Modern Civilization, et al

The time is coming

At present the whole world is on the verge of retiring from a blind materialistic civilization, which may be likened to hunting animals in the forest. People should take advantage of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and leave their troublesome life of killing. It is said that the killers of animals should neither live nor die. If they live only to kill animals and enjoy women, life is not very prosperous. And as soon as a killer dies, he enters the cycle of birth and death in the lower species of life. That also is not desirable. The conclusion is that killers should retire from the killing business and take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement to make life perfect. A confused, frustrated man cannot get relief by committing suicide because suicide will simply lead him to take birth in the lower species of life or to remain a ghost, unable to attain a gross material body. Therefore the perfect course is to retire altogether from sinful activities and take up Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In this way one can become completely perfect and go back home, back to Godhead. (SB 4.26.10 purport)

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam predicts that in Kali-yuga the government will be entrusted with dasyu-dharma, which means the occupational duty of rogues and thieves. Modern heads of state are rogues and thieves who plunder the citizens instead of giving them protection. Rogues and thieves plunder without regard for law, but in this age of Kali, as stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the lawmakers themselves plunder the citizens. The next prediction to be fulfilled, which is already coming to pass, is that because of the sinful activities of the citizens and the government, rain will become increasingly scarce. Gradually there will be complete drought and no production of food grains. People will be reduced to eating flesh and seeds, and many good, spiritually inclined people will have to forsake their homes because they will be too harassed by drought, taxation and famine. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the only hope to save the world from such devastation. It is the most scientific and authorized movement for the actual welfare of the whole human society. (sb 5.2.1 purport)

By the arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the rivers on some planets produce gold on their banks. The poor inhabitants of this earth, because of their incomplete knowledge, are captivated by a so-called bhagavān who can produce a small quantity of gold. However, it is understood that in a higher planetary system in this material world, the mud on the banks of the Jambū-nadī mixes with jambū juice, reacts with the sunshine in the air, and automatically produces huge quantities of gold. Thus the men and women are decorated there by various golden ornaments, and they look very nice. Unfortunately, on earth there is such a scarcity of gold that the governments of the world try to keep it in reserve and issue paper currency. Because that currency is not backed up by gold, the paper they distribute as money is worthless, but nevertheless the people on earth are very proud of material advancement. In modern times, girls and ladies have ornaments made of plastic instead of gold, and plastic utensils are used instead of golden ones, yet people are very proud of their material wealth. Therefore the people of this age are described as mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ (Bhāg. 1.1.10). In other words, they are extremely bad and slow to understand the opulence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They have been described as sumanda-matayaḥ because their conceptions are so crippled that they accept a bluffer who produces a little gold to be God. Because they have no gold in their possession, they are actually poverty-stricken, and therefore they are considered unfortunate. (sb 5/16/20-21 purport)

The conception of worldly opulence was formerly based mainly on natural resources such as jewels, marble, silk, ivory, gold and silver. The advancement of economic development was not based on big motorcars. Advancement of human civilization depends not on industrial enterprises, but on possession of natural wealth and natural food, which is all supplied by the Supreme Personality of Godhead so that we may save time for self-realization and success in the human form of body. (SB 4.9.62 purport)

In democratic government at the present moment all kinds of fools and rascals are making decisions. But what can they do? What is the result of their legislation? They enact something today just to whimsically repeal it tomorrow. One political party utilizes a country for one purpose, and the next moment another political party forms a different type of government and nullifies all the laws and regulations. This process of chewing the chewed (punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30]) will never make human society happy. In order to make all human society happy and prosperous, we should accept the standard methods given by liberated persons. (SB 4.18.4 purport)

In this material world, there are many transactions between peoples and societies as well as between nations, but gradually these end in enmity between the two parties. Similarly, in the marriage relationship, monetary transactions are sometimes overpowered by the dangerous conditions of material life. One then becomes diseased or monetarily embarrassed. In the modern age most countries have developed economically, but due to business exchanges, relationships seem to be strained. Finally wars are declared between nations, and as a result of these upheavals there is destruction all over the world, and people suffer heavily. (sb 5.13.13 purport)

In this material world, there are many transactions between peoples and societies as well as between nations, but gradually these end in enmity between the two parties. Similarly, in the marriage relationship, monetary transactions are sometimes overpowered by the dangerous conditions of material life. One then becomes diseased or monetarily embarrassed. In the modern age most countries have developed economically, but due to business exchanges, relationships seem to be strained. Finally wars are declared between nations, and as a result of these upheavals there is destruction all over the world, and people suffer heavily. sb 5.13.13 purport)

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 go on increasing such troublesome industries to squeeze out the vital energy of the human being, the more there will be unrest and dissatisfaction of the people in general, although a few only can live lavishly by exploitation.  (SB 1.8.40 purport)

In this age of Kali the propensity for mercy is almost nil. Consequently there is always fighting and wars between men and nations. Men do not understand that because they unrestrictedly kill so many animals, they also must be slaughtered like animals in big wars. This is very much evident in the Western countries. In the West, slaughterhouses are maintained without restriction, and therefore every fifth or tenth year there is a big war in which countless people are slaughtered even more cruelly than the animals. Sometimes during war, soldiers keep their enemies in concentration camps and kill them in very cruel ways. These are reactions brought about by unrestricted animal-killing in the slaughterhouse and by hunters in the forest. Proud, demoniac persons do not know the laws of nature, or the laws of God. Consequently, they unrestrictedly kill poor animals, not caring for them at all. In the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, animal-killing is completely prohibited. One is not accepted as a bona fide student in this movement unless he promises to follow the four regulative principles: no animal-killing, no intoxication, no illicit sex and no gambling. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the only means by which the sinful activities of men in this Kali-yuga can be counteracted. (sb 4.26.5 purport)

The solution

This verse hints at the perfection of human society even within this material world. The miserable conditions of this material world can be corrected by a sufficient supply of milk, yogurt, honey, ghee, molasses, food grains, ornaments, bedding, sitting places and so on. This is human civilization. Ample food grains can be produced through agricultural enterprises, and profuse supplies of milk, yogurt and ghee can be arranged through cow protection. Abundant honey can be obtained if the forests are protected. Unfortunately, in modern civilization, men are busy killing the cows that are the source of yogurt, milk and ghee, they are cutting down all the trees that supply honey, and they are opening factories to manufacture nuts, bolts, automobiles and wine instead of engaging in agriculture. How can the people be happy? They must suffer from all the misery of materialism. Their bodies become wrinkled and gradually deteriorate until they become almost like dwarves, and a bad odor emanates from their bodies because of unclean perspiration resulting from eating all kinds of nasty things. This is not human civilization. If people actually want happiness in this life and want to prepare for the best in the next life, they must adopt a Vedic civilization. In a Vedic civilization, there is a full supply of all the necessities mentioned above. (sb/5/16/25 purport)

Although it is misconceived that formerly the monarchial government was autocratic, from the description of this verse it appears that not only was King Uttānapāda a rājarṣi, but before installing his beloved son Dhruva on the throne of the empire of the world, he consulted his ministerial officers, considered the opinion of the public, and also personally examined Dhruva’s character. Then the King installed him on the throne to take charge of the affairs of the world.

When a Vaiṣṇava king like Dhruva Mahārāja is the head of the government of the entire world, the world is so happy that it is not possible to imagine or describe. Even now, if people would all become Kṛṣṇa conscious, the democratic government of the present day would be exactly like the kingdom of heaven. If all people became Kṛṣṇa conscious they would vote for persons of the category of Dhruva Mahārāja. If the post of chief executive were occupied by such a Vaiṣṇava, all the problems of satanic government would be solved. The youthful generation of the present day is very enthusiastic in trying to overthrow the government in different parts of the world. But unless people are Kṛṣṇa conscious like Dhruva Mahārāja, there will be no appreciable changes in government because people who hanker to attain political position by hook or by crook cannot think of the welfare of the people. They are only busy to keep their position of prestige and monetary gain. They have very little time to think of the welfare of the citizens. (SB 4.9.66 purport)

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is teaching this higher knowledge of retiring from materialistic life to return to Godhead, but unfortunately many parents are not very satisfied with this movement. Aside from the parents of our students, many businessmen are also dissatisfied because we teach our students to abandon intoxication, meat-eating, illicit sex and gambling. If the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement spreads, the so-called businessmen will have to close their slaughterhouses, breweries and cigarette factories. Therefore they are also very much afraid. However, we have no alternative than to teach our disciples to free themselves from materialistic life. We must instruct them in the opposite of material life to save them from the repetition of birth and death. (sb 6/5/20 purport)

I have tried it: any page you open, that is wonderful reading matter. My ambition is to spread these books far and wide all over the world so that everyone shall read at least one of our books and that will change his life. If only 1% become devotees, that will change the world. (Letter —Tokyo 2 May, 1972)

If just .01% of the world’s population becomes Krsna Conscious, the whole situation on the earth will change. Just see what has happened. I started alone in 1966 and in just seven years now we are three thousand, and it is growing more and more.
So if the intelligent men of the world like yourself cooperate with this all-important mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we can save the world from the state of misery and chaos that now prevails. (Letter — Los Angeles 10 May, 1973)

A demoniac civilization will never bring peace within the world. Since eating is the first necessity in human society, those engaged in solving the problems of preparing and distributing food should take lessons from Mādhavendra Purī and execute the Annakūṭa ceremony. When the people take to eating only prasāda offered to the Deity, all the demons will be turned into Vaiṣṇavas. When the people are Kṛṣṇa conscious, naturally the government will be so also. A Kṛṣṇa conscious man is always a very liberal well-wisher of everyone. When such men head the government, the people will certainly be sinless. They will no longer be disturbing demons. It is then and then only that a peaceful condition can prevail in society. (Cc Madhya-lila 4.93 purport)