177. Belief in the newspaper

Today, I opened up the newspaper to read some world events. I chose, “The Age” for no particular reason. Perhaps, it looked larger than others on the library shelf. Only when I sat down to read it, did I realize that I had picked up the weekend copy by mistake. No time to turn back. I was lazy. Besides, I hadn’t kept up with world news last weekend as I was at the temple listening to the glories of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Goswami maharaj. When I opened up the newspaper, I was truly surprised to see the front page of the Saturday edition !

Religious leaders

I was happy with few things here – (1) The bold and promising heading (2) The many faiths together (3) Presence in the main newspaper. Surely, millions of Australians would have seen this picture, the heading and the article that accompanied it, possibly thinking that it’s nice to see all the different religions working together.

The above article was in response to the “Parliament of the World’s Religions” event that took place in Melbourne few days ago. I had received numerous automatic email alerts from the organizers, who were trying to get my interest to attend the event. But, procrastination made me forget all about it. I wish I had gone. Too late now. The news article basically talked about how it was important to give religion a chance to solve today’s world problems. It was a small article though. For that size of the photo, the article should have been at least a full page, highlighting the teachings and advice for the people in general.

The opening statement was good though – POLITICIANS around the world are holding back the fight against poverty because they do not understand or trust religion, an American specialist on development said in Melbourne yesterday. ”Politicians think religion can’t help, and that’s a huge handicap. They do not know what religion does and they are scared of it,” Katherine Marshall told the opening program of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

You can read the complete article here : Religion ‘denied key role’ in poverty fight – The Age

As I completed the article, I couldn’t help thinking if ISKCON could have brought out / initiated such events the world over. I understand that there was such an event hosted at Mayapur many months back. But it would be great if ISKCON could bring leaders and their followers of many faiths together under one roof in major capitals of the world and have discussions on topics such as – World perception on spirituality, Role of spiritual education in today’s schools/universities or Eradicating world poverty through God, Understanding the Universe through ancient Science or How to take care of your body, mind and Soul etc. Creating such platforms would establish even more credibility and familiarity in people’s mind. And through such events, we can give many more people a chance to know about Krishna. We should initiate and not just participate, I am thinking.

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