It is hard to follow every world news issue but there are some that I keep up with. In the mid 90's one of the most grotesque massacres of our times of over 800,000 men, women and children took place in Rwanda, Africa. The degree of human brutality that was exercised during this period of genocide is riveting for even the most war-hardened heart. The Hutu militia had a shortage of resources for equipment such as ammunition so they used machetes to slay Tutsi families in the street. They didn't even limit their angst to the Tutsi social class, but any of their own class who were even considered sympathetic to the Tutsi were similarly bled.
The UN troops who were stationed there were limited in their ability to help due to lack of support or public sympathy for the situation. The politicians simply wouldn't send them sufficient money and manpower so they could only set up refugee camps for the fortunate citizens who could escape the capitol of Kigali.
The French troops who were also stationed in Rwanda were also criticized for not helping the cause. Up until today I considered this a poignant example of what Srila Prabhupada described as "violence by negligence". This news, released today, reports that the French may not have been as uninvolved as previously believed.
"French forces directly assassinated Tutsis and Hutus accused of hiding Tutsis... French forces committed several rapes on Tutsi survivors," said a justice ministry statement released after the report was presented in Kigali.
The entire article is here. I think this is significant because, if true, it could mandate a significant shift in the way that the French government is appraised.
"I am a little temperamental," said Srila Prabhupada. "I used to use words like rascal and so on. I never compromised. They used to call it "A club in one hand and a Bhagavatam in the other.' That is how I preach."
from Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta
Child-worship is more important than deity-worship. If you cannot spend time with your child, then stop the duties of pujari. These children are given to us by Krishna. They are Vaisnavas and we must be very careful to protect them. These are not ordinary childern, they are Vaikuntha children, and we are very fortunate we can give them chance to advance further in Krishna Consciousness. That is very great responsibility, do not neglect it or be confused.
Letter to Arundhati, July 30, 1972
I lifted this from the excellent Krishna Kathamrita Bindu eMag:
by Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami
Maharaja Srila Gour Kishore Das Babaji Maharaja had a follower whose name was Shambhu Babu. He later accepted a wife and married. Then he came to see Gour Kishore Das Babaji Maharaja, and offered his obeisances. Seeing him, one of the devotees said, “Maharaja, Shambhu Babu has come and he is now married”. “O, bhālo helā, bhālo helā!” Gour Kishore Das Babaji said. “It is very good that Shambhu Babu is married now”. Then he gave an instruction to him. “Shambhu, you should understand that your wife is Krishna’s maidservant. She will give pleasure to the senses of Krishna, not to your senses.” You should see her as Krishna’s maidservant, a vaisnavī, and that she is meant to give pleasure to the senses of Krishna. So every day you should offer obeisances to her and take her remnants because she is a vaisnavī.” This is the system for vaisnava family. Early in the morning, both the husband and wife will get up and offer each other obeisances:
vāñchā-kalpatarubhyaś ca krpā-sindhubhya eva ca
patitānām pāvanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah
We have a similar system in our process of vaisnava marriage. When the ceremony is finished then the husband and wife accept prasāda together for the first time. They sit together and they will take remnants of each other. The husband takes the remnants of the wife, and the wife takes the remnants of husband. This is our marriage system. There is no question of giving pleasure or enjoyment to one’s own senses — everything is meant for Krishna’s pleasure and enjoyment. That is very good.
That is Krishna’s sambandha, Krishna’s family. Husband and wife relationship should be based on a relationship with Krishna, not on a temporary bodily relationship. Then there will be all happiness, all ānanda, blissfulness. Otherwise, material relationships mean unlimited suffering, distress, frictions, quarrelling and divorce. Someone divorces their husband and marries another man. A man divorces his wife and marries another woman. What is this? Like dogs and hogs! How can you expect happiness, peacefulness, and bliss?
— From a lecture in Bristol, England. 11 August 1994.
All the cowherd men, including Nanda Maharaja, used to talk of the wonderful activities of Lord Krsna and Balarama, and they were always so much absorbed in those talks that they forgot the threefold miseries of this material existence. This is the effect of Krsna consciousness. What was enjoyed five thousand years ago by Nanda Maharaja can still be enjoyed by persons who are in Krsna consciousness simply by talking about the transcendental pastimes of Krsna and His associates.
From Krsna book Chapter 11
Modern psychology uses the term 'messianic complex' to describe the phenomenon where individuals claim self-awareness of their proclaimed role as a 'savior'. I find this tendency of lower human nature fascinating.
What makes people convinced that they are 'the chosen one'? Even more interesting are the mechanics behind what makes sometimes large numbers of people convinced that a particular person is the messiah?
This happens a lot. Psyche wards worldwide have a continual roster of 'Jesus Christs' admitted for treatment.
Here's the latest 'Jesus Christ incarnate':
By Andrew Drummond
July 04, 2008 11:44am
THE majority of Australians consider themselves religious but say faith does not play a big part in their life, according to a new survey showing few regularly pray or visit church.
The news comes less than two weeks before the world's Catholic leader, Pope Benedict XVI, heads Down Under for World Youth Day.
The survey of 21,000 people from 21 countries, which names Australia as one of the world's least religious countries, was conducted by the independent, not-for-profit, German-based Bertelsmann Foundation.
It found 28 per cent of Australian respondents are not religious, 25 per cent are "deeply religious", and 44 per cent are religious but say faith does not play a central role in their lives.
Of the 21 countries surveyed, Australia was placed 17th for religious adherence, with only Russia, France, Germany and the UK less godly.
Religion ranked as less important than family, partners, career, leisure time or politics for 50 per cent of Australian respondents, while 48 per cent said they did not partake in personal prayer and 52 per cent never or very seldom visited a church.
"This is not to say that the Pope will be landing in a religious desert on his visit to the World Youth Day in Australia," research leader Martin Rieger said in a statement of the survey results.
"On the eve of World Youth Day, it is interesting to note the strong religious vitality recorded amongst the nation's youth."
Some 72 per cent of Australian respondents aged under 30 said they believed in God or a divine power and/or life after death, the survey showed.
Catholics are Australia's largest faith group and Christian denomination, but are not the most religious, according to the survey, which shows 37 per cent are "deeply religious" and 52 per cent are "religious".
Religion was found to be strongest among the small group of free-church and Pentecostal Protestants, including charismatic movements. Fifty per cent of that group were found to be "deeply religious".
"Christianity and Catholicism in Australia are not blossoming, but equally are not in danger of losing their core roots," Dr Rieger said.
"The big polarity between religious and non-religious people is very defined here.
"Typical is the trend towards a loose, perhaps seeking, spirituality that no longer has any clear relationship to the different churches and denominations. This reveals a great potential for religions and all churches that has so far been neglected and perhaps overlooked."
"God is everywhere, but He has got a special planet, which is called Goloka Vrndavana. You can enter there and mix with the Supreme Lord just like we are here, mixing one another. I can see you, you can see me, similarly, you can go directly, see God and live with Him, dance with Him, play with Him, eat with Him. That is the perfection of life."
- Srila Prabhupada's Class on Bhagavad-gita 7.1-3 -- Paris, June 13, 1974
For western readers of this blog this song may be an acquired taste. It has a beautiful melody and rhythm though doesn't it?
Door nagari badi door nagari
Kese aaoo mein Kanai tori Gokul nagari badi door nagari....
Raatko aaoo to Kana dar mohe laage
Din ko aaoo to dekhe sari nagari.... Badi door nagari
Sakhi sang aaoo Kana sharam mohe laage
akeli aaoo to bhool jaao dagari.... Badi door nagari
Dhire dhire chaloo Kana kamar mori lachake
Jatpat chaaloo to chalke gagari.... Badi door nagari
Bai Meera kahe prabhu Giridhar na goon
Tumhare darshan beena hogai bavari.... Badi door nagari
Yes. I grew up in this kind of environment.
Now that I'm an expatriate for over a decade I can see the oddity of the Texan way. I could imagine this kind of thing being a hit on local radio there. I do agree with most of the message in this video, but rather then treat gays as if they are freaks I try to show them respect even though that may be from a distance sometimes.
I'm just posting this here for analytical purposes and because it's a little funny. I hope I don't offend anyone. Please feel free to comment even if you just want to call me a homophobic redneck. I just finished a big project and could do with some purposeful discussion.