Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Only Medicine that Works

Now that the terrorist attacks in Mumbai are gradually receding in the collective human consciousness, the puzzle remains how young boys, barely men, could be brainwashed into becoming mass murderers. The forces of fundamentalism -- using religious prejudice and misusing the words of God's prophets and messengers-- are today's fascism.

By appealing to popular desires, envy and prejudice, fundamentalist leaders of all persuasions -- Muslims, Christians, even Hindus -- mislead their followers, and create havoc for others who are complete strangers, innocent civilians caught in the crosshairs of Kali yuga.

It is a symptom of Kali that compassion is conspicuous by its absence. Pity the poor cows and bulls and other farm animals who have zero rights and who are tortured and murdered without any protest. And grieve for the innocent victims of terror attacks who are standing or sitting in the wrong place at the wrong time. None of us can say that we are free from the curse of Kali.

Harer nama, harer nama, harer nama eva kevalam..... only the holy names can nullify the miseries of the modern age. Only the chanting of divine names of God can pacify the heart. It's the only medicine that works.

That sounds simplistic and naive but it is based on the experiential evidence of genuine sadhus, fakirs and saints, and the transcendental words of wisdom found in all scriptures. God does not belong to anyone. Everyone belongs to God. And He is absolutely free from prejudice and therefore can be seen only by someone who is similarly pure in heart.

We are not sincere enough to appreciate the medicine we are offered. Instead we like to drink poison in the form of distractions, diplomacy and debate. Nevertheless, let us pray to become sincere. So that we can take the medicine and experience the cure. And taste the real sweetness and lightness that can be found beneath the heavy suffering of an iron age.