At present, however—because the head of the social body is missing—it is a dead body. The head is very important, and our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is attempting to create some brāhmaṇas who will form the head of society. Then the administrators will be able to rule very nicely under the instructions of the philosophers and theologians—that is, under the instructions of God-conscious people. A God conscious brāhmaṇa would never advise opening slaughterhouses. But now, the many rascals heading the government allow animal slaughter. When Mahārāja Parīkṣit saw a degraded man trying to kill a cow, he immediately drew his sword and said, “Who are you? Why are you trying to kill this cow?” He was a real king. Nowadays, unqualified men have taken the presidential post. And although they may pose themselves as very religious, they are simply rascals. Why? Because under their noses thousands of cows are being killed, while they collect a good salary. Any leader who is at all religious should resign his post in protest if cow slaughter goes on under his rule. Since people do not know that these administrators are rascals, they are suffering. And the people are also rascals because they are voting for these bigger rascals. It is Plato’s view that the government should be ideal, and this is the ideal: The saintly philosophers should be at the head of the state; according to their advice the politicians should rule; under the protection of the politicians, the productive class should provide the necessities of life; and the laborer class should help. This is the scientific division of society that Kṛṣṇa advocates in the Bhagavad-gītā [4.13]: cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. “According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me.”
Srila Prabhupada — The Journey of Self – Discovery : JSD 7: Perspectives on Science and Philosophy : Plato: Goodness and Government
So cats and dogs, they’re voting. So what they will vote, cats and dogs? They will vote another big cat, big dog, that’s all. So what the big dog, big cat can do? That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ [SB 2.3.19]. A leader means voted by some hogs, by some dogs, by some camels, and by some asses. This is the position of the society. Suppose there are many dogs in this Los Angeles city… Of course, camels you haven’t got, but there are many asses also. At least in Indian cities we find there are many hogs, many dogs, many camels, many asses. So if they are called for votes, “Now we are taking vote for this, for this,” what is the value of that election? Is there any value?
Srila Prabhupada — Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures : Canto 1: Lectures : SB 1.3: Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.9 — Los Angeles, September 15, 1972
The best ruling is monarchy, and monarch means he must be a perfectly trained-up person by the best brāhmaṇas. That is perfect government. Not that this democracy, some rascals and fools they are voting another rascal and fool, and by hook and crook he comes to the post. He does not like to give it up, and makes things very miserable. This kind of government… Now your Senate is proposing, “Let us pray to God how we can get good government.” They are coming down to again. But why not train? Now you are going to pray to God, “Please give us good government.” Why don’t you elect a personmahā-bhāgavata?
Srila Prabhupada — Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures : Canto 1: Lectures : SB 1.16: Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.1 — Los Angeles, December 29, 1973
But if the people are given for nomination, as it is the practice now, by vote, then ordinary people, they are all rascals What is the value of their vote? Therefore another rascal is selected. Because one who is voting, he is a rascal. He does not know whom to give vote. He is not trained up. Simply by number, “Yes, I vote.” And that vote you can purchase by bribing, by propaganda. So this kind of democracy is no value. It has no value. If somebody is voted by a number of asses, so what is the value of such vote? Those who elect, they must be very sober. So formerly a king was nominated not only by his father or grandfather, but confirmed by the society of learned brāhmaṇas and saintly persons. So… And he must personally prove that he is actually king.
Srila Prabhupada — Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures : Canto 1: Lectures : SB 1.16: Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.11 — Los Angeles, January 8, 1974
Lion is considered as the king of the animals, paśu rāja. Actually, he is the king in the jungle. Everyone is afraid of him, he is so powerful. Even the elephant is afraid of the lion. So if the lion is praised by some small animals, does it mean the lion is not animal? Has it any value like the human being? No. Still he is animal. Even though the small animals are praising, giving votes, “You become president,” (laughter) but who is these voters? Another animal. This is democracy. The small animals are voting the big animal. So how you can expect peace? That much I have already explained. So this is not civilization, that the small animals giving vote to the big animals to occupy the government. That is going on. This will not help.
Srila Prabhupada — Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures : Canto 6: Lectures : SB 6.1: Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.9 — Los Angeles, June 22, 1975
Yes. They’re eating meat. They have no even human sense. What is that religion? They have no even sense that “I am cutting throat of one poor animal under my protection. If somebody cuts my throat, how much I am unhappy. And I’m doing the same business and I’m human being? How can I call myself a human being? I have no sense even of compassion.” Cats and dogs are passing on as religionists. Some hogs and pigs are going on as philosopher. And other animals is going as scientist, Darwin. They’re animals only, cats and dogs. They are the leaders of the society. How you can expect any benefit from them? The leaders themselves are cats and dogs, pigs. Śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ [SB 2.3.19]. These leaders, they are saṁstutaḥ, they are very much worshiped. By whom? Śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ. By the dogs, by the pigs, by the…. śva-viḍ-varāha…, camel, and by the ass. Because these particular names, I have explained in the Bhāgavata… So suppose one man has become lion, and he’s praised by dogs, camels, asses, and pigs. Naturally, they will praise, “Oh, sir, you are the king.” Does it mean he’s king? He’s animal. So it is going on. They are electing a big animal as president. And when he begins to eat, animal, big animal, then they protest, “Oh, now he’s not proper president. Get him down, get him down.” But why you sent him? “Because we are pigs; we have no other knowledge. We another, appoint another big pig as our president.” Everything is explained in the Vedic literature. If you can present them properly, it will act. The voters are śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-khara. And the president is another big animal. That’s all. This is transaction of animal kingdom. A lion is the king of some asses, pigs, dogs, and hogs. What business you can expect there? This is their real picture. One who is a human being, he’s seeing that how the animals are enjoying by voting and electing president. But they are thinking, “We are busy in a very great business. We are electing president.” (laughter) This is going on. [break] …you say that these rascal pigs, hogs, they elected president, and this president will eat them, and they will understand what kind of president they have elected. This thing is happening in the most advanced country of USA. And what to speak of other animal kingdom. Even the topmost state at the present moment, there also is happening the same thing. And what to speak of other small states.
Srila Prabhupada — 1976 Conversations : May, 1976 : Room Conversation — May 1, 1976, Fiji
People are rascals. If induce them, “Vote,” they will vote. They have no choice actually, who is good or bad. Therefore it is said, śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ [SB 2.3.19]. Some rascal, fools, animals, they are voting, “Indira is very good.” Or “Desai is very good.” So what is the value of? What they are? They are animals. You train the animals: “Dance like this,” he will dance.
Srila Prabhupada — 1977 Conversations : April, 1977 : Room Conversation — April 10, 1977, Bombay
Nowadays, politician means pick-pocket, fooling the people who are innocent into voting them and then picking their pockets, because in two or four years they know they may be replaced by some other king so they take as much as they can. The people are innocent, we have seen this everywhere, even in Russia, it is only these rascal leaders who have spoiled everything by fooling the people for their personal advantage. So I am very much serious that you all boys and girls should expose these Nixons and remove them, there is ample scope for protest in this Sankirtana Movement, and you yourselves be president, that is my hope for saving the misled mankind from total chaos.
Srila Prabhupada — 1972 Correspondence : March : Letter to: Amarendra — Calcutta 4 March, 1972
Interviewer: But isn’t, that’s part of what I’m thinking about, that you and your movement tend to separate people from concern with what’s going on in the world, like that’s a Presidential election and Jimmy Carter is the democratic candidate. This is a disregard of what’s going on in the world. Isn’t that an example of it?
Prabhupāda: No, the thing is that there were many Presidents before, what is this name of this?
Bali-mardana: Jimmy Carter. He is not President yet.
Hari-śauri: Ford is the president.
Prabhupāda: Ford. So what improvement you have done by having this President or that President? What improvement you’ll make unless some false promise? That’s all. What is the improvement? You have changed so many hundreds and thousands of Presidents, but what is the improvement about spiritual knowledge?
Bali-mardana: Prabhupāda sees everything spiritually.
Interviewer: How’s that?
Bali-mardana: He’s seeing everything spiritually. What is the improvement spiritually out of all these Presidents? So therefore we do not care.
Interviewer: You do not care what the President…
Prabhupāda: We take care, but we take care more for the spirit soul than the body. That is our basic principle.
Interviewer: But do you think most of the Hare Kṛṣṇa members will vote in the election in November?
Prabhupāda: They’re attending? (indistinct)
Bali-mardana: He’s asking if you think that they will vote, our members will vote.
Interviewer: Will they participate in the election? Will they register and vote do you think?
Prabhupāda: Personally I never give votes.
Interviewer: Never voted. You’re a citizen however, aren’t you, a U.S. citizen?
Prabhupāda: I am permanent resident.
Bali-mardana: Permanent resident.
Interviewer: Well will they follow your example and not vote?
Prabhupāda: I do not know, but our principle is that I vote for this man or that man, so what is spiritual benefit, that is our point.
Bali-mardana: If he was Kṛṣṇa conscious, then he might vote. If the politician is God conscious, then we’ll support him.
Interviewer: Vote for this man or that, what spiritual difference would it make, is that the way you put that?
Bali-mardana: Yes, as long as the candidate is not God conscious it wouldn’t make any difference which way we vote, but if he’s God conscious, then we’ll vote.
Interviewer: Well, would he have to be in the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement to be God conscious?
Bali-mardana: Would the candidate, in order for a candidate to be God conscious, would he have to be part of the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement?
Prabhupāda: He must know the science, this science, this spiritual science.
Interviewer: To be God conscious, you must…
Prabhupāda: That’s a great science.
Bali-mardana: Great science.
Interviewer: How’s that?
Bali-mardana: In order to understand God it is a great science.
Interviewer: Do you need to be involved in the Kṛṣṇa movement to be God conscious?
Prabhupāda: You may take part in the movement or not but he must know the science. Movement is preaching…
Interviewer: You mean the Bhagavad-gītā, he must know that or what?
Prabhupāda: Not Bhagavad-gītā or anything, but he must… Just like a book, mathematics, it may be written by different men, but one must be a mathematician.
Interviewer: I think what Bali was saying is that if a Kṛṣṇa consciousness member were running for an office then you would get out and vote for him. That he would be God conscious.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Srila Prabhupada — Interview with Religious Editor Of the Associated Press — July 16, 1976, New York
“Now if you are willingly killing cows and so many animals, so how much we are being responsible? Therefore at the present moment there is war, and the human society becomes subjected to be killed in mass massacre—the nature’s law. You cannot stop war and go on killing animals. That is not possible. There will be so many accidents for killing. The wholesale kill. When Kṛṣṇa kills, He kills wholesale. When I kill—one after another. But when Kṛṣṇa kills, they assemble all the killers and kill. Therefore there is atonement in the śāstras. Just like in your Bible also there is atonement, confession, paying some fine. But after performing atonement, why people commits the same sin again? That is to be understood.”
Srila Prabhupada — Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.8-13 — New York, July 24, 1971