Yesterday , I was coming back to my apartment and on Rush street I saw a procession of the ISKCON members. Now, its popular in India , so I thought of clicking a photograph just for the sake of it.
One of the devotee came to me and started explaining to me the various aspects of their following and why should I read Gita.
I told him, I am from India itself and I have a fair idea of ISKCON and I have read SriMad Bhagvad Gita once.Then he started telling me that this version of Gita that he has is better as it has been translated into english, each sholka and pada have been translated and you won’t be left speculating. I wanted to ask him who is the translator but restrained. I told him, no I don’t want the book and right now I am not in the mode of taking it up. Then he started blabbering his theories of , if not now then when, what other option do you have. He made a solid comment on the shopping bag that I was carrying. He said “I have lived in the western materialistic world, I know it can give instant gratification but won’t help you in long run” . To this I said, yes may be it won’t help. But do you even know whats in the bag .It startled him a little bit but he circumvented the question easily and said, keep the book and don’t give me any donation. May be you will understand some time later. I denied gently and said, I want to have this realization by myself and unless personally speaking, unless I am self motivated I tend not to complete the task at hand. This guy had glaring eyes and he left after saying “Radhe Radhe” to me.
I am not against any God or any religious practice.It can be deeply satisfying as I have seen this in my family.But what I do not like about following of a religion is the fact that people following them propound this ideology that their religion is paragon of all virtues and is of utmost importance and simply will make the world a better place. If this were the case , there wouldn’t be hunger, terror, and pain in the world. But we know this is not the case.
One should look towards religion for the inner peace and the philosophical elements , not for mustering a war against people of different belief.
And I do not really understand why is it not normal to lead your life only on moral principles? Every religion teaches us to be kind, gentle, not to steal etc then why if I lead a life on those principles is baseless? I get flabbergasted at the term ‘qafir’ and the stance of middle eastern lands on ‘qafirs’.
To me the most sanest way of doing things will be to take the best out of something and leave the rest.
I know there are many thoughts associated with ISKCON that I do not like and there are few things which I do like. But I can never be blind follower of anything, I feel sad sometimes for myself when I see people bestowing their immense trust and faith on something and they come out of the difficult situations and at the end they think its their faith which has shown them the harbor. I have always been unable to do such a thing even when I was born and brought up in a devotional Hindu family.
What I do not like about ISKCON is the version of Gita that they preach is not the original Gita , it is the translated and a little deviated from the original one.Making statements such as , Love Krishna or Love Vagina are not very insightful and brimming with knowledge.Its akin to pushing something down the throat forcefully.
But then too I admire ISKCON for providing a lens to look at life to many people.
One thing we as human being should understand is that humans are bound to explore different path, minds cannot think alike so there cannot be a time when everyone will follow the same religion or ideology. You see fluorescent yellow or golden shoes in a Nike store, don’t be startled they are there because some one likes them. Everyone is not going to think in the same way as you do. So, stop complaining and enjoy the life . Be morally alive .