Example Is Better Than Precept
(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)

Devotee: It said that eight people were shot in Aurangabad with student riots, and the police got their guns and they started to shoot all the people. The same thing is happening in Gaya. The students are protesting against this and that. It said that they were protesting against degradation.

Prabhupāda: Degradation?

Devotee: Yes. That is supposed to be the reason for their rebellion. They are protesting against corruption and degradation.

Prabhupāda: But the rascals, why they themselves do not, be not reformed? Protesting against degradation. Why you are degraded? What is that protest? You are degraded. You reform yourself. That they will not do. Protest against degradation. Are you not degraded? Are you pure? So what is the use of protesting? You reform yourself. They can protest in this way that our guardians, our government, they have degraded ourselves. But that's all right. But guardian is a fool, your father is a fool. But why you are remaining as a fool? That they will not an... If we say, "Now you come to us. We shall raise you from degradation," that they will not do. That they will not agree. Now go to them, all these students, that "You are thinking that you are degraded. So why you should be, mean dog...? Come on, we shall reform you. We shall give you the highest post, brahminical post. Give up these four principles." That they will not do. Will they do?

Devotee: No. One may come out of a thousand.

Prabhupāda: Yes. They want to remain in degradation, and they will protest again. Therefore to save the degradation, this cātur-varṇyam (the four divisions of human society) must be established. That I... The ideal class. People will follow, "Oh, here is the ideal class." So we are trying to make an ideal class of Kṛṣṇa conscious people. And if you treat yourself as degraded, then who will care for you? You should remain an ideal class. People will follow gradually.

Devotee: If a brāhmaṇa class is created, then automatically the kṣatriyas and vaiśyas and śūdras will be changed.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. The ideal, if you be ideal class, gradually they will take your advice, what to do. Then immediately the whole degradation will be finished.

Devotee (2): Why will they take advice? Will they actually be attracted to the virtues?

Prabhupāda: Yes, naturally. Just like people come to see me. Similarly, everyone comes.

Devotee (3): Everyone is attracted to you, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So you should be such qualified that people will come to consult you, to take your advice, and that is the way. Just like if you are a qualified lawyer, when one has difficulty he comes, consults you, what to do. If you are a qualified physician, then people will come to consult you. So you be... become qualified, ideal; people will come. Otherwise who will care for you? (break) ...principles. No illicit sex, no gambling, no meat-eating, and chanting. These five things only, if you strictly remain on these principles, see how you are respectable. Immediately you'll be respected. Is it not?

Devotee (3): Everyone knows that it should be done.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (3): Everyone knows in their heart that these things are right. Before I came to the movement, when I read the Back to Godhead magazine, they are doing these things. I was not doing them all.

Prabhupāda: No, we are making propaganda in USA. They are attracting attention of the people. Yes. They are saying nice.

Devotee (3): Whenever we see those four rules,we know they are...

Prabhupāda: These rascals, they cannot give up even smoking, ordinary thing. And they become leader.

Devotee: It is not very difficult to give up. If one is engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is not difficult to give up these four things.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Devotee: It is not very difficult to give it up.

Prabhupāda: Not at all. Very easily, in one second. If you have taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo... (BG 18.66). These are sinful activities. Immediately Kṛṣṇa will help you, "All right." Immediately. Kṛṣṇa said. Is He bluffing? If you sincerely take to Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, immediately the effect will be you give up all this nonsense. They don't believe in Kṛṣṇa, they don't believe in Kṛṣṇa's word. Neither they will surrender; neither they will give up. So where is the reformation? They want to remain in degradation, and protesting degradation. This is māyā. This is the... called prakṣepātmika śakti, to keep him in degradation, that "You rascal, you have come to enjoy material happiness. So I will keep you in this degradation and you suffer. I shall kick on your face." This is māyā. So what is the result of this protest against degradation?

Devotee (3): They get shot. The police come and shoot them.

Prabhupāda: That's all. And tax you and get fat salary. That's all. This is government. They will degrade you and take your money and enjoy themselves. That's all. (break) ...revolution in India.

Devotee: In India?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because people are hungry. There is no food. A very great revolution. (break) Now they will be violent, just like in other countries. If you pinch somebody on and on, there will be a violent protest. In the beginning you may tolerate. But if you go on pinching, pinching, pinching, how long you will tolerate? This is India's condition. Britishers, when they were ruling, they had some responsibility, although they were exploiting. But they were arranging for sufficient food and other things. But these people are irresponsib... simply personal, "Whatever money I can get, that's all." This is going on. All these so-called ministers, they come to the post for taking money, as much as possible.

Devotee: (break) ...people will be very much frustrated at that time?

Prabhupāda: Well, people are now shameless. You see? They are being kicked in so many ways. We are giving the prescription, "Here is the remedy," but they are not taking to it. But they will take it. Some of them will take it, provided you remain also ideal. If you become also degraded, then who will take it? Ideal character, ideal behavior, ideal preaching. People will appreciate. (break) ...character or position, people will take, in any condition. There may be revolution or no revolution. They will take it. (break) ...that our movement is actually good. They will take in any condition. That standard we must maintain. Somebody... yes, Balavanta, when he was speaking against smoking, one candidate—he was important man—he was smoking. Immediately he wanted to hide. (laughter) So immediate effect was there. He understood that, "Yes, this is bad habit." So people will take it, any condition, provided you are ideal. Āpani ācari prabhu jīveri śikṣāya.

That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement. He teaches others by behaving Himself. "Example is better than precept." If you cannot rise early in the morning, then how can you ask others to rise early in the morning? What is the effect? There is no effect. We have got business early in the morning to attend maṅgala ārati. And if you sleep yourself and teach others, so who will take it? (break) ...thing we have introduced. Very, very simple thing. But still, if he cannot... (break) ...Mahārāja. He is... he imitating smārta paṇḍita, but he cannot rise early in the morning. Never. And he is imitating the smārta paṇḍita. You know that? Smārta, and so on pot, and this and that, and āsana. (laughing) And "I had some... consult with some smārta paṇḍita," and the real business, to rise early in the morning, he will never do. He will never do. Brāhmaṇa. Brāhmaṇa means he must rise early in the morning. What kind of brāhmaṇa? (break) Early in the morning at half past seven. If he walks early in the morning, all his disease will be cured. That he will not do.

Devotee: If he works early in the morning?

Devotee (3): Walks.

Prabhupāda: Yes, walks. I mean walks. After all, everyone can do after performing maṅgala ārati, take a morning walk, bathing. Yes. If you rise early and take a walk, all your ailments will be cured. (break) If a gentleman wants to walk early in the morning, he must have his dog friend.

Devotee: They have a saying that dog is man's best friend now. Instead of God being man's best friend, they have made it dog is man's best friend.

Prabhupāda: Just like he is a dog. (break) ...strike. Simply strike, protest. Where is happiness? (break) ...unnecessary spending. Unnecessary spending, then why you have allowed opening cinema? One side advertisement, "Unnecessary spending," and the other side so many rascal things, so people will spend for that.

Devotee (3): But they will say: "You must have some time to relax."

Prabhupāda: That is unnecessary. So everyone will say: "What I am spending unnecessarily, that is my relax." (break) ...government officer will have a big bungalow, and now there is act that, "Others, if he has got a big bungalow like this bungalow, this is unnecessary." Now it is prepared to act. And for minister, it is relax, and for common man it is unnecessary. This is then... "Smoking for me, it is relax, and for you it is unnecessary." These rascals are preaching like that. If smoking is unnecessary, it is unnecessary for me and for you also. "No. For me it is relax." Is that their advertisement? Save money?

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: And as soon as you save, they will take income tax. That's all.

Devotee: Wealth tax. They have a wealth tax. So if you save, that means you have more wealth, and then they tax.

Prabhupāda: And they will "relax" by drinking, by "relax" minister. "You save money for our relaxation. That is our necessary. You don't spend money." And people are ...because they see that, "If I save, it will be taken away. Let me spend lavishly." Yes. Just like we stayed there at Mr. Patel's house. There are three men only in the family: Mr. Patel, his son and his daughter-in-law. They have got eight cars, big, big cars, Rolls-Royce, and about twenty servants. They know that, "They will take it away. Better spend." Everyone is doing that. Because they know, "If I save, one day the government will take ninety-eight percent of my savings. Then why save? Better spend." They cannot give in religious institution. If they say they want to give something, no, that will not allowed. Yes. The whole idea is that, "You save, and one day I shall take the whole money and we shall distribute amongst the ministers, Indira Gandhi and company. And we relax. We are working so hard, how to impose taxes upon you, so we must have relax." This is going on. Vicious society.

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Hyderabad, April 23, 1974)

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