Last week I only shortly mentioned that devotees of ISKCON always seem to know that they should be doing but never seem to know why they are doing what they are doing. In my opinion you should, whatever you are doing, know why you are doing it. This should be taken care of in every action, whether it is spiritual or professional, whether you are doing your job or a hobby.
I gave the example of the rituals that ISKCON devotees do and how they do the actions and movements in these rituals without knowing what they mean. They want to be the biggest followers of our culture but they would need to make some effort to understand the deeper meaning, the essence of the culture first.
There is a Mantra which translated means that you should regard and treat other women as your mother. Now what ISKCON did is to tell their devotees to call every female that crosses their way ‘Mataji’, mother. They do it regardless of age although the mantra does not say that you should call girls your mother, who are as old as your daughter! Many young girls and their families could even feel offended, if you call the girl ‘Mataji’ because she is unmarried and supposed to be a virgin, definitely not a mother! You should call her daughter. If a woman is of the same age as you are, you would call her sister. If she is older, you can call her mother and if she is very old, you call her grandmother. But they just did not understand this concept! People feel bad about this but when your sect tells you to call everybody ‘Mataji’, you just go and follow the rules.
Why don’t you ask why you should be doing this? Don’t we teach our children to understand the world that they live in and ask when they don’t understand something? So why would we, as adults, just blindly follow an order without understanding what is behind it?
As I said, this is a rule not only for devotees and their rituals but is applicable in every part of our lives. If you go to a tailor and show him a shirt with three buttons that you like very much and that you would like him to make out of another piece of cloth, he should be able to do it. If the tailor however tells you that he only makes shirts with two buttons, not with three buttons, what will you think? Simply that he does not know his profession! If he had learned tailoring properly, he would be able to look at the other shirt and imitate its cut. He however only learned how to make one certain kind of shirt. He did not really understand what he is doing, he is just mechanically performing the actions in the sequence that he learned. Nothing less and nothing more.
Bring your brain and intellect into your actions. Ask if you don’t understand something and try to learn what is behind these things. You are responsible for yourself. Create things instead of only following orders. It can bring you further and save you from trouble, such as following a brainwashing sect. People who ask what is behind orders will never be happy with sects, fake gurus and the cheating business that is going on.