Television has become one of the principal diversions of the modern world. It has invaded the life and the privacy of the larger part of humanity in a form so dramatic that in some places, the television is on from morning to night. The average use of television is four hours per day. The dependence or rather, the addiction, to watch television is created and promoted through the basic conditions of our existence.

The first condition is laziness, since while watching television one believes that one is learning something and one imagines that one is entertaining oneself; although really neither occurs, but on the contrary, the mind becomes contaminated, filling itself with all types of garbage. Stimulated in this way, the television viewer desires to change the principles of dharma (prescribed religious duties for humanity). This is achieved with the promotion of the slaughtering of animals, the eating of their cadavers, the continuing bombardment of violence, lust and illicit sex in all their manifestations; also in the promotion of games of chance, greed, envy and jealousy. All this is nothing more than the promotion of the royal road to a hellish condition of life.

 

As conditioned souls, we are very inclined to enjoy, to be lazy, to gossip, to criticize and to blame others for the misfortunes that we face in our own lives. The process of spiritual education in Vedic culture has its foundations in:

1. Learning to be grateful with everything special and beautiful that one has received since their birth.

2. Feeling compassion for all those that suffer from the ignorance of their own mistakes.

3. Understanding that human life is a school of love. That one is a servant in all circumstances and it is better to serve the creator and His purpose by making oneself useful in this life in order to be able to grow spiritually.

4. Understanding, in addition, that the source of personal pleasure is lust; our true illness. The cure is to live according to the will of God, the Supreme Truth, acting in such a manner that pleases Him and unconditionally benefiting every person with whom we share the planet.

In this way, one will be able to realize that none of these values is promoted on television. What's more, we will always remain confused with the false idea that we are the material body and the owners of transitory things. We forget again and again the great responsibility that we have as human beings.

Knowledge of the truth begins with the appreciation that one is anti-material consciousness and not a piece of flesh that is only growing old.

The second understanding that one can obtain, studying the Vedas under the guide of a spiritual master, is that all this universe is controlled by the Supreme Lord and that He is situated in the heart of all living entities as the supreme controller and witness of everything that we do. There is a law of action and reaction for each thought and for each word; that is to say, for each thing that we accomplish.

And ultimately, there is an eternal world where we will be able to live as soon as we have arrived at the perfection of our existence; this means that we have overcome the cycle of repeated birth and death. There, we will be able to live our own pure nature, which is Sat: eternal, Cit: full of knowledge and Ananda: full of bliss deriving from our relation of eternal loving service to God.

All those that give us contrary information and that inspire us to act contrary to these illuminations are dangerous contamination for a living being.
Television is so dangerous due to the easy access that it has to all the population and by its method of appealing to the lowest instincts of the conditioned soul with its sensual and violent images and its gossipy nature.

It is a perfect instrument of manipulation on the part of political leaders who are unscrupulous and without spiritual vision. And due to this, all the problems of the so-called "civilization of the current age" are going day after day from bad to worse.

Although it is undeniable that the same technology can be used also to watch those things that support the development of the consciousness; still it is obvious that the contamination is greater than the potential benefits. Therefore, the first step in providing your children and yourself a good atmosphere in the home is to remove the television from the house. Or as a last resort, to have it exclusively to show videos of material that promotes spiritual values.

Nowadays, people have television as their guru (master); every day they faithfully sit in front of "him" to fill their heads with junk. This is the same time that you should dedicate every day to listening to the spiritual master and the sacred scriptures in order to fill yourself with positive energy to make something very beautiful with your life.

It is also notable that the great majority of people still have neither an altar in their home nor offer or give thanks for their food. The majority of them aspire to obtain a Hollywood-style life: sensual and superficial. And of course, at the cost of others.

Therefore it is not sufficient that one removes the television from one's house; in addition, one has to eliminate all types of intoxicants from the home. Eliminate all the products from the slaughter of animals and make the home strictly vegetarian. In addition, one should promote and observe chastity; this means to keep sexual relations only inside of marriage and hopefully with a holy consciousness. They should put away all games of chance.

We should search for a higher taste; this is not difficult. Simply by keeping the company of persons who struggle to make this world a better place, we will have good company, good friendship and good goals to reach for; with this stimulus our family will become better. In the contrary case, television and its contamination will continue to be the guru of their family and in the end, death will already be insured for you. For this, I ask every heart: Be brave, make a difference and discover the riches of a dynamic life with transcendental values.

Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti