20 The holy name benefits all human society

The Holy Name Benefits All Human Society

It creates a spiritual atmosphere in the world

Chanting of the holy name evokes the Vaikuntha atmosphere, freeing the world from material hankering, envy and anxiety:

[Pracetas to Lord Visnu]: Whenever pure topics of the transcendental world are discussed, the members of the audience forget all kinds of material hankerings, at least for the time being. Not only that, but they are no longer envious of one another, nor do they suffer from anxiety or fear.

Vaikuntha means "without anxiety," and the material world means full of anxiety. As stated by Prahlada Maharaja: sada samudvigna−dhiyam asad−grahat. The living entities who have accepted this material world as a residence are full of anxiety. A place immediately becomes Vaikuntha whenever the holy topics of the Personality of Godhead are discussed by pure devotees. This is the process of sravanam kirtanam visnoh [SB 7.5.23], chanting and hearing about The Supreme Lord Visnu. As The Supreme Lord Himself confirms:

naham tisthami vaikunthe yoginam hrdayesu va
tatra tisthami narada yatra gayanti mad−bhaktah

"My dear Narada, actually I do not reside in My abode, Vaikuntha, nor do I reside within the hearts of the yogis, but I reside in that place where My pure devotees chant My holy name and discuss My form, pastimes and qualities."

Because of the presence of the Lord in the form of the transcendental vibration, the Vaikuntha atmosphere is evoked. This atmosphere is without fear and anxiety. One living entity does not fear another. By hearing the holy names and glories of the Lord, a person executes pious activities. Srnvatam sva−kathah krsnah punya−sravana−kirtanah (S.B.1.2.17). Thus his material hankerings immediately stop. This sankirtana movement started by The Society for Krishna Consciousness is meant for creating Vaikuntha, the transcendental world that is without anxiety, even in this material world. The method is the propagation of – The Sravanam kirtanam process throughout the world. In the material world everyone is envious of his fellow man. Animalistic envy exists in human society as long as there.is no performance of sankirtana−yajna, the chanting of the holy names−

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.30.35

Nama−sankirtana can turn the masses toward spiritual realization and bring peace and friendship:

The Lord's congregational sankirtana movement at Puri was a unique exhibition for the mass of people. That is the way to turn the mass mind towards spiritual realization. The Lord inaugurated this system of mass sankirtana, and leaders of all countries can take advantage of this spiritual movement in order to keep the mass of people in a pure state of peace and friendship with one another. This is now the demand of the present human society all over the world.

– Srimad Bhagavatam Intro

It brings peace

The formula for world peace is to develop Krsna consciousness by The Simple process of chanting the holy name of God:

The earth is … the property of God, but we, the living entities, especially – The So−called civilized human beings, are claiming God's property as our own, under both an individual and collective false conception. If you want peace, you have to remove this false conception from your mind and from the world. This false claim of proprietorship by the human race on earth is partly or wholly the cause of all disturbances of peace on earth.

Foolish and so−called civilized men are claiming proprietary rights on the property of God because they have now become godless. You cannot be happy and peaceful in a godless society. In the Bhagavad gita Lord Krsna says that He is the factual enjoyer of all activities of the living entities, that He is The Supreme Lord of all universes, and that He is.the well−wishing friend of all beings. When the people of the world know this as the formula for peace, it is then and there that peace will prevail. Therefore, if you want peace at all, you will have to change your consciousness into Krsna consciousness, both individually and collectively, by The Simple process of chanting the holy name of God. This is a standard and recognized process for achieving peace in the world. We therefore recommend that everyone become Krsna conscious by chanting 

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare 
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This is practical, simple, and sublime. Four hundred and eighty years ago this formula was introduced in India by Lord Sri Caitanya, and now it is available in your country. Take to this simple process of chanting as above mentioned, realize your factual position by reading the Bhagavad gita As It Is, and reestablish your lost relationship with Krsna, God. Peace and prosperity will be the immediate worldwide result.

– The Science of Self Realization

Chanting can bring peace to the world:

Lord Caitanya recommended that simply by glorifying the Lord's holy name, a tremendous change of heart can take place by which the complete misunderstanding between the human nations created by politicians can at once be extinguished. And after the extinction of  thefire of misunderstanding other profits will follow.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 2.4.18

Chanting of the holy name eradicates envy, and thus can bring real peace, unity and fraternity to human society:

When one chants or discusses the transcendental activities of the Lord, he immediately becomes nonenvious. In this material world everyone is envious of everyone else, but by vibrating or discussing the holy name of the Lord, one becomes nonenvious and devoid of material hankering. Because of our envy for The Supreme Personality of Godhead, we have become envious of all other living entities. When we are no longer envious of The Supreme Personality of Godhead, there will be real peace, unity and fraternity in human society. Without Narayana or sankirtana−yajna there cannot be peace in this material world.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.30.36

If the Lord is pleased by the performance of hari−nama sankirtana, then the entire world will be in a peaceful and happy condition:

My dear Mr. Katidia,

Please accept my greetings. With reference to your letter and your personal interview, I beg to inform you that without pleasing The Supreme Personality of Godhead, no one can become happy. Unfortunately people do not know who God is and how to make Him happy. Our Krsna consciousness movement is therefore meant to present The Supreme Personality of Godhead directly to the people. As stated in – The Srimad−Bhagavatam, Seventh Canto, Sixth Chapter:

tuste ca tatra kim alabhyam ananta adye
kim tair guna−vyatikarad iha ye sva−siddhah.

The idea stated in this verse is that by pleasing The Supreme Personality of Godhead, we please everyone, and there is no question of scarcity. Because people do not know this secret of success, they are making their own independent plans to be happy. However, it is not possible to achieve happiness in this way. On your letterhead I find many important men in this country who are interested in relieving – The Sufferings of the people, but they should know for certain that without pleasing The Supreme Personality of Godhead all their attempts will be futile. A diseased man cannot live simply on The Strength of the help of an expert physician and medicine. If this were so, then no rich man would ever die. One must be favored by Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Therefore if you want to perform relief work simply by collecting funds, I think that it will not be successful. You have to please The Supreme authority, and that is the way to success. For example, due to the performance of sankirtana here, the rain has begun to fall after a drought of two years. The last time we performed a Hare Krsna Festival in Delhi, there was imminent danger of Pakistan's declaring war, and when a newspaper man approached me for my opinion, I said there must be fighting because the other party was aggressive. However, because of our sankirtana movement, India emerged victorious. Similarly, when we held a festival in Calcutta, the Naxalite [Communist] movement stopped. These are facts. Through The Sankirtana movement we can not only get all facilities for living, but also at the end can go back home, back to Godhead. Those who are of a demoniac nature cannot understand this, but it is a fact.

I therefore request you, as leading members of society, to join this movement. There is no loss on anyone's part for chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, but the gain is great. According to Bhagavad gita [3.21], what is accepted by leading men is also accepted by common men:

yad yad acarati sresthas yat tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute lokas tad anuvartate

"Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues."

The Sankirtana movement of Krsna consciousness is very important. Therefore, through you I wish to appeal to all the leading men of India to accept this movement very seriously and give us all facility to spread this movement throughout the world. Then there will be a very happy condition, not only in India but all over the world.

Hoping this will meet you in good health;

Your ever well−wisher,
– A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

– The Science of Self Realization

The chanting of the holy name is the only remedy for setting the world aright:

This world of maya is called durasraya, which means "false or bad shelter." One who puts his faith in durasraya becomes a candidate for hoping against hope. In the material world everyone is trying to become happy, and although their material attempts are baffled in every way, due to their nescience they cannot understand their mistakes. People try to rectify one mistake by making another mistake. This is the way of – The Struggle for existence in the material world. If one in this condition is advised to take to Krsna consciousness and be happy, he does not accept such instructions.

This Krsna consciousness movement is being spread all over the world just to remedy this gross ignorance. People in general are misled by blind leaders. The leaders of human society−the politicians, philosophers and scientists−are blind because they are not Krsna conscious. According to Bhagavad gita, because they are bereft of all factual knowledge due to their atheistic way of life, they are actually sinful rascals and are the lowest among men.

na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah
mayayapahrta jnana asuram bhavam asritah

"Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me." (Bg. 7.15)

Such people never surrender to Krsna, and they oppose the endeavor of those who wish to take Krsna's shelter. When such atheists become leaders of society, the entire atmosphere is surcharged with nescience. In such a condition, people do not become very enthusiastic to receive this Krsna consciousness movement, just as a diseased person suffering from jaundice does not relish the taste of sugar candy. However, one must know that for jaundice, sugar candy is the only specific medicine. Similarly, in the present confused state of humanity, Krsna consciousness, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord−

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare 
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

−is the only remedy for setting the world aright.

– The Nectar of Instruction Text 7

It brings material prosperity

Scarcity of food in this age can be counteracted by propagation of sankirtana−yajna, chanting of the holy name:

[The personified earth planet to King Prthu]: Due to being stocked for a very long time, all the grain seeds within me have certainly deteriorated. Therefore you shoult immediately arrange to take these seeds out by the standard process, which is recommended by the acaryas or sastras.

When there is a scarcity of grain, the government should follow the methods prescribed in The Sastra and approved by the acaryas; thus there will be a sufficient production of grains, and food scarcity and famine can be checked. Bhagavad gita recommends that we perform yajna, sacrifices. By the performance of yajna, sufficient clouds gather in The Sky, and when there are sufficient clouds, there is also sufficient rainfall. In this way agricultural matters are taken care of. When there is sufficient grain production, the general populace eats the grains, and animals like cows, goats and other domestic animals eat the grasses and grains also. According to this arrangement, human beings should perform – The Sacrifices recommended inThe Sastras, and if they do so there will no longer be food scarcity. In Kali yuga, the only sacrifice recommended is sankirtana−yajna.

In this verse there are two significant words: yogena, "by the approved method," and drstena, "as exemplified by the former acaryas." One is mistaken if he thinks that by applying modern machines such as tractors, grains can be produced. If one goes to a desert and uses a tractor, there is still no possibility of producing grains. We may adopt various means, but it is essential to know that the planet earth will stop producing grains if sacrifices are not performed. The earth has already explained that because nondevotees are enjoying the production of food, she has reserved food seeds for the performance of sacrifice. Now, of course, atheists will not believe in this spiritual method of producing grains, but whether they believe or not, the fact remains that we are not independent to produce grain by mechanical means. As far as the approved method is concerned, it is enjoined inThe Sastras that intelligent men in this age will take to The Sankirtana movement, and by so doing they shall worship The Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Caitanya, whose bodily complexion is golden and who is always accompanied by His confidential devotees to preach this Krsna consciousness movement all over the world. In its present condition, the world can only be saved by introducing this sankirtana, this Krsna consciousness movement. As we have learned from the previous verse, one who is not in Krsna consciousness is considered a thief. Even though he may be materially very advanced, a thief cannot be placed in a comfortable position. A thief is a thief, and he is punishable. Because people are without Krsna consciousness, they have become thieves, and consequently they are being punished by the laws of material nature. No one can check this, not even by introducing so many relief funds and humanitarian institutions. Unless the people of the world take to Krsna consciousness, there will be a scarcity of food and much suffering.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.18.8

If people in general chant the Hare Krsna mantra, the necessities of life will automatically follow:

"All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yajna [sacrifice], and yajna is born of prescribed duties." (Bg.3.14) When food grains are sufficiently produced, both animals and human beings can be nourished without difficulty for their maintenance. This is nature's arrangement. Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27]. Everyone is acting under the influence of material nature, and only fools think they can improve upon what God has created. The householders are specifically responsible for seeing that the laws of The Supreme Personality of Godhead are maintained, without fighting between men, communities, societies or nations. Human society should properly utilize the gifts of God, especially the food grains that grow because of rain falling from The Sky. As stated in Bhagavad gita, yajnad bhavati parjanyah [Bg. 3.14]. So that rainfall will be regulated, humanity should perform yajnas, sacrifices. Yajnas were previously performed with offerings of oblations of ghee and food grains, but in this age, of course, this is no longer possible, for the production of ghee and food grains has diminished because of – The Sinful life of human society. However, people should take to Krsna consciousness and chant the Hare Krsna mantra, as recommended inThe Sastras (yajnaih sankirtana−prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah [SB 11.5.32]). If people throughout the world take to the Krsna consciousness movement and chant the easy sound vibration of the transcendental name and fame of The Supreme Personality of Godhead, there will be no scarcity of rainfall; consequently food grains, fruits and flowers will be properly produced, and all the necessities of life will be easily obtained. Grhasthas, or householders, should take the responsibility for organizing such natural production. It is therefore said, tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovidah. An intelligent person should try to spread Krsna consciousness through the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, and all the necessities of life will automatically follow.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 7.14.7

In this age, people can be freed from drought and scarcity of rain by congregational chanting of the holy name:

When the Hare Krsna mantra is chanted by many men together, the chanting is called sankirtana, and as a result of such a yajna there will be clouds in The Sky (yajnad bhavati parjanyah [Bg. 3.14]). In these days of drought, people can gain relief from scarcity of rain and food by The Simple method of the Hare Krsna yajna. Indeed, this can relieve all of  human society. At present there are droughts throughout Europe and America, and people are suffering, but if people take this Krsna consciousness movement seriously, if they stop their sinful activities and chant the Hare Krsna maha−mantra, all their problems will be solved without difficulty.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 9.1.17

In order to counteract scarcity in this age, people must perform sankirtana−yajna, chanting of the holy names:

In the present age of Kali there will eventually be a great scarcity of water (anavrsti), for the general populace, due to ignorance and The Scarcity of yajna ingredients, will neglect to perform yajnas. Srimad−Bhagavatam therefore advises: yajnaih sankirtana−prayaih yajanti hi sumedhasah. After all, yajna is meant to satisfy The Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this age of Kali, there is great scarcity and ignorance; nonetheless, everyone can perform sankirtana−yajna. Every family in every society can conduct sankirtana−yajna at least every evening. In this way there will be no disturbance or scarcity of rain. It is essential for the people in this age to perform The Sankirtana−yajna in order to be materially happy and to advance spiritually.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 5.4.3

By performance of sankirtana−yajna, the congregational chanting of the holy name, people will be happy economically, politically, socially, religiously and culturally:

Yajna must be performed, for otherwise people will be entangled in sinful activities and will suffer immensely. Therefore the Krsna consciousness movement has taken charge of introducing the chanting of Hare Krsna all over the world. This Hare Krsna movement is also yajna, but without the difficulties involved in securing paraphernalia and qualified brahmanas. This congregational chanting can be performed anywhere and everywhere. If people somehow or other assemble together and are induced to chant

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare 
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

all the purposes of yajna will be fulfilled. The first purpose is that there must be sufficient rain, for without rain there cannot be any produce (annad bhavanti bhutani parjanyad anna−sambhavah). All our necessities can be produced simply by rainfall (kamam vavarsa parjanyah [SB 1.10.4]), and the earth is the original source of all necessities (sarva−kama−dugha mahi). In conclusion, therefore, in this age of Kali people all over the world should refrain from the four principles of sinful life−illicit sex, meat−eating,  intoxication and gambling−and in a pure state of existence should perform The Simple yajna of chanting the Hare Krsna maha−mantra. Then the earth will certainly produce all the necessities for life, and people will be happy economically, politically, socially, religiously and culturally. Everything will be in proper order.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 9.20.24−26

The performance of sankirtana−yajna will make the world peaceful and prosperous:

Whatever is taken from the earth−either from the mines, from – The Surface of the globe or from the atmosphere−should always be considered the property of The Supreme Personality of Godhead and should be used for Yajna, Lord Visnu. As soon as the process of yajna is stopped, the earth will withhold all productions−vegetables, trees, plants, fruits, flowers, and other agricultural products and minerals. As confirmed in Bhagavad gita, the process of yajna was instituted from the beginning of creation. By the regular performance of yajna, the equal distribution of wealth and the restriction of sense gratification, the entire world will be made peaceful and prosperous. As already mentioned, in this age of Kali The Simple performance of sankirtana−yajna−the holding of festivals as initiated by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness−should be introduced in every town and village… If human society remains satisfied simply by taking grains from the planet earth as well as other necessities for maintaining the body, society will not be sufficiently prosperous… 

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare 
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

In Kali yuga, if this Vedic maha−mantra is chanted regularly and heard regularly by the devotional process of sravanam kirtanam, it will purify all societies, and thus humanity will be happy both materially and spiritually.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.18.13−14

The results derived by great sacrifices in the past can be derived by performing sankirtana−yajna:

Unless we are prepared to perform the prescribed sacrifices, our supply of the necessities of life will be checked. Bhagavad gita confirms that Lord Brahma created human society along with yajna, the performance of sacrifice. Yajna means Lord Visnu, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, and sacrifice means working for The Satisfaction of The Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this age, however, it is very difficult to find qualified brahmanas who can perform sacrifices as prescribed in the Vedas. Therefore it is recommended in Srimad−Bhagavatam (yajnaih sankirtana−prayaih) that by performing sankirtana−yajna and by satisfying the yajna−purusa, Lord Caitanya, one can derive all the results derived by great sacrifices in the past. King Prthu and others derived all the necessities of life from the earthly planet by performing great sacrifices. Now this sankirtana movement has already been started by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. People should take advantage of this great sacrifice and join in The Society's activities; then there will be no scarcity. If sankirtana−yajna is performed, there will be no difficulty, not even for industrial enterprises. Therefore this system should be introduced in all spheres of life−social, political, industrial, commercial, etc. Then everything will run very peacefully and smoothly.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.19.7

The whole world can become peaceful and prosperous through The Sankirtana−yajna:

The politicians have very little time to think of the welfare of the citizens, whom they oppress with heavy taxes in the form of income tax, sales tax and many other taxes−people sometimes have eighty to ninety percent of their income taken away, and these taxes are lavishly spent for the high salaries drawn by the officers and rulers. Formerly, the taxes accumulated from the citizens were spent for performing great sacrifices as enjoined in the Vedic literature. At the present moment, however, almost all forms of sacrifice are not at all possible; therefore, it is recommended inThe Sastras that people should perform sankirtana−yajna. Any householder, regardless of his position, can perform this sankirtana−yajna without expenditure. All the family members can sit down together and simply clap their hands and chant the Hare Krsna maha−mantra. Somehow or other, everyone can manage to perform such a yajna and distribute prasada to the people in general. That is quite sufficient for this age of Kali. The Krsna consciousness movement is based on this principle: chant the Hare Krsna mantra at every moment, as much as possible, both inside and outside of the temples, and, as far as possible, distribute prasada. This process can be accelerated with the cooperation of state administrators and those who are producing the country's wealth. Simply by liberal distribution of prasada and sankirtana, the whole world can become peaceful and prosperous.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.12.10

It creates a more auspicious political situation

Through popularizing the chanting of the holy name, brahminical culture and ksatriya government will automatically be revived:

Because the population of the modern world consists mostly of sudras, the brahminical culture is now lost and is extremely difficult to reestablish in a proper way. Therefore Lord Caitanya has recommended the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, which will revive brahminical culture very easily…

Because of the increment in demoniac population, people have lost brahminical culture. Nor is there a ksatriya government. Instead, the government is a democracy in which any sudra can be voted into taking up the governmental reins and capture the power to rule. Because of the poisonous effects of Kali yuga,The Sastra (S.B. 12.2.13) says, dasyu−prayesu rajasu: the government will adopt the policies of dasyus, or plunderers. Thus there will be ho instructions from the brahmanas, and even if there are brahminical instructions, there will be no ksatriya rulers who can follow them. Aside from Satya yuga, even formerly, in the days when demons were flourishing, Hiranyakasipu planned to destroy the brahminical culture and the ksatriya government and thus create chaos all over the world. Although in Satya yuga this plan was very difficult to execute, in Kali yuga, which is full of sudras and demons, the brahminical culture is lost and can be revived only by the chanting of the maha−mantra. Therefore the Krsna consciousness movement, or the Hare Krsna movement, has been inaugurated to revive brahminical culture very easily so that people may become happy and peaceful in this life and prepare for elevation in the next… Through the popularizing of hari−kirtana, or The Sankirtana movement, the brahminical culture and ksatriya government will automatically come back, and people will be extremely happy.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 7.2.11

If we chant the holy name offenseChanting of the holy name evokes the Vaikuntha atmosphere, freeing the world fromlessly, the kingdom of Rama can appear even in this Kali yuga:

[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: When Lord Ramacandra, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, was the King of this world, all bodily and mental suffering, disease, old age, bereavement, lamentation, distress, fear and fatigue were completely absent. There was even no death for those who did not want it.

All these facilities existed because of Lord Ramacandra's presence as the King of the entire world. A similar situation could be introduced immediately, even in this age called Kali, the worst of all ages. It is said, kali−kala nama−rupe krsna−avatara: Krsna descends in this Kali yuga in the form of His holy name−Hare Krsna, Hare Rama. If we chant offenselessly, Rama and Krsna are still present in this age. The kingdom of Rama was immensely popular and beneficial, and The Spreading of this Hare Krsna movement can immediately introduce a similar situation, even in this Kali yuga.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 9.10.53

To counteract the unfortunate situation in government, the general populace should chant the maha−mantra:

The protection of the earthly planet is dependent on proper rainfall, and as stated in Bhagavad gita and other scriptures, sacrifices are performed to please those demigods who are in charge of rainfall…

Thus the proper execution of yajna, sacrifice, is required. As indicated herein, King Prthu alone would induce all the citizens to engage in such sacrificial activities so that there would not be scarcity or distress. In Kali yuga, however, in – The So−called secular state, the executive branch of government is in the charge of so−called kings and presidents who are all fools and rascals, ignorant of the intricacies of nature's causes and ignorant of the principles of sacrifice. Such rascals simply make various plans, which always fail, and the people subsequently suffer disturbances. To counteract this situation,The Sastras advise:

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
[Adi 17.21]

Thus in order to counteract this unfortunate situation in government, the general populace is advised to chant the maha−mantra: 

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare 
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.16.5

In this age, saintly persons should help the general populace not by political action, but by chanting the maha−mantra:

Saintly persons are not interested in political matters, yet they are always thinking of the welfare of the people in general. Consequently they sometimes have to come down to the political field and take steps to correct the misguided government or royalty. However, in Kali yuga, saintly persons are not as powerful as they previously were. They used to be able to burn any sinful man to ashes by virtue of their spiritual prowess. Now saintly persons have no such power due to the influence of the age of Kali. Indeed, the brahmanas do not even have the power to perform sacrifices in which animals are put into a fire to attain a new life. Under these circumstances, instead of actively taking part in politics, saintly persons should engage in chanting the maha−mantra, Hare Krsna. By the grace of Lord Caitanya, by simply chanting this Hare Krsna maha−mantra, the general populace can derive all benefits without political implications.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.14.12

It eradicates crime

Crime can be eradicted by mass sankirtana, which changes the heart:

Lieutenant Mozee: I understand you have some ideas that could help us in our efforts to prevent crime. I'd be very interested to hear them. 

Srila Prabhupada: The difference between a pious man and a criminal is that one is pure in heart and the other is dirty. This dirt is like a disease in the form of uncontrollable lust and greed in the heart of the criminal. Today people in general are in this diseased condition, and thus crime is very widespread. When the people become purified of these dirty things, crime will disappear. The Simplest process of purification is to assemble in congregation and chant the holy names of God. This is called sankirtana and is the basis of our Krsna consciousness movement. So, if you want to stop crime, then you must gather as many people as possible for mass sankirtana. This congregational chanting of the holy name of God will dissipate all the dirty things in everyone's heart. Then there will be no more crime… The age we live in is called Kali yuga, the age of forgetting God. It is an age of misunderstanding and quarrel, and the people's hearts are filled with dirty things. But God is so powerful that if we chant His holy name we become purified, just as my disciples have become purified of their bad habits. Our movement is based on this principle of chanting the holy name of God. We give everyone the opportunity, without any distinction. They can come to our temple, chant the Hare Krsna mantra, take a little prasada as refreshment, and gradually become purified. So if the governmental authorities give us some facilities, then we can hold mass sankirtana. Then, without a doubt, the whole society will change… 

Lieutenant Mozee: If I could return to my original purpose for coming, might I ask what advice you could give to assist us in reducing crime? I recognize that the first and foremost way would be a return to God, as you say−there's no doubt about that−but is there something that we could immediately do to diminish this spreading criminal mentality?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. As I've already outlined in the beginning of our talk, you should give us the facility to chant the holy name of God and distribute prasada. Then there will be a tremendous change in the population. I came alone from India, and now I have many followers. What did I do? I asked them to sit down and chant the Hare Krsna mantra, and afterward I distributed a little prasada. If this is done on a mass scale, the entire society will become very pleasing. This is a fact.

Lieutenant Mozee: Would you want to start the program in an area of affluence or an area of poverty?

Srila Prabhupada: We do not draw such distinctions. Any place easily available to all kinds of men would be very suitable to hold sankirtana. There is no restriction that only the poor men need the benefit but the rich do not. Everyone needs to be purified. Do you think criminality exists only in the poorer section of society?

Lieutenant Mozee: No. But I meant to ask whether there would be more of a beneficial influence−more of a strengthening of the community−if the program were held in a poorer area rather than an affluent area.

Srila Prabhupada: Our treatment is for – The Spiritually diseased person. When a person is afflicted with a disease, there are no distinctions between a poor man and a rich man. They are both admitted to – The Same hospital. Just as the hospital should be in a place where both the poor man and the rich man can easily come, the location of The Sankirtana facility should be easily accessible to all. Since everyone is materially infected, everyone should be able to take advantage. The difficulty is that the rich man thinks he's perfectly ealthy, although he's the most diseased of all. But as a policeman, you well know that there's criminality among rich men and poor men alike. So our chanting process is for everyone, because it cleanses the heart, regardless of the man's opulence or poverty. The only way to permanently change the criminal habit is to change the heart of the criminal. As you well know, many thieves are arrested numerous times and put into jail. Although they know that if they commit theft they will go to jail, still they are forced to steal, because of their unclean hearts. Therefore without cleansing the heart of the criminal, you cannot stop crime simply by more stringent law enforcement. The thief and the murderer already know the law, yet they still commit violent crimes, due to their unclean hearts. So our process is to cleanse the heart. Then all the troubles of this material world will be solved.

Lieutenant Mozee: That's a very difficult task, sir.

Srila Prabhupada: It is not difficult. Simply invite everyone: "Come, chant Hare Krsna, dance, and take sumptuous prasada." What is the difficulty? We are doing this at our centers, and people are coming. But because we have very little money, we can hold sankirtana only on a small scale. We invite everyone, and gradually people are coming to our centers and becoming devotees. If the government would give us a large facility, however, we could expand unlimitedly. And the problem is big; otherwise why are there national news articles asking what to do? No civil state wants this criminality. That's a fact. But the leaders do not know how to stop it. If they listen to us, however, we can give them the answer. Why crime? Because people are godless. And what to do? Chant Hare Krsna and take prasada. If you like, you can adopt this process of sankirtana. Otherwise, we will continue conducting it on a small scale. We are just like a poor medical man with a small private practice who could open a big hospital if he were given the facility. The government is the executor. If they take our advice and adopt the process of sankirtana, then the problem of crime will be solved.

Lieutenant Mozee: There are many Christian organizations in the United States that give the holy communion. Why doesn't this work? Why is this not cleansing the heart?

Srila Prabhupada: To speak frankly, I find it difficult to find even one real Christian. The so−called Christians do not abide by the Bible's order. One of the ten commandments in the Bible is, "Thou shalt not kill." But where is that Christian who does not kill by eating the flesh of the cow? The process of chanting the Lord's holy name and distributing prasada will be effective if carried out by persons who are actually practicing religion. My disciples are trained to strictly follow religious principles, and therefore their chanting of the holy name of God is different from others'. Theirs is not simply a rubber−stamped position. They have realized the purifying power of the holy name through practice.

Lieutenant Mozee: Sir, isn't the difficulty that although a small circle of priests and devotees may follow the religious principles, those on the fringe deviate and cause trouble? For example, assume that the Hare Krsna movement grows to gigantic proportions, as Christianity has. Wouldn't you then have a problem with people on the fringe of the movement who professed to be followers but were actually not?

Srila Prabhupada: That possibility is always there, but all I am saying is that if you are not a true Christian, then your preaching will not be effective. And because we are strictly following religious principles, our preaching will be effective in spreading God consciousness and alleviating the problem of crime.

– The Science of Self Realization

Author: ISKCON Desire Tree

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