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ISKCON Helsinki, Finland
16 September, 2003

Today HH Kavicandra Maharaja gave Srimad-Bhagavatam class here in Helsinki. He spoke on an interesting verse: 2. 9. 23. Here the Lord tells Brahma, "Penance is My heart and soul, and therefore penance and I are nondifferent. "

Maharaja commented how people today are averse to penance and austerity. The whole world civilization is geared to gratification of the senses as quickly as possible. Next to the temple in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, there is a McDonald's Restaurant. Maharaja said they guarantee to fill each customer's order within 90 seconds, otherwise the customer gets some item for free. This is what people want in Kali-yuga: to break the regulative principles with as little delay as possible.

It is so tragic that the mind shaped in this age rebels against sense-control. I remember a film from when I was a small boy called Rebel Without A Cause. It starred James Dean, who has in the last 20 years or so become a culture-hero. The movie was about high school students in rebellion against their parents and society. There was a scene in which James Dean and another boy raced stolen cars to the edge of a cliff. The driver who jumped from his car last, before the car flew over the edge, was the winner. The boy racing against James Dean failed to get out of his car in time and died. What a waste. The whole film was like that: kids engaged in self-destructive acts (drinking, fighting with knives) for fun. The movie was made in the 1950's, before drug use among youth was common. But no matter: these kids had their own ways of extreme sense gratification for killing themselves.

Rebel without a cause. Indeed. What is the use of rebelling against Krsna, who says He is nondifferent from devotional penance? What is the use of engaging in sense gratification in defiance of the Lord? But this is "culture" today.

Duspurenanalena: lust is like fire, never to be satisfied no matter how much it is fed with fuel. The Kali-yuga senses and minds are aflame with this lust. This is why Srila Prabhupada asked us to rise early each morning and chant samsara-davanala-lida-loka, to call for the clouds of mercy of the spiritual master to put out the fire of lust.

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