Politics

politicsjpg

For anyone following the election this year, I think we can all agree, it has been interesting to say the least. For a post today I went to the Srimad Bhagavatam, Seventh Canto, where Prahada began to speak to his friends and teachers about the glories of devotional service to the Supreme Lord…

Politics involves accepting one group of men as enemies and another group as friends. Everything in politics is based on this philosophy, and the entire world, especially at the present, is engrossed in it. The public is concerned with friendly countries and friendly groups or enemy countries and enemy groups, but as stated in Bhagavad-gītā, a learned person does not make distinctions between enemies and friends. Devotees, especially, do not create friends and enemies. A devotee sees that every living being is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa (mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [15.7]). Therefore a devotee treats friends and enemies equally by trying to educate them both in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Of course, atheistic men do not follow the instructions of pure devotees, but instead consider a devotee their enemy. A devotee, however, never creates a situation of friendship and enmity. (from purport SB 7.5.3)

Although the teachers tried to educate the boy Prahlāda in politics, economics and other material activities, he did not care for their instructions. Instead, he continued to be a pure devotee. Prahlāda Mahārāja never liked the idea of discriminating between one’s friends and enemies. Because he was spiritually inclined, he was equal toward everyone. (from chapter summmary)

Full Text and purport

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Seven, Chapter 5, Text 3

yat tatra guruṇā proktaṁ
śuśruve ’nupapāṭha ca
na sādhu manasā mene
sva-parāsad-grahāśrayam

yat—which; tatra—there (in the school); guruṇā—by the teachers; proktam—instructed; śuśruve—heard; anupapāṭha—recited; ca—and; na—not; sādhu—good; manasā—by the mind; mene—considered; sva—of one’s own; para—and of others; asat-graha—by the bad philosophy; āśrayam—which was supported.

TRANSLATION

Prahlāda certainly heard and recited the topics of politics and economics taught by the teachers, but he understood that political philosophy involves considering someone a friend and someone else an enemy, and thus he did not like it.

PURPORT

Politics involves accepting one group of men as enemies and another group as friends. Everything in politics is based on this philosophy, and the entire world, especially at the present, is engrossed in it. The public is concerned with friendly countries and friendly groups or enemy countries and enemy groups, but as stated in Bhagavad-gītā, a learned person does not make distinctions between enemies and friends. Devotees, especially, do not create friends and enemies. A devotee sees that every living being is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa (mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [15.7]). Therefore a devotee treats friends and enemies equally by trying to educate them both in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Of course, atheistic men do not follow the instructions of pure devotees, but instead consider a devotee their enemy. A devotee, however, never creates a situation of friendship and enmity. Although Prahlāda Mahārāja was obliged to hear the instructions of Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka, he did not like the philosophy of friends and enemies, which forms the basis of politics. He was not interested in this philosophy.

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