The recently concluded soccer world cup and the world’s frenzy over it is a classic representation of kali-yuga, factually and figuratively. Let’s unpack that.
DIVISIONS FOR AN UNDIVIDED CAUSE
It is proclaimed in the śāstras that kalau śūdra-sambhavāḥ. In kali-yuga, the entire population will be on the level of śūdras. According to the authority of Bhagavad-gītā [4.13], we understand that the human society is scientifically demarcated into four divisions — brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra. Such division of human society is based upon the qualities and work of the people, and not according to the birth of a person in a particular family as is commonly misconceived in modern Hinduism. Caste as a birthright is completely unfounded.
The duties of the four divisions of human society are delineated in the Bhagavad-gītā [18.42-44] as follows: “Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness — these are the qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work. Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity, and leadership are the qualities of work for the kṣatriyas. Farming, cow protection and business are the qualities of work for the vaiśyas, and for the śūdras there is labor and service to others.”
Such demarcation of human society is necessary both for the efficiency of society in its material aspect and also for its progressive march towards the goal of self-realization. It is the perfect system for the overall development of human civilization. This demarcation should not be misunderstood as discrimination. It is just like our body. Each part of our body has a certain function to perform. If every part performs its designated function, the body is said to be in order.
With such an able body, one can endeavor effectively and achieve one’s desired results. The same is true for a machine as well. Every screw and plate in a machine has its designated function in cooperation with other parts to achieve the purpose of the whole machine. If all five fingers of the hand had been created equal, we would not have been very efficient with our hands. Similarly, these designations or demarcations of human society are likened to the parts of the human body or a machine.
The brāhmaṇas are considered the head of the society, the kṣatriyas are considered the arms, the vaiśyas are considered the belly and the śūdras are considered the legs. The head is the most important part in the human body. There are examples of people who remained alive without either hands or feet or even both. But without the head, the body is a dead body. Belly is also very important for digesting the food and nourishing the body but if the head is cut off, the body immediately dies. Moreover, the purpose of the body is fulfilled by the use of one’s head.
THE MANDATED PURPOSE OF HUMAN LIFE
Now, with a healthy body or a healthy society, what is the purpose to be achieved? It is fashionable these days to construe one’s own meaning and purpose of life but such conclusions about life has drawn under the powerful influence of the Supreme Lord’s illusory energy Māyā, hold no significance or truth.
Through the Vedic literature, Lord Kṛṣṇa instructs us that the real goal and duty of all living entities is to give up sense gratification and utterly surrender to Him and engage completely in His devotional service without any ulterior motive. In the Bhagavad-gītā [18.66], He emphatically canvasses thus:
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.” In this activity lies complete auspiciousness for human society. We are constitutionally eternal parts and parcels of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and are supposed to be engaged in uninterrupted devotional service to Him.
But since time immemorial, we have chosen to forget that and in our illusory quest for ultimate supremacy, we have been relegated to engage in the service of wicked and miserly masters. This entire material creation is fashioned by the Supreme Lord to rectify our mistaken mentality and bring us back to our constitutional position of eternal servitude to the Supreme Lord.
DECORATION OF A DEAD BODY
All education, therefore, should be directed towards this end. The brāhmaṇas, the head department of the society, are supposed to enlighten the rest of the masses in this supreme knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But in the present age, kali-yuga, the brahminical culture is all but gone. The so-called “brāhmaṇas-by-birth” are almost completely ignorant of the duties of a brāhmaṇa and have accepted the mentalities and occupations of śūdras (being employed by others.) There are almost no qualified brāhmaṇas. The executive heads of state, for want of prudent brahminical advice, run entire countries without any other aim than paltry sense gratification. The body of the society is now headless, or in other words, dead. Just as a dead body does not move, the entire human society is now practically motionless with regards to progress towards spiritual emancipation, the actual goal of human life.
All the glitter that we perceive either in the form of scientific and technological advancement or in the way of philanthropy and altruism are not real signs of advancement but are regarded by thoughtful, saintly men to be simply decorations on a dead body. There is an instructive statement in a scripture called Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya [3.11]:
jātiḥ śāstraṁ japas tapaḥ
The purport is that sometimes when a friend or relative dies, especially among lower class men, the dead body is decorated. Dressed and ornamented, the body is taken in procession. That sort of decoration of the dead body has no actual value because the life force is already gone. Similarly, any aristocracy, any social prestige or any advancement of material civilization without Kṛṣṇa consciousness is as good as the decoration of a dead body.
In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [7.5.31], it is stated:
na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te ’pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ
“Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Viṣṇu.
As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering all the concomitant miseries.”
SERIOUS RAMIFICATIONS OF FRIVOLOUS INFATUATIONS
Such misguided population glides down to the mode of ignorance. Śūdras are understood to be predominantly under the influence of the mode of ignorance. Brāhmaṇas are understood to be predominantly in the mode of goodness, kṣatriyas in the mixed modes of goodness and passion, or sometimes only passion, and vaiśyas in the mixed modes of passion and ignorance. This is the reason why the śāstras proclaim kalau śūdra-sambhavāḥ — in kali-yuga, the entire population is made up of śūdras.
In a society of śūdras, the legs of the society, who are ignorant of the aim of life, it is only natural that a sport of the legs — soccer (or any other sport for that matter) — is so popular. Such frivolous infatuation to a meaningless activity produces no tangible benefit to anyone, yet there are many millions of people who are addicted to the sport.
The valuable human form of life, which is achieved after millions of years of repeated reincarnation in millions of species of life, is entirely spoilt by such frivolous indulgence.
Owing to a poor fund of knowledge, people in general have absolutely no idea of the urgency of the need to redeem themselves from their precarious situations and the extent of danger awaiting just after quitting the material body. The danger is that one has to endure thousands, if not millions, of lives in the animal kingdom before again getting a chance to enter the human species.
THE URGENT NEED
Such gross ignorance can be directly mitigated with the injection of transcendental knowledge. That is only possible with the establishment of brahminical culture, the head department of society.
Thus, the entire population of the world can be properly guided and the ultimate goal of life, going back to Godhead, can be easily achieved. Instead, they think that kicking a ball into a net is the goal of their life, or worse still, they think that to enjoy watching someone else kicking the ball into the net is the goal of life.
They prefer going head over heels for legs (soccer) rather than head (brahminical culture and contemplation about self-realization.)
If there has to be sanity in the world, there is an urgent need for the creation of the head department of society, an institution of qualified brāhmaṇas that would guide the rest of the population according to the directions of the śāstras (Vedic scriptures.) That is the mission of our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. If even one percent of the world’s population takes to the brahminical way of life, the whole world will be at peace, as good as Vaikuṇṭha, the kingdom of God
Our actions are based on our convictions. Without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one’s convictions are misplaced and therefore one engages in sinful, irreligious activities that lead one to the darkest regions of hell. If the world’s population is therefore systematically trained in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and thus be convinced that the aim of life is to go back home, back to Godhead, our actions will follow suit leading us to complete success in the human mission of life.
We, therefore, invite all intelligent men and women to join our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and take advantage of our immense literature, our temples and our community of devotees, to make a permanent solution for all miserable conditions. [End]