Be not dulled and lulled by TV

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 being dished out.

This effect that TV often has on us is, from the perspective of the Bhagavad-gita (14.13), 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. The 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 typical to 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 annul our desire for lazy illusory pleasure and kindle our desire for dynamic spiritual happiness. We can do both by rendering devotional service to Krishna. And the more we practice devotional service, 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.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14 Text 13

“When there is an increase in the mode of ignorance, O son of Kuru, darkness, inertia, madness and illusion are manifested.”

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Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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