We shall try to save, "Oh, what you are doing?" That is our business. That is every human being's business, to do good to others. That is human life. That is the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
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[Posted May 17, 2006]

Working like Asses

People are working so hard day and night for these temporary years, and less than that laboring they can go to back to home, back to Godhead.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Founder-Acharya of the world-wide Hare Krishna Movement, Brahma Sampradaya Acharya

Srila Prabhupada

Morning walk in the park with disciples, June 29, 1975,  Denver. 



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Wake up! Why are you working so hard for nothing?

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Prabhupada: Coca-cola is fifty cent?

Brahmananda: Well, that's a very big glass of Coca-cola.

Prabhupada: In India also, it is huge consumption. [break] ...devotee here?

Satsvarupa: Yes.

Prabhupada: Collecting flower?

Satsvarupa: Yes.

Brahmananda: There are more.

Prabhupada: [chuckles] Nobody says anything?

Brahmananda: No one is up at this time of the day.

Prabhupada: Sometimes they fire. You know that?

Satsvarupa: If they see us, they don't like that. That is not such a safe practice, to go in the neighborhood and pick flowers. I don't think they should do it.

Prabhupada: ...first came to America, Butler, one quarter, is exactly like this. You have been in Butler?

Brahmananda:. No.

Prabhupada: Like this.

Brahmananda: I noticed that one review of your books was written by Mohanlal Sharma of Slippery Rock College. He wrote a very enthusiastic review.

Satsvarupa: Yes. He claimed to be the first one to receive you at a college.

Prabhupada: Yes. He is very nice gentleman. He came to see me in New York also, with his family.

Brahmananda: His wife is Sally?

Prabhupada: No.

Brahmananda: That's another girl.

Prabhupada: He is Gopal. He came to learn electrical engineering.

Brahmananda: Gopal.

Prabhupada: Mmm. His father is rich man. His father came to see me, yes.

Brahmananda: From Mathura.

Prabhupada: Mathura, yes. His father, mother... That Sally used to say, "My husband is a lost child of their parents." He is not doing very well. He is getting $800. At that time, maybe $1,000. What is here, eight hundred, thousand dollars? He could have lived very comfortably at his father's care. He is very rich man. Thing is that people are working so hard day and night for these temporary years, and less than that laboring they can go to back to home, back to Godhead. Little labor. But they do not know. Krishna says, yanti deva-vrata devan pitrin yanti pitri -vratah [Bhagavad-gita 9.25], bhutejya yanti bhu..., mad-yajino 'pi yanti mam. Just to get a nice car, a nice wife, and a few children by working so hard, bhutejya, and the same labor, mad-yajino 'pi yanti mam, if he devotes for Krishna consciousness, he goes back to home, back to Godhead. And what is wrong there? We have got so many Krishna conscious devotees. What is wrong there than these ordinary karmis [persons working under the spell of maya, bound up in the karmic reactions to their activities]? Hmm? Are we unhappy? What do you think?

Brahmatirtha: No, nice.

Prabhupada: See? Just see the foolish people. They are working so hard for nothing. Everything will be finished after this death, and he will become a cat and dog or a tree. You see?

Kurushreshtha: Sometimes, Srila Prabhupada, even we explain that, and they can seem to understand; still they won't do anything about it.

Prabhupada: So you have to constantly poke them. These rascals. Just like one man is sleeping. You have to call him constantly, "Mr. Such, Mr. Such, wake up, rascal. You are sleeping. Why?" This is our business.

uttishthata jagrata prapya varan nibodhata

That is sung by Bhaktivinoda Thakura,

kota nidra jao maya-pishachira kole

"How long you will sleep? You have got this opportunity, human form of life. Now get up."

jiv jago, jiv jago, gaurachanda bole

This is our mantra: "You rascal, get up. Take to this Krishna consciousness and solve all your problems."

Satsvarupa: Some people say that if we want to do this, it's all right, but we shouldn't insist and go and preach to them. Everyone has his own way.

Prabhupada: Because you are human being, you rascal, you animal, you are sleeping, we are just trying to awaken you. Because you are human being. Suppose a boy, a child, is going this side. We are human being. We shall say, "No, no, you go right"? Shall you say that? We shall try to save, "Oh, what you are doing?" That is our business. That is every human being's business, to do good to others. That is human life. That is the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Janma sarthaka kori kara para upakara. That is human life.

Brahmananda: Actually, according to law, if someone is in trouble, if he is being attacked by someone, and someone sees this and does not do anything to help him, he can be prosecuted.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Brahmananda: It is his obligation to help someone in trouble.

Prabhupada: Yes, that is humanity. Not that "This man is going to hell. Let him go to hell. I am happy. That's all." That is not humanity. Paropakara. That is Vedic civilization, paropakara, not to exploit others.

You're a rich man's son!

Devotee (1): A lot of times, Srila Prabhupada, they say that we are just escaping material life. We're not having jobs...

Prabhupada: How we are escaping?

Devotee (1): A lot of times they say that we don't have jobs and that we should work for...

Prabhupada: So why shall I... A rich man, does he work? We are rich men. We don't work. You rascal, you have no money. You work. We are rich men. Why shall I work? Any rich man you see, he is not working. He is escaping? What is that? Any rich man who has got money, he is not working. He is engaging all fools and rascals in the factory. So is that, is he escaping?

Devotee (1): A lot of times they say that we're just...

Prabhupada: No, no, first of all take one answer. That we are rich men, we are Krishna's son. So why shall I work like you, an ass? A ass will work unnecessarily. We are not asses.

Yadubara: Actually, we're more active than ever before.

Prabhupada: Yes. We are rich man's son, Krishna's son. Why shall I work? That is the nature. A rich man's son never works. He enjoys. We are dancing and taking nice prasadam. Why shall I work? What do you think? Poor man will work. Rich man, why they will work? He will enjoy. Krishna says, bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-maheshvaram [Bg. 5.29]. He is the proprietor of all planets, and we are servants of Krishna, a rich man's servant. Why shall I work so hard? The ass will work hard, not a human being. And that is the instruction of Rishabhadeva. Nayam deho deha-bhajam nriloke kashtan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye [Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.1]. This human life is not meant for working so hard simply for food and sex enjoyment. That is the business of the hogs. The hogs do like that. They work day and night to find out some stool, and as soon as a little strength, he enjoys sex without discrimination, mother, sister, anybody. Is that life? Tell them, "You are working like hogs, and we are living like human being. That is the difference." If somebody does not work like hog, does it mean he is escaping? [laughter] Just see. And the hog is asking to work like hog. Why human being will accept this proposal? Marshall theory. I was student of economics. He says the human nature is, unless he has got some obligation he will not work. That is the beginning of economics. If one has got sufficient to eat, he will not work. When he is obliged to work for some reason, he works hard. That is the economic theory. So nature is... It is not escaping. If I have got sufficient to eat, why shall I work? What is the answer? This is not escaping, it is comfortable life, not to work and get everything, all necessities. That is comfort. And working hard getting the necessities, that is for the hogs and dogs, not for human being.

Devotee (1): They have no faith or trust that this can be done.

Prabhupada: See us. You rascal, see, open your eyes, see that we have no business. We have no food stocked; still, we are not worried. We do not know what we shall eat in the evening, but still, we are not worried. See factually. We are not worried, "Oh, what shall I eat?" I came here without any subsistence. That I mean I had to work very hard?

Kurushreshtha: I think that if the karmis tried to keep up with you, Srila Prabhupada, they would probably wear out.

Prabhupada: The karmis, they work hard because they are asses. The ass example is given. Just like the picture you have seen, ass?

Brahmananda: In the movie, yes.

Prabhupada: There? You see? He is loading so much, and what he is eating? Little grass. So the ass does not know, "The grass is available here. Why shall I work for him?" That is ass. He is working so hard for a few morsel of grass, and the grass is all over the world, but he will take the load. That is ass. My problem is eating, sleeping, mating, so I can arrange for these things very easily. Anywhere, I till the ground and get some food. I keep some cows and I have got land, then my whole economic question is solved. Why shall I make this bambharambha-bharam udvahato vimudhan, big, big...? You do it, but why should you forget your real business? That is the defect, that you are so foolish that only for this maintaining body, you have forgotten your real business.

Devotee (1): Not everyone has the opportunity to get some land and some cows, to till the land and grow their food.

Prabhupada: No opportunity?

Devotee (2): Not enough, Srila Prabhupada, not enough land.

Prabhupada: Not enough? Let them come, I shall give them. So much land in America. They say "No land"? The all...

Yadubara: Just like the tri-shaw driver. We invite him to our temple, but he says he has to work so hard. He will not come.

Prabhupada: He will go to the brothel. That he has got time. To the liquor house to forget his labor. This is civilization. Mudha, mudha civilization. Why the Communist are coming? Why Communist party is there? What is the philosophy, Communist?

Satsvarupa: That wealth should be shared by everyone.

Prabhupada: That means they also do not wish to work so hard. They are seeing that "Capitalists are sitting very comfortably and we are working." They are also thinking, "Escaping." Is it not? So the natural tendency is that "I will not work, and still, I will get my necessities." That is natural tendency. The material world means avidya-karma-samjnanya tritiya shaktir ishyate. This is out of ignorance they are working so hard. In the spiritual world there is no question of working. You get everything. Chintamani-prakara-sadmasu. Everything, whatever you want. So why not endeavor to go there? Why should you work like hogs and dogs?

Take advantage of this Krishna consciousness movement

Vishakha: Srila Prabhupada, they will accuse us of being parasites.

Prabhupada: No, I am not parasite. Your master. How do you say parasite? I am not going to beg from you. Parasites?

Brahmananda: Parasite lives off another.

Prabhupada: No, parasites means if I take others' property, others'. If I enjoy others' ..., that is parasite. But we are not enjoying others' property. We are enjoying our father's property. Ishavasyam idam sarvam [Ishopanishad mantra 1]. Krishna is the proprietor. Why do you say parasite? And we are good children of Krishna. Krishna says, "Don't work, I shall give you everything." [laughter] Actually, Krishna says that, that "Why you are working so hard?" Sarva-dharman parityajya mam...: [Bg. 18.66] "You just under Me, I shall give you protection, whatever you want." And we are getting everything. Why parasite? [break]

Satsvarupa: ...received in Switzerland, Srila Prabhupada, that man said, "What if everyone became like you devotees?" He was worried that the economy would collapse, he said, if everyone took to this.

Prabhupada: Well, at least he will not take, and the economy will go on. There will be a class of men like him. They will never take. So there is no problem. Your economy will go on. [laughter] [break] ...the prisoners become free, how the prison house will go on? Is that very nice question? What is the use of prison house? For the criminals? [break] ...thinking in that way, that "We are giving up meat, and the slaughterhouse proprietors, they are sorry. Then how our business will go on?" As if that is a very nice business. The sooner you close that business, it is good for you. But he is thinking "How my business will go on? If all these people give up meat-eating, then how this slaughterhouse will go on?" That is the logic. And our logic is the sooner you close this slaughterhouse, the better for you. This is our logic. Liquor shop, the breweries, they are worried, "How business will go on. They are giving up." Cigarette factory. They will be sorry.

Kurushreshtha: In this state of Colorado, the main industry is slaughter.

Prabhupada: Hmm?

Kurushreshtha: The main industry in this state of Colorado is the slaughter of cows.

Prabhupada: ...jiva ma mara. The slaughterhouse maintainer is advised that "You don't die, don't live." Ma jiva ma mara. "Your position... Now you are... If you live, just see how horrible business you are doing. And if you die, you will be slaughtered. So better you don't die, don't live." Ma jiva ma mara. [break] ...nice park, nobody is coming. We Krishna conscious people, we are taking advantage. [laughter] They have worked so hard, they are sleeping. We are taking advantage. So they are escaping or we are escaping? Just see how foolish they are. They have worked so hard, and they are not taking advantage. We are taking. So our policy is that "You work hard, and we go and take from you." This is not escaping. This is intelligence, that "You work hard, rascal. You are foolish asses. And we take advantage." Our George Harrison, he is working hard, in England. And he worked hard, and he gives a house, Bhaktivedanta Manor. We are not going to construct. Is that escaping or it is intelligence, that "You work hard and give it to me. We enjoy"? This is intelligence; that is not escaping. That is going on. The capitalists, they are engaging these rascals, asses, in the factory, and he enjoys life. That is intelligence. That is not escaping. You know the story of the stag and the jackal? The jackal fell in the well water. So he was unable to come out. So one stag came there. "What is the...?" "Oh, it is so nice. I am dancing. You see? It is very nice." So he also fell down. And as soon as he fell down, he got on his head and got out. So that is intelligence, that "Let this rascal work hard and make a nice park for us, and we shall take advantage of it." This is intelligence. And it is called ajagara-vritti. Ajagara-vritti. Ajagara means... The big snake is called ajagara. So this mouse, they make hole and want to live there. And they comfortably living. In the meantime, the ajagara comes. He eats that mouse and lives comfortably. So our is ajagara vritti. You work for the hole to live comfortably, but we take possession of the house and live comfortably. [break] ...Los Angeles the storekeepers, they ask our men that "You do not work. You live so comfortably. And working so hard, we cannot live so comfortably." And as soon as we ask that "You also come and join," they will not. "No, we shall work like this." We are asking everyone, "Come here," but that will not come. And that is, they are envious. Therefore they say escaping, that they are living at the cost of others so comfortably. That is their enviousness. They see, "They have got so many cars, their face is bright, they are eating nicely, and they have no problem." So they are envious.

Harikesa: They would do it immediately if they knew how.

Prabhupada: No, we are inviting them, "Come here." Why do they not come? And that is difficult for them. To chant Hare Krishna and dance, oh, it is very big, heavy task for them. They will not come. The most difficult thing is that as soon as they come and they know there is no tea, no liquor, no meat, no cigarette, "Oh, so many no's? Oh." That draft man said? That one draft man came to inquire that some of the boys, to escape from the draft man's call, they joined this Hare Krishna movement. "So what is the comfort there? They joined instead of going to..." So when he studied that there is no meat, there is no liquor, there is no smoking, there is no gambling, so he said, "It is more difficult. Still, they come." It is more difficult than to go and fight. So how it is wonderful. Actually, for the karmis, it is very difficult job. Even Lord Zetland he said, "Oh, it is impossible to do this." And actually, it is impossible. That is the adoration of Professor Judah, that "These drug-addicted boys, how they have become Krishna conscious?" That is his wonderful thing. You can say that "We are escaping this horrible condition of life: meat-eating, drinking, and intoxication. We are escaping that, these thing, not escaping happiness. You are escaping happiness."

From human birth to dog and hog

Satsvarupa: The psychologist says that the real responsibility is to enjoy sex life and that, in that way, we are...

Prabhupada: But that hog also enjoys. Then what is the difference between you and hog? The hog enjoys unrestrictedly. The cats and dogs also enjoy. So what is the benefit of becoming human being, civilized man? That enjoyment is there in the hog's life in a better way. You have got some discrimination, "Here is my sister, here is my mother, here is my daughter," but there is no such distinction. You enjoy life and become a hog, and that is waiting for you, next life. There is no law of raping amongst the hogs and dogs. They can capture any female. But in the human society why there is restriction? So hogs and dogs are better enjoying sex life. You become hog and dog. Why civilized man?

Kurushreshtha: When we tell them that, they think, "Oh, that's very nice."

Prabhupada: You are waiting for getting that life. Wait a few years more. You will get that life. Yes.

Brahmatirtha: One scientist recently did a study on mosquitoes. They found out that all mosquitoes do is have sex and eat. And he was lamenting, he said, "Oh, these mosquitoes..."

Prabhupada: Sex and eat.

Brahmatirtha: That's all they do. He was amazed that they have so much sex life, mosquitoes. So then the scientist he was lamenting. He was thinking, "Oh, these mosquitoes, they probably do not enjoy the sex life." And he sounded as if he wished he was a mosquito to find out.

Prabhupada: Yes, mosquito, flies, I have seen. Even the sparrows. Sex life is the center of happiness in this material world. In all forms of life. That is the only.

Brahmananda: They think that sex life for humans is the best, is the better sex life, that the animals, they really don't know how to enjoy.

Prabhupada: That is another foolishness. If you take some palatable thing in different pot, does it mean the taste changes? You take some juice in the golden pot or iron pot. Does it mean the taste of the juice is changed on account of golden pot? That is another foolishness. Taste is the same, either you drink it in golden pot or iron pot.

Kurushreshtha: Bhagavatam says, "Unless a person is influenced by maya, how could he do such a thing?"

Prabhupada: Therefore we say that whatever you are doing under the influence of maya, it is suffering. It is not enjoyment.

Kurushreshtha: In Krishnaloka are there asses?

Prabhupada: Yes, maybe. But they are not these asses. Krishna... I don't... the cowherds boys, they are keeping only cows. I never saw any ass or goat.

Satsvarupa: They killed all those asses. They killed Dhenukasura and all those...

Prabhupada: Yes, yes, there were asses, yes. They killed. But they were asuras, of course, No, that means asses are there.

Satsvarupa: Srila Prabhupada, I thought you said that the demons are not in Krishnaloka. That's just in Gokula, when Krishna comes here.

Prabhupada: Yes. Krishna wants to enjoy to kill the demons. In the Krishnaloka there is no demons. He doesn't get that opportunity. Therefore He comes down to enjoy killing. Just like hunter, by killing, enjoys, so Krishna enjoys by killing the demons.

Prabhupada: ...no rose here? We don't see any rose.

Kurushreshtha: They don't like to grow nice things for fear someone will take them.

Bahulavana: There's a big rose garden by the museum.

Kurushreshtha: They don't grow fruit trees in the park because someone will eat them.

Prabhupada: And he will not work. Escaping. [break] ...demonic mentality, "I shall not do anything which will be enjoyed by others." And human mentality is that "I shall do something which will be enjoyed by others." That is human mentality.

Brahmananda: In India isn't it the system that after they harvest the wheat they leave some on the ground for the others to come and pick?

Prabhupada: Yes. No, they distribute while in the field. They give to the brahmanas, to the temples, to the king, and the balance they take. This is the Vedic system, that if I grow something, first of all twenty-five percent to the king, then to the temple, to the brahmanas, to the poor. And then balance, I shall take. And they produce so large quantity, they do not feel any scarcity. And when the trade came, people understood. Then they want to sell. "Why shall I give to the temple? Why shall I give to the brahmana? Save it. I shall sell it. I shall get more money, and I shall drink." When trade came. When there was no trade, you grow your own food and distribute freely. In my Guru Maharaja's time they were collecting the rice and other food grain, huge quantity. They were giving. And now they are not giving. They think that "If I sell, I shall get so much money, and it will help me for my drinking."

Harikesa: Srila Prabhupada, what would people do who live in areas where things are not grown so easily, like in the colder areas?

Prabhupada: Why should you live there? Why don't you come where things are grown?

Kurushreshtha: This excessive cold is only punishment.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Kurushreshtha: Previously there was not such excessive cold on the planet?

Prabhupada: There was, for the punishable person.


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