HARE KRISHNA RURAL LIFE
Vyasa Puja Offering
H.H. Ganapati Swami
Please accept my humble obeisances at the dust of your lotus feet. All glories to Your Divine Grace!
In a lecture given in Hyderabad, 1974, you referred to a conversation of a day earlier:
The present problem is food problem. It is not simply talking on this platform or that platform. Yesterday some news reporter, “Sir, what is your view of the Bhagavad-gita, dvaita-vada, advaita-vada?” The dvaita-vada, advaita-vada—that we shall consider later on. Come to the practical field. Now, suppose there is scarcity of food. So Krsna does not say that this problem of scarcity of food will be solved by dvaita-vada philosophy or advaita-vada philosophy. Krsna says practical way: annad bhavanti bhutani. Annad. You have, you must have sufficient food grains for the living entities, animal or man. This is practical. There is no question of talking. What is he talking of advaita-vada philosophy or dvaita-vada philosophy when you are needy, you require anna? That is practical solution given by Krsna. Annad bhavanti. He never says that your food problem will be solved by philosophizing advaita-vada or dvaita-vada. Here is practical. Annad bhavanti bhutani. You must find out sufficient grains. annad bhavanti bhutani parjanyad anna-sambhavah. Parjanyad. When there is sufficient rain, then there will be food grains, not by your advaita-vada philosophy or dvaita-vada philosophy. These are practical solution.
Thirty-plus years after your physical disappearance, your mission has been severely stunted and diverted by a variety of controversies. So much time, intelligence, and energy we have wasted arguing and debating over relative details, while the multitudes are left bereft of the only thing that can save them from disaster. Meanwhile, the iron fist of karmic law is swiftly descending in the form of financial, political, social, and environmental catastrophe. In the same way as you chided the reporter for worrying about dvaita-advaita instead of accepting Krsna’s practical instruction to perform sacrifice, I can hear you chastising us for fighting over what may soon prove to be trivial matters indeed—while the most urgent thing remains unfulfilled.
Srila Prabhupada, you gave us not only sambandha-jnana and prayojana, but also abhidheya, the process for achieving life’s perfection. Furthermore, not being satisfied with espousing a theoretical version of the devotional process, you taught us everything by example. And you painted such a wide swath with your brush of compassion that you encouraged the system of daiva-varnasrama as an adjunct to your mostly mleccha-grade disciples’ practice of sadhana-bhakti:
Vaisnava is not so easy. The varnasrama-dharma should be established to become a Vaisnava. It is not so easy to become Vaisnava. [Conversation, Feb. 1977]
Finally, in your last days you were anxiously prepared to personally train us in the practical application of varnasrama in a rural setting, which you revealed to be the “other fifty percent” of your uncompleted mission:
I will go to Gita Nagari. I will sit down, and I will teach you how to live off the land. [Personal remembrance, Tamal Krishna G.]
Your heart bled, not only for your disciples, but for the countless souls who would one day come begging for shelter—both material and spiritual—at our rural communities. You saw it all coming, and you warned us to prepare:
That job . . . They will be very soon jobless. Don’t worry. [laughs] They will come. They will be obliged to come. Now they have got job, but as the days are advancing in Kali-yuga, they’ll be jobless. [Conversation, January 1977]
We initially responded with vigor and enthusiasm, but after you left, our determination waned and we abandoned the projects as being impractical. Now many nondevotees, around and ahead of us, are seeing that it is the ONLY practicality. In Vrndavana you said to your then secretary, Tamal Krsna Goswami:
Book distribution and farms: these are our solid programs. They can change the whole world. The whole foundation of animal civilization can be destroyed. If I have hope for still living, I wanted to organize the farms, make it perfect. Simple living and high thinking. [TKG’s Diary, August 9, 1977]
You shared the Vedic teaching that real wealth is land and cows—dhanyena dhanavan gavaya dhanavan. We can’t eat tobacco, rubber, nuts and bolts, precious metals, or modern-day currency, which is built upon falsity:
So this artificial way of banking, that will be also collapsed. [Conversation, January 1977]
You forecast the demise of the motorcar civilization and concluded that it was just an anartha all along:
This motorcar civilization will be finished within another hundred years. It has begun, say, for the last hundred years, and after a hundred years, when . . . The scientists say the petroleum will be finished within fifty years or like that, so, say hundred years, this motorcar will be finished. So anything we manufacture, the so-called empire, so-called material civilization, it is finished, it will be finished. That is another knot only, that we become captivated. [SB lecture, August 1972]
What then will happen to the preaching? You said that example is better than precept. If we truly “walk our talk,” the real preaching will just begin. And even if others don’t take to it, there is still no loss:
We should be satisfied locally by our food, by our cloth, by our milk. That’s all. Let the whole world go to hell. We don’t care. If you want to save yourself also, you do this. Here is an example. If you want artificial life, city life, and hellish life, you do. But we shall live like this. This is the ideal life. [Conversation, Jan. 1977]
Let me end with a beautiful description of Vrndavana life that you mercifully revealed in Sri Vrndavana dhama, May 1977:
Yes. That I want. I . . . Everywhere I go and say, how these rascals . . . ? So much land is lying, and these rascals are not developing. And they are making . . . What is that? Coal stone. Coal. They are interested with these bricks and stones, not green vegetables. Such a rascal government. Give them facility. We know how to do it. Annad bhavanti bhutani parjanyad anna-sambhavah, yajnad bhavati parjanyah. Let them engage in kirtana. There will be more water for gardening, and it will be moist, and then produce fodder for the animals and food for you. And animal gives you milk. That is Vrndavana life. And they are absorbed in this so-called opulence. Krsna has taken birth. They are bringing so many nice, pleasant foodstuff, very well dressed and ornamented. These are description. In the morning we were reading. How they were happy, the inhabitants of Vrndavana with Krsna and living and cows. That I want to introduce. At any cost do it and . . . Don’t bother about big, big buildings. It is not required. Useless waste of time. Produce. Make the whole field green. See that. Then whole economic question solved. Then you eat sumptuous. Eat sumptuously. The animal is happy. The animal even does not give milk; let them eat and pass stool and urine. That is welcome. After all, eating, they will pass stool. So that is beneficial, not that simple milk is beneficial. Even the stool is beneficial. Therefore I am asking so much here and . . . ,”Farm, farm, farm, farm . . . “ That is not my program—Krsna’s program. Annad bhavanti bhutani. Produce greenness everywhere, everywhere. Vrndavana. It is not this motorcar civilization.
I wonder, “Is there still time?”
Your “backwoods” servant,
Ganapati das Swami