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Part 5 – ISKCON enters politics

At the meeting, Prabhupada asks Balavanta, "So, do you like our philosophy?"

"Yes, Srila Prabhupada."

"You like to preach this philosophy?" "Yes, Prabhupada."

"Then you must learn this philosophy."

When Prabhupada flies to Los Angeles the next day, Balavanta accompanies him. On the plane they formulate an idea for the "In God we Trust Party" to run for political posts. Srila Prabhupada sees Balavanta's endeavor as a good opportunity for preaching. ISKCON could get a lot of exposure and be taken seriously. This preaching program can reach a different class of people than students and hippies. As a result, a lot of devotees now want to get involved. Prabhupada continues instructing how to do this kind of preaching.

As for political speaking, first of all, don't go so much into the details of the affairs. Our message is that people should elect pure God conscious leaders, that is our main statement. We cannot go into details. As a side touch you can speak on inflation. Yes, inflation is due to paper currency.

As for land ownership, in the Vedic civilization the land was given to the people for cultivation not for ownership, and a tax was collected which was 25% of the person's income. The land belonged to the state and the man would cultivate it and pay 25% to the state. If he has no income then he doesn't have to pay. If he doesn't pay tax he may be disowned of the land. One cannot get land from the government unless he agrees to produce something and if everyone produces food then there is no scarcity. At least he has his own food produced by himself. Now people are educated as sudras. They are going to work to produce what is not urgently needed by society.

The actual social structure should be that the first intelligent class, the brahmanas should be for studying and educating people for God Consciousness. They are the gurus of all other classes. They second class, the ksatriyas give protection from dangers and they can distribute the land. The third class vaisyas are for producing. So after the first, second and third class, the remaining should help the upper three classes, then everyone will be employed.

As for speaking this knowledge effectively, that requires a little experience. The more you are experienced then you will be able to give examples.

Your work in America with the In God We Trust Party is very inspiring to me. If anywhere they will take seriously the principles of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, that will be America. We are getting good response and being taken seriously as I have seen in the reports from Amarendra there is even prospect that we may capture some post. I have written a letter to Rupanuga Maharaja and you may get information from him on the importance of our men themselves following the brahminical regulative principles, lest in the midst of political work you forget the aim of life which is to remember Krishna. So go on as you are doing enthusiastically and give me information. [Letter to Balavanta – April 28, 1972]

Reference: Radha Damodara Vilasa II - Vaiyasaki Dasa