Hari Kirtan Das: Srila Prabhupada said that cities will one day crumble down. And it did not take long for his words to prove prophetic. We can see with our own eyes that everything from the lowness of basic requirements to keep body and soul together to the height of meeting the spiritual requirements of the soul have become difficult.
Food that sustains our life breath has slowly become so dear that it has slipped from the hands of a common man. Inflation is peaking, so much so that in a small country like Zimbabwe the rate of inflation is 2000%! Fresh air is polluted. Water is a scarcity and is sold. Clear water from flowing stream or river is only a pipe dream. Somehow if one manages to get water in the city is the recycled water from waste. Cityâ€™s population is bursting at its seams, leaving no decent place for a common family to live. One does not live on land, but hangs in the air, in the so called storeyed apartments. Modern education despite custom designed to give jobs has failed in that itself. A personâ€™s old age is no longer vision reading scriptures and telling stories to grandchildren, but cursing the family in an old age home. Unaware, a city dweller begins his day with the usage of products that use animal products, including cow by-products. Amid the air of material pursuit, all the finer spiritual concerns have been buried in the backyard and forgotten. But the material acquisition for which we really sacrificed everything, where has it brought us? No wonder, it did not take many years for the truth to come out. American economy collapsed, making many many more to follow- the bane of so called global economy. Many big companies have fallen apart. Thousands of people have been laid jobless. Lakhs of working class people have been disillusioned with the cities. This is the price that we have paid from moving self sufficient units of village to a modern city. Where do we go from here?
Farmers have moved to the cities or worse villages have modernized themselves to turn to cities, but do they know where they are headed to? From self-sufficiency to dependency and starvation! Srila Prabhupada and other acharayas they could foresee these problems and have offered a very easy solution to this dangerous debacle:
When everyone is working in the city to produce nuts and bolts, who will produce food grains? Simple living and high thinking is the solution to economic problems. Therefore the Krishna consciousness movement in engaging devotees in producing their own food and living selfsufficiently so that rascals may see how one can live very peacefully, eat the food grains one has grown oneself, drink milk, and chant Hare Krishna.
Vaishnavas or devotees are expected to be intelligent- Jei jan Krishna Bhaje se bada chatur â€“ simply because they are inspired by Krishna. We have a problem, we have a simple solution, and we also have been gifted with the intelligence to know the solution. What more are we waiting for? What is it which is stopping us from taking to Varnasrama? Why delay? Why stay in a building whose bricks have already started falling apart and no center holds? Let us move out of the decaying structure, save ourselves and also try to save others by presenting a role model to them.
Hari Kirtan Das