(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 01 April 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, Evening Lecture)
We may think, “What about my security? I need some security; like a little money in the bank, a credit card maybe. You know, just in case, something happens. Need to be prepared. What about my security?”
But a vaisnava’s security is his goodwill; his goodwill with the people. That is the best security because goodwill goes much further than the bank. You know, the banks may say, “Well, sorry!” If you have maybe 150 000 and the bill is 160 000. The bank is not paying the extra 10 000. No way! But goodwill, oh, goodwill can pay anything. Yes!
“A million? Alright, what to do. We’ll pay.” Goodwill is like that because goodwill has a heart and the bank has no heart; that’s for sure. The bank is just cold, making profit and impersonal. So what kind of security is that?
You know, plastic! Plastic money, plastic card and one day, there might be no money in the bank! It happened already, in some places there was no money in the bank. People went to the bank to take their money and the bank had no money. What do you do? Put your money in the bank all this time and when you want to take it out, it’s not there! So what kind of guarantee is that? But goodwill will never be depleted. So this is really how the vaisnava community functions, away from this artificial society which is based on impersonal security.
Insurance!? Previously, again goodwill was the insurance. When relationships were there, that was the insurance. It still works for many people in the world. The family is your insurance and life was going on as much it is going on now. It is not like, “Oh my God, before we invented insurance, life was so terrible. People were dropping dead like flies, left and right! Serious! Imagine – they were depending on their friends and family and maybe even on the village! That must have been terrible!” No, it worked fine! It helped also to have good relationships.
In countries where the government took over – an interesting country is Sweden because it has a very socially supportive structure, a socialistic structure actually. Basically the idea is the state takes care of everything. So family is something that is really not relevant. You rely on the state and not on your family. Therefore people don’t really want families.They want to minimize families – less family and more state; everything comes from the state. It’s interesting how it really works like that. The state is very benevolent, gentle and always provides. No problem! Everything provided by the state. But you know, everything is impersonal, very impersonal in such a condition.
In a family situation, everything depends on relationships. So vaisnavism depends on that, depends on service, depends on giving people something valuable, giving them valuable knowledge so that they become indebted. Giving them valuable support, giving answers, real answers… It works, there is no difficulty at all in maintaining in such an environment and yes, that is how the world should be. The world should not depend on an artificial, global economy and so on. No need for families to be spread out over six countries; every family is sort of going that way these days. A relative in one corner, a relative in another corner. What a weird world? Strange!
Just a village – everyone in the village and then, it all is simple because there are relationships and relationships become important. It’s like when you live in a city, it doesn’t really matter because people are just faces. You don’t know them. There are all these faces of people you don’t know. So it’s just endless faces, meaningless faces. But living in the village, you know everybody and well, you have to live with them, so you, you know, you better invest in the relationships so that it works. So that is actually the natural way of life.