14.13: Are we being dulled and lulled?
Few consumer products shape the contemporary home as much as a television. Few images represent a contemporary family better than a group of people, physically cloistered and emotionally distanced, huddled around a TV, staring, cheering, glaring and leering at the alluring images that whiz in and out of existence on the screen. For most people who watch TV, there is neither meaningful contemplation nor purposeful action; there is just mindless consumption of the sound-and-sight fare dished out by the TV.
This effect that TV often has on us is explained in the Bhagavad-gita (14.13) as typical of the mode of ignorance. This mode reduces us to a kind of paralysis by divesting us of our capacities of both contemplation and action. This effect of the mode of ignorance can perhaps best be described as the dulling and lulling effect:
Dulling effect: Our intellectual faculties get atrophied by disuse so that we find it difficult to use them even when we need and want to.
Lulling effect: Our physical capacities get weakened by continuous inactivity so that we become prone to many of the diseases that are concomitant with a sedentary lifestyle.
Gita wisdom describes that, if we wish to break free from this paralyzing effect of the mode of ignorance, then we need to:
1. Annul our desire for lazy illusory pleasure and
2. Kindle our desire for dynamic devotional happiness.
The more we practice the process of Krishna consciousness, the more we get tuned to a spiritual TV that keeps beaming to us the presence and guidance of Krishna constantly, thereby inspiring us toward joyful contemplation and fruitful action.