[Questions & Answers from Srimad Bhagavatam Class, ISKCON Ujjain, Jan 17, 2015] Question: Why is there so much suffering in India, so much deprivation?
HH Bhakti Charu Swami: Good point. Now tell me are they following Krishna? Are those people who are suffering, accepting Krishna? Especially India is the land of dharma (Dharma Kshetra). In the land of dharma when one acts in a sinful way, the reaction of the sin is multiplied by thousands of times. Similarly on the Dharma Kshetra, if someone acts in a pious way the reaction of his piety is magnified by a thousand times. It is a land of dharma; in this land everyone is meant to be virtuous (dharmik) but when people become atheistic in this land, then naturally their suffering becomes very, very intense. Actually the land of India is the most glorious land. India used to rule over the entire Earth planet, even up to Parikshit Maharaja five thousand years ago. The kings of India used to rule over the entire Earth planet not only the land part of the earth but including the oceans – sa sagara. Sa – means along with and Sagara -means ocean. The rulers of India used to rule over the entire Earth planet including the ocean. This land is most advanced spiritually therefore materially also this land was most advanced but unfortunately since people have rejected the path of dharma now, since people have rejected their submission to the Lord, since people have become atheistic, their suffering has multiplied.
Now my point is – yes, it is a cause for concern why people in India are suffering. And my solution to that will be – let these people become God-conscious; let these people become virtuous then India will become the greatest nation in the world.
“What I (you) can do?” What you can do is to understand the message of the Vedas, understand the message of Bhagavad-Gita (which is the essence of the Vedas). If you understand Bhagavad-Gita, you have understood the Vedas perfectly. Similarly, Srimad-Bhagavatam is another essence of the Vedas.
Let us stick to just the teachings of the Vedas; you understand it from Srimad Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam and by understanding it, by mastering the subject then you can go out and teach this subject to others. By doing this you will create awareness. So it is a matter of educating people. People are not bad; the mass generally are innocent but when there is no proper direction when there is no proper guidance, then the mass becomes misled. Consider what is happening today in India – people have become misled, unfortunately. They are pious; they want to follow dharma; they want to become situated on the path of righteousness but there is no education. Tell me – is this education available in the schools? No. Is this education available the universities? No. Is this education available at home? No. How can we expect that people will receive this knowledge? That is why we are establishing these temples and inviting you all to come.
First you become students and then you become the teachers and then you have to go out. It is a very noble intention that you have displayed. That is the right way to think that people are suffering, what can I do? It is your real noble attitude the way you have asked about the fact that people are suffering and what can I do to mitigate the suffering of these people. We are very happy that you displayed this attitude and that is what we have to do. Say, you see people are suffering from disease then what do you do? You want to learn the cure the disease and go out to treat them. So that is what we have to do. We have to teach people the right understanding, give them the right understanding and then their life will improve.
When you have become a master and PhD, then you have to go out and teach. And where do you teach? This knowledge is necessary not only in India; this education is needed all over the world. The Indians have this responsibility, as I mentioned. It is a Dharma Kshetra. Just by being born in India we have come very close to Krishna, to this process of Krishna consciousness. That is why it is the responsibility of the Indians to go out and teach. Doesn’t a boy who is the son of a teacher get a better opportunity to become a teacher? Similarly Indians have a better opportunity to educate people with this science because they have been born in the family of teachers.
You will see these devotees have offered themselves and they are so much happier. I can tell you for myself, I was suffering, suffering like anything but since I came to this path of Krishna Consciousness; since I accepted this path – no more suffering, no more suffering. Everything is full of joy. In the material nature we all are suffering constantly. Tell me – does anybody go to the prison to enjoy? No. Why does one go to prison? To suffer but this suffering is meant to remind him that he is not meant to suffer and there is a way to real enjoyment. You will also see it when you practice. You will see how your life improves; how it becomes full of joy.