In recent classes on the Srimad Bhagavatam, my spiritual master mentioned this sad news.
Why did a beautiful, young, highly educated young lady, crowned as Miss America recently commit suicide? Yes, Cheslie Kryst, former Miss America, an attorney, committed suicide on Jan 31, 2022! This was incredibly sad that such a gifted person thought it fit to end her valuable human life in this way.
Not long ago, a young school girl, Mallory, just 12 years of age, committed suicide too.
These are just two sad examples of many, many.
Some people are faulting social media, and Big Tech. The argument goes that these platforms are designed and created to be addictive, and these platforms don’t enforce discipline or proper behavior among the users, and so, harassment from others is the cause of the suicide. There is some truth to this.
But just like all other material solutions to material problems, it is only a partial truth. Partial truths only create more problems further down the road.
It is true that platforms like Facebook and Instagram are designed to be addictive. In Mathematics, there is a concept called “necessary and sufficient condition”… sometimes a condition is “necessary” but not “sufficient”. This means that unless all the necessary and the sufficient conditions are met, a certain statement is not true.
The fact is that there are a lot of different causes that cause this problem. If you start analyzing the problem, you will find that our entire social order, our systems, our institutions, and our societies each contribute to this problem. But how to attack the problem at it’s root?
When we examine harassment on social media, negative body image, resulting depression, and reduction of self-confidence to the extent of committing suicide, the primary condition to cause all the other problem is bodily consciousness.
What is “Miss America”? It is an external material designation, awarded to someone almost arbitrarily, on the basis of their body, and to some extent, their mind. So, the very “achievement” deepens and locks someone into bodily consciousness. So this Miss America thing is a big part of the problem, because of course, every idiot has their own idea of what is beautiful and what is not. Everyone who organizes it, everyone who participates in it, everyone who watches it, and everyone who attaches any value or any importance to it is a victim of this terrible disease of bodily consciousness.
Yes, bodily consciousness. Thinking that we are these bodies is the fundamental root cause of the problem.
We are spirit souls, or “Atma”. We are completely non-material.
In fact, the spirit soul wears two bodies, just like we wear outwear and underwear… The “outerwear” in the case of the spirit soul, is these gross material body. And the “underwear” in the case of the spirit soul is the subtle material body, consisting of mind, intelligence, and false ego.
What is false ego? Exactly the very root of the problem. False ego means “I am this body, I am this mind”. To confuse and conflate the identity of the pure spirit soul with temporary identities like the gross and material bodies is the pastime of fools like Descartes. And due to these very smart and clever fools, innocent people are being misled, even to the point of suicide.
In the material energy, the principal manifestations are eight, as above mentioned. Out of these, the first five manifestations, namely earth, water, fire, air and sky, are called the five gigantic creations or the gross creations, within which the five sense objects are included. They are the manifestations of physical sound, touch, form, taste and smell. Material science comprises these ten items and nothing more. But the other three items, namely mind, intelligence and false ego, are neglected by the materialists.https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/4/ purport
Spiritual life begins at the point when we realize our identity as spirit soul. Any religious, philosophical or scientific tradition which does not clearly help us understand this is purely material in nature.
It is extremely sad that violence is being committed upon God’s dear souls every single day. And one should be extremely angry with those who are perpetrating this violence?
What is violence and what is non-violence? Violence means denying someone their right. If you have a right to be somewhere, and someone denies you that right, then that is violence against you.
Dear Spirit Soul, you are not this body, you are spirit soul, an eternal associate of God. Why are you accepting this horrible violence being perpetrated on you, making you believe that you are this body, you are this mind?
Wake up! Free yourself from these shackles! And the moment you do, you will no longer be fodder for those peddling sense gratification. You will not be addicted to Wordle, you will not be addicted to Facebook, you will not be addicted to Instagram, you will not be addicted to LinkedIn, and you will never have a negative thought about yourself for all of eternity.
Because you will know who you are, and you will be who you are. Eternal, Full of Knowledge and Ever-increasing Bliss – these are your qualities as a spirit soul.
You will then participate in the most enlivening, adventurous, loving interactions, together with other spiritually perfected beings, in the service of God.
Are you struggling with any negativity because of being misled like these unfortunate souls? Do you know someone suffering like this? Send them this article! Let me know, I will gladly point in the right direction, and you will be ever-increasingly happy.
To the gross materialist who cannot see anything beyond the gross material body, there is nothing beyond the senses. Therefore his occupational activities are limited to concentrated and extended selfishness. Concentrated selfishness centers around the personal body—this is generally seen amongst the lower animals. Extended selfishness is manifested in human society and centers around the family, society, community, nation and world with a view to gross bodily comfort.https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/2/8/ purport
At the minimum, you should know the consequence of committing suicide… when someone kills their gross material body, they are not released from their subtle material body. So, the soul, because it is not yet time to acquire a new gross material body, has to remain in the subtle material body till the allotted lifetime is finished.
This is called, remaining on as a ghost. The ghosts, they do not possess a gross material body or senses, though they have many material desires for sense gratification. Just imagine how frustrating it is to want to drink water but have no hands, no tongue, no throat, and no stomach! Such is the fate of the ghost. In order to enjoy material experiences, ghosts have a need to inhabit other material bodies… and this happens when a person becomes intensely angry, or unspeakably morose, drunk, drugged, or otherwise inebriated. When this happens, a ghost finds it easy to enter such a body, and act through that body.
Ghosts are bereft of a physical body because of their grievously sinful acts, such as suicide. The last resort of the ghostly characters in human society is to take shelter of suicide, either material or spiritual. Material suicide causes loss of the physical body, and spiritual suicide causes loss of the individual identity.https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/14/24/ purport
This is why we find instances of perfectly normal people doing things they would have never dreamed of doing. For example a gentle schoolteacher might murder someone, a devoted mother might abuse their child, a policeman may end up committing a most heinous crime. Of course, the ghost cannot be punished in a human court of law!
So it is all very very sad. This intense bodily consciousness and the resultant side effects must be stopped.
How can you stop this? First you have to perfect yourself. How can you do it?
Here is a start, chant this Mantra as much as you can:
And to understand who you really are, read this book carefully The Bhagavad Gita As It Is. To be free is your right, don’t surrender it! I can help you get your own copy!
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