A double-decker bus appears out of the London fog in the cold winter of 1952. Photograph from The Daily Mail
Back in the 1950s, London used to have a lot of fog. When the fog combined with the smoke from thousands of coal fires, it created what the Londoners called ‘a real pea-souper’ because they experienced it to be just like the local pea soup!
Have you ever been in such a thick fog? Sometimes you can’t see in front of your eyes for more than a few feet. Any object coming towards you, like a horse, a walking man, or this double-decker London bus, can only be seen as a blurred shape until its very close. It can be difficult to find your way in such a fog. Sometimes you can even become completely lost.
People can generate fog too. Its not made up of ‘pea soup’ or even particles of water. Its made up of particles of conversation, emails, and website posts. When people come together to form groups, and groups come together as larger organisations the ‘cyber-fog’ can be really dense sometimes. Either the members speak so much about the organisation – or other people speak about it – that it forms a communications ‘fog’ so thick that its possible the entire organisation – rather like a London bus – can be completely obscured. Only when up close can you really see what its like.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada comments that all the lies in the world – especially coming from lawyers, politicians and the like – who routinely speak what they know to be untrue simply for personal advantage – can travel as vibrations into the atmosphere and come down again as subtle pollutants.
Every human being therefore has a duty to speak in such a way as to help clean the atmosphere. And devotees of Krishna in this wonderful movement for Krishna consciousness have an extra duty to spend their time glorifying Krishna and the Vaishnavas. Particularly they must not waste time in employing electronic gadgetry in broadcasting their less than helpful comments on the lives of others. Otherwise the fog thus generated will tend to obscure our movement. People will see a distant, vague shape but be unable to see our movement for what it is. They will see the fog first – and may miss the bus completely.