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A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das
Body Without Head and Armsby Hansadutta das
[13 nights of riots rage in France, the Euro slides on worries that France's turmoil will spill over into the rest of Europe; Kashmir's homeless earthquake victims sleep out in the open while one million-strong forces block reunification of Pakistani and Indian Kashmiri families... .]
Monday, November 7, 2005--Lands
of Catastrophe: The Case of India and Pakistan
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Government of the people, by the people and for the people is foolish, because the people generally have no knowledge. They are not qualified to select a qualified leader. Now there are no brahmanas or kshatriyas. There are only vaishyas and shudras. The brahmanas are considered to be the head of the social body, and the kshatriays the arms. The head gives guidance, and the arms give protection. Without a head and arms, the body cannot function. This is the world situation today. There is no head, there are no arms, and hardly a belly; only legs. People are working very hard, but they are not even getting proper food and shelter. In India, there is hardly enough food to fill their bellies. The situation is very critical. Every day another government is overthrown, and another unqualified leader asumes the post and exploits the people. No one knows the goal of human life. Everyone, from the leader on down to the common man, is interested only in his personal sense gratification. Everyone is competing for sense gratification. Thus the world situation is chaotic.
The system of ruling the people for spiritual advancement is called varnashrama-dharma. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita (4.13), chatur-varnyam maya shrishtam/ guna-karma-vibhagasah: "According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me."
There are four classes of men: brahmanas, or the intellectual class of men; kshatriyas, or the warrior class of men; vaishyas, or the mercantile class of men; and shudras, or the laborer class of men. These four classes are always existing everywhere in human society, and they should be engaged in their natural inclination for work under the guidance of a saintly king. Vedic society is not competitive as is capitalistic society. Capitalism encourages everyone to make profit by exploiting the less intelligent working class. The mercantile class organizes and exploits the laborer class for sense gratification. In contrast, the Vedic society is cooperative. The four classes cooperate for meeting the material necessities of life: eating, sleeping, defending and sex. All classes cooperate for the welfare of everyone.
The four classs are compared to the four parts of the body: the head, the arms, the stomach and the legs. Society is a body that needs a head for guidance. The brahmanas are the head of society. They are supposed to be intelligent, because they know Brahman, the Absolute Truth. They know what God is; therefore, their intelligence is best. They render sevice to the social body by giving education, especially in the matter of Krishna consciousness. The next class is the kshatriyas, or the warriors, and they are the arms which give protection to the social body. The arms work according to the direction of the head. The kshatriyas do not work whimsically or independently for their own sense gratification; they work according to the direction of the brahmanas. They give protection to all men, unlike modern politicians who cannot protect anyone and simply sit behind a desk with a telephone, exploiting the mass of people by collecting and spending taxes for their personal enjoyment. The [righteous] king also collects taxes, but he does not use tax money for his personal sense enjoyment. He distributes the tax revenues for welfare activities such as building roads, bridges, wells and schools. The vaishyas, or the mercantile class of men are the belly. They produce food by engaging in agriculture, and supply commodities such as gold, silver, jewels, cloth—not for profit-making, but for cooperation. Finally, the shudras, or the laborers, are the legs of society. They assist the other three classes—they carry the rest of the body. This is the Vedic concept of perfect social cooperation in which there is no possibility of exploitation.
Body Without Head and Arms/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY ©2004 - Hansadutta das
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