Using Our Natural Talents for Krsna

BY: PRITAM DE - 7.11 2018

One of the drawbacks of being born in contemporary India is that the society is totally unaware of encouraging one's natural talents. More than 700 years of Muslim rule suppressed the Vedic culture. Then the Britishers arrived who were hell-bent on eliminating whatever traces of good things remained in India. 300 years of British rule transformed India from one of the most-prosperous nations in the world to one of the poorest. India is yet to come out of subjugation and colonialization the British inflicted on her. It was Lord Mackauley who introduced the English education system in India. In his address to the British parliament in 2 February, 1835, he spoke:

"I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation."

The above statements sums up how British treated India and Indians. The loss of Vedic culture in India can be blamed upon the British and the Mughal rule. We have reached a sorry state today where everything foreign is appreciated and anything Indian is looked down upon. Parents do not want to send their wards to Indian language schools, but to English-medium schools. Even a poor family who hardly can afford a meal wants to send his children to English schools. And the schools, in turn, take advantage of gullible public, by charging exorbitant fees. Nobody cares about the quality of education; only English certificates matter. The education system of India no longer produce any educated people. They only produce dumb idiots who have no leadership and creative skills, but only knows how to follow instructions of the superiors. Lord Mackauley must be laughing at his grave to see his dreams of destroying Indian culture fulfilled.

This is one of the reasons why Srila Prabhupada started the Krsna consciousness movement in the West. Partly to attract the Western people to take up Lord Caitanya's movement, and partly to have the Indians, who blindly ape the West, to follow suit and adopt Krsna consciousness.

Now imagine growing up in India in such a sad state of affairs. Parents only want their children to get a good English education so that they can live a comfortable life working as a corporate slave somewhere. The English rulers wanted to create robotic intelligence-devoid workforce for their industries. The Indians followed suit. Children in India are hardly encouraged to pursue their natural talents. If I child desires to learn and explore his talent in the areas of arts, literature, sports, painting, music, etc., he is forced to abandon them in favor of the modern education. Education in English-language schools is what matters to everyone. Nothing else matters to the parents, schools, society, and governments. I too am a victim of such culture. When I was growing up, I had quite a number of varied interests – especially in literature, arts, etc. I wanted to take up some sporting activity, and wanted to learn at least one musical instrument. Nothing was encouraged. They nipped the buds. Therefore, to speak the truth, I do not know what my natural talents are. Same is the case with millions of children in India.

When I am not aware of my natural talent, how can I be of any service to Lord Krsna? Sometimes I feel so frustrated, angry, unqualified for devotional service that I wish I had got a new life where I can start all over again under proper guidance and devotional environment. But what else can I do? I just have to survive and tolerate the rest of my life painfully hoping that at least the next life would be better. I pray to the Lord to give me a human birth next life so that I can be born in a devotee family and get the right devotional training from early childhood. Now whenever I look at children of devotees, I marvel how fortunate they are to be able to take up Krsna consciousness from such a young age. Instead of learning stupid 'Jack and Jill went up the hill,' they sign beautiful Vaisanava songs. Instead of dressing and playing with Barbie dolls, they dress up Lord Krsna in His various childhood forms. Instead of playing musical instruments on contemporary mundane songs, they play musical instruments on the maha-mantra. Devotional service is ingrained in them right from the time they are borne.

Thanks to Srila Prabhupada who re-introduced the Vedic culture. Following his instructions is the only hope for this world, and India in particular. If India aspires to restore its Vedic heritage, it needs to strictly follow Srila Prabhupada and his teachings more than ever before. If I were the Prime Minister of India, I would make Srila Prabhupada's books compulsory in every schools, colleges, and universities. Krsna consciousness is the only hope for the world, and nothing else.

I sincerely express gratitude to all the early Western disciples of Srila Prabhupada who accepted him and his teachings. Thanks to all of them (including Dhruva Maharaj prabhu and Samapriya mata). Because of them, we are seeing the restoration of Vedic culture – in India and everywhere else.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!