by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Suta Gosvāmī said: After reaching that place, Maharaja Pariksit observed that a lower-caste sudra, dressed like a king, was beating a cow and a bull with a club, as if they had no owner.
The principal sign of the age of Kali Yuga is that lower-caste śūdras, i.e., men without brahminical culture and spiritual initiation, will be dressed like administrators or kings, and the principal business of such non-ksatriya rulers will be to kill the innocent animals, especially the cows and the bulls, who shall be unprotected by their masters, the bona fide vaiśyas, the mercantile community. In the Bhagavad-gita (18.44), it is said that the vaiśyas are meant to deal in agriculture, cow protection and trade. In the age of Kali, the degraded vaiśyas, the mercantile men, are engaged in supplying cows to slaughterhouses. The kṣatriyas are meant to protect the citizens of the state, whereas the vaiśyas are meant to protect the cows and bulls and utilize them to produce grains and milk. The cow is meant to deliver milk, and the bull is meant to produce grains. But in the age of Kali, the sudra class of men are in the posts of administrators, and the cows and bulls, or the mothers and the fathers, unprotected by the vaiśyas, are subjected to the slaughterhouses organized by the sudra administrators.
Filed under: Cow Protection
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.10.4
by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada
During the reign of Maharaja Yudhisthira, the clouds showered all the water that people needed, and the earth produced all the necessities of man in profusion. Due to its fatty milk bag and cheerful attitude, the cow used to moisten the grazing ground with milk.
The basic principle of economic development is centered on land and cows. The necessities of human society are food grains, fruits, milk, minerals, clothing, wood, etc. One requires all these items to fulfill the material needs of the body. Certainly one does not require flesh and fish or iron tools and machinery. During the regime ofMaharaja Yudhisthira , all over the world there were regulated rainfalls. Rainfalls are not in the control of the human being. The heavenly King Indradeva is the controller of rains, and he is the servant of the Lord. When the Lord is obeyed by the king and the people under the king’s administration, there are regulated rains from the horizon, and these rains are the causes of all varieties of production on the land. Not only do regulated rains help ample production of grains and fruits, but when they combine with astronomical influences there is ample production of valuable stones and pearls. Grains and vegetables can sumptuously feed a man and animals, and a fatty cow delivers enough milk to supply a man sumptuously with vigor and vitality. If there is enough milk, enough grains, enough fruit, enough cotton, enough silk and enough jewels, then why do the people need cinemas, houses of prostitution, slaughterhouses, etc.? What is the need of an artificial luxurious life of cinema, cars, radio, flesh and hotels? Has this civilization produced anything but quarreling individually and nationally? Has this civilization enhanced the cause of equality and fraternity by sending thousands of men into a hellish factory and the war fields at the whims of a particular man?
It is said here that the cows used to moisten the pasturing land with milk because their milk bags were fatty and the animals were joyful. Do they not require, therefore, proper protection for a joyful life by being fed with a sufficient quantity of grass in the field? Why should men kill cows for their selfish purposes? Why should man not be satisfied with grains, fruits and milk, which, combined together, can produce hundreds and thousands of palatable dishes. Why are there slaughterhouses all over the world to kill innocent animals? Mahārāja Parīksit, grandson of Maharaja Yudhisthira, while touring his vast kingdom, saw a black man attempting to kill a cow. The King at once arrested the butcher and chastised him sufficiently. Should not a king or executive head protect the lives of the poor animals who are unable to defend themselves? Is this humanity? Are not the animals of a country citizens also? Then why are they allowed to be butchered in organized slaughterhouses? Are these the signs of equality, fraternity and nonviolence?
Therefore, in contrast with the modern, advanced, civilized form of government, an autocracy like Maharaja Yudhisthira’s is by far superior to a so-called democracy in which animals are killed and a man less than an animal is allowed to cast votes for another less-than-animal man.
We are all creatures of material nature. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that the Lord Himself is the seed-giving father and material nature is the mother of all living beings in all shapes. Thus mother material nature has enough foodstuff both for animals and for men, by the grace of the Father Almighty,Sri Krishna . The human being is the elder brother of all other living beings. He is endowed with intelligence more powerful than animals for realizing the course of nature and the indications of the Almighty Father. Human civilizations should depend on the production of material nature without artificially attempting economic development to turn the world into a chaos of artificial greed and power only for the purpose of artificial luxuries and sense gratification. This is but the life of dogs and hogs.
Filed under: Cow Protection
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.2.29
TRANSLATION by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
While herding the very beautiful bulls, the Lord, who was the reservoir of all opulence and fortune, used to blow His flute, and thus He enlivened His faithful followers, thecowherd boys.
As He grew to six and seven years old, the Lord was given charge of looking after the cows and bulls in the grazing grounds. He was the son of a well-to-do landholder who owned hundreds and thousands of cows, and according to Vedic economics, one is considered to be a rich man by the strength of his store of grains and cows. With only these two things, cows and grain, humanity can solve its eating problem. Human society needs only sufficient grain and sufficient cows to solve its economic problems. All other things but these two are artificial necessities created by man to kill his valuable life at the human level and waste his time in things which are not needed. Lord Krishna, as the teacher of human society, personally showed by His acts that the mercantile community, or the vaiśyas, should herd cows and bulls and thus give protection to the valuable animals. According to smrti regulation, the cow is the mother and the bull the father of the human being. The cow is the mother becaus just as one sucks the breast of one’s mother, human society takes cow’s milk. Similarly, the bull is the father of human society because the father earns for the children just as the bull tills the ground to produce food grains. Human society will kill its spirit of life by killing the father and the mother. It is mentioned herein that the beautiful cows and bulls were of various checkered colors — red, black, green, yellow, ash, etc. And because of their colors and healthy smiling features, the atmosphere was enlivening.
Over and above all, the Lord used to play His celebrated flute. The sound vibrated by His flute would give His friends such transcendental pleasure that they would forget all the talks of the brahmananda which is so praised by the impersonalists. These cowherd boys, as will be explained by Shukadeva Gosvāmī, were living entities who had accumulated heaps of pious acts and thus were enjoying with the Lord in person and were hearing His transcendental flute. The Brahma–saḿhitā (5.30) confirms the Lord’s blowing His transcendental flute.
Brahmājī said, “I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who plays on His transcendental flute. His eyes are like lotus flowers, He is decorated with peacock plumes, and His bodily color resembles a fresh black cloud although His bodily features are more beautiful than millions of cupids.” These are the special features of the Lord.
Filed under: Vedic Ecology
by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yajna [sacrifice], and yajna is born of prescribed duties.
Srila Baladeva Vidyābhūsana, a great commentator on the Bhagavad-gita, writes as follows: ye indrādy-ańgatayāvasthitaḿ yajñaḿ sarveśvaraḿ visnum abhyarcya tac-chesam aśnanti tena tad deha-yātrāḿ sampādayanti, te santah sarveśvarasya yajña-purusasya bhaktāh sarva-kilbisair anādi-kāla-vivrddhair ātmānubhava-prati bandhakair nikhilaih pāpair vimucyante. The Supreme Lord, who is known as the yajna-purusa, or the personal beneficiary of all sacrifices, is the master of all the demigods, who serve Him as the different limbs of the body serve the whole. Demigods like Indra, Candra and Varuna are appointed officers who manage material affairs, and the Vedas direct sacrifices to satisfy these demigods so that they may be pleased to supply air, light and water sufficiently to produce food grains. When Lord Krishna is worshiped, the demigods, who are different limbs of the Lord, are also automatically worshiped; therefore there is no separate need to worship the demigods. For this reason, the devotees of the Lord, who are in Krishna consciousness, offer food to Krishna and then eat — a process which nourishes the body spiritually. By such action not only are past sinful reactions in the body vanquished, but the body becomes immunized to all contamination of material nature. When there is an epidemic disease, an antiseptic vaccine protects a person from the attack of such an epidemic. Similarly, food offered to Lord Visnu and then taken by us makes us sufficiently resistant to material affection, and one who is accustomed to this practice is called a devotee of the Lord. Therefore, a person in Krishna consciousness, who eats only food offered to Krishna, can counteract all reactions of past material infections, which are impediments to the progress of self-realization. On the other hand, one who does not do so continues to increase the volume of sinful action, and this prepares the next body to resemble hogs and dogs, to suffer the resultant reactions of all sins. The material world is full of contaminations, and one who is immunized by accepting prasadam of the Lord (food offered to Visnu) is saved from the attack, whereas one who does not do so becomes subjected to contamination.
Food grains or vegetables are factually eatables. The human being eats different kinds of food grains, vegetables, fruits, etc., and the animals eat the refuse of the food grains and vegetables, grass, plants, etc. Human beings who are accustomed to eating meat and flesh must also depend on the production of vegetation in order to eat the animals. Therefore, ultimately, we have to depend on the production of the field and not on the production of big factories. The field production is due to sufficient rain from the sky, and such rains are controlled by demigods like In, sun, moon, etc., and they are all servants of the Lord. The Lord can be satisfied by sacrifices; therefore, one who cannot perform them will find himself in scarcity — that is the law of nature. Yajna, specifically the sankirtana-yajna prescribed for this age, must therefore be performed to save us at least from scarcity of food supply.
Filed under: Uncategorized
“At the heart of the Mahabarata is the dialogue called the Bhagavad Gita, or “Song of God,” in which Krishna teaches his warrior friend Arjuna. The soldier faces an awful dilemma; whether or not to fight against his own family and friends in a battle to reclaim his kingdom. He turns to Krishna and says: “I’m confused and frightened. Please advise me.”
Arjuna’s position has parallels with today’s environmental crisis. We have developed a civilization based on the pursuit of material pleasure. Nature’s way is pleasure that is hard to come by, while suffering is plentiful: we are born to experience birth, disease, old age and death. Yet the modern hope is that the further we can roll back these obstacles, the closer we will come to the peace and happiness we yearn for. We are doing our best to overcome nature, which means to consume more and pay less.”
–Vedic Ecology by Ranchor Prime