where have all the hippies gone ?



The other day, while filling up at the gas station, I had to ask myself, “Where have all the hippies gone?” You know that “we’re not going to take it” generation; the ones who left home, left school, and every other material security to stand in front of national guard troops placing flowers in the barrels of guns to stop a senseless war and a corrupt administration. It seems that the generation of change has now given up the fight for what’s right, abandoned their rebellious natures and are now willing to be pushed around by both corporate America and a government gone wild. This was the generation that brought you flag burning, draft card burning, political figure placard burning and yes, even bra burning. They fostered the most meaningful and poetic music of any generation in known history. They began movements to save the planet, save the whales, the dolphins, the children… And they actually did bring about some change in this country that eventually spread, in a small way, throughout the planet. Now, as I hand the clerk at the convenience store over $50 to fill up my gas tank and contemplate my lost civil liberties, I ask again “Where have all the hippies gone?”

Well, I just saw one group on the golf course teeing off at the 8th hole; others were meeting with their lawyers, bankers, and brokers. A full table at the local restaurant all looked to be about my age. MY AGE, wait a minute. I am talking about MY generation. Have I forgotten about that hair to my knees, those tie-dyed tees, those late night dubies, playing music until three? Sorry, as you can see I wasn’t one of the creative poets of my generation. But I was there, and believe me what is going on in our society today would have brought about constant sit-ins, marches, boycotts, and every other imaginable form of protest until the gas prices came down, the war ended and basic civil liberties were reinstated for every man, woman and child in this nation.

Which brings me to the point of this blog, complacency. The once caring ’60’s generation now wiles away in their material comfort heaven, counting their 401Ks’ and planning on retirement in the Bahamas, all the while ignoring lost liberties, corporate and governmental corruption, and a environmental catastrophe that is destroying Mother Earth. And what does this have to do with my Krishna consciousness, you ask. Nothing – if you are continually striving to better your spiritual life in a very determined way – every minute, of every hour, of every day. But, if you are not yet on that totally unmotivated, uninterrupted platform, then this hippy story can give rise to some developmental contemplation. Now there’s a new New Age term for you – developmental contemplation.

I won’t overly belabor the point here, but one must work daily to assure that their devotional practice is not falling by the way of those aging hippies. Daily strive to advance in your loving devotion to Krishna as you attend to the nine practices. Chant a little more attentively… strive to hear more during japa, kirtan and class…spend more time reading and a lot less time in idle gossip…worship with true dedication to pleasing the deity…seek out and take shelter of those devotees who truly inspire you to advance – – – you get my drift. Most of all, never become complacent…never slacken your determination to attain pure unalloyed devotional service…don’t let yourself become content to just be a devotee – constantly strive to be the very best devotee you can be. Don’t act humble – become truly humble by never desiring a speck of honor. Fully surrender by abandoning all self-motivated desire – Krishna has so much more real pleasure to offer than the petty illusions available in this temporary material playground. Cruel time will eventually resolve all the corporate greed, governmental ineptitude, rising inflation and environmental chaos that has resulted from social complacency. But personal complacency in our devotional lives can rob us of the sweet nectar of Krishna’s loving embrace for what will seem like an eternity.


Dulal Chandra dasa