PK Movie Answered – Part 1

This article gives valid answers to a few questions about the so-called superstitions and malpractices in our religion/practices.


The recent Bollywood movie PK raised some questions on religious customs and traditional practices. In no time controversy erupted and many groups protested against it for hurting their religious sentiments. In the film, the character of Aamir Khan is portrayed by Rajkumar Hirani as an innocent alien trying for answers to religious practices of this world. However, far from trying and getting the right answers, the film labels all questions as ‘wrong numbers’. Of course, there are ‘wrong numbers’ – superstitions & malpractices, but that does not warrant condemning true religion/practices as bogus. Therefore, this is an attempt to shed the light of truth, based on the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, upon these questions. Comments are welcome.

Do only people who are afraid go to temple?

Jo darta hai woh mandir jata hai – is this true?


Fear due to some impending danger or difficulty may be a reason for someone to go to a temple. And they do get relief when they pray to God for protection. But that is not the only reason why someone may go to a temple.

Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that four kinds of people approach God (Ch. 7 Verse 16):

  • One who is distressed & wants relief from the suffering
  • One who wants material benefits
  • One who is inquisitive about God
  • One who is in knowledge about God

So, all persons going to the temple are not afraid; there are people who have proper knowledge of God and temple. They go to a temple because they know the purpose of a temple – spiritual advancement. Those who do not know this purpose should find out such saintly persons who have proper knowledge and try to understand from them.

Is religion a business run by godmen to exploit people’s fear?


True religion is not a business. Srimad Bhagavatam distinguishes between real dharma and kaitava dharma (cheating religion). Real religion is propounded by those saintly people who are not envious of anyone. But there are many cheaters who take advantage of the ignorance of the masses and exploit their religious sentiments by propagating some cheating religion. The author of Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Vyasadeva, affirms that by reading Bhagavatam one will be able to distinguish between real religion and cheating religions. When one understands and follows the real religion, he is relieved from all distress and his life is filled with auspiciousness.

Is religion made by man or by God?


Real religion is made by God. dharmam tu saksat bhagavat pranitam: The codes of religion are given by the Supreme Lord and the purpose of religion is to develop love for God. But, as stated above, many godmen take advantage of the religious sentiment of the common people and make their own concocted religion which is not real. Many of the superstitious beliefs stem from such concocted religion. One should approach a bonafide spiritual master and try to understand spiritual subject matter from him. How do we recognize a bonafide spiritual master? Scriptures say that a bonafide spiritual master should come in the disciplic succession descending directly from Krishna. The words of the bonafide spiritual master act as guiding light for people suffering in the darkness of ignorance. When we hear from such a person, we will be able to understand the real purpose of religion.

How can worshiping a cow get someone a job?


Worship of the cow is not meant for getting such benefit. We worship the cow because she is considered our mother. She gives us nutritious milk. It is a fact that milk is a miracle food and is very important for the human being. This apart, we have a question for those who question the practice of worshiping the cow. Did they ever question the practice of slaughtering cows? How does it make sense: to drink the milk of the cow and kill it when it cannot produce any milk? Is it human? Is it not like killing one’s own mother? Srila Prabhupada writes: The human society should recognize the importance of the cow and the bull and thus give all protection to these important animals. Even today, Hindus worship the cow and they consider it their responsibility to maintain the cows.

To know more about the importance of cow protection, visit our cow protection page

If God can hear our prayers directly, do we need to pray to a murti?


The murti (Diety) is not an idol if properly installed according to scriptural injunctions. There is difference between an idol and deity. A deity is an authorized form of God, which is made according to the directions in the scriptures. Praying or worshipping such a deity is meaningful since the prayer or worship directly reaches God. Srila Prabhupada gives an example to help us understand this: We may find some mailboxes on the street, and if we post our letters in those boxes, they will naturally go to their destination without difficulty. But any old box, or an imitation which we may find somewhere but which is not authorized by the post office, will not do the work. Similarly, God has an authorized representation in the Deity form, which is called archa-vigraha. This archa-vigraha is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord. God accepts service through that form and thus gives us an opportunity to revive our love for Him.

Srila Prabhupada explains further in one of his lectures: Krishna’s Deity and Krishna are not different. Krishna has come, kindly, to accept your service as you can deal with Him. If Krishna comes in His gigantic form—Krishna has got gigantic form also, as it was shown to Arjuna—you will not be able to dress Him. Suppose the universal form of Krishna is there, and you have to dress Him, so the whole cloth factory will be finished. Is it not? How you can dress? You have no capacity to dress. But Krishna has kindly accepted a form, the Deity. You can purchase cloth according to your means, and with your great devotion, you can dress. Similarly, the gigantic universal form, it is described in the Bhagavad-gita that He is eating, the whole humanity is going on in His mouth. Then where you will get such food? But, because you are not able to offer such gigantic food to Krishna, Krishna says, “All right, give Me, patram pushpam phalam toyam, give Me a little flower, give Me a little fruit, give Me a little water, I shall accept it.” This is called arcana-vidhi. Krishna has agreed to accept your service as you can afford to do. It is not idol worship. It is actually worshiping Krishna.

Questions from the PK Movie Answered – Part 2

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