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.
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das
[Posted March 11, 2007]

Wanted: Leaders of Good Character

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami


Pogo: We have met the enemy Srila Prabhupada ABC News - March 11, 2007 - RON FOURNIER and TREVOR TOMPSON Poll: 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

Hell is heaven.
excerpt from conversation with disciples, Paris, June 14, 1974

Voters' Obligation

Fools Elected by Fools Hansadutta das

We 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 innocent."

Prabhupada: Oh, accha?

Devotee: They said he was found innocent.

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 court?

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 Nixon's fault?

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 innocent.

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 cheat.

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 accused?"

Pusta Krsna: Is it not a vicious circle, though? Without a pure leader, they cannot be pure themselves.

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 elephant...

Prabhupada: Yes, that was a tactics. So...

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.


Wanted: Leaders of Good Character/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
©2007 - Hansadutta das
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