By Purushottam Nitai Das
“Fake News” is in the news, everyone seems to be or pretend to be worried about it. A news or an information or a story or a data is considered “fake” when the truth is suppressed and is manipulated to suit a certain narrative. Political parties, journalists, twitter warriors, social activists today do not hesitate to spread fake news to further their agenda. Thinking people are up in arms and are vociferously demanding to check the menace of fake news.
It is good to be concerned about the fake news but since time immemorial we have been victim of fake news from a very powerful news agency but most of us never bother to counter it. When the intelligent men and women caution us we ignore their warning. The Lord’s illusory energy’s powerful news agency “Maya Times” has been peddling the fake news and we gullible people have been blindly believing it.
Two important lies peddled by Maya Times are:
Material positions and possessions are panacea for all our sufferings:
Since childhood this principle is inserted in our brain and we are made to believe that happiness is directly proportional to worldly achievement. So we work extremely hard to climb the ladder of success and we are ready to pay any price to achieve our coveted goals. During the journey we are ready to sacrifice anything and everything – for wealth we compromise our health, we do not even hesitate to forego our near and dear ones. Our endeavor for material positions and possessions are akin to building a castle of sand.
Firstly, most of us do not get what we want in our life and so we feel miserable from within always. Either we lack the skill, the opportunity, the support, the environment or the lady luck constantly betrays us.
Secondly even if we get, we do not find any satisfaction in our heart. Failing to understand why is it so we hanker for more.
Thirdly, all our endeavours are filled with fear. Bhartrhari explains that there are nine types of fear: bhoge roga-bhayam kule cyutibhayam vitte nrpalad bhayam mane dainya-bhayam bale ripubhayam rupe jaraya bhayam sastre vadi-bhayam gune khalabhayam kaye krtantad bhayam sarvam vastu bhayanvitam bhuvi nrnam vairagyam evabhayam [Vairagya-satakam 31]
In enjoyment there is fear of disease;
In a family there is fear of disgrace;
In wealth there is fear of hostile rulers;
In honor there is fear of humiliation;
In knowledge there is fear of opponents;
In beauty there is fear of old age;
In power there is fear of backbiters;
In virtue there is fear of jealousy;
In body there is fear of death.
Frustration, failure, anxiety, betrayal, humiliation constantly haunts us. Recently during the Karnataka assembly election when one of the aspiring candidates was not given ticket then publicly he started crying! He felt betrayed. Yes, we may be put into a hopeless situation at any moment.
We are here to live forever:
Although we know that life here is as permanent as a bubble in the ocean still we try our best to live here as if we are going to be here forever. We are perennial losers, we lose everything of this world. But the veil of ignorance is so thick that in spite of knowing the reality we shrug it off. Just like a goat standing in front of a butcher’s shop continue munching on green grass oblivious of the fact that the butcher’s knife is just waiting for him, we too try to enjoy in this world without bothering that the agents of death can knock at our door at any moment.
Krishna, our Supreme Father, knows our precarious situation. He tries his best to make sure that we are not misled by the fake assurances and promises of “Maya Times”. This is why He provided us the fact checking books – the Vedic literatures. If we refer the holy Vedas and listen carefully to holy sages we would find that they have been logically and with data have been exposing the nefarious designs of “Maya Times.”
Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.25 explains, “In this material world, every living entity desires some future happiness, which is exactly like a mirage in the desert. Where is water in the desert, or, in other words, where is happiness in this material world? As for this body, what is its value? It is merely a source of various diseases. The so-called philosophers, scientists and politicians know this very well, but nonetheless they aspire for temporary happiness. Happiness is very difficult to obtain, but because they are unable to control their senses, they run after the so-called happiness of the material world and never come to the right conclusion.”
Will a hungry and thirsty person ever feel satisfied if we apply sandalwood pulp all over his body or decorate his body with valuable jewels? Definitely not. Will a fish be satisfied if we take it from the water and put it inside a waterless golden jar? The fish will die, for sure.
Similarly, as we are souls, having the covering of material body, so no matter how nicely we take care of our body unless and until we understand the needs and requirements of the soul we will never experience joy in our life. As soul belongs to the spiritual world, so how can it be happy in a foreign land in an unfavorable condition. The soul continuously longs for Krishna’s love but unfortunately we try to give everything but Krishna.
Maya forces us to believe that happiness can be attained in this material world. Srila Prabhupada points out, “This place is miserable. But maya’s illusion, we are taking this miserable condition of life as happiness. This is called maya. There is no happiness in this material world. Everything miserable.” Lecture on BG 2.6 — London, August 6, 1973.
Animals do not have sufficient intelligence to scrutinize the false claims of “Maya Times” but we do have. Let us ask ourselves: In spite of all our efforts why are we suffering? Why our life is not eternal? Who is Krishna and what is our relationship with Krishna? Let us not just ask but also start working on the solution.