the moment about 250,000 hectares of land in Sarawak is taken up by
plantations for palm oil and acacia.
As the forest shrinks around them, the future
for the Penan community seems bleak In a few years that could increase
to as much as one million hectares – wiping out much of the forest that
has formed the focus of Penan society for centuries.
Khoo Kay Jin, a social scientist who has been studying the Penan for
more than two decades, says that could sound the final death knell for
Penan culture. go to story
The human being should exert his energy for that thing which he did not
get in many, many lives. In many, many lives the soul has been in the
forms of dogs, or demigods, or cats, birds, beasts, and many others.
There are 8,400,000 different types of bodies. So this transmigration
of the soul is going on. The business in every case is sense
INTERVIEWER: Which means?
PRABHUPADA: For example, the dog is busy for sense gratification: where
is food, where is shelter, where is a female, where is defense? The man
is also doing the same business, in different ways. This business is
going on, life after life. Even a small insect is trying for the same
thing. Birds, beasts, fish—everywhere the same struggle is going on.
Where is food, where is sex, where is shelter, and how to defend? The
Vedic literature says that these things we have done for many, many
lives, and that if we don't get out of this struggle for existence, we
will have to do them again for many, many lives. more
human form of life is offered by nature after so much evolutionary
process. Just to understand Vishnu, God, this is the only business. But
instead of attending our real business, we are trying to be happy in
other ways. Then you can say that "If we are engaged in real business,
then how the economic question will be solved? We have to work." That's
all right, you work. But work simple. Why you have invented so much
botheration? Work is there. If you have cows and if you have got land,
then you till the land, get grains, and there is milk, there is fruit,
there is flower. Anywhere, you can live peacefully. Whole economic
question is solved. And because we have forgotten, we have missed the
real point, that our life is meant for God-realization. We are simply
increasing botheration. ... The leaders are blind; we are also blind.
So they are advising that "If you want to solve your economic problem,
why you are going to church? Why you are going to temple? Come here,
increase business, industry. Take loan and start business." That's all.
This is going on. But actually, the more we are trying to mislead these
people... Because they are thinking it is all right. They are... That
the social condition is becoming more and more grave. That's a fact. We
are trying to solve one problem, but many other problems are coming
because we do not know what is the ultimate goal of life. Because we
are missing the real point.
Therefore Prahlada Maharaja said, na te viduh svartha-gatim hi
vishnum durashaya ye bahir-artha-maninah [Srimad-Bhagavatam
7.5.31]. These rascals, they are thinking that by so-called economic
development, by exploiting material resources, we shall be happy. That
is not possible. The best example your country has given. You have
exploited the material resources, and other countries are also
following, but where is the happiness? Instead of happiness, there is
"hippyness". [laughter] So still, they have no eyes to see that "Where
we are going?" Adanta-gobhir vishatam tamisram punah punash
charvita-charvananam [SB 7.5.30]. Because we cannot control our
senses, we are driving, we are being pushed towards the darkest region
of material existence, very hard to leave. Darkest region means that we
are going to become animals next life. Because this is animalistic
civilization. Nature gave us the opportunity to realize God, but
God-realization is meant for human being. The human being, if he does
not realize God, he's simply engaged in animalistic way of life—eating,
sleeping, mating—then nature will call, "All right, sir, again become
animal." Punar mushiko bhava: "Again become a mouse."
You know this story? There is a story. There is a very nice story. One
rat, mouse, he came to a saintly person. Everyone comes to saintly
person for some blessing, you see. Real blessing they don't want. Some
material blessing. Real blessing, Krishna, they don't want. If you give
him some blessing that "You become very rich man and..." These...
they'll be very much pleased. So this mouse also came and begged the
saintly person, "Sir, I am in difficulty. If you give me some blessing?"
"What is that?"
"The cat chases after me always. I'm very unhappy."
"So what do you want?"
"Now, if you make me a cat, then I can get relief from this."
"All right, you become cat." So he became cat.
So after few days, again he comes. "Sir, again I am in trouble."
"What is that?"
"The dog is chasing me." [laughter] Don't laugh, hear seriously. "Dog
is chasing me."
"All right, then, what do you want?"
"Now, make me a tiger."
"All right, you become a tiger."
So when he became a tiger he was staring on the saintly person like
So he asked, "Why you are staring upon me? You want to eat me?"
So he again curses, punar mushiko bhava: "Again you
become mouse. Again you become mouse."
So that is our position. We are advanced in civilization. Now we want
to kill God. So we are again going to be uncivilized, to remain in the
forest and to remain naked. Actually, they are practicing that:
nature's life. So again they are going to be aborigines. And that is
being practiced. They are going to the forest, they remain naked. So
actually, punar mushiko bhava: "Again become mouse."
Civilized human being means God conscious, happy life, no trouble, no
enviousness, everything happy, no hard labor. Why hard labor?
Everything is there. You just employ your little intelligence, you get
sufficient food by grains, by fruits, by flowers, milk. There is no
difficulty if we remain in our own way. So that is the difficulty, that
we do not know that our ultimate goal of life is God-realization. Then
God has got all arrangement. You cannot produce fruits and grains in
factory. They are given by God. Why? That "You eat them and be Krishna
conscious, chant Hare Krishna." But we don't want that. We want
slaughterhouse, unnecessarily. Actually, if you go to the store...
There are so many stores. How many stores are selling only meat? It is
not possible. Ninety-nine percent fruits, vegetables, grains you are
taking, and maybe a little percentage of meat. So why you cannot give
up this little percentage? If you think that meat is very palatable,
why don't you live on meat? Russia is also trying like that. That has
become the fashion. In Moscow, it was very difficult to find out nice
grains. With great difficulty Syamasundara used to spend two hours
daily to secure these things.
So this is the problem. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi vishnum
durashshaya ye bahir-artha maninah [SB 7.5.31]. They are trying
to be happy by the arrangement of these material activities. They do
not know that the
material nature is so strong that you cannot get out of it unless you
are prepared to suffer more and more. If you take to natural life and
live peacefully and take to Krishna consciousness, that is your real
life. And if you simply increase botheration and problems, then you'll
have to suffer. That is the position of modern civilization. Actually,
superficially we see that material advancement of material science,
people have got so many machines, so many facilities. But actually,
they are in trouble. Just like I gave you one example: the computer
machine. It can work for thousands of men. So thousands of men means
the thousands of men must be unemployed. And especially in your
country, they are taking advantage of this machine because the salary
is If you want to pay to the worker, a big, big salary. So they want to
save. They are taking machine, and they think they will save money, so
many workers. But the workers are becoming unemployed. The government
has to give them welfare. The government will tax. That's all.
[laughter.] Government will not give money, welfare, from government's
pocket. The government will increase your taxation. So you are..., you
stop payment by importing some machine, now you have to pay that money
to the government. This is called entanglement. This is a crude
example. I don't say that you stop all this business, but the material
world is like that. You want to solve something; instead of solving,
you'll create so many problems. This is material life. Because our life
is not meant for solving problems and creating problems. Our life is
meant for understanding God. Then everything is all right. But that you
have given up.
te viduh svartha-gatim hi vishnum
andha yathandhair upaniyamanas
uru-damni baddhah [SB 7.5.31]
do not know that you cannot go an inch beyond the stringent laws
of material nature. That is not possible.
Then the next question is that how... People are not interested in
Krishna consciousness, and then, they are misled by blind leaders. So
how, what is the solution? That is Prahlada Maharaja saying,
one has to take shelter of a pure devotee. That is the only solution.
He says, naisham matis tavad urukramangrhim. The
beginning was that "They are not interested in Krishna consciousness."
Then how to become Krishna conscious if that is the solution? Then
Prahlada Maharaja says, "So long one does not approach a pure devotee,
great personalities, who has no more any material interest and take the
dust of his lotus feet on the head... So long one does not approach
such personality, there is no possibility of becoming Krishna
conscious." As soon as one approaches the pure devotee and takes the
dust of his lotus feet and puts it on his head, immediately, he'll be
freed from all this nonsense. That means he'll forget this idea that
"Materially we can advance." This is the process. So we have to
approach a nishkiñchana, who has nothing to do with this
material world. His only ambition is to serve more Krishna. And if
somebody approaches him and takes the dust of his lotus feet, then he