Srila Prabhupada Speaks Out


On the United Nations

This conversation between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Mr. P. Sharma, a former United Nations worker, took place in Paris.

1978-03-14Srila Prabhupada: Suppose I ask the United Nations, as an organization, to explain the purpose of this cosmic manifestation. I am created a man, another is created an elephant, and another is created an ant. Why is this? The sun is rising on time, the moon is rising on time, seasons are changing. What is the purpose behind all this?

Mr. Sharma: I think the United Nations would be at a loss to tell you.

Srila Prabhupada: So, people have become very dull in spite of their so-called education.

Mr, Sharma: Oh, yes. Education today is merely book knowledge.

Srila Prabhupada: Such so-called knowledge is described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam as simply a waste of time. Although a person may execute his duties perfectly, if he doesn’t understand the purpose of creation—if he doesn’t awaken his Krsna consciousness—then whatever he has done is simply a waste of time. So our point is that the United Nations is only wasting time.

Even from the practical point of view, they are unable to accomplish anything. The original idea was to stop war. But there have been so many wars, and they cannot stop them. They call themselves the United Nations, but actually they are becoming disunited more and more. According to the Bhagavad-gita, if they actually want peace they must know that Lord Krsna (the Supreme Personality of Godhead) is the supreme enjoyer (bhokta), that He is the supreme proprietor (sarva-loka-mahesvaram), and that He is the friend of everyone (suhrdam sarva-bhutanam). When they know this, Krsna says, then there will be peace. Otherwise, their big conferences in big offices will never be successful.

Mr. Sharma: That means everything belongs to God. That’s the one fact they want to avoid.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, that is their nonsense. The United Nations is simply an association of the cheaters and the cheated. Someone wants to cheat, and someone is being cheated. That is our opinion. So how can an association of cheaters and cheated do any good for human society? They are cheaters. They do not know how to attain peace, but they are trying for peace in their own way. Therefore they are cheaters.

Mr. Sharma: Well, many people will say that the only things that matter are those that can be rationally explained. Anything that is beyond reason…

Srila Prabhupada: But our argument is quite reasonable. Everything in this room is created, is it not?

Mr. Sharma: Yes.

Srila Prabhupada: The table is created, the light is created—everything is created by someone. So how can you deny the fact that someone has created the whole universe? If you say it has come about automatically, that is rascaldom. Someone has created it. But who is that someone? We are not the creators—not the Americans, not the Englishmen. So we can understand that someone else has created this world. And then we have to ask. Who is the proprietor? Shall I be the proprietor or shall the creator be the proprietor?

Mr. Sharma: The creator, of course.

Srila Prabhupada: So why are they claiming, “This is my country”?

Mr. Sharma: Are you saying that the United States, for instance, doesn’t belong to the Americans?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. It doesn’t belong to them. Yet these rascals are claiming, “This is mine. This is my flag.” Therefore, they are all cheaters. And they are combining and trying to cheat others. The Americans are thinking, “How can I cheat the Russians?” And the Russians are thinking, “How can I cheat the Americans?” Is that civilization—to become cheaters and waste time in so-called conferences? Is that civilization?

Mr. Sharma: No, not at all.

Srila Prabhupada: In America they cheated the Red Indians. They got the land, and now they are claiming, “It is mine.” Well, where did you get this land? You cheated the Red Indians, and you claim it is your land. All over the world this is going on. Napoleon thought, “France is mine.” So, France is there, but where is Napoleon? Where is he living now? In France or in hell or in heaven? There are so many places and so many forms of life. In this body, in this life, I may be working as a nationalist—as a Napoleon or as a Gandhi or as someone fighting in the United Nations. But as soon as this body is finished, I’ll get another body. So the whole duration of my previous life is simply wasted.

Mr. Sharma: I see….

Srila Prabhupada: Simply wasted. They are simply wasting time. They don’t have perfect knowledge—simply some Utopian ideas. And they are passing as advanced in civilization. They should know what the purpose of life is—what our relationship is with this cosmic manifestation. There must be a creator. So who is that creator? What is my relationship with Him? But they are neglecting all these things and still passing as world leaders.

Mr. Sharma: That’s the worst kind of government. It seems that their standard is just as you’ve said: every nation for itself.

Srila Prabhupada: But a human being can get out of this illusion. There is sufficient knowledge, especially in the Vedic literature. So why don’t they take advantage of this knowledge and make their lives successful? That is my proposal. We are spreading this Krsna consciousness movement only for this purpose. These people are missing the point and unnecessarily wasting their lives in illusion. So we are trying to save them—that is our Krsna consciousness movement.

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One response to “Srila Prabhupada Speaks Out”

  1. Are you different from the other Back to Godhead website? I send some articles to you guys and recently wrote a new one. Hari bol.

    I find it hard some days to continue existing.
    When I think of how powerless I actually am to stop any slaughter of cows whatsoever, I get very depressed.
    This world is certainly like a dream, but despite all unreality we can be sure that here in this place Karma ultimately reigns Supreme. That being said, it brings me no actual relief to understand that those cows being slaughtered en masse today are the very future births of those living entities consuming them. In fact, this thinking has only made reality appear to me all the more hellish and Karma seems all the more inescapable. At times, this very real slaughter of cows makes me question my relationship with the Creator and what that Great Being is ultimately trying to teach me through my experiences in this nightmarish fun house.

    This slaughter of cows must be stopped at all cost.
    We actually have information according to Vedic authorities that this current, degraded age where all good things are diminished (Kali Yuga) began with the attempted slaughter of a single cow in the Kingdom of Maharaj Pariksit over 5000 years ago.
    In that time great rulers had the authority and the dignity to instantly cut down any such offenders as those ignoble enough to kill our Mother Cow.
    Without taking recourse of violence ourselves our only option lies in presenting a unified spiritual voice and making our movement a very palpable force upon the cultural landscape.
    It is a scientific fact that everything about the cow is sacred. Indeed, it is a fact that even the air around a cow, such as that tossed up by her tail, has a purificatory effect upon the environment. Again, cow stool and urine are both ancient remedies for a wide variety of ailments. Today both are utilized by big pharmaceutical companies to produce highly effective medicines.
    In truth, the cow is non-different from the Holy Ganges Herself. Every year new reports are made that the Ganges River is being made toxic or unclean, but still millions of Indians take bath in Her waters daily. Similarly, millions of cows are currently receiving inadequate nutrition and being abused in milk productions throughout the country. Yet still, these cows willingly yield their milk for the nutrition and welfare of us all, and when that milk is packaged and sold it still nourishes those who drink it.
    And indeed, even after their milk has dried up, and their stewards do sell them unto slaughter, these cows still nourish hundreds of millions through their very life-blood. This is all true.
    Knowing that cows are causeless mercy incarnate, shall we continue taking advantage of them?
    Or shall we bend an ear to righteousness and finally pay heed to that olde commandment: thou shalt not kill?
    Introducing cows to school children through some kind of “Urban Cow” awareness campaigns may prove effective. In fact, through the government we may even be able to find support for such ventures through agricultural-related grants.
    Other ventures may prove profitable, but to produce any substantial change all efforts will have to focus on affecting a transformation in the collective consciousness.
    The quickest and most sublime method for producing radical change in social consciousness is namely through the public broadcasting of the transcendental vibration:
    Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
    Through this process of chanting the living entities are taken out of control by their inferior natures and placed in the state of pure awareness of their spiritual nature. After realizing their spiritual nature, the living entity that takes to this process of awakening their higher consciousness ultimately achieves the desired result: Krsna consciousness.
    When Krsna consciousness takes a hold over the minds of the general public, instantly we will see a change in our society.
    In a piece of popular writing known as “The Peace Formula” my beloved Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada, speaks, “Take to this simple process of chanting as above mentioned, realize your factual position by reading the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and reestablish your lost relationship with Krishna, God. Peace and prosperity will be the immediate worldwide result.”
    With a promise like that, it is hard to argue for any other solution to the world’s problems. We can continue voting democrat or pleading with cow killers to try “going vegan” for a week, but ultimately these labors will prove fruitless if the consciousness in this country simply doesn’t change.
    This change in consciousness must come soon, if not for the sake of this nation’s cows, for the sake of those who care for them, that they may find some kind of balm in Gilead.
    “One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me – such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me. “ (BG Ch. 12. 13-14)

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