September 17, 2001
The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword
BY VIDAGDHA MADHAVA DAS
EDITORIAL, Sep 17 (VNN) — Let's test a few pens to see if they are 'mightier than the sword'
The world was shocked on September 11th, when 19 men, willing to give up their lives for a cause, commandeered 4 commercial airliners and killed over 5,000 unarmed civilians, including women and children. A lot of the strength and determination behind their ghastly actions came from a belief among these men that they were going to heaven for what they did. I have a few thoughts on how to deal with this situation and I am asking the help of powerful, clear-minded devotees around the world.
In the past, I have seen devotees attack each other with such sharp criticism, that they appeared to be trying to break the faith of the followers of some other mission. Why not turn this same sword against these militant mulas, fanatical leaders and terrorist cells that are goading uneducated and misguided men and boys to commit suicide with the promise that they are going to heaven? It has been pointed out in the media, recently, that suicide is even condemned in the Koran. Let's get that quote. A Mula on National public radio said that if someone commits suicide, he dies as a non-muslim. But let's enlarge the picture. Let's make it clear that there is no scripture on the planet, including the vedas, that condones suicide for any cause and that the karmic destination for such a transgression is Hell.
Of course, Prabhupada clearly states in Srimad Bhagavatam that cow killing means the end of human civilization. The slaughterhouse industry has also been the cause of untold suffering in the form of heart disease, cancer and hellish consciousness. How anyone can pray for peace without addressing this issue is beyond me.
Srila Prabhupada also states that in Kali Yuga, there will be fighting and hypocrisy over even small things.The amount of hate it took to generate the World Trade Tower tragedy is incredible, but the cornerstone that supports it still remains in the idea that these fanatics have the right to go to heaven by killing themselves and unarmed civilians. Let's demolish the cornerstone of this ludicrous belief with all the spiritual shakti at our command. Let's drive a wedge, crack the wall and inject serious doubts in the minds of these unfortunate, misguided suicide bombers. Let's mobilize powerful religious personalities, including Muslims, to publicly destroy this idea that anyone can go to heaven by killing himself and other unarmed people for any cause. Let's make it abundantly clear that suicide bombers are clearly going to pay a hellish price in the afterlife if they commit such abominable actions.
If someone has any writing ability or any inroads with the media, we should make this truth reverberate all over the world. Although a warrior is awarded heaven if he dies bravely in battle face to face with an enemy for a righteous cause, he is punished if he kills an unarmed person. A righteous King can put a prisoner to death if that person has committed a crime worthy of that punishment. Arjuna was allowed to transgress Ksatriya codes on the direct order of Krishna. But Arjuna is the exception and not the rule and Osama Bin Laden and people like him are not Krishna or his representative.
Qualified and senior devotees(crazies need not apply) are not speaking out enough in the media. We are a preaching movement, but we are not using the media enough to get the message out from a vedic point of view. That sounds like a column for a newspaper or magazine-the vedic point of view. With the popularity of Dipak Chopra and others, there is an audience for vedic culture if you can find a voice that people can relate to. Some devotees already have, but other capable devotees are silent. Srila Prabhupada wanted his disciples to write every day. Start writing and show it to devotees you respect. If it's good enough, send it to the media.
Because the devotees are silent, Christians like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell make inane statements as if born-again Christianity has cornered the market on morality. It's the same bigotry that the muslims indulge in. The media claims that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. What are they doing? What are we doing?
The world anxiously awaits the coming events that will probably effect everyone in the near future. The American government has declared a protracted war on the elusive terrorist underground. American rage is pressuring the president to bomb someone in retaliation. The Taliban is threatening revenge and this could get very ugly, perhaps even invoking biological warfare against city populations. Even the American government admits the difficulty of the task at hand as they appropriate a staggering 40 billion dollars to just begin to deal with a situation that has already cost the American economy over 60 billion dollars.
Let's test a few pens to see if they can be mightier than the sword. Let's do a media blitz that will reach far and wide. I have seen video clips on 20/20 of Muslims in the USA dancing and chanting that "the path to paradise is on the blood of infidels." How twisted is that? It is amazing that this country allows Muslims to form non-profit organizations to collect money and promote terrorism. That's probably over now. But, I think many of these Muslim men struggle with the idea of killing themselves to go to heaven. Let's totally devastate that insane idea and put insurmountable obstacles in their path to entertain such an illusion. Let's kill that criminal mentality.
And, is anyone out there thinking about self-sufficient farms? I am writing this from a farm on the Big Island of Hawaii which is a great place to start a farm because, believe it or not, land is cheap here on the eastern side! Tropical weather is very favorable to grow a tremendous variety of fruits and vegetables. Also, the Big Island is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and upwind from Honolulu.
We also have a unique situation here on the Big Island with Dayal Nitai prabhu, an old Prabhupada disciple who has dedicated his life to cow protection. He is underfunded, but has been doing this service for over 10 years. Dayal has loaned us a few milkers at the farm here on the northeast coast. So we get the benefit of offering milk preparations to their Lordships, Sri Sri Radha Govindasundar while Dayal takes care of the rest of the program down the hill.
One of the directors of the project here, Saranga Maharaja, directly heard Srila Prabhupada say it was his personal desire for his disciples to establish self-sufficient farms. The movement has generally failed in this area. If things get bad, the devotees are going to be very sorry they didn't try to fulfill this desire of Srila Prabhupada. If you would like more info on establishing a farm here, you can contact me, V. Madhava das at 808-775-9084 or Jagadatri dd or Raghunath prabhu at 808-965-8829.
[i:5d90faebbc][b:5d90faebbc]Vidagdha Madhava Das - Member of AHAD who helped lead the Xena protest.[/b:5d90faebbc][/i:5d90faebbc]