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Comments Posted By Piyush Mehta

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Television: The No. 1 Public Enemy of Devotion

The “maya within maya” machine if used for watching non-Krishna conscious programs is a great disturbance, practically it pulls ones attention towards itself like a whirlpool. I once came across a story where a mother (just an ordinary everyday mother) was observing her infant playing, until the television was turned on the (usually active) child suddenly became very quiet, dropped the toys and started to stare at the screen hardly moving. The mother said she became so disturbed by this that she got rid of it (i.e. the television, not the baby.)

I was interested In what Srila Prabhupada had to say about television, here are a few excerpts:

Prabhupäda: Puru däsa. There was a very powerful king. His name was Puru. He was a devotee. The same thing, to become ruler of the senses. Come on. We are all ruled by the senses. Senses dictate and we follow. This is the general condition, and we have to become ruler of the senses. Then it is successful. Generally people are ruled by the senses. My sense says, “Please take me to the cinema,” the eyes. I immediately go and stand there three hours for the ticket. You see? So I am ruled by the senses. And when you will be strong enough, the eyes will say, “Please take me to the cinema,” and you will say, “No, you cannot go to the cinema.” Then you are ruler. So one is go-däsa. Go-däsa means servant of the senses. And one is gosvämé, master of the senses. That is the difference between gosvämé and go-däsa. Go means senses. When we are servant of the senses, then we are in the material world. And when we are master of the senses, then we are in the spiritual world. Come on. Hare Kåñëa. You have got. All right.

– Initiation ceremony Lecture

“”So every Vaiñëava, every devotee of Kåñëa, pure devotee of Kåñëa, is a paramahaàsa. So you, we are teaching people to become immediately paramahaàsa, highest stage of sannyäsa. And the method is simply chanting Hare Kåñëa. You see? The post is paramahaàsa. Vaiñëava. Vaiñëava means paramahaàsa. He’s above brähmaëa, above sannyäsa. But we must be real Vaiñëava. Vaiñëava means änukülyena kåñëänuçélanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Anyäbhiläñitä-çünyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. There is no other desire, material desire. Desire means material desire, this contaminated desire. It does not mean that we shall not desire to become Kåñëa conscious. That desire is real desire. And any other desire, anyäbhiläñitä, for some material benefit, that is not required. But if we can keep ourself without any material desire, without any propensity for enjoying fruitive result… “I am doing something, I must enjoy this result. I must be enjoyer.” This is called jïäna-karma. “Oh, I must try to understand Kåñëa by my speculative method.” Why? Kåñëa is explaining Himself. Why don’t you try to understand Him in that way? Nonsense. (chuckling) What speculative power you have got? Simply you’ll commit blunder. Why? Kåñëa says, “I am this, I am this, I am that, I am that.” In the Bhagavad-gétä, explains. God says. Why don’t you understand Him as He says? If I say that “I am from India.My birthplace is in Calcutta. I have got five children. I was formerly a businessman,” then why do you understand to speculate about me? What is the use of this speculation? If you actually want to know what Swamiji is, Swamiji says that “I was householder, and I was doing medical business. I have got five children. And this and that.” So that is sufficient. Why do you want to know Swamiji by speculation? Similarly, these rascals will try to understand Kåñëa by speculation. No. There is no need. Paramahaàsa. That is paramahaàsa stage.
So Çrédhara Svämé says, haàsa jatayo.(?) Jatayo means great sages, saintly persons. Haàsa jatayo yatra na niramanti karhicid api na nitaram ramante.(?) Just like our students, Kåñëa conscious person, if he is invited, “Come on, there is a nice picture in the cinema,” no. He’ll never go. He’ll never go. (chuckles) Because he has become haàsa. He is not a crow, that he’ll go such places. Why? What is there? So haàsa, here it is said, tad väyasaà tértham uçanti mänasäù. They reject, reject. Uçanti mänasä na yatra haàsä niramanty uçik-kñayäù [SB 1.5.10]. There was an incidence in my life. I was, of course, at that time householder. So one my friend, he was going to cinema with his family, and he saw me. I was in the street, and he immediately stopped his car and he asked me that “You come. We are going to cinema.” So I refused, that “If you give me one thousand dollars, still I shall not go to cinema.” So he dragged me. He took me to the cinema house, but I never entered. I came back. You see? Because it was detestful.
So when one becomes completely separated from all these material desires, even if you offer him some profit, he’ll not accept. It is the test. Na yatra haàsä niramanty uçik-kñayäù [SB 1.5.10]. Because his mind is absorbed in greater things. Uçik-kñayäù. Brahman. Uçik-kñayäù means Brahman. Uçika kamanéyam brahman kñayo nivaso yeñäà te, tathä prasiddha haàsa mänasi sarasi carantaù.(?) Çrédhara Svämé explains, just like swans, they take pleasure in the mänasa-sarovara, in a place where transparent water, lily and very nice garden. They take pleasure. Yathä prasiddha haàsa mänasi sarasi carantaù kamanéya-padma-khanda-niväsaù.(?) You’ll find swans, they will gather near the lotus flower and dive there and entangle them with the stem. That is their pleasure, to remain surrounding the lotus flower.
Lecture SB 1.5.9-11 New Vrindaban, June 6, 1969

These Vaiñëavas, these boys, they are young boys. The girls, they are… They don’t care for their dress because they are dressing Kåñëa. This is the way. You dress Kåñëa nicely. You give Kåñëa nice foodstuff. Then you will forget, “Oh, I will have to satisfy my tongue in this way and that way, by chop, by cutlet, by going to restaurant.” You will forget. Therefore it is called bhaktyä pumäï jäta-viräga aindriyät. The materialistic persons, they are simply busy for satisfying the senses. Go to the hotel; satisfy the tongue. Go to the cinema; hear the cinema song, see nice girls, and so on, so on. But these devotees, they are not interested at all. The cinema is here, a few steps away, but you will never see a student or a disciple of Kåñëa consciousness will go to that nonsense place. Practical you can see. Why it has become possible? Bhaktyä pumäï jäta-viräga aindriyät. It is practical. The more you engage yourself in devotional service, the more you will forget your sense gratification process. And as soon as you become completely detestful for sense gratification, then you are liberated person, fit for going back to home, back to Godhead. This is the process.
So the bhakti gives you chance to see Kåñëa, as you can see now. On this seeing or any other kind of seeing, they are the same thing. There is no difference. When Arjuna was seeing Kåñëa face to face—Kåñëa was teaching Bhagavad-gétä—that seeing of Kåñëa and when you read Bhagavad-gétä, it is the same thing. There is no difference. Somebody, they say that “Arjuna was fortunate enough to see Kåñëa face to face and take instruction.” That is not correct. Kåñëa, He can be seen immediately, provided you have got eyes to see. Therefore it is said, premäïjana-cchurita… Prema and bhakti, the same thing. Premäïjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaù sadaiva hådayeñu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38].

Arthaya, for some material profit, does not mean. Of course, if you take the meaning of artha as paramärtha, that is required. But material profit, as it is stated here in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam by Süta Gosvämé, that to go to the church or to the temple or to become a religious person, does not mean that it is meant for improving your material condition. Generally, people come to us or the temple for asibha (?). What is that asibha? “Now I have got five hundred rupees income. Please give me asibha it may become five thousand.” So this is not the purpose of dharma. Here it is stated, dharmasya hy äpavargasya na artaù arthäya upakalpate.
Then we require artha. Without artha, without money, how we can live? That is also explained here, närthasya dharmaikäntasya kämo läbhäya hi småtaù. You require money, that’s all right, but not for sense gratification, not for going to the cinema. Here in Bombay city, people are earning money, lots of money, but we see there are lots of cinemas advertised, and people go there—there are hundreds and thousands of cinema houses—and spend their money. They’re standing for three hours, four hours to take a ticket for going to the cinema. Therefore actually those who are going to be religious for getting relief from this hard struggle for existence, for them arthasya, you require some artha, money… Närthasya dharmaikäntasya. If you are actually religious, then your artha should not be spent for sense gratification. Na tasya dharmaikäntasya kämo läbhäyo hi småtaù. Kämaù means sense gratification. It should be properly utilized, if you have got money, that you should be properly utilized, not for sense gratification-wine, women, and hotel, and cinema. No. Then by your artha you are going to hell. Artha, everything.
SB 1.2.8 Bomaby, December 26, 1972

Sri K.M. Munshi,
Governor of Uttar Pradesh,
Raj Bhavan, LUCKNOW.

Dear Sri Munshiji,

If I remember rightly, you have been criticizing in the meeting of the 16th instant about the culture of Hollywood cinemas. The Mayavadi philosophy having killed the spiritual variegatedness of the Supreme Being—the people are generally attracted in the variegatedness of material existence. In the vedanta sutras, we have direct information of how a spiritual entity is joyful—full of spiritual bliss. This idea of enjoyment is focussed through a material _ and as such the spiritual focus is reflected in a perverted manner. The attention of the people in general is attracted by the cinemas in place of temples, because the Mayavadi philosophy—impersonality of Godhead has created a void in the spiritual realm. But in fact the spiritual realm is not at all void. It is full of variegatedness of spiritual mellows. If you create a void in the Spirit unnecessarily, you have to create necessarily a fill-up in the material existence and that is the cause why temples are being replaced by vulgar cinemas.
So simple criticism of cinema houses will not fulfill the purpose. We have to create tangible interest in the temples for spiritual advancement of knowledge. With that purpose in view, it is necessary that the priests and pujaris must be enlightened men both in Theism and Sanskrit language also. They shall be primary teachers of the Bhagavad-gita in different temples. Both these temples and their management have to be reformed in the present context. We shall have to accommodate the process of temple entry by all classes of people but they may be so admitted for proper qualification and not for the purpose of a mere show.
Om Tat Sat.
Yours truly,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta

Grains and vegetables can sumptuously feed a man and animals, and a fatty cow delivers enough milk to supply a man sumptuously with vigor and vitality. If there is enough milk, enough grains, enough fruit, enough cotton, enough silk and enough jewels, then why do the people need cinemas, houses of prostitution, slaughterhouses, etc.? What is the need of an artificial luxurious life of cinema, cars, radio, flesh and hotels? Has this civilization produced anything but quarreling individually and nationally? Has this civilization enhanced the cause of equality and fraternity by sending thousands of men into a hellish factory and the war fields at the whims of a particular man?

SB 1.1.10 Purport””

They have got goods enough; where to sell? As soon as they go to the British territories, “No, you cannot sell. If you want to sell, then hundred percent duty.” So price increase. This was the grudge. Everyone knows. This is the cause of two wars. The jagato ahita. Now, why so much? You require a scissor? Go to a blacksmith and pay something. He’ll make a scissor. “No. Produce millions of scissor.” Then where is market, sir? This is going on. Produce millions of TV machine. Simple they are used for wasting time. One or two or five made for some important business. Now they are producing millions of sets. They must sell. And people are induced to purchase. And as soon as they purchase, they simply see television. Idol worship. And learning vicious things. Some unnecessary picture is produced there. They like to see it. Two train are coming and they are smashed. (laughs) I have seen some television. People are learning how to smash, how to steal, how to harass people. Things are being shown like that. Not that “You are soul. You are spirit soul. If you degrade yourself, you then get this.” You make that television, that how transmigration of the soul is taking place. They have manufactured the machine, so utilize for your propaganda. We have got to do so many things. We can utilize everything. So if they are not used for Kåñëa’s purpose they’ll be used for committing disaster in the world. Just like the atomic bomb. They are meant for creating disaster, that’s all. What else they can do? And now everyone is having atomic weapon, just like India has now got. That means they are preparing, by nature’s course they are preparing for war, and “I put my atomic bomb on your head, and you put on my head. You die, I die, that’s all.”

Room Conversation with devotees July, 2, 1974, Melbourne

Prabhupäda: There must be something to repose my love. So they have no family, no Kåñëa. So naturally keep dog. [break] …must be there, to love. That is my tendency, but if I have nothing, then I will have to catch the dog. What can be done? [break] …furnish this television. Dog and television and whiskey and cigarette. That’s all. (laughter) Is it not? [break] …in India these things are entering: dog, television. And cigarette, wine, has already entered.
Bahuläçva: This is the degradation. [break]
Prabhupäda: Ah, yes.
Bahuläçva: So much sex, everything you watch.
Prabhupäda: And not only that, horrible scene.
Bahuläçva: Yes.
Prabhupäda: Killing and like that.
Dharmadyaksa: They sit hypnotized. They say we are becoming hypnotized by chanting, but actually they are hypnotized by this TV set.
Prabhupäda: No, no, that I have already explained. We must be hypnotized. If we do not become hypnotized by Kåñëa, then we must be hypnotized by this television and other.
– Morning Walk June 26, 1975, Los Angeles

Therefore they do not like that a temple should be constructed, it is waste of… (indistinct) …must be engaged to work hard, produce money and enjoy sense gratification. Hog civilization. We are restricting that “Don’t work hard like hog and dog or animals, just satisfy your minimal necessities of life, save time and (indistinct) spiritual understanding. This is our mission. Their mission is, “What is this nonsense, spiritual understanding? Simply some sentiment, waste of time. Produce, enjoy, invent so many things for sense gratification.” Western civilization. And this is very attractive to the räkñasa class. Eat, drink, be merry and enjoy. This is the räkñasa mentality. As soon as there is television, or similar invention, they become very much enthused. They purchase and sitting down, they waste their time. I have seen in America the old man of family, one dog, one television, simply wasting time. And 50 cents for eat. How they are wasting the valuable human life. How they are kept in the darkness. This is life. I have seen television. All some fictitious stories. Here, trained position. They have manufactured one big hammer and training strongly and these rogues they are sending their hammer to train and as soon as the hammer… smashed. They want to see. One man kept ferocious dogs and one girl (indistinct) the dog is chasing and the girl is screaming (indistinct) so many (indistinct). You know this?

Morning Walk June 26, 1975, Los Angeles

To end I will cite a phenomena in India when television spread all over, the whole of India came to a virtual standstill every Sunday, Muslims, Hindus whoever all were watching Ramayan or Mahabharat, today the Indian household has come to a standstill with everyone watching some soap opera or something else, I am speaking from practical experience, having lived there and travelled all over.
We can and should create first class television programs glorifying Krishna and his devotees to attract the general population away from their suffering cycle of birth and death. There are old but very nice productions about Srila Haridas Thakur and the great Saint Tukaram among others.

» Posted By Piyush Mehta On Jan 3, 2007 @ 8:16 pm

Walking on the Moon..?

Hare Krishna


We are subject to four defects one of which is imperfect senses, the hearing process still is superior to the seeing process and best is to hear from those we trust i.e. spiritual authorities who deliver us from the “darkness of ignorance with the shining torch of knowledge” Many things we hear require faith and the conclusions are confirmed by Guru, Sadhu and Shastra. The main thing is that we have been given this process of Krishna Consciouness by Srila Prabhupada which ultimately delivers us from the four defects namely: The tendency to commit mistakes ; imperfect senses, illusion and cheating. Who, therefore, is worthy of our trust?

» Posted By Piyush Mehta On Dec 15, 2006 @ 8:23 pm

Curse of the Dog

Hare Krishna. Very nice article. It is also said that a King has to accept half the sins of the citizens and that current world “leaders” are reborn as amoeba. Actually while everyone is scrambling for positions of recognition in this material world a wise person would think carefully about taking anyone under their leadership unless they were confident that they could help them to advance spiritually.

» Posted By Piyush Mehta On Dec 7, 2006 @ 12:25 am

A wonderful story by His Holiness Radhanatha Swami

Dandavats. Absolutely Inspiring.

Bhakta Piyush

» Posted By Piyush Mehta On Dec 7, 2006 @ 2:12 pm

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