Srila Prabhupada encourages and instructs in simple living
Posted on August 4, 2013
Prabhupada: ...that this village we are maintaining, this Gaura-Nityananda temple, that was the mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu: prthivite ache yata nagaradi-grama [Caitanya-bhagavata, Antya 4.126]. Sarvatra pracara haibe. So you are very humbly maintaining this temple. It is a great achievement for you. You will get blessings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
The glaring attraction of city, that is maya. In the modern age people are more attracted by the city life, but we should know city life... Not for the devotee; generally, people in general like city life, but that is maya. Maya means "which is not fact." We are thinking that this way we shall be happy, but that is not fact. This is called maya. Ma-ya -- "it is not." You are thinking that in this way you will be happy, but it is not. This is called maya. One English poet also said, Cowper, that city is made by man but village is made by God.
So if you can stick to this village life and be satisfied whatever you produce... You can produce your necessities; there is no difficulty. If we keep cows and grow food grains, fruits, vegetables, then we can live very peacefully like that. There is no need of going to the city. That is the plan of God, Krsna.
Krsna personally exhibited. Vrndavana is village; it is not city. We are trying to go to the village of Krsna -- Vrndavana. And He was Himself, although He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He was taking care of the calves and cows when He was child, although Nanda Maharaja was king, village king. King means he had many cows -- nine hundred thousand cows.
Formerly one was considered to be rich man if he possessed many cows: dhanyena dhanavan gavaya dhanavan. Now, artificially, they have made such a plan that if you can possess some papers written only -- hundred dollars, five hundred dollars, fifty dollars -- then you are rich.
But actually that is not wealth. When there is no food, you cannot eat this paper -- it may be hundred dollars, five hundred dollars. But if you possess grains and cows, then you will never starve. The city people, they are getting supplies from remote villages, and they have got money...
Money means paper. They are cheating. The whole process is cheating. There is no money, but they have made economic condition in such a clever way that we are accepting these papers as money. Real riches is actually the grains and milk. That is real riches. According to Vedic civilization it is said, dhanyena dhanavan gavaya dhanavan.
Formerly, and still in Indian villages, suppose one man is going to give his daughter to a boy. So he will go and see how much grains he has got in store, how many cows he has got. Then yes, he is going to agree, like that. Nowadays they don't go to see how much book balance he has got. That is not actual wealth.
So our Krsna consciousness movement is basically that we should not be attracted by the false thing. We should not be attracted by the false thing. The reality -- vedyam vastavam atra vastu [SB 1.1.2]. Real reality not false reality.
So I am very glad that you are living here. So kindly stick to this place and make an ideal island so that others may see also: plain living, high thinking. Produce your own food; keep cows, milk. If there is food grains and milk there is no necessity. And you can produce your cloth also if you produce cotton. We are trying in Mayapura to produce our own cloth. So we require our own cloth, own food, and time saved for advancing in Krsna consciousness. That is required.
That is actual civilization. This is not civilization; this is demoniac civilization. So although you are all European and American, these things are practically..., you are not accustomed. But if you develop this kind of civilization -- plain living and high thinking -- save time for advancing Krsna consciousness, that is real profit of life. It is real profit.
We should not be attracted by the so-called material bodily comfortable life. This is also comfortable. Simply we imagine that city life, having many cars and many skyscraper buildings, big, big roads, that is comfortable. Comfortable means without anxiety. That is life. Real life is without anxiety. That is comfortable living. And if you are living, sleeping in a very high skyscraper building and full of anxieties, is that comfortable life? That is not comfortable life. Comfortable life means... Canakya Pandita has said that a comfortable, happy man is he who does not go out of his home and who is not a debtor. He is happy. But just see: in the city everybody is a debtor, and one has to go fifty miles, hundred miles for earning his livelihood. Is that comfortable? The bank is ready to give you money -- "Purchase motorcar. Purchase this. Purchase this." And at the end of month after working hard when you get salary, the whole money is taken by the bank. Again you have to work. So you are debtor and full of anxiety -- is that comfortable life? No, that is not comfortable life. Comfortable life means no anxiety.
So create Vrndavana. Keep Krsna here, cows here, calves here; produce your own food. It will become Vrndavana. This is Vrndavana. Where there is Krsna, where there are cows, where there is agriculture, that is Vrndavana. See the life of Krsna. He advised His father to worship Govardhana Hill. He said, "My dear father, Govardhana Hill is giving grass to our cows. Why you are arranging for the demigod worship, Indra? There is Govardhana-puja." So you should produce enough food grains, enough fodder for the cows, and live peacefully, chant Hare Krsna, make this life. At least one life we should do like that. It is very happy life.
So you have got this land; develop it. Don't go away. Develop it. That is my instruction. Keep cows, as many cows as possible. You don't require practice. Produce your own food, own milk -- save time; chant Hare Krsna. This is perfect. You don't require technical education and this education, that education, wine, meat. This is raksasa civilization. This is not human civilization. Human civilization: peacefully living, saving time for Krsna consciousness, and then at the time of death you remember Krsna. You are immediately delivered within a second, back to home, back to Godhead.
Read thoroughly, produce your own food, live peacefully. What is the use of going to the city? Bhaktivinoda Thakura said, jada vidya saba mayara vaibhava tomara bhajane badha. This material way of life, material advancement of material civilization, means giving advantage to maya to increase her influence over us.
So be satisfied with this humble life in the village and be advanced in Krsna consciousness. That is the real profit of life. Don't be misled by the glaring, dazzling situation of the city. That is not worth it. There is no difficulty. If you cooperate, everything will be all right. Don't be anxious.
Extracts from Arrival Lecture
Hawaii, May 25, 1975