"Social System Created By God"

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.2
Los Angeles, May 16, 1973

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Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Pradyumna: Translation: "At that time all his brothers followed him on beautiful chariots drawn by first-class horses decorated with gold ornaments. With them were Vyasa and rsis like Dhaumya, the learned priest of the Pandavas, and others."

Prabhupada: So one very important word is here: sadasvaih svarna-bhusitaih. Formerly the horses were used in military division. Horses, chariot, elephants and then infantry. So not one or two, but one division of military phalanx required sixty thousand horses. Aksauhini. So many horses, so many elephants, so many chariot, and so many infantry soldiers -- that will compose one division of soldiers. So "so many" means the, I exactly remember now, sixty thousand horses. So all the horses, when they are required for procession or for going to the fight, were well-decorated with golden ornaments, svarna-bhusitaih. So just imagine the, all the saddles of the horse, if they are golden ornamented, how many ounces you will require to decorate the horse. And what is the price of gold now?

Danavir: One hundred and twenty-eight dollars an ounce.

Prabhupada: Just see, at least fifty ounce will be required to decorate one horse. And one ounce is $120. So what is the price of fifty ounce?

Devotees: Five thousand dollars.

Prabhupada: Such sixty-thousand horses, how much it comes? (laughter) Where is that gold? They are very much proud, advancement of material civilization, but instead of gold, we find plastic. (laughter) And the nonsense, they are very much proud of their wealth. Just see. Even they cannot decorate their wives. And woman, they require also ornament. It is psychology. Manu-samhita, it has been recommended that "If you want to keep satisfied your wife, then you must give her good food, good sari and good ornament." This is the system. Therefore during marriage time, the girl is given by the father according to his means, as many saris, nice saris, beautiful costly saris, and as much as possible, golden ornaments. And those who are very rich, they, still in India, they give jewelries, means diamonds, pearls, sapphire, according to means. Those who are richer class, they don't touch gold. They must give jewelry. This is the system.

So this is the opulence. So much gold. When the Kuruksetra Battle was finished, so the treasury was also finished. The treasury of the Pandavas, that was also finished. Because war means expenditure. So many hundred thousands of pounds and dollars required daily to finance the running on of the war. So Yudhisthira Maharaja wanted to... (aside:) You have got that handkerchief?

Pradyumna: No.

Prabhupada: Never mind. ...wanted to perform sacrifice. So sacrifice means he requires money, so much grains, so many ornaments, so much gold and ghee, everything required. To perform sacrifice is not ordinary thing. Millions and millions of dollars required. In the Kali-yuga, because people cannot collect such costly things... Suppose ghee. Tons of ghee was being offered to the fire. Where is that tons of ghee? Not available. Then all utensils made of gold. The altar made of gold. Where is that gold? Therefore the, not many days before, five thousand years, the Indian history, or this world history... Now it is called India, but this whole world is Bharata-varsa.

So Yudhisthira Maharaja asked his brother Dhananjaya, Arjuna, "So bring some money from somewhere. Otherwise how we can perform the sacrifices? We have finished all our treasury." So Arjuna was little perplexed. The elder brother was king, and the younger brothers, they were commanders. So Krsna saw that His friend was little perturbed. So He immediately gave information. This is God, sarva-jna. He knows where to find out. He gave him information that formerly, one king, by the grace of Lord Siva, he got information of a big gold mine, or gold mine mountain. So that king used to manufacture so many things of gold. Especially in sacrifice he used to give immense dishes made of gold to the brahmanas. So at that time, the brahmanas were also not very greedy. So the king, during the sacrifice, gave them unlimited number of dishes of gold, made of gold. So they accepted it, but when they came out of the sacrificial arena, they thought, "Who is going to carry so much load? Throw it." Just see. This is opulence. As nowadays it is our system that the plate on which you eat, that should be thrown away... Formerly, people used to eat on golden plate, at least, the royal family, and after eating they used to throw away. Not for the second use. Just like India still, it is observed, earthen plate used, as here in your country, paper plate, in India, earthen plate -- once used, then it is thrown away. It cannot be used second time. Therefore in rigid Hindu family, they don't use these china clay plates. They don't use. Because it is made of earth. So when it is earthen pot, as soon as you eat, it becomes contaminated. It must be thrown away. You cannot use for the second time. That was...

So this system was formerly even for golden plates. Once used, then it cannot be used second time. It is thrown away. And "thrown away" means some poor man will collect. So there was no question of poverty. The rich men, they eat once and throw away. Their servants or other poor man... Just like these brahmanas, they threw away all these golden plates. Brahmanas were not required golden plate, but they were given in charity: "Brahmanas, you take." They accepted, but they thought it that "It is a load. Why should I carry? Throw it." So there were heaps of golden plate lying near Himalayan mountain. So Krsna was given information, er, Arjuna was given information by Krsna that "You go there and collect those golden plates. Then your purpose will be served." So Arjuna went there and collected and brought it to his brother, Maharaja Yudhisthira, for converting them into money for spending in the sacrifice. So this was the system. Therefore Arjuna's another name is Dhananjaya. Dhananjaya means "one who can conquer over riches." His brother was in need of money, and he brought money. Therefore, from that day, his name was Dhananjaya, "one can conquer over riches."

So actually, human opulence means not these tin cars. Once it is dashed with another car, it is finished, no value. Human opulence means the society must have enough gold, enough jewelry, enough silk, enough grains, enough milk, enough vegetables, like that. That is opulent. That is opulence. Formerly a person was considered rich by two things: dhanyena dhanavan. How much grain stock he has got at his home. A big, big barn, filled with grains. Still in India, if I am going to give my daughter to some family, to see the family's opulence, I go to see the house, and if I see there are many, many barns' stock of grains and many cows, then it is very good. It is opulent. Dhanyena dhanavan, gavyam dhanavan. A man is considered to be rich when he has got enough quantity of grains, enough quantity of, I mean to say, number, enough number of cows. Just like Maharaja, Nanda Maharaja, the foster father of Krsna. He was keeping 900,000 cows. And He was rich man. He was maharaja, king. But see the behavior. His beloved son, Krsna and Balarama, he has entrusted to take care of the calves or cows: "Go in the forest." He is well dressed with ornament, and nice dress, everything. All the cowherds boys, they are very rich. They have got enough grains and enough milk. Naturally they will be rich. But not that the cows and the calves will be taken care of by some hired servant. No. They would take care himself.

That was children's sport, to go to the forest, take the calves and cows and carry some tiffin. Eat there, dance there, play there, and again come in the evening. Then they will take bath and change their dress and take their meals and immediately go to sleep. This was the boy's, children's, engagement. So how they would grow healthy because they go outside and play and work and very happily, they enjoy the company. So there is no question of becoming contaminated. Yamuna-tira-vana-cari. Yamuna-tira, on the bank of the Yamuna... Just like we go to the seaside, the beach, similarly, there is bank of Yamuna, very nice river, and there are trees. So these boys, Krsna and His friends, with their cows they will go and loiter on the bank of the Yamuna and sport and frivolities, everything, so nicely. So there was no question of education at that time. After the child is grown up, healthy, nice, then he goes to school. Otherwise first of all eat sumptuously milk, butter and yogurt, and play sufficiently in open air with friends, take care of the cows. This is labor. But it is sporting, very nice. So these things were taught by Krsna Himself, although He was the son of king. Then when He was also grown-up, His real father took Him charge, Vasudeva. Then He was... As ksatriya... He belonged to the ksatriya family. All other education was given, how to fight, how to rule, everything.

So this ksatriya, this Maharaja Yudhisthira, they also ksatriyas. So when they were going to see Bhismadeva, they were going there in royal style, with chariots, with horse, and decorated with golden ornaments and the brahmanas, Vyasadeva and other. All the ksatriyas, kings, would be always accompanied by hoards of brahmanas. As soon as they required any instruction, immediately consult the brahmanas, and they gave good advice: "Do like this." This is the business of the brahmana. And the kings, they would not do anything without consulting. Don't think that because there was monarchy, they were all autocrat. No. If the brahmanas would not agree, then they won't do. The brahmana's community, all saintly persons and learned scholars, brahmanas... There was a committee, and the king would take their advice how to manipulate the political affairs or administration, and they would consult standard books. Just like nowadays the rascals, every day they are changing some law. Somebody told me, where? In Africa, every week there is change of the cabinet, every week. Means so full of rascals. So one rascal will fight with another rascal. So there is no stability of government. All these rascals, politicians, they are trying to occupy the post: "I shall become president, I shall become secretary, and then I shall exploit the state like anything." This is the motive. Their manifestation, that "I am going to give you heaven. If you select me president, then I shall give you heaven within three minutes." (laughter)

So these promises, they simply promise. Actually, there is nothing. But king was very responsible, as we are discussing. Now, Maharaja Yudhisthira was thinking of the woman: "Now their husbands and their sons or their fathers, so many have died. Now how to take care of them?" He was perplexed. So responsible, for children, for the brahmanas, those who are helpless. Women, children, brahmana and old men and cows, they must be taken first care. That was the king's duty. Children. And who is taking care of the children? Who is taking care of the women? And who is taking care of the brahmanas? There is no brahmana. Even there are some brahmanas, we are creating now, who is taking care of us? It was the duty of the government to see to this Krsna consciousness movement, "Oh, such an important movement is going on? Our first attention should be how this movement can go on." So nice character, so nice behavior, so nice knowledge, so nice consciousness of God, so pure, and the government has no attention. They are thinking it is something sentimental. And all the politicians, going to the brothel and drinking and dancing naked, they are all first-class men. This is the position of the society. No care for the living entities who are very important. Just like in this verse, vipra. Maharaja Yudhisthira is always accompanied by brahmanas. Without brahminical culture, what is the value of the society? There is no value. It is animal society.

Therefore Bhagavad-gita recommends, catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. Here you cannot find all one class of men. That is not possible. There is those rascals who are trying to have a classless society, no class, all one. That is rascaldom. That is not possible. There must be classes. That is scientific. Why? Because this material nature is being conducted under three modes: first class, second class, third class. Goodness, passion and ignorance. So how you can make classless society? There must be divisions. There must be classes, color, colorful. So it has to be scientifically arranged, how all classes can cooperate for one purpose and they develop very nicely in Krsna consciousness. Therefore Krsna says, catur-varnyam maya srstam [Bg. 4.13]. Maya srstam means anything created by God, you cannot nullify it, you cannot reject it. That is not possible. You have to accept it and possibly utilize it. Therefore devotees, they take it for granted, even there is distressed condition of life, they take it that "It is created by God. I am now in distress. It is creation of God. So why shall I hate it? Let me tolerate. Let me undergo this distressed condition of life."

Just like some of you are suffering from cough. Now there has been some hygienic law disregarded. So I have caught cold and cough. So why shall I deride upon it? It must be created either you say by bodily nature or by God. So so long it is there, let me suffer patiently. It has come, it will go. That is the instruction in the Bhagavad-gita: agamapayinah anityah. Distressed condition, or happiness also, so-called happiness... Here there is no happiness. Everything is distressed condition. But we are so fool that we consider distressed condition as happiness. This is called maya, distressed condition as happiness. For example, suppose you have to go to see a friend, and nowadays, friend or anything, not less than ten miles. So you have to go ten miles, and then see your friend, and then do your work. So I am taking the trouble of going ten miles to see a friend or thirty miles to see a medical practitioner, but I am very much proud of my car, that I have got a car. I don't consider that although I have got car, still, I have to waste so much time. I have to take so much trouble. And there is every possibility of accidents. So many calamities are awaiting me. But we think that "Now we have discovered this horseless carriage, we are advanced." Similarly, if you study every item, you will find that although you have created by the modern scientific advancement a little comfort of life, side by side, we have created many discomforts. That we do not find.

That is the ways of this material nature. The ways of material nature is that you cannot remain in comfort. That is not possible. By laws of nature... Tri-tapa-yatana, three kinds of miseries, adhyatmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika, they must be there always. Just like I am your spiritual master. You have kept me very nicely, to your best capacity, but I am coughing. I am coughing. So even if we are situated in one kind of comfortable position, then another uncomfort will come and attack. That is called tri division. Adhyatmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. Or there is no cough, or there is no trouble, but you receive on very unsatisfactory letter from a friend; you become very sorry. This is called adhyatmika, pertaining to the mind, pertaining to the body. Adhyatmika. Adhibhautika: troubles offered by other living entities; and adhidaivika, trouble offered by the higher authorities. Just like excessive heat. You cannot control. Excessive cold.

So in this material world we have to work very hard under these three kinds of miserable conditions of life, and we are actually doing that. Still, we are thinking that we are happy. And after all, after doing this, we have to change this body. That means death. We cannot avoid it. But still, we are thinking that we are happy, and we have no sense to try to understand actually what is the standard of happiness, where that happiness can be had, if it is possible. These things are understood and answered by this Krsna consciousness movement. That is the importance of the Krsna consciousness. All-round. It is not one-sided, that we are thinking of Krsna. Thinking of Krsna means thinking of everything, because Krsna is everything. Without Krsna, there is no other thing. Aham krtsnasya, what is that...? There is that verse? In the Seventh Chapter? Prabhavah pralayas tatha.

Pradyumna: Aham krtsnasya jagatah...

Prabhupada: Ah, prabhavah pralayas tatha. In this world there two things, prabhava and pralaya. Prabhava means generation, generating, and pralaya means annihilation. Two things. Everything, whatever you take, it is generated at a certain point and it will end at a certain point. So Krsna says, aham krtsnasya jagatah prabhavah pralayas tatha. That is the ultimate cause. Janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. We don't take simply generation. Generation, maintenance and annihilation, three things. Just this body is born at a certain date, it remains for a certain period, and then it is annihilated. So everything material means it has a beginning, it is born or it is manufactured at a certain point, it keeps for some time, then it will be destroyed. Therefore the Vedanta-sutra says, janmady asya yatah. Janma-sthiti-pralaya [SB 1.1.1].

So to understand Krsna means to understand everything, how it is generated, how it is maintained, and how it is annihilated. That is full Krsna consciousness.

Thank you very much. (end)
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