The Vedic scriptures prescribe a way of life giving everyone in society a chance to gradually advance to the spiritual platform. It is not a sentimental system. Sometimes people say they want peace, they want love, they want to eradicate violence altogether, but these ideas cannot be completely achieved here in the material world, this world is constructed in a different way. Therefore the Vedic scriptures clearly indicate that violence is required to keep the thieves and criminals in order. In every society there are different classes of people, so in every society there is a class of rogues and thieves who are always looking for opportunities to engage in their nefarious activities. This means if the king or government is not strong the rogues and thieves have a very wide field of activities. We can see this is the case at the moment, practically speaking the government and the police can't control the rogues and thieves, they are not even trying, they are happy to give some parking tickets or some speeding fines but when it comes to real criminals it is very difficult for them, they can't solve this problem. So why is it? What's happening in this situation?
This world is a place of suffering, duhkhalayam asasvatam (Bg.8.15). Here, in the material world we take birth again and again… after death we again have to take birth. This is the nature of the material world, however, one who is not clear in mind, one who is not situated in the mode of goodness, can't see this reality. The reality of the material world is suffering whereas the reality of the spiritual world is transcendental bliss.
We can see many things here in the material world that give us an idea of the spiritual world, because this material world is a perverted reflection of the spiritual world. We see things here and these things have their origin in the spiritual world. For example if I see a beautiful lake with swans and lotus flowers, I can understand the same type of lake is in the spiritual world. Instead of being constructed of the material energy it's constructed from the spiritual energy, sat-cit-ananda, eternality, knowledge and bliss. This is diametrically opposed to the material world. The lake and the bodily construction of the swans in material world is made from the material elements, bhumir apo 'analo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca (Bhagavad-gita.7.4). This verse describes the material energy as consisting of different elements: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego. These material energies cover things in the material world, but the original form is copied from the spiritual world.
Although we see forms in the material world they don't have any real substance because they are only combinations of matter. The form is a replica of a real, eternal, transcendental and blissful spiritual form present in the spiritual world with Krishna. What we see here is more or less a facsimile of the spiritual world, but it doesn't have the same quality as the spiritual world. An example is we can see the reflection of a tree in the water, if the tree has many fruits these fruits will also be reflected in the water and appear to be real but the fruits cannot be obtained from the reflection of the tree, they can only be obtained from the actual tree. Similarly, in the material world, we see so many enjoyable things but they are of the same nature as the reflected tree in the water. These enjoyable things cannot actually be tasted by us because the enjoyable substance is in the spiritual world and we are only seeing a perverted reflection of that original enjoyable substance.
Nowadays if somebody presents the idea that violence is necessary for the upkeep of the social structure it will be met with opposition from sentimental people. They have many ideas of a world with love and flowers, that was the 'hippy' era, but such a thing is not really possible here in the material world. Of course that world full of love does exist, it is the spiritual world. In the spiritual world everybody is a devotee and everybody is serving Krishna. There is real harmony because there is only one goal, everybody is working for the pleasure of Krishna.
The nature of the spiritual world is very nice but here, in the material world, we have a different situation. Here we all have our own independent desires, we have our own independent goals, whereas in the spiritual world everybody's goal is to serve Krishna. They may be serving Krishna in different ways, somebody might be fanning Krishna, somebody playing with Him, somebody acting as His mother and so on. These activities are going on, everybody is serving Krishna in their different constitutional positions, but the goal is one, the goal is to please Krishna.
In the material world, however, everyone is trying to please himself. Whatever is necessary, it may be on the very gross platform, he may simply be looking for sex life or food, or it may be quite subtle. He may be an intellectual looking for intellectual satisfaction or stimulation. Even further on if someone comes to the spiritual platform, even if he is a transcendentalist, he may still be looking for some personal satisfaction.
Often people approach God or some spiritual path for the purpose of liberation. They have understood this world is a suffering place and they want to get out therefore they practice some form of spiritual life to become liberated from the material world. This is still basically sense gratification, they are working for themselves.
The point is unless there is a common goal, unless everybody can work for the same thing how can there be any sort of real cooperation or real peace? These things are impossible because if I have my personal goals to satisfy my senses and you have your goals to satisfy your senses and the other man, he has his goal, then we can work together in a very limited way. We can work together while all three of us have our senses satisfied. This makes relationships very temporary, very transient in this material world because there is no common goal. I'm working for my sense satisfaction, you're working for you're sense satisfaction, it just so happens that we have to work together in some big organization, some big company. So I'll put up with you and you will put up with me because I'm getting what I want and you're getting what you want, but as soon as there is some little disruption there are so many problems, so much fighting, so many quarrels. That is why this age is called Kali Yuga, because this sense of 'mine' and my sense satisfaction is so strong, unbelievably strong.
The only possibility for a peaceful, happy world full of love is through Krishna consciousness. The potency of Krishna consciousness is such that it can spiritualise even the material world. Although this matter is the inferior energy of Krishna if it is used in the service of Krishna it becomes spiritual. The example is if you take an iron bar and heat it in the fire until it is red-hot, the iron bar takes on all the qualities of fire. If you put the red-hot iron bar on anything it will burn, it will act exactly like fire. This is possible because by association with the fire the iron bar has taken on the qualities of the fire. This association is very powerful. By spiritual association things which are material can be transformed into spiritual. The purpose of this Krishna consciousness movement is to give everyone the chance to associate with Krishna through hearing His holy name, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, to give everyone the chance to taste prasadam, the remnants of foodstuffs first offered to Krishna and to distribute literature about Krishna. If people's minds can be turned from the material energy to the spiritual energy then even this world can be transformed to a spiritual world full of love and peace.