1. Disadvantages of modern civilization

    This morning our scientist, Svarupa Damodara, was speaking about an article: the scientists are very much busy that the source of supply is being decreased. Just like petroleum. Petroleum, gas, that is diminishing. Now, whole modern materialistic civilization is depending on the motorcars and aeroplanes, transportation. So if the petroleum supply is stopped, then what will be the condition of the society?

    Formerly there was no need of going to see a friend thirty miles away, because every friend was within the village. Now, because we have got motorcar, we create friendship with a man who lives fifty miles away. We accept a job fifty miles away. In Hawaii our Gaurasundara was going to attend office fifty miles off.

    In big, big cities like New York, Calcutta, we have seen people are coming to attend their office from hundred miles off. I have seen also in England. Many workers or gentlemen, they are coming from Glasgow to London for working, by aeroplane. So we have created a civilization that… We have created a facility for transport by motorcar or by aeroplane, but side by side, we have created another difficulty, that a man has to go to his work three hundred miles away. Side by side.

    Formerly, a man used to work on his field, a few steps from his house. Now we have created facility of transport; therefore we have to go to work three hundred miles away from home. This is the position. But they have no brain. They’re thinking they’re advancing. (chuckles) Advancing in this way, that for my livelihood I have to go three hundred miles, three hours at least, not less than three hours. Or six hours I have to spoil. Then I can go to my office. Then I work there whole day, and again come, again six hours. Then I come at night to sleep along with my family for three hours. Yes. This is our facility.  . . .

    So we are advancing in science, but at the same time, the so-called science, we are creating many disadvantages. Many disadvantages. From practical experience I say that when I came to your country… In India it is very difficult to get a telephone. You have to wait in the waiting list at least for two years or you have to bribe the authorities, say, five thousand, two thousand, like that. So when I got this facility of telephone… Because as soon as I deposited forty dollars, the next day the telephone was in my room. So I was very glad. But after getting my telephone, I was disturbed always. (laughter) Some of my students asking, phoning me, (telephone sound) cling, cling, and Swamiji, how you are feeling? At twelve o’clock at night. (laughter). Yes. So I asked him, it is the time to inquire? I am very sorry. Not only one, I become so much disturbed. Then I asked them, get out this telephone. Yes.

    So try to understand. The so-called facility of the modern science means creating so many difficulties also.

    From Srila Prabhupada’s lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.10 — Los Angeles, September 16, 1972