|Canto 4: Creation of the Fourth Order||Chapter 18: Pṛthu Mahārāja Milks the Earth Planet|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.18.7
corī-bhūte 'tha loke 'haḿ
yajñārthe 'grasam oṣadhīḥ
apālitā — without being taken care of; anādṛtā — being neglected; ca — also; bhavadbhiḥ — like your good self; loka-pālakaiḥ — by the governors or kings; corī-bhūte — being beset by thieves; atha — therefore; loke — this world; aham — I; yajña-arthe — for the purpose of performing sacrifices; agrasam — have hidden; oṣadhīḥ — all the herbs and grains.
My dear King, not only are grains and herbs being used by nondevotees, but, as far as I am concerned, I am not being properly maintained. Indeed, I am being neglected by kings who are not punishing these rascals who have turned into thieves by using grains for sense gratification. Consequently I have hidden all these seeds, which were meant for the performance of sacrifice.
That which happened during the time of Pṛthu Mahārāja and his father, King Vena, is also happening at this present moment. A huge arrangement exists for the production of large-scale industrial and agricultural products, but all these products are meant for sense gratification. Therefore despite such productive capacities there is scarcity because the world's population is full of thieves. The word corī-bhūte indicates that the population has turned to thievery. According to Vedic understanding, men are transformed into thieves when they plan economic development for sense gratification. It is also explained in Bhagavad-gītā that if one eats food grains without offering them to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Yajña, he is a thief and liable to be punished. According to spiritual communism, all properties on the surface of the globe belong to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The population has a right to use goods only after offering them to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the process of accepting prasāda. Unless one eats prasāda, he is certainly a thief. It is the duty of governors and kings to punish such thieves and maintain the world nicely. If this is not done, grains will no longer be produced, and people will simply starve. Indeed, not only will people be obliged to eat less, but they will kill one another and eat each other's flesh. They are already killing animals for flesh, so when there will no longer be grains, vegetables and fruits, they will kill their own sons and fathers and eat their flesh for sustenance.
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness