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Politics/Social Activism

Hare Krishna 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada


Dear devotees please accept my obesances. Will you please help me understand what Srila Prabhupada says about devotees in polotics? Sure it is not to role of all, but is it the duty of some devotees to engage in social justice? Also wondering for myself how much i should engage. I can understand on the subject of animal killing many devotees are very out spoken. Sould we, similarly, be outspoken about other relevant horrors such as war and mass shootings? Should i vote in elections? Is the new rise of "social justice" in US a positive sign of more compassion, and if so how do devotees incultrate it and guide it toward higher (Krishna conscous) standards?

These are hot topics, I ask in humility hoping to calm my mind and understand the role of a Vaisnava in these matters so i can pray to one day attain the proper stance. Thank you very much 

E dasi

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  • Hare Krishna!

    Namaste, my humble obeisance!

    Right now, I cannot recall exact remarks Srila Prabhupada (which of course He did) made on politics to quote but the general attitude that I gathered from His books is that a devotee getting actively involved into politics is discouraged. However, if you are circumstantially right in the middle of it where you have little choice but to perform the least you can do to stay Krishna conscious is to "be perfect ladies & gentlemen" as Srila Prabhupada would sometimes describe Krishna devotees. You become an example on what it really means to be a human being. As remote as it sounds from any Krishna conscious activities, people are intrigue by devotees in places of work when they behave perfectly or in 'Sattva Guna' (mode of goodness) equipped with real knowledge, aware about the truth. Your mere presence becomes preaching by demonstration.
    Self improvement has become the latest preoccupation with people. Your interest lies with people who want to do something meaningful. I believe it's your chance to discerningly fulfill both their immediate desire (to let them see it's not the solution) and also to show the true path out of the mess.

    You should engage only up to the point where you need to, not up to the point where you want to. If it becomes an obsession then that's where you withdraw and draw a line. If you are require to vote, vote. If you see an animal abused on your way to work, do something about it. However, do not make it an obsession. Animal killings, wars, mass shootings and every thinkable and unthinkable crime we gather each day is a symptom manifesting from within. In that light, we can safely say that each of us is a walking time bomb disconnected from actual reality. No amount of social justices, or candle light vigils, or self righteous sermons, or jails or Tony Robbins is going to the solve problem within. Even if they did it won't last. History is testament to that fact. In the material world, everything good or bad is temporary. A sad reality but a fortunate reminder.

    "Social Justice" campaigns or the "conservative sermons" have devolved into ego parades where two different sets of people (liberal vs conservatives/left vs right etc.) from two different backgrounds with their own relative interests to look after clashes causing massive unrest. So, the question arises, are the "social justice" campaigners or the "conservatives" really helping making the world a better place or adding to the disturbance. This is not to downplay neither but to illustrate the "no honor among thieves" situation we are perpetually in. Both parties cannot escape the irony. If everybody is being electrocuted it is better to kill the main switch. It saves time and saves much more lives.

    However, you could say that the social justice movement is a manifestation of the soul's desire to do something good but incomplete. Srila Prabhupada gave the Hare Krishna Movement at a time of much more intense level of chaos. Counterculture became the expression to the hypocrisy within the seemingly picture perfect American Dream. Srila Prabhupada arrived at the scene to give the absolute truth, Krishna, to tie up all of our relative truths with and the rest is history!
    You are in a similar situation to preach. Actually we are all in a similar situation and it's our chance to seize the opportunity to do the little that we can to serve Srila Prabhupada and His devotees with our humble services.

    Jai Srila Prabhupada!
  • Hare Krishna,
    When there is a you subside the pain or give treatment to the infected part?
    What a devotee does is treating and curing the disease itself from the roots.. The process maybe slow but it is sure one day all will become KC and will realize their mistakes.
    Even for watering a plant you pour water to the roots and not to the leaves.
    Devotee should raise voice against injustice at times it is must also. But we don't follow that path of violence. Neither we show another cheek and be too much humble for anyone to take advantage of us. We know perfectly that all is working under supreme Lord Sri Krishna. Even these politicians or any others also they are working for their selfish ends many of them... they are also under under the supreme control of Lord.
    Whatever is happening is happening according to the direction of Lord. We may not see the bigger picture of it. But Lord knows everyone's past, present and future deeds perfectly.
    Fighting for social cause is good but it is not the end of it. We may react to the latest war mass shooting or sudden natural calamities and loss of the lives of people., or cow slaughter.... But We don't know what deeds of them have led them to suffer this today. Everything is coming to us as a result of Karma done previously.
    Knowing that is the root cause of the issues.. Better reduce our bad karmas and increase our good karmas or just surrender to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna.
    sarva-dharman parityajya
    mam ekam saranam vraja
    aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
    moksayisyami ma sucah
    Lord Clearly told as a conclusion that Surrender unto ME -- Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
    Do you think Lord is not seeing all that is going around in this world right now. Do you think He is simply not reacting at all? or Do you think Lord is incapable of controlling these all?
    Well, No. Lord is completely capable of controlling and maintaining whole Universes .....Then why not all just surrender unto HIM?
    Why take politics and other matters into your hands ..Why not surrender to Lord and submissively accept your mistakes and ask Him to set all things right.
    As a devotee its our duty to inculcate into everyone's heads that this is not going to work shouting for injustice like this.. Just Surrender to the Supreme He will take care of everything and give you what is best for you. This is the only biggest education that one can spread to all humanity that is only the way.
    One cannot make any person change by shouting, scolding or giving punishments ... Change has to come from within.
    For the change to come a devotee should strive to inculcate preach and teach KC's only that is only the sure shot way to change people from within.
    People must understand that they have been living for themselves for many many life times now its time to change and understand their real position that is......Being a part and parcel of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna.
    This is the only message to all humanity from Srila Prabhupada to Spread awareness and raise the consciousness of the human beings by making them Krishna conscious.
  • Sevak
    Hare Krsna
    What Srila Prabhupada says about devotees in politics?
    Srila Prabhupada just before meeting his spiritual master was fully into politics. When Srila Prabhupada first met his spiritual master Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, he advocated about Gandhi's movement and getting freedom for India from tyrant british rule. But Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur assertively advised him that worldly politics always keep changing. The mission and message of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahabrabhu - Krsna Consciousness can't wait for. Krsna consciousness is independent of politics and it is above politics. Srila prabhupada eventually saw this come true. Even when India got freedom, nothing dramatic happened. People simply continued the same materialistic way of life. It was only when Srila Prabhupada carried out the instruction of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur of preaching the message of Lord Chaitanya in the english language did the true transformation of society at a spiritual level begin at a global scale.
    The biggest injustice is that living entity is separated from Sri Krsna. The highest compassion is reunite ourselves with Sri Krsna by practice of Krsna consciousness.
    This is not to say that injustice has to be tolerated. It should not be. But the goal is not social justice or change in society by route of politics.

    But is it the duty of some devotees to engage in social justice ?
    Duty of a devotee is to carry out order of Sri Krsna and spiritual master. Arjuna's spiritual master was Sri Krsna. Sri Krsna ordered Arjuna to kill Karna, Bhisma etc and he did it for pleasure of Sri Krsna. Duty of devotee is to please Sri Krsna.

    Is the new rise of "social justice" in US a positive sign of more compassion ?

    How do devotees inculcate compassion and guide it toward higher (Krishna conscous) standards?
    The greatest compassion is to connect every living entity to Krsna. For this we ourselves need to be strongly connected by strict practice of Krsna consciousness.

    These are hot topics
    There will always be hot topics. Srimad Bhagavatam has clear instructions about such topics
    na yad vacaś citra-padaṁ harer yaśo
     jagat-pavitraṁ pragṛṇīta karhicit
    tad vāyasaṁ tīrtham uśanti mānasā
     na yatra haṁsā niramanty uśik-kṣayāḥ
    Those words which do not describe the glories of the Lord, who alone can sanctify the atmosphere of the whole universe, are considered by saintly persons to be like unto a place of pilgrimage for crows. Since the all-perfect persons are inhabitants of the transcendental abode, they do not derive any pleasure there. SB 1.5.10

    tad-vāg-visargo janatāgha-viplavo
     yasmin prati-ślokam abaddhavaty api
    nāmāny anantasya yaśo ’ṅkitāni yat
     śṛṇvanti gāyanti gṛṇanti sādhavaḥ
    On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world’s misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literature, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest. SB 1..5.11

    Hare Krsna
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