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India you will find in the bazaars. There is crowd, and the cows enter there, and they eat the vegetables to their heart's content. But he is not punishable. Still the cow is not punishable

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"India you will find in the bazaars. There is crowd, and the cows enter there, and they eat the vegetables to their heart's content. But he is not punishable. Still the cow is not punishable"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Then the animals, they are also working hard day and night for their necessities of life. But if an animal steals something from your house or takes some eatables, he is not punishable. India you will find in the bazaars. There is crowd, and the cows enter there, and they eat the vegetables to their heart's content. But he is not punishable. Still the cow is not punishable. But if a man takes one potato without the permission, he is punishable. So the animals are not punishable. All the lawbooks are meant for the men, for the human being, not for the animals. Just like in your country the police law is: "Keep to the right your car." But if a animal goes, keep to the left, it is not punishable. So everyone not punishable.
Lecture on SB 6.1.39 -- San Francisco, July 20, 1975:
kathaṁ svid dhriyate daṇḍaḥ
kiṁ vāsya sthānam īpsitam
daṇḍyāḥ kiṁ kāriṇaḥ sarve
āho svit katicin nṛṇām
(SB 6.1.39)

So first question was, brūta dharmasya nas tattvaṁ yac ca adharmasya lakṣaṇam. When there is some vicāra, judgment, it must be done very nicely. A criminal is judged before the magistrate. He is taken just to make proper judgment, "Whether this man is punishable? He committed some criminal activities." The circumstances, the condition of the mind—everything should be judged. This is called judgment. So who is punishable? Deśa-kāla-pātra. There is consideration, deśa-kāla-pātra. Deśa means situation, and kāla, time, and pātra, and the subject. Just like a child, he takes one fruit here. So he is not punishable. According to Vedic system, a child, a woman, a brāhmaṇa, a cow and a saintly person, they are not punishable. Cow, woman, saintly person, brāhmaṇa and child—they are beyond all laws. Even they commit some... They do not do. They have no criminal purpose. Formerly the women were trained up in such a way, very chaste and obedient. So they had no chance to commit any offense. And brāhmaṇas, they are also trained up. Śamo damaḥ satyaṁ śaucam... (children making noise)

Sudāmā: Take the children out.

Bahulāśva: All the children should go out.

Prabhupāda: No, that's all right. (some devotees say "Jaya!" and applaud) So, children are not punishable. (laughter, more applause) Neither the women. (more applause, laughter) Hm. But don't take advantage. (laughter) And here we have got these brāhmaṇas, saintly persons, women and children. So who is to be punished? (laughter) Yes. Kathaṁ svid dhriyate daṇḍaḥ. So the judge must know who is to be punished. That is judgment. Kathaṁ svid dhriyate daṇḍaḥ sthānam. Deśa-kāla-pātra: according to time, according to circumstances, according to the subject, everything scrutinizingly judged, not whimsically. Nowadays it is the time for emergency. Anyone can be punished without any judgment. But this is not good position.

Then daṇḍyāḥ kiṁ kāriṇaḥ sarve. Kāriṇaḥ means fruitive actors, those who are working for getting some profit. So sometimes with getting profit we make some undesirable activities which is called black market. So that is punishable. There are system... Of course, I cannot quote from where, but it is the system that a merchant, highest profit he can take for exchanging—not more than twenty-five percent. That is the highest. If one merchant takes more than twenty-five percent profit, then he is punishable. This was the system. So the kāriṇaḥ... So we are all workers. So somebody is working for his personal profit, and somebody is working for the profit of Kṛṣṇa. It appears almost similar. A ordinary man is selling some newspaper, and our man selling the magazine. It looks the similar thing, but it is not similar; it is different. Therefore, if a newspaper seller creates some disturbance on the street, the police can punish, but when one is selling Back to Godhead, he is not punishable. (laughter) This is the difference. But nowadays these rascals, they do not know whom to punish, whom not to punish. They take, "All right, you are selling Back to Godhead. You must come police custody." So our are not punishable although doing the same thing. This is judgment.

Then the animals, they are also working hard day and night for their necessities of life. But if an animal steals something from your house or takes some eatables, he is not punishable. India you will find in the bazaars. There is crowd, and the cows enter there, and they eat the vegetables to their heart's content. But he is not punishable. Still the cow is not punishable. But if a man takes one potato without the permission, he is punishable. So the animals are not punishable. All the lawbooks are meant for the men, for the human being, not for the animals. Just like in your country the police law is: "Keep to the right your car." But if a animal goes, keep to the left, it is not punishable. So everyone not punishable. Then again, human being, all of them, not punishable. Those who are criminals, those who have violated laws, they are punishable. So therefore this question is "Whether and how they are punishable? What is dharma, and what is adharma? So if you are representative of Yamarāja, then you explain to us first of all whether you are actually representative."