When Traders become greedy, they take to Large-Scale Commerce and Industry

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda

9. A picturesque scene of green paddy fields enlivens the heart of the poor agriculturalist, but it brings gloom to the face of the capitalist who lives by exploiting the poor farmers.

With good rains, the farmer’s business in agriculture flourishes. Agriculture is the noblest profession. It makes society happy, wealthy, healthy, honest, and spiritually advanced for a better life after death. The vaiśya community, or the mercantile class of men, take to this profession. In Bhagavad-gita the vaiśyas are described as the natural agriculturalists, the protectors of cows, and the general traders. When Lord Sri Krishna incarnated Himself at Vrindavana, He took pleasure in becoming a beloved son of such a vaiśya family. Nanda Maharaja was a big protector of cows, and Lord Sri Krishna, as the most beloved son of Nanda Maharaja, used to tend His father’s animals in the neighboring forest. By His personal example Lord Krishna wanted to teach us the value of protecting cows. Nanda Maharaja is said to have possessed nine hundred thousand cows, and at the time of Lord Sri Krishna (about five thousand years ago) the tract of land known as Vrindavana was flooded with milk and butter. Therefore God’s gifted professions for mankind are agriculture and cow protection.

light of Bhagavata verse 9

Trade is meant only for transporting surplus produce to places where the produce is scanty. But when traders become too greedy and materialistic they take to large-scale commerce and industry and allure the poor agriculturalist to unsanitary industrial towns with a false hope of earning more money. The industrialist and the capitalist do not want the farmer to remain at home, satisfied with his agricultural produce. When the farmers are satisfied by a luxuriant growth of food grains, the capitalist becomes gloomy at heart. But the real fact is that humanity must depend on agriculture and subsist on agricultural produce.

No one can produce rice and wheat in big iron factories. The industrialist goes to the villagers to purchase the food grains he is unable to produce in his factory. The poor agriculturalist takes advances from the capitalist and sells his produce at a lower price. Hence when food grains are produced abundantly the farmers become financially stronger, and thus the capitalist becomes morose at being unable to exploit them.

[Verse No. 9 of the “Light of Bhagavata” written by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada]

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