Absence of war is not peace.
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das
[Posted July 20, 2006]

We Need the Wholesale Solution: war is only one symptom

by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada

news.scotsman.com, Sunday, July 16, 2006 - By LIN NOUEIHED - Lebanese left behind by evacuations feel abandoned

Beirut turns to rubble againBEIRUT (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of foreigners and Lebanese lucky enough to hold other passports may be fleeing Israeli bombardment of Lebanon, but those left behind feel the world has abandoned them again.

... During the 1975-1990 civil war, a multitude of foreign armies, from Israeli or Syrian troops, to Palestinian guerrillas, even U.S. Marines, somehow got embroiled in a conflict that killed over 150,000 people and displaced more.

Then, as today, villagers from the south and residents of the cosmopolitan capital Beirut bore the worst of the violence and many fled abroad, making their second homes in Europe, north America or beyond and taking second passports.

... Many Lebanese feel the world is focussed more on the fleeing foreigners than those who have seen their families killed or homes destroyed. Some feel Lebanon has seen nothing yet; the real war will begin once the foreigners have fled to safety.

"I have a feeling things will get worse after the evacuees leave," said Indira Zuheiri, a law student. "I don't think there will be a cease-fire. We are stuck; it's worse than the war."

Lebanon spent years rebuilding after the war, billions of dollars went on new roads and bridges and a new airport, all now damaged. The economy was growing, foreign investment was flowing in, and restaurants and bars were packed with rich Arab tourists from the Gulf before the crisis brought the country to a halt.

... "The war consumed my youth and now my 40s are going to be ruined too. One day I will wake up and find that I am old and that my life has passed me by while I was just surviving in a war zone. That is why I am so angry it is happening again."


The following is an excerpt from a lecture by His Divine Grace on Bhagavad-gita 4.19 in New York, August 5, 1966.

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Mr. Goldsmith: Well, first of all, if you want to find peace, don't you have to believe that war is wrong, any kind of war?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Mr. Goldsmith: The Bhagavad-gita teaches that there is a good war and a bad war.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Mr. Goldsmith: And a little bit like, later on, the Crusades.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Mr. Goldsmith: It was a holy war, and it was looked on as a good war and existed for a good purpose.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Mr. Goldsmith: Krishna believed that it was all right to kill the enemies of Arjuna because it was a righteous war.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Mr. Goldsmith: Now, if you have a philosophy like that, can you find peace?

Prabhupada: What do you mean by peace then?

Mr. Goldsmith: Absence of war.

Prabhupada: Not necessarily. Not necessarily. Absence of war is not peace. Just think over. Suppose now there is no war. Do you think that everybody is in peace? Ask any individual person that "Are you in peace? Are you in peace of mind or peace of..." No war is not only the cause. There are many other causes which disturbs our peace. War is one of the causes. So simply if you stop war that does not mean peace is guaranteed. No. War is one of the disturbing things of peace. But there are many other disturbing things, many, incalculable, which will disturb you. You see? So we have to take relief from all disturbing position. War is one of the items. And that can be done when you are Krishna conscious.

Mr. Goldsmith: Well, how can it be done if you're Krishna conscious and Krishna Himself was a proponent of war?

Prabhupada: You are speaking of war. The war has nothing to do...

Mr. Goldsmith: Well, the Bhagavad-gita starts out with a war.

Prabhupada: Yes, but... That's all right, but that war was a necessary thing. You cannot, I mean to say, completely eradicate war from the social life. Just like government maintains the law and order force. There is necessity. Why the government maintains so much police force and military force? There is necessity.

Mr. Goldsmith: Well, if you believe, if you believe that it's necessary...

Prabhupada: When the... Yes.

Mr. Goldsmith: Then that's the end of the discussion because if you believe it's necessary, then Krishna believes it's necessary.

Prabhupada: Yes, yes.

Mr. Goldsmith: Then...

Prabhupada: Everything is necessary, but whole... Our position is that, so far our material existence is concerned, that there are so many things that... But one thing, or the four things, janma-mrityu -jara-vyadhi, that we are under the entanglement of repeated birth, death, diseases and old age, these four things does not depend on war or peace. Suppose there is no war. Can you get free from diseases? Suppose there is no war. Can you get free from death? Suppose there is no war. Can you become, remain a young man all the time? No. Your problem is these four things. You have to solve that thing. Janma-mrityu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-doshanudarshanam [Bhagavad-gita 13.9]. Bhagavad-gita says that this war or no war, that is no question. So long the human society will be there, there will be sometimes fighting, sometimes peace, sometimes... That is another thing.

The whole problem is that a learned man sees that "My problem is that I don't want to die. Why there is death? I don't want to be old man. Why I, there is old age?" These are... These are the problems. Real problem, these are the problems. Janma-mrityu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-doshanudarshanam. A learned man, a man of real knowledge, he should see that "I am..." Not only war. Suppose there will be excessive heat. Oh, I am so much disturbed. There is no peace. Oh, there is excessive snowfall, cold. Oh, I am disturbed. So there are so many disturbances. So we have to get free from all disturbances. Because I do not want it, my nature does not tolerate these things, but I have been forced to tolerate.

That is your problem. That can be solved by Krishna consciousness. We are talking the wholesale solution, not a particular thing. There are so many disturbing things, especially they are under the headings of these four principles: janma-mrityu -jara-vyadhi-duhkha-doshanudarshanam [Bg. 13.9]. So... Mad-dhama gatva. Just the other day we discussed the shloka, that tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya: [Bg. 4.9] "Now, one who becomes Krishna consciousness, then the result will be that just after quitting this body, he comes to Me, no more coming to this material world." So long you'll be in the material world... Material world means so long we'll have this material body, we'll have to face so many disturbances. War is one of them. Suppose there is, perpetually, there is no war. Do you mean to say there will be perpetual peace? No. There are so many other things. At once, if there is some upheaval in the Atlantic Ocean, the whole thing is swallowed up, your beautiful New York City will be no more there. There are so many natural disturbances. What to speak of war, what you have...

Mr. Goldsmith: Bhagavad-gita speaks of war. It started out with a war.

Prabhupada: No, what... Bhagavad-gita says... Bhagavad-gita does not say that stop war. Bhagavad-gita says stop your repeated birth and death. Bhagavad-gita is not concerned with the war principle. The war will remain so long the human society is there. How can you stop it?

Mr. Goldsmith: Well, some people don't believe that it's necessary.

Prabhupada: Some people, they foolishly believe. Because, so long the human society will continue, there is no history that there was no war in the history. So war there will be.

Mr. Goldsmith: Well there's never been in history that everyone has accepted Krishna either, and yet you...

Prabhupada: No, you do not think that... Of course, when you are Krishna conscious, when you are not in this material world, then there is no question of war also. My point is that war is not only the only disturbing principle. There are many other disturbing principles. So we have to make a wholesale solution of all principles. That is the point.

Kirtanananda: War is only a symptom.

Prabhupada: Yes. War is also one of the... Just like a man diseased, he eats something, sometimes say, "Oh, doctor, I am feeling some headache." "Oh, all right, take some, this pill." Just like I see advertisement, "Oh, you are feeling strain? Take this pill." "You are feeling this? Oh, take this pill." Just like Post Office. Just like Post Office. All letters should be given to the post box, and it will go in different places. So doctor is prescribing like that. But a real doctor he'll see what is the disease there. And if that disease is cured, then he'll have no headache, no leg, pain leg, no, nothing of the sort.

So if we... Krishna says, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya: [Bg. 4.9] "If you become Krishna conscious, the result will be that after finishing this term of your body..." We have got different terms of body. "So this term of body, you come unto Me." Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6]. So our problem is that. We are not going to adjust here. Here any kind of, any amount of adjustment will not make us happy. That is a fact. Because this place is like that. So we have to completely get free from this repeated birth and death of the material world and go back to home, back to Godhead and live peacefully with eternal life, knowledge and bliss. That is the whole thing Bhagavad-gita is teaching. Krishna's business is not to stop war or this or that.


We Need the Wholesale Solution: war is only a symptom/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
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