Five hundred years ago in India, the Hindus were so rigid and strict that if a Muslim would sprinkle a little water from his pitcher upon a Hindu, the Hindu would be immediately ostracized. Recently, in 1947, during the partition days, there was a big riot between Hindus and Muslims, especially in Bengal. The Hindus were forcibly made to eat cow’s flesh, and consequently they began crying, thinking that they had become Muslims. Actually the Muslims in India did not come from the country of the Muslims, but Hindus instituted the custom that somehow or other if one contacted a Muslim, he became a Muslim. Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmī were born in a high brāhmaṇa family, but because they accepted employment under a Muslim government, they were considered Muslims. Subuddhi Rāya was sprinkled with water from the pitcher of a Muslim, and consequently he was condemned to have become a Muslim. Later, Aurangzeb, the Muslim emperor, introduced a tax especially meant for Hindus. Being oppressed in the Hindu community, many low-caste Hindus preferred to become Muslims. In this way the Muslim population increased. Later the British government made it a policy to divide the Hindus and the Muslims, and thus they maintained ill feelings between them. The result was that India was divided into Pakistan and Hindustan.
From early histories it appears that the entire earth was under one culture, Vedic culture, but gradually, due to religious and cultural divisions, the rule fragmented into many subdivisions. Now the earth is divided into many countries, religions and political parties. Despite these political and religious divisions, we advocate that everyone should unite again under one culture—Kṛṣṇa consciousness. People should accept one God, Kṛṣṇa; one scripture, the Bhagavad-gītā; and one activity, devotional service to the Lord. Thus people may live happily upon this earth and combine to produce sufficient food. In such a society, there would be no question of scarcity, famine or cultural or religious degradation. So-called caste systems and national divisions are artificial. According to our Vaiṣṇava philosophy, these are all external bodily designations. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not based upon bodily designations. It is a transcendental movement on the platform of spiritual understanding. If the people of the world understood that the basic principle of life is spiritual identification, they would understand that the business of the spirit soul is to serve the Supreme Spirit, Kṛṣṇa. As Lord Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 15.7), mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ: “The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts.” All living entities in different life forms are sons of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they are all meant to serve Kṛṣṇa, the original supreme father. If this philosophy is accepted, the failure of the United Nations to unite all nations will be sufficiently compensated all over the world by a great Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Recently we had talks with Christian leaders in Australia, including the Catholic Bishop of Melbourne, and everyone there was pleased with our philosophy of oneness in religious consciousness.