You might be tempted to ask the question, “Since the material world is temporary, why bother worrying about sustainability at all?” It’s a worthy question that deserves a measured response. Here’s our reply.
Embedded within the rich and majestic culture and philosophy of Krishna-bhakti are the seed mantras to blow open the doors of real sustainability. Why? Because real sustainability is about using the resources of material nature to get out of the material entanglement once and forever. Srila Prabhupada’s books are a wake up call meant to arouse spirited action to defend and protect Lord Krishna’s creation.
Beyond the realm of compost piles, worm castings and root cellars is the exciting realm of Krishna conscious outreach. True sustainability is about the soul’s embarrassing predicament, not about basking in the illusory light of temporary goodness.
Devotees are uniquely postured to define sustainability through the lens of transcendence, thanks to Srila Prabhupada’s acutely comprehensive teachings. Below you’ll find a partial checklist of cutting edge topics that revolutionize the conversation.
Because our approach to sustainability recognizes the futility of trying to make a permanent home in a temporary place, we are the real permaculture movement. Permaculture is a distraction unless it evolves into prema-culture.
The world’s oldest continuously existing culture is India (Vedic culture). India is home to over sixty million small-scale farmers, and therefore shelters the oldest farming model and dietary regimen on Earth.
We offer a definitive explanation of cause and effect, not rambling, hodgepodge personal opinions about why “stuff” happens. To make a clear karmic case for the consequences of indiscriminate eating or the plundering of natural resources is to assign responsibility to the individual (personal karma), the leaders of society (accelerated karma for politicians) and collective karma for the society as a whole.
Beyond Secular Vegetarianism
Although becoming a strict vegetarian is uplifting, the activity that connects eating to spiritual advancement is eating sanctified foods. Pigeons, Srila Prabhupada noted, are also vegetarians. Learning about prasadam is attractive to people who are looking beyond the temporary goal of maintaining a healthy body.
Balancing Male and Female Energy
The Absolute Truth includes the perfection of the male and female qualities as embodied in the Divine Loving Couple, Radha and Krishna. Popular conceptions about “Goddess worship” and bio-regional consciousness” find completion in connection with Lord Krishna’s position as the seed-giving father.
Vegan and Animal Rights Fact Check
The rationale for saving animals from abuse and slaughter is meritorious. Not eating any food that is a byproduct of exploitation is also praiseworthy. Making the case, however, that animals should not be engaged as co-authors in food production is an elitist, urban-centered philosophy reserved for those wealthy enough to shop at Whole Foods (a.k.a. Whole Paycheck). Indigenous cultures worldwide value the animals — especially the cows and bulls — as the ecological cornerstone of a sustainable village life. Vegan philosophy flies in the face of historical and practical farming reality — a fact realizable to those who grow what they eat and eat what they grow.
Srīmad Bhāgavatam unveils the big picture of how the universe works, including colossal events that rocked the three planetary systems. Topics like puranic (cyclic) time vs. linear time are game changers because they debunk misconceptions about the age of the earth or the idea that mankind is, by nature, a greedy, flesh-eating competitor. Universal scale environmental calamities, such as the earth’s plunge into the Garbodaka Ocean at the hands of Hiraṇyākṣa, provide a theistic counterbalance to Darwinian mythology.
Bad Karma is Not Sustainable
The real meaning of sustainability — using Lord Krishna’s creation in His service — has been hijacked by the meat-eating class. They think they “own” the definition because they raise and then slaughter animals using sustainable methods. There’s nothing “sustainable” about accruing bad karma. Is there anything more unsustainable than losing the human form of life? We need to reframe the discussion.
Eager for Interfaith Dialogue
When presented decisively, the Krishna conscious approach to sustainability resonates with practitioners of other religious and spiritual traditions. Learning to speak the language of shared spiritual values opens up doors and hearts.