Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It's Kali-Yuga, Baby!

The last few days have been a little disheartening. If there was any doubt, Kali-Yuga is rapidly advancing: cheating and hypocrisy rule the hearts of men, and we are all casualties, Mother Bhumi included.

It seems that a few people still think that rocknroll can save the world. I read an article in Rolling Stone about the 24-hour worldwide Live-Aid style "benefit concert" that Gore is hoping will save us all from global warming. To be fair, Gore and co. say that they are making every effort to minimize the impact that organizing and executing such a colossal event will have on the environment, but I think it's fairly obvious that the cost will greatly outweigh the benefit.

On Sunday we had two very special guests at the East Hartford temple: B.B. Govinda Swami and Indradyumna Maharaja. The kirtans were deep and beautiful and full of spiritual potency, as were the words of these two venerable sadhus. I wish I could say that the entire evening was a festival of blissed out chanting, dancing, and feasting on the Holy Names, but there was some serious business involved as well. As I'm sure you are all aware by now our brothers and sisters in Kazakhstan have not been faring well of late. Less than a week ago another twelve devotee homes were unlawfully destroyed by local government officials. The rest of the community, including the farmhouses that are giving shelter to some 30 cows, and of course the temple and Deities, may be destroyed at any time. In spite of worldwide outcries from human rights advocates, ambassadors, and politicians including Great Britain's own Tony Blair, the Kazakh government appears to have no intention of changing their present course. B.B. Govinda Swami and others made impassioned pleas for support, and we obliged in whatever ways we could, but I have to say that the whole thing left me feeling pretty close to hopeless.

And a few more cheerful and uplifting stories have passed my way in the last day or so as well...

There's this one about an area of the Pacific Ocean twice the size of Texas that's filled with plastic waste of various descriptions - a sort of floating garbage heap. Then there's this one about some rather shocking behavior in Sri Vrindavana Dhama.

And last but not least, it turns out that the Dalai Lama is not quite the beacon of peace and compassion that everyone seems to think. Read this open letter on Kurma Dasa's blog, and don't miss the accompanying article linked at the bottom of the entry. Apparently, even "His Holiness" is a "meat-eating Buddhist". I would do my part to spread this information around, but I'm afraid that most people would take it as "permission" rather than the dissapointing evidence of hypocrisy that it is.
a-brahma-bhuvanal lokah
punar avartino 'rjuna
mam upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate

From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again. (BG 8.16)

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