From the dark age to the dark hour
The scientific community is given credit for bringing the civilization to the modern technological advanced age, conveniently labeling the history as dark ages. There was a rapid development in scientific community in terms of discoveries and inventions which led to Industrial Revolution. This revolution changed the face of the earth as we see it.
This advent of revolution was manifested in the form of consumerism. The factories came up, where thousands of men labored hard to earn their livelihood. These workers, were the farmers who had migrated from the villages. They dream of staying in a city, becoming independent and earning a livelihood by working hard in factories rather than the farms. Due to the desire fostered by the new born culture of greed where in everyone wanted to have more of everything for which they had to struggle and suffer even more in bad living conditions, smoke, grit and equally oppressive industrialists as the feudal lords in the villages. Even though the struggle was there, but the thought of staying in city and ability to consume the products of city made them artificially feel happy. It was something similar to what a thirsty desert animal feels on seeing the reflection of a mirage, which it misunderstands to be real water and gratifies itself thinking that water is nearby when it’s not.
The industrial revolution brought forward the steam engines, whose descendants now we see running with great ease on the metro overhead. Consumer electronics in its crude form took birth in the lap of burning furnaces in the factories. The “Bright Age” had come with the invention and subsequent mass production of bulb. The bulbs evolved to tube lights, neon lights and flood lights which adorn our stadiums. In this glitter of man made lights, the sun got clouded with the smoke that arose from factories. One of the crucial ingredients which contributed to the happenings was extraction of fuel. Petroleum and coal kept the furnaces burning, the production lines moving and the chimneys spewing smoke. The very smoke which filled the lungs of the workers causing them innumerable diseases. We even have a fancy word for the phenomena these days. Its called Occupational hazard.
This went on for 3 centuries in some parts of the world and for decades in some. It was a second coming for human civilization. And finally it reached the zenith of advancement when the soldiers of captain planet proposed to observe an hour of darkness to nullify the effect of centuries and decades of misuse of nature’s resources. In order to save the planet and give it to the future generation as it is, it was proposed by the do-gooders to switch off all lights in the house and enjoy a candle lit dinner with loved ones.
Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Earth Hour was conceived by WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights.
So much hard labor to usher the world into light from dark age to finally being inspired to celebrate the success with an hour of darkness. It is very expertly explained in Srimad Bhagavatam as “…srama eva hi kevalam….” That the occupational duties which man performs to satisfy his selfish whims are just a useless labor. The gratification which is temporary, but requires ages of hard work is rightly labeled as useless labor.
The vedanta sutra aphorism, “tamaso ma jyoir gamaya” advises us to approach light, leaving darkness behind. But in current situation we are being forced back to darkness. That means there is a flaw in our approach to spread light. In the hedonistic approach towards life we have forgotten to pay heed to our spiritual values and morals which have only deteriorated our situation. The very change we thought would advance us has darkened our life and filled it with smoke and pollution. The Vedic approach to solve such problems is perfect. This is due to the fact that Vedas are words Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The all perfect Lord Krishna has said in his all perfect conversation of Gita that:
kama esha krodha esha
viddhy enam iha vairinam
“It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world. (BG 3.37)”
When a living entity comes in contact with the material creation, his eternal love for God is transformed into lust, in association with the mode of passion. Or, in other words, the sense of love of God becomes transformed into lust, as milk in contact with sour tamarind is transformed into yogurt. Then again, when lust is unsatisfied, it turns into wrath; wrath is transformed into illusion, and illusion continues the material existence. Therefore, lust is the greatest enemy of the living entity.
The greed therefore to lord it over Lord’s energy without acknowledging his pervasiveness and control has caused great problems. There is never harm in running motors or factories but the objective for doing such an endeavor has to be shifted from our selfish personal desires to the pleasure or love of Krishna. It is common sense that using a thing belonging to other without his permission in a clandestine way is an act of thievery. Whatever we see is nothing but energy of lord in different transformations. The proper way is to use it in his service by being grateful for his wonderful gifts by chanting Hare Krishna maha-mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This mantra cleanses the heart of unnecessary propensities like greed, lust and anger. When the heart is cleansed its motivations become pure, as love for the lord as well as his energies awaken. In ISKCON, We use the best of the facility. We use best of the facilities but in the service of Krishna and accepting in return his gifts for a needful Krishna Conscious life. This process of chanting Hare Krishna is potent enough to keep us in light. It’s said: “Wherever there is Krishna, there is no jurisdiction of darkness.” This light is the illumination of bliss through self enlightenment which is potent to eradicate any darkness in our life. Kindly try it and get in touch with us if it works for you.