The Monk’s Podcast 62 with Madhavananda Prabhu – Conspiracy theories
Conspiracy theories – The Monk’s Podcast with Madhavananda Prabhu
Succinctly summarised by Chaitanya Charan Prabhu from 1.30.59:
So, we discussed today broadly on the topic of going beyond conspiracy theories. We may blame people individually when we face problems, either our own problems or problems in the society around us. When we expand that blaming mentality, we might blame someone, a particular agent, one particular cause, and that can become a conspiracy theory. And so, the problem with that is, first of all, you know, we don’t know enough to say that one particular thing is the cause of all problems. And it’s more likely that the problem is more like ignorance or incompetence rather than malevolence. And even if it is, that there is some one cause of all problems, now, what are we going to do about it? Whether it is somebody spreading and spreading biochemical by doing biochemical warfare through pathogens or somebody trying to convert a whole country, how is it if we become more obsessed with evil, then focusing on godliness, then we will end up becoming agents of evil.
You mentioned two quotes of Bhakti Siddhanta Thakur about reformation, that criticizing others is actually very difficult work. And a Guru must do that. He says, I’m forced to do that. But why are you going out of your way to do that?
So, criticizing could also mean obsessing over the evil and other people. And that’s why we might criticize and that can bring out the evil within us. So, the real problem with conspiracy theories is that we become more conscious of the problem than of Krishna as the solution, which can distract us from Krishna consciousness.
Krishna consciousness is the primary solution and as the tool within that, there could be various things. There could be some managerial change, there could be some change in power, there could be bringing awareness of some problems, various things, but then there is a conspiracy theory mentality. The second thing that is too first becomes the primary and Krishna consciousness is like pushed or retired upstairs, and then then we end up often being a part of the problem rather than the solution. In essence, reformation is required, but to think that we are the reformers, that is a problem.
And then you talk about how we focus more on the domain of ideas. So, at the transcendental level, we need to know that it is Krishna who is the solution. If we are part of the solution, it is because Krishna is acting through us and we need to stay connected with Krishna. So, there is more of a positive focus in trying to solve the problem, rather than criticizing things. Like Prabhupada did not criticize Gaudiya Matha so much as he focused on creating an alternative in the form of the Krishna consciousness movement.
And the problem with the conspiracy theories is that it creates a culture of distrust and we can question authority. But it is more important that we find likeminded Association. Varna ashram is not so much about dividing people into society, but creating a likeminded associate, having likeminded Association, where we all can make the contribution that we are meant to do- like Arjuna fought, somebody writes ,different people may do different things, but it needs to be in the context of our connection with Krishna, devotion to Krishna.
You also gave the example of Gaura Kishore Das Baba Ji, how he did not see that these people were beating him when he saw that Krishna is doing this to me. So, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Krishna is acting.
And then I mentioned these three things that if you want to make a change, contribute to changing the world. So purity is to stay connected with ourselves, then humility is to know that it’s not that I have the full solution, but I have a small part of a bigger solution. And I can see a small problem which I’ll work on and then maturity is a way that we don’t disrupt what is working but focus on creating something which is constructive. And while working on this inside out change, taking responsibility that we can avoid going into self-pity, beating ourselves up by knowing that our focus has to connect with Krishna, not on beating ourselves down. When we get involved with conspiracy theories we turn away from Krishna and start dreading something else.
Did I miss anything important Prabhu?
End of transcription.