(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 1 July 2021, Radhadesh, Belgium, General Lecture)
Do you also have one? Are you also connected with one of those things that just eats up your time? That just makes you obsessed. That is with you as a constant companion. And that is always getting your attention by making sounds and by vibrating. Do you also have one? You probably do. Time for a digital detox. Time to disconnect. Time to leave that thing. Time to simply break the habit. Are you also touching the screen more than you are touch your beads? It is time to go back to the basics.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura lived a life of a simple sadhu, who lived in a simple hut in Mayapur. He was chanting three hundred thousand names a day and ten years of billion names. He then went to preach in the modern world. He was dressed in a overcoat, drove in a car and went to printing presses and what not to push forward the mission. He took us over the bridge from tradition to modernity, where we have arrived, and in the middle of our life we now have Krsna consciousness. Oh yes, we can have it all and it can be cool because you can use it in the service of the Lord. Everything we have, we should think about using in the service of Krsna.
But what about sometimes putting those things aside and going over the bridge of tradition and returning to the very simple basic spiritual life? Living very simple, eating very simple and just chanting and chanting and chanting. Maybe if we go on, then we can become enchanted by the holy name of Krsna. Maybe that will rejuvenate us very much. Digital detox without a doubt may be relevant to many of us, including myself.
There is a great danger that machineries, especially electronics, are beginning to control our lives more and more. This certainly opens up so many horizons. But they take us away from the core of who we are. There are studies that show how Google is permanently changing the way we think. Not only intellectually, but physically, by activating different neurons within our brain and by creating different paths in the brain. It is the time to reflect. A time to take away from these things and return to the very basic chanting of Hare Krsna, and the very basic reading of sastras. Japa retreats and reading retreats are no longer a luxury. They are becoming essential in the artificial modern world that we live in. Just to reconnect with the deeper essence of spiritual practices, where we are meant to experience and realise the presence of Krsna and become cent per cent absorbed in pleasing Him.