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ASK BVKS | September 27, 2011 |

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Question:

I am writing to Your Holiness to ask a question about a discussion that I had with a person who knows both ISKCON and eastern paths of philosophy and metaphysics. He was making comparison and criticism. He said for instance that ISKCON temples are a mess, dirty, noisy with lots of fighting amongst devotees and budhist, taoist temples are very clean, organized, quiet, peaceful, sattvic. He said that many ISKCON devotees don’t have basic manners, culture, education, etiquette whereas budhist, taoist, astanga yoga practioners are educated, well mannered people. He also said that these people seems to have much more sense control than the devotees. He said that ISKCON doesn’t have organization, planning, structure, stability whereas these groups are very well organized, structured with years, decades, centuries or more of work and tradition. His point is that you judge something or someone by the results and symptoms, so if the devotees are the topmost transcendentalists and if ISKCON and the Sankirtana movement is the most elevated spiritual movement than there should be example, results and symptoms of such superior position. His reasoning is that these eastern paths and their followers seems to be more advanced,self controlled etc. than the devotees. I know his thinking comes from a neophyte understanding but I want to know what I could say to him. Could Your Holiness, tell me what I can say to him?

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I am listening to one of your lecture and an inquiry is made about chanting rounds or the Holy Name etc. for others.

In the Gita mahatmya there is one section where a bull is dying and all the people come and promise to give some of their accrued punya to the bull including a prostitute - she did it because she didn't want be the one who didn't because she thought she had no punya to give. But because the blessing from the prostitute alone the bull was born as a high brahmana and traced her out to find out what was her punya etc. She confessed that she was a prostitute and actually had no punya. But after some thought it was revealed that she had some parrots who used to belong to someone who chanted a specific chapter of the Gita daily and she used to listen to that and for this reason she had punya etc. So it seems that one can gift one's own punya to others. How would you explain this?

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