Today, in society, there is an emergency situation. The bottom line for civilization to be considered civilized is that they should at least follow varnashama system, and of course the perfection of civilization is when they are actually God Conscious, completely. But for both of these purposes Brahmanas are essential. Brahmana is both someone who practices sattvika, very pure living standards, and who is always engaged in instructing others. In this way, the brahmanas, they’re moving independent from the other material activities of the society, simply for the welfare of the people at large.
Actually yesterday on the radio show somebody asked a question, something about, “Are you dependent on society? If it wasn’t for the hard-working people, where would you be?” Something like that. I never got a chance to answer that.
The MC commentator ended the show at that time. Actually the brahmanas they have the right to not work. They have the right to beg or to get their income from the people directly because they are filling a service to the society in general. They are providing spiritual education, they are providing opportunity for people to become God conscious. Of course Srila Prabhupada never liked the idea of simply asking for something and giving nothing in return, therefore he always wanted us, he preferred, if when we ask for something if we can always give something back. Which would be beneficial to that person. In this way, people would not consider that they are not getting anything for what they are giving, or at least that society in general would get back more than whatever they gave. Because they are giving something material, and they are getting something which is priceless, beyond the value of calculation, something which is spiritual, which is eternal.
H.H. Jayapataka Swami Maharaj
1984, 28th May, SB Class, New Orleans @ USA