by bhakta Eric Johanson
Srila Prabhupada’s mission was to make people conscious of Krishna, or God, and to free them from the material conception of living. In the process of coming to the full state of Krishna prema, or pure transcendental love of Krishna, people were taught to simply tolerate temporary problems like extreme weather:
matra-sparsas tu kaunteya/sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah/agamapayino ‘nityas/tams titiksasva bharata – O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed. Bhagavad-gita 2.14
Although Srila Prabhupada knew about the environmental movement practically from its inception in the 1960’s, he was not even slightly interested in adapting his mission to include its goals, or any others of that era’s youth culture.
“We will present our program at Bhaktivedanta Manor exactly in the line of Lord Caitanya, by kirtana, prasadam distribution and speaking from Bhagavad-gita. We cannot deviate even an inch in order to attract the followers of the ecology philosophy or any other materialistic, utopian movement. You say you know a number of influential leaders of this group, but what is the use of knowing them, since you yourself found them deficient and left them? Our ideal Vedic community will attract everyone on its own merit, and we shall be glad to welcome and accept everyone who comes without our compromising in order to attract them.” Letter to: Mahadeva — Mayapur 3 March, 1974
Krishna, or God, consciousness included everything. Srila Prabhupada preached that if you watered the tree at its root, all the leaves and branches would be included. Yasmin vijnate sarvam etam vijnatam bhavanti (Mundaka Upanisad 1.3) – If you simply understand Krishna then you have full knowledge. Continue reading