Srila Prabhupada’s Room Conversation with the Mayor of Evanston, July 4, 1975, Chicago – summarized and narrated by Dharmavira das
This is a conversation between His divine grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and the mayor of Illionis, Chicago, recorded on July 4 1975.
The mayor said: “There is a serious crime problem here in the United states.”
Srila Prabhupada replied that this is not a problem. There is disease and there is remedy. Also as much as the disease is chronic, the remedy is also costly.
The problem is that our education system does not educate first class men.
The technical knowledge which we call information technology is fourth class education. This is fourth class education because we have to seek employment in some industry and anyone who seeks employment is fourth class. This is shudra class. The other three classes are self-employed.
To have a nice motor-car or very big buildings and very nice highways is very nice but this is not the aim of life.
People are missing the aim of life.
People are thinking that being rich, famous, educated and very beautiful is the aim of life.
The aim of life is to realize God. They are missing the aim of life.
In other species of life there is no question of God realisation.
In civilized human life there is religion and it does not matter whether one is a Christian, Hindu, muslim or buddhist. These are the principal religions of the world.
Any civilized man must be inquisitive to know what is the orginal source of everything.
This philosophy is called the Brahma sutra or Vedanta sutra.
‘Veda’ means knowledge and ‘anta’ means end of knowledge. In materialistic way of knowledge they did not find any end and they accept this as progress. But one must come to the end of the knowledge, what is the ultimate knowledge. Generally they are missing what is the ultimate knowledge. We are searching after knowledge in so many ways, but what is the ultimate knowledge? The end of knowledge is to know the orginal source of everything. ‘athāto brahma jijñāsā’–spiritual inquiry.
Human inquisitiveness should be up to that point.
Western society is lacking in this knowledge; they think that this life of 50 to 100 years is all.
This is the first instruction in the Bhagavad gita: this body is not everything, we have to accept another body after death.
As we are accepting different bodies in this span of life from childhood to boyhood to youth to old age, similarly, after this body is dead and no longer useful I have to accept another body and a new chapter of life begins.
I create my next body by my activities in this life.
Just like if I infect some disease, I am creating that disease.
If I infect small pox then I must develop that disease.
But one must come to the point of ultimate knowledge. This is missing.
In the material world there is three qualities, namely goodness, passion and ignorance.
We develop our bodies by the association that we keep.
This increase in crime means they are not getting good association.
By getting good association one gets free from all bad habits.
Bad character is judged on the grounds of illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and meat-eating.
Jesus Christ said “Thou shall not kill”, yet they are killing the innocent animals.
The Krishna conscious society is trying to create first class men. First class men does not mean well dressed, rich or well educated.
First class persons are the brahmanas, described in the Bhagavad gita.
The qualities of the brahmanas are:
Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness. These are the qualities of the persons in the mode of goodness.
The second class is the Kshatriyas. Their qualities are:
Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, genorisity and leadership. These are the qualities of people in the mode of passion.
The third class or the third division are the vaisyas. Their qualities are:
Farming, cow protection and business. They are in the mixed modes of passion and ignorance.
The fourth division are the shudras. They are to serve the other divisions by their labour and they are in the mode of ignorance.
At the present moment people are being trained to serve under someone and this is the shudra class, the fourth division.
When someone has information technology qualification, though it is a big qualification, unless he gets a job under some big establishment, he can not live independently.
The first, second and third divisions of society can live independently.
At the present moment we are creating only the fourth division who, because they are in the mode of ignorance, are prone to be degraded. They become woman hunters, drunkards and gamblers.
Try to create first and second division instead of only creating the fourth division.
We need first class men who by their example can give good advise to the ruling class.
The second class men who are called the Kshatriyas are very good administrators and politicians and they are guided by the brahmanas.
It is not expected that everyone should become brahmana or Kshatriya. Shudra class is also required.
Thank you very much!