India–From Punya-Bhumi to the Land of Sinners
Over the last thirty years I have spent a lot of time in India and I am very, very dismayed to see the incredibly rapid degradation of the Indian people. Srila Prabhupada wrote:
“Indeed, the chief executives of the present day introduce all kinds of sinful activity, especially illicit sex, intoxication, animal killing and gambling. These sinful activities are now very prominently manifested in India. Although a hundred years ago these four principles of sinful life were strictly prohibited in the families of India, they have now been introduced into every Indian family; therefore they cannot follow religious principles.” (SB 5.2.1 purport)
He wrote this many years ago but now these sinful activities in India have increased unlimitedly. Indians no longer appear have any fear of performing sinful activities and although there are now so many gurus in India preaching on the television I think none of them are seriously protesting against these sinful activities.
The scale of the sinful activities in India is staggering. For example according to wikipedia every year there are 11 million abortions in India and of these 20,000 women die due to complications after the abortion. So they are murdering 11,000,000 children every year and 20,000 mothers and no one is even complaining about this. No sadhu, no ISKCON guru, no one.
To get some idea of the scale of this according to a 2008 estimate there were 262,200,000 women in India of the reproductive age. Out of these women 11,000,000 of them are going to have an abortion in one year. That is 42 women out of every 1000 having an abortion in India every year. This is practically equal to the black and Hispanic population in the USA who have one of the highest abortion rates in the word. It compares to around 13 women out of 1000 for white American women. When you add to this that it is estimated that 49% of the women of the reproductive age in India are using modern contraceptive methods and many are already sterilized the picture gets even worse.
In ten years almost half of the women in India of reproductive age will have an abortion, and that does not account for the fact that many of the women in India of reproductive age can not get pregnant because they have been sterilized or are using effective contraceptive methods.
In addition to this since the Indian government legalized homosexuality a few years ago this has become a very popular activity among the men.
Many young men are now not very interested in getting married. They are getting plenty of sex so they don’t see any need to get married very soon. If you ask them about marriage they will say they are not interested and maybe they will get married after they are 35… It is quite usual to meet a young Indian boy who will boast that he has many girlfriends. And I don’t think they are lying…
So it would be difficult to find a country where there is more illicit sex going on than India.
India is now one of the biggest exporters of beef in the world. A lot of it is buffalo meat but there is also a big business in cow meat. Cow killing is legal in at least three states including Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s West Bengal and it is going on in full force in all other states also. The cows in India are disappearing quickly because the trucks are cruising the streets every night to pick up the cows and send them to the slaughter houses. And generally the Indians are thinking that it is nice, now there are no annoying cows and bulls on the streets… There is still some sentiment about the “holy cow” but no one is doing anything to actually protect the cows…
If you visit India it will appear that many of the people are vegetarians… And many of the people are vegetarians on a day-to-day basis, but this seems to be more because of economic reasons than anything else. The traditional Indian vegetarian diet is much cheaper than a meat-based diet, so even many Muslims will be vegetarian generally. But that is because it is cheaper, not because of any religious reason. I was quite shocked–I was staying in a small Hindu village and assumed the people were vegetarians but then there was marriage and everyone went there and they were serving mutton and goat meat and chicken and it was a great festival… All these Hindus with parts of dead animals hanging out of their mouths. It is a great treat for them. Everyone was eating it… Everywhere in India there are chicken shops and it is so popular. Chicken meat… Mutton, great delicacies in India…
The English wine and beer shops are everywhere. And they are doing a great business…
The Holy Places:
Even in the holy places these sinful activities are in full force. So many people come from Delhi to Govardhan Hill to do parikrama on the full moon. But all around Govardhan Hill there are many meat shops, there are many wine shops and particularly in the hot weather when the people do the parikram at night if you look closely under the trees you will find so many people having sex there. So they are coming to Govardhan to have sex under the trees. It is almost unbelievable…
Now practically everyone in India has satellite TV. Even in the most remote villages. It goes everywhere. It only costs Rs. 100 ($2) per month and many times I see they are running cables to their neighbors houses to share the cost. They have 100 channels of materialistic rubbish to choose from. Full of scantily clad women and packed with materialistic messages of sense gratification. This is one of maya’s greatest tools in completely breaking down all moral standards in India.
The Indians have a fascination with Americans. Although they don’t like Americans–they want to be like Americans. Maybe they are attracted by the “American Lifestyle.” So they think having fair skin is a very good thing. One of the best-selling products in the chemists is “skin lightening cream.” So they are buying this cream and rubbing it into their skin hoping to become white and beautiful like the Americans. If you look at the advertising in the Indian glossy magazines you would think that all Indians are white. They change the skin tones in photoshop so the Indians in the advertisements appear to be white. It is bizarre.
The “Guru Business” is thriving in India. They have whole cable TV stations dedicated to the gurus. And they present the usual Hindu hodge-podge and the Indians worship them and give them daksine and become their disciples. You have gurus who are young children that know a few Sanskrit verses and they go on the “Guru Chanel” and get so many disciples and make so much money. And the disciples just want blessings so they can get money, get a good job, get a nice wife, etc…
Even ISKCON is really thriving in India. And they have provided a whole batch of bogus gurus to add to the confusion. And what is the result of this record number of gurus? Day by day the Indians are getting more and more sinful, more and more materialistic.
If you go towards the Himalayas you will find many babas. They are very much sought after by the Western tourists because they have the best drugs to sell. The Indians accept these babas as spiritual and give them food and money and the babas just smoke drugs and sell drugs to the tourists. This is guru in India…
So the spiritual aspect of India has practically disappeared. Of course the holy places are still there. But they are being covered with materialism. Vrindavan is a good example of this. It is turning to a mini version of New Delhi. It is full of materialistic people who are there for completely materialistic reasons and has many materialistic schools and colleges and even has an engineering university now and is developing very nicely as a normal materialistic city. The spiritual aspect is just being buried.
Even the “pilgrims” are not coming there for Krishna any more. Many years ago Vrindavan was very different. The devotees would come to Vrindavan from all over India. These villagers with their cows would come to Vrindavan and visit the temples and bathe in the Yamuna and do their tirtha. These devotees are not coming any more. The Delhi people come on the weekend because in Vrindavan they can stay very cheaply and eat cheaply. And it is like a holiday destination just a few hours drive away from Delhi. Of course they visit the temples and take darshan. But so many sinful activities are going on in Vrindavan. It is unimaginable. These people have no fear whatsoever of performing sinful activities in the holy dharm. And so many completely mundane things are going on here.
So if you are thinking to come to India to find spiritual life I think you will be very disappointed… Srila Prabhupada is correct. Because of all these sinful activities being so prominently manifested in India the Indians can not follow the religious principles at all. Indians are just as sinful and materialistic if not more so than the people in any other country.