Surfing on the internet is it really for free?
As I was attending my computer training class, I saw a junior teacher unrestrictedly surfing restricted sites on the internet. He was addicted to pornography. Whenever he was alone or when the supervisor was out of sight he would start visiting these websites. Although junior he was still a teacher. For me it was difficult to accept him as my guru. One day I enquired from him, “Are you aware of the consequences if some senior teachers come across your surfing history?” He coolly replied, “I know the technique for erasing my browsing history. After pressing these buttons no one can trace the websites I visit.”
Long Lasting Impressions
After the class I was walking back, and I began reflecting on his words. It’s so easy to delete the browsing history from the computer but it is so difficult to erase it from the mind. Coming to Krishna consciousness I am struggling to delete the unwanted things from my heart, but all those Bollywood impressions are so firmly glued to the heart that they seem to be inseparable. Srila Prabhupada had taught us that these impressions are not only of this life but of millions of lifetimes. This is one of the reasons we get bad dreams. We see and indulge in horrible unimaginable acts in our dreams. We get up and convince ourselves, “No! no! I am not that bad person… I can never act in such a heinous way.” These experiences are a result of our actions in a past life. If it is so difficult to shrug off the burden of previous impressions, what could be the point in adding new ones to the existing load?
The History Recorder
One thinks that he or she can get away with the visual crimes by deleting the browsing history. If one is alone in the room he thinks no one has witnessed his polluted acts. In the Srimad Bhagavatam 6.1.42, in the episode of Ajamila the Yamadutas describe the various witnesses that are constantly keeping a watch on all of us. The sun, fire, air, demigods, moon, evening, day, night, directions, water, land and Supersoul Himself all witness the activities of the living entity. There is no place in this world which is devoid of these witnesses. These listed witnesses are more vigilant than CCTVs which are used to monitor mishaps in shops etc. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita(18.61), isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ’rjuna tisthati: “The Supreme Lord is seated in everyone’s heart.” Again, He says in Bg. 9.18, gatir bharta prabhuh saksi: “I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness.” When Krishna is monitoring our activities sitting in the heart how can we act sinfully in our imagined solitude?
Delete the Sinful History
Actually all of us have a long standing history of sinful activities. We are suffering due to the reactions of past sins. Rather we are struggling to delete this sinful history. This permanent deletion of the sinful history is possible by chanting the holy names. This is the only condition Krishna puts before He presses the ‘Delete’ button to erase our sinful past. Lord Caitanya told Jagai and Madhai, “I am ready to forgive all your sins. But promise Me that you will never indulge in sinful activity again.” The moment Lord Caitanya accepted the sins of these two sinners, His golden body turned black. Then Lord Caitanya told all the devotees to chant so that all the sins He had accepted could be transferred to those who are offending the Vaishnavas. Thus Lord Caitanya taught us that chanting destroys all the sins.
The risk of the VIRUS
Every time one visits objectionable sites on the web, there is a chance of a virus entering the computer. I can compare this with someone visiting a prostitute and thus increasing his chance of getting infected with the HIV virus. Just like HIV virus destroys the whole body, the virus from these websites destroys the computer. The computer then has to be formatted and a lot of valuable data is lost. More dangerous than this computer virus is the virus of illicit desires which enters and infects the mind when one visits these sites. The HIV virus kills the body, a computer virus destroys the computer but the virus of illicit desire continues to infect the soul even after the body is destroyed because it infects the subtle body of mind, intelligence and false ego. It infects it with an insatiable desire for sense enjoyment. We should not be illusioned that by deleting our browsing history we are freed from a sinful record.
Formatting the Mind
Coming to Krishna consciousness is like formatting the mind. It destroys all the viruses of material desires we are harboring for lifetimes. Reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and hearing to Srimad-Bhagavatam is like a strong anti-virus program which prevents our mental PC from getting infected. Chanting of the holy names create a filter which prevents us from contaminations and Krishna prasada boosts our system to fight against material desires. If we religiously follow this process the WINDOWS to Goloka will open up and very soon we will be browsing the eternal pastimes of the Lord.
Yugavatara Dasa is a lecturer in Anatomy in a medical college in Mumbai. He is a regular contributor to BTG.