Aspects of Vaisnava Theory & Practice
Rasing Our Spiritual Standards
Chapter 13
Our Mission
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Part 5

First-class Civilization is That Which Associates With the Modes of Goodness

Lecture 1972 Vrindavana:

“Therefore, the first-class civilization is that which associates with the modes of goodness. That is, means, brahminical civilization. Truthful, satya sama dama titiksa arjava, jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam. This is first-class civilization. People must be truthful, they must be equipoised, not disturbed, not being disturbed by different situations. They must learn how to control the senses. They must learn how to control the mind. Sama dama ti.., They must be tolerant, titiksa. Arjava, they must be very simple, no duplicity. Arjava. Jnanam. They must know everything in full knowledge. Vijnanam, apply the knowledge in practical life. Astikyam. They must believe in the Vedic injunctions. Astikya. That is called astikya. The atheist and, and theist. The theist believes in the Vedic injunction. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah. That is theist. Not that ‘I believe in God.’ They must believe in the injunction of the Vedas; what is said in the Vedas, one must believe.”

ISKCON is meant to be a model of the first-class civilization, “which associates with the mode of goodness”. That is one dimension of our mission. We are meant to establish a brahminical class of men and organize the rest of society on varnasrama principles as much as possible. Lacking a prevailing atmosphere of sattva guna in our society there is no really fertile soil for the intellectual class to flourish. We need many concerned devotees who will take the time to get together and work out a proposal for solving this and other problems. Unless we develop the social order along the lines of Krishna’s blueprint, varnasrama, which is the humanitarian dynamic, we cannot say we are successful in our mission to create independently thoughtful men the way Prabhupada envisioned. These are the men referred to in Chapter Seven as “the true heroes of the human race”. If we make a resolve to become such men and to train others, Srila Prabhupada would be immensely pleased with us. We will have succeeded in our mission. To be truly effective, we must always work with our end in mind.

Quotes that are applicable to Chapter 13:

  • My way of joking is to tell the truth. It is the funniest joke in the world.
  • The truth is no laughing matter to those whom it applies.

  • The truth does not hurt unless it ought to.
  • The truth hurts but it heals.
  • The object of teaching is to enable the student to get along without the teacher
  • There are two ways to exert one’s strength—one is pushing down and the other is pulling up.
  • Our greatest glory consists not in never falling but in rising every time we fall. —Anon
  • He that loses his conscience has nothing left that is worth keeping.
  • The more corrupt the state (institution) the more laws.
  • The older I get the more I judge people by their character and not by their ideas.
  • The rulers must be watched, not the ruled.
  • In a system that won’t tolerate wave making, only mediocrities rise to the top
  • Are you not ashamed of heaping up money and honor and reputation, and caring so little about wisdom and truth?
  • ISKCON—when right, to be kept right, when wrong; to be put right. —Variation on wording of.
  • Power does not corrupt. It is fear of loss of power that corrupts.
  • The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability he has.
  • The worst form of injustice is pretended justice.
  • Virtue is more clearly shown in the performance of fine actions than in merely abstaining from base ones.
  • What if one does say the same things—of course in a little different form each time—over and over? If he has anything to say worth saying, that is just what he ought to do.
  • What is morally wrong cannot be politically right.
  • When you think of the long, gloomy history of man, you will find far more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.
  • You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.

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