by Nagaraja Dasa
Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno once traveled through Florida campaigning for the governorship of the state. The local radio news ran an excerpt of her speech. She declared, with typical campaigner’s canned enthusiasm, that if we can send people to the moon then, by golly, we should be able to give all kids in Florida a good education!
I hear similar arguments often: “If we can send people to the moon, we should be able to [enter your favorite social problem here].” But social problems prove a lot harder to solve than technical ones.
Referring to the expression “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist,” a reporter recently asked a rocket scientist what he and his colleagues might say: “It doesn’t take a…?”
The rocket scientist admitted that the problems he tries to solve are easy compared with those like war, crime, poverty, broken families, and so on.
“The people trying to solve those problems,” he said, “really have to be smart.”
He’s right. Take war, for example. Dozens of armed conflicts are raging today. Who’s smart enough to solve the problem of war?
Lord Krishna is. Ralph Waldo Emerson called Bhagavad- gita “the voice of an old intelligence.” For thousands of years people have turned to Lord Krishna’s words for answers to life’s problems. Krishna has something to say about achieving peace. It will come, He says, when people know that God is the supreme enjoyer, controller, and friend.
That knowledge must show in action. We reveal our understanding that Krishna is the supreme enjoyer by offering everything for His pleasure. Places of worship in all religions exist for that purpose. We go to the temple, church, or mosque to offer prayers and praise for God’s pleasure, not ours. That attitude of submission should follow us home and into our daily lives.
We reveal our understanding that Krishna is the supreme controller by giving up the illusion that we’re in control. We struggle against Krishna’s control in the form of the laws of nature. But nature repeatedly foils our attempts to control things for our ultimate material success. Our battle with nature will stop when we give our lives over to the compassionate control of Krishna.
Finally, we reveal our understanding that Krishna is the supreme friend by accepting His friendship. He comes along as we wander this world, ever waiting for us to turn to Him and accept His loving guidance. And since He’s in everyone’s heart, if we see that, we’ll find no cause for conflict with others.
We’ll get a peaceful world only when we have peaceful people. Seeing Krishna as the supreme enjoyer, controller, and friend brings peace because it aligns us with our natural position. We can get that vision by purifying our hearts through chanting the names of God.
Many people today don’t like to hear about a return to God as the antidote to war. Too many conflicts seem to involve religious people. But it’s religion based on bodily identification that falls short—in deterring wars and in many other areas. Real religion, real God consciousness, transcends race, nationality, and sectarian religious designations. It sees everyone as brothers and sisters, united in peace as souls under the common Father.