“Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.34)
मन्-मना भव मद्-भक्तो
मद्-याजी मां नमस्कुरु
माम् एवैष्यसि युक्त्वैवम्
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
In the modern world of constant distractions, there is the likelihood of developing an addiction to checking the news. Endless scroll is the new technology platform used on internet sites which publish content on a regular basis.
In essence, you never reach the end of material to consume. There is always something more. You can get lost in the comments section, as well, particularly for a controversial subject matter. Even the most astute observer, who should know better, gets caught up in the discussion.
This increases the difficulty of practicing spiritual life, especially that passed down in the Vedic tradition. In Bhagavad-gita, Shri Krishna explains a discipline of sorts. It is a pursuit towards perfection of the consciousness. The culmination is total surrender to Him in devotion, sharanagati, but reaching that platform is rare.
One way to combat this particular addiction is to realize that there isn’t much new going on. It is not difficult to predict what will be the big stories in the news publications across the world tomorrow.
1. Some innocent person was sent to jail
“Seriously, they didn’t do anything wrong. The government officials raided their home in the early morning hours. There was no probable cause; just an intimidation tactic. The idea was to try to force a confession. Make up some crime, for which they have no evidence, and then scare the person into agreeing.
“This then furthers a narrative. The government goes to their news outlet of choice, leaks the story, and that then paints the opposition political party in a bad light. That party’s supporters are being arrested, you see; you know the government would never lie, no matter how much others protest.”
2. Some corrupt government is censoring the truth
“Women and children are being slaughtered left and right. You can hear the information directly from them. They are sending heartfelt pleas for help. They want to be rescued, as a new force has violently taken over the government.
“The government that used to be in charge, the one that abandoned everyone abruptly, does not even discuss the horrors of the aftermath. They are claiming victory, saying it is one of the most successful withdrawals in history. They don’t care at all about the people left behind. If anyone brings up an issue, the government officials ignore it, labelling it ‘misinformation.’
3. Some politician lied
“They are forcing everyone to take this experimental injection. It is outside the bounds of the law, so they are trying their best through other means. Threaten to fire people unless they comply. Restrict entry to important places unless someone shows proof of having received this medical treatment.
“Yet, just a few short months ago these same government leaders were saying they would not take the injection. Another party was in power in the government, so that is the reason for their different opinion. It is blatant hypocrisy. These people are lying about the law. They are completely dishonest.”
4. Some local election was stolen
“In the middle of the night, when the count wasn’t going their way, these people wheeled out suitcases full of ballots. It is all caught on video camera. Any person with half a brain understands what happened. The outcome of the election changed in a matter of minutes.
“Today, if anyone tries to investigate the issue further, they get stopped. None of the elected officials will sanction an investigation precisely because they directly benefitted from the theft. I can’t believe this is allowed to go on in this country. People think we are civilized, but we are not.”
5. Some bogus poll was released
“How anyone takes these polls seriously anymore is beyond me. They literally can make a poll say anything. I’m not joking. If you wanted to show how people think drinking water is bad, you could get that outcome. Word the questions a particular way, choose a weighted sample size, and there you go. The headlines will be all over the place, and the less intelligent will believe without questioning.”
Rather than time wasted in this way, a person can always think about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is all-attractive. He already works countless miracles, beginning with the creation of nature itself. The rampant deception is in one way paying homage to Him. Despite so much evidence available, people are still fooled into thinking that this life is the only one, that their temporary body identifies them, and that there is no afterlife.
This foolishness can only exist if Bhagavan’s illusory energy of maya is successful in her efforts. Fortunately, the same Bhagavan can lift me up, out of the illusion, and into full sobriety. Seeing things clearly, I understand that devotion to Him is the only way.
Despite what others to say,
Devotion the only way.
Since in illusion and despair,
Over temporary news to care.
That politician lied and cheated,
Or through stolen election defeated.
Rather with Bhagavan spend my time,
And warmed from spiritual effulgence to shine.
Categories: the five