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Slavery to Banks: A Vedic Prophecy

Tuesday, 30 April 2019 / Published in Articles, Nandanandana das / 10,851 views

By Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana das)

This shows how banks, especially the Central Banks, which are part of a network established in many countries, have set up a system which is increasingly controlling the economy and lives of numerous people around the world, and is gaining more power, wealth and influence. The questionable development of the Federal Reserve Bank in America is presented as an example of the fulfillment of the Vedic prophecy regarding the dangers of standardized gold and the hoarding of it (one of the places in which the personality of Kali resides), and what more problems this can cause in the future as the age of Kali-yuga advances.

* * *

As related in the Bhagavata Purana, at the start of Kali-yuga, King Pariksit declared that the seeds of evil will manifest in four things: intoxication, gambling, illicit sex, and the killing of innocent creatures, especially for meat-eating. These were the activities in which the personality of Kali could reside.

Not only are these the bad habits of Kali-yuga, but engaging in the above-mentioned activities propel us into numerous additional negative activities, all of which force us to give in to such undesirable emotions as greed, anger, jealousy, fault-finding, treachery, hatred, and so on. All of these pave the way for untold pain, suffering, misery and further wicked actions and intrigue.

We can plainly see the damage these activities are presently doing. For example, liquor and drugs and other forms of intoxication no doubt ruin the lives of innumerable people. It causes poor health, depression, the waste of needed money, and even suicides and death, either by accidental overdoses or from other things such as territorial gang wars and so on. Drinking or intoxication literally poisons the brain and body. It takes away the ability to achieve a higher consciousness and destroys the principle of austerity, and being responsible and focused on the goals of life. This leads to irresponsibility and a philosophy of “whatever feels good, do it”. Such intoxication paves the way for further calamities in one’s actions and difficulties in life.

Gambling, or engaging in questionable or fraudulent business practices, takes away the principle of truthfulness and honesty. Gambling houses also tempt people into their clutches with fancy lights and alluring women with the hope of gaining easy fortune, yet mostly take much of the money away from those who patronize such places, sometimes leaving them in ruins.

Animal slaughter takes away one’s sense of mercy and compassion for others. It promotes selfishness and cruelty and furthers society’s ignorance of its spiritual identity. You could not so easily slaughter and eat other creatures if you clearly saw the soul within the animal.

Prostitution or frivolous sexual activity takes away one’s sense of bodily and mental cleanliness. It increases addiction to trivial bodily pleasures, which accelerates degradation and disease in society.

The desire for sex in this age of Kali-yuga is one of the most captivating of all preoccupations of the human race. It distracts most of society from the real spiritual purpose of life. People want to satisfy themselves in this way and then use up so much energy, physical and otherwise, to meet their sensual desires. It saps them of their time in life when they could be using this existence in much more important ways.

For quick profits debauched men and even women capture and force many young girls, and boys as well, into a life of prostitution, which often leaves them hurt, wounded, diseased or ruined for life. Such exploitative culprits, who engage in human trafficking and force others into such an existence of engaging in the sex trade, will multiply like a virus in this age. And like any virus, if they are not destroyed completely, they will only reappear later in a different place.

On a personal level, for any man, semen or the vital force is the most precious substance in the human body, and is not meant to be wasted through mere sensual enjoyment. It is the last product made by the body through the process of digesting the food we eat. This vital force is especially effective in nourishing the nervous system and brain. All who are on the spiritual path to perceive the spiritual dimension are recommended to retain this vital force for assistance and greater strength, concentration, intelligence, good memory, health, determination, and clarity. When it is preserved it is turned into the Ojas Shakti, and is utilized in the brain for higher abilities and noble purposes. If it is wasted and released through frequent or unnecessary sex, one’s brain and nervous system are disadvantaged. This manifests as lack of certitude, direction, clarity, along with mental weakness, indifference and lethargy. Then noble thoughts give way to the increased focus on base and sensual desires. Intellectual energy is then diverted from spiritual inquiry to concocting further plans for more sensual pleasure. Then this becomes the major aim in such a person’s life, especially in Kali-yuga, which depletes them of their time, energy, higher consciousness, and paves the way to death’s door with little else being accomplished. In this way, one’s life becomes wasted.

Anyone, such as rulers, social leaders, or religionists, who desires progressive well-being for themselves and society should avoid these four irreligious principles. All of these eliminate the finer characteristics of human nature, which leaves behind the lower animalistic qualities and the further degradation of human society and the world. However, the results and tendencies for all of these degrading activities are found in one specific thing more than any other, and that is the hoarding of money, which is explained next.

THE DANGERS OF KALI IN STANDARDIZED GOLD

In the story of Kali requesting Maharaja Pariksit for places in which he could stay, as related in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.17.39), Kali begged for one more place to reside, besides the four that have been previously described. So Maharaja Pariksit gave permission for Kali to live where there is gold, because wherever there is the hoarding of gold there is also falsity, intoxication, lust, envy, and enmity. In other words, all of the previous four bad habits of Kali-yuga and their ramifications would culminate in the hoarding of gold. Therefore, the personification of Kali and the evil found in this yuga that we are in became gold standardized. This has led to innumerable problems in this age, and it is simply getting worse as the age of Kali progresses.

Now one thing to remember here is that we have been warned about the dangers of standardized gold in Srimad-Bhagavatam, which was written around 5,000 years ago. But how does this danger manifest? How would a 5,000 year old statement or prophecy about gold apply to us today? Let us explain this further.

Throughout history governments have coined and printed their own money, based on actual supply of whatever commodity was backing the money, such as gold or silver. And even without the issued coins there was also the barter system in which people would exchange an equal value of one thing for something else, or labor in exchange of commodities. This is what standardization is all about. In the area of currency, a five-dollar bill, for example, would be worth five dollars of gold. Of course, they removed that standard years ago and now they can print all kinds of dollar bills that have no standard value. Falsity sets in when actual gold, as in gold coins, is no longer used as a currency and paper money replaces it. The paper money does not fairly represent the value of the actual reserved gold. The result of this is artificial inflation and manipulation because the currency is not real. This inflation can set off multitudes of reactions in the value of goods: changes in the value of your savings and the money you earn, etc.

Then add to this the widespread ignorance and confusion regarding tax laws, and now you have a system designed to keep people under control and enslavement. If people really knew how the money system worked, most people would be astounded. In a letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1787, John Adams wrote, “All perplexities, confusion, and distress in America arise not from defects in the Constitution, nor from want of honor and virtue so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.” In other words, a dishonest money system is the basis of the economic and social problems in America. Money can either build or destroy a nation. If a money system is honest, all people can prosper. A dishonest system, however, enriches a few at the cost of many.

Centuries ago people stored their gold in the goldsmith’s vault for a fee, in which case, they would get a receipt for their gold. Afterwards, people would exchange these receipts among themselves as a money substitute for commodities or services. They could redeem the receipts for the gold. However, only a small amount of the gold was ever reclaimed, allowing the goldsmith to issue receipts for more gold than he had. So some receipts did not represent anything. In fact, he could use some receipts himself to make purchases or to lend at interest and yet take title to property as collateral. In this way, the increase in fraudulent receipts decreased the value of legitimate receipts. By manipulating the number of receipts in circulation, the wealth and prosperity of the community were quietly confiscated by the goldsmith without anyone knowing.

By reducing the number of receipts and money in circulation, the goldsmith could cause a depression in which he could increase his wealth at the expense of others and foreclose on property. However, by increasing the number of receipts he could stimulate the economy and bring prosperity into the community. In this way, we can see that any money substitute like paper currency is honest only when it accurately represents real money.

America’s economic problems are based on this practice of issuing notes that are not accurately backed by gold. This is standard practice in the banking industry that is based on the modern day goldsmith known as The Federal Reserve and their Federal Reserve Notes. Remember, a Note is an I.O.U., or debt. Paying a debt with another debt is not possible. A debt must be paid with something of value, like gold or silver. Thus, the name “Federal Reserve Note” is, in fact, a fraudulent name since it is not what it claims to be–an accurate representation of a certain amount of gold.

There are only two actual economic systems: One is barter and the other is credit. Barter is simply the exchange of items that have equal value. The use of gold or silver coins is a barter system. Other items that have been used for exchange have included cows, salt, tea, tobacco, and opium. But money by itself does not exist: It must be something of value or an honest representation of something of value. However, credit is not tangible; it cannot be measured. It is only an idea represented by bookkeeping entries. Wealth is produced through labor in exchange for value or in making useable products that have exchange value in the marketplace. You do not find this with credit.

Therefore, in essence, credit is all imagination and psychological because they base it merely on the confidence people place on it. Bookkeeping tactics can then manipulate and adjust the value of such credit to suit whatever the plans are of those who control it. On page twelve of Keeping Our Money Healthy, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, it states, “The Federal Reserve system works only with credit.” But credit is not wealth.

This state of affairs started 200 years ago when Amschel Rothschild (1743-1812) established a principle that the economic and political systems of nations would not be controlled by the citizens but by the bankers, for the bankers. This came about by a carefully planned series of political and economic maneuvers that gradually established a “Central Bank” in every country. This, in effect, allows those involved in this Central Bank system to gain control over the economy of the entire world. Many people think that the strategy of these power elite bankers is to establish a single world government over which they have complete control. By understanding this you can see that politicians, leaders, and people in general, are all controlled by the policy decisions of these bankers, not by governments. Even governments are controlled by the economic decisions made by these bankers. And when something or someone is in control, then everyone else becomes their servant, or even slaves.

These central banks have the authority to print money for whatever country in which they are established. It is these banks from which governments borrow money to pay for debts to continue their operation. Thus, printed money is debt money. It has no intrinsic value since they do not base it on gold. It is printed to further the borrowing by the government. This propels a false economy in which everything, even the government, operates on credit. So, yes, the Federal Government of the U. S. is bankrupt, so it keeps borrowing money from the Central Bank, known as the Federal Reserve Bank. And now the national debt is over 8 and one-half trillion dollars (at the time of this writing, as of January 1, 2007), which the government owes to the Federal Reserve Bank and other member institutions. This also means that in a country of over 300,500,000 people, every U. S citizen owes over $28,000 as their contribution to help pay off this debt. Most of this debt is interest that multiplies on a daily basis that the government, or rather the American taxpayers, are supposed to pay back to the Federal Reserve Bank. To pay back such a debt is most difficult. Thus, policy decisions by the Federal Reserve regarding the national debt can send waves of changes throughout the country at any given time. So we can see how this government must consider the dictates of the Federal Reserve Bank, which operates more like a privately owned and operated organization of international bankers than an agency of the government, since that is exactly what it is.

Presently, the policies of the Federal Reserve control inflation and deflation. They have the duty to establish and adjust the “prime lending rate” that “helps” stimulate the economy or control growth. They can expand or contract the money supply by buying or selling U. S. securities and by raising or lowering reserve requirements, which is the money that member banks must have in reserve. The Federal Reserve has many other duties that exert a powerful influence on this nation’s economic life, and, thus, affect every other country in the world.

It was on November 22, 1910 when the nation’s leading bankers left by train at night from Hoboken, New Jersey on a secret mission to Jekyll Island, Georgia to create what would be the Federal Reserve System. Through their plans they were able to bypass the U. S. Constitution that established how they should regulate money. For example, Article One, Section Eight of the United States Constitution directly states that only Congress has the “power to coin money and regulate the value thereof”. Furthermore, Article One, Section Ten of the United States Constitution says, “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts”. Also, Title Twelve of the United States Code, Section 152, states: “The term lawful money, or lawful money of the United States, shall be construed to mean gold or silver coin of the United States.” Even as far back as the “Coinage Act of 1792,” Congress fixed the dollar as a specific weight of silver in the form of a coin, and fixed the value of a gold coin in relation to it.

Nonetheless, it was in 1913 that Congress surrendered the original constitutional power to create and regulate money to the Federal Reserve in the Federal Reserve Act, thus giving this control to foreign interests. Then the Federal Reserve began printing paper money. Between 1914 and 1963 the Federal Reserve Note never claimed to be money or dollars. It simply stated that, as on a note for five dollars, “The United States of America will pay to the bearer on demand Five Dollars.” Above the bank seal it said, “This note is legal tender for all debts public and private and is redeemable in lawful money at the United States Treasury or at any Federal Reserve Bank.”

Then in 1963 the Fed began to issue its new series of notes without this promise and began taking the previous notes out of circulation. By removing this promise to pay the bearer, the federal government, in cooperation with the Federal Reserve, eliminated the money system as established by the Constitution and replaced it with something totally different.

The implications of this may not seem as drastic as they really are, and, obviously, most people did not think so at the time. Nevertheless, a few people have certainly understood what this could mean.

For example, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the third president of the United States, made the prediction: “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children shall wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Although Jefferson was no prophet, he perceived a clear picture of what we could expect. Even in the early days of this country the bankers had tried to establish a central bank. In light of this, Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), the seventh president of the United States, stated: “The bold efforts that the present bank has made to control the government, the distress it has wantonly caused, are but premonitions of the fate which awaits the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it. If people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there could be a revolution before morning!”

The reasons for the early American wars were many, including the principles these bankers were trying to implement. England, for example, had attempted to take away the right of the colonies to print their own money. It had been noted by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) in 1763 while visiting England, that the reason why the colonies were prospering while England was suffering a tremendous national debt and high unemployment was because the colonies issued their money in proper proportions to the demands of its trade and industry.

Thereafter, the Central Banks of England pushed the British Parliament to pass a Bill prohibiting the colonies from issuing their own money. Thus, the bankers could gain control of the wealth of the colonies. Benjamin Franklin later noted that within one year of the enactment of that Bill, the streets of the colonies were filled with the unemployed, and there was great dissatisfaction.

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) tried hardest to establish the Bank of the United States, which would be an agency of the international bankers. But Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and other leaders greatly opposed this. However, after Franklin’s death, Hamilton had bribed enough congressmen to grant a charter for the First Bank of the United States in 1791. Having lost this battle, Jefferson said that he believed banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. They have set up a money aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. They should take the power of issuing money from the banks and restore it to Congress and the people to whom it belongs.

The charter for the First Bank of the United States was for 20 years and expired in 1811. Then the Bank of England attempted to seize control over the ex-colonies as they had tried before the Revolution. This was one reason for the War of 1812.

For the next 100 years the international bankers tried gaining control in the U. S., but there were various opponents, including Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the 16th president of the United States. He said the money power preys upon a nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes.

It is interesting that in 1913, the same year the Federal Reserve Act was incorporated for the Federal Reserve Bank, the government also adopted the 16th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution that began the Income Tax. Income tax “contributions” are collected by the Internal Revenue Service, which operates like a private collection agency for the Federal Reserve. In this way, they have positioned themselves as tax collectors who take (rob) the wealth of all individuals (making them slaves to the banks), besides printing the currency and controlling governments by making economic policy. Furthermore, member bankers, and their institutions such as various Foundations, have used their wealth to purchase much of the media, controlling our education, news, publications, radio and television networks. They also can manipulate universities by providing (or withholding) large grants of funds for particular programs, and they also often own companies that produce the college and school textbooks. In these ways, they feed us whatever information is needed so that we form the necessary opinions they want us to have about many things around us. Thus, much of our philosophies and outlooks on life, the politicians we vote for, even the way we do things, are controlled through this means. Plus, these days we can see how many people get seduced by the promise of easy money through various bank loans, adjustable mortgages, and the lure of credit cards, which catch people who become forever indebted by such instruments, or products as they are called in the banking industry. Though there may be many of us who use banks for various reasons, these are some of the ways by which numerous people become unknowing slaves to a banking system wherein a small group of elitist individuals live a pampered life at the expense of the many.

Needless to say, there are hundreds of groups out there that have plenty of information and speculation about what is likely to happen in the future regarding the plans and conspiracies of these power elite bankers and their allies. Some people say that they will replace all money with a single international currency. They will later change this to international debit cards that each person must carry that will have a computer chip in it that will hold information on your whole life. One central computer will observe and track all of your dealings. Later they will do away with these cards and they will surgically embed the chips under the skin of your hand. Then you will not be able to make any transactions without having the microchip. No more cash or private transactions or gifts to friends or family without bankers knowing. There will be no transactions without it going through the banks and through your microchip. They will take out taxes from your account automatically, or they can take possession of everything you own without you being able to do anything about it. You will have no privacy and few freedoms. You will be either a good citizen of the one world government, or I should say the one world bank, the New World Order, or you will be a renegade living underground or in the mountains. Thousands of people going off to live in the mountains and away from government control is a scenario that is also predicted in the Vedic literature, as describe in my book, The Vedic Prophecies. From here the speculations of what may happen in the future can go on and on.

The reason why I write about all of this is to show that although the Vedic literature may give a brief warning about what will happen in the Age of Kali and the cause of it when the dangers in the hoarding of gold is mentioned, we also need to see the full implications and how that description will expand as the Age of Kali progresses. In this case, it is only one verse in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that states the personality of Kali could reside in the form of hoarding and the standardization of gold, and that wherever this goes on there will be falsity, intoxication, lust, envy, and enmity. This would easily refer to the intoxication caused by money and wealth, and also indicates the desire and lust for ever-increasing power and control. This also refers to the expanding gap between the haves and the have-nots. Certainly, we can see all of this in the short review above of the last few hundred years regarding this issue and the control of currency and the manipulation of the economy. Thus, the results or outcome of whatever small warning the Vedic literature gives may have very wide and deep implications that will greatly affect our lives and the state of society and politics, and even the well-being of the planet and our environment and natural resources. Naturally, the more profit oriented any organization is, the less they will be concerned for the well-being of the people, planet and natural resources.

So, we need to contemplate these warnings and develop the ability to perceive the long term dangers to which these Vedic prophecies are referring, and arrange the means by which we are affected by them in the least possible way. Of course, the more spiritual we are, the less we will be implicated by them. We have to live according to Vedic Dharma and the principle of simple living and high thinking. If we can understand the strategy of the banks and governments that will be used to control or even rob the citizens of their money and property, then we also need to be able to plan how best to persevere in order to keep spiritual knowledge available for the general well-being of the masses. We have to plan and be ready for those challenges.

As we study the warnings and prophecies in the Vedic literature, the implications of them will be quite evident whenever we see the news. But be mindful of the seriousness of what these prophecies describe. Then, as we become familiar with them, we will be more aware of the general pattern of events that are likely to continue into the far distant future of the Age of Kali, and how to prepare for such social tendencies and what our role is in an ever-changing and increasingly materialistic world. Nonetheless, there is still hope for expanding the spiritual forces in society, as I describe in my article, “A New Species of Humanity”. But the time to act is now while we still have the freedom to make a difference.

[This was adopted from a segment of “The Vedic Prophecies” by Stephen Knapp. More information about this book can be found at www.stephen-knapp.com.]

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27 Responses to “Slavery to Banks: A Vedic Prophecy”

  1. ykd108 says :

    Prabhu,

    By education and training, are you an economist?
    Have you ever studied (seriously) micro and macro economic theory?
    Have you ever entered into the realm of economics discourse?
    On what authority, do you based your “doomsday” arguments on?

    Although you do mention Srimad Bhagavatam, as one of your references, you do not provide the readers the exact quote. Nor do you elaborate upon the Bhagavatam quote itself. You are making inferences from the Bhagavatam, but have failed to correlate your ideas with Bhagavatam.

    Although, some of your ideas about the definitions used in the realm of economic discourse are correct, you make wild claims that do not conform to economic theory whatsoever. Where do you get them from?

    If I were you, I would caution your readers that you are making these claims, on own accord, that they do not conform to economic theory. Moreover, I would honestly disclose the source of these arguments. At first sight (and because you do not disclose your sources or references), the ideas and conclusions portrayed in your essay, seem to be more the by-product of “conspiracy theory” speculations than serious economic thinking or discourse. Which, in turn, would cast a shadow of invalidity on your conclusions.

    I am surprise that the Dandavats editors did not issue a disclaimer about your essay.

    Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
    Yugala Kishor dasa

  2. ykd108 says :

    Prabhu,

    CORRECTION:

    In my previous posted comment, I made the mistake of stating that you hadn’t quoted the Bhagavatam. I see that you did. I stand corrected on this issue. Moreover, I took the liberty to go to the Bhagavatam 1.17.39.

    I still do not see the correlations that would substantiate your conclusion. All of my other points in my previous posted comment to your essay, do still stand.

    Moreover, I took the liberty of analyzing Srila Prabhupada’s purport to the quoted verse. He uses the following economic terms or concepts:

    Gold standard:

    Gold reserves:

    Money:

    Currency:

    Currency Notes:

    Artificial inflation of currency:

    Prices of commodities:

    Bad Money:

    Good Money:

    Prostitution of the State Economy:

    Prostitution of Gold:

    Influence of Gold in producing [economic] falsity:

    Influence of Gold in producing [economic] prostitution:

    [Economic] Falsity:

    [Economic] Prostitution:

    If you do have an education in economics, please elaborate upon those concepts used by Prabhupada. If you do not, I guess it is up to each of your readers to figure it out.

    I can see that launching into a discussion on economics will be time consuming, yet edifying for all who are interested. It would require a lot of research and writing.

    Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
    Yugala Kishor dasa.

  3. sita-pati says :

    Sadhu! Sadhu!

    Prabhu, thank you for publishing this elaboration. The function of brahmanas is to illuminate and clarify.

    This angle of vision definitely brings the current economic arrangements of the world in line with the analysis of Srila Prabhupada (Hare Krishna devi dasi’s Varnashrama-dharma compilation is a good place to start), and the version of Srimad Bhagavatam.

    As Henry Ford said: “It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

    So obviously people are not empowered with the correct sankhya to clearly see this in universities and economic textbooks. Notice that industrialists are able to manipulate the system to accumulate great wealth, whereas all your “economic experts” are simply paid lackeys. Those who know, do. Those who don’t, confuse.

    I would suggest that if people have issues with specific points in this article then they address those points clearly and specifically. If you have another viewpoint entirely, then please write an article establishing yourself and your viewpoint.

    And if you really want to get into the “doomsday rasa”, check out my article from December: “What’s Really Going On?”

  4. Sng dasa says :

    Yugala Kishor and Sri Nandananda Prabhus,

    I am an economist by training and am interested to enter into this discourse. Sri Nandanandana Prabhu, I applaud you for your efforts to connect the readers to elements of Vedic knowledge through a modern context, but, do note a very srong “conspirator” mood in your writing. I appreciate also that you have done a reasonable amount of research, and, certainly, in thetic writing, the facts we glean from our research are employed in the service of our argument. I think, however, that if you really want to argue in a strong line against contemporary economic function, you should balance the discussion with a more appropriate representation of the way in which the economic terms, theories, etc. which you allude to actually work.

    There is much that comes through in your writing that misrepresents core (and, frankly, essential) principles of economic theory, even core principles of economic theory that are found in Kautilya’s Arthasastra or other semblances of literature that represent a philosophy of life based (however loosely) to the information found in the Veda. I would refer you, initially, to make a serious reading of Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” and also to the writings of John Maynard Keynes. I would also be happy to help refine the information for you.

    I have a personal, vested interest in seeing the members of ISKCON, as active and contributing parties to a functional society, progress beyond a level of engagement with the “rest of society and the world” in a manner which allows them to more actively and contributorily engage in relieving the suffering inherently attached to the human condition. In so much as they wish to engage with, or discourse on, existing systems, that much more they should be grounded in their functoin, purpose, intent, and methodology. I am not suggesting this be done at the expense of one’s spiritual practise- whatever that may be for each individual. I am suggesting, however, that we simply be well, and accurately, informed.

    In short, I appreciate your zeal, but think you can do much better, in so much as your thesis may be argued in a more professional, and polished, manner, the essential construction of which will be found to rest on a more thorough understanding of the issues at stake.

    I am sure Yugala Kishor Prabhu will concur. YKP, comments, suggestions, etc?

    Ys,
    Sngdasa

  5. ykd108 says :

    Comments to Sita-pati’s post

    Sita-pati: “Prabhu, thank you for publishing this elaboration. The function of brahmanas is to illuminate and clarify.”
    —————-
    Agreed. However, a brahmana ought to know what is he talking about. Not all brahmanas are conversant with political and economic science. In fact, all brahmanas I know (in ISKCON) are not fit to address issues involving both discourses. In my 30 years in ISKCON, I haven’t seen anyone addressing seriously these concerns. All we have gotten so far are leftist twists on politico-economic issues. We require way more in-depth analysis, than a mere tirade against the Western system of economics, which to our surprise, it has proved itself to work quite well. Communism is dead and pretty much gone.
    —————-

    Sita-pati: “This angle of vision definitely brings the current economic arrangements of the world in line with the analysis of Srila Prabhupada (Hare Krishna devi dasi’s Varnashrama-dharma compilation is a good place to start), and the version of Srimad Bhagavatam.”
    —————–
    I don’t see the validity of your claim. Srila Prabhupada, in the purport that Sri Nandanandana prabhu quoted, definitely touches on several economic issues. However, he doesn’t go into an in-depth analysis of any. The gist has been given to us, though. Gold influences and aggravates the degradation of men, in Kali-yuga. Yet Srila Prabhupada doesn’t assert that gold is “inherently” bad. What it is bad is the character (heart, consciousness, mind, intelligence) of the typical Kali-yuga man, who when he comes in contact with gold only deepens his misery in material existence, due to his lack of understanding that everything belongs to God.

    Bear in mind, that the way Srila Prabhupada uses the word ‘gold’ also implies “riches, wealth, money, and prosperity.”
    —————–

    Sita-pati: “As Henry Ford said: “It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.””

    So, what’s your point in quoting H. Ford? Money or currency is not wealth. It is only the representation thereof. And it is used to facilitate economic exchange only. It is obvious that wealth is found in real estate, in land, in eatables; not in paper currency. We don’t need the Shastra to figure it that out. Economists (the people you despise so much) and most moderately educated Joes on the street have figured it that out already.

    —————–
    Sita-pati: “So obviously people are not empowered with the correct sankhya to clearly see this in universities and economic textbooks. Notice that industrialists are able to manipulate the system to accumulate great wealth, whereas all your “economic experts” are simply paid lackeys. Those who know, do. Those who don’t, confuse.”

    What does sankhya have to do with economic discourse? You might want to go back to check the definitions of both.
    Do you mean to say that you are one of the few enlightened economics experts? That only you know what’s going on in the economic realm? Is this the only argument (in defense of your preconceived, leftist notions) you can come up with? Just another ad-hominem stand, without giving any room to reason and intellectual discourse?
    —————–

    Sita-pati: “I would suggest that if people have issues with specific points in this article then they address those points clearly and specifically. If you have another viewpoint entirely, then please write an article establishing yourself and your viewpoint.”
    —————–
    Agreed. However, we both should be aware that Dandavats is a public forum. Our views will be (and should be) subjected to scrutiny. If we want our ideas to remain private, then we should discuss in private, with friends. But, if we venture to put them for the whole world to know, then we should expect scrutiny and disagreements.
    —————–

    And if you really want to get into the “doomsday rasa”, check out my article from December: “What’s Really Going On?”

    Thanks, but no thanks. I got more productive things to accomplish in life.
    —————–

    Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,

    Yugala Kishor dasa

  6. asprng_vaishnav says :

    Hare Krishna
    PAMHO. AGTSP.
    I do not wish to get into the arguments if the original post is correct or not.
    Assume it is correct.
    Can we change banking and current economic structure at this time? No. To try to do that would be like Don Quixote fighting windmills with a sword.
    We can use current economic structure, turn it on it’s head and use it in Krsna’s service.
    Let us say iskcon has US$10 million in a trust fund. We can generate 17% returns every year investing in diversified asset classes. So we can use US$1.7 million for preaching Krsna consciousness. Imagine how much preaching activity can be done using that money?
    17% annual return – is this an urban legend? No. Yale endowment fund manager David Swensen has achieved that for last 20 years:
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Swensen
    Is he a devotee? No. Is he a meat-eater? possibly. Then why should we follow him?
    Because we can use the idea to generate money to increase preaching activities.
    I think many iskcon centers survive from month to month. They do not invest surplus monies which could grow.
    All universities in the US opearte on endowment funds, so that their principal remains intact and grows.
    Hari Bol

  7. ameyatma says :

    Sri Nandanandana Prabhu
    Accept my obeisances – All glories to Srila Prabhupad – long time no see, wishing you all success.

    Yugala Kishore has written:
    “…the ideas and conclusions portrayed in your essay, seem to be more the by-product of “conspiracy theory” speculations than serious economic thinking or discourse. Which, in turn, would cast a shadow of invalidity on your conclusions.”

    And Sngdas wrote:
    “I applaud you for your efforts to connect the readers to elements of Vedic knowledge through a modern context, but, do note a very srong “conspirator” mood in your writing.”

    Srinandanana is not just alluding to a conspiracy theory, nor is there just a very strong conspirator mood, his text outright states it, yes, folks there has been a very well documented conspiracy by the Rothschild dynasty and their fellow central bankers to have taken control over the industrialized nations of the world via the fiat monetary system.

    A few months ago i ran into one of the Rothschild’s family websites, and from their very website they proudly explain how they are the bankers of the nations. They formed and funded the IMF, the World Bank, etc. They make loans to all the Central Banks of the world, including the Federal Reserve. They are, without doubt, the controllers of the controllers of this planet. But, with even less doubt, Krsna remains the absolute controller, as such, the bankers are merely puny and insignificant.

    Still, regarding the Rothschilds, i found one that also specializes in the bank rolling of extravagent casinos and exclusive resorts whose clientelle are limited only to the very elite of the elite. They showed pictures of places (palatial and grand resorts i never knew existed) that they had funded already. That Rothschild desired more such resorts to be build that via that website was offering to bank roll qualified investors to do so. (That was well over a year ago, and oddly that website remained up for only a limited time, then it disappeared). They are the controllers of the controllers. They do, however, work hard to keep these things secret. They never take public positions. But, on some of the sites connected with their family (they are very fond of their vineyards and aged wines), they are refered to, by those who work directly under them, in induendo and in direct terms, as World-class royalty, as the ruling kings and queens of the world. Even though they still use the title of Barons, they are served by those who work directly for them as the royal dynasty of the planet, who refer to them as the royal family. They rule this planet via a very secretive means via a complex system of surrogates and proxies. They purposefully do not want to be known in the public. A member of their family can easily travel around the world, live and function in their local society/community, without those whom they contact having any idea who they really are. They planned it this way, and it works for them – so far. If people knew who they were they would become more easy targets.

    I have also written about them on my website, but, i will admit, you cannot write about them without speculating because of their nature of being very secretive.

    My desire is that while writing about them, although we can easily invoke a dislike toward them, it is also in our interest to ‘preach’ to them to try to convince them of the higher truth contained in SP’s books. Someday, it may very well be that one or more of their influential members will take up KC and by doing so, will be able to transform the whole world. Therefore, the best ‘defense’ or weapons we have is Srila Prabhupad’s books. Just preach and teach from them as he also did, AS IT IS. But, it is good to know who they are and what they are up to. Still, my prayer is that one day they will also become followers of Srila Prabhupad. Just as Buddhism spread like wild fire in India when King Ashok took it up, when several of the influentail controlers of the bankers take up KC they occupy the posts to make far reaching and lasting changes that we simply can only dream of doing. The only way this will ever happen is for us to remain fixed in spreading Srila Prabhupad’s teachings As They Are. There were 900 English Gitas in the West before Srila Prabhupad wrote ‘another one’, yet there was not one single devotee of Krsna, as soon as Srila Prabhupad wrote and distributed the Gita AS IT IS, immediately the result was 1,000’s of souls instantly became devotees and surrendered themselves to Krsna. Imagine the effect if the most influetial of the Rothschild’s or other similar bankers were to become enlightened by SP’s books. It is possible, I once met several of the Hinduja’s years ago. They were just opening a bank in Bombay. At the time they were worth 6 billion $ and were recognized even by the bankers as influential and elite. And, yet they were very KC. On their personal cell phones they would answer their calls saying “Hare Krsna”. We can reach even the Rothschilds if we are sincere enough to spread Srila Prabhupad’s teachings, and by doing so, we could transform the entire globe literally overnight. It is possible. It remains within our reach. Krsna can arrange such a thing at any given moment, we simply must become sincere enough and qualified enough that He will allow it.

    ys ameyatma das

  8. sita-pati says :

    Dear Yugala Kishor prabhu,

    I’m not sure how communism crept into the conversation… Why not go point for point through the article and identify some specific issues within it? Or better yet, if it’s so completely wrong in every respect, write another article which presents the viewpoint that you think we should be presenting in a public forum. The opportunity is there, and I am more than happy to read it and consider it.

    ys,
    sda

  9. Kesava Krsna dasa says :

    Dear prabhu’s,

    Not too long ago, some of our leading devotees, some of whom may or may not still be with us, also made prophecies by citing the Bhavishya Purana and other similar Vedic texts. Whether it was the Y2k meltdown, or a 1985 world war and so on, however tantalizing the subject was, did not materialize into reality.

    To use the authority of the Srimad Bhagavatam to to back up what appears to be a well organized money laundering enterprise, in this case, a banking cartel, must also be viewed with utmost care. However interesting and topical the issue is, to draw a modern-day parallel with infallible verses from the Bhagavatam may well be at variance with expectations, and furthermore cause the intelligentsia to doubt our ability to tell bearings from co-ordinayes in a future world scenario.

    For instance, in the preamble to the Srimad Bhagavatam itself, Srila Prabhupada wrote of the trend towards a one world goverment. He did not disparage this momentum.Rather, as was the case 5,000 years ago he saw the positive side. His purports throughout the 1st and 2nd cantos do tell of the unwanton greed of the ruthless greedy capitalists and the misery they cause, but not refined capitalism per say.

    Many if not, most of the conspiracy theories are posted by Christian fundamentalists and groupings with socialist agendas,who try to make these present-day events tally with revelations and other Biblical prophecies, or are expressions of outright envy towards the vaisya creed. Whether the fear of triple six, or the dread of the United Nations devil incarnate and the rest, are rallying the support of the exploited masses or not, we, as sensible discerning devotees cannot portray ourselves in the same manner as the conspiracy theorists. By doing so we are seen to be aligning with, and using the same methodology, ie; quoting from scripture.

    If anything, the dawning of the golden age in Kali-yuga would require a unision of thought in harmony with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s world sankirtana outlook. And what better way than to have a world government with a real Rajarsi at the helm? The feared proponents of the new world order are not quite the demons the Christians make them out to be, who have much to lose in terms of tradition and prestige. These people are often open to the ancient if not mystical side of humanity, and would not discard the precepts of the Vedas in a hurry. The democratization of the world which helps opposing factions see eye to eye, and gradually uplifting the conscience to levels of tolerance, coupled with the rise of India as a potential superpower whose glorious heritage will be attractive, can only be pointers in this direction.

    As for the implanted chips and the fructifications of George Orwells 1984 big brother scenario many are afraid of; they are indicative of society having to deal with the very products churned out by the same: delinquents and more of them. What Hollywood and the scriptwriters may have in mind of a dark future filled with robots and aftermaths of one nuclear catastrophe after another, does not fit in to the golden-age already envisioned by the Lord.

    So rather than be accomplices in the doomsday thinking of fearful people with no philophical basis in life, we should work towards making the golden age a reality.

    Ys, Kesava Krsna dasa.

  10. ykd108 says :

    I do concur with Sngdasa prabhu. The important thing to bear in mind whenever we venture into a field of expertise, in the secular world, is to be fully, and accurately well informed.

    Moreover, the notion of a “zeal attitude” towards presenting Krishna Consciousness is oftentimes not the mood that Srila Prabhupada portrayed in his preaching work. A preacher of KC ought to be expert in the KC philosophy and in any other philosophy we want to change. People are not much inspired by zeal. Religious zeal, specially semitic religious zeal, has created untold misery in human society throughout the centuries. Actually, they continue to inflict misery among themselves, to this very day.

    I would request devotees to give up zeal and take a reasonable, intelligent, approach to presenting KC, whether it is to economists or any other experts in different fields.

    Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
    Yugala Kishor dasa

  11. shiva says :

    Yugala Kishor, I would agree that Nandanandana Das presented a very simplistic and even slightly misleading account of the modern world economic system, but at the same time I would disagree with you as well when you claim his arguments to be leftist conspiracy theory or being very far off the mark. All sides of the political spectrum have for a long time railed against the Federal Reserve and Central Bank system. In fact for a long time it was organizations from the “far right” who were the leading critics/conspiracy theorists of the current banking system. Rightist critics/conspiracy theorists of the system included Adolph Hitler, The John Birch Society, Pat Robertson, Lyndon Larouche, and Eustace Mullins. To claim that criticism/conspiracy theories about the world banking system is leftist in nature is simply in error. People from all over the political spectrum, right, left, and center (Libertarians), have proposed something similar to what Nandanandana Das has presented.

    My main critique of his presentation would be that the concept of “bankers” and central banks as being the controllers of nations and peoples is in error. What I see going on is a type of feudalism. Banks and bankers are part of a system which is controlled to one degree or another by an elite class of people and the people who willingly serve them in order to profit from that relationship. What we have in the topmost elite caste are the people who are heavily invested in corporations. Most banks are corporations which have large numbers of investors who also invest in numerous other business ventures. The central bank system was created for the purpose of monopolizing the banking industry, creating a cartel so as to do away with risk caused by competition amongst the leading bankers of the pre-central bank era. When Mussolini came to prominence he was hailed as a great economic hero by the elites of the world because he proposed in public what the elites were trying to do by deception. The elites were trying to present their economic and political programs as being nothing more then a noble cause, a fight against the tyranny of “Robber Barons” and their monopolistic practices. In reality what they were creating was government mandated and supported cartels. It was a type of crypto fascism which was being gotten away with by the elites in America and Europe, whereas Mussolini advocated fascism openly. Hitler too was hailed for many years as an economic savior. Both of them were heavily supported and financed by the leading corporate elites of the west for many years before WW2.

    Beneath the top elite caste were the people who were the bureaucrats and scholars and business experts who would go along with and facilitate the corruption of the elites in order to be accepted by the elites and be given their slice of the pie. Eventually this system led to rampant corruption in all facets of modern western civilization. From banking, to corporations, to universities, government, etc, the enitre system is corrupt. Once in a while the corruption becomes exposed in big scandals, this is usually due to infighting amongst the elites and their cohorts and oftentimes involves “organized crime”. That’s not the clumsy italian mafia as seen in popular media. The real big time organized crime is deeply manned by current and former government intelligence agents as well as extremely wealthy businessmen from around the world e.g russia, china, japan, america, europe, etc. Their main business is legal and illegal gambling, worth at least 1 trillion dollars a year and also hard drugs worth another half trillion to 1 trillion. The world banking system is kept afloat due to the influx of cash from the black market economy.

    For some reading I suggest The Origins of the Federal Reserve by Murray Rothbard. Here is the PDF version

    In this article we get a glimpse of how corporate and government intersects to from a type of feudal power system taken advantage of by the elite classes. Written by one of their own: Dillon, Read & Co. Inc. & the Aristocracy of Prison Profits

    And then there is Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

  12. Sng dasa says :

    Regarding Ameyatma Prabhu’s comments, this is, again, an example of a non-rational and substantially irrelevant attachment to conspiracy-theory oriented information. The presentation is not well researched. He, himself, admits to its highly speculative nature. I appreciate, of course, his enthusiasm in spreading Srila Prabhupada’s teachings to one and all. Clearly, he wants to engage that enthusiasm in Krsna’s service and that can only bring positive results.

    Thank you, Yugala Kishor Prabhu for, again, teasing out the truly significant elements of this dialogue, particularly with your view towards responsibility in preaching as functional, intelligent and rational individuals.

  13. Kulapavana says :

    While there is little doubt that central banks play a huge role in shaping the events of our world, what is an average Hare Krsna devotee to do about it? Seems like we are merely entertaining the “illusions of grandeur” by such talk. Where are our economic experts? Are they busy making sure our movement has a solid economic base for it’s preaching mission? Or are we merely struggling from day to day, unable to cover the cost of many critically needed programs? Before we save the world from economic gloom and doom maybe we should first save our own movement. Who takes seriously a raggedy beggar on the street promising untold riches if we just follow his “program”? A little common sense and humility goes a long way when it comes to practical matters. Most people are not impressed by big talk. They are impressed by big deeds. Food for thought.

  14. Parivadi das says :

    What I miss in the discussion so far – as often nowadays in discussions – is PARALLEL THINKING. It is obvious that kali-yuga-tendencies are especially there, where there is a lot of money accumulated. At the same time it is right, that even members of this world-elite may get supporters of ISKCON. These things are true parallel. A quarrel is not necessary. An interesting question in this regard is, how far ISKCON-authorities should involve in money-speculation. Our fourth regulative principle does forbid this regarding initiated members of ISKCON. Money-speculation is nothing else than gambling! And at least one well-known ex-sannyasi was spoiled away while involving in money-speculation in a big style for the sake of yukta-vairagya for our ISKCON. It seems to me therefore that it is better for initiated members not to use methods of Rothschild & co directly; better to convince them to help us than to imitate their behaviour!!!

    As I understood Nandanandana prabhu is that he wants only to make us sensitive of the dangers of progressive kali-yuga which were predicted like he explained. Of course he could done so in a more simple way to prevent bewildering. But everybody in this world knows:

    Money-Barons reign the world nowadays and that is not the way it should be.

    Therefore we have to preach accordingly and not to imitate kali-methods in the name of yukta-vairagya. But – as mentioned above – at the same time these influencuel people can help ISKCON to change history!

    y. s.
    Parivadi das
    (ISKCON Germany)

  15. asprng_vaishnav says :

    Hare Krsna
    PAMHO. AGTSP.
    Regarding comment #7:
    This has an idea that we make one of Rothschilds a Krsna devotee and they will become benevolent and there is a implcit suggestion that they will donate money to preach Krsna Consciousness.
    We already have Ambarish Prabhu from Ford family. Ford family is a big family in terms of number of family members, I understand. Is everybody in Ford family a Krsna devotee because Ambarish Prabhu is a devotee? I doubt. Is everybody in Ford family donating money to iskcon? I doubt. If somebody has facts about this, they can enlighten me.
    It is recorded that Srila Prabhupad was adviced by well-wishers to approach to hollywood celebrities and influential politicians to spread Krsna consciousness and he had refused to do that.
    IMHO, to sustain and grow this movement, we need not focus on a rich, influential family. We should focus on younger folks, increase internet preaching, remember Howard Dean had collected $30 million thru small donations on internet in his 2004 presidential campaign. We can harness power of internet in Krsna’s service.
    We need to increase university preaching. For example, Yale University has 7000 – 8000 students on the campus, but there is no preaching activity in that area.
    If we make this movement a grassroot one, we do not need any rich or celebrity people.
    If they want to join iskcon on their own then they are welcome. I do not think that Srila Prabhupad pleaded Ambarish Prabhu or George Harrison to join iskcon.
    Hari Bol

  16. ykd108 says :

    My final contribution to this article:

    My Comments on Post No. 8 from Sita-Pati Prabhu

    “I’m not sure how communism crept into the conversation…”

    Because usually, the people who don’t like the current system usually foster socialistic ideas.

    “Why not go point for point through the article and identify some specific issues within it?”

    Because I do not have the time available for such a task, though I wish I could.

    “Or better yet, if it’s so completely wrong in every respect, write another article which presents the viewpoint that you think we should be presenting in a public forum.”

    Again, I lack the necessary time to address such an issue in a well-structured way, without having to resort to speculations.

    My Comments on Post No. 9 from Kesava Krishna Prabhu

    “Not too long ago, some of our leading devotees, some of whom may or may not still be with us, also made prophecies by citing the Bhavishya Purana and other similar Vedic texts. Whether it was the Y2k meltdown, or a 1985 world war and so on, however tantalizing the subject was, did not materialize into reality.”

    I also remember the same phenomena happening here in Alachua, FL. Devotees were so paranoid of the Y2K speculation that even ‘armed themselves’ and were willing to shoot anybody coming to their property, including their fellow ISKCON members!!! My original point, in my first entry to this discussion was precisely to pinpoint this “doomsday, conspiracy-theory” flavor in the Article that triggered this whole discussion. We need to very intelligent when projecting our Krishna Consciousness to others. We are supposed to become a society of brahmanas; becoming weirdos (if I may use the word) won’t do the job.

    “To use the authority of the Srimad Bhagavatam to to back up what appears to be a well organized money laundering enterprise, in this case, a banking cartel, must also be viewed with utmost care.”

    Absolutely! We ought to scrutinize any speculation, from whoever, that purports to be based on Shastra.

    “For instance, in the preamble to the Srimad Bhagavatam itself, Srila Prabhupada wrote of the trend towards a one world goverment. He did not disparage this momentum. Rather, as was the case 5,000 years ago he saw the positive side.”

    Absolutely! Srila Prabhupada even used money issued by and from central banks around the world (paper currency, gold, whatever you want to call it) to push forward the KC Movement.

    My Comments on Post No. 11 from Shiva Prabhu

    “Yugala Kishor, I would agree that Nandanandana Das presented a very simplistic and even slightly misleading account of the modern world economic system, but at the same time I would disagree with you as well when you claim his arguments to be leftist conspiracy theory or being very far off the mark…. To claim that criticism/conspiracy theories about the world banking system is leftist in nature is simply in error.”

    I didn’t know that the political right was into this stuff too. I have come across leftists, mostly, who proclaim and despise the evils of capitalism and the creation of fiat money is one of the issue they love to delve into. That’s why I originally wrote such statement.

    “Eventually this system led to rampant corruption in all facets of modern western civilization. From banking, to corporations, to universities, government, etc, the enitre system is corrupt.”

    You allude that the entire system is corrupt. But in reality, it is the whole cosmic manifestation is corrupted. Why stop at the economic system? The whole material world is corrupted. Corruption stems from the polluted heart of men, not from the institutions, or economic systems, which only mechanism of social actions. Change their hearts, and there will not more need to worry about elites ruling the world, or the evils of fiat money, etc… The fact that we see corruption in Western civilization doesn’t mean we shut our eyes and cover our ears, and lash out all kinds of wild speculations about it. We got to work with we have. Prabhupada always used the system (including fiat money), no matter how corrupted, in spreading the KC Movement. To follow in his footsteps we need to do the same.

    My Comments on Post No. 13 from Kulapavana Prabhu

    “Or are we merely struggling from day to day, unable to cover the cost of many critically needed programs?”

    Excellent point prabhu! We have been fostering, in ISKCON, a culture of poverty. Somehow or other, we messed up things when we began to think and preach that poverty is a sign of advancement in KC. What a mistaken idea!!!

    “Before we save the world from economic gloom and doom maybe we should first save our own movement.”

    Another excellent point! Our KC Movements needs people who make a lot of money (ingrained in the vaisya creed) or who are intellectuals in all walks of life and fields of activity, or both. We got to get rid of the idea of scamming others, from the “hand-to-mouth” mentality, from fearing the evils of the system, when the system can be utilized for furthering KC.

    “Most people are not impressed by big talk. They are impressed by big deeds.”

    Rightly said! We need vaisyas and brahmanas (ksatriyas will come in due course), who are armed with purity and Shastra can change the world. Brahmanas provide the brain power, vaisyas provide the economic factor to any expansion of social ideas.

    My Comments on Post No. 14 from Parivadi devi

    “And at least one well-known ex-sannyasi was spoiled away while involving in money-speculation in a big style for the sake of yukta-vairagya for our ISKCON.”

    I don’t know what you mean by money-speculation. We are talking about economics and how it can be utilized in spreading KC. Moreover, if an ex-sannyasi failed to understand how economics work, that doesn’t mean we all failed or that we are doomed to fail.

    “Therefore we have to preach accordingly and not to imitate kali-methods in the name of yukta-vairagya.”

    We should be interested in using the assets of the world to spread KC, as Srila Prabhupada did it, as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura did it, and as Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura did it. And knowledge of economics is an asset that we, in ISKCON, have long neglected.

    Thanks for all your comments. I gained further insights into these matters.

    Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
    Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

  17. Akruranatha says :

    I agree with those devotees who found the article to have a “conspiratorial” tone (even more the case with Sita Pati’s article entitled “What’s Really Going On”). There seems to be a mood of populist “call to action” and a lack of sophistication that we do not expect from Nandanandana, who writes such nice, scholarly articles on Vaisnavism.

    A lot of the information presented is well known to undergraduates in Economics and History, or to anyone who reads the Wall Street Journal, but it is oddly being presented in the mood of revealing well-kept secrets.

    The way central banks can control the “money supply” by manipulating interest rates and reserve requirements, or that the value of the dollar is no longer pegged to gold (and that gold trades on the open market like any other commodity), are hardly news items.

    The suggestion that establishing the Federal Reserve Board violates the U.S. Constitution is out on the lunatic fringe of U.S. jurisprudence, and belongs in the same category as those who claim the income tax is illegal or that all gun control laws are unconstitutional. Way back in 1819 or so, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote a U.S. Supreme Court opinion in “McCullough v. the State of Maryland” which not only established the foundations of Federalism but specifically held that the U.S. Congress had the power (under the commerce clause) to charter the Second Bank of the U.S. While the Jacksonians later dissolved the Second Bank, the basic premise that Congress can constitutionally create a state bank, and the constitutionality of the Federal Reserve system, is pretty much universally accepted today.

    That is not to say that I believe all is fine and dandy with the international monetary system or the international economy in general. It seems to be basically working for the time being, but as Srila Prabhupada warned us, the material world is a precarious place where disaster can happen at any minute.

    And of course Srila Prabhupada (and Suta Goswami) warned us that hoarding of gold gives shelter to Kali-yuga and spawns the four pillars of sinful life.

    Many devotees are too absorbed in hearing and chanting about Krishna to take up a serious study of history or global political economics, and that is fine. I agree though, that before we start posing as authorities on these subjects we should become thoroughly educated about them or we will look like fools to the nondevotees. We should not appear uneducated or prone to political fads and enthusiasms.

    Srila Prabhupada understood these topics very well and sometimes used them as a springboard to explain Krishna consciousness. However, he was too absorbed in saving the world with Krishna consciousness to get involved in lengthy, detailed discussions and debates on these issues, which occupy so much serious materialistic discourse but are actually tirthas for the crows.

    On the other hand, those devotees who actually happen to be engaged in the study of these topics as part of their material occupations might be the best ones to explain them to the rest of us. I agree with Yugal Kishor that it will be nice to see some of the world’s great financiers and captains of industry and (why not?) leading statesmen becoming devotees of Lord Sri Krishna.

    Regarding right wing conspiracy theories about the financial power elite, we should note that they have been the mainstay of antisemitism which gained incredible force in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Hannah Arendt’s classic treatise “The Origins of Totalitarianism” devotes the first third of the book to explaining why and how antisemitism became the successful focus for organizing mass politics in Europe. Hatred of Jews was shared in common with various political forces such as nationalists, liberals, aristocracy, labor and socialists. The origins of this antisemitism was traced to the middle ages, when Christians were forbidden to lend money at interest, giving rise to successful Jewish financiers who were extremely powerful, who were “cosmopolitan” and whose loyalty to the nation was thus suspect, and who had exacted from Christian royalty certain protective laws for Jews within their borders (among other things).

    These are big topics, but when conspiracy theorists start citing Henry Ford (a notorious anti-Semite) and blaming the world’s ills on the Rothschilds, a little alarm always goes off in my head that says, “Where have we heard that stuff before?” (Hint: not from Srila Prabhupada)

  18. Kulapavana says :

    Morning Walk with Srila Prabhupada, Johannesburg, October 16, 1975

    You are cheated

    Harikesa: So actually this money doesn’t even exist in Vedic society—money.
    Prabhupada: Money is not required. You require things. Just like instead of money, you are getting papers. Money means gold. Where is gold? You are cheated. Money means gold. So instead of possessing gold, you are possessing some paper, written there, “hundred dollars.” And you are such a fool, you are satisfied. You are being cheated. Bank’s cheque and currency notes, you keep it in your…—”Oh, here is my money.” Is that money? Just see.
    Devotee: They only do that to make it easier for them, because they’ve got so much money that they can’t carry it…
    Prabhupada: That’s all right, but actually it is not money. You are befooled. You are such a fool that you accept a piece of paper as money. Therefore I say you are rascal. That is my business. If I say “Government, give me gold,” and government has passed law, “No, you cannot possess gold,” that means cheating. How I shall keep gold, that is my business. First of all you give me gold. It is due to me. But you are giving me paper. That means cheating is begun from you.
    Harikesa: How will the government decide what my gold is and what his gold is? How does the gold get distributed?
    Prabhupada: Gold coins. Formerly there was gold coins. We have seen in our childhood gold coins, silver coins. There was no paper.
    Harikesa: But you have to do something to get it.
    Prabhupada: Yes. I will have to do something. That is another thing. But why you are cheating me? Instead of gold, you are giving me paper.
    ———————————————————————————–

    Srila Prabhupada did not mince words here. He called people who see nothing wrong with the fiat money system “fools”, and the ones who issue fiat money he called “cheaters” and “rascals”. Do you think he was a conspiration theory buff? No, that is the truth. Henry Ford might have been an anti-semite and a meat eater, but he was not a fool.

    Still, the issue remains: what can an average devotee of Krsna do about such a massive and widespread cheating business? We can pray to Krsna for the cheating and exploitation to stop, we can enlighten people about the various dangers of this material world, and we can – and should! – clearly denounce the rascals who perpetuate this cheating fiat money system, just like Srila Prabhupada did. Srila Prabhupada might not have devoted much time to this issue, but he made it very, very clear where he stands with regards to the crooks who run the world’s central banks.

  19. ykd108 says :

    Kulapavana prabhu,

    Thanks for that quote from Prabhupada. Despite of what Prabhupada stated in that quote, he himself used fiat money to push on the KC Movement. He never stated NOT TO USE IT. As I said before, we have to work with what we have.

    Your post is another classic example of quoting Prabhupada out of context.

    You wrote: “Srila Prabhupada did not mince words here. He called people who see nothing wrong with the fiat money system “fools”, and the ones who issue fiat money he called “cheaters” and “rascals”.

    You continue to misunderstand the point. Your words are very confusing, even to yourself. Based on your statement, someone could infer that Prabhupada was mistaken in using fiat money. Notice that Prabhupada says that he remembers ‘in his childhood’ the use of gold and silver coins. This indicates that most of his life, he used fiat money. When he was grhastha, he used fiat money; when he was sannyasi, he used fiat money. Now, where is the problem with that? What is the issue that you people want to press, ad infinitum and ad nauseam, with no productive understanding of what is going on outside of your psychological shells.

    The result of the propagation of this “hate-for-the-karmis-and-whatever-they-do” corrosive mentality have only brought misery to our ranks. I have seen, and continue to see, ISKCON members who take these quotes to wild extremes. Some of them sound like more and more like David Koresh (a crazy Christian guy who hated the US goverment, the FBI, and the IRS). Many of these peculiar ISKCON members become scammers, or living from “hand-to-mouth,” cheating their fellow ISKCON members and their own families for money, the fiat money they hated so much in the first place.

    Moreover, in this particular quote, you have given us, Prabhupada is not arguing that fiat money is sinful, or bad or evil. He is just arguing that when the gold standard for currency valuation was in place, you could exchange your fiat money back to gold. Now, you can’t do that anymore, and that’s a government decree, all over the world. And that constituted cheating. By the same token, when the governments decided to change the gold standard, you had the right – as a holder of fiat money – to go anywhere within the borders and exchange it – exactly as you would have done it using gold – for whatever commodity you were interested in. So, in real terms, you hadn’t lose your purchasing power. PEOPLE GET THIS INTO YOUR BRAINS: FIAT MONEY IS NOT WEALTH, IT IS JUST A MEANS OF ECONOMIC EXCHANGE.

    By the way, for your information, several serious, renown macro-economists are, right now, rethinking the return to the gold standard. Maybe this piece of news will make those of us, who identify ourselves as conspiracy theorists, sleep better.

    Will the return to the gold standard have any impact on preaching KC? No. Will it purify our hearts, so that our preaching can be more effective? NO. Will it decrease the numbers of scammers in ISKCON and outside of ISKCON? NO.

    In the final analysis, we should use whatever is there in the world to push on KC. Whether we live in an economic system that uses fiat money, or gold, or silver, or pebbles, is utterly irrelevant.

    Hare Krishna.

    Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)
    PS: This is really…. really my last post on this issue.

  20. Kesava Krsna dasa says :

    Dear prabhu’s,

    The real issue for me is not so much the topic of conspiratorial lore which is an intriguing genre, and causes many devotees to second-guess trends based upon occurences in world politics and financial moves. What concerns me more is when someone sees fit to offer a prophecy on ever changing world events which in the Bhagavad Gita are described as ‘endlessly mutable.’

    The times we are living in now barely registers as a blip in the entirety of the 432,000 years of Kali yuga. To ascribe prophecy in this way will be counter-productive. Why? A prophecy has a ring of absoluteness about it. It is not something which can be challenged from any quarter. Believe me, if a publication were to get displayed on the book shelves of the retailers attributing its authority to Srila Vyasadeva and the Srimad Bhagavatam, and by implication Srila Prabhupada and the vaisnavas of Iskcon; does anyone think this thesis will be unchallenged by economists, pundits, pandits and the laymen? If they see holes in the theory they will scoff at Srila Vyasadeva’s work and think the rest of us followers as sentimental misfits. If this occurs, who will be blamed in the foolish stakes?

    There are authors of the likes of David Ickes who has earned millions from writing about conspiracies. How many people consider him to be somewhat of a crackpot? Would it not be better to leave it to like-minded people? The interest is there, as I say. To talk or pass comment on such issues is not a bad thing. But please, I would urge caution in terms of prophecy.

    Another consideration is; supposing one of the young members of the elitist families were to be accosted by a book distributor, but being aware his family and ancestors were maligned by Hare Krishna devotees by way of books and the like, would we expect him to trust the book distributors words? Just as the Americans and their allies keep a blacklist of all known and suspected links with the terror machine, these people will also have similar lists given by their paid advisors. Can we afford to blacklist Srila Prabhupada’s good name?

    Yet another consideration concerning the prophecy. There can be no variables in an absolute pronouncement. There is mention in this article that the causes for people to flee to the jungles and mountains will be excessive taxation and plunder, which is true. If I offer a variable in the form of Srila Prabhupada’s words which also seem to prophecise an upcoming set of events, it will not be the only one. Here it is: ” Rogues and thieves plunder without regard for law, but in this age of Kali, as stated in Srimad Bhagavatam, the lawmakers themselves plunder the citizens. The next prediction to be fulfilled, which is already coming to pass, is that because of the sinful activities of the citizens and the government, rain will be come increasingly scarce. Gradually there will be complete drought and no production of food grains. People will be reduced to eating flesh and seeds, and many good, spiritually inclined peoplewill have to forsake their homes because they will be harassed by drought, taxation and famine.” SB.5.2.2 purport. In other words there are other factors at play besides the banking issue. It may be slight, but should not test a prophecy, which it does. Besides, perhaps we are given a clue to global warming.

    Ys, Kesava Krsna dasa.

  21. Kulapavana says :

    Dear Yugala Kishor prabhu,

    If I understood you correctly (after all, according to you I am supposed to be easily confused even by my own words) you make the point that since both Srila Prabhupada and myself used fiat money every day we have no business calling people who issue them rascals and crooks. That point is actually quite absurd. What was Srila Prabhupada to do? Barter for a bus fare in NY with rasagulas? Or issue his own money based on a gold standard? Both of these would be illegal in US, so they are not even an option. So much for your “argument”…

    Srila Prabhupada had a very broad vision for Krsna Consciousness Movement. He thought big. He wanted his disciples to look at this world and not be confused or cheated by it’s crooks and rascals. More importantly, he wanted to change the world by starting a revolution, not a sleek marketing campaign for a streamlined, uncontroversial version of popular spirituality for the masses. It was precisely that grand vision of Srila Prabhupada that inspired many of us to join his movement in the first place.

    Perhaps your debate is really with Srila Prabhupada and his vision. Perhaps you think that it would be better to avoid raising such topics and stirring up controversies. Maybe we should bury all the “inconvenient” Prabhupada quotes somewhere deep, where nobody can find them? Well, too late for that.

    But you are absolutely right in pointing out the possible misuse of such quotes – that is a very real risk. There is no single quote that has been more abused in our society than “The end justifies the means”, with the close second being “By hook or crook”. These two phrases brought us truckloads of shame and misery over the years. In comparison, the quote about crooks and rascals of the present day banking system seems nothing but a sound take on reality.

    You close your comment to my post by saying:

    “In the final analysis, we should use whatever is there in the world to push on KC.”

    It is a nice sentiment and a catchy phrase, but as the above discussion shows, some of the “things of this world” are more appropriate for use in presenting Krsna Consciousness than others. And it takes smart people with integrity and knowledge of the shastra to figure out what is to be used, and what is to be rejected. I have no doubt you are one of such people, prabhu.

  22. Akruranatha says :

    One thing we should note in the purport to SB 1.17.39, is that Srila Prabhupada is not arguing in favor of gold-standard currency. He is arguing in favor of circulation of gold and other things of value, without any paper currency whatsoever (an even more radical idea). He says, “Even a gold-standard exchange and currency is bad.”

    Still deeper is the point that Kali yuga lives wherever there is gold. Srila Prabhupada is not arguing, as the “gold bugs” do, that we should convert large portions of our investment portfolio into gold Krugerands or Vienna Philharmonic coins. He is not saying that smart people hoard gold. He is saying that wherever there are stocks of gold there will be falsity, intoxication, lust, envy and enmity. We should get rid of gold stockpiles.

    (BTW, while gold has steadily risen in price over the long term and many professional investment counselors advise keeping some 10% to 20% of one’s portfolio in gold as a hedge against inflation, few would advise to keep more than that, as there are other investments that can be expected to perform better in both the short and the long run. Sure, it is a “confidence game”, but most experts expect hard currencies like the U.S. Dollar and the Euro to continue to inspire confidence for years to come.)

    When there is a gold-standard currency, each nation must have a large stockpile of bullion sufficient to cover all of the currency issued. Such huge stockpiles of gold are breeding grounds for all the ills of Kali yuga. The personality of Kali thrives there.

    True yogis have no attachment to gold. They see pebbles, stones and gold as the same (i.e., as transformations of Krishna’s energy). Even book knowledge, which some see as good as gold, have no greater value to a yogi than pebbles or stone. (See, B.G. 6.8)

    Sanatana Goswami had a touchstone that could produce as much gold as he wanted, but he kept it in a garbage heap, because he had the most valuable treasure of the Holy Name, and understood the real standard of value. Srila Prabhupada is not instructing us to become lovers of gold, but lovers of Krishna.

    Still, the consummate devotee preachers, masters of yukta vairagya, do not reject gold and go off to secluded places to chant. They engage whatever money becomes available to them in service to the sankirtan mission, and they actively canvass the population to use their money in this worthy cause.

    Speaking of investment portfolios, a true brahmana liberally spends wealth in devotional service and does not engage in financial speculation or hoarding of wealth. Srila Prabhupada did not want ISKCON temples to maintain big investment accounts. A precedent for this is when the German yatra had its accounts frozen by the government, and Srila Prabhupada learned there was a large sum of money being saved toward purchase of a temple. He was furious that the devotees were hoarding money and said the temples should quickly spend whatever money they get.

    I therefore think it is up to the vaisya devotees to set up foundations that throw off steady income to the temples. Or perhaps better yet they could simply purchase outright whatever temple facilities are necessary (keep the temples free from debt entirely), and let the ongoing temple operations be funded by whatever donations are collected each month. The more money an ISKCON takes in, the more it should engage in preaching. There should be no profit that gets invested in stocks, bonds, or commodities.

    As far as possible, temples should not become committed to paying large fixed expenses. The preaching atmosphere quickly becomes destroyed when the temples are in anxiety about how to collect enough money to meet their over-ambitous mortgages. And once a temple is established and paid for, it should never be used as collateral for a mortgage. That is clear from Srila Prabhupada’s will.

    I do not take Srila Prabhupada’s pronouncements on the “gold standard” issue as an economic platform for us to push like the modern politicians. I do not think he wants us to become involved in campaigning seriously for the actual abolition of paper currency, credit cards, and banks. (We would sound like total kooks if we did).

    He never made that a focal point of his preaching, and we should follow his example (i.e., we should understand the principle and not mince words or water it down when it comes up, but we should not be distracted from our main methods and we should NOT become followers of any nondevotee conspiracy theorists, or any other nondevotee authorities.)

    Sri Nandanandana points out how bankers can manipulate currency to cause depressions and inflations. Of course, governments can and do manipulate banks and monetary policy, and politicians campaign on how well they will be able to “manage” the economy to prevent unemployment and to keep inflation at manageable levels. There are legions of well-educated economists and journalists analyzing and arguing and critiquing how this is being done, both domestically and internationally.

    Withdrawing all paper money and other forms of credit from circulation would be the ultimate restriction on the money supply. Even though I am not an economist, it seems likely to me that, in the short run, such policies (which are unthinkable from any realistic perspective–let’s face it, it just isn’t going to happen, really), would cause widespread depression, unemployment, homelessness, civil strife, and probably revolution and a return to paper money in a short time. The whole scenario sounds like a complete fantasy.

    [Of course, if the world starts chanting Hare Krishna in large numbers, anything could happen. ]

    Srila Prabhupada is not encouraging such an experiment by modern politicians. He is explaining the general principle that gold produces falsity, prostitution, envy, enmity, and that in pre-Kaliyuga conditions (or some day in a decidedly different, non-Kaliyuga future), free circulation of gold will reduce the great gold stockpiles and counteract the ill effects of Kali yuga. We should understand this principle, but not let it distract us from our main efforts at inducing the world to chant Hare Krishna and hear about Krishna from Srila Prabhupada’s books.

    I have often wondered, if a leading politician — say a president or prime minister of a big industrialized democracy like the U.S. — became Srila Prabhupada’s initiated disciple, would Srila Prabhupada have advised such a person to embark on radical political reforms? Would Srila Prabhupada have encouraged him to try to become a dictator and then to pursue a radical “Vedic” agenda?

    I’ll never know the answer, but my impression is that it would be more important for such a politician to use the “bully pulpit” (as Theodore Roosevelt called the U.S. presidency) to put out a positive message about Krishna consciousness.

    I mean it would all depend on many factors. If there was some empowered personality like Maharaja Prthu or King Parikshit, anything could happen. But if there was some normal man, a successful politician who was also a pious devotee, I think Srila Prabhupada would not endanger that person’s career and reputation by advising him to espouse all manner of radical and unpopular policies. It would be more like George Harrison, whom Srila Prabhupada encouraged to use his position as a popular musician and cultural icon to help popularize the Hare Krishna mantra.

  23. ykd108 says :

    Dear Kulapavana Prabhu,
    This is my response to your post number 21.

    “If I understood you correctly (after all, according to you I am supposed to be easily confused even by my own words) you make the point that since both Srila Prabhupada and myself used fiat money every day we have no business calling people who issue them rascals and crooks.”

    Agreed. We can say whatever we want to whomever we want (in America anyway; not so much anywhere else), since we have freedom of speech. And that’s why we are having this exchange here. Srila Prabhupada certainly has his reasons to say what he said in that taped conversation you brought up. But notice that what he wrote in the purport to the Bhagavatam sloka (which started this whole thing) is softer or milder, significantly more, than just calling the economists of the world rascals and crooks.

    This brings yet another issue, that of hermeneutics and exegesis; i.e., Vaishnava hermeneutics and exegesis, especially in the language Srila Prabhupada used to speak and write. The amazing thing is that Srila Prabhupada, using much simplicity in his language, was able to convey the meaning of who Krishna is (no small task at all), thus changing the lives of countless individuals around the world. Yet, some instances are there in which it is required the cautious endeavor to understand what he meant. Words by themselves have meanings — oftentimes, multiple meanings. When words are inserted in sentences or paragraphs, and even concepts, they may take different meanings, and not necessarily the ones we are first prompt or inclined to grasp.

    Take for example, the purport of the Bhagavatam, in which Prabhupada wrote that “women like to be raped” (I can’t remember which verse it is, but those of you who have the Vedabase can figure it out.) If, right now, we trumpet to the whole world that statement without exercising hermeneutics, without understanding what Prabhupada meant by that, without analyzing his command of the language, or cultural expressions unique to English-speakers, without understanding the time in which Prabhupada grew up which would have some bearing in the way he spoke and syntax he used, we would be severely damaging not only his image but his preaching mission as well. If we take those words, as they appear, at first, and just throw them at people whom we want to save from the clutches of maya, the result would be 100% counter-productive. We would be probably be regarded as worst than the Taliban dimwits, at least they don’t advocate such a thing about women. Was Prabhupada wrong in writing such statement? No. It is up to us, his followers, to represent him appropriately to the world.

    Similarly, if we go around the world, calling out that economists and Statemen are cheaters for having devised the use of fiat money, to facilitate commercial trade, without understanding the implications thereof, without exercising due diligence in what we want to accomplish, as preaching force, then we may have undesirable results.

    There is much work to do in the field of exegesis of Prabhupada’s writings and words.
    ————————
    “That point is actually quite absurd. What was Srila Prabhupada to do? Barter for a bus fare in NY with rasagulas? Or issue his own money based on a gold standard? Both of these would be illegal in US, so they are not even an option. So much for your “argument”…”

    Agreed. That was the whole point of my posts.
    ———————-
    “Srila Prabhupada had a very broad vision for Krsna Consciousness Movement. He thought big. He wanted his disciples to look at this world and not be confused or cheated by it’s crooks and rascals.

    Agreed. But, I think he wanted us to be intelligently disposed to convey his teachings to the world. We can’t rely on wild speculations, conspiracy theories, and doomsday propositions, which was the original problem with Sri Nandananda prabhu’s post.

    ———————-
    “More importantly, he wanted to change the world by starting a revolution, not a sleek marketing campaign for a streamlined, uncontroversial version of popular spirituality for the masses. It was precisely that grand vision of Srila Prabhupada that inspired many of us to join his movement in the first place.”

    Agreed, absolutely. That revolution is a revolution of the heart. First, we need to change ourselves, then we may be able to change others, then society, then the institutions it comprises will most likely change as a result of revolution in consciousness. The revolution is not an economic one, nor even a political one. Changes in those spheres will come, once the individuals have changed their outlook of life to one purified by KC.
    ———————-
    “Perhaps your debate is really with Srila Prabhupada and his vision. Perhaps you think that it would be better to avoid raising such topics and stirring up controversies. Maybe we should bury all the “inconvenient” Prabhupada quotes somewhere deep, where nobody can find them? Well, too late for that.

    Debating Prabhupada and his mission? How could I? I have dedicated a good part of my life (30 years of my 47 in this body) to his mission. Basically, I grew up with his vision. I have participated in his mission (both as brahmacari and grhastha), and will continue to do so, not matter what. To this day, I have invested not only time, but financial resources in his mission. What I am proposing is a serious exegesis and hermeneutics of his words and writings (whenever needed or warranted), before we hit the streets with good intentions but with bad or inadequate material in our hands and heads.
    ———————-
    “It is a nice sentiment and a catchy phrase, but as the above discussion shows, some of the “things of this world” are more appropriate for use in presenting Krsna Consciousness than others.”

    Agreed on this one too. Not all things can be used in spreading KC. Just as not all attitudes and dispositions of the mind are conducive to attain and spread KC. Yet if Prabhupada used fiat money to operate in this world, we should do the same. This is a different proposition, than the one espoused by Sri Nandananda prabhu’s original post, which he, it seems, is unable to sustain.
    ———————-
    “And it takes smart people with integrity and knowledge of the shastra to figure out what is to be used, and what is to be rejected.”

    That’s the whole idea. Integrity, that’s a big word. If may add, we ought to represent Prabhupada with integrity, and that is reflected in our actions and behavior. “Like father, like son.” Yet we are not called to imitate the father.

    ———————

    Now, it think that the best thing that came out of this whole exchange of ideas, in this forum, is not differences of opinions in the realm of macroeconomics, rather the crux is realizing that there is a lack of exegesis and hermeneutics work in relation to Srila Prabhupada’s literary legacy. In my humble opinion, that will solve a lot of the confusion that usually surrounds quoting Prabhupada out of context.

    Thanks to all of you for enriching my life.

    Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
    Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

  24. Akruranatha says :

    “Asammoha, freedom from doubt and delusion, can be achieved when one is not hesitant and when he understands the transcendental philosophy. Slowly but surely he becomes free from bewilderment. Nothing should be accepted blindly; everything should be accepted with care and with caution.” (B.G. 10.5, Purport)

    There are many such statements in Srila Prabhupada’s books. A serious disciple has to test the authoritative statements through submissive inquiry and careful consideration. Gradually we become more and more convinced. We are not “faking ourselves out”, but actually becoming illuminated with knowledge of the absolute truth.

    There are many authoritative statements in Srila Prabhupada’s books that I, for one, remain bewildered about. We need to honestly face such statements and try to understand them. We cannot just ignore them or decide to pick and choose which of the spiritual master’s teachings we will or will not accept. I know that someday when I am purified my doubts will be removed and it will all be crystal clear.

    It does not help to accept too readily without proper understanding, and it certainly does not help for us to encourage blind faith or to chastise or belittle sincere devotees for their continued inability to fully accept some statements.

    [The statement about women liking to be raped is, I think, in Krishna book, but I do not have a citation. I always understood that Srila Prabhupada was talking about a handsome prince coming and stealing a girl away from her protective family, like a Kshatriya kidnapping a bride at a svayamvara (is that a “rakshasa wedding”?) Modern literature, like the cheap romance novels that are enormously popular with women, often exploit themes of dangerous, mysterious, picaresque men stealing women away from conventional lives to experience romance, adventure and danger. Such themes have been staples of Hollywood films from the days of Fairbanks, Valentino, and Gable, down to the modern heartthrobs like Brad Pitt. While we do not call this “rape”, I am convinced it is what Srila Prabhupada was talking about. He obviously was not imagining some smelly thug attacking from behind with a knife in a dark parking lot, or some frat boys holding down a drunken girl at a party, or any other sordid, disgusting, horrible scene. He would never suggest that sane women want to be threatened, injured, humiliated, dishonored, violated, despised and discarded by criminals like that.]

    If we are having trouble accepting authoritative statements, we should handle them with care. We should not simply “pretend” to accept them. If we preach and speak in public, we should generally stick to subjects we feel comfortable about and have some conviction or realizations about, and save any “troubling” statements for serious discussions and inquiry among learned and faithful devotees whom we trust.

    Sometimes fanatics of every religion try to convince themselves of things they really don’t believe by demanding others to believe them. The result is usually unattractive and helps no one. In Kali yuga religionists are often seen as hypocrits and superstitious fools. Srila Prabhupada has given us the weapons to destroy that image and establish the actual, scientific process of pleasing and knowing God, free from doubt. The most intelligent people will worship Lord Caitanya through this sankirtan yajna.

    When Srila Prabhupada writes, “Instead of paper currency, actual gold should be used for exchange, and this will stop prostitution of gold,” it is one of those statements that I have to continue making honest submissive inquiries about. It does sound correct to me–in theory at least–that the abolition of paper money, credit cards, checking accounts, etc., would promote a more honest and righteous way of living. But it also sounds completely impractical in today’s economy and society.

    Even in my own household, when I think of all the bills I pay by check, it is hard to imagine having to pay them all by gold coins. How would I even physically do it? Could the mailman be trusted?

    Then, when I think of how so many businesses function in our modern industrial economy, it is just staggering to try to imagine how it could go on without banks and paper money, wire transfers and so on.

    I admit that I have been poisoned by drinking the “Kool-Aid” of modern universities and working within the United States economy. I will be happy to have my doubts and delusions removed by careful consideration and further inquiry. Meanwhile, I must go on chanting and hearing more and more, taking this Harinama medicine through my ears into my heart.

    Maybe the point is, though, that the righteous economy Srila Prabhupada is talking about, where gold circulates and there is no paper currency, really is a non-industrial society where most people have their own plot of garden and milk cow and do not have to pay the electric bill, the car loan, the property insurance, etc. Such a smaller-scale economy would have its own ways of functioning that we have forgotten about, having grown up in an age of cars, televisions, computers, and all the divisions and systems for producing and distributing such things.

    As more people become devotees, a lot of the ugra-karma of modern civilization will stop. We might still have TVs, but the TV shows will all be about pure devotional service. The computers can all be used for devotional service, and the cars, planes, boats and telephones, too. But more likely, a lot of this iron-age technology will be seen as unnecessary and discarded. I cannot pretend to know what will happen, but it seems like a fantasy from a far-distant future beyond my comprehension.

    In the mean time, I do not see how I could actively and seriously campaign against paper currency, or even for a return to gold-standard currency. The Keynesian attack on the gold standard and the international mercantalist policies it fostered as having exacerbated and lengthened the Great Depression still makes sense to me. Not that I am going to become an economist or politician anyway, but if I were, I would have to stick to more conventional ideas, unless some enlightened devotee-economist could convince me in detail and give me a thorough grasp of all the relevant issues.

    Sri Nandanandana and Sita Pati and Kulapavana have not done that for me, and it seems to me that Sng das and Yugala Kishor and Shiva have the better grasp of these things. (BTW, Shiva, I did read Gabriel Kolko’s “Triumph of Conservativism” in a history class on the Progressive Era in college, and I appreciate your post and the articles you recommended).

    I do appreciate all of the comments of all the devotees, and the opportunity to consider and discuss “The Punishment and Reward of Kali.”

    Also, whatever Henry Ford was, he produced a wonderful grandson in Ambarish Prabhu, and we thank him for that. He also was a talented inventor and industrialist who revolutionized society in many ways (for good or ill). I do not regard him as any kind of authority, though, spiritual or material.

    At least Benjamin Franklin was (reportedly) a vegetarian. :-)

  25. Parivadi das says :

    Dear Yugala Kishor prabhu, pamho, agtSP!

    please allow me to give some more input on your comments to my comment:

    My Comments on Post No. 14 from Parivadi devi

    “And at least one well-known ex-sannyasi was spoiled away while involving in money-speculation in a big style for the sake of yukta-vairagya for our ISKCON.”

    I don’t know what you mean by money-speculation. We are talking about economics and how it can be utilized in spreading KC. Moreover, if an ex-sannyasi failed to understand how economics work, that doesn’t mean we all failed or that we are doomed to fail.

    additional comment from Parivadi das:

    I agree with you that it is proper to utilize economics in spreading KC. The point with money-speculation I ment like this: Is it not a fact that some methods of speculating with changes of course of share-certificates etc. are the same as gambling? Is it sinful or not? This is my simple question? Is it proper for initiated devotees to engage in such methods or not? Where is the boarderline?

    “Therefore we have to preach accordingly and not to imitate kali-methods in the name of yukta-vairagya.”

    We should be interested in using the assets of the world to spread KC, as Srila Prabhupada did it, as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura did it, and as Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura did it. And knowledge of economics is an asset that we, in ISKCON, have long neglected.

    additional comment by Parivadi das:

    yes, we should be expert economists, no question. But at the same time we have to stick to the principles of spiritual life.

    In addition I want to mention, that the economic system of these days puts a lot of pressure to people at large. I hope that you agree that the whole aspect of the third world has a lot to do with the greed of people who can not get enough by manipulating courses and economic systems. My wife was in the hospital for the last two weeks. We are not rich and my wife has only a basic health-insurance. The style of how she was treated was more than abormenable. The doctors have no time. The nurses have no time for normal people. These mass-people are treated like animals nowadays even in countries like germany. The german state – like most of other states – has to pay big interest-rates to private people and institutions like Fed etc. You know the whole story yourself. It is not proper to point out that this is all the law of karma. Of course it is but at the same time ISKCON has to also take side and point out how people are fooled and harmed by this system – like Shrila Prabhupada did. As a spiritual society we have to point out these demoniac structures and help to overcome them especially by spreading Krishna Consciousness and suppurting varnasrama-tendencies. A devotee does not hate the sinner but the sin. Diplomacy in preaching for sure is sometimes necessary for the sake of the whole outcome but it should not go so far as to get lost in it.

    your servant
    Parivadi das

  26. Akruranatha says :

    Parivadi makes some good points (and Sri Nandanandana, Sita Pati and Kulapavana, too). I hope my comments have not sounded like I disagree with everything they are saying. Sri Nandanandana’s article has a lot of important information directly from sastra.

    The rich are obviously getting richer as the poor get poorer, and the rich are certainly trying to keep it so, and they have the power and the know how and the means to do so. Who can deny that?

    The rich countries have been effectively squeezing the poorer countries, well beyond the times of de jure colonialism. People can (and do) write volumes of books on these subjects, and devotees should not be blind to social and economic injustice.

    We should not get too distracted analysing the material causes and effects though. We could spend years studying all those books and participating in all those debates, with no solution. We are among the few who know the ultimate solution is spiritual: Harinama sankirtan. There is no lack of anything but God consciousness. The conclusion of our various arguments should all lead to Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet.

    I believe devotees can come from many different sides of the political spectrum, from different positions on modern political and economic debates, and from different classes and nations which are naturally antagonistic to each other (having divergent material interests), but we can all find unity in Krishna consciousness.

    The American press had a field day when the Fisher Mansion temple was opened in 1976 by Lekasravanti (daughter of the founder of the American “United Auto Workers” Union) and Ambarish Prabhu (who’s family had fought for decades to keep unions out of Ford Motors). It was kind of wonderfully symbolic how labor and capital could unite in glorifying Krishna.

    I do not doubt that, even in the rich countries these days, prolonged, deep budget deficts will eventually take their toll on the national economies, or that there will be some financial elites who will remain economically well-off while the rest of the country becomes poorer. It is certainly possible we are headed for a huge collapse, but who of us can say when?

    [A friend called me several years ago — probably at least 5 years ago — and told me that a senior Gaudiya Math leader predicted with certainty that the world would suffer a major nuclear war that very year. This devotee was planning to buy a big RV for traveling preaching, and he wanted to know how the war would affect his purchase decision. I told him, if he was sure the war was going to happen, and he was not concerned about the morality of leaving debts unpaid, he should borrow as much as he could of the purchase price: when the nuclear holocaust came he would not have to pay it back. :-)

    I do not know if he ever bought the RV, but it seems like (at least in the dimension I live in), the big nuclear war did not come that year. That is not to say it couldn’t come any time, and the “Doomsday Clock” people recently moved it closer to midnight. If modern society does not take up Krishna consciousness it is surely doomed, both in this life and the next.]

    In the Reagan and G.H.W. Bush eras, American economists bragged that they could continue running huge trade deficits, and budget deficits that would have embarrased even Lyndon B. Johnson (who financed the Vietnam war and the “Great Society” social entitlement programs without significant tax hikes), without weakening the dollar in the international currency markets.

    The U.S. dollar was really the world’s darling currency, and there were huge, off-shore markets in U.S. dollars in European banks (so-called “Eurodollars” and “Petrodollars”), where all the multinational corporations and oil rich states were keeping their liquid investments. Thus, in spite of Nixon’s having abandoned any pretense of keeping the dollar pegged to gold in the early 70s, the world had to accept the almighty dollar, to the U.S.’s advantage.

    Nowadays, with a strong Euro, the U.S. greenback has lost some of its luster and will probably continue to do so. If the U.S. cannot wean itself from huge budget deficits and trade deficits, there will have to be rising interest rates and a shrinking economy, loss of jobs and hard times for the U.S. middle class.

    I remember when, before Reagan, the Republicans were supposed to be the party of “fiscal responsibility”, whereas the Democrats fought to help the poor and middle-class through deficit spending and entitlement programs. Now it seems the Republicans are shamelessly keeping low taxes on the wealthiest and spending on unnecessary wars in a botched, adventurous foreign policy (and some fat cats are also stealing tons of money out of this Iraq war, for sure), and stearing the U.S. economy toward hard times.

    I am fully paid in to the U.S. Social Security system, but I have serious doubts about whether there will be any money there for me as promised when and if I reach 65 or 67 years old.

    But when we start talking too much about economics and politics, we start to sound like everyone else. Anyone can read the various right-wing and left-wing newspapers and books, but who can really read and appreciate Srila Prabhupada’s books?

    I think, left-wing devotees will have success preaching to left-wing people, right-wing devotees will succeed in preaching to right-wingers, Ph.D devotees will succeed with Ph.Ds, and hippie devotees will succeed with hippies and slackers (who have the good quality of being immediately ready to abandon career, property and even family obligations to surrender to Krishna). Vedic scholars will attract Vedic scholars and musicians and dramatists will attract similar-minded people. Conspiracy theorist devotees will make devotees of other conspiracy theorists. Bankers will attract banker devotees and farmers will attract farmer devotees and factory workers will attract factory worker devotees. Policeman will attract policeman and priests will attract priests.

    Then we will all come to Mayapur and have big kirtans together for the ultimate welfare of everyone, we can also exchange views, and save the world from calamity. Even a little advancement on this path saves one from the greatest type of fear.

  27. ykd108 says :

    Prabhus,

    Parivari prabhu has asked a direct question about economics and how it could benefit ISKCON, without devotees getting into trouble. I am currently working on an article about the subject. And those concerns will be addressed therein.

    Thanks. Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

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