The desire to rule it over material nature diverts the people from the true path and facilitates their degradation. The right attitude towards material nature helps one master the spiritual science.
One should always remember who the true proprietor of everything is. If we truly realize that, we will treat Earth differently.
Lord Varaha represents protector of the planet Earth. He comes to fight the demon who has stolen the planet. He brings the planet back to her place, restores her, so that the conditioned souls could incarnate again on this planet, live in harmony, engage in spiritual practice, and go back to Godhead. Life on earth is natural for a human.
Srila Prabhupada says that farming and taking care of cows is the best type of labor for a human to maintain his body. If we try to make our lives easier, more comfortable, with the passing of time, factories, plants, standard houses, huge cities, and other “advances” of civilization appear, and our life loses harmony and gradually turns into hell. The more comfortable the material aspect of life is, the more psychological problems the person has. Such life prevents us from engaging in spiritual practice.
One has to realize that living in a city should include a mood of self-sacrifice, devotees should live there with the purpose of preaching. Of course, not all of the grihasthas have to move to the country. For instance, if the devotees live in the city, perform kirtans wonderfully, have harinamas, preach brilliantly and establish bhakti-vrikshas, they can stay in the city. But if a devotee’s focus is not on preaching, but on maintaining his or her family, and all the time is absorbed by work, family routine, surviving, and his or her spiritual progress leaves much to be desired, then one has to pause to think – probably, there was something wrong about choosing this path? Perhaps one should think about moving to the country?
However, everything should come gradually. Such a step should be taken intelligently, after talking to senior devotees who have more experience, and much thought should be put into this. One can try living in a community for a couple of months to start with.
It is important to live on earth, in the mode of goodness, to bring up the children Krishna conscious. Men should have a broad vision and think about strategy and perspectives. What will I leave my children with so that they are able to fully engage in spiritual practice?
We have invited these souls to come here, and our task is to provide them with the most favorable conditions to progress spiritually.
One should think not only about the present day – how to survive here and now. It’s better to think long-term: what to leave our children, the next generations with; and how they will practice spiritual knowledge on this foundation. When our children grow up, we should be able to say with peace of mind, “We did what we could, and you should continue our business”. However, if we have left nothing behind, having to survive day after day, our children will have to start everything from scratch. They will have to think about their own survival. So, for the sake of the generations to come, we should think ahead. What will I leave behind?
Before passing, Srila Prabhupada spoke a lot about establishing Vaishnava settlements. Today there’re more and more opportunities for developing communities and moving to the country. At the same time, the materialistic civilization is experiencing its demise.
Bhumidevi’s patience is not endless. She may ask her husband, Lord Varahadev, come to punish the demons and destroy the “civilization” that is based on the exploitation of Earth.
Our civilization of Kali-yuga can stop existing any moment now. As we can see, one doesn’t have to unleash a war – one virus is enough. Lord, as has always been the case, turned out to be unpredictable. A tiny virus appeared that is very suggestive of the virus-like behavior of our civilization. That is the law of karma – you reap as you sow.
The task of the Vaishnava society is to create an alternative to a civilization that is built on the exploitation of the Earth. Living in the country is preaching in itself.
Preaching by one’s own example is even more effective than using words. We can show people how to live by the rules of God, following the practice given by Srila Prabhupada. For example, there’s a farm community named Krishna Valley in Hungary. About 200 people live on around 300 ha of land. 50 thousand tourists come to visit them annually! People come to visit them on their own accord, and the devotees use it perfectly. They show an example of how one can live in the country in accordance with shastras, they offer people books, give classes, preach, give contact information of the temples and bhakti-vrikshas in the cities. They give people a method of how, living in the city, one can gradually transit to the right consciousness.
We must therefore save ourselves and our fellow man in the right way. There is no question of liking or disliking the truth. It is there. If we want to be saved from repeated birth and death, we must take to the devotional service of the Lord. There can be no compromise, for this is a matter of necessity. (Sri Isopanisad, purport to mantra 14)
Written by bhaktin Yelena Chekareva, based on the class of bhakta Maxim Rybakin on SB 3.19.31