The Hare Krsna movement founder Srila Prabhupada explains why the theory of overpopulation is completely flawed and nonsensical.
Living entities are part and parcel of God. Suppose God is the big fire and living entities are just like sparks. The sparks, they are also fire. Sparks also, if one spark falls on your body, on your garment, it burns. But it is not as powerful as the big fire. Similarly, God is all-powerful. God is great. We are part and parcel of God. Therefore our greatness is very, very small, infinitesimal. God is great. Therefore He has created so many universes. We cannot account for even one universe. This one universe which we see, the sky, the dome, within that sky, outer space, there are millions and trillions of stars, planets, they're floating, floating in the air. Everyone knows.
We can float one sputnik in the sky, and we take so much credit that we have become very, very great scientist. We don't care for God. This is foolishness. Foolish person will say like that. But one who is intelligent, he knows that God is floating millions and trillions of planets in the sky, and what we have done in that comparison? This is intelligence. So we have become very much proud of our scientific knowledge, and therefore, at the present moment, we defy the existence of God. Sometimes we say that "I have become God now." These are foolish statements. You are nothing in comparison to the intelligence... He's also intelligent. Because we are part and parcel of God, therefore we can study what is God if we simply study ourself. Just like if you study a drop of seawater, if you analyze chemically, you'll find so many chemicals in that drop. So you can understand what is the composition of the sea: the same composition, but in greater quantity. That is the difference between God and ourself. We are small gods, we can say, small gods. Teeny, sample gods. Therefore we are so much proud. But we should not be proud because we should know that all our qualities are taken from God, because we are part and parcel. So originally all these qualities are there in God. And therefore Vedanta-sutra says what is God, what is the Absolute Truth. Athatho brahma-jijnasa. When inquire about God, about the Absolute Truth, the answer is immediately given: janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. The Absolute Truth is that from whom everything comes, everything emanates. So everything is coming from God. He's the original source of all supplies. Now what is our position?
There are innumerable living entities: nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam [Katha Upanisad 2.2.13]. [The Supreme Lord is eternal and the living beings are eternal. The Supreme Lord is cognizant and the living beings are cognizant. The difference is that the Supreme Lord is supplying all the necessities of life for the many other living entities.]
That is Vedic information. God is also a living entity, like us, but He's the chief living entity. And we are also living entity.
Just like one father. Father may have got twenty children, twenty sons. Formerly, they used to have one hundred sons. Now the fathers have no such power. But in the..., up to five thousand years ago, King Dhrtarastra gave birth to one hundred sons. Now we are... We say, we are saying that we are overpopulated. But that's not the fact. At the present moment, where there is the question of overpopulation? Now how many of us giving birth hundreds of children? No. Nobody. But formerly, a father could give birth to one hundred children. So there is no question of overpopulation. And even there is overpopulation, we get information from the Vedas: eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman [Katha Upanisad 2.2.13]. That one chief living entity, God, He can maintain innumerable living entities.
There is no question of overpopulation. This is a false theory. If God can create, He can maintain also. And actually, this is the fact. I am traveling all over the world. There are so much vacant places upon the surface of the globe that..., that ten times more than the present population can be easily maintained. But we, we do not know how to use it. In Africa, in Australia, in your America, enough land still lying. But because we have encroached upon the land of Krsna, the difficulty is there. China is overpopulated. India is overpopulated. But we, if we take to Krsna consciousness, these difficulties will be over within a second.
Krsna consciousness means to take everything Krsna's. I am also Krsna's. That is Krsna consciousness. Actually, that is the fact. Everything... Krsna means God. Everything belongs to God. I also belong to God. Isavasyam idam sarvam [Iso mantra 1].
[Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.]
Everything belongs to God. That's a fact. But we do not accept the fact. We take something illusory. Therefore it is called maya.
Just like the Americans: they are claiming this land is for the American group. Similarly, other nations, they're... But the land actually belongs to God. The land, the sky, the water, and the products in the land, in the sky, in the water, everything belongs to God. And we are children of God. We have got the right to live at the expense of father. Just like we live, small children, they live at the cost of father. Similarly, we also live by the arrangement of God. Why should we claim that this is our property?
This is the idea of spiritual communism. In Bhagavata these things are stated, how to feel spiritual communism. In the spiritual communism... The present Communists, they are thinking of the human being only. And the animals are being sent to the slaughterhouse. Although the human being and the animal is born in the same land... Actually, they are also nationals. National means one who's born in that particular land. So why not these animals, nationals? But because they have no Krsna consciousness, they cannot think so broadly. They think nationalism means it is limited to the human being, not to the animals, not to the trees.
But when you become Krsna conscious you understand that the trees, the plants, the reptiles, the aquatics, the human beings, the beasts, everyone, each and everyone, part and parcel of God. According to their karma they have got different bodies, the color, as I explained. According to karanam guna-sango 'sya sad-asad-janma-yonisu [Bg 13.22]. These things are described in the Bhagavad-gita. One has got a different type of body according to his karma. Karmana daiva netrena jantor deha upapattaye [SB 3.31.1].
[The Personality of Godhead said: Under the supervision of the Supreme Lord and according to the result of his work, the living entity, the soul, is made to enter into the womb of a woman through the particle of male semen to assume a particular type of body.]
By karma we create next body.
So this is a great science. People do not know how things are taking place, how there are so many species of life, how one is so-called happy, one so-called distressed. Why one is rich, one is poor. Why there are so many planets. Why some of them are demigods and some of them are human beings, some of them are animals. It is a great science. But there is no cultivation of this knowledge in the modern universities or educational institution. Perhaps we are the only group of men, we are trying to propagate this science of Krsna consciousness. But it is a perfect science to understand the position.
(Bhagavad-gita 4.13 – April 8, 1973, New York)