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At least a section of man must be first-class so that others can see that what is the ideal character of man. So this Gurukula means from the childhood age we are training them so that in future it will be easier. That is the purpose of Gurukula

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"at least a section of man must be first class so that others can see that what is the ideal character of man. So this Gurukula means from the childhood age we are training them so that in future it will be easier. That is the purpose of Gurukula"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

It is not that everyone will become first-class man, but at least a section of man must be first-class so that others can see that what is the ideal character of man. So this Gurukula means from the childhood age we are training them so that in future it will be easier. That is the purpose of Gurukula.


Room Conversation with Mr. & Mrs. Wax, Writer and Editing Manager of Playboy Magazine -- July 5, 1975, Chicago:

Jayatīrtha: She wants to know what our plan is for Gurukula, whether we want to start other Gurukulas in other places . . . (child making sounds)

Prabhupāda: (aside) Hmm, this child . . .

Jayatīrtha: Child should go out.

Prabhupāda: So you can explain what is the idea of Gurukula.

Jayatīrtha: So we do have plans for opening of other . . . generally he likes to address more philosophical questions.

Mrs. Wax: All right.

Jayatīrtha: Because the questions about the future of the Society, others devotees can answer this just as well. But the philosophical questions that are . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: We want to raise first-class men. Try to understand. The present society, we are creating fourth-class men. Therefore we are not in very happy condition. We want to raise the fourth-class man to first-class man. First-class man means with qualification who can control the mind, control the senses, always very cleansed and truthful, very simple, full of all kinds of knowledge, practical application in life, then to have full knowledge of God—these are the characteristics of first-class man. So at the present moment everyone is a fourth-class man. So we want to get some first-class men. That is required. Because there is no idea of first-class man, therefore people are becoming full of crimes. You have seen the article in the Time, "Crime, Why and What to Do?"

That is the concern of the materialistic society. So we are trying to raise a group of men who will be ideal. Just like our devotees. You will find their characters different from all others, at least in your country. They do not have illicit sex; they do not eat meat, they do not have any intoxication, even smoking or taking tea; they do not indulge in gambling; they chant holy name of God, lead very simple life. So we are creating first-class men. There is need. It is not that everyone will become first-class man, but at least a section of man must be first class so that others can see that what is the ideal character of man. So this Gurukula means from the childhood age we are training them so that in future it will be easier. That is the purpose of Gurukula.

Mrs. Wax: The four natural divisions . . . I understand that at Vṛndāvana, that that will be an example to American society, but how can the four natural divisions of man be translated into American society?

Prabhupāda: It has to be. If you don't, then you must suffer with all these criminals. That is natural. Just like in your body there is head and there is arm and there is belly and there is leg. The head is the most important part. Why? Why not all legs? Why there are different divisions? Similarly, in the human society, if we want to make it perfect, there must be head, there must be arm, there must be belly, there must be legs. So leg can walk, but leg cannot do the work of brain. So at the present moment we have got all walking men, no brain. Therefore the society is in chaotic condition. There is no brain in the society. That is the defect of modern civilization. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). According to quality and work, there are four divisions. (aside:) You can push it back.

Four divisions. So similarly, four divisions must be there: a group of men, first class; a group of men, administrator; a group of men, food producer; and a group of men, general worker. So the brain is the chief. If your body . . . there are other parts, but if your head is cut off, then what is the use of other parts? If your hand is cut off, you can live. If your leg is cut off, you can live. But if your head is cut off, then finished. So that is lacking in the present society—no brain how to guide, so that whole human . . . if the brain is there, then it can guide. It can ask the hand to work in a certain way, the leg to work in certain way, to eat in a certain way. Then the health of the whole body will be quite competent. But if there is no brain, then everything . . . just like a man becomes mad when the brain is not working.

Mrs. Wax: Who will decide what the propensities are, Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Jayatīrtha: Who is to decide whether a person is first class, if they are a brāhmaṇa, or whether they are kṣatriya or vaiśya?

Prabhupāda: The book of knowledge. You can read Bhagavad-gītā. (aside) Find out, śamaḥ damaḥ titikṣa.

Jayatīrtha:

śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam
brahma-karma svabhāva-jam
(BG 18.42)

"Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness—these are the qualities by which a brāhmaṇa works."

Prabhupāda: This is first class. Now śamo damaḥ . . . śamaḥ means controlling the mind—mind is always peaceful. You can train. Then controlling the senses. Then truthful. Then full of knowledge, practical application of knowledge in life. These are the qualification of first-class men. Everything is there. If you train a boy to become first-class man, he can become first-class man. If you don't train, then he will become a debauch, criminal, disturbing. So we are training in the Gurukula to become first-class men. This is our aim. Unless in the society an ideal first-class man, then how one will become, or follow, the ideal? There is no ideal. Now what is the idea of first-class man now? Can I ask you? What is your idea of first-class man? Whom do you call first-class man?

Jayatīrtha: Do you know any first-class men?

Mrs. Wax: I can't find any in our society. (laughs)

Prabhupāda: That is the defect. We have no idea who is first-class man. Everyone is drunkard, everyone smoker, everyone is gambler, everyone is illicit sex. Where is first-class man? So in the absence of first-class men there must be criminals. Aiye. So there is a need of first-class men—first-class men and second-class men. Third class, fourth class, fifth class, they are automatically there. So at the present moment fourth-class, fifth-class men. Third class is also very scarcely found, and there is no question of first class, second class. But as in the full body we require brain, we require arm, we require belly, we require leg . . . everything is required for different purposes of work.

But at the present moment there is no place for the first-class men. When we ask our students that "You become free from all these four classes of sinful activity: no illicit sex, no meat-eating," people laugh, "Oh, why you are asking?" They do not know what is the ideal man. They think, "Illicit sex, what is wrong there? Meat-eating, what is wrong there?" They do not know what is right and wrong. Therefore all fourth-class men. They cannot understand even what is the value of these things. So you cannot be happy with fourth-class men. At least there must be a section, first-class men. That we are trying to create, a first-class man, from this Gurukula.