Sunday, April 15, 2012


HUNTING TRIP SPARKS IRE AT HOME - Spain’s 74-year-old king came under scathing criticism for going on an expensive elephant hunting trip in Botswana amid the nation’s deep financial woes. Making matters worse, an accident on the trip sent King Juan Carlos into surgery. Doctors said he was recovering well after a hip replacement but would not be able to resume full duties for more than a month.  His son, 44-year-old Prince Felipe, was nominated to fill in for his father, who Spain’s government relies on to patch up diplomatic disputes, boost international trade and serve as the country’s high-profile liaison. Tomas Gomez, Socialist leader, said the time had come for the head of state to choose between his public responsibilities “and an abdication that would allow him to enjoy a different lifestyle.” Spanish newspapers were filled with accounts of how hunting trips to Botswana, where Juan Carlos fell, cost more than most Spaniards earn in a year.

El Mundo said the king had not told Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government of his trip abroad until after the accident. El Pais, Spain’s leading newspaper, said the cost to arrange a hunting trip in Botswana to kill an elephant usually comes in at €44,000 ($57,850), about twice the country’s average annual salary. Spain is currently perceived as the weakest link in the 17-nation eurozone, and many investors fear it could become the next country to seek an international bailout. Unemployment stands at nearly 23 % - nearly 50 % for young workers - and Spain is expected to slide into its second recession in three years soon.  The royal family has been under close media scrutiny due to a judicial probe into whether Princess Cristina’s husband, Inaki Urdangarin, used his position to secure lucrative deals for a non-profit foundation he ran, and then fraudulently diverted some of the money for personal benefit.

Spanish King Juan Carlos has had emergency surgery to replace his hip after he fractured it in a fall in Botswana (African country) where he had been hunting elephants for four days.  It is said that king had shown "a lack of ethics" by going to hunt big game as many young Spaniards faced unemployment. In 2006, a Russian governor launched an inquiry because Juan Carlos - due to his love of hunting - had shot and killed a bear while on holiday near Moscow. By the way, his future destiny will not be very nice.

“If in this life a man of the higher classes [brāhmana, kshatriya and vaiśya] is very fond of taking his pet dogs, mules or asses into the forest to hunt and kill animals unnecessarily, he is placed after death into the hell known as Prānarodha.  There the assistants of Yamarāja make him their targets and pierce him with arrows.”  (SB 5.26.24)  In the Western countries especially, aristocrats keep dogs and horses to hunt animals in the forest.  Whether in the West or the East, aristocratic men in the Kali-yuga adopt the fashion of going to the forest and unnecessarily killing animals. Men of the higher classes (the brāhmanas, kshatriyas and vaiśyas) should cultivate knowledge of Brahman, and they should also give the śūdras a chance to come to that platform. If instead they indulge in hunting, they are punished as described in this verse.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam - Canto 5: “The Creative Impetus”
Chapter 26: “A Description of the Hellish Planets”
Verse 24 - Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

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