Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Gitagrad Varnashrama Festival 2012

---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: Dhanesvara (das) (ACBSP) (Kiev - UA)
Date: 31-May-12 01:45 (03:45 +0200)
Subject: Gitagrad Varnashrama Festival 2012
Although the weekend began wet and windy the weather subsided and a
delightful time was had by all. In previous years the festival was held at
Magdalenavka Retreat center in cold January so as not to interfere with
spring planting. This year we decided to hold it after the planting was done
and Bhakta Oleg agreed to be the host at New Vraja Bhumi, the Gitagrad
village at Bezvodnaya, near Nikolaiv in southern Ukraine.

Attendance was from 50-60 participants, nearly half of which were women, in
contrast to earlier years when the ladies numbers were much smaller. Many of
the participants this year were "village hopefuls", that is, they are
interested in village living and are preparing themselves for the

Given the village venue, the discussions were much more practical and
hands-on than before, with such seminars as building with saman
(clay/straw), straw bale construction, making efficient wood stoves,
raising, training and working with bulls, care of cows, agriculture, bee
keeping, soap making, natural cosmetics, conservation of foods, Varnashrama
culture, additional upcoming Ukrainian village projects near Odessa, and

The festival was held in two adjacent villages--Bezvodnaya, where we had the
use of the Cultural Center for indoor activities, and Mikailovka where the
cows are kept. On Sunday afternoon everyone went out to meet and brush the
cows, pet the calves, and to try a hand at milking. Then we all had as much
fresh, raw, un-pasturized, un-homogenized straight-from-the-cow milk as we
wanted! Yum! (pity that people in America are being harassed by the govmint
for drinking such wholesome milk).

I have put a number of photos of the festival on Flikr for you to browse,
and many, many more should be online soon. Additionally, today I had my
debut into video-making putting together the various clips I took of our fun
with the cows. I hope that you will enjoy it!

Find the links and video on my Gitagrad blog:
(Text PAMHO:23532011) --------------------------------------

------- End of Forwarded Message ------

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Big bucks drive professionals to farming in Gujarat

Great thanks to Sridhari Madhava Prabhu for this wonderful post!


---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: Sridhari Madhava (das) JPS (Manama - BH)
Date: 26-May-12 16:01 (19:01 +0300)
To: Bharat Chandra (das) BRS (NC VAD Ministry - IN) [19837]
Subject: FW: Big bucks drive professionals to farming in

Big bucks drive professionals to farming in Gujarat
Bharat Yagnik & Himanshu Kaushik, TNN | May 24, 2012, 06.36AM IST

AHMEDABAD: Gujaratis are going back to their roots. And, it makes good
business sense too. A buoyant agriculture in the state is luring an
increasing number of professionals and entrepreneurs to switch to farming.

Mahendra Patel, 42, recently closed down his electronics goods showroom.
Patel, who owns an acre of land on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, found growing
Dutch roses more lucrative than his business. "My income has grown many
fold," says Patel, who made a neat Rs 30 lakh this year.

Arvind Patel, a practising doctor put down his stethoscope to pick up a
plough. Patel, 70, now grows exotic vegetables in Gamdi village in
Ahmedabad. "I initially did it to break the monotony. But, now it turns out
that this is good business," says Patel, whose son is settled in the US.

Official data shows there is a 9% growth in the number of farmers in Gujarat
over the last five years - there are 46.61 lakh farmers in the state. The
growth in numbers is largely driven by consistently good monsoon over the
last decade. A portion of it could also be realtors turning to farmers to
buy agriculture land.

State agriculture minister Dileep Sanghani says the number of farmers is
increasing since a large number of people who switched over to other
professions are returning to farmlands. "The number is higher in Saurashtra,
where farmers forced their sons to join other professions due to perennial
water crisis. Water availability is luring them back," says Sanghani.

Krupesh Pandya, 44, who worked as a godown manager for a tea firm left his
Rs 10,000 job to take up farming fulltime. "My income has increased five
fold," he says.

D M Vaghela, deputy director of state horticulture department, says a number
of subsidy schemes on net and greenhouses is a major pull.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sterilization of India's women

Thanks to Dhanesvara Prabhu for this post!

US and UK Foreign Aid Funds Mass Sterilization in India
Susanne Posel, Contributor
Activist Post

Tens of millions of "aid" funds from the United Kingdom (UK) have been used
to forcibly sterilize women in India. The US and the World Bank is also
sending funds through "foreign-aid programs".

India now has an estimated 1.2 billion people. The campaign for mass
sterilization originated in the 1970s. Its first incarnation was halted
after mass riots which forced the Indian government to back down.

The global Elite are convinced that the amassing of people is "bad for the

"They're using bad science, outdated theories of population and an unproven
theory about climate change to justify real harm to real people in real
time," explained Population Research Institute chief Steven Mosher.

In modern times, the deaths of some who have had involuntary procedures are
prompting advocates to become angered. They are claiming this is a stunt
from the British government to control the population growth in India.

The Indian government is attempting to curb the Indian population from
growing. Over 1 million women are sterilized each year.

Due to the controversy surrounding the population control campaign, the
Indian Supreme Court is investigating the issue as foreign governments are
attempting to distance themselves so they will not be implicated.

One sterilization office was set up in a local school. Police raided the
makeshift sterilization camp and found video evidence that the NGO who run
the "facility" were abusing the women who came to have the sterilization

In the police report, it was discovered that many of the NGOs that the
Indian government uses to run sterilization camps are being funded by the UK
with "aid" money.

The UK has donated millions of pounds to India to fund these sterilization
camps. According to documents, the UK is interested in reducing the Indian
population in the name of cutting greenhouse gases and combat global

Foreign-aid and "family planning" funds are being used by the Indian
government to coerce and forcibly sterilize Indian women. They are
threatened, bribed and lied to about the procedure to get the women to

Dr. Abhuit Das, the director of the Centre for Health and Social Justice,
says that this discovery "smells of racism" referencing population control
in India under the guise of saving the planet as a plot to simply reduce the
Indian population for its sake. Das says that the UK should worry about
their own greenhouse emissions and leave the Indian population alone: "[The
UK] says that the poor is the problem when it comes to greenhouse gases.
This is simply unacceptable."

Women's rights advocates are angered by this misappropriation of the
sterilization procedure. To simply mass sterilize women for the concentrated
agenda of eliminating the Indian population is a violation of women's
rights, say the advocates.

There is evidence of quotas to be reached by the sterilization camp
directors and bonuses for exceeding those quotas. This reduces this
procedure to a business opportunity and not a medical procedure that needs
to be handled with respect and care.

The UK government, of course, responded to the recent scandal over forced
sterilizations by denying that taxpayers were funding it. "British aid has
not been used for forced sterilization now or in the past," a DFID
spokesperson claimed in a recent statement, though an official with the
department later told the Wall Street Journal that tax funds were indeed
being used for "voluntary" sterilizations.

Some of the women who are operated on do not fully understand the procedure
before they agree, and most procedures are carried out under unsanitary and
horrific conditions.

Conditions that cause deaths from excessive bleeding and rampant infections.

Through foreign aid funding, the Indian government is forcibly sterilizing
women; without regard for their safety or health.

This idea has been in the works, behind the curtains for several decades.
Under the leadership of top establishment figure Henry Kissinger, for
instance, the U.S. National Security Council outlined widely criticized
official policies to curb population growth among the poor in the infamous "
Memorandum 200." Citing dubious theories about alleged overpopulation, the
report proposed a massive global campaign that included propaganda,
contraception, the use of food for coercion, and more.

India was one of the top targets.


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Nuclear families giving rise to crimes against elderly, children: Experts

Nuclear families giving rise to crimes against elderly, children: Experts

Ishita Mishra, TNN May 14, 2012, 10.25PM IST
KANPUR: The trend of nuclear families is one of the major reasons of increasing crime in the city. According to the experts, crime against elderly and children rise due to the nuclear family trend as they miss the cushion of love, support and security which a joint family can provide.
According to the psychological experts, stress level has gone up in the society due to emergence of nuclear families. People believe that nuclear families will increase their independence but it is a wrong conception as they became more slave to responsibilities of home.

"Trend of nuclear families is on the rise and majority of young couples want to raise their children without the interference of the 'outdated parents'. However, the condition of senior citizens is not that bad as most of them are self-dependent. But this has increased the crime graph in the city as elderly people and children live alone at home," Dr Vipul Singh, a psychologist at Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital, said.
He added that this approach of parents make the kids rebellious, who consider that the role of grandparents is nothing but a burden on family. On the contrary, the grandparents play an important role as an impartial negotiator between parents and kids and also provide them security in the absence of parents.
According to the experts, sexual abuse of children and murder of elderly persons are rising due to nuclear families.
"It's easy to attack an elderly person and kids living alone. If we see the recent crime graph, majority of child abuse cases and murder of elderly took place in the families where kids and old people were living alone. This gave courage and opportunity to criminals as the way is smooth for them," Dr LK Singh, head psychologist at the Divisional psychological centre, said.
He added: "I don't know why people forgot that elderly people can help the family at crucial times. They tide over any crisis with advice, experience and emotional support and also provide cultural and religious guidance to children." The grandparents can be 'valuable babysitters', he pointed out.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Amusing and revealing article about gold

By Samba Das

Happy Nrsimha Caturdasi!

The tale of the modern Hiranyakasipu's!

"This is a picture of an epic struggle between the party of
world-controllers that wants to hold down the price of gold during this
enormous crisis of Western civilization, and the party composed of
individuals, institutions and finance ministries around the world that are
scared witless about losing their precious capital. Equally frightened are
the controllers of the gold price, for with a soaring price of gold their
world-control will evaporate."

See full article at:

The gold price: the reds against the blues
Hugo Salinas Price
I do not have a crystal ball to tell me the future, nor do I have any special input from insider sources to inform me of what is going on; as a gold-bug I read what all the other gold-bugs are reading.
This past week I downloaded six graphs from They are the daily gold graphs for April 19, 20, 23, 24, 25 and 26, 2012.
The background to these graphs is the titanic bankruptcy of Europe and the impending end of the Euro, alongside the catastrophic condition of the US with its outlandish fiscal deficits for which no end is in sight, and an interest rate policy that cannot return to reality without causing instant collapse – all suspended for the time being in a condition of hypnotic levitation.
Thursday, April 19
Thursday, April 19
This is a picture of an epic struggle between the party of world-controllers that wants to hold down the price of gold during this enormous crisis of Western civilization, and the party composed of individuals, institutions and finance ministries around the world that are scared witless about losing their precious capital. Equally frightened are the controllers of the gold price, for with a soaring price of gold their world-control will evaporate.
These emotions are visible in this graph.
About 9 a.m. (NY time) the controllers decided to hit the gold price good and hard; the controllers are not out to short gold because they want to make money by doing so – their motivation is not profit, but keeping the price of gold down and in a falling trend. Whatever fiat money is lost in controlling the price of gold is totally insignificant to the controllers, because if gold is allowed to trade unhampered it will rise who knows what height and destroy the value of paper money, and paper money is one of the pillars of world control. Losing paper money means nothing to the world-controllers – more can always be produced.
So at about 8:15 a.m the controllers hit gold and brought its price down about $8 dollars to $1,632 in a few minutes.
However, fifteen minutes later, as soon as the controllers stopped selling gold, those who are scared witless about losing the capital they own piled in furiously and bought gold hand over fist taking it up to a peak of $1,658 just before 10 a.m.
This is far more exciting than watching a Wimbledon tennis match! World control is wearing red, private property is wearing blue. At $1,658 the controllers smashed the ball back and down about $6 bucks. The buyers responded weakly and the controllers proceeded with a take-down to $1,640 by 1 p.m., exactly where it was the preceding midnight.
Friday, April 20
Friday, April 20
Wow! What a match! Furious buying on the part of the blues – private property - and equally furious selling by the world-controllers, the reds.
Just look at the action! Spikes up answered by slams down! This is literally the “World Cup” that’s in play. Desperation and determination on both sides.
Monday, April 23
Monday, April 23
The reds start early, just after 3 a.m. NY time. The blues – private property - let them come on, waiting for a good price to start bidding. The blues hold their fire until about 8:30 a.m. and at $1,624 begin to buy, bringing the price of gold up to $1,639 just before 5 p.m., with little response by the reds.
Tuesday, April 24
Tuesday, April 24
This time the private property blues come on strong about 3 a.m., and start buying at $1,634. The world-controllers are taking a rest and let the blues bid up the price to $1,649, when the controllers decide to punish them and spoil their day; the reds bring the price down to $1,641.
Wednesday, April 25
Wednesday, April 25
The game today was dramatic! The price of gold was hovering around $1,642 from midnight to noon, when shortly after 12 noon NY time the world controllers had a tantrum and blasted the gold ball down vertically in the space of an hour to $1,625 – we can hear them saying: “That’ll teach you buggers!” But the response of the private property blues was equally vicious: a vertical streak of buying from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m raised the price of gold to $1,646. Not to let the blues have the last word, the reds responded by taking it down again in the next 60 minutes to $1,638. Blues came back again and took it back up to $1,643 by 3 p.m. No gain for the blues but no win for the reds, either.

Thursday, April 26
Thursday, April 26
The price of gold stood at $1,646 at midnight, NY time. The private property blues had the upper hand, the world controller reds batted the ball back but in general the blues carried the day, with the price of gold at 3:30 p.m at $1,657.50, a gain of $11.50 on the day’s graph.
The objective of the reds in this game is to keep the price of gold down during this huge crisis in the financial system of the West. If they can keep this game going until August, with the price of gold remaining about $1,650, we will then begin to read and hear comments that “the gold dummies haven’t made a nickel since August last year! While the stock market has outperformed and is way up at…..” And they will claim that gold is now in a “falling trend” – Jeff Christian recently crowed that “the top in gold is in!” Well, Jeff, remember “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings!”
The world controllers are hoping to take the wind out of the private property blues’ sails, hoping to stamp out the idea that gold has any possibility of future appreciation in terms of fiat money.
In the meantime, from my own point of view, the world controller reds are doomed to defeat; while they may toss billions of paper money away trying to stamp out interest in gold, they are actually providing cheap prices for the private property blues to acquire precious and scarce gold at bargain-basement prices.
I read comments that the physical gold off-take is heavy and draining the stocks of gold available for delivery. At some point, therefore, there may not be enough gold to go around at present prices. Those who purchase physical gold tend to hang on to it and will not resell, especially at present prices. Therefore, something is going to have to give…and that means much higher gold prices.
We blues are looking far ahead, where the smashes and paralysis of the gold price mean nothing against the looming crisis to beat all crises which faces our civilization.
Watching the antics of the world controllers is amusing, and nothing more.
I do have a suspicion that we may witness a singularity, an unexpected event that stampedes the private property blues into buying physical gold hand over fist and that we may see a very hefty breakout of the gold price. This can happen at any time now, it seems to me.

Friday, 4 May 2012

3rd Vedic Ecology Convention 2012

By Divesh Maharaj
ISKCON Vaishnava Research Forum
South Africa
The 3rd Vedic Ecology Convention organized by the ISKCON Vaishnava Research Forum (I-VRF) was held at the Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple of Understanding, in Chatsworth, south of Durban, on Sunday 22nd April 2012. Many educators from the surrounding schools as well as various academics from the institutions of higher learning were in attendance. Members of the public, devotees and well-wishers of ISKCON also attended.
The convention was officially opened by Mrs S. Rajbansi, an influential public figure in the political landscape of KwaZulu-Natal and a prominent and longstanding well-wisher of ISKCON in South Africa. She highlighted the importance of understanding environmental challenges and indicated that the Convention provided an important platform for dialogue in which to brainstorm possible solutions to such challenges. In her address, Mrs Rajbansi invited the organizing committee to engage further with her in order to take the concepts of Vedic Ecology forward in a practical manner within the local region.
The programme director, Haridev Das, introduced the keynote speaker, His Grace Govardhan Das giving details of his deep interest in the harnessing of environmentally-friendly energy resources. Govardhan Das was instrumental in the development of the Darling Wind farm, the first experimental wind farm in Africa. He also highlighted Govardhan Das’s various high profile positions in the petroleum industry and his participation on the task team investigating the bio-fuels strategy, and his chairing of the government Committee for the removal of lead from petrol and his managing the “Clean Fuels One” program in South Africa.
Govardhan Das started his talk by highlighting the “perils of the planet” such as deforestation, climate change, urban development, rising sea levels and adverse weather patterns. He then spoke about the great paradox of modern times, “we don’t want industrial pollution, but we wants jobs, economic growth, wealth, energy security, etc.” Govardhan Das explained that all of these things come at the risk of great environmental damage as we are currently witnessing. He then proceeded to highlight various important points relating to Ecology and the Vedic literature.
In a lecture in London, in July 1976, Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness said, “This is not a good civilization. It will not stay. There will be catastrophe, waiting. Many times it has happened, and it will happen because transgressing the laws of nature, or the laws of God, is most sinful.”
The next speaker was Her Grace Prasuti Devi Dasi, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada. Prasuti Dasi spoke about ancient Vedic village life and she made a comparison between the tranquil and peaceful Vedic village lifestyle and the congested, materialistic and consumer-driven modern day city life.
In his book, Vedic Ecology, Ranchor Prime quotes Srila Prabhupada, “Human prosperity flourishes by natural gifts and not by gigantic industrial enterprises, which are the products of a godless civilization and cause the destruction of the noble aims of life. The more we go on increasing such troublesome industries to squeeze out the vital energy of the human being, the more there will be unrest and dissatisfaction of the people in general.”
Mayapur Chandra Das spoke next, on the Global Eco-village movement – a future beyond the fear based economy. He shared many practical aspects supported by an open invitation to the audience that he is willing to participate in knowledge-sharing programs at schools and other institutions. His presentation was followed by Akhanda Kirtan Das, who is currently managing the Krishna Conscious Center in Umlazi, south of Durban. He spoke about the implementation of food gardens in Umlazi, and the need to assist the local people to overcome the challenges of everyday life and to bestow upon them the gift of Krishna Consciousness.
The last two presentations were made by Smita Krishna Das and Acarya Das. Smita Krishna Das spoke about Epistemology and Ecology – what you see is what you do. He discussed the various processes in which knowledge is disseminated and explained that if one acquires knowledge from persons who are materialistic and exploitive, then this will have the adverse effect of cultivating an exploitive society.
Acarya Das presented various slides showing the decay of the Yamuna River in India. He explained that parts of the surface of the river close to the city of Delhi is heavily contaminated with a white toxic foam from industrial wastes that makes it resemble an Antarctic environment. A dam has been erected in the Haryana area which greatly impedes the natural flow of the river, leaving very little water to flow towards Delhi. After the city of Delhi, the sacred river can be equated to a mere drain. Acarya Prabhu mentioned that Mother Yamuna is sacred to the followers of the Vedic culture and impeding her natural flow is similar to Ravana capturing Mother Sita in the Ramayana epic. He invited the audience to help save the Yamuna by signing the online petition via the website
Two intense and engaging question & answer sessions allowed the speakers to further share their knowledge and vision with the audience. The conference concluded with a summary of the key points of both the keynote address and the five presentations by Her Grace Krishni Devi Dasi. For further information, please e-mail:

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A Place from Which to Grow

A Place from Which to Grow
By Dhanesvara Das

Human life is meant for growth. Although physical growth stops before
several decades, emotional, psychological, intellectual and spiritual growth
can and should continue throughout every person's life.  In order to grow
properly however, we need a proper place. Place means not only a physical
place such as household, but proper relationships with others and proper
activity. All three of these are essential aspects for optimal growth. This
paper addresses the question of people's place in modern society and
contrasts it with place in the varnashrama culture and the different results
in society and people's lives.

A potted plant offers a very good example of having a proper place. The pot
is the physical place where the plant lives, but beyond the pot alone the
plant also requires a proper environment in terms of soil conditions,
atmosphere, temperature, water, and sunlight. When these conditions are
minimally met the plant can live, but when they are optimal the plant can

Likewise we are meant to thrive, not just live. We need a properly clean
house and environment where we can care for and give rest to our body, along
with nourishing food. This alone will allow us to survive, but not thrive
for as it is said, man does not live by bread alone. More than mere survival
we all desire to have interesting and meaningful activity appropriate to our
nature. In the modern world we generally call this "work." Ideally that work
will be a bit challenging so that we may make use of our faculties of
understanding, ability, and reasoning. The challenge helps us to grow. If
the work is too easy we will be bored and unengaged, and if the work is
beyond our capacity or ability we will be overworked and stressed.

And we also need a place in relationship to others. These relationships must
be appropriate to our respective stages of life and theirs. Thus we will
have different relationships with those senior to us than we have with our
peers or with our juniors. Having a proper place according these criteria
will help us to be happy and balanced individuals. Like the potted plant
without water, or sunshine, if any of these aspects of life are meager or
missing, then life can run the gamut from drudgery to torture, conditions
under which growth of any kind is difficult or impossible.

Place is so important in society that the war at Kurukshetra was fought to
give the Pandavas a proper place. The war could have been avoided if
Duryodhana would have allowed the Pandavas one village each, but he denied
the Pandavas any land whatsoever, not enough for a single needle! The proper
dharma of a ksatriya requires them to provide a place to others in his
village or kingdom, and this is such a necessary and essential requirement
that a ksatriya is forbidden any other engagement, even in times of
emergency. The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna came to establish the principles of
religion (paritranaya sadhunam) and to this end He admonished Arjuna to
fight the battle to properly establish the .

Place in Ancient Cultures

Historically one's place in society was both fixed and rigid. In both
Western (Feudal society) and Eastern culture place was generally assigned
according to one's birth. Males generally did what their fathers did and
females naturally became mothers and caretakers. You would become an
aristocrat if your parents were aristocrats, and if they were peasants you
would remain a peasant. The world was fairly well fixed at those times and
there was no upward or even lateral mobility for the vast majority of
people. In one sense this was bad and in another it was good. Bad in that if
you had a different nature than your father you were unable to be fulfilled,
but it was good in that a strong social contract existed. Every person had a
definite place in society with well understood rules of behavior, knowing
what they could expect of others and the expectations of themselves. In this
sense nobody was alone in the world. Whatever their fate might have been,
they were joined together with others of their kind with whom they would
share their miseries and joys. For further insights into these types of
culture and the differences before and after the introduction of Western
influences read for example, Bhakti Vikasa Swami's "Glimpses of Traditional
Indian Life," or Helena Norberg-Hodge's "Ancient Futures: Learning from

Finding Our Place in Today's World

Modern society is just the opposite-we are not given a place in society-we
have to find it, beginning even in childhood. Parents, pressed for time,
find it much easier to do everything themselves rather than taking time to
teach their children and guide them in building their skills, so that many
have never washed a floor or even a dish by the time they leave home.
Children lack a place even within their family. They are told to "go play,"
or they entertain themselves with television and electronic games. Although
they do not have an active role in life they are somehow suddenly expected
to fit right into the adult world upon graduation from school. However they
often cannot and it is taking increasing years for them to find their place
in the adult world. Today most people do not marry until they are almost
thirty years of age, indicating that this is when they are able to find
their place in society; whereas just two generations back they would marry
and begin their family lives just after high school.

Going back to the years when society was more formally structured and there
was a subsistence economy children had a part in adult society and could
take responsibility at much younger ages. For example, David Farragut (later
Admiral Farragut) was a mere 12 years old during the War of 1812 when he was
given his first command. Those who have visited India have undoubtedly
witnessed children of very young ages taking responsibility to manage the
shop of their father, the care of their siblings and even carry on
entrepreneurial activities without any adult supervision. When I see such
things I try to imagine any American boy or girl of the same age doing
similar things. I cannot. Anthropologist Joseph Campbell also observed that
many young men have great difficulty finding their place in modern society,
to which he attributed the attraction of gang membership, and later
involvement in the mafia, whose "codes of honor" do provide a place along
with attendant duties and relationships. He suggested that until adult
society finds some way to provide a place for young men they will naturally
continue their involvement in gangs.

For most people their work provides their place and their orientation to the
world-a way to think of themselves and their relationships with others. It
provides the income with which they pay for their home, another aspect of
place. Work is therefore an essential element of finding one's place.
Although we now have the freedom to choose our work, to be and achieve
anything to the limit of our ability, this is a challenge that many people
struggle with. Despite the many books to help people find the right job or
occupation, despite the many career counselors and job placement companies,
some 80 percent of workers are still unsatisfied with the work they do. This
indicates that their work is not according to their nature, their guna and
karma. Being improperly situated they can make a mess of things, especially
in positions of leadership or management, and it is almost certain that in
such situations they cannot grow.

The Consequences of Loss of Place

The sense of place, the psychological support that comes from it, and the
result of losing it was studied by the pioneer sociologist, Emile Durkheim.
Observing the rapid changes in the social and economic conditions of society
during the industrialization of the late 19th century, he found that in
rapidly changing environments people became unsure of what was expected of
them, and what they could or should expect from others. These expectations,
known as social norms, are the basic rules of the culture. Durkheim observed
that without having a place where they know the norms to guide them, people
become dissatisfied, purposeless and alienated which leads to conflicts,
crime, suicide and other social deviancies. He called this condition anomie,
and wrote about it in his books "The Division of Labor in Society" and

One of the great tragedies of the modern era is the lack of place for the
hundreds of millions, even billions, of "unnecessary" and "unwanted"
people-the unemployed, the homeless, street urchins, and slum-dwellers.
Modern society affords them little if any place to give them even the simple
honor of living. Who gets a place in modern society? Increasingly only those
who can earn a profit for others, or provide money for others, that is,
those who have employable skills for which there is a market. However, the
need for employable people is diminishing with a diminishing economy. In
the1930s some 60 percent of Americans lived on farms and could provide for
themselves. Over the next 50 years 2,000 farms every week went under or were
sold, their occupants moving to the cities. Today those remaining on farms
number less than 5 percent of the population, and the other 95 percent
require jobs that produce money in order to get their food. Because of the
loss of manufacturing jobs to southeast Asia and service jobs to India and
elsewhere there are simply not enough jobs available. The official
unemployment figures are in double digits, but the real figure counting all
people who would like to work if they could is more than 20% in America.
That figure is similar throughout the world.

Worldwide more than 50 percent of the people now live in cities and the
prediction is that by the year 2020, 90 percent of the people in large
metropolitan areas will be slum-dwellers. This is almost half of the entire
global population! By definition slum dwellers do not have sufficient
earnings with which to properly maintain themselves. Either they are wage
slaves that are forced to work long hours at wages insufficient to live on,
or they have no regular job. In either case they have no place that allows
them to grow. Wage slaves generally have no money and no time for anything
else that might contribute to their growth. And no job means no place, no
place means anomie, which means increased theft, crime, drug use,
prostitution and suicide. This is what is meant by nirvishesha and
sunnyavadi, the voidism and impersonalism of the Kali-yuga. What can we
expect when half of humanity has no place? It is a house of horror. This is
seen as such a problem that there is serious discussion at high levels of
"culling" the human race to what is "needed," and eliminating the "useless
eaters." (This is actually not new. The ideas of Thomas Malthus and eugenics
have been around for several hundred years). These problems could and should
be fixed by society's leader but the policies of government only seem to
make them worse.

Finding One's Place in ISKCON

In the early days of Srila Prabhupada's movement it was easy to find one's
place in the society. Indeed, this was one of the features that made ISKCON
so attractive. Expansion was rapid and young people, or anybody actually,
could easily find a place to make their contribution, whatever that was.
Having a place and the opportunity to contribute to the effort gave the
devotees great joy that happiness was expressed on their faces in kirtan, on
harinam and in their service.

However, in ensuing years the social structure of the movement changed. As
the devotees married and began families there was no longer suitable
facility within the temples, and they were forced to live outside. To pay
for that, most, but not all, had to find their work outside the movement as
well. This generally resulted in not having close proximity to the temples,
which meant less association and less service. The result was
predictable-unable to maintain their active involvement in the movement
these devotees no longer had a place. They became the congregation:
attending the Sunday program, kirtan and taking prasadam, but that is not
enough to have a place and a feeling of contributing to the mission, and a
feeling of belonging. This trend continued through the 80s and ISKCON became
like any other church, with majority of devotees participating as the
congregation. In the process ISKCON ceased to be a counter-culture and had
gone mainstream where life was compartmentalized-work in this arena, social
life here, family life there, and spiritual life over there...

Today the vast majority of devotees have never lived in a temple, and never
had the opportunity to engage cent per cent in temple service, harinam and
book distribution. This means that many of them have never had the privilege
to experience what it means to find their place exclusively in Krishna
consciousness. It is my experience, having been both part of the
congregation and on the inside, that spiritual progress is much easier and
life is much happier on the inside. We also observe that the devotees who
are the steadiest and strongest in their devotional service are those who
have full-time devotional service that provides for their maintenance,
giving them a place in all respects: the sannyasis, the leaders, the temple
presidents, pujaris, cooks, those working with translation and book
production and distribution, brahmacaris, etc. And even among these only a
few are fortunate enough to have a place inside the movement their entire
lives. Unfortunately there is limited engagement in the temple activities
and many are forced to find a place in the dominant culture. For them
Krishna consciousness becomes another of several other aspects of their life
and may not be the most influential.

Place in Varnashrama Culture

The Vedic culture is created and arranged by what may be called "higher
authority." That is, the Supreme Lord has not only given us this world for
our activities, but has also given instruction how we can live here happily,
having meaningful work, and growing throughout our lives. Through the
hierarchy of this world He has given these principles of living in the Codes
of Dharma, or dharma shastra. The codes of dharma divide society into four
working classes called varnas, and four stages of life for spiritual
purposes called ashrama. Each of these has their specific obligations as
well as defined relationships with the other sections. This scientifically
arranged society is designed to provide everyone a place that will
facilitate lifelong growth in all spheres of life.

In the varnashrama culture occupation is not simply a means of obtaining as
much money as possible, nor is it merely a haphazard job taken simply for
survival. The entire concept of varna is that work must be appropriate to
one's nature, or guna and karma. Lord Krishna emphatically states in the
Bhagavad-gita that one must work according to their own nature and that it
is dangerous to do the work of others. (3.35, 18.47) Why dangerous? Because
by doing inappropriate work and being improperly situated we cannot fulfill
the purpose of human life, which is to grow.

There are four varnas-brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra, or the priests
and intellectuals, the political leaders, the organizers and producers and
the workers. All occupations in every human culture can be broadly
classified into one of these four. In the modern culture the relationship
between these four is determined by money almost exclusively, with
corresponding neglect of dharma, but in the varnashrama culture those
relationships are prescribed by the codes of dharma.

In regard to place the ksatriya has a very important role-he is tasked with
giving everyone a proper place in society-both in terms of housing and work.
For his exercise in caring for the citizens as if they were his own children
the ksatriya is considered the representative of the Lord. Not only is it
his duty to see that there is no unemployment in the varnashrama culture,
but everyone must also have work according to their nature. Hence besides no
unemployment there is not even any underemployment. In such a system job
dissatisfaction would approach zero percent.

Neither is there any homelessness in the varnashrama culture. Everyone has a
place to live, a place to work, and proper relationships with others. This
not only includes all human beings, but all species of life, especially
including the bulls and cows, domesticated animals who provide for the needs
of sustainable power and good nutrition.

Creating a Place for Everyone

We often repeat what one astrologer said of Srila Prabhupada, that he
created a house in which the whole world can live. This is another way of
saying that Srila Prabhupada arranged for everyone to have a place from
which they can grow. Everyone means not only the devotees of his Movement,
but all people of the world.

In his last days Srila Prabhupada spoke to Kuladri about this:

Kuladri das:  "I was the temple president at New Vrindavan for so many
years, and Prabhupada had a vision for a pilgrimage site in North America
and a farm community. So he never emphasized book distribution to us. He
explained to me, especially at the end when I was with him in Bombay and in
Vrindavan just before he left, that the second half of his movement would be
dramatically different than the first half. The emergency tactics that he
used to distribute books and give young people sannyasa and open as many
temples as possible would end. He wanted places like New Vrindavan to
establish the culture of Krishna consciousness with colleges, grihastha
lifestyle, all of the things to demonstrate the philosophy that he was so
careful to present in his books. So he right up to the end he was telling me
that the farm communities were so important for the second half and the
vision would be very different than when his movement got started in the
Western world."

In my way of understanding this statement, Srila Prabhupada was preparing us
to lead a great social movement based on his teachings to give a place to
the millions of people that modern society discards like so much rubbish.
This is where I see the varnashrama culture playing a significant role. If
the world's unfortunate people are to be saved it cannot be that we simply
help them find a place again in the same culture that spit them out. There
must be something different that will give them hope to have a meaningful
life, and a place from which to grow. That something different is the
sustainable village life where every person has a proper place to live,
proper engagement, and proper relationships.

On various occasions Srila Prabhupada instructed that the householders
should all live on the farms. Why? Because the village can provide a proper
place for everyone to live in the context of Krishna consciousness. This is
due to the fact that agriculture can provide an economic alternative to the
city job in an environment that supports Krishna consciousness, frees the
devotee from having to associate with non-devotees, and helps them to become
free from rajas and tamo-guna and established in goodness-an important step
to rising to suddha-sattva, the transcendental plane of existence. Moreover,
the village offers many different types of engagement and it is much easier
to find work that is according to one's guna and karma. Although this
instruction of Srila Prabhupada has been neglected, the advantages of the
village life remain. Devotees who are struggling in the cities both with
earning sufficient money and in their spiritual lives may find it helpful to
find a place in the village.

The Result of Giving the Bulls a Place

Not only does the village provide the devotee with the necessities of life,
but also provides the bull with much needed engagement. The bull also is
given a place in the spiritual culture, but he has also been rejected from
the atheistic, materialistic, dominant culture, and replaced by
oil-consuming machines that wreak havoc on the environment and our sanity.
At our Gitagrad community in Lithuania, New Gaudadesha, Bhakta Petras has
taken up the care and engagement of the bulls. I asked him what he had
learned while he was training them. His reply was profound, indicating that
all of human society will benefit greatly by again giving the bull a place
in society. Bhakta Petras replied that from the bull he has learned:

1.They do not learn quickly; one must go slow as they learn slowly
2. Therefore great patience is required. A local man told Petras early on
that he would have to be patient, but that man himself did not even know how
patient one must be. Researching Srila Prabhupada's book Petras found that
that patience is the most important quality and the mother of all other
3. As you are training them, they are also teaching you.
4. Because they are very regulated in their actions, they force you to be
regulated in yours.
5. The bull teaches you sattva; he is an animal of a sattva nature, and he
will not go to rajas-you cannot make him get passionate. Instead, you
yourself must come to sattva if you want to work with him-he will thus force
you to come to sattva.
6. Working with the bull may be compared to working with children or women,
in that, if you get angry with them they will refuse to cooperate with you.
If you are calm and reasonable they will work with you.
7. Rajo-guna (increasing speed) and tamo-guna (negative
reinforcement-hitting them) does not work with these animals.
8. Petras recently read from very old records how if a person had been
drinking and the bulls smell that they will refuse to work with the man.
Indeed, they will even try to gore him. They don't want to associate with
such people in the lower modes of nature.
9. The bulls and man are a team; they work together. Unlike driving a car or
tractor, where the driver simply controls the machine. With the bulls one
must learn to cooperate and work as a team.
10. There is mutual dependency between the bulls and the teamster; the bulls
depend on the man to feed and care for them, and the man depends on the
bulls to provide necessary power for accomplishing things.

Petras' comments gave me many realizations. The first is that Petras himself
is not just training the bulls, but they are also training him. By his
effort he is receiving valuable personal training in sattvic qualities,
conditioning him to sattva-guna. Such training is difficult to come by in a
world that is driven by passion and ignorance. Srila Prabhupada has taught
us that we must come to the platform of sattva before we can progress to
suddha-sattva, or the transcendental plane. How valuable are the cow and the
bull to help us stay fixed in sattva-guna.

I also realized how our dependence on the cow and the bull teaches the
entire human society sattva, and keeps them in sattva. Having abandoned the
bull we have lost our tether to sattva and are the entire human race is
drifting inexorably to rajas and tamo-guna, with the attendant terrible
consequences that we are now beginning to reap, economically, socially,
politically, etc.

Next I realized that the reason that Petras has had so many wonderful
realizations because he made room for, and a commitment to Dharma (the
bulls) in his life. He gave the bulls a place in his world. Giving them a
place means giving them a duty, and that is the birth of yajna (yajna is
born of prescribed duties). Only interested in what they can take from
others, modern man does not realize what the cow and bull have to give to
us. Neither does modern man understand sattva-guna or the tremendous
benefits that accrue to society as a whole by giving these animals their
place in human society. Indeed, that is the case with all living beings in
this world since, Om purnam ada purnam idam, this world is perfectly
equipped as a complete whole and every thing and every living thing has its

Modern man instead thinks he can do better by killing the bull and
exploiting the cow for milk and the earth for oil. There is a very old bull
at New Gaudadesh, Nandi. The neighbors ask why we bother to keep an old
bull. They tell us we should kill him. Such an impoverished mentality of
selfishness denying this living entity his place does not allow them to
recognize the value of the bull, dharma, or reap the benefits of associating
with these wonderful animals.

We Are Missing Parts of the Social Machine

All devotees, but the brahmanas and ksatriyas in particular are meant to be
the leaders of society meaning that they are concerned with the welfare of
others, particularly those who are suffering:

sivaya lokasya bhavaya bhutaye ya uttama-sloka-parayana janah
jivanti natmartham asau parasrayam mumoca nirvidya kutah kalevaram

Those who are devoted to the cause of the Personality of Godhead live only
for the welfare, development and happiness of others. They do not live for
any selfish interest. (S.B. 1.4.12)

To this end Srila Prabhupada had wanted his followers, engaging what he
taught them, to correct the defects of modern civilization by establishing
daiva-varnashrama, or the divine culture of Krishna consciousness. This
daiva-varnashrama culture can give everyone a place to grow and so doing
cure all of the ills of today's society.

What is greatly needed now are men of ksatriya and vaisya natures to take
their proper place in the spiritual society, for they are essential to make
the whole scheme work. The ksatriyas and vaisyas must perform their dharma
as given by Sri Krishna in the Gita and dharma shastra. For the ksatriya
this means they must establish and take care of a village and provide a
place for the praja and insure that they have work according to their
nature. And the vaisyas are needed to organize the practical activity of
day-to-day life to see that people have food to eat, clothes to wear and the
other necessities of life. This is their dharma. Where are they? Why are
they not doing their duty? Unless and until these qualified men take up
their dharma this Krishna consciousness movement will not be able to show
the way out of the darkness of the modern materialistic way of living.
People today are becoming increasingly confused by the economic and
political changes and are looking for leadership. The needed concepts are
given in Srila Prabhupada's teachings, but unless we put them to practice
they remain nothing more than the study of an earlier grand culture that has
seen its day and remains lost in a bygone era, and this Krishna
Consciousness movement will have missed its calling of showing the way out
of the darkness of nescience in this time of great adversity.

I hope that this has helped you appreciate what place means in the life of
any person and the necessity of establishing the divine varnashrama culture
to once again provide a place for everyone. I encourage all devotees to
cooperate together to create healing communities for the benefit of all the
devotees, as well as all the people of this world.

2 May 2012
Kaunas, Lithuania


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