“The Lord is the protector of cows and the brahminical culture. A society devoid of cow protection and brahminical culture is not under the direct protection of the Lord, just as the prisoners in the jails are not under the protection of the king but under the protection of a severe agent of the king.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.14.34 Purport)
“Seeing the situation in the world today, I am that much more appreciative of the teachings of the acharyas. Especially the one who came to rescue me, though I wasn’t specifically seeking it. The one who taught me, though we never met in person. The one who continues to inspire me, to push me, though I have no way of knowing if he is directly pleased by my efforts.
“I am speaking of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He cuts to the chase. He tells it like it is. He is not afraid of anyone. I get the feeling that he is simply following tradition, that the teachers in the line have always been like this. They don’t really care if anyone gets offended or not.
“Speaking of that, it seems in the modern world you cannot describe the truth of any situation. Say the wrong thing, even in jest, and you could lose your job. The term for it is ‘cancel culture.’. You’ve got volunteer monitors everywhere, with their cameras. Today, they are even wearing masks.
“I see what we are living through and I think I am experiencing a nightmare, that it cannot be real. How did this happen? What should we do? How do we rescue others from the darkness of ignorance when you cannot even shine the light on basic deficiencies, like killing of cows and lack of a brahmana society?”
The acharyas say that the multiplied effect of rampant sinful life must manifest. That is to say we can only ignore the problem for so long. Eventually, the horrible fruits of the initial deeds manifest, to the dismay of those in the dark.
One of the names for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is Govinda. He gives pleasure to the cows and to the senses. For whatever reason, the cows are dear to Him. We can try to understand logically, but then so much about this temporary world is contradictory.
Better to follow the guidelines first and assess the results later. See if society is indeed happier when this loveable animal is protected and not sent to the slaughterhouses. See if the consciousness becomes purified through affection offered to an animal that is a mother in the same way as the human version is.
Of course, there could not be any correction in behavior without someone to offer guidance. This is one of the purposes of the brahmana class. People trained to follow certain behaviors, to exhibit certain qualities, like cleanliness, tolerance, self-control, and knowledge.
शमो दमस् तपः शौचं
क्षान्तिर् आर्जवम् एव च
ज्ञानं विज्ञानम् आस्तिक्यं
śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
“Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness—these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.42)
The properly trained brahmana, the one who is qualified, speaks the truth. Sometimes that is unpalatable. I do not want to hear that my way of life is an illusion, that it will dissipate in the manner of a cloud moving through the sky. I am not favorable to the idea of austerity, control over sense gratification. I certainly might not want to dedicate my life to devotion, to worshiping someone I have been subtly competing with since before I can remember.
Yet it is vital that I hear this information. I should come across it at some time in my life. The message is for my benefit; the acharya is my greatest well-wisher. Their benevolence spans the entire society, from young to old, man to woman, and pious to sinful.
In a time when others may not be receptive, when they denounce anything that challenges their worldview, there is always the option to change hearts and minds through transcendental sound. Catch the attention through sacred mantras, repeated from the realized souls and travelling to those with the potential to escape from the cycle of birth and death: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Immediate doom to spell,
When the real truth to tell.
Though best to be accepted,
As intolerant rejected.
How then the society to save,
When grossly sinful to behave?
Possible to rescue just through sound,
This magic potion from acharya found.