The Need for Ideal Leaders

A small percentage of exemplary Krishna conscious persons can benefit the whole world.

yad yad acarati sreyan
itaras tat tad ihat sa
yat pramanam kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

“The mass of people follow the example of a leader in society and imitate his behavior. They accept as evidence whatever the leader accepts.”
  – Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.4

This is a very important verse. An ideal class of men is needed in society. Therefore Vedic society is divided into brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras. The ideal class of men includes the brahmanas, the saintly persons, the sannyasis, and the rajarsis, or saintly kings. They are required. In the Bhagavad-gita (4.2) it is said that the Bhagavadgita was taught to the rajarsis, not to the third-class men. Imam rajarsayo viduh. Rajarsi means raja and rsi at the same time. Although raja, or kings, they were saintly kings, like Maharaja Yudhisthira and Bhagavan Ramacandra, both ideal kings.

In the ancient Vedic culture a husband would reject his wife if she had been with another man. After Lord Ramacandra killed Ravana, who had kidnapped His wife, He overheard a citizen criticizing Him for welcoming her back. Even though the criticizer was a low-class man, Lord Ramacandra thought, “My citizens are criticizing Me,” and He immediately separated from Sita. This is the example of the ideal king: no criticism from a citizen, even if one is Lord Ramacandra. That is the character of the rajarsi.

Maharaja Yudhisthira and his grandson Maharaja Pariksit were also rajarsis. When Pariksit Maharaja was emperor of the world, he was touring his kingdom when he saw a man trying to kill a cow. Immediately he took action: “Who is this man trying to kill a cow?”

Pariksit was going to kill him, but the man saved himself by saying, “This is my time. I am Kaliyuga. I am the representative of this age. This is my business – to kill cows. So what can I do?”
Pariksit said, “You better get out. Otherwise I shall kill you.”
“Where shall I go?”
“Out of my kingdom.”
“Where is it not your kingdom? The whole world is your kingdom. Where shall I go? I am also your subject. You must give me a place.”

Then he gave him the places for his residence. Dyutam panam striyah suna yatradharmas caturvidhah: “You can remain in four places – where there is illicit sex or prostitution, where there is unnecessary killing of animals, as in slaughterhouses, where there is intoxication, and where there is gambling.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.17.38).

It was very difficult for Kali to find out such places because in Maharaja Pariksit’s time the kingdom was so nice that there was no brothel, no slaughterhouse, no liquor shop, and no gambling club. Because he was a rajarsi, you could not find these things. Therefore Kali made a conspiracy to get Maharaja Pariksit out so that Kali could spread his influence. As long Maharaja Pariksit was there, there was no influence of Kali-yuga. So after all, the age has come. It is ordained. Pariksit Maharaja was cursed by a brahmana to die within seven days, and after his death Kali-yuga spread its influence. And now, by the advancement of the age, you will find these four places in every home. Illicit sex, intoxication, gambling, and meat-eating – these are Kali-yuga.

The kings were very strict not to allow these things, and the people were following the king. Yad yad acarati sreyan. The king was strict. The government was strict. Therefore people were following.

The sinful activities of the whole world can be stopped immediately if the government is strong. But the government members are themselves victims of Kali-yuga, so how can they stop the sinful activities? Some big, big politicians, when they enjoy they bring naked girls and drinking, and this is their standard of enjoyment. So how can you expect good government? It is not possible. Why should they bother about people’s happiness? They want to occupy a big, big ministerial post to enjoy life.

The position of the whole world is deteriorated because there is no ideal man. The leaders are all rogues and thieves, in a very fallen condition. Therefore people are deteriorating.

Symptoms of This Age

The Srimad-Bhagavatam lists the symptoms of Kali-yuga. For example: dampatye ’bhirucir hetuh (Bhag. 12.2.3). Dampata means husband and wife. Their relation will stand as long as they satisfy one another by sex, rati. As soon as there is some disturbance in their sex life, they will divorce. “I don’t want you.” Vipratve sutram eva hi: “Without any qualification, anyone who wears the two-cent thread worn by brahmanas will be considered a brahmana.” Similarly, any unqualified person who carries the sannyasa rod will be considered a real sannyasi. These are some of the symptoms of the age.

Daksyam kutumba-bharanam: If anyone can maintain a family – a wife and one or two children – then he is to be considered very expert and successful. Therefore you will find in these days that a man has no wife, no children, no family. In Western countries they take their dog as their best friend – and television. That’s all, because this is Kaliyuga. A man has no family, but he must have some companion. But he doesn’t want a family, doesn’t want the botheration of a family. So his dog is his best friend. What can be done. This is going on, and it will increase more and more, more and more.

Therefore, at the present moment there is a great necessity to have some ideal men. Yad yad acarati sreyan. We are endeavoring to create some ideal men, Krishna conscious men who are ideal in their character, their behavior, their aim of life. Those who have taken to Krishna consciousness seriously should be ideal men. Just by seeing their behavior society will be benefited.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us, apani acari, prabhu jivere sikhaya. If you don’t behave as an ideal man, you cannot preach. Your preaching will not be successful, because nature’s law is that ordinary men follow the ideal. People will be happy if there is a rajarsi – a ksatriya, ruler, king who is just like a saintly person, like Maharaja Yudhisthira, Pariksit, Lord Ramacandra, Maharaja Ambarisa. During the reign of Maharaja Yudhisthira there was no trouble at all for the citizens. They were free from even ordinary minor diseases. That is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. And as far as production was concerned, it is said that the land was producing all the necessities: sarvakama- dugha mahi (Bhag. 1.10.4).

Why Nature Restricts Her Supply

Actually we get everything from the earth, all supplies. We are getting these flowers from the earth, we are getting these fruits from the earth, we are getting foodstuff from the earth, we are getting minerals from the earth – everything. Nature will supply you sufficiently, provided you follow the ideal life. Otherwise nature will punish you. There will be no supply.

This is described in the Srimad- Bhagavatam. Nature was not supplying sufficiently, so Maharaja Prthu was going to punish the earth personified, Prthvi. If somebody is doing wrong, then the king must punish. So he was prepared to punish Prthvi.

She submitted, “King, why are you trying to punish me? It is my business to restrict my supply when people become demons.”

That is nature’s law. As soon as you become demons, godless, nature will restrict her supply. There will be no rain, no production. There will be scarcity.

Everything is being carried out by prakrti, nature, and prakrti is working under the direction of Krishna . Mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram (Gita 9.10). Without prakrti’s cooperation you cannot get anything. You may have big, big mills and factories, but they will be useless. You cannot manufacture rice, grains. Even if you eat meat, the cows and the other animals must eat vegetables. There will be no vegetables. How will you be able to eat meat even? Nature has the power to restrict. As you become more and more demoniac and sinful, nature will restrict her supply, and you’ll suffer. That is the law.

Therefore our Krishna consciousness movement is meant for teaching people how to become Krishna conscious and surrender unto Krishna . Then they will be happy. That is the way of the Krishna consciousness movement. We want to create some ideal men. People will see them, and at least they will understand “Here are the ideal men.” They will be ashamed of their own behavior.

Those who are in the Krishna consciousness movement should be sreyan, the best men in society. Otherwise if you waste your time to make the temple a free hotel and sleep, that is useless. If you take advantage of the free hotel and do no work, that will not make our mission successful. We must be sreyan, first-class men.

That is wanted because there are no first-class men. They are all fourth class and fifth class. It is said, kalau sudra-sambhavah: In Kaliyuga everyone is a sudra. Sudra means fourth-class men, and can- dala means fifth-class men. Nowadays they are mainly candalas. By the grace of Caitanya Mahaprabhu this movement is able to pick up even candalas and turn them into brahmanas.

mam ca yo ’vyabhicarena
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate

“One who is engaged in devotional service becomes immediately transcendental to the infection of the three qualities of material nature.” (Gita 14.26) That is actually happening. This powerful Krishna consciousness movement is so strong that we can pick people up from the lowest stage of life and bring them to the highest stage of life if they follow the rules and regulations. It is possible. We are seeing this.

A class of ideal men is needed. They may be in the minority; it doesn’t matter. But their ideal behavior, character, will lead other people to appreciate: “Yes. We should be like this.”

Pranava was telling me that some friend has told him that in the Western countries people are appreciating this movement because I have stopped intoxication amongst our members. Professor Judah also says that. They are appreciating now: “It is a nice movement. Our students were habituated to all these bad things, and they have now become God conscious. They are mad after God.” A priest in Boston came to see me. He said, “Swamiji, how is it that your disciples look so bright?” They are appreciating. This is wanted – that everyone in this movement become sreyan, first class.

This movement is very important because it is creating first-class men so that others will see them and follow their example. That is natural. A father may be a drunkard, but he doesn’t like to see his son become a drunkard. Everyone appreciates good qualities. So if we can create an ideal class of men, then others who are fallen will try to become like us.

Become Ideal

Don’t take this movement as something insignificant. It is very serious. Those who are members should become ideal. We have got a very easy method to become ideal: Avoid these four principles of sinful life – meat-eating, illicit sex, intoxication, and gambling – and chant sixteen rounds of Hare Krishna on your beads. Then you will become ideal.

The first step to becoming ideal is ceto-darpana-marjanam: cleansing the heart. We are all suffering on account of ignorance. There are so many nasty, dirty things within our heart. They will be cleansed by the process we are prescribing.

We also progress by hearing from the bhagavatas. There are two bhagavatas. One is the granthabhagavata, which means the book bhagavata, especially the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The other is the person bhagavata, the Krishna conscious person who exemplifies the teachings of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Svarupa Damodara, Lord Caitanya’s secretary, taught, “Hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from a person whose life is Srimad-Bhagavatam.” Don’t hear from the professionals who speak on the Bhagavatam for their livelihood. They immediately open the rasa-lila chapter and people think, “Oh, Krishna and I are the same. He is embracing a young girl. I shall now try to find a young girl.” This is going on. People are going to hell by hearing the Bhagavatam from these rascal professionals.

The Bhagavatam takes nine cantos to explain what God is. Then we are prepared to hear about Krishna in the Tenth Canto. We should not jump to the Tenth Canto immediately.

Now everything is misused only for money, money, money. “Bring money.” This is Kali-yuga. Everything will be judged by money. And as soon as there is money there will be himsa, violence. Therefore the Bhagavatam is not for this class of men – the professional Bhagavatam reciters. It is for those who are above enviousness, who are above hankering after money.

We should be very, very careful to become first-class men so that others will follow. If you become a first-class man, whatever you do (sa yat pramanam), people will follow naturally (lokas tad anuvartate).

Unfortunately nowadays “firstclass man” means one who wants to kill Krishna . The only business of all these so-called scholars of Bhagavad-gita is how to kill Krishna , as Kamsa was planning how to kill Krishna . That was his plan. He was a demon. He was thinking of Krishna , but he was thinking how to kill Him. That is not bhakti. He was Krishna conscious. He was always thinking about Krishna . Twenty-four hours a day he was thinking how to kill Krishna . That is not bhakti. Bhakti means thinking how to serve Krishna . That is bhakti. Not pratikula, or adverse thinking.

Of course, Krishna is so nice that even if you think of Krishna adversely, because you’ll chant “Krishna , Krishna ” you will get some benefit. Krishna is so nice. In Germany there was propaganda that “The Hare Krishna people are so bad.” But every paper chanted Hare Krishna . “The Hare Krishna movement is bad.” So therefore, in spite of their propaganda we are existing there. We have come out triumphant. They could not do anything.

The Hare Krishna movement is so strong that indirectly, directly, or some way or other if you chant Hare Krishna you will be benefited. It is so. If you become benefited by neglectfully chanting Hare Krishna , then how much you will be benefited if you carefully chant Hare Krishna . That should be the ideal.

Unfortunately, those decrying this Krishna movement are directly making propaganda. When Krishna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru – “Think of Me, become My devotee, bow down to Me” – the so-called scholars say, “It is not Krishna to whom you should do these things.” They’re misleading people. People are becoming against Krishna : “Why should Krishna be God? I have got another God, whom I’ve manufactured. Here is God.”

Krishna is so beautiful, but they say, “I am God.” Such an ugly person is God? No. There are so many ugly “Gods” nowadays. That ferocious face and he is God? We worship God who has such a nice face that people come and become enchanted, and others bring someone with a ferocious head, and he becomes God.

This is going on. The whole propaganda is like that. Even big, big political leaders say, “We don’t believe in Krishna . We don’t believe that Krishna as a living person ever existed.” People are being misled. Someone has taken the position of sreyan – big leader, big scholar – and he is decrying Krishna . So what will people do? They are helpless. They will say, “Oh, Mr. Such-and- Such said it is fiction. Krishna is imagination.” This is going on.

In Vrindavan you’ll find so many big, big Mayavadis, impersonalists. They’re explaining that this Krishna concept is an imagination, and people throng together to hear them – in Vrindavan, and what to speak of other places.

This is the position of the world. People are suffering, and they will continue to suffer. Nature will punish them. Yamaraja, who punishes the sinful after death, will take them. That is their next life. Try to save them. That is the purpose of the Krishna consciousness movement.

Thank you very much.