Srila Prabhupada Uvaca: 

Tractor Use, 

Or Not

TRACTOR:
Disciple: Śrīla Prabhupāda, once you said, "The tractor—this is the cause of all the trouble. It took all the young men's farm work. It forced them to go into the city and become entangled in sensuality." You said people had to leave the country and the simple life of goodness and God consciousness. And so they went to the city and got caught up in the anxious life, the mode of passion.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. In the city people must naturally fall into the mode of passion: constant anxiety due to needless lusting and striving. In the city we are surrounded by all sorts of artificial things for agitating our mind and senses. And naturally, when we have this facility we become lusty. We take to this passionate mode and become filled with anxiety.
Disciple: The country is more peaceful. It's easier to think of spiritual life.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. There is less disease. Everything is less brain-taxing. In the country the pangs of this material world are less. So you can arrange your life for real profit. Spiritual profit. Realize God; become Kṛṣṇa conscious. And if you have got a temple in your home or near your home, you have a very happy life. You work just a little—just for your food—in the spring a month and a half or so for planting, in the fall a month and a half for harvesting. And in your remaining time you become culturally enriched. You engage all your talents and energies for realizing God. Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is ideal life.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => TQE 5b: Back to Simple Life and Simple Truth

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because after all, however tractor, machine, or farm arrangement you may make, unless there is supply of heat and water, it is all useless. You cannot produce grains just like wheat or rice or pulses[?] in your factory or by your will, defying the nature's law. Oh, that you cannot do. Real, your life is in the hands of the demigods. If they stop supply, sunshine, if they stop supply, water supply, how you can produce? Therefore you have to satisfy them. People have practically forgotten their duty.
[indistinct] ...and regulations, there is no scarcity. The modern theory—the population has increased—this is a nonsense theory. If there is production is sufficient, where is the question of population increasing? Let population increase. The supplier will give you. In the Vedic literature we find, eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. That Supreme Lord is supplying everyone food. Why do you think of human society? What is the human society? Out of 8,400,000 forms of life there are only 400,000 forms of human life. And 8,000,000 forms they are lower animals, birds, beasts, aquatics. Who is supplying their foodstuff? Everyone is sumptuously fed by the grace of God.
Why not you? You are suffering because you are disobeying, therefore you are suffering. That you should know, only the suffering population theory, this theory, that theory, only in the human society because they are regularly defying the existence of God—science, science, science. Now there are so many suffering people. Why your science cannot provide them food? So this is wrong theory. You have to satisfy the supreme supplier. Then you'll get sufficient production and you'll be happy
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Audio Transcripts; Bhagavad-gītā 3.11-19 -- December 27, 1968, Los Angeles

You don't think material nature is blind. Material nature has got her intelligence, and she is taking intelligence from the Supreme Lord. And according to that, she is supplying food or grains and everything. Because you get everything from the earth. Either you take metal or this wood or water or food grains, whatever you are taking, using, you are exploiting the resources of material nature, but material nature is the agent of God. Material nature is an energy of God. So if God does not wish to supply you, however you may bring tractor and anything... Just like in desert. In desert you cannot make it fertile because there that particular tract of land is forbidden by God: "No, nothing should be produced." You cannot do it. If you have got producing power, then why don't you produce sufficient grains and vegetables in the desert? That is not possible.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Audio Transcripts; Bhagavad-gita 13.2 -- April 5, 1972, Melbourne

Prabhupāda: It can do thousands of men's business. So they have discovered this machine. That means thousands of men will be unemployed. That is actually happening in your country due to so many machine. Now, take for example, formerly... You have seen the picture, Kṛṣṇa, Vṛndāvana picture, Kṛṣṇa's father transferring Kṛṣṇa—they were going on bullock carts, no motorcar. You have seen the picture. So formerly, transport was bullock carts. The cows and the bulls, the bulls were employed for agricultural purpose, for drawing the carts. So there was no necessity of motorcar. Now you have got motorcar, motor-tractor, you don't want the bullocks; therefore kill them. How you can utilize them? Therefore you must have slaughterhouse to kill them. And as soon as you kill them, then you have to eat them. So this is the, I mean to say, entanglement. If you kill, then you become responsible for being killed. The subtle laws...
>>> Ref. VedaBase =>Audio Transcripts; Nṛsiṁha-caturdaśī,  Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.5.22–32 -- May 27, 1972, Los Angeles

Now, still, in your country you are not poverty-stricken. You have got enough food. These things also will be stopped. Now you have got food in chaos, but there will be no food also. Then the mother and father will eat his own children. This is world, this Kali-yuga, everything. No food will be produced. Now by your talent you are producing nice food, but producing food, the..., tilling the ground some way or other, by machine or by this way... There must be rain, so many conditions. But time will come when there will be no rain. Then what you will do with your tractor and machine? You'll have to eat the tractor. [laughter] That's all. What you will do? There will be no rain. It is said that "There will be cloud, there will be lightning, but there will be no rainfall." These are stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. This is the result of our sinful life, restriction. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ, ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā [Bg. 3.27]. These rascals are thinking, "We are master." What master you are? You are under the control of nature fully. And they are, these rascals, are thinking, "I am free. There is no God. I am free." So, gradually... [break] You are already known as the bright-faced. Is it not?
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Audio Transcripts; Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.16.22 --  January 18, 1974, Honolulu

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Like tractors. Instead of people having to cut down the wheat they have machines to come along with this. Cut down the wheat. And instead of having bullocks to pull the plow, they have a tractor. To cut down the wheat. Would the people be forced into the cities?
Prabhupada: Of course, there are machine facilities, but, in India so many men are unemployed that to introduce machine this is not a good proposal. Instead of cutting with a machine, if they cut by hand, they have employment. Everyone is employed. Machine means 100 men's work done by one machine. But why there are so many unemployed? Why not engage 100 men instead of one machine? Here also, there are so many unemployed in the Western countries. In one sense, machine creates unemployment. Just like because in your Western countries … everything is on machine, therefore you are creating so many hippies. That is also another kind of unemployment, everyone should be employed. Otherwise, it will be devil's workshop. Idle brain is devil's workshop. So, when there are so many people without any engagement, why there should be machine? Machine is not good. One machine means to make another 100 men unemployed. The policy should be—nobody should be unemployed. Everyone should be busy.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Audio Transcripts; Bhagavad-gītā 13.35 -- June 6, 1974, Geneva

Prabhupāda: This is the cycle, that we should produce immense food grain, both for the animals and for men. And there should be cooperation. Just like the cow and bull. The bull helps plowing. That is the original system. Now they have invented tractors... What is called? Tractor?
Madhudviṣa: Cultivators.
Prabhupāda: And the bulls are being killed. Why they should be killed? Engage them in tilling the field. They will have occupation, and the man also will have occupation. There is immense land. So there will be no question of unemployment. And the machine, it works hundreds of men's labor, and hundreds of men become unemployed. So unemployed means devil's workshop.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Audio Transcripts; Room Conversation with Scientists -- July 2, 1974, Melbourne
By nature's way, Kṛṣṇa has given us everything. You can simply work little, you get food grains. Kṛṣṇa says like that. Kṛṣṇa never says that "You open big, big fierceful, horrible industries." You will never find in Bhagavad-gītā. For your livelihood, Kṛṣṇa says very simple method: annād bhavanti bhūtāni [Bg. 3.14]. Annād. Anna, you produce anna. Why you are, I mean to say, planning big, big industries? The oil will come from America through the channel, and the Arabia will refuse to supply oil. There will be power problem, so many things, one after another, one after another. But Kṛṣṇa does not say that you do all these things, ghora. No. He says, annād bhavanti bhūtāni: "You just produce food grains." And bhavanti bhūtāni. Bhūtāni means all living entities, they will be stout and strong by eating. What you want more? Annād bhavanti bhūtāni parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ. And if there is sufficient rain, then automatically, then it will be very easy to grow food grains. Parjanyād anna... If there is no parjanya, rain, then your so-called tractor will not help you, or knowledge, agricultural knowledge, will not help you. You will have to depend on Kṛṣṇa for rains. Parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ. And yajñād bhavati parjanyaḥ [Bg. 3.14]: if you perform yajña, then there will be regular rainfalls.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Audio Transcripts; Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.26.26 -- January 3, 1975, Bombay

Indian man (1): Otherwise they think that they not economically progressing. Maybe they think they are not economcally progressing.
Prabhupāda: Huh? What is that economical progressing? So that means busy fool. Fool, they do not know how to satisfy the economic problem. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā, annād bhavanti bhūtāni [Bg. 3.14]: you grow food grains. Then all economic question... But why you are not producing food grains? Why you are producing iron stools and instruments and motor and tires, and collecting petrol far away from Arabia? That is... Kṛṣṇa never says that "You do all this nonsense." He said, "Grow food grains." Why don't you do that? That means fools. After all, you have to eat. So you are not busy in growing your food, but you are busy in producing tire tubes, motorcars, stools and instruments. Then how you will get your food? Where is your economics? First economic is, first necessity, you must eat.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: But with the tire tubes and nuts and bolts they can make a tractor. And the tractor can help produce food, they think, much faster.
Prabhupāda: No, that is waste of energy. Because you are eating the bulls, therefore you require a tractor. Otherwise you don't kill the bulls. This animal will do the business of tractor.
Devotee (4): Little work.
Prabhupāda: But you want to eat them, so you must find out...
Indian man (1): Some other means.
Prabhupāda: Replacement. That's it.
Devotee (4): But man has to progress.
Prabhupāda: What is that nonsense progress? To become busy fool? That is progress? Do you think it is progress to become busy fool? This is not progress. The progress means lazy intelligent, that he will not have to work but he will get all the comforts automatically. That is wanted. That is progress. Actually nobody wants to work, but he is obliged to work because his necessities are not sufficiently met. Therefore he has to work. He has created such society that he has to work hard.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Audio Transcripts: Morning Walk -- October 19, 1975, Johannesburg
Kulaśekhara: At John Lennon's estate, remember? In London. You said to me, the tractor, you said, this is the cause of all the trouble. That it took all the work from the young men, and they went to the city and became entangled in the sense gratification in the cities. So I've noticed in the city there's much more passion, but living in the country is simpler.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Passion there must be. When you have got the facility, naturally we are lusty, and we have got the facility, then we take to it.
Kulaśekhara: The country is more peaceful. It's easier to think of spiritual life.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Less disease. Less brain-taxing. Everything is less. So balance time, utilize for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And if you have got temple, it is very happy life. Just for your food work little, and balance time engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is ideal life.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Audio Transcripts; Room Conversation -- June 24, 1976, New Vrindavan
Interviewer: In this age, how has the, you know, instrument of production because of this tractor, mechanization of agriculture?
Prabhupāda: So that is your interpretation. But we are trying to present Bhagavad-gītā as it is. That is our mission, that you produce food grains sufficiently and give protection to the cows so that food grains and milk will give you all benefits of economic question. You'll be satisfied. That's all. Not only that, I have practically seen that by God's arrangement there are so much land on this planet that you can produce ten times foodstuff of the whole population. But they are not doing that. They are utilizing land... Just like in Africa I have seen, enough land is there, but what they are doing? They are keeping some cows and bulls, and when they are grown up... They are not given anything to eat; there is enough grass. And as soon as they are fatty, they are taken to the slaughterhouse—not for their own eating, but exporting. This business is going on. Similar business is going on in Australia and New Zealand. Unnecessarily they are killing these cows, and this shortage of foodstuff and shortage of milk, this is not good arrangement.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Audio Transcripts; Press Interview -- October 16, 1976, Chandigarh
Prabhupāda: Even... Oh, yes. Very, very practic... We want some, same, food. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni [Bg. 3.14]. Bhūtāni means both animal and men. Animals should be well fed. Not only human being, but animal also. Otherwise, how he'll work? Don't use tractor. Use this bulls. Otherwise there will be a problem, how to engage the bulls.
Devotee: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Engage them for transport, for plowing.
Mahāṁśa: We should not get a tractor?
Prabhupāda: No. When you have got bulls, why should you get...?
Mahāṁśa: We have only 8 pairs of bulls.
Prabhupāda: Yes, and other bulls have been eaten up. Now we stop that eating. No, if you need, you can purchase tractor. But as far as possible try to avoid, and engage the bulls. Otherwise it will be problems. The Europeans have invented tractors, and the bull is a problem. Therefore they must be sent to the slaughterhouse. So we can not create that problem. How the bull should be utilized? They should be used for transport and plowing.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation on Farm Management -- December 10, 1976, Hyderabad

I have read in your letter how the brahmacaris find it very difficult to plough. It will be very difficult if we do not work the land ourselves. The difficulty can be overcome provided we are sincere. I think we can use modern machines, to drive a tractor, for example, is as easy as driving a car. Suppose we hire a tractor for the time being. I heard they are available from Krishnanagar. In America they take to agriculture; they are farmers although they are not Indians. So why can't the Americans work and farm in India? We just have to adjust in order to raise as much crops as possible for the animals and men. I have seen many farmers near New Vrindaban working nicely with tractors and growing food. One day Kirtanananda Swami hired one and within two hours he tilled many acres of land very nicely, although it was not even land. So in Mayapur it is even land; in a few hours we can till all the land we possess. My point is if somehow we cannot utilize the land then why purchase it at such expenditure? Self help doesn't mean Rs 10,000 spent monthly.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Jayapataka , Bhavananda — Bombay 3 April, 1974

Why artificial insemination? We should avoid that. The physiology is, if the semina is more, then comes bull. So, take more land and engage them in agriculture, plowing by the bulls instead of tractor. Bulls can be engaged in plowing and transporting. Nice bullock carts village to village for preaching. Make the farm the center and go ten miles this side, ten miles that side, ten miles this side, etc., with four bullock carts. Sell books and preach and live peacefully on the farm. People used to engage the bull for this purpose. So there was no problem which way to utilize them. First of all this artificial way should be stopped, and the bulls should be engaged in plowing and transporting, and smashing the grains. To avoid machinery, petrol, machine oil, by nature's way.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Balavanta — Bombay 3 January, 1977

The transcendentalist however will not agree with that tractors and other agricultural implements only can solve the problem of grow more food and inadequate living standard. Besides the tractor, implements, the man who will work on the land of cultivation, there is another supreme hand in the successful termination of the productive enthusiasm. This ultimate cause is called "Daiva" or the unseen power of God inconceivable by human brain. This power can ultimately make all things null and void and conquer over all other enthusiasm and ability of the human being.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => BTGPY10c: Grow More Food

                                      In this verse there are two significant words: yogena, "by the approved method," and dṛṣṭena, "as exemplified by the former ācāryas." One is mistaken if he thinks that by applying modern machines such as tractors, grains can be produced. If one goes to a desert and uses a tractor, there is still no possibility of producing grains. We may adopt various means, but it is essential to know that the planet earth will stop producing grains if sacrifices are not performed. The earth has already explained that because nondevotees are enjoying the production of food, she has reserved food seeds for the performance of sacrifice. Now, of course, atheists will not believe in this spiritual method of producing grains, but whether they believe or not, the fact remains that we are not independent to produce grain by mechanical means.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => NAM 1.20: The Holy Name Benefits All Human Society

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Some of the materialists may argue that these activities are not all that unbeneficial. For example, they have made a tractor, and in America they can produce so many grains, so much so that practically they could feed the world.
Prabhupāda: Why do they not?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Because their mentality is very abominable.
Prabhupāda: Do that. There are so many overpopulation, and you can do it in America. So much land lying vacant here.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Better to put the people in factories in the fields. If they are going to work, let them work growing grain and milking the cows.
Prabhupāda: Yes, then they will live very happily. That will not do. Jagato 'hitāḥ. Read it.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Kṣayāya jagato 'hitāḥ. ["For the destruction of the world" from Bg. 16.9: "Following such conclusions, the demoniac, who are lost to themselves and who have no intelligence, engage in unbeneficial, horrible works meant to destroy the world."]
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Hellish factories, fresh fields...women and children must be supplied necessities
I have read in your letter how the brahmacaris find it very difficult to plough. It will be very difficult if we do not work the land ourselves. The difficulty can be overcome provided we are sincere. I think we can use modern machines; to drive a tractor, for example, is as easy as driving a car. Suppose we hire a tractor for the time being. I heard they are available from Krishnanagara. In America they take to agriculture; they are farmers, although they are not Indians. So why can't the Americans work and farm in India? We just have to adjust in order to raise as much crops as possible for the animals and men. I have seen many farmers near New Vrndavana working nicely with tractors and growing food. One day Kīrtanānanda Swami hired one and within two hours he tilled many acres of land very nicely, although the land was not even. So in Mayapur the land is even; in a few hours we can till all the land we possess. My point is if somehow we cannot utilize the land then why purchase it at such expenditure? Self-help doesn't mean Rs 10,000 spent monthly." (SPL to Jayapataka and Bhavananda, 3rd April, 1974)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Farms and Simple Living

74-04 "Also, if you purchase land it must be properly utilized. It is no use purchasing land to be wasted by costly laborers. If you actually produce some grains or vegetables, then where is the necessity for further money for maintenance. For maintenance we require 100 rupees per head without any risk for purchasing lands and cultivating the same.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Farms and Simple Living
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. The country is less disturbing, less taxing on the brain. Just work a little for your food, and the rest of the time engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is ideal life.
[Śrīla Prabhupāda holds up a flower.] See the minute fibers in this flower. Can anyone manufacture this in a factory—such small fibers? And how brilliant the color is! If you study only one flower, you become God conscious. There is a machine that you call "nature," and from this machine everything is coming. But who has built this machine?
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Plain Living, High Thinking
Prabhupāda: Just see. This is the defect of machine. If you cannot utilize it, then it is dead loss.
Brahmānanda: Where are the tractors kept?
Nityānanda: One's at the house and one's in the field.
Prabhupāda: So they have to be utilized or rejected, these machines?
Nityānanda: Yes, they all have a purpose. We use them from time to time.
Prabhupāda: But now they are kept open in the...
Nityānanda: Well, we are building a shed to keep them out of the rain.
Prabhupāda: In the meantime it will be finished. By the time you finish your shed, it is finished. Śāstre śāstre dal phariyaga[?]: "Some women were dressing to go to a fair, and when they were dressed, the fair was finished." [laughter] Utilize them. Otherwise, while they are in working order, sell them. Don't keep in that way, neglected way. Either utilize it or sell it at any cost. Otherwise they are useless.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Walk Around Farm -- August 1, 1975, New Orleans

My dear Bahudak,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated November 21, 1974 and have noted the contents.
I am very glad to hear about your new farm-asrama existing there. We want to develop many such farms all over the world. Your are enthusiastic and intelligent and it appears that you are managing in nicely. Why not call it New Gokula instead of New Mayapur. I think that is better. It is alright that you have purchased machinery and are using on the farm but if you can do without as much as possible that is better. It sounds as if the living conditions there may be a little extreme. But if the devotees can learn to tolerate as you say they are determined, and can stay and work there that is very good. And I give all encouragement to them.

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