Bodily Consciousness, Miss America, and Suicide

Recently, an accomplished young lady committed suicide. What is the root cause of it? What is the consequence of it? What can we do to stop this?

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:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krishna Mahamantra

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!

Where can I hear “Bhagavad-Gita As It Is”?

Where can classes on the Bhagavad Gita be found online?

Laura, 2 July 2019

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudev

All glories to Srila Prabhuapada

I am a new devotee and know very little

I have been introduced to the Hare Krishna Mantra while in CA in 2017 and have been reading the ‘Bhagavad-Gita As It Is’ very very slowly by myself

I am living in the South of France temporarily and there are no Devotees here.. Only in Paris

The only way I can listen to the ‘Bhagavad-Gita As It Is’ suggested is through YouTube videos

Is that accepted ?

I would welcome any advice

Hare Krishna

Laura

Bhakta Sunil, 2 July 2019

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble respects

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Here is the link to the nectarean ocean of many Bhagavad-Gita As It Is audio lectures : https://www.krishnaconsciousness.com/lectures

You can also directly participate in live lectures online to listen and ask questions via www.livelectures.net

Please send an email to sda@backtohome.com to add your email to be informed of forthcoming online live lectures schedules (hopefully beginning in a day or two)

Also, please keep reading daily thought emails via www.joincourse.com

Hope this helps,

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Trino Carrera 2 July 2019

Hare Krishna Mataji…Please accept my humble obeisances.    All glories to Srila Prabhupada.  All glories to Srila Gurudev.   Yes there are lectures of Srila Prabhupada on Gita on Youtube and even a video of him giving the Introduction.  Also there are many lectures of Srila Gurudev on there as well.

Trino Carrera

Helen Thomas, 4 July 2019

We all watch loads of YouTube videos every day. It is wonderful that it is there for our use. There are excellent classes in there. There are classes by Srila Prabhupada Himself and by a whole range of Gurus. Wonderful lectures in Krsna TV by Mayapur TV by ISKCON by the Gurus themselves. I personally love to watch videos by HH Bhakti Vikas Swami. There are so many, a wonderful wealth. Please don’t feel it is second best to attending a live lecture, you can watch the best in action. You can also watch Remembrances of Prabhupada which are also worthy of a watch. Please immerse yourself in the teachings of Lord Krsna, Lord Caitanya, Srila Prabhupada our founding acarya, and chant and be happy.

Hare Krsna!

Helen Thomas

Editor’s note: Youtube does have a lot of good resource but can also popup all sorts of unsavoury and misleading videos, ads, etc. For a full audio archive of Srila Prabhupada’s lectures including those on the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, see www.prabhupadavani.org.

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com

What is the signficance of Hanuman’s presence on Arjuna’s chariot?

Rathin Mandal, 03rd April 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

In Krishna book, chapter 58, describing the great war of Kurukshetra, it says that: “Both of them sat down on Arjuna’s chariot, which flew a flag with a picture of Hanumān. Arjuna’s special chariot is always marked with the picture of Hanumān, and therefore he is also named Kapidhvaja.”
I have couple of questions :

What is the pastime for having flag emblemed with Hanumanji on chariot of Arjuna? While as in Mahabharat serial it was shown that mostly warriors used to have flags emblemed with Suryadev (Sun).

Another reason for this question is that there is a very popular belief that because Arjuna had flag of Hanumanji on his chariot, he was protected by Hanumanji. Even I used to believe in this previously. But now I understand that when Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna is himself with Arjuna then Arjuna already has all the protection.
Is there any other pastime related here which got perverted with time?

your Servant
Rathin

Bhakta Sunil, 03rd April 2013

Hare Krishna Rathin Prabhu ji

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I read your question and was reminded of few lines which I had read

I searched and found few results and am pasting a search result which I think you would find relevant to your question :

TEXT 20:
atha vyavasthitan drishtva
dhartarashtran kapi-dhvajah
pravritte sastra-sampate
dhanur udyamya pandavah
hrishikesam tada vakyam
idam aha mahi-pate

TRANSLATION:
At that time Arjuna, the son of Pandu, seated in the chariot bearing the flag marked with Hanuman, took up his bow and prepared to shoot his arrows. O King, after looking at the sons of Dhritarashtra drawn in military array, Arjunathen spoke to Lord Krishna these words.

PURPORT:
The battle was just about to begin. It is understood from the above statement that the sons of Dhritarashtra were more or less disheartened by the unexpected arrangement of military force by the Pandavas, who were guided by the direct instructions of Lord Krishna on the battlefield. The emblem of Hanuman on the flag of Arjuna is another sign of victory because Hanuman cooperated with Lord Rama in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and Lord Rama emerged victorious. Now both Rama and Hanuman were present on the chariot of Arjuna to help him. Lord Krishna is Rama Himself, and wherever Lord Rama is, His eternal servitor Hanuman and His eternal consort Sita, the goddess of fortune, are present. Therefore, Arjuna had no cause to fear any enemies whatsoever. And above all, the Lord of the senses, Lord Krishna, was personally present to give him direction. Thus, all good counsel was available to Arjuna in the matter of executing the battle. In such auspicious conditions, arranged by the Lord for His eternal devotee, lay the signs of assured victory.
Regards,
Sunil
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 04th April 2013

Dear Rathin Mandal,

Yes, it is correct that the chariot was protected by Sri Hanuman who is an eternal servitor of Lord Sri Krishna in His form as Lord Sri Ramachandra, this is mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharata even before the war of Kurukshetra.

The makers of television serials are certainly influential, but are not authorities. For example, in one television serial I saw as a child, the actors playing the role of Brahmanas performing auspicious yajnas all had their sacred thread on the right shoulder going down to left side of waist (usually done only for certain duties considered inauspicious). It is sometimes quite unnerving to see the shortcuts etc., because they did not take advice and guidance of bona fide spiritual master. Still, some information is passed, on, but also much misinformation.

Re how it is that Hanuman appeared on the flag, there is a nice pastime of Krishna, but it might be too detailed for this international group of students. So contact me offline for that 🙂

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
Rathin Mandal, 04th April 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much Sunil Prabhu and Mahabhagavat Prabhu for the answers.
This helps me to understand the meaning better.

your Servant
Rathin
Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.backtohome.com

%d bloggers like this: