Don’t let net surfing degenerate to suffering in the net

When we travel to an unfamiliar place, we are alert to dangers such as muggers.

When we surf the net, our consciousness travels to whatever site we visit. But because our body stays safely in our room during net surfing, we often don’t realize the danger involved – our time and mental energy can be robbed.

By clicking a series of links, we may end up wasting irreplaceable hours. Even more pernicious than the problem of time wastage is the hazard of mental entrapment. If our mind gets addicted to unhealthy stimuli, our whole thinking and even living can get distorted.

The danger of such degeneration is especially high when people surf obscene imagery. They begin with what they downplay as harmless sexual titillation. But without even realizing where they are going, they may end up watching brutal sexual depravity or even illegal child porn. Even if that doesn’t happen, still the obscene images frequently etch permanent marks on their consciousness, goading them into relapses. What seemed titillating initially becomes sickening – yet they can’t break free. They have become victims of not robbing, but kidnapping. The Bhagavad-gita (02.44) cautions that attachment to sensual indulgence can abduct our consciousness.

Such dangers arise because of not net surfing, which most of us can’t avoid in today’s culture, but unguarded net surfing, which we can and should avoid. By taking appropriate precautions while surfing the net, as we would while embarking on a travel, we can reduce the danger substantially. Further, by choosing to act on our higher spiritual desires instead of our lower sensual desires, we can expose our consciousness to Krishna-centered sights and sounds in real-life as well as on the net. By the resulting purification of our consciousness, we can relish higher spiritual satisfaction and resist the lure of lower pleasures.

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