Quotes from Çréla Prabhupäda
The following are but a few selected quotes from Çréla Prabhupäda. There are many references one can find in both the written and spoken words of Çréla Prabhupäda that emphasize the great importance and urgency of introducing the scientific system of varëäçrama-dharma. These by no means cover all of them. The serious seekers are invited to take up further readings.
A. From Çrémad-Bhägavatam
I am uncivilized and sinful due to my neglect of brahminical culture, God consciousness and cow protection. Therefore I wish that my kingdom, strength and riches burn up immediately by the fire of the brähmaëa's wrath so that in the future I may not be guided by such inauspicious attitudes.
Progressive human civilization is based on brahminical culture, God consciousness and protection of cows. All economic development of the state by trade, commerce, agriculture and industries must be fully utilized in relation to the above principles; otherwise all so-called economic development becomes a source of degradation. Cow protection means feeding the brahminical culture, which leads towards God consciousness, and thus perfection of human civilization is achieved. The Age of Kali aims at killing the higher principles of life, and although Mahäräja Parékñit strongly resisted the domination of the personality of Kali within the world, the influence of the Age of Kali came at an opportune moment, and even a strong king like Mahäräja Parékñit was induced to disregard the brahminical culture due to a slight provocation of hunger and thirst. Mahäräja Parékñit lamented the accidental incident, and he desired that all his kingdom, strength and accumulation of wealth would be burned up for not being engaged in brahminical culture, etc.
Where wealth and strength are not engaged in the advancement of brahminical culture, God consciousness and cow protection, the state and home are surely doomed by Providence. If we want peace and prosperity in the world, we should take lessons from this verse; every state and every home must endeavor to advance the cause of brahminical culture for self-purification, God consciousness for self-realization and cow protection for getting sufficient milk and the best food to continue a perfect civilization.
[Note: Italics and Bold Letters in this Section are those of the Author]
While the King was thus repenting, he received news of his imminent death, which would be due to the bite of a snake-bird, occasioned by the curse spoken by the sage’s son. The King accepted this as good news, for it would be the cause of his indifference toward worldly things.
The life of a human being is a chance to prepare oneself to go back to Godhead, or to get rid of the material existence, the repetition of birth and death. Thus in the system of varëäçrama-dharma every man and woman is trained for this purpose. In other words, the system of varëäçrama-dharma is known also as sanätana-dharma, or the eternal occupation. The system of varëäçrama-dharma prepares a man for going back to Godhead, and thus a householder is ordered to go to the forest as vänaprastha to acquire complete knowledge and then to take sannyäsa prior to his inevitable death. Parékñit Mahäräja was fortunate to get a seven-day notice to meet his inevitable death. But for the common man there is no definite notice, although death is inevitable for all. Foolish men forget this sure fact of death and neglect the duty of preparing themselves for going back to Godhead. They spoil their lives in animal propensities to eat, drink, be merry and enjoy. Such an irresponsible life is adopted by the people in the Age of Kali because of a sinful desire to condemn brahminical culture, God consciousness and cow protection, for which the state is responsible. The state must employ revenue to advance these three items and thus educate the populace to prepare for death. The state which does so is the real welfare state. The state of India should better follow the examples of Mahäräja Parékñit, the ideal executive head, than to imitate other materialistic states which have no idea of the kingdom of Godhead, the ultimate goal of human life. Deterioration of the ideals of Indian civilization has brought about the deterioration of civic life, not only in India but also abroad.
Çré Çukadeva Gosvämé said: O King, for the sake of protecting the cows, brähmaëas, demigods, devotees, the Vedic literature, religious principles, and principles to fulfill the purpose of life, the Supreme Personality of Godhead accepts the forms of incarnations.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead generally appears in various types of incarnations to give protection to the cows and brähmaëas. The Lord is described as go-brähmaëa-hitäya ca; in other words, He is always eager to benefit the cows and brähmaëas. When Lord Kåñëa appeared, He purposefully became a cowherd boy and showed personally how to give protection to the cows and calves. Similarly, He showed respect to Sudämä Vipra, a real brähmaëa. From the Lord's personal activities, human society should learn how to give protection specifically to the brähmaëas and cows. Then the protection of religious principles, fulfillment of the aim of life and protection of Vedic knowledge can be achieved. Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained; and without brahminical culture, the aim of life cannot be fulfilled. The Lord, therefore, is described as go-brähmaëa-hitäya because His incarnation is only for the protection of the cows and brähmaëas. Unfortunately, because in Kali-yuga there is no protection of the cows and brahminical culture, everything is in a precarious position. If human society wants to be exalted, the leaders of society must follow the instructions of Bhagavad-gétä and give protection to the cows, the brähmaëas and brahminical culture.
B. From Lectures