Prabhupāda: That means the social structure is very bad. Otherwise, natural procedure is that everyone should be self-independent. But why State has to give them help? That's not good. You may be . . . just like a son may be very rich man's son, but if the father provides him only, then he's a useless son. Is it not? If the father has to provide him money for his maintenance, then that son is useless son. That is not a good certificate. Although you may be very much proud that "I am maintaining my so many sons," why you should maintain? Let them be self-supported.
Devotee: But what can the State do? Should the State just leave the people alone?
Prabhupāda: No. They should make the citizens so nicely developed in their Kṛṣṇa consciousness that they should be self-dependent, self-satisfied. That is the ideal of civilization.
Devotee: But America is so far from that.
Prabhupāda: Therefore it is not advancement, although they are very much proud of advancement. This is not sign of advancement. According to Bhagavad-gītā it is said, yasmin sthite guruṇāpi duḥkhena na vicālyate (BG 6.22): "If one is situated in such a position that even in the greatest, gravest type of dangerous position he is not agitated—he is not agitated—that is the real happiness." Yasmin sthite guruṇāpi duḥkhena na vicālyate. These are the words, yasmin sthite: "Situated in such a position that although he is facing greatest danger, he is not agitated."
There is one instance. Not very long ago, say, about two hundred years ago, there was a big zamindar. He was known as king in Krishnanagar. So he was charitably disposed. He went to a Brahmin and asked him—he was a great learned scholar—"Can I help you anyway?" And the paṇḍita replied: "No. I don't require your help. I am quite satisfied." "How you are satisfied?" "Oh, my these students, they bring some rice. So my wife boils that, and I have got this tamarind tree. I take some leaves and prepare some juice out of it. That is sufficient." So he was satisfied. That's all. But he was a learned scholar. Similarly, Cāṇakya Paṇḍita . . . you have perhaps heard. He was the greatest politician. He was prime minister of India. He was living in a cottage and just giving instruction.
So that is India's Vedic civilization. Everyone is satisfied, self-sufficient. And now in your country, oh, you have to attend office fifty miles off. And because you have to take this trouble, Kṛṣṇa has provided with car. You are thinking, "I am advanced." You don't think that, "Although I have got car, I have to go fifty miles off from my home." This is illusion. You are thinking that "I am advanced. I am happy. I have got this car."
(laughter) This is illusion. Yes. Gaurasundara was going, to maintain, and he drives fifty miles off, Honolulu. The poor fellow had to rise early in the morning. You see? And so much haste. Therefore: "Gaurasundara, you better give up this job. Just depend on Kṛṣṇa." So he has given up. What is this? Fifty miles going by motorcycle or motorcar, how much tedious it is.
But still, they are satisfied that, "We are advanced." And because they have many cars, therefore in your country always there is that (makes traffic noise), "sonh, sonh, sonh, sonh, sonh, sonh, sonh, sonh," wherever I go. (laughter)
Revatīnandana: And more problems come after that. The air becomes . . .
Prabhupāda: Simply, wherever you go, (makes traffic noise) "sonh, sonh, sonh, sonh," and "gonh, gonh, gonh, gonh, gonh." Up in the sky, "gonh, gonh, gonh, gonh," and in the street, "sonh, sonh . . ." And then, when digging, "gut-gut-gut-gut-gut-gut-gut-gut-gut!" (laughter) Is it not? Don't you feel botheration? But they are thinking, "Oh, America is very much advanced in machine." And when there is that garbage tank? "Ghon-ghon-ghon-ghon-ghon-ghon-ghon-ghon-ghon!" (laughter) So many sounds are going on, always. Eh?
Of course, you have got very nice city, nice roads everywhere. But this trouble . . . you have created so many troubles. And there are news that one lady was patient, she became mad for the sounds. And I think they are thinking very seriously how to stop all these sounds. Is it not?
Haṁsadūta: Especially they have these airplanes now.
Haṁsadūta: They make such a tremendous sound that they break windows and everything else.
Prabhupāda: Now we are in . . . (indistinct) . . . in Bombay. As soon as the aeroplane would come on top of the house it is just like thunderbolt. Yes. At least, I was feeling like that. Vajrapa. You see? So this is called illusion. We are creating a civilization which is so much painful, but we are thinking that we are advanced. This is illusion. We are creating simply problem, and still, we are thinking that we are advanced.
And Bhāgavata says that there is no problem.
- tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido
- na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ
- (SB 1.5.18)
You simply try for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And then how I shall live? That, the answer, is tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham. Just like you don't aspire for miseries, but it comes upon you, it is forced upon you, similarly, happiness also will be forced upon you, whatever you are destined to receive. So don't try for happiness or discarding distress. That will go on. You simply try for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which, without your trying, it will never be fulfilled. You have to voluntarily try for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, revive it.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). You do it—because you have to do it. Kṛṣṇa can force you to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. But He doesn't do that. He doesn't interfere with your independence. He says, "Do it." Therefore you have to try for it, not for other things. Other things, already there are. For the birds and beasts there is no problem for eating. Why your problem should be?
Just like a prisoner, he has no problem for eating. The government supplies. He has only problem that he should not be criminal. That is his problem. He should try for that, "No more I shall become a criminal." That is the real activity. But he thinks . . . if in the prison house you say: "What shall I eat?" no, eating is already there.
Even you are a prisoner, the government has supplied his eating. Similarly, God has supplied everyone, cats and dogs, for eating. Why not for you? You have created your own problem. Real problem is how to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ (SB 1.5.18). Kṛṣṇa consciousness is that . . .