With the cricket World Cup going on, let us remind ourselves
what real religion is and who our real God is.

Malaria, typhoid and cricket are the common causes of fever in India. When I think of a febrile patient, I visualize a toxic person who has lost his appetite, is unable to eat, sleep, walk, or work. A patient with cricket fever becomes glued to the cricket channel and refuses to get up and work. He refuses to do anything constructive with his day. Slowly this addiction becomes so strong that he loses all appetite for spiritual life. Rather, he thrives on a junk diet of television. The cricketer players keep themselves fit by regular exercise, but the television viewers are inert, sitting in one place during the eight-hour matches no activity other than the continuous nibbling of potato chips. There are around fifty matches played.

The Cricket Infection

Every fever has an infectious background, and so has cricket fever. The cricket virus infects us through other infected cricket addicts. Such addicts eat cricket, breathe cricket and cough cricket. The newspapers, television channels, and hoardings are the reservoirs of this virus. Visit them and you will be infected. So the best way to prevent cricket fever is to stay absolutely away from these pools of infection.

Is Cricket our Religion?

As the fever grows, patients sometimes begin to hallucinate. They identify cricket as their religion and Sachin their god. A high-grade fever traumatizes their memory.

I had heard that sanatana-dharma is our religion and Krishna our God. Dharma, religion, refers to our real nature like the nature of sugar is sweetness. The nature of the soul is to serve God. If the soul rekindles these natural instincts to serve God, it will immediately become happy and satisfied. Our happiness is not dependent on whether or not India wins. India had won the World Cup in 1983, and the whole country was in ecstasy. But that happiness slipped away as India slipped from its number one position. Cricket buffs survive on the hope that history will repeat itself and India will once again rule the world of cricket. It may or may not. That means that these addicts have only a 50% chance at happiness. Why should we bank on those eleven players to bring us happiness? They can guarantee us nothing. Krishna guarantees us happiness if we surrender to Him, after giving up all other types of religion, including the “religion” of cricket.

Cricket Fever Prevention

Doctors advise us that prevention is better than cure. Prevention is possible when our resistance is good, and our resistance is enhanced when we regularly take tonics in this case, the tonic of the holy name, which will immunize us against all material agitation. The diet of prasada and regular attendance at Srimad-Bhagavatam classes remove everything troublesome to the heart. The soul likes exciting events because it has an original instinct to enjoy the exciting pastimes of Krishna, which are full of thrills and fun. During Krishna’s pastimes, it often appears that Krishna will lose his match against the demons. But Krishna never fails. That’s why He is called Achyuta, The Infallible, unlike our so-called eleven “demigods” on the cricket team, who are all fallible soldiers. They are not gods and cricket is not our religion. Chanting of the holy names is our real religious duty and Sri Sacinandana is our God.

Yugavatara Dasa is an associate professor in Anatomy in a medical college in Mumbai. He is a regular contributor to BTG.