- Social commentary
- Arch Enemy
- Are You More than Green, Righteous, and Dead?
- Bless this House
- Fighting in the Smog
- Giving My Life for Noble Bilge
- Have a Blast, O Tiger Among Men!
- History and the Machinery of War
- Mars Bars: Why Mars? Why Indeed?
- Moustaches and Moneybelts
- Nothing that a Goat Won't Eat
- Predictions of the Next World War
- The Evil Computer
- The Myth of Old Age
- The Plague
- The Taj Mahal: Enduring Monument to Love
- Toward an Enlightened New World Order
- Who's in the Doghouse Now?
- About 9/11
- Philosophy and spirituality
- About the Krishna culture in Manipur
- About editing
- About health
- About unusual doctrines
From Back to Godhead, September–October 1998
One of our BTG staff members suggested I comment here on the nuclear blasts detonated, amidst considerable publicity, by India and her arch-rival Pakistan. I’m not much inclined to do it.
From Back to Godhead, July–August 1997
Astrolgers, we’ve heard, are predicting a forthcoming war. If we believe accounts passed on from a well-reputed star-reader in Jaipur, the next world war is on its way. Expect conflicts to start mounting within the next year or so, he says. And by the year 2000 expect 35% of the world’s people to be dead.
from Back to Godhead, January-February 1995
The very word plague brings dread. We recall medieval images of the Black Death, scourging fourteenth-century Asia and Europe. We envision rampant rats and dying children.
Late in 1994, as plague broke out in the Indian state of Gujarat, people fled in the hundreds of thousands. Neighboring countries sealed their borders. Airlines cancelled flights. Even doctors grabbed their stethoscopes and scrambled for their lives.
from Back to Godhead, January-February 1991
America and her allies have plunged into war with Iraq. As you read these words, the war may well be over, and the land of the Tigris and Euphrates, the ancient “cradle of civilization,” may by now be a bombed-out graveyard.
In the newspapers, words blow around like sand in a Middle Eastern desert. Saddam Hussein is “a madman,” America “can’t tolerate aggression,” the “international community” demands that “the sovereignty of Kuwait” be restored.
from Back to Godhead, May 1989
from Back to Godhead, August-September 1992
[On April 29, 1992, a mostly white jury acquitted four Los Angeles police officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King. Thousands of people in Los Angeles, mainly young black and Latino males, joined in a “race riot,” with mass law-breaking, including looting, arson and murder. Fifty to sixty people were killed during the riots.]
I left Los Angeles early on the morning of the riots. My departure was coincidental. I’d stayed in L.A. for two days, and now I was off to a meeting in Denver. So I missed it all. The pillars of smoke didn’t start billowing into the sky till later that day.
I suppose it’s not very saintly of me (no, I don’t like to see people suffer), but there’s something about the thought of L.A. going up in smoke that very much appeals to me. I picture myself driving up the San Diego Freeway past broad meadows, cows grazing on the site of what used to be Los Angeles.
from Back to Godhead, May-June 1991
“We’ve got a real kshatriya for a president!” an American Krishna devotee said to me, his face beaming. The Allies were trouncing whatever was left of the Iraqi armies, and George Bush was making it clear the Allies would keep striking till the Iraqis utterly surrendered.
from Back to Godhead, September-October 1992
Twenty years ago, no one gave a damn. You could gum up a river with factory sludge, chop down rain forests wholesale, spray fluorocarbons into the air like a kid sprinkling confetti, and no one would say boo.
from Back to Godhead, May 1984
Iceland’s minister of finance may soon face a hard decision—his country or his dog.
In Reykjavik, the capital, a 62-year-old law bans dogs from the city on health grounds. Yet the minister, Mr. Albert Gudmundsson, lives in Reykjavik with a dog (the family pet), a 13-year-old mongrel named Lucy.
“Lucy is a dear member of our family, as dear to us as a child,” he said.
This family has now been unsettled by a journalist at the state radio, who has reported Lucy’s illegal presence to the police. If prosecuted, Mr. Gudmundsson may be fined, and his pet may be taken away.
from Back to Godhead, March-April 1995
Bradley Stinkbrain, 73, is in the prime of his life… and having the time of his life. Now, you can too! Thanks to the amazing, new “anti-aging” discoveries, enclosed…
Not long ago, someone in our community passed along to me a magazine pitch she’d received in the mail. On the front of the oversize envelope, a headline announced—blue type on a bright green background—“Old Age Isn’t Natural.”
And there, bursting with good health, shone Living Proof, our man Bradley, strong, relaxed, his smile radiant, his hair a rich grey crown, his tan body popping out of its little red swimsuit, studio lights shining off well-oiled 73-year-old muscles a man could envy at thirty.
from Back to Godhead, September-October 1995
Yes, I’ve got one. Use it all the time. And I’ve been close to them for more than twenty years, since the days when we first computerized our typesetting. They save lots of work, and make the impossible possible.
But they’re dangerous, devilish machines, and we use them at our peril. I’m not talking about low-level radiation, or the computer’s role in weapons of mass destruction. What I have in mind is its role in mass distraction.
from Back to Godhead, March-April 1997
In more than twenty-five years of coming to India, I'd never seen the Taj Mahal—never had a desire to or a reason to. But when my mother came on her first-ever trip to India, how could she go back home to America and say she hadn't seen the Taj Mahal?
So I brought her.
And I confess to being pleased with her when she found the Taj "rather a disappointment." At first view, it was "breathtaking," she said. But the closer you get, the less impressive it looks. Though it majestically fills a picture postcard, really the place is fairly small. Inside, the marble work is neat—the delicately carved screens, the intricately inlaid flowers—but what it comes down to, played out with splendid precision, are the same Mogul motifs repeating themselves throughout the chamber again and again and again. And once you've seen it you've seen it.
What then to say of this "enduring monument to love"?
from Back to Godhead, March-April 1998
According to an Indian proverb, there’s nothing that a goat won’t eat and nothing that a madman won’t say.
Madmen? Sometimes it seems like we’re living in a world of them, or at least a world of fools. The human impulse is to say something—anything. Something stupid, something contentious, something sweet, deceitful, smart, ridiculous, or empty. Big strings of words, amounting to nothing. It’s astonishing.
from Back to Godhead, June 1989
In the ancient land of the Incas and the Aztecs, in the capital city of a country I’d rather not name, for many years an old man with a pushcart stood on the street outside our Hare Krishna temple selling bananas, oranges, apples, pineapples, and papayas. Now the fruits and the pushcart are gone, but the man is still there. And now he has a new occupation—changing dollars.
from Back to Godhead, September-October 1997
So now we’re headed for Mars. Forget the moon. Mars is the place to go.