Pradyumna: “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 full of wealth. And this is all due to Your glancing over them.”
ime jana-padāḥ svṛddhāḥ
hy edhante tava vīkṣitaiḥ
So here is very nice description how we can materially become happy. These are all description of material happiness, svṛddhāḥ, very flourished cities and towns. So how it is flourished? Now, supakvauṣadhi-vīrudhaḥ. The herbs and plants and trees and creepers, they are all luxuriously grown and sufficiently supply the needs of the human being. Every plant and creeper is useful for human being. We do not know how to use them. Experienced men, they collect so many auṣadhi. Vanauṣadhi, latā loke jāyate paramaṁ hitam. We are neglecting these herbs and vegetables, but because we do not know how to use them, we have to meet so much bill of the doctors. But there are everything complete.
Kṛṣṇa’s arrangement is very complete. Pūrṇam idaṁ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate [Īśopaniṣad, Invocation]. Kṛṣṇa has given us everything in complete. There is no question… Although we have come to this material world for undergoing some tribulation on account of our rebellious attitude towards Kṛṣṇa… Kṛṣṇa, we are meant for serving Kṛṣṇa, but we have rebelled: “Why shall I serve Kṛṣṇa? I shall serve my senses. I shall remain independent without Kṛṣṇa.” This is our folly. That is not possible. We have discussed already that without Kṛṣṇa there is no question of happiness. There is no question of happiness. It is our… This is called ignorance.
kṛṣṇa bhuli’ sei jīva anādi-bahirmukha
ataeva māyā tāre deya saṁsāra-duḥkha
[Cc. Madhya 20.117]
There is something like… Our only fault is that we have forgotten Kṛṣṇa and we have come to enjoy this material world. Material enjoyment means sense gratification. That’s all. That is the material world. And spiritual world means there is no sense gratification, only activities for Kṛṣṇa’s satisfaction. That is spiritual world. The so-called material world can be converted into spiritual world when this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is there, that everything should be used for Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure. That is spiritual world. Otherwise, it is material world.
In the higher sense there is no material world at all. Sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma. Everything—Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa’s energy. So Kṛṣṇa’s energy is not different from Kṛṣṇa. Just like the sunshine is not different from the sun. Although sun is millions and millions of miles away, still, we can feel what is the sun by feeling the energy of the sun, the sunshine. We can understand that sun is complete heat and light. Although we cannot go to sun, but by the sunshine, we can understand. Similarly, we can understand Kṛṣṇa by His different energies. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. He has got multi-energies. So these plants and creepers, they are also produced out of Kṛṣṇa’s energy, and we take advantage of them.
So if we want to be happy, these things are required. What is that? Ime jana-padāḥ svṛddhāḥ. Jana-padāḥ, cities and towns, we require. Because we are human beings, we cannot live in the forest. There are certain uncivilized human beings, they are meant for living in the forest because they are not civilized. But civilized men, they require nice towns, cities, full of gardens, parks, and nice roads and paths, nice building. They’re all described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam about the Dvārakā City, Mathurā City, in the, those days. Still there are some samples. In Mathurā you’ll find that outside the city there are many gardens. The gardens… Formerly the guests, kings and big, big men, when they became guests, these garden houses were meant for them. We get this information from many literatures, Vedic literatures.
So anyway, we should be eager to become happy even in the cities and towns with the help of these things: auṣadhi-vīrudhaḥ, then forests, adri, nadī. Nadī means not dirty nadī. Very clear water and waves are flowing. By the modern civilization I have seen so many rivers in Europe, in Paris, in Moscow and in Germany. All rivers are very, very dirty. Very, very dirty. You cannot take bath, what to speak of drinking water. So dirty due to this rascal industry. Even in our New York, the bays and the seas they’re also polluted. All dirty things are there. How long the water will be clear? No. The rivers, at least the rivers, in the city, they should be kept very clean. But they cannot keep clean because they have got so many dirty activities, enterprises, mills and factories. So in Calcutta also, the… There are so many jute mills and factories on the riverside. All the night soil, they are thrown into the Ganges. So still the Ganges is so powerful that it keeps clear. Hundreds and thousands people, still they take bath in the Ganges, and they keep very good health, those who are taking bath regularly in the Ganges. And cities and towns, there must be a river. In India, you’ll find, all the important cities in India, they are on the bank of the Ganges, on the bank of the Yamunā, on the bank of the Narmadā, Kṛṣṇā, Kāverī, like that, all the important cities. And Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says that “Don’t go to a town and city where there is no river and where there is no friend and there is no temple. Don’t go to that city. If there is no river, no friend and no temple, then that is… A great city is a great forest.” So that is forbidden.
So we should be happy with these things. Cities and towns does not mean big, big slaughterhouse, cinema, brothel, and factories and all dirty things. Here it is not mentioned. Here Kuntīdevī says, ime jana-padāḥ svṛddhāḥ supakvauṣadhi-vīrudhaḥ [SB 1.8.40]. He never… She never said that “These towns and cities are flourishing on account of having so many industries, slaughterhouse, brothels, cinema, clubs, nightclubs.” Not like that. There was no such thing in those days. These are modern inventions to make the whole world hellish. Otherwise people would be… If you want to be rich, then you can get riches… Wherefrom? Vanādri-nady-udanvantaḥ. From seas, from river, from hills. You can get valuable jewels, gems, pearls, from these natural sources. So India’s wealth, formerly, it was depending on these things: gold, silver, jewels, pearls, silk—not industry. And from the forest, from the herbs, from food grains—all natural products. So from the river… The saintly persons, they depended mostly on the riverside. Anywhere they will put a cottage on the river… Still that is going on. A saintly person, if he wants to remain in a secluded place, so they select any place on the riverside, have a small cottage. Still you’ll find in many places, especially on the bank of the Ganges, Narmadā, Godāvarī, Kāverī. There are many saintly persons, especially on the bank of Yamunā and Ganges. If you go to Allahabad, you’ll find they are living very peacefully, a small cottage on the bank of the Ganges.
When Nārada Muni made the hunter a disciple, so he dragged him to the riverside, Ganges, and gave him a tulasī plant, that: “You sit down here and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. And the tulasī plant is here. You offer obeisances.” Then he was very much anxious because he was hunter. He has been stopped, his main business, killing business. So he was thinking that “My Guru Mahārāja may not cheat me. He has stopped my business. He has broken my bows and arrows. And now he has dragged me here to sit down and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.” Then he asked, “What about my food, sir? I’ll sit down here or…” Nārada Muni assured him that “Don’t bother. I’ll send you your food. You sit down here. You chant, and I will send your food.” So he was little doubtful. Anyway, this news, as soon as the news spread in the neighboring places that “A hunter has become a Vaiṣṇava,” so out of curiosity, people used to come to see the hunter-Vaiṣṇava. The hunter… When one is Vaiṣṇava, he’s no longer a hunter or belonging to the any caste. But people used to say “the hunter-Vaiṣṇava.”
So it is the custom of gṛhasthas that when a gṛhastha goes to see a saintly person, he should bring some gifts. Never mind however insignificant is. At least one palmful of rice or ḍāl or ātara, put there. Give something. If one comes to the temple… Here are many temples in India still. People come there with… One who hasn’t got many things, but he brings one palmful of ātara or rice or ḍāl. This is useful. And in the temple there are three pots. They put ḍāl in the ḍāl, ātara in the ātara, and rice in the rice. So in this way the inmates of the temple, they can live without going outside. But people have lost such habit. They come empty-handed—”darśana”—that “I’ll not give you anything, but you are a saintly person. Give me darśana, and give me your āśirvāda, and then I enjoy my senses. That’s all. Nothing to give you, but you give me your āśirvāda. You give me the dust of your feet. I become benefited. You starve.” But (chuckling) that is not the process. So the hunter, he was following the instruction of his Guru Mahārāja, Nārada Muni, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa and sitting very peacefully. So people would come, and they were surprised. So, so many people came-heaps of ātara, heaps of rice, heaps of vegetables. So he became little agitated: “What shall I do with so many, so much quantity? Why he’s sending so much? We are simply two, husband and wife. So why he’s sending this?”
So actually, for Vaiṣṇava, who is dependent on Kṛṣṇa, there is no want. There cannot be. Yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham, teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānām [Bg. 9.22]. If one is actually dependent on Kṛṣṇa, there is no question of scarcity. That is the Śukadeva Gosvāmī’s instruction, kasmād bhajanti kavayo dhana-durmadāndhān [SB 2.2.5]. He says to the saintly persons to become independent. So he advises that “Why you are anxious for bedding? There is very nice grass. And you have got pillows, this hand, arms. You can lie down here. And where is… What is the necessity of keeping a waterpot?” Because a sannyāsī, even giving up everything, he keeps one waterpot. So Śukadeva Gosvāmī criticizes, “What is the use of keeping waterpot? You have your palms. You can take water from the river and drink.” Cirāṇi kiṁ san…, pathi na santi. And old cloth, thrown away… Formerly, gṛhasthas, in different ceremonies, after taking bath, they would throw away their garments, their…, so that poor people, they can take it and use it. And new. Every religious function… In our childhood also we have seen. As soon as there was a new function or pūjā, there was new cloth. Even household pūjā… That takes place practically every month. Lakṣmī-pūjā, Kārttika-pūjā… Bara mase tara upara bhan.(?) The… Actually there are twelve months, but the festivals are thirteen. It was very difficult to adjust where the another festival, in which month it should be observed. So we have got experience—in Lakṣmī-pūjā, all new cloth. The children, at least, at least the children and the housewife will have new cloth for every function. And what was the price of cloth? Very cheap. One rupee, four annas; one rupee, six annas, per pair. So we have seen it.
So festival. So there was no scarcity. Why? People were religiously inclined. Even for a beggar, there was sufficient. The temple, sufficient, everything. That is called ime jana-padāḥ svṛddhāḥ. Svṛddha, svṛddha means opulent. All the cities and towns were opulent; villages, opulent, no want. And they depended on the trees, plants, this river, the mountain, the sea. Those who were… They’re expert, they would go underneath the sea and pick up the pearls. That is very valuable. And still there are. So for rich men, the jewelries, the silk, nice food, nice building. And poor man, also, even they do not require jewelries, but they were not hungry. Everything was complete.
So (reading) “Human prosperity flourishes by natural gifts and not by gigantic industrial enterprises.” This is the purport. This gigantic enterprise, industrial, they are called ugra-karma. Ugra-karma. Just like now, New Delhi, there is industry. Every town has got industrial area, and big, big industries are flourishing. Especially when you go from Vṛndāvana side to New Delhi, the first big industry we see—that Goodyear Tire, very big factory. So people are being dragged there that “Come here. You’ll get good salary. Why you are working in the field so hard? Come here. You’ll get good salary, and…” So they go. But the result is that they are not happy. And when they are not happy, they are, I mean, induced to take wine and meat. In this way, whole world… India, it was not there. Gandhi’s movement was to stop this wine, flesh, and as we are prohibiting. But at the present moment, the government is encouraging. It is very regrettable.
(reading:) “The gigantic industrial enterprises are products of a godless civilization.” Godless civilization, they no more can depend on the natural gifts. They think by industrial enterprises, they will get more money and they’ll be happy. And to remain satisfied with the food grains, vegetables and natural gifts, that is primitive idea. They say, “It is primitive.” When men were not civilized, they would depend on nature, but when they are advanced in civilization, they must discover industrial enterprises. So instead of eating on metal dishes, the civilized men should eat on, what is that called, plastic. That’s all. Now plastic utensils, not even metal. Still, according to Vedic civilization, these Hindus, they would not touch this china, clay utensils, or this plastic utensils. Never they’ll… Or glass utensils, they’ll never touch. Especially in South India they are very strict. A poor man would prefer to eat on the plantain leaf. And the rich men, they eat on silver utensils. They do not even like to, I mean to say, brass or other base metals.
So this is very good economy also. If you… If you have got metal utensils, if you are in need of money, you can get immediately in exchange some money. There are pawn shops. So they will keep anything, a gold Banarsi sari, or metal utensils or ornaments, if you are need of… Village bankers. Immediately. Poor man… Suppose if you require five rupees, ten rupees. You haven’t got, but what…, how to get the money? You take something from your household paraphernalia and go to the pawn-maker. You get money. You are now relieved from the present anxiety. Then again you get back. But what is this china, clay, the china pots and this plastic pot will bring? No, nothing. From economic point of view, this is also very good. So depend on nature.
So (reading:) “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…”—that is practical—”…of the people in general, although a few only can live lavishly by exploitation.” So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is all-round. If people understand that this is a religious movement… No. Religious movement is different thing. Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement… Kṛṣṇa. It is not our manufactured ideas. Kṛṣṇa speaks in the Bhagavad-gītā to make people Kṛṣṇa conscious in every way. He’s suggesting how to live, annād bhavanti bhūtāni; [Bg. 3.14] how the division of the society should be made, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ; [Bg. 4.13] everything, social, political and… Political also. He is enthusing Arjuna, “You must fight. They are… They have committed so much injustice upon you. So you must fight. Don’t consider that he is your brother, he is your…” Even when Arjuna said, “Yes. This is all right. I’ll fight with my enemies, but how can I kill Bhīṣmadeva? He is not my enemy. He’s my maintainer, my grandfather. We lost our father at early age. He took care. How can I kill? How can I kill my teacher, Droṇācārya?” But Kṛṣṇa supported that “You must kill them.” “Why?” “Because they have taken the wrong side. Because Bhīṣmadeva, in spite of his becoming so learned, still, he has gone to the side of the Duryodhana, and simply for matter of getting some money, maintenance.”
And actually Bhīṣmadeva went to the side of Duryodhana, considering that “These people are maintaining me. How can I give up their company at times of danger?” That is also another consideration. So similarly, Droṇācārya, although he’s guru, teacher of military art, he also went to Duryodhana’s side for money. So therefore… Karṇa… Nobody came to this side. So Kṛṣṇa was doing justice, that He was… This is politics, “Tit for tat.” This is politics. Śaṭhe śāṭhyamācaret.(?) Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says. “If somebody is śaṭha”—śaṭha means very cunning—”so you should be also cunning.” This is politics. You should not be, at that time, a brāhmaṇa, liberal. No. So the idea is that in the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa teaches everything very rightly, properly. The whole Vedic literature is meant for that, not one-sided.
Now here, he’s (she’s) speaking. Kuntī’s speaking to Kṛṣṇa how to live, how, by the association of Kṛṣṇa, people will be happy, how they shall live happily in the towns and cities. These things are described. So we should always remember that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for all-around development of the human society, not a sentimental religious movement. If people take to this… And it is based on the teachings of Kṛṣṇa, on the teachings of Bhāgavatam. Everything is described there. So the more we grow, or grow strength, rather… Because we are now weak, very… People are not understanding the seriousness of this movement. But the more we grow in strength and volume, we should take part in all-round activities of the human society to make them happy. Sarve sukhino bhavantu. This is the Vedic culture, that Vedic culture wants to see everyone is happy. And especially the Vaiṣṇava… Vaiṣṇavaḥ para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. Vaiṣṇava has no unhappiness because he has got Kṛṣṇa. Yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ. One who has got Kṛṣṇa, where is unhappiness? And where is want? But he has nothing, such thing as unhappiness. But he’s unhappy seeing others, these so-called rascals who have forgotten Kṛṣṇa, they are unhappy. Vaiṣṇava is unhappy seeing these peoples’ unhappiness, Prahlāda Mahārāja like. Śoce tato vimukha-cetasaḥ: “I am thinking… I am lamenting only for these rascals who have forgotten You. And forgetting You, they are trying to become happy by so many rubbish activities.” Māyā-sukhāya bharam udvahato vimūḍhān [SB 7.9.43]. They want to be happy by inventing machine for shaving also. You see? The attention is diverted that for shaving they want machine, for brushing the teeth they want a machine…
So that means the intelligence is being misused. Intelligence is being misused. Therefore a Vaiṣṇava’s duty is that even whatever they have discovered, that can be used for Kṛṣṇa’s service and to teach them how to engage everything in Kṛṣṇa … Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sam… Anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñ… Anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ. Our policy is that we are using this microphone… It is not that if there is no microphone, we shall stop our speaking or preaching work. No. We have no attraction for this microphone. But when there is microphone, we take advantage for spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Anāsakta… That is the formula given by Rūpa Gosvāmī.
yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate
One may say that “If you are condemning material civilization, why you are using?” It does not mean that we are attached to it. But if there is some advantage for spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we can use it. We can use the modern invention, but we are not attached to that. It is not that without it we become collapsed. No, that is not our policy. We can do with it and without it. When we use it, it is for the advantage of the person. His energy is being… Who has invented this microphone, his energy is being utilized for Kṛṣṇa’s purpose.
So dovetail everything dovetailed in Kṛṣṇa’s service. So without Kṛṣṇa, we cannot be happy. That is the right conclusion. And that is stated here, that “Everything is flourished on account of Your presence.” And as we have repeatedly said, we can keep Kṛṣṇa always present by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then everything will be nice; we shall be happy, either in the town or in the forest, everywhere.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)