[From an email dated 27 November 2013 addressed to a group of devotees discussing the agenda for an upcoming meeting on various varnasrama and gurukula projects. Subsequently Sri Bhakti Vikasa Maharaja addresses these points in a lecture titled Varnasrama: The Big Picture.]
Dear Maharaja, and Prabhus, please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I feel it is important to start out with a big-picture vision because it gives direction to the small-scale, practical local efforts. To this end, these are some brief thoughts of mine with regard to the “big picture” of gurukula education and varnasrama projects. I do not claim they are infallible but offer them up only as points to consider.
Your servant, Krishna-kirti das
Some points on the establishment of Varnasrama civilization
- The form of a future varnasrama civilization follows from the simple fact that the present state and direction of modern science and technology confer upon its bearers a decisive military advantage. Present and future conflicts throughout the world will not be fought with chariots, bows and arrows but with machine guns, tanks, planes, and nuclear missiles. Protecting and advancing the spiritual, agrarian culture of varnasrama for the foreseeable future therefore necessarily requires the co-advancement of science, technology, and industry.
- The economy of a future varnasrama civilization at best must necessarily be a hybrid of agrarian, industrial, and knowledge-based technical economies.
- The system of education for such a society must necessarily teach all subjects required for both spiritual and material advancement.
- The social structure of a varnasrama civilization depends upon the avoidance of creating varnasankara, unwanted population, and the creation of good population, which has a temperament better suited to making spiritual advancement.
- Society must be stratified according to varnasrama divisions with the primary, societal aim of regulating sexual reproduction.
- Varnasrama principles to this end must be inculcated as far as possible for both rural and urban subpopulations.
- To maintain such a civilization, it is imperative to create and perpetuate a class of brahmanas who can preside over all of the most important knowledge-areas of society—be they humanistic or technical—in order to maintain the spiritual focus of society.
- To establish a modern varnasrama civilization, a class of brahmana preachers must be established to wage a “culture war” against all opposing doctrines and opposing social institutions and their champions.
- Founded by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is the present, and historic, institution to promote and lead the effort of reestablishing the spiritual direction of human society.
- To preserve ISKCON’s purpose and mission, which is Srila Prabhupada’s purpose and mission, there is an immediate need to train brahmana preachers to defend ISKCON against opposing impersonal and voidist doctrines and advance Vedic civilization.
- Such training will be the basis of a “Counter-reformation” within ISKCON.
- This training will be instrumental not only in protecting and strengthening ISKCON against opposing cultural influences but will be useful in meeting the organization’s preaching objectives.
- The first doctrines that must be opposed are those that are popular within
- Society at large and which have become influential within ISKCON.
- Dominant perspectives in the social and psychological sciences and which have been advanced within ISKCON by those with advanced degrees in these areas.
- Varnasrama will be the social doctrine that will be advanced in opposition to all other social doctrines presently advanced within and outside of ISKCON.