Choosing Ideals - Lessons from Bhagavad Gita
We often find people complaining about the degrading society in terms of values. In today’s date, we find a lot of antisocial events happening in society, like scams, rapes, murders, etc. We find a lot of misdirected youth engaged in a lot of ill habits like intoxication, masturbation, etc. In this article, we will try to find out why is this happening taking reference from the Bhagavad Gita and try to learn the art of choosing ideals.
Bhagavad Gita 3.21
yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21)
Translation: Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.
We find the Lord states here, the influencers of the society are responsible for the condition of the society. He says here, the common men follow the famous men. So, we need to choose wisely our ideals. As we choose our ideals, we get moulded in a similar character and hence our society takes such form. It is same as the water taking the form of the shape of the container in which it is kept. The ‘modes’ (namely the mode of goodness, passion and ignorance) with which we associate, we inculcate such modes.
Whom are we following?
At present dates, we find a lot of youth involved in uncontrolled computer gaming, intoxication like smoking, drinking, etc. Have we ever thought about why the condition is such, instead of blaming this generation blindly? The answer for maximum people is ‘NO.’
We can easily analyse the root of these problems and we’ll be discussing these in this article.
In this age, where social media is a major source of influence for the population, we find a lot of ‘so-called’ influencers coming up. As we scroll on Instagram, Facebook, youtube, or any other social media platforms, we find a lot of different posts. There are posts either from our friends, relatives, families, etc or the social media influencers whom we follow. The quality of our feed depends on whom we follow. If we follow people like ‘so-called roasters’, ‘models’, etc, the feed gets filled with irrelevant posts. Recently, social media witnessed ‘Tik Tok vs YouTube war.’ When you logically try to understand the value of this, you would hardly find anything. But we found, a lot of people actively participating in this and hence making the atmosphere toxic. Though the video makers provide disclaimers in the beginning, there’s always an impact on the common people. There’s always unnecessary use of cuss words used, in the name of humour (though there’s no humour present). This causes a great impact on children who are impregnated with the thought of using cuss words to feel cool or someone important. But, in reality, this is very cheap.
Excessive computer gaming has made people nowadays very impatient and violent towards others. People get influenced by social media gamers, who make it feel that it is the only source of enjoyment. In the process, children force parents in spending a lot of money on gaming computers, in the name of online education. Parents, with compassion, fulfil their kids’ demands, even in financial crisis. In return, the children waste their time playing games. Many people may argue that this is a profession nowadays, but for small kids, it is not that they require to earn. Moreover, health and mental effects are also considerable. The attitude of impatience and violence is developed in kids, which is undesirable.
We find a lot of intoxication, murders, rapes, sexual harassment to both the genders taking place. We must try to understand, why has this increased overtimes, though we are being ‘MODERN’. It is due to the content we are absorbing from media. Nowadays, we find the web series being made are mostly based on crimes, nudity, body exposures, intoxication. Though there are disclaimers, people get impacted.
People feel smoking and drinking habits in the name of relieving stress or any other reason is very cool. But actually, it is not. The media portrays this activity as if something very holy. Next, women objectification in web series has become very consistent. This causes an ignition to the lust of both men and women. The media portrays women as objects of sense enjoyments, but in reality, women deserve to be seen with huge respect. This sense of enjoying physically with the woman has caused so many troubles. An increased number of rapes, sexual harassment is a result of such. One may argue that people do not have sense control. Yes, this is true, the troubles are due to uncontrolled sense enjoyments. But the type of content one consumes develops such character in a person. It is not that one can become a monk consuming vulgar content.
These days, we find ‘so-called influencers’ committing suicides. This has triggered a lot of people to commit suicide, who was on the verge of taking this decision. This behaviour of escapism is also growing rapidly in society. Therefore we must filter our content consumption.
Whom should we follow?
‘With Great Power, comes Great Responsibility’, were the words of Lord Krishna, as we find in the above verse. Thus, as a responsible individual, we must follow saintly persons. It is not that our country is in the deficit of great leaders. We have personalities like Srila Prabhupada, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Sir Ratan Tata, and many more. This list is unending. The best way is to follow the Perfect Personality, Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to purify ourselves. By following Him, I mean following his teachings through His divine song, Srimad Bhagavad Gita. We’ll then understand, whom to follow and whom not, what shall we associate with and whatnot. We’ll be able to control our senses when something very attractive pops up. That is how we can individually develop.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam once said, “If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nations. When there is an order in the nations, there will peace in the world.” So, this is how we can bring peace in the world. Just we need to choose our ideals wisely, rest the association will do
Moreover, it is also the responsibility of the media and ‘so-called influencers’ to put forward such contents that positively impact people. There are millions of social media users. If the contents are filtered, then it will cause a positive impact globally.
I hope readers must have understood the necessity to filter our association and the urgency to take up spirituality to bring a wave of global peace. It is an earnest request to read and follow saintly persons and make our life a success.
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Thank You for reading the article. The above translations and purports are taken from Bhagavad Gita as it is by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. Hare Krishna.