Intelligence and Example
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Lecture given in Hyderabad, December 17, 1976
The most learned members of society should show others by example how to live peacefully and become Krishna conscious.
saktah karmany avidvamso
yatha kurvanti bharata
kuryad vidvams tathasaktash
“As the ignorant perform their duties with attachment to results, the learned may similarly act, but without attachment, for the sake of leading people on the right path.”—Bhagavad-gita 3.25
There are two classes of men: vidvan, or the learned, and the fools, who are not learned. Humans being are, of course, much more intelligent than the animals, but among human beings some are more intelligent, some less intelligent.
Animals and human beings have equal intelligence in the matter of eating, sleeping, sex, and defense. These activities don’t require any education. Even the dog knows how to have sex. That doesn’t require Freud’s philosophy. But the rascals in human society think, “Here is a big philosopher. He is writing about sex.” This is going on.
For eating, land is available. If you work a little and produce your food grains, you can eat sumptuously. Eating doesn’t require a technologically advanced slaughterhouse for killing many cows so that we can live in the city at the cost of the lives of the poor animals. This is misuse of intelligence; it is not intelligence. Therefore a devotee who is intelligent should show how our to use our intelligence.
Here it is said, saktah karmany avidvamsah. Avidvamsah—fools, men with a poor fund of knowledge—have discovered so many lines of activity that are simply foolishness. The so-called advancement of civilization is planned by the avidvamsah, men with a poor fund of knowledge. They are not advancing civilization. They do not believe in the transmigration of the soul. They avoid the major issue, and they plan. In this life they will live for fifty or sixty years, making big, big plans, being materially attached (saktah karmani), and discovering new methods of engagement. Avidvamsah. They do not know how to engage one’s brain and talent.
That is the difference between a devata, or godly person, and an asura, or atheist. Because the asura thinks he will live forever, he prepares big, big plans for material comforts. That is asuric civilization. No one will be allowed to stay here. In the Bhagavad-gita (8.15) Lord Krishna says, duhkhalayam ashashvatam: the material world is miserable and temporary. It is the place for suffering so that we can understand our position as souls subordinate to God.
But fools do not consider the suffering. They make plans for more suffering. This is a foolish civilization. The so-called scientists talk of advancement, but it is a jugglery of words.
Any intelligent person can ask, “So what have you solved? What kind of solution have you made to the problems of birth, death, old age, and disease? Have you solved these problems?”
They cannot say yes. They will say, “We are trying, and after millions of years it may be possible. It may be that we shall live forever.”
They say like that. Now, who is going to live for millions of years to confirm your proposal? Everyone will be finished within fifty, sixty years. You too will be finished. And who is going to see the results of your action?
This is going on. Therefore it is the duty of the intelligent person to show the way of living.
For example, we who have taken to Krishna consciousness show the example by plowing fields to produce our food. For ourselves, we can go anywhere and beg for a little food. We have no need for big agricultural activities, but we work, without attachment, to show others.
We have no need, but still we have to work. Here it is said, kuryat: “He must do it.”
I can say, “What is the necessity of my big agricultural program? I can go anywhere and ask for a little food.”
No, we have to do it. Why? Kuryad vidvams tatha asaktah: A learned person acts, but without attachment. The karmis, persons without spiritual knowledge, are very attached even to nonsensical things. But one who is vidvan acts like the karmis, but without attachment.
Why? Chikirshur loka-sangraham: So that others may follow.
“Why are you making big, big plans for big, big factories? Take to this process to solve your economic problem.”
Krishna advises, krishi-go-rakshya-vanijyam vaishya-karma svabhava-jam [Bg. 18.44]. He prescribes agriculture, cow protection, and trade. No industry. Krishna never encourages industry. As for trade, here we are attempting to grow food. If after eating there is excess, then we can take the food grains or anything we have produced to a place where there is need. That is called trade. Exchange is also trade. So that is recommended by Krishna, and because we are Krishna conscious, we must abide by the order of Krishna.
The Brahmanas’ Duty
Still, farming is not for everyone. It is for the class of men in the third category. The first category is the brahmana, the man in knowledge. He knows the value of life, how life should be directed this way and that way. He has knowledge, and he guides those who have no such knowledge. Therefore, the brahmana is the guru for all other classes.
Our position is that of the brahmana, but we are anasakta, without attachment. Without any attachment we shall try to give others direction on how one can live very peacefully and save time for Krishna consciousness. That is stated here. Kuryad vidvams tatha asaktash chikirshur loka-sangraham. The idea is to direct people to live peacefully and become Krishna conscious.
Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.