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By Suhotra Prabhu
(Question: Today materialists accept Hare Krsna movement as having some good things but on other hand they say that their mistake is that they are taking the exact meaning of the words in their books. Even though modern science shows us for example how man went to the Moon, Hare Krsnas believe that according to the Vedas it is not possible. How would you comment on this?)
People who talk like that are fools. In the fact they do not even learn from history, their own history. This is a problem. Because they are like animals, they cannot even learn from history what to speak of learning from the Vedas, the sastra. You see their history.
Just like we were talking about people from this country.
So you ask them:
"Was the communism good?"
They would say: "No, it was very bad."
"Do you know the history? Where the communism comes from?"
They will not be able to answer that question.
But it is historical fact about the origin of the communism is that it is derivative. It is derived from, you say, a general philosophical school which is called rationalism and rationalism was originally a Christian philosophy. The original rationalists were all Christians who were trying to defend Christianity through the philosophy. But as I said before, their method, and the method of all mundane philosophy, is inductive. In other words they were speculating although the intentions they would have were pious. They wanted to defend the faith but their Christian scriptures did not give them scientific information. There were many gaps in that knowledge. So they had to fill, they tried to fill these gaps by their own speculation.
One of the problems of Judeo-Christians scriptures - and this is a very old problem, it is recognized by all theologies so we are not giving the Hare Krsna interpretation, we are just citing these people - is the purpose of this world. In the Old Testament it is said that God created the world and that the world was good. But what is it good for - that is the question. And the theologians themselves admit: "Our scriptures are not very clear about it." So what is the world good for? And what is evil? There is so much speculation about it. So the rationalists came to the conclusion that the world is good for sense enjoyment. Of course, not for completely unrestrained sense enjoyment, but God has given us this world to enjoy as pious Christians. So this became one of the important platforms of that Christian rationalism that God has created the world and He has made the world for our happiness.
Then in the eighteenth century there was a sceptical philosopher from Scotland named David Hume. He pointed out the defects in this rationalistic position. He said: "You say that the God created the world for your pleasure. Then why is there pain? If God is our loving father then why does he rule this world with laws, strict laws? If God is our loving father than why are we so restricted in our movement? In other words, why is our life so limited? This human body, it is so weak. You are limited in so many ways. Why did not God give us so much more power and intelligence and ability than we have?" And finally he said also: "This world, it is not finally properly managed. Sometimes there is too much rain. Sometimes there is too little rain. Things are topsy-turvy." So he gave these arguments and the Christian rationalists they did not know how to reply because of their idea of the creation they become so much bound up with sense enjoyment.
In this way Hume pointed out that it does not make sense that God had created this world for sense pleasure. So then they began to have doubts whether God even created the world because they could not see any other purpose for this world than sense gratification - if God did not create it for sense gratification than what is that for? It was outside of their human knowledge.
After Hume came the rationalist's philosopher named Kant, Immanuel Kant. He was still trying to be a Christian but he surrendered to Hume and said: "Actually it is a fact. There is no logical way to prove that God exists. There is no way to speak about the purpose of this world. Our logic has to operate only within sense perception. We cannot extend the logic beyond what we see with our senses." In other words, "Whatever is given in the Bible about God and these higher things, who knows if they are true or not? We have to understand everything in terms of what we see and hear around us."
Is it not just what these people are saying? "Why you Hare Krsnas, you are believing, you are accepting something beyond the realm of the senses. This is not good." This was Kant's proposal. And he thought it would make Christianity very pragmatic, realistic. What he really did was to open the door to atheistic philosophies.
After Kant appeared four philosophical trends in Europe. One of them is called "positivism" which is a form of atheism. One of them is "pragmatism" which is a form of atheism. One of them is "existentialism" which is a form of atheism. And fourth one, interesting for us, is "marxism." So these philosophies followed Kant. Four kinds of atheistic philosophies.
That is why I said you can ask these people who talk like that: "Do you like the communism?" and they will say: "No, no, no." "Well, my dear sir, but your philosophy leads to such things as communism." And that is why I say that these people are just fools.
There is a Vedic method of knowledge. But it is very different from these speculators we were talking about. So we follow this Vedic method of knowledge, Vedic science. We do not care for the opinion of people outside of this science who want to tell us how we should practice our own process.
You know Charles University here in Prague. I am sure there must be some high-level physics research department where they perform very delicate experiments with very sensitive instruments. They have to keep their laboratory very very clean and they have very very strict rules otherwise the experiments will be ruined. So if some repairman from the SKODA repair shop comes into their laboratory and wants to offer advice: "Well, I think that you should do the experiment this way - the way we are doing in our repair shop", the scientists will say: "My dear sir, this is not an auto-repair shop, sorry. We are not trying to repair cars here. We have a different science and different method we follow. So you may kindly go back to your workshop and perform your activities there. They are not meant for here."
So you see these people's business is to live in the world of the material senses and to enjoy sense gratification and to think of this material world as a paradise and to think of sense gratification as freedom. That is their business, not our business. From that point of view one can never understand Krsna consciousness. That is what Prahlada Maharaja says: adanta-gobhir visatam tamisram - when one's senses are not in control then one is dragged deeper and deeper into darkness. That is just what happened to the Christian rationalists because they accepted this world as a place of freedom and happiness given by God for our pleasure. Therefore they become visatam tamisram, they entered into philosophical darkness. They had to finally say: "God is just unknown. Whether the scriptures are saying anything true or not, we can never know. It is beyond our power to ever understand."
So then what? What to do? There is this world to enjoy. This is "animalism". The animals have the same philosophy: "What can I know beyond the senses? Do not try to talk to me about religious scriptures, God, it makes no sense." But there is a way to make sense but one must follow the Vedic method of knowledge.
Inherent flaws of communism
1. "Removing the boil by cutting the hand": Communism proposes a class-less society since higher classes are seen as a source of suppression of lower ones. This is the modern history, from the Vedic point of view degraded. Vedic classes (varnas, varnasrama), on the other hand, are meant to cooperate according to God's plan (dharma).
2. Blind leadership and false equality: Communism claims a leading role for working class. Within varnasrama workers (sudras) represent the feet of the societal body. Feet are important but not vital and also cannot replace the functions of stomach (vaisyas), hands ksatriyas) and head (brahmanas). While in emergency brahmanas can work as ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras, while a ksatriyas can replace vaisyas and sudras and while vaisyas can do the job of sudras, sudras cannot substitute the higher classes without leading the society to collapse.
3. Godlessness and destructiveness: In modern history revolutions gradually replaced feudalism by capitalism (English Industrial Revolution, 17th century) and capitalism by socialism, so-called preliminary stage of communism (Soviet Revolution, 20th century). The dharma degraded significantly with each revolution while the technological progress gradually increased. This combination is a recipe for destruction (BG 16.9). French Revolution tried to artificially remove religion ("liberty") and feudalism ("equality") and make all people brothers ("fraternity"). Since it had been unnatural (adhamic) it was unsuccessful, although successfully killing thousands in the process. However, that was just a beginning of future horrors of socialism: national (nacism) and international (proletarianism) which annihilated already tens of millions. At last they also failed but socialistic ideas refused to go extinct and nowadays there is another form of socialism being implemented, which could be called bureaucratic. After all, socialism is about state control and suppression and that's all the bureaucracy aims at - in Europe (EU), USA and everywhere (globalization). Its mode of operation and results are described in BG 16.