Can System Really Change us ?

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances, All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

History has repeated itself in Kaliyuga forcing everyone around to believe that one has to behave according to the system and try not to change the system, be it politics or any other huge organization where corruption, bribery, blackmail etc are prevalent. A very famous quote goes like this, "When you try to change the system, the system itself changes you." This is especially more often quoted by police officers and government officials of our country. They say that due to peer pressure they have to take bribe. Because the odd man out is harassed professionally if he does not help the superiors in sinful activity.

Recently I joined a college as lecturer and witnessed with my own eyes that teachers were all engrossed in increasing their name and fame in front of superiors without even thinking what impression they were making in front of students. I saw a case wherein students had to pay a price due to cheap politics of professors. I remained silent for a while and then thought - what can be a way out? Now I was a part of the system and being a newcomer I didn't know if I should bring any change in the system or not. Then I thought about Srila Prabhupada. He was new in America once upon a time. Our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj was also new in Singapore without any acquaintance at that location initially. But they were grave as they fully depended on Krishna. Now one might say that they were pure devotees and we are not, so we should not imitate them. But we also cannot follow our acharyas if we don't follow in their footsteps. So praying to Maharaj and Srila Prabhupada, on my third day of job, I took a class on God Consciousness to final year students. Students were in very angry mood before the class, as they felt they were badly cheated by the most senior professor of college. So I began the class with the quote that our Guru Maharaj has quoted in many of his lectures, "padam padam vipadam" and went on to explain to them that how they need to be alert at every step in this material world. The recent granthraj offering "Worry about three fingers" by HG Vaijayanti Mataji was fresh in my mind, wherein Maharaj had said, "When you point one finger at someone, rest of the three fingers are pointing at yourself. So one should always try to find fault in his own actions rather than judging others." As students were really cursing the professor I had to give them this example about stop judging others and find their own fault. Immediately students admitted that it was their fault that they trusted the wrong person. 

As there was a lot of negative energy in the class, I told the students, "Every experience in our life is given by God to teach us something. If we don't keep our head cool in such situations and create chaos then we lose out on the opportunity to listen to God and His lessons. We learnt today that the material world is a danger at every step and that is why one should be always alert. Do not trust anyone blindly. When wrong acts of others try to dominate us, then we should remain silent and focus on our duty. Being students your duty is to attend all lectures/practicals, study hard and score good marks. So give your hundred per cent in whatever you do. Let your action speak rather than your words. An ideal person is one who keeps himself cool, calm and composed in the most tempting situation." Then I continued for the next 20 minutes glorifying Arjuna as per Bhagavad-Gita, how he was so dear to Lord that Lord Himself became his Saarathi and also explained this most secret knowledge of Bhagavad Gita to him. I told them that just like how a teacher requires a proper qualification to teach, similarly a student also should be obedient and respectful to the teacher like Arjuna, listen to them and impart that knowledge in his life.

In this way I continued to explain the students, the wisdom taught by our beloved Gurudev and Srila Prabhupada. By the causeless mercy of Gurudev and Srila Prabhupada from the next day, there was a sudden change in attitude in the students. Everybody maintained pin drop silence in the class and most importantly, they were attentive. There was a change in their body language as well and they had become more serious in their studies and assignments. I thanked Gurudev for giving me an opportunity to share his realizations with a set of sincere students.

We can conclude that devotional service is definitely transcendental to the mundane material quotes about changing the system. After all, Srila Prabhupada went to the US and changed the entire hippie system. Our Guru Maharaj changed the total approach towards Srimad Bhagavatam by creating a big army to glorify Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita. He has actually succeeded in changing the system by declaring that studying Srimad Bhagavatam is also service in itself to Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada in one of his purports says,"This age of Kali will certainly be full of all activities of kali, but this does not mean that leaders of the society, the executive heads, the learned and intelligent man and above all devotees of Lord should sit down tightly and become callous to reactions of Kali. In rainy season certainly, there will be profuse rainfalls, but that does not mean that men should not take means to protect themselves from rains. It is the duty of all leaders, executive heads to take all necessary actions against the activities of kali."

Srila Prabhupada actually had solutions to all the problems in the system. The way Parikshit Maharaj was at once ready to kill the personified Kali, similarly, Srila Prabhupada wanted all the executive heads and political leaders to stop giving license for animal slaughter industry, liquor shops, prostitution and gambling. In this way actually all the problems in the world can be solved. In this way, the hazy atmosphere of corruption, bribery, blackmail etc can be cleared.

I pray at lotus feet of Sri Krishna, Srila Prabhupada and beloved Gurudev that one day we get a leader like Parikshit Maharaj who can curb the irreligious tendencies of the age of Kali and in real means establish Ram Rajya.

Thank you very much.
Yours in Service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vinaya Sheel devi dasi

Moderator's note: With the blessings of Srila Gurudeva and His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, Jagannath Rathayatra will be held on April 25th 2011 in Trivandrum. Their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra will be showering Their causeless mercy by giving Their auspicious darshan to all in the streets of Trivandrum city. On behalf of devotees in Trivandrum, we cordially invite all to come and take part in this great occasion. For details regarding program schedule and accommodation, please contact HG Kathamrtha Krishna Prabhu (mail id: moorthy@... Mobile: 09895511700)