Should the devotees avoid Radio and TV Programs?
A Girl devotee asked like this:
“Hare Krishna !! Dandavat Pranaam Prabhuji… Just want to say Thank u soooo very much for all the counselling u r doing. Almost all the questions r getting answered thru this site..Amazing ! Never came across such a detailed explanation of any question. Just read that u r handling ur business as well as preaching too. U can do this bcoz u r a pure devotee & serving your Spiritual master. Knowing everything..still struggling to chant properly in morning hrs. I know its more dangerous bcoz m not in ignorance mode.. I do have the knowledge what is right or wrong ?still no improvement in devotional service.. Lord Krishnaji sees the bhav / efforts..but frankly that Bhav is only missing! I was much addicted to watching tv serials..at a time used to watch 3 serials from different channels.. but with Lord’s grace has almost stop watching TV almost since 2 years.. no interest in watching rather. But addicted to Radio songs. I want to confess reg. Onion garlic.. Although I have put Tulsi mala..but of late since November, I ate food with onion-garlic 3-4 times at functions or when i go to friends place for 2 days, cant tell them to cook separately, so I eat? Earlier i used to feel guilty but somehow now dont.. I know m totally wrong in doing this… Please advise!! Thanks & best regards.”
Nothing to worry because, you have rightly identified your difficulties. Understanding the barriers is HALF SUCCESS. Most of the people do not even understand their deficiencies. That is why, most of them are struggling in life.
It is easy for you to become perfect. And, whatever you are doing is NOT CRIMES. First understand that. Should the devotees avoid Radio and TV? I find no wrong in hearing Radio Programs. Because there can be no obscene views in Radio. Some lyrics of songs may be inducing. But, it can’t spoil one’s life. So, Radio is little bit safe..But, restrict hearing the radio to just an hour or two a day whenever you need some relaxation.
(SIX FAVOURABLE AND UNFAVOURABLE PRINCIPLES FOR DEVOTIONAL SERVICE! READ HERE!)
I do not usually discourage watching useful news programs in Television. This world is very competitive. If you choose to lead a grahastha life working somewhere else, YOU MUST WATCH OR HEAR NEWS IN T.V or RADIO because you should know what is happening in this world around you. This will help you to have an updated knowledge about the trends to develop your children properly in future, because, developing a child is very difficult now a days. If you are unaware of the happenings in your surroundings, they will deceive you because the GENERATION GAP will be wider.
So, I do not discourage watching good Programs in TV and Radio. You can watch any single News Channel once every day. Avoid watching Tele-serials, movies, etc. They are not useful for life. For example, DD News in India is decent and not inducing. We need not bother about ugly politics that is covered by private channels. So, I always support watching Government run TV channels’ news. And, there are some channels that telecast about travel, animal life, Nature, etc that can be watched to enhance the knowledge about the Lord’s creations. However, do not get addicted to watching movies, serials, talk shows, adult programs, etc in TV. There are some channels that induce our senses by telecasting inducing clips and programs. So, In India, my vote for a healthy TELE LIFE is DD Channels. One or two decent Private News channels are also there. You cab watch them. But, 30 minutes to one hour of watching news is sufficient every day.
You may ask: Our sathsangha discourages watching TV, but, you advice like this. Should the devotees avoid Radio and TV? My reply is, it is not followed by more than 75% of the devotees and there are TV IN MOST OF THE DEVOTEES’ HOME. And, in some News Letters of our sathsangha, they had advertised to watch a certain programs related to Krishna and Caitanya Maha Prabhu that was telecast in a private channel. If they object TV, why should they advertise to watch such programs in TV?
(20 POWERFUL TIPS TO CONTROL THOUGHTS ON OPPOSITE GENDER AND GO CLOSER TO KRISHNA! READ HERE!)
So, TV and Radio and Internet can’t be avoided. I am just guiding you how to use them. That’s all. Only if you stay as a full time devotee in a sathsangha, you can avoid them. Congregational devotees need to attend interviews, get good jobs, and work in a competitive atmosphere. So, they can’t avoid watching News in television or Radio. So, though many call me violating the regulative principles, as a devotee thinking practically and as a devotee who has understood today’s competitive atmosphere, I give this advice for your well being. Unless you earn well, even devotees will not care you and you can not support the temples. Remember that. But, never watch unwanted programs. Be clear, genuine and firm in that.
Some men or women who have to live alone throughout their life may feel low or boring some times. Television can help them to avoid committing offenses. They can watch good programs and remain withinhome without disturbing others.
If you are able to watch only good programs, Television is the good entertainer.
(What to do if the doctor prescribes onion and garlic and advices us to take it compulsorily? READ HERE!)
Then, as far as Onion and Garlic is concerned, IT IS NOT A CRIMINAL OFFENCE, BUT UNWANTED VEGETABLES FOR GOOD GUNA. That’s all. Onion and Garlic encourages Rajo and Thamo gunas. So, we advice you to avoid it. In case you took it during your initial stage, do not feel offended. You will not be punished for that. But, when you take them, your concentration in material activities will increase and hence you will not be able to improve in developing pure devotion.
So, you are not a criminal for having taken onion/ garlic in the past. So, do not feel guilty. But, try your best to stop them stage by stage at this stage and when you get married, follow that in full. Discuss this matter with your “WOULD BE HUSBAND” before marriage and get his consent. You should learn to cook delicious recipes without onion/ garlic. Once you taste them, you can easily quit onion/ garlic. I have given tips to quit onion and garlic in my other counsellings. Follow them.
(KRISHNA’S ADVICE IN BHAGAVAD GITA TO AVOID ONION & GARLIC AND STORIES BEHIND THEM! READ HERE!)
So, try to stop it totally when the situation permits you. But, never offer food with onion/ garlic to Krishna. It is possible for all.
And, as far as Bhawa is concerned, unless you quit all your material bondages, you can’t develop Bhawa with Lord. You may tell that you love Lord. But, you have material affinities also. So, Bhawa can be developed only when you learn to do all your duties JUST AS A DUTY without expecting any benefits out of them.
This may take some time. And , it depends on your level of material detachments. When you lose your interest in material affairs, your bhawa will increase with Krishna.
All the best.
(Can Vaidhi Bakthi lead one towards Raganuga bhakti? (ie, Can the devotional rules make us Perfect Devotees?) READ HERE!)