By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
It is very difficult to find out this class of men – mumuksavah. They do not know what is meant by mumuksava. Mumuksava means “desiring to be liberated.” They do not know what liberation is. The so-called scientists, philosophers of the modern age do not know what is meant by liberation, moksha. And still, they are the heads of education and public leaders. They do not know what the objective of life is, what for the human life is meant.
I was just talking with Guru dasa. Sometime in the year 1950 or ’51, I went to Jhansi, and it happened so that the friend in whose house I was staying – he was a leader – and there was a meeting on Gandhi’s disappearance day. So I was asked to speak. At that time I was not sannyasi (renounced monk). I was asked to speak something on nonviolence. So I explained that violence means if you have got some right and if somebody by force stops you to utilize your right, then that is violence. I have got some right to take something, or enter in some room, and, if somebody checks me by force, that “You cannot enter,” that is violence and it is criminal.
So it is not ordinary thing to take birth in our land of Bharatavarsa. Just see, practically, how many men, they are automatically circumambulating this temple. Even a common man. So in this way, if you study people in Bharatavarsa, by nature, they are God conscious. Even a very poor man is satisfied in God consciousness. He doesn’t care that he is poverty-stricken. He’s satisfied, “Krishna has placed me in this position.” Neither he cares to know that “Why I am poverty-stricken?” He doesn’t care! “Now I am getting some food by grace of Krishna.”
Not very long ago, say about two hundred, three hundred years ago, in Krishnanagara, there was a big zaminder, Raja Krishnacandra. So he went to a learned scholar, pandita, brahmana. Brahmanas voluntarily accept poverty – they don’t care. So Raja Krishnacandra came to him and asked him: “Panditji, can I help you in some way?” He replied, “I don’t require any help from you.” ‘No, I see that you are very poverty-stricken.’ “No, I am not poverty-stricken. My students get some rice for me, and my wife cooks it, and I get some…” There was a tamarind tree. “So I get some tamarind leaves. So it is very nice. I don’t require any help.” You see. This is India’s culture. Chanakya Pandita, who was the greatest scholar, politician, was the prime minister of Emperor Chandragupta. He was living in a cottage, not accepting any salary. And as soon as Maharaja Chandragupta wanted some explanation, he immediately resigned. This is the standard of persons who are born in India. Vyasadeva—who can be greater scholar than Vyasadeva? He has written… His last contribution is Srimad-Bhagavatam, and each word, if you study for hundreds of years, still, you have to understand. Each word. Such a scholar. He was living in a cottage.
So this is actually India’s culture. So I explained in that meeting that “After many, many births, one is given the opportunity to take birth in this holy land of Bharatavarsa. Unfortunately, you people, you are, by force, making them materialists. They had the opportunity to take advantage of the contribution of great sages, rishis, to study and to become a successful human being, but you are, by force, dragging them from that attitude to this materialistic way of life. This is violence. What you are speaking of, nonsense, nonviolence? This is violence.” So about twenty years ago I was thinking like that. So actually, people are being killed not only in India, but outside also, by these blind leaders. They do not know how to lead people, how to make them happy, how to make them successful in their human form of life.
[An excerpt from a lecture delivered on the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.26 in Vrindavan, India on November 6, 1972]