For those who agree or disagree with Srila Prabhupa for those who agree or disagree with me and for those who disagree with each other, here is an opportunity that we may agree on.
Please have the patience to read through, and in the end the field for cooperation and convergence is wide open.
Many years ago, I heard a "Prabhupada said". Some who have been around for a while might have heard it as well. It goes like this, "There may come a time when the temples are no longer here and books may not be so easily accessible. Your association with others of like mind may be limited. Then you will be on your own and your connection with Krsna will be tested". Whether this is the exact quote or not, the reality of a world and life as we have known it might become vastly different considering the spiritual, political, and economic realities that are clashing and heading towards Earth like fiery comets.
Pressures of scarce energy sources, growing environmental stress and disruption; an out of control rising population; vast inequalities of income; and world wide economies that are based on nothing other than imaginary accounting; are stark realities. They are the devolution spawned from Godless leadership and ignorant religions, that have been in control far too long.
Those who presently rule the world engage in a wanton destruction of nature. They propagate the illusion that consuming everything on Earth in the fire of raging greed is what it means to be alive and successful. They are setting fire to their house to stay warm. Pathology reigns. They measure success by GDP, gross domestic product that calculates how fast we consume all of the natural resources of the earth.
Prabhupada showed how to keep one foot in the spiritual world and one foot here. He was very well aware of the abuses of power going on in the world. He expected us to resolve our differences and get on with the real work of relieving the distress of the Earth-as Krsna did when she cried for Him. He wanted his people to be scientists and politicians, philosophers and philanthropists. He cried for the trees, he cried for the cows, he cried for the poor and unfortunate. He cried for us to wake up.
Men slaughter dolphins, thank God for the cow on their plates, mutilate the yonis of women and sell young girls into slavery and loveless marriages. Where ever we are today in this moment, whatever we have been through so far, our dharma now clearly is to cooperate in bringing about an alternative to domination by illusion and ill will.
May every one of us be empowered to bring about the change.
In physics, potential energy or stored energy is its ability to develop or come into existence. Kinetic energy is released when the object is set in motion. In regards to what we are talking about, the maha mantra is supposed to set things in motion. Chanting, along with philosophical discussions and meditations set internal energies in motion. Being loving, is the pinnacle of expression of these practices. It is the kinetic, visible success of bhakti yoga.
However, too often instead of bhakti being a "full chakra experience" so to speak, information gets stuck in the head without even energizing the heart chakra. Thus whites are not allowed to see the Lord in Jagannath Puri, women are seen as inferior, 'devotees' use shastra to kill each other on the internet, and disciples perform guru bashing. At one temple the disciples of one guru were not even offered prasadam. And by the way, how are those who propagate rittvik philosophy so sure that Prabhupada even wants more disciples? Did you ask him if it was all right to keep piling on karmic responsibility?
The idea we imbibed from Prabhupada was to envision a God centered society that was broad in its scope of all varnas and not limited by monastic blinders or hierarchical complexes. I give again the example of Rupa Ragunnath who has done so much in setting up schools, clinics, food programs, etc in Vrndavana, but was criticized by certain sannyasis, as being outside of 'Prabhupada's vision' by performing mundane humanitarian work. As such he took his success outside of ISKCON but is loved by people all over Vrndavana.
Tonight we are taking the potential/kinetic paradigm to group discussion using a template of a Charter for our present time home planet and all her inhabitants. Yoga practitioners who have linked with Krsna's Heart and Mind, want to design a "world that works for all."
Envision being isolated from all that is considered home, temple or sanctuary. You find yourself with a group of strangers looking to reorganize their lives. You have been practicing bhakti yoga for 40 years. What will you do to play your part in creating a new society? Here is something to organize your spirituality, intelligence, mind and heart.
For those who have been contributing to these dialogues this is a chance to work together for the common good. Your input might even be helpful to the betterment of ISKCON. What follows is a template we can work on together to design a Charter for a world that works for all. Contribute to whatever part you wish to write about:
TEMPLATE FOR A FRESH SOCIETY
We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future holds great peril and great promise.
We must recognize that in the midst of a diversity of cultures we are one human family and one Earth community with both a common spiritual and earth bound destiny. We live in a reality of being simultaneously one but different.
We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for our common origin, nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we declare our responsibility to the Creator and the creation, to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.
I. RESPECT AND CARE FOR THE SANCTITY OF ALL LIFE
- Recognition of our Common Origin
- Respect of Earth and life in all its diversity.
- Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.
- Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful.
- Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for present and future generations.
- Follow a timeline to reduce fossil fuel dependency and usage.
- Invest in Solar, Wind, and Bio-fuel technologies instead of War technologies.
- A Declaration of Independence from the mind, false ego, and institutions of all kinds which foster divisiveness and superiority.
- Protect and restore the integrity of Earth's ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
- Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection.
- Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative capacities, and community well-being.
- Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of this essential knowledge.
- The first principle of artha, economic wellbeing, is that regardless of nation, race, or spiritual inclination, respect and honor for our Mother- the Earth is the first amongst laws.
- Everyone has the right to a healthy, fulfilling life. As such no person or institution shall manipulate or enslave the mind or body of another to gain dominance. Those who create poverty are considered anti-earth.
- As a needed step towards balance, animals must be protected from human insensitivity.
- It is our responsibility, when increasing the size of the human community, to be accurate in understanding the requirements of loving parenthood.
- Gender equality and equity are to be considered prerequisites to sustainable life.
- Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative.
- Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.
- Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care, and economic opportunity.
- Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.
- Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.
- Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life, advancement of spiritual harmony.
- Treat all living beings with respect and consideration. Reduce the slaughter of animals to an absolute minimum.
- Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.
- Provide transparency and accountability in government, religious or economic institutions.
- Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life in a God centered society.
- Create a global alliance that ensures, through empowerment of resources and technology that each country promotes continuous improvement of human happiness through environmental integrity.
- Create standard indicators for human and global happiness eg.
- Life Expectancy Indicator
- Life Satisfaction Indicator
- Ecological Footprint Indicator
- Ethnic and Religious Harmony Indicator
- Crop, Flock and Herd Wellness Indicators
- Create efficient trading route maps and calendars that insure minimal carbon footprint between production and consumers.
- Manage Human Migration Opportunities to balance local resources with population density.
- Empower a global body funded by corporations and financial Institutes through centralized global taxation; this body will invest in humanitarian happiness, equilibrium and environmental and ecological stabilization.
- The fostering of Democratic Societies, that promotes the good of all.
- To enter the field of business, an education in the sustainable use of natural resources, will be required.
- Empower a Global Governing Body funded through Governmental taxation to Regulate Religious bodies, insuring and implementing religious and ethnic harmony and tolerance.
- Eradicate religious fanaticism, hatred and bigotry through a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that allows a onetime Amnesty on conditions of reform.
- Intelligent design should be the basis by which Theism and Atheism can coexist in search of Truth.
- Care for all life by expressing our higher nature thru understanding, acceptance and compassion. Those who foster hate and profess a warring mentality are considered pathological.
- In regards to religious or social practices, any group that fosters the vision of a common cause leading to the good of all and which generates peace, is acceptable.
- The governmentâ€™s responsibility is to protect against any group that fosters divisiveness and greed.
II. ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITYSuggestions
III. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICESuggestions
IV. DEMOCRACY, NONVIOLENCE, AND PEACESuggestions
V. OVERSIGHT OF GLOBAL HAPPINESS INDICATORSSuggestions
VI. CORPORATE AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTES, GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY, LEGISLATION AND TAXATION.Suggestions
VII. ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS HARMONY AND CONGRUENCYSuggestions
THE WAY FORWARD
As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. This requires a change of mind and heart. It requires a new sense of universal responsibility. We must imaginatively develop and apply the vision of a sustainable way of life internally, locally, nationally, regionally, and globally.
We have much to learn from the ongoing collaborative search for truth and wisdom where cooperation must keep competition in check.
Life often involves tensions between important values. Even to find a non violent way to feed humanity will meet with great challenges. However, we must find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals. Every individual, family, organization, and community has a vital role to play.
The arts, sciences, religions, educational institutions, media, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and governments are all called to offer creative leadership. The partnership of government, civil society, and business is essential for effective governance.
Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for the Supreme and all forms of life.