Re: Science and Unemployment...

Madhudvisah dasa Swami (
Sat, 01 Jul 1995 01:36:51 GMT (ted) wrote:

>In article <3svl13$>, says...
>>altogether. There things are going on in a very simple way without much
>>emphasis on economic development. Things go on in much the same way as
>>they have been going on since time immemorial. There are no new models
>>coming out, no new building materials, no multinational corporations, no
>>new €fads.€ Life is simple.

>No new medicines either I suppose,

They have very good medicine. They have the Auyavedic scriptures. All the
medical knowledge is there... It doesn't need research it's perfectly OK
the way it is.

>but even more so, what you are suggesting
>also implies no new ideas.

There are no new ideas really. We just rehash the old ones... They have
very high philosophy. Because they are living in villages doesn't mean
they are not intelligent. Not all of them, of course, but there are very
learned Brahmans living in the villages.

>But I suspect you are wrong about this, you
>were only there for what, a few weeks? Had you been there for a decade
>I might accept this more,

No. I have been there many times over the last ten years the longest time
for about four months. So I have been there off and on for a decade. Now
it is changing...

>but given that India has (probably) nuclear
>weapons and a large and growing software industry, I don't believe that
>the country is as static as you suggest.

Yes. But so far it's still difficult to find a telephone in the villages!
There are big cities in India of course. Delhi, Bombay, etc. And they are
very keen on economic development and computers and the villagers are
catching on to this idea as well. Now you can see some satellite TV disks
popping up in some of the villages so things are on the move...

>[snip Indian rural life]
>>nowhere near as busy as we are in the Western world. They have time to
>>think and time to serve God. When I saw this I was amazed. My Western

>If you were to live a similar life over here you would also have plenty
>of time to serve God, or whatever you choose. I have some friends who
>are out of the "consumer trap" you wail about. They have part-time jobs
>and survive just fine, with plenty of spare time to do whatever they
>want. So if you wanted to do that in Australia, I'm sure you could, but
>then, where would you get the cash to go on a nice long holiday to India?

Yes. We are in a very fortunate position. We can live simply and spend
time thinking about and serving God and we can also fly over to India to
visit if we want to... So we should use this great opportunity of birth in
the western countries to make spiritual advancement... not just waste it
eating, sleeping, mating and defending like the cats and dogs. Human life
is meant for more than that. We should ask: "Why am I here?", "What is the
purpose of life?", "Where do I go after death?"...

>You can bet that the Indians you rave about aren't flying over to
>Sydney to see how you live...

They'd like to though. Don't get me wrong. Mostly [particularly the young
people] are just dying to go west...

>>amenities we take for granted. There is no running water, no hot water,
>>no electricity, hardly any furniture, no household gadgets, no carpets,
>>none of the stuff we fill our houses with, yet I could perceive these
>>people were happy and peaceful in this lifestyle. They have a peacefulness
>>you just can€t find in Pitt Street Mall, or anywhere in Sydney for that
>And what is it like when there is a drought or heavy storm? How many die
>of dysentry because of no water purification plants.

They're a little more philosophical about it all. As I have said many
times we get the suffering that's coming to us because of what we have
done in the past. That's karma. You can't change it. They have some types
of suffering in India and you have different types of suffering in the US.
They are not getting AIDS, they are not having heart attacks, they are not
getting cancer... Life is certainly "harder" there than in the west. But
that's life. India is not really for material comfort, it is called "Punya
Bhumi", the land of pious activity, so it's meant for spiritual
advancement. The western countries are better equipped for material life.

It was Srila Prabhupada's [the founder of the Hare Krishna movement] idea
to combine the two. The wealth and technology of the west and the
spiritual knowledge of India. He said India was like a lame man and
America was like a blind man. India has a treasure house of culture and
spiritual knowledge but is materially bankrupt while America has very nice
material facilities but is spiritually bankrupt. He saw that the two
countries could work together cooperatively for each other's benefit.
Because a godless civilization is not nice and also a poverty stricken
civilization is not nice...

> Its all fine and
>dandy to be romantic about the past but this doesn't really sound all that
>different from the cliche "noble savage living hand in hand with nature"
>crap that we hear all the time from people who are guilty that they are
>living better than [insert favorite group here].

Yes. They are not actually living "better" materially, that's true. But
they have spiritual knowledge. Even the illiterate man working the fields
has full faith in God, he knows he is a spirit soul and he knows life is
meant for serving God. They are afraid of performing sinful activities. Of
course with the satellite TV that will change...

>>Their incomes are very small compared to our standards. We get twenty
>>rupees for one Australian dollar and in Indian villages if someone is
>>making twenty rupees a day it€s considered a huge income. They really
>>don€t need so much money because their lifestyle is simple. It€s not that
>>they are poor or missing out on anything...they have good food, clothes
>>and comfortable houses, what else do they need?

>And you could live as well, or better than them over here for almost the same
>cost; but then you wouldn't be taking exotic vacations to India...

Yes. It's amazing. Things are, relatively speaking, very expensive there.
Mostly the villagers are self-sufficient though, they produce what they
need and trade the surplus so they can buy other things...

>>Seeing this lifestyle prompted me to compare it with ours in Australia. I
>>don€t think we are better off than the Indian villagers. This was
>>initially quite a shock to me as I had assimilated all the subtle
>>brainwashing our society gives us to instill in us the desire to consume
>>to the maximum possible extent and thus keep the capitalistic machinery

>[snip propaganda about the evils of capitalism]

>>We are missing the wood for the trees, we have no idea what we are trying
>>to achieve in this life, we are simply going from one sense gratification
>>program to the next, and we are never satisfied with any of them. The
>>thing is we never have any time to think. Actually thinking is not
>>encouraged by our society, if we have any spare time there are so many

>Ah, but can you name a society where thinking is actively encouraged? How
>is this done? From my experience, my parents encouraged me to 'think' and
>use my mind, but 'society' never did much one way or the other. Some
>societies I can think of seem to actually _discourage_ thinking, like the
>old Soviet Union, China, South Korea, any country led by religious
>government ...

The point I am making is we are encourageed to work very hard for some
goal in the future. We spend a lot of time working for money to enjoy
material pleasure... We are never satisfied. But there [in the villages
not the big cities] there is none of this... They just go on with their
daily business and they accept their position in life... there is a
different mood.

>>mindless diversions to consume our energy. We can watch the television,
>>play some sport, go to the beach, take some drugs, find a girl and try to
>>arrange some sex life, go to a party, go to a disco, go to a pub, go to a
>>restaurant, go to the movies, read the newspaper, go shopping... there is
>>no end to the list of diversions available to us... perhaps that€s why we
>>consider ours an advanced society?

>And how is this really different from India? They have drugs there too I
>would suspect.

Yes. They have pan, something they chew, they have 'biddis', horrible
little cigarettes, they have hashish... Everything is there... Many people
don't take intoxication though. Mostly it's against their religious

>I am sure that they have sex,

Yes. But they still get married.

>and what are parties, pubs and
>discos but places to socialize with each other which is not exclusive to
>western society.

They still socialize with each other... but their parties are connected
with glorifying Krishna. That's the difference. They have festivals to
glorify God...

Thank you. Hare Krishna!

Madhudvisah dasa Swami

Quotes from His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(c)Bhaktivedanta Book Trust