Material Problems, Spiritual Solutions

You will need the Balaram FONT to read this properly
Focus for Global Unity
The Myth of Scarcity
Spiritual Advice to Businessmen

The Peace Formula:

Journey of Self Discovery 6.1: Focus for Global Unity
December 1969: Speaking in Boston before the International Student Society, Çréla Prabhupäda provides a practical, simple, yet profound solution for world peace and harmony. Noting the increasing number of flags at the United Nations building in New York, he states that inter-nationalism is failing because “your international feeling and my inter-national feeling are overlapping and conflicting. We have to find the proper center for our loving feelings.... That center is Kåñëa.”

Thank you very much for participating with us in this Kåñëa consciousness movement. I understand that this society is known as the International Student Society. There are many other international societies, such as the United Nations. So the idea of an international society is very nice, but we must try to understand what the central idea of an international society should be.
    If you throw a stone into the middle of a pool of water, a circle will expand to the limit of the bank. Similarly, radio waves expand in a circle, and when you capture the waves with your radio you can hear the message. In the same way, our loving feeling can also expand.
    At the beginning of our life, we simply want to eat. Whatever a small child grabs, he wants to eat. He has only personal interest. Then, when the child grows a little, he tries to participate with his brothers and sisters: “All right. You also take a little.” This is an increase in the feeling of fellowship. Then, as he grows up, he begins to feel some love for his parents, then for his community, then for his country, and at last for all nations. But unless the center is right, that expansion of feeling—even if it is national or international—is not perfect.
    For example, the meaning of the word national is “one who has taken birth in a particular country.” You feel for other Americans because they are born in this country. You may even sacrifice your life for your countrymen. But there is a defect: If the definition of national is “one who is born in a particular country,” then why are the animals born in America not considered Americans? The problem is that we are not expanding our feelings beyond the human society. Because we don’t think animals are our countrymen, we send them to the slaughterhouse.
    So the center of our national feeling or our international feeling is not fixed on the proper object. If the center is right, then you can draw any number of circles around that center and they’ll never overlap. They’ll simply keep growing, growing, growing. They’ll not intersect with one another if the center is all right. Unfortunately, although everyone is feeling nationally or internationally, the center is missing. Therefore your inter-national feeling and my international feeling, your national feeling and my national feeling, are overlapping and conflicting. So we have to find the proper center for our loving feelings. Then you can expand your circle of feelings and it will not overlap or conflict with others’.
That center is Kåñëa.
    Our society, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is teaching the people of all countries that the center of their affection should be Kåñëa. In other words, we are teaching people to be mahätmäs. You may have heard this word mahätmä before. It is a Sanskrit word that is applied to a person whose mind is expanded, whose circle of feelings is very much expanded. This is a mahätmä. Mahä means “big” or “great,” and ätmä means “soul.” So he who has expanded his soul very wide is called a mahätmä.
The Bhagavad-gétä [7.19] gives a description of the person who has expanded his feelings very wide: The first idea in this verse is that one can become a mahätmä only after many, many births (bahünäà janmanäm ante). The soul is transmigrating through many bodies, one after another. There are 8,400,000 different species of life, and we evolve through them until at last we come to the human form of life. Only then can we become a mahätmä. This is why Kåñëa says bahünäà janmanäm ante: “After many, many births one may become a mahätmä.”
    In the Çrémad-Bhägavatam there is a similar verse. Labdhvä su-durlabham idaà bahu-sambhavänte: “After many, many births you have achieved a human body, which is very difficult to get.” This human form of life is not cheap. The bodies of cats and dogs and other animals are cheap, but this human form is not. After being born in at least 8,000,000 different species, we get this human form. So the Bhägavatam and the Bhagavad-gétä say the same thing. All Vedic literatures corroborate one another, and the person who can understand them doesn’t find any contradiction.
    So the human form of life is obtained after many, many births in other-than-human forms of life. But even in this human form of life, many, many births are required for one who is cultivating knowledge of the central point of existence. If one is actually cultivating spiritual knowledge—not in one life but in many, many lives—one eventually comes to the highest platform of knowledge and is called jïänavän, “the possessor of true knowledge.” Then, Kåñëa says, mäà prapadyate: “He surrenders unto Me, Kåñëa, or God.” (When I say “Kåñëa” I mean the Supreme Lord, the all-attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead.)
    Now, why does a man in knowledge surrender to Kåñëa? Väsudevaù sarvam iti: Because he knows that Väsudeva, Kåñëa, is everything—that He is the central point of all loving feelings. Then, sa mahätmä su-durlabhaù. Here the word mahätmä is used. After cultivating knowledge for many, many births, a person who expands his consciousness up to the point of loving God—he is a mahätmä, a great soul. God is great, and His devotee is also great. But, Kåñëa says, sa mahätmä su-durlabhaù: That sort of great soul is very rarely to be seen. This is the description of a mahätmä we get from the Bhagavad-gétä.
    Now we have expanded our feelings of love to various objects. We may love our country, we may love our community, we may love our family, we may love our cats and dogs. In any case, we have love, and we expand it according to our knowledge. And when our knowledge is perfect, we come to the point of loving Kåñëa. That is perfection. Love of Kåñëa is the aim of all activities, the aim of life.
    The Çrémad-Bhägavatam [1.2.8] confirms that the goal of life is Kåñëa: The first words in this verse are dharmaù svanuñöhitaù puàsäm. This means that everyone is doing his duty according to his position. A householder has some duty, a sannyäsé [renunciant] has some duty, a brahmacäré [celibate student] has some duty. There are different types of duties according to different occupations or professions. But, the Bhägavatam says, if by performing your duties very nicely you still do not come to the understanding of Kåñëa, then whatever you have done is simply useless labor (çrama eva hi kevalam). So if you want to come to the point of perfection, you should try to understand and love Kåñëa. Then your national or international feelings of love will actually expand to their limit.
    Now, suppose a man says, “Yes, I have expanded my feelings of love very widely.” That is all right, but he must show the symptoms of how his feelings of love are expanded. As Kåñëa says in the Bhagavad-gétä [5.18]: If one is actually a paëòita, someone who is elevated to the stage of perfect wisdom, then he must see everyone on an equal platform (sama-darçinaù). Because the vision of a paëòita is no longer absorbed simply with the body, he sees a learned brähmaëa as a spirit soul, he sees a dog as a spirit soul, he sees an elephant as a spirit soul, and he also sees a lowborn man as a spirit soul. From the highborn brähmaëa down to the caëòäla [outcaste], there are many social classes in human society, but if a man is really learned he sees everyone, every living entity, on the same level. That is the stage of true learning.
    We are trying to expand our feeling socially, communally, nationally, internationally, or universally. That is our natural function—to expand our consciousness. But my point is that if we actually want to expand our consciousness to the utmost, we must find out the real center of existence. That center is Kåñëa, or God. How do we know Kåñëa is God? Kåñëa declares Himself to be God in the Bhagavad-gétä. Please always remember that the Kåñëa consciousness movement is based on understanding Bhagavad-gétä as it is. Whatever I am speaking is in the Bhagavad-gétä. Unfortunately, the Bhagavad-gétä has been misinterpreted by so many commentators that people have misunderstood it. Actually, the purport of the Bhagavad-gétä is to develop Kåñëa consciousness, love of Kåñëa, and we are trying to teach that.
    In the Bhagavad-gétä Kåñëa has given several descriptions of a mahätmä. He says, mahätmänas tu mäà pärtha daivéà prakåtim äçritäù: “A mahätmä, one who is actually wise and broad-minded, is under the shelter of My spiritual energy.” He is no longer under the spell of the material energy.
Whatever we see is made up of various energies of God. In the Upaniñads it is said, paräsya-çaktir vividhaiva çrüyate: “The Supreme Absolute Truth has many varieties of energies.” And these energies are acting so nicely that it appears they are working automatically (sväbhäviké jïäna-bala-kriyä ca). For example, we have all seen a blooming flower. We may think that it has automatically blossomed and become so beautiful. But no, the material energy of God is acting.
    Similarly, Kåñëa has a spiritual energy. And a mahätmä, one who is broad-minded, is under the protection of that spiritual energy; he is not under the spell of the material energy. These things are all explained in the Bhagavad-gétä. There are many verses in the Bhagavad-gétä that describe how Kåñëa’s energies are working, and our mission is to present Bhagavad-gétä as it is, without any nonsensical commentary. There is no need of nonsensical commentary. Bhagavad-gétä is as clear as the sunlight. Just as you don’t require a lamp to see the sun, you don’t require the commentary of an ignorant, common man to study the Bhagavad-gétä. You should study the Bhagavad-gétä as it is. Then you will get all spiritual knowledge. You will become wise and will under-stand Kåñëa. Then you will surrender to Him and become a mahätmä.
    Now, what are the activities of a mahätmä? A mahätmä is under the protection of Kåñëa’s spiritual energy, but what is the symptom of that protection? Kåñëa says, mäm. .. bhajanty ananya-manasaù: “A mahätmä is always engaged in devotional service to Me.” That is the main symptom of a mahätmä: he is always serving Kåñëa. Does he engage in this devotional service blindly? No. Kåñëa says, jïätvä bhütädim avyayam: “He knows perfectly that I am the source of everything.”
    So Kåñëa explains everything in the Bhagavad-gétä. And our purpose in the Kåñëa consciousness movement is to spread the knowledge contained in the Bhagavad-gétä without adding any nonsensical commentary. Then the human society will profit from this knowledge. Now society is not in a sound condition, but if people understand the Bhagavad-gétä, and if they actually broaden their outlook, all social, national, and international problems will be solved automatically. There will be no difficulty. But if we don’t find out what the center of existence is, if we manufacture our own ways to expand our loving feelings, there will be only conflict—not only between individual persons but between the different nations of the world.     The nations are trying to be united; in your country there is the United Nations. Unfortunately, instead of the nations becoming united, the flags are increasing. Similarly, India was once one country, Hindustan. Now there is also Pakistan. And some time in the future there will be Sikhistan and then some other “stan.”
    Instead of becoming united we are becoming disunited, because we are missing the center. Therefore, my request, since you are all international students, is that you please try to find out the real center of your international movement. Real inter-national feeling will be possible when you understand that the center is Kåñëa. Then your international movement will be perfect.
    In the Fourteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gétä [14.4], Lord Kåñëa says, Here Kåñëa says, “I am the father of all forms of life. The material nature is the mother, and I am the seed-giving father.” Without a father and mother, nobody can be born. The father gives the seed, and the mother supplies the body. In this material world the mother of every one of us—from Lord Brahmä down to the ant—is the material nature. Our body is matter; therefore it is a gift of the material nature, our mother. But I, the spirit soul, am part and parcel of the supreme father, Kåñëa. Kåñëa says, mamaiväàço. .. jéva-bhütaù: “All these living entities are part and parcel of Me.”
So if you want to broaden your feelings of fellowship to the utmost limit, please try to understand the Bhagavad-gétä. You’ll get enlightenment; you’ll become a real mahätmä. You will feel affection even for the cats and dogs and reptiles. In the Seventh Canto of the Çrémad-Bhägavatam you’ll find a statement by Närada Muni that if there is a snake in your house, you should give it something to eat. Just see how your feelings can expand! You’ll care even for a snake, what to speak of other animals and human beings.
So we cannot become enlightened unless we come to the point of understanding God, or Kåñëa. Therefore we are preaching Kåñëa consciousness all over the world. The Kåñëa consciousness movement is not new. As I told you, it is based on the principles of the Bhagavad-gétä, and the Bhagavad-gétä is an ancient scripture. From the historical point of view it is five thousand years old. And from a prehistorical point of view it is millions of years old. Kåñëa says in the Fourth Chapter, imaà vivasvate yogaà proktavän aham avyayam: “I first spoke this ancient science of yoga to the sun-god.” That means Kåñëa first spoke the Bhagavad-gétä some millions of years ago. But simply from a historical point of view, Bhagavad-gétä has existed since the days of the Battle of Kurukñetra, which was fought five thousand years ago. So it is older than any other scripture in the world.
    Try to understand Bhagavad-gétä as it is, without any unnecessary commentary. The words of the Bhagavad-gétä are sufficient to give you enlightenment, but unfortunately people have taken advantage of the popularity of the Bhagavad-gétä and have tried to express their own philosophy under the shelter of the Bhagavad-gétä. That is useless. Try to understand the Bhagavad-gétä as it is. Then you will get enlightenment; you will understand that Kåñëa is the center of all activities. And if you become Kåñëa conscious, everything will be perfect and all problems will be solved.
    Thank you very much. Are there any questions?
Indian student: I don’t know the exact Sanskrit from the Gétä, but somewhere Kåñëa says, “All roads lead to Me. No matter what one does, no matter what one thinks, no matter what one is involved with, eventually he will evolve toward Me.” So is enlightenment a natural evolution?
Çréla Prabhupäda: No, Kåñëa never says that whatever you do, whatever you think, you will naturally evolve toward Him. To become enlightened in Kåñëa consciousness is not natural for the conditioned soul. You require instruction from a spiritual master. Otherwise, why did Kåñëa instruct Arjuna? You have to get knowledge from a superior person and follow his instructions.
Arjuna was perplexed. He could not understand whether he should fight or not. Similarly, everyone in the material world is perplexed. So we require guidance from Kåñëa or his bona fide representative. Then we can become enlightened.
Evolution is natural up through the animal species. But when we come to the human form of life, we can use our own discretion. As you like, you make your choice of which path to follow. If you like Kåñëa, you can go to Kåñëa; if you like something else, you can go there. That depends on your discretion.
Everyone has a little bit of independence. At the end of the Bhagavad-gétä [18.66] Kåñëa says, sarva-dharmän parityajya mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja: “Just give up everything and surrender unto Me.” If this surrender is natural, why would Kåñëa say, “You should do this”? No. Surrendering to Kåñëa is not natural in our materially conditioned state. We have to learn it. Therefore we must hear from a bona fide spiritual master—Kåñëa or His authorized representative—and follow his instructions. This will bring us to the stage of full enlightenment in Kåñëa consciousness.

Journey of Self Discovery 6.2: The Myth of Scarcity
Contrary to popular belief, current statistics show that the earth produces enough food to easily support its entire population. Yet greed and exploitation force over twenty-five per cent of the world’s people to be underfed and undernourished. Çréla Prabhupäda condemns unnecessary industrialization for contributing to the problem of hunger and for creating unemployment, pollution, and a host of other problems. In the following speech, recorded on May 2, 1973, in Los Angeles, he advocates a simpler, more natural, God-centered lifestyle.
[Queen Kunté said:] “All these cities and villages are flourishing in all respects because the herbs and grains are in abundance, the trees are full of fruits, the rivers are flowing, the hills are full of minerals, and the oceans are full of wealth. And this is all due to Your glancing over them.” [Çrémad-Bhägavatam 1.8.40]
Human prosperity flourishes by natural gifts and not by gigantic industrial enterprises. The gigantic industrial enterprises are products of a godless civilization, and they cause the destruction of the noble aims of human life. The more we increase such troublesome industries to squeeze out the vital energy of the human being, the more there will be dissatisfaction of the people in general, although a select few can live lavishly by exploitation.
The natural gifts such as grains and vegetables, fruits, rivers, the hills of jewels and minerals, and the seas full of pearls are supplied by the order of the Supreme, and as He desires, material nature produces them in abundance or restricts them at times. The natural law is that the human being may take advantage of these godly gifts of nature and thus satisfactorily flourish without being captivated by the exploitative motive of lording it over material nature.
    The more we attempt to exploit material nature according to our whims, the more we shall become entrapped by the reaction of such exploitative attempts. If we have sufficient grains, fruits, vegetables, and herbs, then what is the necessity of running a slaughterhouse and killing poor animals?
A man need not kill an animal if he has sufficient grains and vegetables to eat. The flow of river waters fertilizes the fields, and there is more than what we need. Minerals are produced in the hills, and the jewels in the ocean. If the human civilization has sufficient grains, minerals, jewels, water, milk, etc., then why should we hanker after terrible industrial enterprises at the cost of the labor of some unfortunate men?
    But all these natural gifts are dependent on the mercy of the Lord. What we need, therefore, is to be obedient to the laws of the Lord and achieve the perfection of human life by devotional service. The indications by Kunté-devé are just to the point. She desires that God’s mercy be bestowed upon her and her sons so that natural prosperity will be maintained by His grace.
    Kunté-devé mentions that the grains are abundant, the trees full of fruits, the rivers flowing nicely, the hills full of minerals, and the oceans full of wealth, but she never mentions that industry and slaughterhouses are flourishing, for such things are nonsense that men have developed to create problems.
    If we depend on God’s creation, there will be no scarcity, but simply änanda, bliss. God’s creation provides sufficient grains and grass, and while we eat the grains and fruits, the animals like the cows will eat the grass. The bulls will help us produce grains, and they will take only a little, being satisfied with what we throw away. If we take fruit and throw away the skin, the animal will be satisfied with the skin. In this way, with Kåñëa in the center, there can be full cooperation between the trees, animals, human beings, and all living entities. This is Vedic civilization, a civilization of Kåñëa consciousness.
    Kunté-devé prays to the Lord, “This prosperity is due to Your glance.” When we sit in the temple of Kåñëa, Kåñëa glances over us, and everything is nice. When sincere souls try to become Kåñëa’s devotees, Kåñëa very kindly comes before them in His full opulence and glances upon them, and they become happy and beautiful.
    Similarly, the whole material creation is due to Kåñëa’s glance (sa aikñata). In the Vedas it is said that He glanced over matter, thus agitating it. A woman in touch with a man becomes agitated and becomes pregnant and then gives birth to children. The whole creation follows a similar process. Simply by Kåñëa’s glance, matter becomes agitated and then becomes pregnant and gives birth to the living entities. It is simply by His glance that plants, trees, animals, and all other living beings come forth. How is this possible? None of us can say, “Simply by glancing over my wife, I can make her pregnant.” But although this is impossible for us, it is not impossible for Kåñëa. The Brahma-saàhitä [5.32] says, aìgäni yasya sakalendriya-våttimanti: Every part of Kåñëa’s body has all the capabilities of the other parts. With our eyes we can only see, but Kåñëa can make others pregnant merely by looking at them. There is no need of sex, for simply by glancing Kåñëa can create pregnancy.
    In Bhagavad-gétä [9.10] Lord Kåñëa says, mayädhyakñeëa prakåtiù süyate sa-caräcaram: “By My supervision, material nature gives birth to all moving and nonmoving beings.” The word akña means “eyes,” so akñeëa indicates that all living entities take birth because of the Lord’s glance. There are two kinds of living entities—the moving beings, like insects, animals, and human beings, and the nonmoving beings, like trees and plants. In Sanskrit these two kinds of living entities are called sthävara-jaìgama, and they both come forth from material nature.
    Of course, what comes from material nature is not the life, but the body. The living entities accept particular types of bodies from material nature, just as a child takes its body from its mother. For ten months the child’s body develops from the blood and nutrients of the mother’s body, but the child is a living entity, not matter. It is the living entity that has taken shelter in the womb of the mother, who then supplies the ingredients for that living entity’s body. This is nature’s way. The mother may not know how from her body another body has been created, but when the body of the child is fit, the child takes birth.
    It is not that the living entity takes birth. As stated in Bhagavad-gétä [2.20], na jäyate mriyate vä: The living entity neither takes birth nor dies. That which does not take birth does not die; death is meant for that which has been created, and that which is not created has no death. The Gétä says, na jäyate mriyate vä kadäcit. The word kadäcit means “at any time.” At no time does the living entity actually take birth. Although we may see that a child is born, actually it is not born. Nityaù çäçvato ’yaà puräëaù. The living entity is eternal (çäçvata), always existing, and very, very old (puräëa). Na hanyate hanyamäne çarére: Don’t think that when the body is destroyed the living entity will be destroyed; no, the living entity will continue to exist.
A scientist friend once asked me, “What is the proof of the soul’s eternality?” Kåñëa says, na hanyate hanyamäne çärére: “The soul is not killed when the body is killed.” This statement in itself is proof. This type of proof is called çruti, the proof established by that which is heard through the disciplic succession from the Supreme. One form of proof is proof by logic (nyäya-prasthäna). One can get knowledge by logic, arguments, and philosophical research. But another form of proof is çruti, proof established by hearing from authorities. A third form of proof is småti, proof established by statements derived from the çruti. The Puräëas are småti, the Upaniñads are çruti, and the Vedänta is nyäya. Of these three the çruti-prasthäna, or the evidence from the çruti, is especially important.
    Pratyakña, the process of receiving knowledge through direct perception, has no value, because our senses are all imperfect. For example, to us the sun looks like a small disk, but in fact it is many times larger than the earth. So what is the value of our direct perception through our eyes? We have so many senses through which we can experience knowledge—the eyes, the ears, the nose, and so on—but because these senses are imperfect, whatever knowledge we get by exercising these senses is also imperfect. Because scientists try to understand things by exercising their imperfect senses, their conclusions are always imperfect. Svarüpa Dämodara, a scientist among our disciples, inquired from a fellow scientist who says that life comes from matter, “If I give you the chemicals with which to produce life, will you be able to produce it?” The scientist replied, “That I do not know.” This is imperfect knowledge. If you do not know, then your knowledge is imperfect. Why then have you become a teacher? That is cheating. Our contention is that to become perfect one must take lessons from the perfect teacher.
    Kåñëa is perfect, so we take knowledge from Him. Kåñëa says, na hanyate hanyamäne çarére: “The soul does not die when the body dies.” Therefore this understanding that the soul is eternal and the body is temporary is perfect.
    Kunté-devé says, ime jana-padäù svåddhäù supakvauñadhi-vérudhaù: “The grains are abundant, the trees are full of fruits, the rivers are flowing, the hills are full of minerals, and the oceans are full of wealth.” What more could one want? The oyster produces pearls, and formerly people decorated their bodies with pearls, valuable stones, silk, gold, and silver. But where are those things now? Now, with the advancement of civilization, there are so many beautiful girls who have no ornaments of gold, pearls, or jewels, but only plastic bangles. So what is the use of industry and slaughterhouses?
By God’s arrangement one can have enough food grains, enough milk, enough fruits and vegetables, and nice clear river water. But now I have seen, while traveling in Europe, that all the rivers there have become nasty. In Germany, in France, and also in Russia and America I have seen that the rivers are nasty. By nature’s way the water in the ocean is kept clear like crystal, and the same water is transferred to the rivers, but without salt, so that one may take nice water from the river. This is nature’s way, and nature’s way means Kåñëa’s way. So what is the use of constructing huge waterworks to supply water?
    Nature has already given us everything. If we want wealth we may collect pearls and become rich; there is no need to become rich by starting some huge factory to produce auto bodies. By such industrial enterprises we have simply created troubles. Otherwise, we need only depend on Kåñëa and Kåñëa’s mercy, because by Kåñëa’s glance (tava vékñitaiù), everything is set right. So if we simply plead for Kåñëa’s glance, there will be no question of scarcity or need. Everything will be complete. The idea of the Kåñëa consciousness movement, therefore, is to depend on nature’s gifts and the grace of Kåñëa.
    People say that the population is increasing, and therefore they are checking this by artificial means. Why? The birds and beasts are increasing their populations and have no contraceptives, but are they in need of food? Do we ever see birds or animals dying for want of food? Perhaps in the city, although not very often. But if we go to the jungle we shall see that all the elephants, lions, tigers, and other animals are very stout and strong. Who is supplying them with food? Some of them are vegetarians and some of them are nonvegetarians, but none of them are in want of food.
    Of course, by nature’s way the tiger, being a nonvegetarian, does not get food every day. After all, who will face a tiger to become its food? Who will say to the tiger, “Sir, I am an altruist and have come to you to give you food, so take my body”? No one. Therefore the tiger has difficulty finding food. And as soon as the tiger is out, there is an animal that follows it and makes a sound like “fayo, fayo,” so that the other animals will know, “Now the tiger is out.” So by nature’s way the tiger has difficulty. But still Kåñëa supplies it food. After about a week, the tiger will get the chance to catch an animal, and because it does not get fresh food daily, it will keep the carcass in some bush and eat a little at a time. Since the tiger is very powerful, people want to become like a lion or a tiger. But that is not a very good proposition, because if one actually becomes like a tiger one won’t get food daily, but will have to search for food with great labor. If one becomes a vegetarian, however, one will get food every day. The food for a vegetarian is available everywhere.
    Now in every city there are slaughterhouses, but does this mean that the slaughterhouses can supply enough so that one can live by eating only meat? No, there will not be an adequate supply. Even meat-eaters have to eat grains, fruits, and vegetables along with their slice of meat. Still, for that daily slice of meat they kill so many poor animals. How sinful this is! If people commit such sinful activities, how can they be happy? This killing should not be done, but because it is being done people are unhappy. However, if one becomes Kåñëa conscious and simply depends on Kåñëa’s glance (tava vékñitaiù), Kåñëa will supply everything and there will be no question of scarcity.
    Sometimes there appears to be scarcity, and sometimes we find that grains and fruits are produced in such a huge quantity that people cannot finish eating them. So this is a question of Kåñëa’s glance. If Kåñëa likes, He can produce a huge quantity of grains, fruits, and vegetables, but if Kåñëa desires to restrict the supply, what good will meat do? You may eat me, or I may eat you, but that will not solve the problem.
    For real peace and tranquillity and a sufficient supply of milk, water, and everything else we need, we simply have to depend on Kåñëa. This is what Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura teaches us when he says, märabi räkhabi—yo icchä tohärä: “My dear Lord, I simply surrender unto You and depend on You. Now if You like You may kill me, or else You may give me protection.” And Kåñëa says in reply, “Yes. Sarva-dharmän parityajya mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja: Simply surrender exclusively unto Me.” He does not say, “Yes, depend on Me, and also depend on your slaughterhouses and factories.” No. He says, “Depend only on Me. Ahaà tväà sarva-päpebhyo mokñayiñyämi: I will rescue you from the results of your sinful activities.”
    Because we have lived so many years without being Kåñëa conscious, we have lived only a sinful life, but Kåñëa assures us that as soon as one surrenders to Him, He immediately squares all accounts and puts an end to all one’s sinful activities so that one may begin a new life. When we initiate disciples we therefore tell them, “Now the account is squared. Now don’t commit sinful activities any more.”
    One should not think that because the holy name of Kåñëa can nullify sinful activities, one may commit a little sinful activity and chant Hare Kåñëa to nullify it. That is the greatest offense (nämno baläd yasya hi päpa-buddhiù). The members of some religious orders go to church and confess their sins, but then they again commit the same sinful activities. What, then, is the value of their confession? One may confess, “My Lord, out of my ignorance I committed this sin.” But one should not plan, “I shall commit sinful activities and then go to church and confess them, and then the sins will be nullified and I can begin a new chapter of sinful life.” Similarly, one should not knowingly take advantage of the chanting of the Hare Kåñëa mantra to nullify sinful activities so that one may then begin sinful acts again. We should be very careful. Before taking initiation, one promises to have no illicit sex, no intoxicants, no gambling, and no meat-eating, and this vow one should strictly follow. Then one will be clean. If one keeps oneself clean in this way and always engages in devotional service, his life will be a success, and there will be no scarcity of anything he wants.

Journey of Self Discovery  6.3: Spiritual Advice to Businessmen
On January 30, 1973, in Calcutta, Çréla Prabhupäda speaks to the Bharata Chamber of Commerce, a group of the region’s leading businessmen. “We should not be satisfied with becoming a big businessman. We must know what our next life is.... If you cultivate this knowledge and at the same time go on doing your business, your life will be successful.”

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for kindly inviting me. I’ll serve you to the best of my ability.
Today’s subject is “Culture and Business.” We understand business to mean “occupational duty.” According to our Vedic culture, there are different types of business. As described in Bhagavad-gétä [4.13], cätur-varëyaà mayä såñöaà guëa-karma-vibhägaçaù. The four divisions of the social system, based on people’s qualities and types of work, are the brähmaëas [intellectuals and teachers], the kñatriyas [military men and state leaders], the vaiçyas [farmers and merchants], and the çüdras [laborers]. Before doing business, one must know what kinds of work there are and who can do what kind of work. People have different capabilities, and there are different types of work, but now we have created a society where everyone takes up everyone else’s business. That is not very scientific.
    Society has natural cultural divisions, just as there are natural divisions in the human body. The whole body is one unit, but it has different departments, also—for example, the head department, the arm department, the belly department, and the leg department. This is scientific. So in society the head department is represented by the brähmaëa, the arm department by the kñatriya, the belly department by the vaiçya, and the leg department by the çüdra. Business should be divided scientifically in this way.
    The head department is the most important department, because without the head the other departments—the arm, the belly, and the leg—cannot function. If the arm department is lacking, business can still go on. If the leg department is lacking, business can go on. But if the head department is not there—if your head is cut off from your body—then even though you have arms, legs, and a belly, they are all useless.
The head is meant for culture. Without culture, every type of business creates confusion and chaos. And that is what we have at the present moment, because of jumbling of different types of business. So there must be one section of people, the head department, who give advice to the other departments. These advisors are the intelligent and qualified brähmaëas. “Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom, and religiousness—these are the natural qualities by which the brähmaëas work.” [Bhagavad-gétä 18.42]
    The brähmaëas, the head of the social body, are meant to guide society in culture. Culture means knowing the aim of life. Without understanding the aim of life, a man is a ship without a rudder. But at the present moment we are missing the goal of life because there is no head department in society. The whole human society is now lacking real brähmaëas to give advice to the other departments.
    Arjuna is a good example of how a member of the kñatriya department should take advice. He was a military man; his business was to fight. In the Battle of Kurukñetra he engaged in his business, but at the same time he took the advice of the brahmaëya-deva, Lord Kåñëa. As it is said, “Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Kåñëa, who is the worshipable Deity for all brahminical men, who is the well-wisher of cows and brähmaëas, and who is always benefiting the whole world. I offer my repeated obeisances to the Personality of Godhead, known as Kåñëa and Govinda.” [Viñëu Puräëa 1.19.65]
    In this verse the first things taken into consideration are the cows and the brähmaëas (go-brähmaëa). Why are they stressed? Because a society with no brahminical culture and no cow protection is not a human society but a chaotic, animalistic society. And any business you do in a chaotic condition will never be perfect. business can be done nicely only in a society following a proper cultural system.
    Instructions for a perfect cultural system are given in Çrémad-Bhägavatam. At a meeting in the forest of Naimiñäraëya, where many learned scholars and brähmaëas had assembled and Çréla Süta Gosvämé was giving instructions, he stressed the varëäçrama social system (ataù pumbhir dvija-çreñöhä varëäçrama-vibhägaçaù). The Vedic culture organizes society into four varëas [occupational divisions] and four äçramas [spiritual stages of life]. As mentioned before, the varëas are the brähmaëa, kñatriya, vaiçya, and çüdra. The äçramas are the brahmacäré-äçrama [celibate student life], gåhastha-äçrama [family life], vänaprastha-äçrama [retired life], and sannyäsa-äçrama [renounced life]. Unless we take to this institution of varëäçrama-dharma, the whole society will be chaotic.
And the purpose of varëäçrama-dharma is to satisfy the Supreme Lord. As stated in the Viñëu Puräëa [3.8.9], According to this verse, one has to satisfy the Supreme Lord by properly performing one’s prescribed duties according to the system of varëa and äçrama. In a state, you have to satisfy your government. If you don’t, you are a bad citizen and cause chaos in society. Similarly, in the cosmic state—that is, in this material creation as a whole—if you do not satisfy the Supreme Lord, the proprietor of everything, then there will be a chaotic condition. Our Vedic culture teaches that whatever you do, you must satisfy the Supreme Lord. That is real culture.
    Sva-karmaëä tam abhyarcya siddhià vindati mänavaù. You may do any business—the brähmaëa’s business, the kñatriya’s business, the vaiçya’s business, or the çüdra’s business—but by your business you should satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You may be a merchant, a professional man, a legal advisor, a medical man—it doesn’t matter. But if you want perfection in your business, then you must try to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Otherwise you are simply wasting your time.
In Bhagavad-gétä [3.9], Lord Kåñëa says, yajïärthät karmaëaù. The word yajïa refers to Viñëu, or Kåñëa, the Supreme Lord. You have to work for Him. Otherwise you become bound by the reactions of your activities (anyatra loko ’yaà karma-bandhanaù). And as long as you are in the bondage of karma, you have to transmigrate from one body to another.
Unfortunately, at the present moment people do not know that there is a soul and that the soul transmigrates from one body to another. As stated in Bhagavad-gétä [2.13], tathä dehäntara-präptiù: “When the body dies, the soul transmigrates to another body.” I’ve talked with big, big scientists and professors who do not know that there is life after death. They do not know. But according to our Vedic information, there is life after death. And we can experience transmigration of the soul in this present life. It is a very common thing: A baby soon gets the body of a boy, the boy then gets the body of a young man, and the young man gets the body of an old man. Similarly, the old man, after the annihilation of his body, will get another body. It is quite natural and logical.
    Actually, we have two bodies, the gross body and the subtle body. The gross body is made up of our senses and the bodily elements—bones, blood, and so on. When we change our body at death, the present gross body is destroyed, but the subtle body, made of mind, intelligence, and ego, is not. The subtle body carries us to our next gross body.
It is just like what happens when we sleep. At night we forget about the gross body, and the subtle body alone works. As we dream we are taken away from our home, from our bed, to some other place, and we completely forget the gross body. When our sleep is over we forget about the dream and become attached again to the gross body. This is going on in our daily experience.
    So we are the observer, sometimes of the gross body and sometimes of the subtle body. Both bodies are changing, but we are the unchanging observer, the soul within the bodies. Therefore, our inquiry should be, “What is my position? At night I forget my gross body, and during the daytime I forget my subtle body. Then what is my real body?” These are the questions we should ask.
    So you may do your business, as Arjuna did his business. He was a fighter, a kñatriya, but he did not forget his culture, hearing Gétä from the master. But if you simply do business and do not cultivate your spiritual life, then your business is a useless waste of time (çrama eva hi kevalam).
Our Kåñëa consciousness movement is being spread so that you do not forget your cultural life. We do not say that you stop your business and become a sannyäsé like me and give up everything. We do not say that. Nor did Kåñëa say that. Kåñëa never said, “Arjuna, give up your fighting business.” No, He said, “Arjuna, you are a kñatriya. You are declining to fight, saying, ‘Oh, it is very abominable.’ You should not say that. You must fight.” That was Kåñëa’s instruction.
    Similarly, we Kåñëa conscious people are also advising everyone, “Don’t give up your business. Go on with your business, but simply hear about Kåñëa.” Caitanya Mahäprabhu also said this, quoting from Çrémad-Bhägavatam: sthäne sthitäù çruti-gatäà tanu-väì-manobhiù. Caitanya Mahäprabhu never said, “Give up your position.” Giving up one’s position is not very difficult. But to cultivate spiritual knowledge while one stays in his position—that is required. Among the animals there is no cultivation of spiritual life. That is not possible; the animals cannot cultivate this knowledge. Therefore, if human beings do not cultivate spiritual knowledge, they’re exactly like animals (dharmeëa hénäù paçubhiù samänäù).
    So we should be very conscious about our eternal existence. We, the spirit soul within the body, are eternal (na hanyate hanyamäne çarére). We are not going to die after the annihilation of our body. This is the cultivation of knowledge, or brahma-jijïäsä, which means inquiry about one’s self. Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s first disciple, Sanätana Gosvämé, was formerly finance minister in the government of Nawab Hussein Shah. Then he retired and approached Caitanya Mahäprabhu and humbly said, “My dear Lord, people call me paëòita.” (Because he was a brähmaëa by caste, naturally he was called paëòita, meaning “a learned person.”) “But I am such a paëòita,” he said, “that I do not even know who or what I am.”
    This is the position of everyone. You may be a businessman or you may be in another profession, but if you do not know what you are, wherefrom you have come, why you are under the tribulations of the laws of material nature, and where you are going in your next life—if you do not know these things, then whatever you are doing is useless. As stated in Çrémad-Bhägavatam [1.2.8], “The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.” Therefore our request to everyone is that while you engage in your business, in whatever position Kåñëa has posted you, do your duty nicely, but do not forget to cultivate Kåñëa knowledge.
    Kåñëa knowledge means God consciousness. We must know that we are part and parcel of God (mamaiväàço jéva-loke jéva-bhütaù sanätanaù). We are eternally part and parcel of Kåñëa, or God, but we are now struggling with the mind and senses (manaù ñañöhänéndriyäëi prakåti-sthäni karñati). Why this struggle for existence? We must inquire about our eternal life beyond this temporary life. Suppose in this temporary life I become a big businessman for, say, twenty years or fifty years or at the utmost one hundred years. There is no guarantee that in my next life I’m going to be a big businessman. No. There is no such guarantee. But this we do not care about. We are taking care of our present small span of life, but we are not taking care of our eternal life. That is our mistake.
    In this life I may be a very great businessman, but in my next life, by my karma, I may become something else. There are 8,400,000 forms of life. Jalajä nava-lakñäëi sthävarä lakña-viàçatiù: There are 900,000 forms of life in the water, and 2,000,000 forms of trees and other plants. Then, kåmayo rudra-saìkhyakäù pakñinäà daça-lakñaëam: There are 1,100,000 species of insects and reptiles, and 1,000,000 species of birds. Finally, triàsäl-lakñäni paçavaù catur-lakñäni mänuñaù: There are 3,000,000 varieties of beasts and 400,000 human species. So we must pass through 8,000,000 different forms of life before we come to the human form of life.
Therefore Prahläda Mahäräja says, “One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life—in other words, from the tender age of childhood—to practice the activities of devotional service. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection.” [Bhäg. 7.6.1] This human birth is very rare. We should not be satisfied simply with becoming a big businessman. We must know what our next life is, what we are going to be.
    There are different kinds of men. Some are called karmés, some are called jïänés, some are called yogés, and some are called bhaktas. The karmés are after material happiness. They want the best material comforts in this life, and they want to be elevated to the heavenly planets after death. The jïänés also want happiness, but being fed up with the materialistic way of life, they want to merge into the existence of Brahman, the Absolute. The yogés want mystic power. And the bhaktas, the devotees, simply want the service of the Lord. But unless one understands who the Lord is, how can one render service to Him? So cultivating knowledge of God is the highest culture.
    There are different kinds of culture: the culture of the karmés, the culture of the jïänés, the culture of the yogés, and the culture of the bhaktas. Actually, all of these people are called yogés if they are doing their duty sincerely. Then they are known as karma-yogés, jïäna-yogés, dhyäna-yogés, and bhakti-yogés. But in Bhagavad-gétä [6.47] Kåñëa says, Who is the first-class yogé? Kåñëa answers, “He who is always thinking of Me.” This means the Kåñëa conscious person is the best yogé. As already mentioned, there are different kinds of yogés (the karma-yogé, the jïäna-yogé, the dhyäna-yogé, and the bhakti-yogé), but the best yogé is he who always thinks of Kåñëa within himself with faith and love. One who is rendering service to the Lord—he is the first-class yogé.
    So we request everyone to try to know what he is, what Kåñëa is, what his relationship with Kåñëa is, what his real life is, and what the goal of his life is. Unless we cultivate all this knowledge, we are simply wasting our time, wasting our valuable human form of life. Although everyone will die—that’s a fact—one who dies after knowing these things is benefited. His life is successful.
    The cat will die, the dog will die—everyone will die. But one who dies knowing Kåñëa—oh, that is a successful death. As Kåñëa says in Bhagavad-gétä [4.9], “One who knows in truth the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.”
    So wherever we go all over the world, our only request is, “Please try to understand Kåñëa. Then your life is successful.” It doesn’t matter what your business is. You have to do something to live. Kåñëa says, çaréra-yäträpi ca te na prasiddhyed akarmaëaù: If you stop working, your life will be hampered. One has to do something for his livelihood, but at the same time he has to cultivate knowledge for the perfection of his life. The perfection of life is simple: try to understand Kåñëa. This is what we are pre-scribing all over the world. It is not very difficult. If you read Bhagavad-gétä As It Is, you will come to understand Kåñëa. Kåñëa explains everything.
    For the neophytes, Kåñëa says, raso ’ham apsu kaunteya prabhäsmi çaçi-süryayoù: “My dear Kaunteya, I am the taste of water, and I am the light of the sun and the moon.” There is no need to say, “I cannot see God.” Here is God: the taste of water is God. Everyone drinks water, and when one tastes it he is perceiving God. Then why do you say, “I cannot see God”? Think as God directs, and then gradually you’ll see Him. Simply remember this one instruction from Bhagavad-gétä—raso ’ham apsu kaunteya prabhäsmi çaçi-süryayoù: “I am the taste of water; I am the shining illumination of the sun and moon.” Who has not seen the sunlight? Who has not seen the moonlight? Who has not tasted water? Then why do you say, “I have not seen God”? If you simply practice this bhakti-yoga, as soon as you taste water and feel satisfied you will think, “Oh, here is Kåñëa.” Immediately you will remember Kåñëa. As soon as you see the sunshine, you will remember, “Oh, here is Kåñëa.” As soon as you see the moonshine, you will remember, “Oh, here is Kåñëa.” And çabdaù khe: As soon as you hear some sound in the sky, you will remember, “Here is Kåñëa.”
In this way, you will remember Kåñëa at every step of your life. And if you remember Kåñëa at every step of life, you become the topmost yogé. And above all, if you practice the chanting of Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare, you will easily remember Kåñëa. There is no tax. There is no loss to your business. If you chant the Hare Kåñëa mantra, if you remember Kåñëa while drinking water, what is your loss? Why don’t you try it? This is the real culture of knowledge. If you cultivate this knowledge and at the same time go on doing your business, your life will be successful. Thank you very much.

 Download a FREE Karma Free Eggless Cake Cookbook HERE:

 Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare