Therefore we find periodic upheavals in society in the forms of battles, communal riots and fratricidal quarrels.
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Failure to Quell Riots Proof of Failure in Leadership

Talks on Varnashram Dharma

by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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

Srila Prabhupada
At the time of posting this article [Sat, 5 November 2005], there are uncontrolled riots raging in France from the suburbs of Paris around the country, already for nine days, and riots in Argentina protesting the presence of the American President George W. Bush at the 34-nation Summit of the Americas in that country, not to mention war and civil unrest in many other regions of the world. 

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Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 4, Chapter 20, Text 15

Lord Vishnu continued: My dear King Prithu, if you continue to protect the citizens according to the instructions of the learned brahmana authorities, as they are received by the disciplic succession—by hearing—from master to disciple, and if you follow the religious principles laid down by them, without attachment to ideas manufactured by mental concoction, then every one of your citizens will be happy and will love you, and very soon you will be able to see such already liberated personalities as the four Kumaras [Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanat-kumara].

Lord Vishnu advised King Prithu that everyone should follow the principles of varnashrama-dharma ; then, in whatever capacity one remains within this material world, his salvation is guaranteed after death. In this age, however, since the system of varnashrama-dharma is topsy-turvy, it is very difficult to strictly follow all the principles. The only method for becoming perfect in life is to develop Krishna consciousness. As varnashrama-dharma is executed from different positions by different men, so the Krishna consciousness principles can be followed by everyone in every part of the world.

There is a specific purpose in mentioning herein that one should follow the dvijagryas, the most prominent brahmanas, like Parashara and Manu. These great sages have already given us instructions on how to live according to the principles of varnashrama-dharma. Similarly, Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami have given us rules and regulations for becoming pure devotees of the Lord. It is essential, therefore, to follow the instructions of the acharyas in the parampara system, who have received the knowledge as passed down from spiritual master to disciple. In this way, although living in our material condition of life, we can get out of the entanglement of material contamination without leaving our positions. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advises, therefore, that one does not have to change his position. One simply has to hear from the perfect source (this is called parampara) and follow the principles for practical application in life; thus one can attain the highest perfection of life— liberation—and go back home, back to Godhead. In other words, the change required is a change in consciousness, not in the body. Unfortunately, in this fallen age, people are concerned with the body, not with the soul. They have invented so many "isms" pertaining to the body only, not to the soul.

In the modern age of democracy there are so many government representatives voting for legislation. Every day they bring out a new law. But because these laws are only mental concoctions manufactured by inexperienced conditioned souls, they cannot give relief to human society. Formerly, although the kings were autocrats, they strictly followed the principles laid down by great sages and saintly persons. There were no mistakes in ruling over the country, and everything went perfectly. The citizens were completely pious, the king levied taxes legitimately, and therefore the situation was very happy. At the present moment the so-called executive heads are more or less selected from materially ambitious persons who simply look after their own personal interests; they have no knowledge of the shastras. In other words, the executive heads are fools and rascals in the strict sense of the terms, and the people in general are shudras. This combination of fools and rascals and shudras cannot bring about peace and prosperity in this world. Therefore we find periodic upheavals in society in the forms of battles, communal riots and fratricidal quarrels. Under these circumstances, not only are the leaders unable to lead the people toward liberation, but they cannot even give them peace of mind. In Bhagavad-gita it is stated that anyone who lives on concocted ideas, without reference to the shastras, never becomes successful and does not attain happiness or liberation after death.

varnashrama dharma—natural division of society into 4 social classes (varnas) and 4 spiritual orders (ashrams). Those who function as the head of society, i.e. the intellectuals, the visionaries, truth-seekers, spiritual masters and teachers are called brahmanas; the shoulders and arms who give protection and maintain law and order are called kshatriyas; those who generate wealth and maintain prosperity in economy are called vaishyas; and the legs of society, or those who have no special qualification but give support and assistance to the other 3 classes are called shudras. The modern-day caste system is an aberration of the ancient Vedic varnashrama dharma insofar as a person's varna is determined by his nature, not his birth; whereas the caste system imposes a life sentence on persons according to their circumstances of birth.

brahmanas—See above. The foremost duty of brahmanas is to give spiritual guidance to society, in particular to government leaders.

acharyas—the prominent spiritual masters, literally, those who teach by example. Here reference is made to authorized spiritual masters descending in a line of disciplic succession.

parampara—disciplic succession, or knowledge passing down from spiritual master to disciple.

shastras—revealed scriptures, eg the Vedas and supplementary literatures.

shudras—see varnashrama dharma. The shudras are generally the skilled and unskilled laborers, clerks, working class.

Failure to Quell Riots Proof of Failure in Leadership/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
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