These dark things are always around us in many forms which we can see to varying degrees every day, and I’ve directly experienced this in a more extreme way in my past; but I feel that by trying to connect to the loving center together, we can purify ourselves and help purify those around us in our short lives.
This is a letter written recently by Varun, a sincere newcomer to Krishna consciousness, in response to a message from someone expressing deep frustration over current world events.
Regarding things in the world: my main priority has been to clean myself and become more attracted to the loving center of Krishna, so I haven’t followed much of the news the past couple years.
I’ll share a bit more of my background. I was born in India and raised there in my earlier years, then mainly grew up in Ohio, USA. My childhood and life in this country was/has been stressful primarily because I was always separated and left out for not being white and Christian. I had to keep quiet at risk of getting degraded or beaten up so I kept my faith quiet as well. There were many times I wouldn’t even be able to be in certain areas or get-togethers because of my race. This is what my family has experienced as well, especially my dad. From my earlier years everything I was taught in school was that basically Christian Europeans came here as liberators and this is a Christian country so if I don’t like it then I can leave. In reality, as you already know, this country was founded on genocide, slavery and oppression up until recently. These same forces have been behind all this from the beginning till now in terms of how our politicians are elected, economics, what we are taught in schools and our news.
Even as I worked I realized that power and money are concentrated with a select few groups of people while everyone else is essentially a slave. It’s a big weight I’ve carried my entire life here: knowing that I’m quite literally living a lie, going along with this when I’m not included in places of importance unless I’m a certain race or religion. I’ve been told to “just make money and keep quiet” or “just be a model minority and do your job.” I have spent most of my life in the Midwest and the South living quietly, always looking over my shoulder.
I’m saying all this because you mention dark influences in the world and our system but I honestly feel this young country’s entire premise is dark based on land/resource occupation, slavery and selfishness/greed. It is lies and aggression that must be continued to keep it going. The country has never truly been stable or peaceful—it’s just that now other voices are being heard to cause more conflict. A select few people and interests have always chosen our presidents while the public actually think it’s a democracy. Our military has been brutal and oppressive in the world and domesticated for quite some time to maintain economic interests and this police state. I have honestly never felt included in any of the political systems locally or nationally because of my race and have been told many times to “follow the white man since they are the leaders.” I have felt that I was in a strangled occupation or illusion for most of my life.
I rarely speak about this to non-Indian people because most can’t understand the perspective of one living under those conditions their entire life and the toll it takes. When someone is quiet, excluded and always observing or looking at the system as a whole it gives a very clear and different perspective. From a young age I have always clearly seen that the news has its own agenda and cherry-picks facts to what serves the elite interests of a religious group or lobby. Quite literally almost everything has a greedy motive to distract people in the country.
I respect your research and concern for the world but I honestly believe these things have always happened and will continue to happen. You may think I’m “clueless” but I am well aware of the darkness of the world from experiencing it firsthand—such as having a family member murdered, or directly witnessing things like selling of children, trafficking, corruption, etc. I have been close to high level politics in India. I have even seen some of these things in the USA and have close friends in the military who have seen things with children and warfare that are so disturbing that I don’t want to mention them here. Systems of power are concentrated in the hands of some pretty dark people in many instances and they prey on others for energy. It’s how it’s been in the USA, Europe, India, etc. for quite some time.
I suppose I’m saying this because I feel that I am cleansing myself and moving towards the positive to elevate myself from all of this. If I’m not with Krishna in this life then that’s okay, but my intention is strong to keep moving every day and I’ll do what I’m destined to do in this life.
I feel that capitalist/communist, democrat/republican, Hilary Clinton/Donald Trump/Joe Biden, or internal political/military struggles are minor issues compared to the intention of purifying oneself and moving towards the positive center of love and Krishna consciousness. Quite honestly I feel that these politicians are playing their usual self-interested games to preserve themselves as they’ve always done. I don’t think it’s different for any of them in what their statements, behavior and actions show us throughout their lives. For me, however, all of these issues are minor compared to the grand scheme. Life is short and countries rise and fall so the best I can do is elevate myself and those around me according to my duty in life. I recently read when someone asked Srila Prabhupada about these types of exploitation in the world he said something along the lines of “These things have always happened and will sort themselves out naturally in time so just worry about surrendering to Krishna and freeing yourself in this life.” There is also the famous statement of Srila Sridhar Maharaj in response to a query about the possibility of World War III:
“That is a point on a line, a line on a plane, a plane in a solid. So many times wars are coming and going; so many times the sun, the earth, and the solar systems disappear and again spring up. We are in the midst of such thought in eternity. This nuclear war is a tiny point—what of that? Individuals are dying at every moment. The earth will die; the whole human section will disappear. Let it be.”
I feel that my most important path is one of humility, tolerance, respect unto others, absolute love and surrender towards the center. I feel that stability and friendly association to lift each other there is also key. These dark things are always around us in many forms which we can see to varying degrees every day, and I’ve directly experienced this in a more extreme way in my past; but I feel that by trying to connect to the loving center together, we can purify ourselves and help purify those around us in our short lives. I realize it’s a tough and disciplined path but my intention is to try every day and moment.
Photo credit: Olivér Nagy.