Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kindly inviting me. And serve you to my capacity. Today's subject matter is "Culture and Business."
So business, we mean . . . business means the occupational duty. According to our Vedic culture, there are different types of businesses. As it is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgasaḥ (BG 4.13)—the four divisions of social system, namely the brāhmin, the kṣatriya, the vaiśya and the śūdra. Before doing business, there must be a division who can do what kind of business. There are different businesses. Now we have taken that everyone should take everyone's business. That is not very scientifical division. Therefore there is cultural division.
Just like the whole body. The whole body's one unit, but there are different departments also—just like the head department, the arms department, the belly department and the leg department. This is scientific. The head department is called the brāhmin, in the society. And the arms department is called the kṣatriyas, and the belly department is called the vaiśyas, and the leg department is called the śūdras. This is scientific division of business.
Although the head department is most important department, because without head, other departments—the arms departments, the belly department and the leg department—will be finished . . . if the arms department is lacking, still business can go on. If the leg department is lacking, the business may go on. But if the head department is not there, if the . . . your head is cut off from the body, then in spite of having all these arms, legs and bellies, they all become useless.
So the head department is meant for culture. Without culture . . . just like without head, the arms department, the belly department, the leg department all useless. Similarly, without culture, all these businesses, they creates confusion and chaos. That is the position at the present moment, because there is intermingling of different businesses. There must be one section of people head department, who should give advice to the other departments. The brāhmins, they're intelligent. They are qualified. Satya śama dama titikṣa ārjava jñānaṁ vijñānam astikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42).
So culture means that one should know what is the aim of life. Without understanding the aim of life, a man without a aim is ship like . . . a ship without a rudder. That is an English proverb. So at the present moment, we are missing the goal of life because there is no head department. The whole human society is lacking now real brāhmins who can give advice to the other department. Just like Arjuna was fighting. He was a military man. His business was to fight. He was engaged in his business, but he was taking at the same time advice of . . . the advice of the brāhmin-deva, Kṛṣṇa.
- namo brahmaṇya-devāya
- go-brāhmana-hitāya ca
- jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya
- govindāya namo namaḥ
- (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 1.19.65)
So the brāhmin department, or the adviser department, is described in this verse: namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmin-hitāya ca. The first thing is taken into consideration, go-brāhmin. Why these two things are stressed upon? Because in a society where there is no brahminical culture and where there is no cow protection, it is not human society.
So in a chaotic condition, any business you do, it will never be perfect. But in a systematized, systematic, cultural society you do business, that is perfect. That is the instruction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavata, Bhāgavatam. In a meeting in Naimiṣāraṇya, where many learned scholars and brahmins assembled, and Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī was giving instruction, he said: ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ (SB 1.2.13).
The varṇāśrama is stressed. The Vedic culture means four varṇas and four āśramas: brāhmin, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra; brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. Unless we take to this institution of varṇāśrama dharma, the whole society will be in chaotic condition. And the purpose of varṇāśrama dharma is to satisfy the Supreme Lord. As it is stated in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa:
- puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān
- viṣṇur ārādhyate puṁsāṁ
- nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam
- (CC Madhya 8.58)
Just like in a state, you have to satisfy your government; then you are good citizen. Similarly in the cosmic state, taking all together this whole material creation, if you do not satisfy the Supreme Lord, the proprietor of everything, then it will be chaotic condition. Our Vedic culture means whatever you do, it doesn't matter; you must satisfy the Supreme Lord. That is culture. Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya samsiddhiṁ labhate naraḥ (BG 18.46). You can do any business. "Any business" means the brāhmins business, the kṣatriya's business, the vaiśya's business and the śūdra's business. That is business. Otherwise you can do any business. But business means there are different classes of business.
So Bhagavad-gītā it is said that one should satisfy by his own business the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also it is said, culture means . . . ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ. The, there are different businesses according to different division of human society. But their aim should be svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya. Business means dharma. Another . . . dharma means occupational duty. So svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir. One must find out the perfection of his business. That is culture.