viprā gāvaś ca vedāś ca
tapaḥ satyaṁ damaḥ śamaḥ
śraddhā dayā titikṣā ca
kratavaś ca hares tanūḥ
viprāḥ—the brāhmaṇas; gāvaḥ ca—and the cows; vedāḥ ca—and the Vedic knowledge; tapaḥ—austerity; satyam—truthfulness; damaḥ—control of the senses; śamaḥ—control of the mind; śraddhā—faith; dayā—mercy; titikṣā—tolerance; ca—also; kratavaḥ ca—as well as sacrifices; hareḥ tanūḥ—are the different parts of the body of Lord Viṣṇu.
The brāhmaṇas, the cows, Vedic knowledge, austerity, truthfulness, control of the mind and senses, faith, mercy, tolerance and sacrifice are the different parts of the body of Lord Viṣṇu, and they are the paraphernalia for a godly civilization.
When we offer our obeisances to the Personality of Godhead, we say:
When Kṛṣṇa comes to establish real perfection in the social order, He personally gives protection to the cows and the brāhmaṇas (go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca). This is His first interest because without protection of the brāhmaṇas and the cows, there can be no human civilization and no question of happy, peaceful life. Asuras, therefore, are always interested in killing the brāhmaṇas and cows. Especially in this age, Kali-yuga, cows are being killed all over the world, and as soon as there is a movement to establish brahminical civilization, people in general rebel. Thus they regard the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement as a form of “brainwashing.” How can such envious persons be happy in their godless civilization? The Supreme Personality of Godhead punishes them by keeping them in darkness, birth after birth, and pushing them lower and lower into wretched conditions of hellish life. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has started a brahminical civilization, but especially when it is introduced in the Western countries, the asuras try to impede it in many ways. Nonetheless, we must push forward this movement tolerantly for the benefit of human society.
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