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(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada and Allen Ginsberg, Mantra Rock Dance, 1967)

"In Kali-yuga it is said, lāvaṇyaṁ keśa-dhāraṇam. Keśa-dhāraṇam. When I did not come to your country, I was thinking, 'What is that keśa-dhāraṇam?' But as soon as I came to your country I saw the hippies-big, big hair. Keśa-dhāraṇam. Keśa means hair. It is predicted. Just see. This is śāstra: 'In the Kali-yuga people will think very, think themselves of very beautiful feature by keeping long hairs.' That is stated. This is called śāstra. Five thousand years ago Bhāgavata was written, and there the symptoms of Kali-yuga are mentioned, and this is one of the symptoms, lāvaṇyaṁ keśa-dhāraṇam.

In the Twelfth Canto you will find this description, svīkāra eva ca udvāhe—all these predictions are there. 'Marriage will be done simply by agreement.' Now it is... Just see. It is being done. Svīkāra eva. Svīkāra means agreement: 'I accept you.' No actual marriage ceremony is performed. Practically marriage is going out of date. So these symptoms are there. Dāmpatye ratim eva hi. Husband and wife's relations will be stronger if there is sex power. That's all. Otherwise divorce. Just see the symptoms. Dāmpatye ratim... Sūtratam... Sūtrate... Vipra. Vipratve sūtra-dhāraṇam: 'A brāhmaṇa means having a piece of thread, that's all.' Vipratve sūtra-dhāraṇam. And only two-paisa worth sūtra will... Just like in India: 'Oh, I am brāhmaṇa because I have got this thread.' That's all. Vipratve sūtra-dhāraṇam. Avṛttyā nyāya-rahitam: 'If you have no money, then you cannot get justice.' If you are poor man, then you will never get justice. You see? First of all, if you want to get some money... Somebody, he is not paying. You have to go to court. So first of all the pleader will charge, 'Give me so much money.' Then stamp charges, then percentage of stamp charges. Suppose you are claiming $5,000. Then you have to five percent... So so many thousand dollars you have to pay for stamp charges to claim, to push good money after bad money. The money which is not being realized, that is bad money. Now you have to push further good money to realize that bad money. So if you have no good money to push, then you cannot get even that bad money. And that also will be pending for years together. Unless you bribe the clerks and the bench clerk and others, 'Please get my case swiftly in...' So he will ask money, bribe.

So anyway, then Bhāgavata says anadhena nyāya ratim: 'If you have no money, then don't expect justice. Don't expect justice.' Even high-court judges, they take bribe to give you favorable judgement. In India we have seen so many bribe. Police, you give bribe; high-court judge, you can give bribe. This is the position of Kali-yuga, horrible position. The king or the so-called president is simply showbottle. If you approach... You cannot approach. Formerly, if anyone was ill-treated, injustified, then he could go in front of the king. Just like Lord Rāmacandra, He was approached by a citizen: 'My Lord, in the presence of father, son has died. What is Your kingdom?' Just see. The king is responsible. Natural death is father dies first, the son dies later on. But somebody's son died in the presence of the father. He immediately brought the case before the king: 'Why it is?' This is called king. The king is responsible. In our Kṛṣṇa book you will find that one brāhmaṇa's sons were stolen, and he, every time he chastised the king. You have read that portion? Yes. So in Kali-yuga they are not actually functioning as king or president, but still, they are drawing high salaries and respect, doing harm to the people, and still, they are exploiting.

This is Kali-yuga, very abominable condition, precarious condition. You cannot get justice, you cannot get nice food, you cannot get nice treatment, your age is diminished, your power is diminished, everything is topsy-turvied. The best thing is to prepare yourself very quickly to go back to home, back to Godhead, and there you become one of them, like these Vaikuṇṭha persons. These are the description already there. So many ornaments. We do not see what is... If you ask somebody... They may have some plastic utensils, but if you ask somebody that 'Have you seen pearl, sapphire, or coral, or diamond?' everyone will say, 'I have never seen in my life.' And still they are proud: 'Oh, we are now advanced.' What advanced? Simply plastic and paper. I see in Japan, all paper, simply papers. All big, big buildings packed up with papers. I was observing from the train all the big, big... What is the contents? Contents means paper. That's it. The house is made of paper. And Japan is considered to be very advanced, and industrialist. Simply outward dress. Actually nobody has got any wealth. The money is also paper. No pearl, no gold, no silver, nothing. But they are satisfied with papers. That's all. Paper house, paper money, paper book, paper everything. Plastic, paper."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Tokyo, April 29, 1972)
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Big Hair in Kali-Yuga