aside:) Hm. Read that.

Pradyumna:

yady apy ete na paśyanti
lobhopahata-cetasaḥ
kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ
mitra-drohe ca pātakam
kathaṁ na jñeyam asmābhiḥ
pāpād asmān nivartitum
kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ
prapaśyadbhir janārdana
(Bg. 1.37-38)

"O Janārdana, although these men, overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing one's family or quarreling with friends, why should we, with knowledge of the sin, engage in these acts?"

Prabhupāda: He's thoroughly understanding-before killing. Not that "We have (indistinct) reason to kill." No. So we are rather unhappy that in London I've seen thousands of churches practically closed. Nobody is going there. We are not happy to see. This is happening. But why people are abstaining from going to the church? Although there is Pope, and so many priests and other things. Why?

Reporter: It has become an institution, and there is no more religious...

Prabhupāda: Life.

Reporter: ...experience in life.

Prabhupāda: There is no life. A simple thing, that if you disobey the orders of Lord Christ, how will you become a Christian, first of all? Where is your Christianity? Simply rubber-stamping "I'm Christian" you become a Christian, without following the tenets?

Reporter: Same as you were saying, Nehru was not a brāhmaṇa, but only because he was called brāhmaṇa. So...

Prabhupāda: No, why Nehru? Everyone.

Reporter: Everyone.

Prabhupāda: Everyone. Unless he follows the principles of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, how he becomes one? Therefore we have concluded everyone is a śūdra. Kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ.

Reporter: (laughs)

Prabhupāda: But there is no disappointment. Kṛṣṇa says,

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim
(BG 9.32)

So even one is śūdra, we can give him deliverance by this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. That is our perfection. It doesn't matter he has become a śūdra. But Kṛṣṇa says māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ, even if you are lower than the śūdra, te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim. If he accepts Kṛṣṇa, then he also attains the perfection, goes back to home, back to Godhead. So there is no cause of disappointment because everyone has become śūdra. There is remedy also.

Reporter: Even the śūdras can...

Prabhupāda: Yes. Lower than śūdra. Why śūdra? Kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ (SB 2.4.18). They become purified if they accept the real representative of Kṛṣṇa. Prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ. Yad-apāśrayāśrayāḥ. Everything is there in the śāstras. If you take advantage of the benefit of the śāstras, everything can be remodeled, everything can be good. There is no cause for disappointment. But unfortunately they'll not agree. Yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya. Na siddhiṁ sa avāpnoti. One who is acting whimsically, without any reference of the authoritative śāstra, he'll never get success, na siddhim avāpnoti. Na sukham: neither happiness. And what to speak of going to the spiritual world? It is impossible. So we have to take the advantage of the instruction in the śāstra. Now Kṛṣṇa is accepted the supreme authority by all the ācāryas. The molder of destiny of India's culture, all the ācāryas. Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Nimbārka, Lord Caitanya...

Reporter: Śaṅkarācārya.

Prabhupāda: Śaṅkarācārya. They all accept Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). They accept it. So how can you defy all these ācāryas and you become better than them? That is nonsense.

Reporter: But all these ācāryas interpret in different, different ways.

Prabhupāda: No. No.

Reporter: No?

Prabhupāda: On the principle, they never... Just like Śaṅkarācārya and Rāmānujācārya. He's impersonalist, personalist, but both of them accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You'll find from their notes, comments on Bhagavad-gītā. Śaṅkarācārya, although he is impersonalist, he says nārāyaṇaḥ paraḥ avyaktāt: Nārāyaṇa is beyond this cosmic manifestation; He's transcendental. That means he says He's person. Nārāyaṇa, as soon as Nārāyaṇa, the Personality of Godhead. So we have nothing to touch in the spiritual understanding. He's talking of the material understanding. His philosophy, he started the philosophy, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā.

Reporter: Brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā.

Prabhupāda: So he wanted to stop these material activities. Jagan mithyā. Śaṅkarācārya never advocated for nationalism, for starting schools or college, hospital... Never. Why? Why should he do? If we say jagan mithyā, then why should we bother all these things?

Reporter: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So who is following Śaṅkarācārya? And they say that "We are followers of Śaṅkarācārya." And they are engaged. Śaṅkarācārya follower means he must become first of all sannyāsī, then talk anything else. So who is taking, going to do that?