Saturday, September 8, 2012

Financial Speculators Buying up Farmland - Prices Soaring. Shouldn't Devotees Step in Now!

Since the global financial crisis and food riots of 2008, many hedge funds and investment companies are buying up farmland. Some consider it a better investment than precious metals. As one investor put it, you cannot eat gold.
While these big-name hedge fund managers like George Soros are buying up arable land everywhere, it is becoming scarce and more expensive. It may sound like material anxiety for devotees to worry about this. Shouldn't we know that Krsna is untimately in control?
Once, a devotee asked how we, as neophytes, can know if our anxiety is still material when we feel anxiety in devotional service. Srila Prabhupada replied: "No, no"– and he said that if you feel anxiety for Krsna, it is not material but love. As neophytes, we still feel anxiety for the Krsna consciousness of our children and the people of this world. We feel anxiety that the coming golden age within this Kali-yuga will transition easily. This is not material.
Vaisya devotees should be buying up these hugh tracts of land in their countries to put it to proper use. Devotees should settle on them, creating communities - as an investment in a future varnasrama society. Our brahmanas should advise and encourage our vaisyas in this way.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vaisyas are the Solution for Varnasrama to Take Off

Srila Prabhupada said that he personally considers living off the land to be the bija (seed) mantra of varnasrama. The vaisya is required to make this work on a practical level. The majority of devotees already live within the congregation and work to earn money in different ways to support their asrama - they act as vaisyas. And Srila Prabhupada said that most of us are vaisyas or sudras.

So presently, within the devotee community, most of us already live the life of vaisyas in the literal sense, that is we are devotees who earn money and understand spiritual values and the tradition. Although as vaisyas, we do not earn money according to tradition, we still earn money in different ways; as professionals, businessmen, artisans, and office workers - to provide material comforts such as a nice home for our family – as traditional vaisyas used to do. The difference between devotees earning money and materialists earning money is that devotees use it in the mode of goodness and sometimes passion whereas materialists act more like sudras and use money in ignorance, to satisfy their bodily senses.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sudra are all Brahmanas in Daiva-Varnasrama

Srila Prabhupada had an interesting conversation with devotee’s on 14 February 1977, covering important aspects of some misconceptions we may have regarding "Daivi Varnasrama", in which he said varnasrama should be established as it is not so easy to become a vaisnava. This conversation clarifies how daivi-varnasrama, which is unique to Gaudiya Vaisnavism, is different from traditional varnasrama of ages gone by. Daiva-varnasrama is especially tailored for the golden age within this Kali-yuga, where devotees of all varnas are actually brahmanas in consciousness. All varnas are equal spiritually.

In reply to a question whether varnasrama is for the kanistha-adhikari, Srila Prabhupada said yes but he also said that kanistha-adhikari means he must be a qualified brahmana. And he gave an example of what a brahmana is: as a materialistic devotee gradually elevates himself from the material stage to the spiritual stage, during this actual process of spiritual advancement, one is a brahmana. So in daivi-varnasrama, devotees of all varnas could be considered brahmanas. That is - all devotees, no matter what varna they are in, following the regulative principles within daivi varnasrama, will act to elevate themselves gradually through their varnas. There is an equal chance of spiritual advancement for all.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Varnasrama - Why Now!

There is presently difficulty finding consensus on implementing varnasrama within the devotee community according to time and place. There are different reasons for this but we won’t go into it in detail here. Instead, we will look at why we need to start varnasrama with urgency. We seriously need to introspect and consider what the present is now and try to see what the future will be in twenty or fifty years or more from now – and to act positively.

To look a little into the future, we have to actually realize how degraded the present generation is, and what it was like in the past. The present young generation of Western women far surpass men in unfavourable habits that once used to be considered mostly a man’s material privilege. In the United Kingdom, and from my experience with London, on any night of the week – with weekends being worse, one would see half naked women stumbling or crawling on the side-walks, absolutely drunk, some of them unashamedly vomiting and urinating on the streets.