THE PRABHUPADA CONNECTION
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The Dangers of Modern Civilization, Part 2
(Click photo to enlarge image of 94 Bowery where Srila Prabhupada shared a 4th floor loft.)

"This gross body is made of earth, water, air, fire, sky, and the subtle body is made of mind, intelligence and ego. But you do not belong to these eight elements. Apareyam, in the Bhagavad-gita. This is inferior energy of God. Even one is very mentally advanced, he does not know that he's under the influence of inferior energy. He does not know. That is intoxication. Just like intoxicated person does not know in what condition he is. So this opulent position is intoxication. And if you increase your intoxication... The modern civilization is that we are already intoxicated, and increase the intoxication. We have to become out of the intoxication situation. But the modern civilization is increasing, that 'You become more intoxicated, more intoxicated, and go to hell.' This is the position of the modern civilization."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, April 18, 1973)

"These, nowadays, the modern civilization is a rascaldom. Everyone is adhira. He does not know... In the Western countries, big, big, professors, they do not know how the soul is existing, how the transmigration of the soul is taking place, how the body is changed, what is the purpose of life, what is the perfection of... Nothing they... Simply like cats and dogs. Work very hard like an ass and enjoy like cats and dogs, ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca samanyam etat pasubhir naranam. This life is most degraded life, that at the present moment we see that people are suffering because they have simply become animals, all over the world. Simply taking care of this body."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrndavan, March 16, 1974)

"Modern civilization is like that. Everyone is engaged in hard labor simply for satisfaction of the senses. So they have become mad. Nunam pramattah kurute vi... And they are acting without any consideration of the effect. They do not consider whether it is sinful or not. They do not believe in the next life. They do not discriminate what is sinful, what is pious -- nothing. Exactly like animals."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, November 7, 1974)

"It doesn't matter, however nicely we are dressed, but we remain as cats and dog, in the category of cats and dog. The modern civilization is that he is actually a dog, a cat, but he dresses himself very nicely, to become gentleman. So sastra says, no. We have to test whether he is human being or a cat and dog, what he is. So if we see that people are engaged only in these four business -- eating, sleeping, mating and defending -- he is cat and dog. Above them, they are inquiring. Athato brahma jijnasa. They are inquiring about the Absolute Truth. They are above these cats and dogs. This is the test, what subject matter he is inquiring. Just like there are big, big scientists. They are making research, 'If petrol can be substituted?' So in the eyes of the common man he may become a very great scientist, but those who are advanced in spiritual consciousness, they will take him no better than cat and dog -- because his subject matter is how to eat, sleep or mate or defend."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, January 10, 1974)

"So people cannot understand. That means the modern civilization is not sober. It is just like cats and dog. You cannot make a cat and dog sober to understand the philosophy of life. They have degraded so much. That is described in the sastra. Yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke (SB 10.84.13). Atma-buddhih, thinking, 'I am this body.' 'I am American,' 'I am Indian,' 'I am brahmana,' 'I am black,' 'I am white,' 'I am fat,' 'I am thin,' 'I am this.' No, no. You are not this body at all. That is knowledge. That is knowledge. Knowledge begins when you understand that you are not this body. That is the beginning of knowledge. Otherwise, 'I am this body,' this knowledge is there in the cats and dogs also. The dog also jumping, because he is thinking, 'I am very nice dog' or 'nice cat.'"

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Delhi, November 10, 1973)

"The modern civilization is to give freedom to sense satisfaction, because they cannot control. Just like you are riding on a horse, but the horse is not under your control, then you say, 'Let it go to hell, never mind.' This is the position. Because they cannot control the senses, they have taken this philosophy that liberating sense gratification is the ultimate goal of life. And the result is that they are going to hell."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, September 15, 1972)

"What are the symptoms of rajas-tamo-bhavah? Now, kama and lobha. Those who are infected with this rajas-tamo-bhavah, they are very lusty, greedy, lobhi. They are not satisfied. The modern civilization is based on rajas-tamo-bhavah. Nobody is satisfied. Everyone is greedy. And lusty. Kama-lobhadayas ca ye. Kama. So long you are lusty, so long you are greedy, there is no question of devotional service. There is no question of advancement to spiritual life. So therefore you have to come to the platform of sattva-guna, where simply knowledge. There is no other thing, ignorance or greediness, only knowledge."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Calcutta, September 27, 1974)

"Don't be implicated in the ugra-karma. Modern civilization is implicated in ugra-karma -- vast machinery, everything complicated. The government complicated, the society complicated, economics rule complicated, foreign exchange complicated. Everything has become complicated. So Narottama dasa Thakura has sung very nice song. Satsanga chari kainu asatye vilas, ei karane lagila more karma bandha-phansa. Because we have given up Krishna consciousness, therefore we have been entangled in the different varieties of material activities. Now we have to simplify it. The Krishna consciousness movement is to simplify, to save the valuable life, to save the time of valuable life. This human form of life is very valuable. Bahunam janmanam ante (BG 7.19). After many, many births we have got this important life. So we have to save our time to utilize it for Krishna consciousness."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Montreal, August 22, 1968)

Professor Durckheim: But I think for the people it is difficult to understand.

Prabhupada: Because they are fools. How they can understand? Simply fools eating meat and becoming like a tiger and dog. That's all. Tiger may be very strong, but what brain he has got? No brain. For brain, there must be a brahmana. Satya sama dama titiksa (BG 18.42). He must be qualified. A tiger may attack me and kill me. He is very strong. But that does not mean he has got better brain than me.

Professor Durkheim: Yes, yes, I see.

Prabhupada: So the modern civilization is making tigers, how he can be bodily strong and kill others, and discover atomic bomb. They are busy only on these things. The dog's business: how to attack another dog. That's all.

(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, June 19, 1974, Germany)

"The defect of the modern civilization is that there is no pandita. All rascals. All rascals. Therefore they have demarcated, 'This is India,' 'This is America.' No. Everything belongs to Krishna. Then there will be peace. If in the United Nation they simply pass one resolution with determination, that 'The whole planet belongs to Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and we are all His sons,' there is no trouble.

There is no scarcity. Krishna has created this world in such a way that there is no question of starvation in any part of the world. There is no question. Sufficient. Purnam idam (Sri Isopanisad, Invocation). There is no question of starvation. But because we have rebelled against the principle of universal brotherhood we are all suffering. I have several times said that there are ample space. There is no question of scarcity. Ample space. I am traveling all over the world. So much space lying vacant in America, in Africa, Australia. Why the Chinese or the Indians should be congested, overpopulation? But they will not allow. 'It is my country.' Have you got visa?' Immigration. 'Yes, I have got.' 'All right, three months. Then get out.' This is going on. Because they are rascals, they are falsely claiming, 'This is my country. This is my property. Nobody can come here.' This is a dog's philosophy. Just like the dogs, they have selected one neighborhood, and three, four dogs, they live peacefully. Not peacefully -- they also fight amongst them. But if another dog comes, immediately the four, five dogs will attack: 'Why you have come here? Why you have come here? Gow! Gow! Gow!'

So this kind of so-called immigration department means dog's department. They are maintained for checking the human life. Why there should be immigration? We are all brothers. Why you should stop? It is my father's property. It is your father's property. India was like that. The foreigners took advantage of India's simplicity, magnanimity. They came here, the Muhammadans and the Christians, to exploit it. But India was very much magnanimous. Anyone who comes -- 'Yes, come here. Learn Vedic literature.' The India's philosophy is grham satrum api praptam visvastam akutobhayam. That is India's philosophy. 'Even the enemy comes to your place, you should receive him so nicely that he will forget that he is your enemy.' That is India's philosophy. Grham satrum api praptam. What to speak of friend, even if you get your enemy, you shall receive him. That is India's hospitality."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, November 8, 1976)

"The modern civilization is so foolish. Simply like cats and dogs, they are eating and sleeping and sex life and little defense, that's all. They have no knowledge. So therefore we are preaching Krishna consciousness. Lokasya ajanatah, they do not know what kind of risky life they are conducting. So the Krishna consciousness movement is trying to make them awakened to the consciousness. That is the duty of a sane man or a gentleman. That is the instruction of the Vedas, to awaken people. Uttisthata jagrata prapya varan nibodhata (Katha Upanisad 1.3.14). This Vedic instruction is, to the human society, uttisthata: 'Get up.' Jagrata: 'Don't sleep. Be awakened.' Uttisthata jagrata prapya varan nibodhata. 'You have got a boon. Try to understand it.' Nibodhata. Prapya varan. Varan means benediction. What is that benediction? The benediction is this human form of life. You should understand that you are not cat and dog, simply you shall spoil your life by eating, sleeping and sex and defense. No. This is very valuable life. Labdhva su-durlabham idam bahu-sambhavante (SB 11.9.29). This is the instruction of Srimad-Bhagavatam. 'No, don't spoil it. You have got this boon, this human form of life, after many, many births' evolutionary process. Don't you see so many different varieties of life? And you had to undergo through all these life. Now you have come to human form of life, so you should utilize it.'"

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, June 21, 1975)

Prabhupada: So unless one takes to Krishna consciousness, there is no possibility of being saved. There is example, that grinding mill... You know, grinding mill?

Guest: Yes.

Prabhupada: Yes, and the grains are put within it, and they are all smashed. But one grain who takes shelter of the center, the pivot, it is not smashed. Similarly, the modern civilization is such that everyone will be smashed. And one takes the central point shelter, Krishna consciousness, he will not be. Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati (BG 9.31). So best thing is to take shelter of Krishna and save yourself.

(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Geneva, June 4, 1974)

<< Part 1                                                                                                         Part 3 >>
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