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Explanations of why the world works as it does . . .

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Spiritual Economics



June 12th, 2009

Please look at  my  other blog http://spiritual-econ.blogspot.com; www.spiritual-econ.info; and www.varnashrama.org.ua (Russian language) for more posts and information. 

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Book Review

An Economic Eyeopener, A Spiritual Masterpiece

A review of HG Dhanesvara Das’s “Lessons in Spiritual Economics from the Bhagavad-gita – Part 1 – Understanding and Solving the Economic Problem” by Chaitanya Charan Das.

Srila Prabhupada once told Satsvarupa Maharaja to write a book showing how all the problems of the world can be solved only by Krishna consciousness. Satsvarupa Maharaj eventually wrote an illuminating small book, The Daily News: All Things Fail Without Krishna, in which he analyzed various news stories to show how the problems therein arise from a lack of Krishna consciousness. In the foreword of that book, Maharaj stated how this instruction of Srila Prabhupada is a huge mandate, which will require enormous research and effort to fulfill.

Dhanesvara’s Spiritual Economics book fulfills Srila Prabhupada's instruction in the somewhat unlikely (from the perspective of what is ordinarily thought of as spiritual) field of economics through its comprehensive research, penetrating analysis, scriptural and unambiguously devotional call to action.

Spiritual Economics marks a historic leap forward in the scholarly preaching of Krishna consciousness. In what is probably the first time in modern world history, the concept of the three modes is applied to analyze various economic systems throughout human history as being either in goodness, passion or ignorance. This analysis, presented in chapters three, four and five, of the book, constitutes the heart of the book - and
gives us an endearing glimpse into the dedicated heart of Dhanesvara Prabhu.

Spiritual Economics is simultaneously enlivening and disturbing. It is immensely enlivening to see the principles of Krishna consciousness, which we are all dedicated to practicing and preaching, presented so expertly, comprehensively and cogently in a field that has not been done, or even attempted (to my knowledge), by any devotee till date. For the intellectual rigor and spiritual vigor that Dhanesvara Prabhu brings to work in this book, he deserves a place among the likes of Sadaputa Prabhu, Drutakarma Prabhu, Satyaraja Prabhu, Garuda Prabhu and Devamrita M, who have all brought laurels for Srila Prabhupada by their scholarly writings.

At the same time, Spiritual Economics is profoundly disturbing; it documents in scary and gory detail the extent to which the exploitative and destructive mentality, characteristic of the mode of ignorance, has gripped the whole world - especially including the economic big shots. This contemporary research powerfully demonstrates Srila Prabhupada's statement that the world is being ruled by the demonic and drives home the crying necessity to vigorously preach Krishna consciousness. Spiritual Economics concludes that the solution to the prevailing global economic (and social) mess is to raise our consciousness individually and collectively through chanting the mahamantra and building a God-centered economy.

To fully solve the economic problem we must understand Krishna’s instructions for a spiritual culture. This focuses on the unfinished second-half of Srila Prabhupada's mission -- establishing working models of varnashrama dharma, with economics in the mode of goodness. This will be elaborately explained in Part II of the work.

Being myself an author of several books, I am impressed, even astounded, by the exhaustiveness of the research that has gone into making this book. Dhanesvara Prabhu has toiled for more than two decades, pouring over hundreds of books, to gift all of us - and the whole world at large – this ripe fruit of his devotional intellect. In the true spirit of the gifting economy that he advocates, he has made his book freely available to all in electronic form from here: http://tinyurl.com/oyh5ky. The book should soon be available in print from www.lulu.com.

Dhanesvara Prabhu deserves great credit for painstaking scrupulousness in study and unflinching faithfulness in preaching. By applying the principles of Krishna consciousness that Srila Prabhupada brought to the world and that Dhanesvara Prabhu powerfully presents in this book, we can all do our respective parts, small or great, in assisting Srila Prabhupada's mission to save the world from its present suicidal course.

Spiritual Economics is Available Online

The first volume of my book on Spiritual Economics -- "Lessons in Spiritual Economics from the Bhagavad-gita - Part I - Understanding and Solving the Economic Problem" is finished and available as a pdf ebook (from here tinyurl.com/oyh5ky). Actually the book was finished almost a year ago -- last August -- then the economic crisis hit and I thought that I would add something about that. That was a bad decision. As you may recall, the crisis dragged on for months. During that time there was lots to read and muse on.

Finally in January I had written another entire chapter, more than 35 pages, but there was a problem. I couldn't use it. The conclusions were sinister and would bring a mood to the book that I didn't want. But in the process I had the opportunity to massage the the last chapter further and am much happier about it.

In the book I list this livejournal account as my blog
, and therefore I am motivated to put some attention here. If you look further you will see that I have not been very active in blogging. Well, this may change, because since I have finished the book there are almost innumerable things to comment on in relationship to the ideas presented there. Many of these could be book length, so maybe not too appropriate for a blog. In that case I will get them loaded onto my website, which is www.spiritual-econ.info, and use this blog as an introduction. BTW, that is where you can look for that chapter that didn't make it. The title is "Economic Chernobyl - The Economic Crisis of 2008".

December 25th, 2007

My, it’s been over a year since I’ve posted anything here! My how time flies. Well, this blog was originally began to keep my family members aware of some of my activities since I crossed the pond and have been way out of touch physically. However, things are changing and progress is being realized! There are more to speak to than that close circle of friends and family and hence we are picking up the blog again, although not quite where we left off. New chapter, so to speak. The old stuff will be off of the main page and connected by a link, if I can figure out how to do that, and we begin the new chapter from the 7th of December here in 2007.

Let me begin here with a recap of my recent trips to Poltava and Kharkov. Poltava is a city of great historical interest in Ukraine. A major battle was waged here against Peter “the Great” of Russia but Peter won, conquering a significant chunk of Ukraine. In the present day it is a fairly large city with some 1.5 million people. A nice city overall, for what I saw of it, which is not usually much. I do get to see some parts of the city as we drive
through it on the way to preaching engagements. That’s about all there is time for.

On the first day here I spoke at a philosophical club that has been set up by some devotees. Could you find a philosophical club somewhere in the States and outside of a university? Yea, right. Fat chance. But, many people over here actually think. Imagine that. Not enough TV (yet). Such things are typically fairly well attended with members numbering about 50 to over 100 in the larger clubs, in Kiev for example. I’ve been to at least four of them, and even one that isn’t organized by devotees. Tonight there were about 50 in attendance, about half of them
devotees. Guess what I spoke about? You’re right, Spiritual Economics.

BUT, I did it in a very different manner. I have a standard series of lectures that I generally give to devotees on the subject of Spiritual Economics, but since there were so many not-yet-devotees here I took a very different route. Beginning with modern economic problems I explained how they arise, weaving my way to the Bhagavad-gita at the end of the lecture. It was a great lecture if I do say so myself. I know when it’s good from the body language – I have lots of eye contact, and from the number of questions, which are typically many. The reason is that I
challenge people’s assumptions of what they think is true, and there’s a lot to challenge there, let me tell ya.

The fact is that almost all of the main underpinnings of the dominant culture are false! The assumption is of course, that they are real, but for the vast majority of people these are almost completely unexamined assumptions. Or rather fictions that we create and try to impose upon vast numbers of people as though they were reality. That is why there are so many problems today – people are trying to live according to illusion! Well, you can’t keep that up for very long without going crazy, and that’s what is happening. They begin pill-popping at an early age in order to cope. More than ten percent of American children take Ritalin daily, and of course this is normal
way of living according to mom and dad because they are popping prozac and paxil too. What to speak of Budweiser & the Winston Cup, all manners of spectator sports, and other varieties of vicarious living.

What illusions are we talking about? The most obvious one is that we are this body. Well, if that’s the case then tell me, what is the difference between a live body and a dead one? Go to the hospital and watch someone die. You will notice a BIG change. The body no longer moves, speaks, breathes, etc. and all the cells are right there that were there just a second ago. But something else is missing. What is that? The person who was operating the body. That’s the soul. You are a soul also. The idea that we are the body is only an illusion. And it calls into question the idea that we can find real happiness by giving things to the body, such as nice food, sex, entertainment, etc. None of those things can feed the soul, and if your soul isn’t properly fed then you won’t be happy no matter how
much you have, taste, do, etc. Those are only activities of the body.

There’s lots more illusions. How about money? Take some out of your pocket and check it out. What do you see? Dollars? Pound sterling? Euros? Well, it’s those things but it’s also something else. It’s paper. It’s only paper!!! It’s not much different than the newspaper that you read and throw away after one use. The newspaper hasn’t any lasting value but the currency does. Why? Because we give it value. You and I. We all play this game where we exchange things of real value for paper! We’ve been conned by some very clever people. They are so clever because they can print the paper but you cannot. They print lots of paper and buy all the world, and the housing and the stocks, etc. But if you try to print that paper they will put you in jail. You have to work for it. Or steal, or be bribed, or cheat, or do terrible things, etc., it doesn’t seem to matter to people any more how they get their paper, as long as they get it. And here’s the kicker. They steal even more from you by changing the value of that paper without your even being aware (so-called inflation). That’s why things keep getting more expensive. Things aren’t becoming more expensive, it’s only the value of your paper is becoming worth LESS. And people are
chasing after that paper like there’s no tomorrow, and ironically, if they keep doing that there won’t be!

What else? Oh yea, here’s a good one. When I was a kid I had a globe in my room and on that globe all of the countries were divided by lines. This summer as I crossed six international boundaries I was looking for those lines. You know what? They ain’t there! Hoodwinking young people in such a way. They oughta be ashamed. Now this IS A BIG DEAL! It means that there are actually no such things as countries! No! It’s a fiction, an illusion. This side of the line is Germany, and that side is Poland. Well it’s not so, and we know it because they keep moving that line. Similarly, the lines for Palestine, and India, Russia, etc. There is actually no such thing as country.
It’s a fiction (an illusion) that is made up by some people who indoctrinate small children (with the help of their parents) into believing that they are Russian, or American or Canadian, and so on, and so on. And because people believe that they can be convinced to go to war against the enemy of America, or Russia or India. “We Americans are great!” “No, we Russians are great!” “No, we French are great!” Sorry, you all have it wrong – we are spiritual beings who have nothing to do with this body, nor the place where it happens to be born. I think the NWO crowd will love me for that one, because they want to eliminate the idea of nations so that they can make a one world government. (Did you ever notice how they don’t call them countries any more, but only states? Yep, pay attention and you will see it everywhere. Those old countries are now only states of a one world government.) But waida minute – aren’t they the same guys that gave us countries to begin with? Yea, after the amajor wars. Before that there were only kingdoms and fiefdoms. Now after they convinced everyone that they are Americ, Canadi, Russi, Indi----ans, they want to change it again. Sheesh. Well why don’t they use my argument that there are no such things as countries—there is only the Earth! Fat chance, that. 

Need some more examples? Here’s another whopper – private property! (Ameri— will hate that one, but the communists will love it—although in the context they both think in they are both wrong). Yea, private property. Private property means that you own it and nobody else does, right? You have exclusive title to that item, be it your car, your house, your land. But let me ask you this: who “owned” that land before you got it? And who is going to “own” that land after you die? Not you. What is ownership then? It’s another fiction! You’re born here and live for some time, then you die. You come with nothing and leave with nothing, but in between you want to claim that you “own” something? Psst, friend, I’ve gotta tip for ya – it’s another illusion. Who owns everything then? God. He made this world and everything in it, including that body you are wearing. It’s all His, and He gave this place for us to use according to our need. And let me tell you, nobody’s need is in the billions. All that money that everyone thinks they also “own” is also a clever way of stealing from God, and if you want to continue to do that you are going to have to pay the piper down the road. Take a tip from a friend – it doesn’t belong to you. None of it. So just use what you need and be content with that. Believe me you will be happier in the long run. (for more details on these issues please read my just-now-coming book on Spiritual Economics titled Demonstrations of Love due out in February

Ok, one more good one and we’ll move on to other things. Another GRAND illusion that we all accept as real, and which is wreaking havoc all over the planet, is . . . corporations. Now get this. The oligarchs that are running the show want to convince us that something that is just a figment of the imagination is more real than you or I. They call them corporations, and they give them eternal life, and more rights than real people. At the same time they convince us that the subtle entity we are, namely the actually eternal soul, does not exist simply because it can’t be seen. But waida minute – the corporation can’t be seen either! If the corporation can’t be seen but can be real, and eternal, why can’t the soul? Something is fishy here. Moreover, the only purpose of most corporations it seems is to make money for their shareholders. But who are those shareholders? People who already had more money that they need (which is why they could afford to buy shares). So why should a corporation work only to make more money for people who already have too much of it? And, get this, you’re gonna love this, why do all the people who work for the corporation? Because they don’t have enough money (else they would be shareholders/capitalists). Aaand the purpose of their job is to make more money for those who already have too much of it! Sucka. What do they work for? Small scraps of that paper that the big shareholders fooled them into thinking has value! They give their valuable time—40, 50, 60 hours a week and in exchange they get paper. What a game they got going. And unfortunately, all the people fall for it! Hey! Wakeup knucklehead! You are an eternal soul. Use your valuable time for something eternally valuable, not for some paper whose value diminishes by the day. (BTW, here’s a hot tip for those who play the illusion game – dump your dollars and buy euros. The fiction called the dollar is going to be made to tank so that they can replace it with another con called the

That was fun. The next day we went to meet Iryna Markina, the Vice-rector in Science Affairs at the Poltava University of Consumer Cooperatives. She is also a doctor in economic science. (a doctor here is much higher than an American Ph.D.) She was curious about the idea of a spiritual economics which seemed like an oxymoron to her. Not so when we parted though. I explained that spiritual economics is God’s economics, based on reality, not illusions, where the returns are not just large, but also eternal. Even on the mundane plane we should note how generous God is with His economics. What kind of return do you get at the bank these days? Five percent? Ten percent would be good, wouldn’t it? Gambling in the stock market might get you more, but you might also go bust.

What is the return in Krishna’s economy? Well, if you plant wheat you will typically get about 4,500% return. If you plant rice you get somewhere in the neighborhood of 11,000%. Corn will get you a whopping 100,000%! But better than that is apples, peaches, plums and other fruits. The return there is unlimited. And it’s all based on a
reality of actual wealth that is practical and useful.

Aferwards we hurried to an interview with the editor of the Poltava “Evening News” with a circulation of some 40,000. She is going to write an article about this American in Ukraine who is going around speaking about something called Spiritual Economics. The next day we spoke with the Vice-rector of the Poltava Agricultural College, explaining to him our Gitograd project which is an economic-friendly example of how to live in this world, doing all agriculture only for food instead of for that illusory paper. By this method one is less likely to want to exploit the earth, squeezing production out of her at the expense of the health of the topsoil. Ukraine has the richest, blackest topsoil in the world, in some places meters deep, but it is becoming spoiled by modern farming methods. How to save the topsoil
was of interest to this man, but he had difficulty with removing the profit motive. Oh well. We’ll keep trying.

Over the next several days we had the pleasure of speaking with the devotees on several occasions, before moving on to Kharkov. In Harkov we met with the publisher of another newspaper. Our mutual friend has been visiting him and patiently preaching to him for more than six years. We had a nice exchange regarding current events on the world scene and the spiritual basis of those events. The conclusion was that in order to save the situation (and the
world) people must take up the chanting of the holy names of God.

That’s enough for one post. In the next post I will describe our invitation to speak to some of the leaders of
Ukraine as well as our invitation to begin teaching courses in Vaishnavism at a university in Donetsk.
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