Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Saffron Revolution

Here's a link to an article from today's The Independent detailing some of the recent developments from the situation in Burma, where thousands of Buddhist monks are at the center of a popular uprising against the military junta running the country's infrastructures.

As devotees of Krsna, we are also apt to throw ourselves into chaotic social situations, but our tendency is rather to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted, as devotees organized with Food For Life did in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Indonesian Tsunami in 2005.

Still, what if we were being prevented from entering our own temples? From engaging in our worship? If devotees were being beaten and killed in the streets by state-police forces? Such totalitarian hell may seem to be only the product of the Third World, but it's closer to home than you think.

The example of the monks in Burma is inspiring for their courage and conviction, but we as devotees must also take caution. Fighting the demons of this world at this time is usually not best served by such a direct approach. Prabhupada taught us many techniques of "guerilla spiritual warfare" (distributing books, prasadam, etc), and these are our main tools.

Still, as spiritual warriors, who knows what the future holds, and what kind of courageous stands we will have to make if things turn for the worse in our overly chaotic global situation. For now, we should send our prayers to the people of Burma that they may be able to shake loose the chains that are binding them without too much blood being shed.


janmastami das said...

" Fighting the demons of this world at this time is usually not best served by such a direct approach."

can you cite scripture to support this position?

chase said...

I respect your view, I find it to be a common one in the KC community. Being involved in direct action activism for quite sometime I feel direct action is one of the best ways to free ourselves from enslavement of the demons. Without making struggle visible the generally apathetic mood of our society will cover up anything that doesn't have to do with what Brittany Spears latest performance.


Club 108 said...

to janmastami das, i can at least cite this from a Gita lecture by Prabhupada on 12-6-66 in NYC

So this is direct method. The Kåñëa consciousness, which we are trying to popularize, this is direct method and just suitable for this age. As Lord Caitanya introduced, kalau nästy eva nästy eva nästy eva gatir anyathä. In this age of Kali, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy—this is called Kali—in this age this is the simplest method and direct, direct action. Just like in military art there is a word, "direct action," this is the spiritual direct action, this Hare Kåñëa Hare Kåñëa Kåñëa Kåñëa Hare Hare, Hare Räma Hare Räma Räma Räma Hare Hare. But because it is very simple, sometimes those who think themselves as very intelligent and advanced, they think, "Oh, what they are doing, Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa? We are meditating, we are philosophizing, and we are doing penance and austerities and following the rituals, so many things." So practically, they are, according to Bhagavad-gétä they are not directly in touch with the Supreme Lord

also, check out any news reports about the hundreds of monks in Burma removed from their temple, trucked into the forest, and mass-murdered...