The Matchless Gift
The birds and beasts arise early in the morning and busy themselves trying to find food and sex and trying to defend themselves; at night they look for shelter, and in the morning they fly to a tree to find nuts and fruits. Similarly, in New York City, great hordes of people travel from one island to another by ferry boat or wait for subways in order to go to the office for the purpose of finding food. How is this an advancement over animal life? Although the ferry and subway are always crowded, and many people have to travel forty or fifty miles for bread, the birds are free to fly from one tree to another.
Real civilization is not concerned simply with man's animal needs but with enabling man to understand his relationship with God, the supreme father. One may learn about his relationship with God by any process--through Christianity, through the Vedic literatures or through the Koran--but in any case it must be learned. The purpose of this Krishna consciousness movement is not to make Christians into Hindus or Hindus into Christians but to inform everyone that the duty of a human being is to understand his relationship with God. One must learn this, otherwise he is simply wasting his time by engaging in animalistic propensities. We must all try to love Krishna or God. If one has a process, he should practice it, or he can come and learn this process. One should not begrudge the selection of one process over another.
If one is serious about understanding God, he should not think, "I am Christian," "I am Hindu," or "I am Muslim." If one is serious about understanding love of God, he should consider which process is practical. One should not think, "Why should I follow Hindu or Vedic scriptures?" The purpose of following the Vedic scriptures is to develop love of God. When students come to America for a higher education, they do not consider the fact that the teachers may be American, German or of other nationalities. If one wants a higher education, he simply comes and takes it. Similarly, if there is an effective process for understanding and approaching God, like this Krishna consciousness process, one should take it.
In the execution of material dharma, or religion performed for material gain, people generally go to a church or a temple and pray, "God, give us our daily bread." Actually, this need not be asked for, for bread is already provided for everyone. Even the birds and beasts get their bread without having to go to church to ask God for it. Similarly, our bread is also provided, whether we go to church or not. That is not a problem, for no one is dying in the streets of starvation, nor do we find a bird, beast, or even an ant dying of starvation. Food is there, and one need not bother about it. If the brain should he taxed, it should be taxed for Krsna or God. This is the proper utilization of time. There is no scarcity of bread in the Kingdom of God.
One should try to attain that which cannot be attained by traveling all over the universe. What is that? Pure devotion...