Abusing Our Children

by Rasaprema Dasa

My dear child, of course you can sit down and watch TV. After all, your mum and I do it every night for five hours. Yes, you can have some potato chips, and oh, you prefer Coke to plain water. Of course you can have it. Maybe, my darling, you would prefer Mountain Dew; all those preservatives and caffeine wouldnít really affect you because this family is on a strict vegetarian diet. Not to mention we offer the Coke and chips to Srila Prabhupada along with the chocolate. Yes, you can have some chocolate; the sweetness will balance the savory. Prasadam is so nice.

Mum, while baby is watching TV and having a nice snack, why donít you cook some prasadam? Oh you canít be bothered? Then letís send out for a Dominoís and some French fries and another big bottle of Pepsi this time. Thatís right, ring the bell and put it all in front of Prabhupada. Even if itís a bit contaminated, Prabhupada will purify it for us. After all Praladah was not poisoned by Hiranyakashipu was he? Krsna protects his devotees.

Thatís it darling, you should watch TV. Look at all those adverts for meat, coffee and cake with subliminal sexual messages. You must learn about the world; itís so terrible. Look at the news about war, and all those dead bodies blown up, and all those foolish people saying nonsense things and shouting abuse at one another. Thatís the real reality show. We are so lucky to be devotees.

What, you want to watch MTV? Ok just a little. Yes of course you can dance to the music. Letís push the harmonium and mrdunga out of the way. You must be feeling a little hyperactive after all that nice prasadam. Wow, you can dance just like Britney, she's just out of rehab and that shows just how bad drugs are. That smell coming from Mum and Dadís bedroom is incense, not grass. And Lord Siva took it and heís the greatest Vaisnava anyway.

Oh look, you are all grown up. Yes, can dress yourself like Britney; saris are just for the temple. You donít look like a slut at all; youíre my angel. And you like to hang out at the mall with all the other gurukulis, but be careful of the ones that drink whiskey and snort drugs. If you go to MacDonaldís, then only buy the French fries, wonít you. Yes, you can get the Cosmopolitan as soon as it comes out. Later on you will read the Bhagavatam. Whatís the Bhagavatam? They are the books on the shelf below the TV in the living room. Iíll dust them off so you can read them after coming back from the movies. The devotional life is so full of spiritual knowledge.

Oh thereís a gurukuli-mela in Vrindavana this year during Karttik. Yes you can go, but remember, no boyfriends; youíre only sixteen and must protect your chastity. But itís alright to mix with the boys to see which of the boys you want to marry. If all you gurukulis go to down to Goa, then avoid the ecstasy and LSD beach raves and all those hippies. Remember, no hard drugs - I mean no drugs. And promise me youíll go to mangal arotik in Vrindavan. Thatís the arotik at 4:30 - no, not in the afternoon, in the morning. I know you didnít ever go here in the States, but thatís in the West - itís not practical. Your mum and I used to go all the time when we joined the movement. After all, we are devotees.

Darling you are phoning from India - how nice! Are you having a good time? Oh, youíre in the Delhi police station. What, you were caught smuggling heroin at the airport? One of the older gurukulis in Vrindavana talked you into carrying it for cash? But didnít I always give you enough money for your pop music and make-up? What? You were stoned at the time! And youíre being sick every morning - you think you might be pregnant. Angel, Iím flying over there right now. Krsna will protect you; chant Hare Krsna until I get there. What, you donít know the Maha-Mantra! You must have heard it at the Sunday Feast, surely. Really, you donít have any beads and bead bag? Didnít you see your mum and dad chanting sometimes while we watched TV?

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So dear readers, thatís the story of our devotee daughter (sheís out in five years). The CPO should look into just who is abusing our children. Here in the West, we are surrounded by materialistic people and they are also baldly influencing our children. As devotees, we should not presume that our devotional example is enough for the success of our children. We must be vigilant, but even then, everything is in the hands of Krsna.


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