“And that understanding which cannot distinguish between the religious way of life and the irreligious, between action that should be done and action that should not be done, that imperfect understanding, O son of Pritha, is in the mode of passion.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.31)
Friend1: You ever meet people that are illogical?
Friend2: In general or in certain situations?
Friend1: They are unable to see the irony to their behavior. They don’t put two and two together. It’s like their memory is erased only when it pertains to things they have done.
Friend2: You will have to give me some examples here.
Friend1: A friend calls you constantly, to the point of being out of control.
Friend2: Like consecutive missed calls, when they should know that you can’t talk?
Friend1: Exactly. They later claim it was an emergency situation, but it really wasn’t.
Friend2: I get it.
Friend1: After some time has passed, with a new issue they complain about the same behavior in someone else.
Friend2: You mean someone keeps calling them repeatedly, without any consideration for the person’s time?
Friend2: Oh, sure. That happens all the time. I’m sure we do it to other people, too.
Friend1: I guess, but no way at this level. You get the person who doesn’t have the best record of attendance at the office. They aren’t known for going the extra mile to get work done. Then they later start complaining about someone else having the same faults.
Friend2: You could say that is hypocritical.
Friend1: Okay, but sometimes the logical side is missing. Here is one for you. It applies especially to the modern day, with the advent of the internet and the popularity of smartphones. You know that there are ways to illegally download stuff.
Friend2: Movies, television shows, music, software, books and the like.
Friend1: So a lot of people set up their own servers. In this example we’ll take bootleg concerts.
Friend2: Where someone in the audience records the show?
Friend1: Yes. There is this server hosting so many shows from one particular band. Both audio and video. Now, the person hosting creates all these rules. You can only download a certain amount. You have to share a certain amount, also.
Friend2: Maintain a good ratio.
Friend1: Wow, so you’ve heard of this?
Friend1: What really gets me is when the people “authoring” the content start making rules.
Friend2: You mean like the guy who filmed or recorded the show?
Friend1: Doesn’t have to be. Sometimes just the guy who converted it to digital format, like a DVD with a menu.
Friend1: They make rules. “Don’t alter the presentation. Don’t upload this to other online streaming services. Don’t re-author and present the work as your own.”
Friend2: Sure, they are trying to protect the work they have done.
Friend1: But they are thieves! This is stolen content. What they are doing is illegal. How in the world do they expect other people to follow rules when they have broken the law?
Friend2: It’s funny, I know. Makes you think.
Friend1: How can someone be so dense? How do they get to that level?
Friend2: Shri Krishna explains this in the Bhagavad-gita. Sense gratification reaches a point where you lose sight of right and wrong. You don’t know what should be done and what shouldn’t.
Friend1: Do these people not realize that adharma is unsustainable?
Friend2: What do you mean?
Friend1: If you want to lie, will it help you if others lie, as well? If I steal something, I naturally expect my property to be protected. I wouldn’t like it if others stole from me.
Friend2: You are spot on. Adharma is the perfect word. It is going against the proper way. It is not righteous. It is irreligious, or whatever your preferred term to use.
Friend1: What is the solution? If you try pointing out the obvious error to these people, they will flip out on you.
Friend2: The solution is the same to every problem. You can try elevation to the mode of goodness, but who wants to hear about that? They think it’s torture to avoid meat eating, gambling, intoxication and illicit sex. They think such a person is only torturing themselves to reach some higher destination in an afterlife that no one is sure of.
Friend1: That is the perfect presentation of the opposition’s mentality. The solution is bhakti, then?
Friend2: Bring them closer to God the person. Bhakti-upasana. Worship the Supreme Lord. Even if you are not inclined, at least hear transcendental discussions, Hari-katha. Hear the sounds of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Who hasn’t fallen victim to the perils of the mode of passion? Who hasn’t been so invested in a specific outcome tied to sense gratification that they lost sight of the bigger picture? We humans come with defects, and Shri Krishna is always standing close by, waiting to purify.
When in sense gratification falling,
Others as hypocrite calling.
Since first myself to steal,
Then towards rules appeal.
That do this but that not,
But how that property got?
Purification from Krishna to come,
Bhakti the solution one.