1. The criterion of civilization

    This attachment, karmanubaddha, for this material world, everyone is busy — we have discussed many times — from morning till late at night, and night also, they are busy. Big, big factories, they are working day and night, one shift, other shift. That has become the criterion of civilization. Formerly it was less, because this ugra-karma… These factories means ugra-karma, unnecessarily severe, hard work. Unnecessarily. We have seen in Detroit, they are manufacturing one Ford, manufacturing Ford, simply wheels of the motorcar. Huge stock wheels. And somebody is manufacturing tire, huge stock of tire, and they are giving estimate: Up till now, so many millions of tire we have manufactured. Well, you know all this. It is in your country. And then there are so many motor parts, there are three thousand small parts. So big, big factories, they are working to manufacture the parts of the motorcar, different parts of the motorcar, day and night working. And ultimately, they are preparing one car, and people are using huge quantity of cars. This is called karmanubaddha, unnecessary, ugra-karma.

    Transportation is required, but we see from Krsna books that the inhabitants of Gokula… There was a meeting headed by Nanda Maharaja's young brother, Upananda, and all the villagers, they assembled together. They discussed that Our Krsna is being repeatedly attacked by the asuras, and it has become very troublesome. So let us leave this place. They are villagers. They thought it wise that Because we are in this village, some of the demons, they are coming and disturbing. So they are villagers… Immediately Nanda Maharaja agreed, All right, let us leave this place. So immediately, they transferred the whole village with their possessions, cloth or something, everything, within one hour. And they transported by the bullock cart to Nandagrama. That means, the idea is the whole village was transferred from one village to another within very short time. So the transport is required, the transport by bullock carts. The bulls are there. They can be used for transport. Or asses can be used for transport. And camels can be used for transport. There are so many animals. So advancement, and big, big kings, royal families, they have got their transport service by keeping elephants and horses. They can get on the back of the horses and get yourself there. So nature's arrangement, God's arrangement is there. Transport is required in the human society, but you can utilize so many animals for your purpose. But at the present moment, ugra-karma. The transport is there, but they have manufactured big, big buses for transport, big, big cars, and the animals, they are now killed and eat. This is civilization. This is civilization. Not to reduce the labor, but increase the labor. Therefore they are called ugra-karma, jagatah hita, and that will create disastrous condition of the human society. This is discussed in Bhagavad-gita.

    From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.10-13 — Vrndavana, November 1, 1976