The Dangers of Modern Civilization, Part 1
(Srila Prabhupada walking alone in the streets of New York City, 1966)

"I can understand your concern about the deterioration of the civilization. Yes, the city will be more dangerous place as Kali-yuga advances. It will be very deteriorating. The modern civilization is so corrupt and as sinful activities are more and more committed, the people will be forced to face more troubles, by nature's order. Our business, however, is simply to take shelter of the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra and pray to the Holy Name to give us protection. We shall be unaffected by all that will happen. Krsna will provide us with working facilities. Be assured of this, that the devotees will be protected by the Holy Name. Others will have to suffer in the days that are coming."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, July 23, 1973)

"The atom bomb is ready. You have got; I have got. I drop on you, and you drop on me. Both of us, we finished. This is going to be happening. People are so degraded. So unless one takes to Krishna consciousness, there is no possibility of being saved."

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

"The modern civilization is like that. It is a killing civilization, atma-ha. Atma-hano janah. All these people are killing themselves because they do not know what is life; simply like animal or living. The animal does not know what is life, but he is under the laws of nature, evolution, going on. But when you get this human form of life, there is responsibility. You have to chalk out. Here is a chance you can become Krishna conscious and make your life solve all problems. If not, then again go to the cycle of birth and death again, 8,400,000. It will take many, many millions of years again to come back."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, April 28, 1970)

"The modern civilization is defective. They do not know how to maintain society. There is therefore no peace. Especially there is want of brain. Crazy. Just like throughout the whole body, the head is the most important part of the body. If you cut your hands, you can live, but if you cut your head, you cannot live. Then whole thing is gone. Similarly, at the present moment the society is headless, a dead body, or head cracked, crazy. There is head, nonsense head. Nonsense head. What is the use of nonsense head? Therefore there is a great necessity of creating a class who will act as brain and head. That is Krishna conscious movement."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, San Francisco, July 4, 1970)

"So the modern civilization is quite different from the Vedic civilization. Vedic civilization means to make a solution of this problem: stop this process of birth, death, old age and disease. That is Vedic civilization. That is human civilization. And to become better hog, nicely dressed hog, that is not Vedic civilization. That is hog civilization."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Hyderabad, April 14, 1975)

"So this modern civilization is big dog civilization, that's all. That is not human civilization. Human civilization means that he must be interested to know Krishna and God. That is human civilization."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Chicago, July 5, 1974)

"Unfortunately, the modern civilization is keeping people in so darkness that they have no idea that there is a life after death. Just like animal, 'Let us enjoy -- beg, borrow, steal and enjoy.' No. That is not good. Prahlada Maharaja said, 'No, it is not good.' Prahlada Maharaja... Everyone will say, those who are in knowledge. Yato atmano ayam, klesada (SB 5.5.4). You can do whatever you like, but you'll get a body which may be more troublesome than the present body. In the present body we have got so many troubles -- adhyatmika, adhidaivika -- and if we do not work properly, then we shall get another body, more troublesome. More troublesome."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New Vrindavan, June 26, 1976)

"The mistake of modern civilization is that we are, I mean to say, bringing up spoiled children. So when they are grown up, if they become hippies or communists, it is not their fault. It is the fault of the guardians. It is the fault of the guardians. When the people become just something against the social convention, it is not the fault of the youngsters, but it is the fault of the education system, it is the fault of the parents, it is fault of the teachers. Because they are not teaching. Prahlada Maharaja says that from the very childhood one should be taught. I have seen in India. The Muhammadans, they are very much particular about it. The small children, within ten years, they are... From the very beginning they are taught Koran in the mosques. I have seen. In my Delhi headquarter, it is just behind the Jama Musjid. You have heard the name of Jama Musjid. That is the greatest mosque in the world. Many foreigners go to see it. It was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan, say, about three hundred years or little more than that. So the Muhammadans, they are very particular to teach the Koran from the very beginning. That's a very nice system. Either you teach Koran or you, Koran, Bible, or you teach Bhagavad-gita, it doesn't matter. One should have the idea of God consciousness. Then he can develop. So this opportunity should be offered to the children. If not, they are not real guardians, real parents, or real teachers."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Montreal, June 12, 1968)

"So this civilization, modern civilization, is just like madman civilization. They have no knowledge of past life, neither they are interested in the future life. Nunam pramattah kurute vikarma (SB 5.5.4). And fully engaged in sinful activities, because they have no knowledge of the past life. Just like a dog. Why he has become dog, that he does not know, and what he is going to have next? So a dog might have been in his past life the prime minister, but when he gets the dog's life, he forgets. That is also another influence of maya."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New Orleans, August 1, 1975)

"The modern civilization is less than animal. Animal does not kill its own son. The human being is killing his own son. So this is the position. And this is not at all good. It is suffering. We are purchasing suffering more and more. The laws of God, or laws of nature, they are very strict. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya (BG 7.14). You cannot avoid the stringent laws of the material nature. If you violate, then you will suffer. If you follow, then you will be elevated."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Dallas, July 29, 1975)

"Any moment everything will be crushed. This is called maya-sukha. And still they are wasting time that for maya-sukhaya, illusion. They'll not be happy. Any moment everything can be crushed, and they are busy. Therefore this modern civilization is most dangerous civilization, soul-killing civilization. The human being got the chance of understanding God, but they are being refused by the authorities to understand God. Rather, if somebody wants to understand, he is checked, he is harassed by the name of brainwashing and mind control. This is Kali-yuga."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, December 28, 1976)

"Human civilization means not to drag somebody who is already in the sattva-guna or in the family of sattva-guna, to drag him down to the tamo-guna. The modern civilization is like that. The allurement of material civilization is so strong and so bad that those who are by pious activities born in brahmana family, they are being dragged to the tamo-guna behavior like sudras. They are learning how to drink, how to eat meat, how to have illicit sex. These are the symptoms of tamo-guna, lowest type of tamo-guna."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, October 28, 1976)

"The modern civilization is simply teaching people how to enjoy life by sense gratification. Especially in the Western countries, so many things. Even for shaving there is machine. Means they do not want to ply the razor even. Formerly, safety razor; formerly, there was hollow-ground razor. Now simply you take the machine. Not to move the hand even. You see? This is advancement of civilization."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, November 20, 1974)

"Yes there was all darkness in New York on the 10th instant and it was not a happy incident. I learn that many people remained in the elevators and in the subway trains for more than seven to eight hours in darkness. I do not read newspapers but there must have been some mishaps also which we do not know. That is the way of material civilisation too much depending on machine. At any time the whole thing may collapse and therefore we may not be self complacent depending so much on artificial life. The modern life of civilisation depends wholly on electricity and petrol and both of them are artificial for man."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Sally Agarwal, November 13, 1965)

"The more we become animal, we cannot understand God.
So our modern civilization is to make the people animal. That is advancement of civilization. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca samanyam etat pasubhih naranam (Hitopadesa 25). The modern civilization is how we can eat very nicely, how we can sleep nicely, how we can have sexual intercourse nicely, how we can defend nicely. Only these four principles are being taught. They have no idea what is soul, what is God, what is the relationship with the soul. So this is, this type of civilization is increasing.

So just imagine how much it will be increased after four hundred thousands of years. The Kali-yuga has begun only five thousand years. Within this five thousand years, we have so much degraded, illusioned by the maya as advancement of civilization.
This is maya. So the more days go, we shall be more illusioned. So there will be no capacity to understand about God. At that time, God will come to destroy all this population by cutting their throat. That is Kalki-avatara."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Hyderabad, November 29, 1972)

"At least, ten percent of the population become Krishna consciousness -- there is guarantee, peace in the world. Because ekas candra... We do not require many moons in the sky. Only one moon is sufficient to drive away the darkness. Varam eka guni putra na ca murkha-satair api. Canakya Pandita says, 'It is better to have a qualified son than to have hundreds of fools.' So the modern civilization is going on in that way, godless civilization. If some percentage of the civilized human beings become Krishna conscious, that will bring forth peace. Otherwise it is not possible. It is therefore necessity."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New York, November 26, 1966)

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