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Identity Crisis in Today’s world, Identity is a product of illusion

Everyone is seeking a common factor they can share with others of a similar mindset and in this way experience a sense of identity. The inherent problem in today’s modern society is that our identities are being defined by the body and mind.

We live in a culture where our identity is established by the flesh we belong to, but since that changes at every moment our identity changes along with it, and therefore people do not actually know who they really are. They cannot fix their identity. They don’t have an anchor in life – a foundation that does not change.

Someone might say I have my name, that doesn’t change, so I’ll just hang on to that. Or a 60 year old woman may relate to herself as a 19 year old, deluding herself that she is still attractive (at least in front of a mirror). These “identities” are products of illusion borne from identifying with the material energy and not the spirit soul.

We all need a constant in our lives, a value or a standard that does not change. The modern notion that knowledge develops and evolves as we gather more and more information (which ironically keeps proving the current ideas wrong), is a symptom of a lack of foundational knowledge.

Truth does not change. It’s either true, or it isn’t. Take reincarnation for instance. It is not a matter of whether or not we believe in it. Either reincarnation is a fact or it isn’t a fact. It doesn’t become “true” only when one accepts it as fact. It is always a fact. Or like the scientific “discovery” of planets. The planets existed before the scientist came along. They existed before, without anyone’s knowledge – they were simply unseen by our limited sense perception. So it is not knowledge that evolved; it will also remain true in the future. Only such truth is knowledge worth pursuing. Relative knowledge may have its use for making technology and consumer gadgets, but it is useless when it comes to solving the existential problems and mysteries of life.

There is only one platform that all living entities can unite round, and that is the Supreme factor. While we all operate from different platforms, conflicts of interest and egos will continue. If, however we can believe that we are all parts of the same whole – Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead – then we can also believe and understand that we are all brothers and sisters coming from the same father, the same origin – Krishna.

No matter how much one country thinks it is more sophisticated and advanced than others, while the bullying and squabbling for area and resources continues, it is simply a tribal mentality. The White House, Iraq, and Kazakhstan are behaving from a fundamentally tribal mentality as much as tribes in the remote jungles of Africa or Asia. Ego-driven constant competition between individuals or groups – be it in Swahili land or Wall Street- will never bring all beings together in harmony. Nor will wearing the same clothes or using the same consumer gadgets bring anyone together in peace. And as Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita, how can there be happiness without peace? There is a lot of talk about finding oneself, and getting together in peace and harmony, and saving this land, or saving that species. In fact, a whole industry has sprung up; giving the disenchanted a forum to spill their hearts out on different TV and radio shows, but no one seems able yet to have come up with a solution to the problem of how to counteract the miseries of the world. Not even those smart TV anchors or radio jockeys.

The weekly magazines are full of colorful reports on the successful people, the celebrities, who enjoy their senses to the max, but on the other hand are having so many problems with broken relationships, drugs, suicide, alcohol, family troubles, unwanted pregnancies, etc. The list is endless. In other words, same problems that any common man has. Worrying about paying the rent is just that: a worry. If we worry about our unpaid Rs. 50000/month rent, rather than our unpaid Rs. 1000/month rent, all we’ve succeeded in doing is upgrading the misery and worry. Material qualities of life such as wealth and fame can be improved, expanded, and polished, but the basic experience of suffering and enjoyment is the same for everyone regardless of their material status in life.

The only solution to the problems of understanding our identity and acting on a commonly beneficial platform is to accept divinely inspired knowledge descending from Krishna, and which furthermore has been recorded and transcribed in the Vedic Scriptures, the most comprehensive body of knowledge known to mankind. The essence of that great body of knowledge has been delivered and made accessible to the people of this fallen age by Srila Prabhupada, who comes in the ancient disciplic succession from Krishna Himself.

Anything else is temporary, no matter how alluring it may be, and as long as it is temporary it cannot give satisfaction to the soul. The only way to satisfy the soul is to connect it to the supreme soul, Krishna, through the method of Bhakti.

And the most easiest & feasible way of performing Bhakti, Devotional Service, in this age is chanting of the holy names of our beloved Lord-
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

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