According to Darwin's definition of natural selection ( a synonym for survival of the fittest) any organism that reproduces is "fit" enough to contribute to the survival of its species. This opposite of which means the death of the physical body.
Srila Prabhupada in his commentary on the Bhagavatam (SB 8.5.23) says "survival of the fittest is a well-known principle, but the poor souls of this material world do not know what is survival and who is fit. Survival does not mean that one should die; survival means that one should not die, but should enjoy an everlastingly blissful life of knowledge. This is survival. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant to make every person fit for survival."
Two definitions of fit and survival, one is on the physical plane and hence temporary which then makes the word "survival" an oxymoron as nothing in essence survives in this world. We die either now or in 100 years. Therefore "survival" is an apt jargon fit within the spiritual domain and that is very nicely described by Srila Prabhupada.
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously
- Erwin Schrödinger (Nobel Laureate in Physics - one of the fathers of Quantum Mechanics)
The Planning Commission of India, recently, announced the official poverty line to be Rs 32 (62 cents) per day in the cities and Rs 26 (53 cents) per day in the rural areas. It basically states that an individual can consume 2100 calories of food with Rs 32 and 26 respectively (not sure how that is possible?). The poverty line calculation does not take into account education, health and other basic needs expenditures. It just accounts for money required for basic food consumption. The methodology has no relation to reality and hence very weak.
India, majority of it, is rural with agriculture as its base economy. Barring the cities, majority of Indians live in small towns or villages where economy thrives on agriculture. If the Planning Commission calculated poverty status for rural residents (based on food consumption), then the assumption they have made is that there is food shortage in rural villages and people do not have access to nutritious food. This shortage is created by the artificial consumer based economy in which the consumer is empowered (as God) to exploit the resources to one’s whims and fancies. Now, who is the consumer? – the individual with money. The individual without money is left behind in poverty and lamentation. Therefore, for the past 4 or 5 decades, the goal in life is to earn money to be empowered to consume at will in pursuit of happiness. The result of such a life strategy is there is exploitation on one end and poverty on the other.
Ever since the Indian economy followed its western counterparts, the 2nd and 3rd generation farmers have either resorted to growing “cash” crops for money or decided to abandon agriculture as a livelihood and move to the city for bigger and greater life. Growing cash crops on a mass scale for money depletes the quality of soil and increases the disproportionate use of water thus creating an imbalance in the local ecosystem and also increases the dependence on synthetic chemicals and man-made water management systems. As a result there is an imbalance in nature. An imbalance results in shortage of rainfall and shortage of ground water. Agriculture cannot survive in such a condition. This trend has motivated farmers to either fully abandon farming and move to cities or abandon traditional farming techniques suiting local soil conditions and adopt corporate large scale level farming techniques. As a result, there is either mass exodus to cities burdening the cities or depleting local soil and water conditions.
Srila Prabhupada, being the visionary that he is, repeatedly stressed on the importance of cultivating spiritual vision to one’s life. When the goal of life shifts from spiritual to material, people seek after material illusion of happiness. They want to make money quick and in large amounts. They think that living a simple life is not fashionable anymore and thus boring. Srila Prabhupada said that if farmers simply work for 4 or 5 months a year tilling their lands to meet their household needs in terms of food and other necessities and the remaining months of the year engage in cultivating spiritual life, then life will be peaceful and happy. The traditional Vedic system of Varnashrama dharma did exactly that. It motivated people to live a simple life with high spiritual thoughts. Life was centered around God. Families lived together in one unit and took care of each other. There were no artificial poverty lines, no gaping divide between the haves and have nots, no stress, no depression, and other corollary modern day problems.
Estimating poverty is a clear indication that the system is malfunctioning with disproportionate use of resources. Srila Prabhupada constantly preached a life dependent on agriculture, land, cows, rains and ultimately Krishna. He strongly voiced the importance of spiritual consciousness and how that is possible only by surrender unto God. Unfortunately, modern day philosophers, scientists and administrators have completely removed God from our daily life. As a result, a powerful few exploit and abuse resources for their selfish interests leaving behind many in lamentation. It is not only the flawed system and administrators to blame but also the common man who has abandoned his spiritual values to adopt a selfish material way of life. Unless we live our life centered around God, there is no solution to modern day woes. It will only get worse!
Today, I heard a sad news that one of my friends passed away. I feel sad that I could not spend more time with him and encourage him in Krishna consciousness. He was not very wealthy materially speaking but he was a nice friend who would desire to help me whenever the need arose.
When I went to India this spring, I wanted to take him with me to Mayapur and Vrindavan but that did not happen as I lost his contact till he contacted me some months before. He had deep aspirations to make it big in the cinema industry. I encouraged him and by the side also encouraged him to seek Krishna's help which he did in earnest and he chanted at least one round of the Maha mantra. He had heart problems but I did not realize it was serious.
Perhaps I did not take his friendship seriously and hence was not keen to contact him. I feel sad I will not see him anymore. I want to dedicate this post to you my friend and also let you know that I always wanted to help you materially and spiritually.
I hope your journey continues and that you take full shelter of the Supreme Lord who is the ultimate cause and effect. I pray at the Lotus Feet of the Divine Couple to give him shelter at their Lotus feet.
Godspeed to you my friend and farewell!! It was great to know you and thank you for being a good friend
Today, Steve Jobs passed on. As many of you know, Steve had come in contact with Krishna consciousness in his younger days through Prasadam. He had the opportunity of Krishna's mercy and He also went to India and is believed to have chanted the Hare Krishna maha mantra.
In the secular world, obviously Steve Jobs is a high profile figure. However, I would like to wish him and pray for him (spiritually speaking) so he can continue his spiritual journey towards Krishna so one day he goes back home back to Godhead.
Godspeed to you Steve for your spiritual journey. May Krishna protect you where ever you are.
Even though the people of the world have forgotten God and may say that God is dead, this is not a fact. One can understand God when one takes to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and thus one can be happy. - SB 18.1.13
People often claim that there is no God or He is dead. Here Srila Prabhupada categorically and emphatically states that God is not dead and that by taking to Krishna Consciousness, one can understand God. This statement is neither sentimental nor ritualistic but comes from direct realization of God. Like Srila Prabhupada, if we also chant the Hare Krishna maha mantra - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare regularly & daily and cultivate good character of humility, tolerance, devotion to God and serve people of saintly qualities, then we can also see God.
If our search for God is serious, then all who read this post, can take up this test and try it in sincere earnest, rest assured our doubts of God will be laid to rest as we will have direct realization of God ourself and will not require external validation.