Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Are You Civilized?

Orlando, Florida.

Someone might call themselves a human being but it doesn’t mean that they are civilized. With students from UF in Gainesville I read a passage from the Bhagavatam (1.9.26).

“One cannot be called a civilized person without acquiring the preliminary qualities:

1. not to be angry
2. not to lie
3. to equally distribute wealth
4. to forgive
5. to beget children only by one’s legitimate wife
6. to be pure in mind and hygiene in body
7. not to be inimical toward anyone
8. to be simple
9. to support servants or subordinates

These principles as outlined by King Bhisma offer the backbone to a civilized community. The discussion that followed the reading was really wholesome and allowed those university students to look outside of the fishbowl.

The balance of my day was primarily in attendance on a presentation at the ISKCON Orlando Centre. Everyone Knows Orlando. It holds a civilization shaped around a happy mouse. That’s rather incredible. At least Mickey has always been perceived as a moral mouse for the most part. My dear monk friend, Trivikrama Swami, who’s pushing for 69 years to have been on this planet, confirmed the popularity of Disney World. “There are more hotel accommodations in Orlando than any other place on earth” he said.

Anyways my presentation in the late afternoon was about self-discipline and that it was a human being’s obligation. Refering the book, Bhagavad Gita 2.67 which states that anyone of our senses can lead us astray as a swift wind could move a boat over water in an uncontrollable way.

Bhisma’s list is an anchor for people. He draws a line between what is civil and what is not. It’s a good criterion.


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