you keep yourself ideal character that people can see that "Here is an
ideal group of men." Otherwise, in politics... They
are feeling the necessity of an honest leader, but they are themselves
dishonest, they people. So when you point out that
"This leader is dishonest," they do not very much appreciate.
- March 11, 2007 - RON FOURNIER and TREVOR TOMPSONPoll: Character Trumps Policy for Voters A
new Associated Press-Ipsos poll says 55 percent of those surveyed
consider honesty, integrity and other values of character the most
important qualities they look for in a presidential candidate.
Just one-third look first to candidates' stances on issues; even fewer
focus foremost on leadership traits, experience or intelligence.
...The findings are consistent with an AP-Ipsos poll from September
2004, when 38 percent of voters chose honesty as the most important
quality when picking a president. That was more than any other factor.
At the time of that survey, a majority of voters found Bush to be
honest.go to story
must perfect our life. That is the duty of every individual. Be
perfect. So you be perfect. You be perfect. You be perfect. Then you
have done everything you can to help the human society, because those
who know you, they will follow. Those who don’t want to follow, no one
can help them. This is the process of making a society. If we want to
improve the society, then we must improve ourselves. When we have
improved ourselves, then those who live in our orbit will
improve—children, wife, relatives, friends, countrymen. more
Devotee: I just saw... Maybe you knew the
latest headlines in the newspapers today were "President Nixon is found
Prabhupada: Oh, accha?
Devotee: They said he was
Prabhupada: In the court?
Devotee: Yes. Because, you
knew about the Watergate case. He was caught...
Yogesvara: Prabhupada knows
the story. He knows the incident. He was found innocent by who? By
Devotee: Yes, by the whole
government. He had done some cheating and campaign making secret tape
recordings against the other party.
Prabhupada: He did? And still
he is innocent?
Devotee: Yes. He paid so many
millions, thousands and thousands of dollars. His party, the Republican
Party, they put microphones and everything in the convention of the
democrats and had spies and everything in order that he could find out
their tricks. He had paid all these men and there were all fired.
Prabhupada: So that is not
bad because in politics you have to do that. Everyone does so. What is
Devotee: But only he got
caught. And all of his men quit.
Prabhupada: No, no, suppose
you are my rival. So I wanted to know your secrecies. So I make some
mechanical arrangement. That is not fault. That is not... Everyone does
so. Why do you expect that he will not do that? He must do that. If you
are my rival or enemy, to know your secrecy, I must endeavor to do
everything. As you are doing, so I am.
Devotee: They were bribing
men. They had paid them money and everything to do these things.
Prabhupada: Yes. So bribing
men, everywhere it is going on.
Devotee: According to the
American government it is illegal to... Each person has his own plans.
And it is illegal to find out the other's. But now they said he is
Prabhupada: Court says.
Devotee: The United States
government. They had a big trial and everything. So they found tapes
and everything, but there was some missing tapes. They could not
directly pin him for the whole thing. He said, "I didn't know anything
about it." He says, "My men were just doing it. I never told them to do
it. They did it on their own, for me. They liked me so much, they were
just doing it. I never paid them."
Yogesvara: Isn't the kshatriya
qualities that he is to be trustworthy?
Prabhupada: No. When there is
political game, everyone does everything to gain his victory. In
politics, these things are allowed. Just like killing, fighting, kshatriya's
fighting. That killing is allowed. But killing is not allowed
generally. Krishna has killed so many. If you take from moral point of
view, He's sometimes immoral. He has killed His maternal uncle, Kamsa,
and Shishupala, his cousin brother. And Balarama killed Rukma. Once He
saved him, and another time, that Aniruddha's marriage, or something
like that... Balarama killed Rukma, the brother of Rukmini. They were
family relatives. But there was some misunderstanding in chess playing
that other party, Rukma, he was cheating by tricks. The Balarama became
so angry, they killed him. So in politics amongst the kshatriyas,
these things are not uncommon.
Devotee: But isn't that not
good because the politicians nowadays, when they are running their
campaign, they say so many lies and everything to the public, that
"When I am elected I will do this and I will do that," and they do so
many... They pay off so many people in order that they can become
elected. So always the good persons are... I guess they also have to
cheat in order to get in position, but usually the...
Prabhupada: Therefore we have
stopped our political activities. It is not good. It will be hampering
to our spiritual understanding.
Devotee: Because we will also
have to do that.
Prabhupada: If you want to
dance, you cannot be shy. There is a Bengali proverb, nate vase
gunthana tana. You understand Bengali? No. That, "When you are
going to dance... A girl, or a lady is supposed to dance in the
platform, in the stage, and when she came, she saw thousands of people.
Then she drew her veil, what is called, gunthana, became little
ashamed. So you are going to dance. What is the use of veiling
yourself?" So similarly, when one takes part in politics, if you don't
take all the tactics of politics, then you cannot gain ground.
Devotee: But more and more
the people, especially in America, they are seeing how these
politicians are cheating. Because every year, in every campaign, the
same politician is saying, "I will do this, I will do that," and when
he gets into office, he never does anything. But maybe now this time,
when our Krishna conscious devotees are running and they are showing
the people what rascals... Just like Balavanta on TV, he was saying
"How can these people be leader, when they are themselves permitting
slaughter, drinking, smoking, having illicit sex life."
Prabhupada: That is a fact.
That is a fact. But why the leader? The public also drinks. They also
encourage slaughterhouse. So if you say to the public that they cannot
be leader, then there is no leader. They cannot find out any leader.
The public will understand that "I also eat meat, I also drink, do the
same thing. Why the leader should be something, saintly person? After
all, he is our leader. So we are of the same character. So why the
leader should be something different?" They cannot understand it.
Devotee: Therefore we must
Prabhupada: Yes. Suppose I am
thief and somebody accuses you that "He is a thief." So I don't take it
seriously because I know, "I am also thief." Means these appeal, that
does not appeal because "It is folly to be wise where ignorance is
bliss." If everyone is thief, if you point out somebody that "He is
thief, he cannot be trusted," then he knows that "I am also thief. It
is not a big problem. I am also thief." Unless the whole public is
sinless, he cannot appreciate a sinless leader. Chare chare
mastado bhai. This is natural. If I am thief, so what is the use
of accusing you by other, "He is also thief." You'll take that "We all
are thieves, all cousin brothers; so why this man should be only
Pusta Krsna: Is it not a
vicious circle, though? Without a pure leader, they cannot be pure
Prabhupada: But they cannot
understand. The vicious circle, they will not be able to understand.
Because he is also vicious.
Devotee: Therefore just like
Krishna during the battle of Kurukshetra, he told Arjuna to do so many
things. He told Yudhishthira to lie. When he said, "Ashvatthama has
been killed," he said, "Ashvatthama, the elephant," ... he said the
Prabhupada: Yes, that was a
Devotee: And also when
Karna... Arjuna killed Karna when he was off his chariot.
Prabhupada: The difficulty
is, "It is folly to be wise where ignorance is bliss." Better you keep
yourself ideal character that people can see that "Here is an ideal
group of men." Otherwise, in politics... They are feeling the necessity
of an honest leader, but they are themselves dishonest, they people. So
when you point out that "This leader is dishonest," they do not very
much appreciate. There is a story in this connection I will tell you,
that one man was drunkard. So his friend said, "You are drinking. You
will go to hell." "Oh, my father also drinks." "Oh, he will also go to
hell." "My mother also drinks." "Oh, she will also go to hell." In this
way, all the family members, they scrutinizingly studying, that all of
them were drunkards. You see? Then the man who was accused of drinking,
he said, "If everyone is going to hell, then hell is heaven. [laughter]
Because my father is going there, mother is going there, my brother is
going there, I shall go there. It is heaven. Where is hell?"
Devotee: Heaven is where all
my friends are.
Prabhupada: So this is the
position. As soon as you point out, "This man is dishonest," and you
scrutinize, everyone is dishonest, then where is dishonesty? It is all
honesty. Because if the whole business is dishonesty, so there is no
question of honesty? Let it go on. That is the public opinion. Why one
should be unnecessarily honest? If the whole world is dishonest, and
the dishonest world is going on, then where is the harm? What is the
use of becoming... The same thing: "It is folly to be wise where
ignorance is bliss."
Jyotirmayi: That is exactly
what people are saying now. They say "What's the use of being organized
and good and sane? Everybody is dishonest now."
Bhagavan: We have to give
them a place to go where they can come if they want.
Prabhupada: Just like
Parikshit Maharaja gave Kali four places. He could not find out. First
of all he gave him four places, that "These four places you can go."
But he could not find out such place. So he was embarrassed. So now
there is no question of finding out. Everywhere you go, the same four
principles. Formerly, it was very difficult to find out a place where
these things are going on. Now everywhere you go, these four things are
main principles of life. So therefore they cannot very much appreciate
these prohibitory principles, that "What is wrong there?"
Devotee: It is just the
opposite now. Now there is no place where Maharaja Parikshit can go to
find out a spiritual atmosphere.
Prabhupada: Yes. Some of our
men, at least one, left our association. He thought that "This is
denying the primary necessities of life." Rayarama, Rayarama. He left
for this reason, that we do not allow the bare necessities of life.
Illicit sex, intoxication... He was first-class criminal on this
account, but he could not give it up. Therefore he left.