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ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Printable Version
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ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Printable Version

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ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Sunder - 05-19-2005

I would like to Start a thread on International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), it's Sampradhaya, Idealogies, and it's world-view of other traditions (Indic and non-Indic.)

<b>Purpose of the thread:</b> While many are enchanted by the "Hare Krishna" groups spreading the message of Krishna Consciousness, there is also an undercurrent that's quite unclear. With some Hindus being uncomfortable with the claims made by Hare Krishna (like "Darwin is a rascal, confusing the world" etc.) that we would like to understand. Some of the claim on Scientific and spiritual matters are questionable, and it is only by questioning can we clarify. (At this point the thread does not claim ISKCON is wrong. It only is seeking to understand the logic and motive behind the claims.)

Many traidional Vaishnavas do not feel comfortable with Iskcon Idealogy and the method in which it propogates it's idealogies.

<b>Rules for discussion:</b>
(*) Focus will be on the idealogies. Any statement, when challenged, will have to be backed by a valid Source (pramaana.) This could be the Shruthi, Smrithi or logic according to Nyaaya shastra.
(*) The posts SHALL NOT contain any personal name-calling, flame baits on other derogatory remarks on forum members.
(*) If one member does not understand the argument/counter-argument, he/she shall state the assumption and ask for clarification.
(*) Try not to mock and throw sweeping allegations or character maligning if it is speculative and not supported by reference to available material.
(*) Keep the tone of conversation civil.
(*) All members are welcome to participate. Defend and challenge passionately, but not spitefully.

Hari Om.

http://iskcon.com/
http://science.krishna.org/
http://iskcon.com/education/culture/1.htm


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Sunder - 05-20-2005

Can it Be That the Hare Krishnas Are Not Hindu?
From Hinduism Today Magazine, Oct. 1998

There is a misconception," wrote His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1977 in Science of Self Realization, "that the Krishna consciousness movement represents the Hindu religion. Sometimes Indians both inside and outside of India think that we are preaching the Hindu religion, but actually we are not." In chapter three of the book [available from Bhaktivedanta Archives, P.O. Box 255, Sandy Ridge, North Carolina 27046 USA], this startling point is made several times: "The Krishna consciousness movement has nothing to do with the Hindu religion or any system of religion.... One should clearly understand that the Krishna consciousness movement is not preaching the so-called Hindu religion."


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Bharatvarsh - 05-20-2005

Another issue is their attitude to other religions, for example they preach that Allah and Krishna are the same:

http://krishna.org/Articles/2000/10/00184.html

Now this is false to the core. Let's just examine what Allah promises to his followers in heaven:

"This is the similitude of Paradise,
which the Godfearing have been promised:
Therein are rivers of water unstaling,
rivers of milk unchanging in flavour,
and rivers of wine - a delight to the drinkers,
rivers too, of honey purified;
and therein for them is every fruit "
(Muhammad XLVII: 15)

" for them (the Muslims) is reserved a definite
provision, fruit and a great honour in the Gardens of
Bliss reclining upon couches arranged face to face,
a cup from a fountain being passed round
to them, white, a pleasure to the drinkers .....
and with them wide-eyed maidens flexing
their glances as if they were slightly
concealed pearls." ( The Rangers 40: 45 )


"Surely for the God-fearing
awaits a place of security,
gardens and vineyards
and maidens with swelling bosoms."
( The Tidings 30 )

http://islamreview.org/AnwarShaikh/sexviolence/chapter5.html

Infact the belief is that a Muslim man get's 72 beautiful houris in heaven and all the above seems to be purely materialistic rewards. Now Krishna on the other hand preached Karma Yoga (doing works without expecting rewards), on the ohter hand the only thing Allah seems to be saying is that he will give his followers materialistic things, so how can they be the same.

It seems that while they have no problem with ridiculing Vivekananda for his fascination with Buddhism they themselves seem to not follow what they preach. They seem to have no problem with sucking upto Muslims by preaching false truths like the above one.

Also if Allah and Krishna are the same then what is the whole point of Krishna Conciousness movement among Muslims if they already worship him under the name Allah.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 05-20-2005

I dunno anything about Iskcon ..... but is this attempt at syncretism something like the Tablighi Jamaat strategy?


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Sunder - 05-20-2005

<!--QuoteBegin-Anand K+May 20 2005, 12:47 PM-->QUOTE(Anand K @ May 20 2005, 12:47 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> I dunno anything about Iskcon ..... but is this attempt at syncretism something like the Tablighi Jamaat strategy? <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I am not so sure it is syncretism, for I can only speculate.. I would love to know the official stance from Iskcon representatives.

On the one hand Christ (or Krista), and Allah are mentioned as Godhead. On the other hand, Shiva is pushed as a demi-god whose worship is shocking to Devotees of Iskcon.

The Hinduization of ISKCON?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I was somewhat surprised to see the February 1 posting of an article publicizing a forthcoming Shiva Ratri festival at ISKCON's temple in Spanish Fork, Utah. The article advertises "a sacred bathing ceremony of Lord Shiva, a power point presentation projected onto a huge screen, the chanting of Lord Shiva's 108 names, music, dance, and feasting."

Any Vaisnava is certainly always pleased to see Lord Shiva glorified as the greatest <b>devotee of Lord Krsna,</b> but this celebration seems to be coming from a different perspective. In fact the only mention of Krsna's name is that the celebration is to take place in a Krsna temple. In some places the article comes very close to pronouncing Lord Siva to be the Supreme Lord: "The Puranas also narrate another incident. <b>The gods argued between themselves as to 'who is the greatest.' Lord Shiva appeared before them as an unlimited pillar of fire,</b> of which no one could find the beginning or the end. They realized the greatness of Shiva and worshipped the Shiva lingam which is the form of the flame."

Numerous instructions from Bhagavad-gita and <b>Srila Prabhupada stress the folly of worshipping the demigods</b>, (E.g. "Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet." Bg 7.23) One cannot help but wonder what Srila Prabhupada would have thought of an ISKCON festival that glorifies the worship of the Shiva lingam. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

The above article supresses the Key element in the Puranic event. It was Vishnu and Brahma who was arguing about who is the greatest among themselves, and the Pillar of Fire appeared. Vishnu, in the form of a boar, tried to find the feet of the Unknown Being, while Brahma - in the form of a Swan - flew towards the head. (Beautiful story, where the feet and head are to be taken as Microcosm, and Macrocosm.)

Finally, Shiva grants Vishnu some boons. As the Meenakshi-Sundareswara Stotram of Appayya deekshithar shows, Shiva was worshipped by Vishnu many a time. According to another Puranic incident, it was Shiva who gave Vishnu His Sudharshana Chakra (in the episode of Jalandara Vadham).

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Srila Prabhupada himself stressed many times that <b>ISKCON was not a Hindu movement.</b> Consider the following statement:

    "...That Mataji, she has taken land. I don't like that idea. Some Hindus are supporting. <b>I don't want a Hindu temple. Our constitution is different.</b> We want everyone. Krsna consciousness is for everyone. It is not a Hindu propaganda. People may not misunderstand. And actually, till now in our society there is not a single other Hindu than me. (laughter) Is that not?" Meeting with Devotees - June 9, 1969, New Vrindaban <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Sunder - 05-20-2005

<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+May 20 2005, 07:04 AM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ May 20 2005, 07:04 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> Another issue is their attitude to other religions, for example they preach that Allah and Krishna are the same:

http://krishna.org/Articles/2000/10/00184.html
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
While Allah and Krishna are the same, Shiva and Krishna are apparantly not.

http://india.krishna.org/Articles/2004/05/012.html

Krishna or Shiva?

For many years I have thought myself a devotee of Lord Shiva. Recently my daughter was diagnosed with cancer and i find myself worshiping Lord Krishna and have had many incredible Krishna and Jagannath experiences.


Accordning to Iskcon, even Vishnu is only an Incarnation of Krishna and not the other way around. <!--emo&:unsure:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/unsure.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='unsure.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Krishna is an Incarnation of Maha-Visnu? There is No Krsnaloka??

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->As for your specific question in regard to Krishna and Visnu. Visnu is an incarnation of Krishna, Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, syam bhagavan. It is true that all the Visnu-tattva incarnations including Maha-Visnu are non-different from Krishna, but still Krishna is the origin of them all. This point is confirmed in so many places in the Bhagavad-gita and in so many other Vedic texts also. Where are your quotes from the Bhagavad-gita to say Maha-Visnu is the origin of Krishna? There is no such quote at all. So where have you got the idea from? It is not in the Bhagavad-gita at all.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

It would be nice to hear someone clarify how these indescrepancies crept in.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 05-20-2005

Following posts here and Carl's posts in another thread, it appears ISKCON gives primacy to 'monotheism'. That is understandable if one were to go purely by dvaitic or vishishtadvaitic viewpoint. . But I am curious about claimed identification of Jehova and Allah with Krishna.

I didn't know about this 'syncretic' type of undercurrent in ISKCON.

The view regarding Krishna and Shiva is also curious to say the least. But it does mirror the views of Pathmarajah's version of shaivism. I wonder whether hinduism is in danger from its non-Indian protagonists. It just seems that they get it only partially, in a cosmetic sort of way. While the substructure remains of the dominant non-Indian religions of monotheistic variety.

I think ISKCON is now run by people who grew up in the so called 'monotheistic' religions. Only Judaism and Islam can be called truly monotheistic. Christianity has the trinity of father, son and holy spirit and Catholicism and now anglican protestants, also deify Mother Mary. Nevertheless Christianity is also called monotheistic.

People who grew up in montheistic religions and who converted to ISKCON, are perhaps looking for a rival monotheism in Vaishnavism. It perhaps is taken for granted there that a rival must be a monotheistic religion. Shaivism could be a major challenge to claims on monotheism, especially since ISKCON takes its root texts from India. That may be a reason for the relative lower position assigned to shiva. Perhaps Allah and Jehova are not seen as major threats.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 05-20-2005

Carl had mentioned in the other thread that 70% of Hindus profess to be vaishnavas etc. I would like to see how this survey was conducted. But here are my guesses.

If you ask people in India about their favorite male deities, most common names you would get would be Rama, Krishna, and Shiva. Ganesha, Hanuman and Kartikeya would be next. If people on the whole were equally divided amongst Krishna, Rama and Shiva you would get 2/3rd (or about 70%) for Krishna and Rama, avatars of Vishnu.

But this kind of survey could be thoroughly misleading. A person may hold Rama or Krishna as his main deity, but did that person also say he doesn't worship Shiva at all? I doubt it strongly.

It was also interesting to see that Shakti or Devi was left out of the reckoning.

Another point which was jarring was strong ridiculing of Budhists shunyavada and praise for Islamic monotheism. As far as philosophy proper is concerned, Budhism has produced giants and I found it a bit surprizing that Islam, which doesn't really officially endorse much philosophizing, was held superior to Budhism. Rumi and khayyam and some other Sufi texts have gained popularity. But in an honest appraisal, Budhists have written the encyclopoedia in philosophy while Sufis have in comparision produced only a booklet.

Nagarjuna's shunyavada has been criticized heavily by Shankaracharya and others, but many people accept that after his awe inspiring dialectics in Madhyamaka-shastra, it was Nagarjuna who defined the debate for a long while to come. Gaudapada and Shankara were very much reacting to the plan that had been laid by Nagarjuna. His genius shouldn't be scorned upon even though one may not agree with him. It would be like a freshly minted high school graduate ridiculing Newton because he has learnt from somewhere that Einstein has shown Newton to be wrong. People who delve in Newton's works know him for the true genius he was and how his work was and is still relevant.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 05-20-2005

It is perhaps due to Buddha's rejection of a God. ISKCON appears not to tolerate divine without a personality. Buddha's formless Nirvana would be an anathema to someone who thinks God must have a personality. The same way Advaita's Nirguna Brahman would be an anathema too. There would be nothing to adore, love, worship and submit. Just a formless absolute, and not the most favored of a person with devotional attitude.

In comparision Jehova and Allah are clearly described as having a 'personality'. That perhaps makes them more acceptable to ISKCON than the truly formless versions. It is curious that even though Allah ( and in some ways Jehova, although bible says God made man in his own image, so there is perhaps a form) is supposed to have no image, but he has a personality. Philosophically speaking an 'image' is just a bundle of attributes. A personality must have attributes. So Allah with a personality but without an image or form is a philosophical black hole for me.

ISKCON Krishna has personality and form. Krishna is also special that he is the Narayana (who dwells in all people) and Antaryami (who rules from within), or soul of all souls. So he is one with all the beings and still separate from them (achintya-bheda-abheda).


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 05-20-2005

It was mentioned by Carl that Sri Aurobindo pours scorn on Mayavad (or advaita)

Well, Sri Aurobindo doesn't deny the Nirguna Brahman (being-absolute) or even formless Nirvana (void or shunya). He clearly mentions that both these experiences can be had by the yogi. What he disagrees with is the making the Nirguna Brahman or formless Nirvana the highest ideal or goal of ones life.

If Nirguna or Nirvana are the true goal of life then why did we even land up in our present state. Why did the highest Nirguna even deign to come down to the our present level? It could as well have stayed in its exalted state. In Advaita this question is handled by the use of superposition, that Nirguna never really is deformed/distorted/converted into the saguna multiplicity that we find ourselves in. It always remains in its pristine glory. The forms, appearances, etc arise in 'Maya' and are apparently real only till higher lights of knowledge are not turned on.

Advaita is a very careful philosophy and handles this point very well. Basically it shows that within the structure of Advaita such questions are meaningless, and therefore there is no need to give an answer. But one is still left with the nagging feeling, if Nirguna Brahman is the true highest goal, then why did the descent from that highest state ever happen, even in Maya?

Sri Aurobindo was primarily a Shakta, although he was inspired towards spirituality by a Krishna experience. He says that creation is not an error. Creator Mother shakti is not just an enchantress like Maya. And it is not the primary goal of the creation to try to run directly towards the root, the Nirguna Brahman. He says that it is important to do yoga and have the experience of the absolute , in that sense he doesn't reject advaita at all. He considers it necessary step. Only difference he makes is that Shakti is trying to evolve the world with the purpose of bringing the divine down to the lowest levels and fill them with divine. He compares evolution of life as a way for Shakti to bring down some of divine down into the material plane too. He says this work of Shakti is ongoing. And true goal of human life is to bring down divine to the lowest of levels and make those levels divine too. His objection is to the practice of many yogis of leaving the world and merging in the absolute. He says, it is important to know the absolute by experience. But a merger with the absolute is not what Shakti's goal in creation is.

So Sri Aurobindo is very much into evolution. Although not exactly of Darwin's variety of survival of the fittest. But an evolution guided by a 'conscious will' of the Para-Shakti.

P.S. Also his difference with traditional advaita is not in content but in the supposed goals for human life. Traditional Advaita holds mukti and merger in Nirguna as the highest goal. Sri aurobindo thinks the human ideal shouldn't just be mukti and merger in absolute, but to be in the world and bring divine into the world.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Bharatvarsh - 05-20-2005

The following is what ISKCON has to say about evolution:

The late Srila Prabhupada, of the Hare Krishna movement, explained that God created "the 8,400,000 species of life from the very beginning," in order to establish multiple tiers of reincarnation for rising souls. Although souls ascend, the species themselves don't change, he insisted, dismissing "Darwin's nonsensical theory".

(this quote u can find in the Nov 2004 issue of National Geographic, on page 6 in the article "Was Darwin Wrong", it's at the top right hand corner of page 6).

I absolutely disagree with this, we have overwhelming evidence now which shows that evolution did really happen. The main diff between Eastern religions and Christian lunatics is the fact that Eastern religions always changed with times and also never opposed scientific facts. The Dalai Lama once clearly stated that if science proves a central Buddhist belief as wrong then Buddhists have to accept the new fact.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - gangajal - 05-20-2005

ISCKON denies it is a Hindu sect when the going is good. It, however, asked for money from Hindus when it faced a court judgement in the US ordering auction of its temples to pay for child molestation. At that time it told Hindus about the threat to the Hindu temples.

This also raises another question. Why should ISCKON worry about Vivekananda's misportrayal of Hindu dharma when ISCKON is not a Hindu sect?


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Sunder - 05-20-2005

<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+May 20 2005, 10:20 PM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ May 20 2005, 10:20 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> The following is what ISKCON has to say about evolution:

(this quote u can find in the Nov 2004 issue of National Geographic, on page 6 in the article "Was Darwin Wrong", it's at the top right hand corner of page 6). <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
National Geographic: Was Darwin wrong?


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Sunder - 05-21-2005

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The same way Advaita's Nirguna Brahman would be an anathema too. There would be nothing to adore, love, worship and submit. Just a formless absolute, and not the most favored of a person with devotional attitude.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

ISKCON has a new concept. Sri Advaita "Acarya", who is "non-dual" incarnation of MahaVishnu and Sadhashiva (who lives in Goloka).

http://www.salagram.net/parishad31.htm#GAUDIYA%20KANTHAHARA

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Advaita-tattva - The Advaita Principle

Lord Advaita Acaya is the incarnation of Mahavisnu, whose main function is to create the cosmic world through the actions of maya. (Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi 6.4)

Because He is nondifferent from Hari, the Supreme Lord, He is called Advaita, and because He propagates the cult of devotion, He is called Acaya. <b>He is the Lord and the incarnation of the Lord's devotee.</b> Therefore I take shelter of Him. (Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi 1.12 - 13)

Mahavisnu, the Supersoul of material nature, is the efficent cause [nimitta] and Sri Advaita is the material cause [upadana] of the material creation.

Lord Visnu Himself is the efficient [nimitta] cause of the material world, and Narayana in the form of Sri Advaita, is the material cause [upadana]. Lord Visn, in His efficient aspect, glances over the material energy, and Sri Advaita as the material cause, creates the material world. (Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi 6.16 - 7)

<b>Advaita is Sadasiva </b>6.4
He who was Sri Sadasva is the bhakta-avatara, Sri Advaita Prabhu. (Gaura-Ganoddesa Dipika, 11)

Sri Advaita, who is a reservoir of virtues, is the main limb of Mahavisnu. <b>His full name is Advaita</b>, for He is identical in all respects with the Lord. (Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi 6.25)

He delivered all living beings by offering the gift of krsna-bhakti. He explained Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam in the light of devotional service. (Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi 6.27)

Lord Advaita Acarya is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead. <b>Although Lord Caitanya accepts Him as His preceptor, Advaita Acarya is a servant of the Lord.</b> (Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi5.147)

There is one "Mahaprabhu" [Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu] and two "Prabhus" [Advaita Prabhu and Nityananda Prabhu]. The two Prabhus serve the lotus feet of Maharabhu. (Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi 7.14)

The twofold branches among the followers of Advaita: saragrahi (those who accept the essence) and asaravahi (those useless persons who accept the nonessential). 6. 10

The followers of Sri Advaita were of two kinds. Some were real followers (saragrahi) and the others were false (sara-grahi). Rejecting the false followers, I offere my respectful obeisances to the real followers of Sri Advaita Acaya whose life and soul was Sri Caitanya Maharabhu. (Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi 12.1)

At first all the followers of Advaita Acaya shared a single opinion. but later they followed two different opinions as ordained by providence. Some of the disciples strictly accepted the orders of the acarya, and <b>others deviated, independently concocting their own opinions under the spell of daivi maya.</b> The opinion of the acarya is essential. Anyone who disregards his order is useless (asara-grahi) (Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi 12.8 - 10).

The useless followers of Advaita Acarya acted contrary to the principles of Sri Caitanya and thus became <b>cut off from his mercy.</b>

After the disappearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who was the gardener of the tree of love of Godhead, some of the sub-branches of the Advaita branch, for unfortunate reasons, deviated from His path. Some branches did not accept the original trunk that vitalized and maintained the entire tree. When they thus became ungrateful, the original trunk was angry at them. Thus Lord Caitanya did not sprinkly upon them the water of his mercy, and they gradually withered and died.
 
GAUDIYA KANTHAHARA

THE SIXTH JEWEL: ADVAITA-TATTVA
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

http://www.vrindavan.org/English/about/SPlecture.html
http://www.salagram.net/parishad31.htm

Question for Iskcon members: Is this ADVAITA (acharya) the same as the one mentioned in Mandukya Upanishad? (Shantham SHivam Advaitam)


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Bharatvarsh - 05-21-2005

" Rumi and khayyam and some other Sufi texts have gained popularity. But in an honest appraisal, Budhists have written the encyclopoedia in philosophy while Sufis have in comparision produced only a booklet."

Although Sufi saints advocated mysticism and other such things they are not true Muslims. Their teachings are considered to be heretical and unislamic, also many Hindus seem to have some positive image of Sufis. Infact Sufis are the worst kind of fanatics, they acted as scouts for Muslim armies before the invasions and lead many Hindus astray posing as saints. Guru Nanak denounced them and said that they were leading Hindus astray with the intention of converting them to Islam, infact many of the Dargah's that Hindus foolishly go around worshipping are built on destructed temples. Moinuddin Chishti’s dargah I think is also built on a destroyed Hindu temple, a good book on this subject is:

"In recent years, several books criticizing Islam and its role in Indian history have been banned. One of them is Richard Maxwell Eaton's Sufis of Bijapur 1300-1700 (Social Roles of Sufis in Medieval India), published in Princeton 1978, which debunks the pious fable that the Sufis were bringers of a tolerant and refined Islam and the pioneers of a synthesis between Islam and Hinduism"

http://voi.org/books/ayodhya/ch12.htm


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - gangajal - 05-21-2005

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Question for Iskcon members: Is this ADVAITA (acharya) the same as the one mentioned in Mandukya Upanishad? (Shantham SHivam Advaitam)<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Sundar ji,
Although I am not a member of ISCKON, I am answering this question. Hindu monotheists do not interpret Advaita the same way as Advaitist think of the word. Monotheists interpret Advaita to mean second to none. Thus to them it means that Vishnu is second to none in excellent qualities.

Gangajal


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Sunder - 05-21-2005

<!--QuoteBegin-gangajal+May 21 2005, 01:59 AM-->QUOTE(gangajal @ May 21 2005, 01:59 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> Although I am not a member of ISCKON, I am answering this question. Hindu monotheists do not interpret Advaita the same way as Advaitist think of the word.  Monotheists interpret Advaita to mean second to none. Thus to them it means that Vishnu is second to none in excellent qualities. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
True. This I can understand from our previous discussion on the Vedanta thread. Here, there is an "Incarnation" a physical person called Advaita Acharya. This Advaita Acharya is said to be the material cause of the universe, and is the servant of the Lord. I wanted to know if THIS depiction of Advaita (Acharya) is in agreement with the Shruthi texts (like Mandukya.)

The reason for the question is I never heard of an Acharya called Advaitacharya before this. I hope I am clear.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - gangajal - 05-21-2005

Sundar ji,
Advaita Acharya was a direct disciple of Chaitanya. I do not know how ISCKON members will interpret the description of Advaita Acharya.

Gangajal


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Sunder - 05-21-2005

<!--QuoteBegin-gangajal+May 21 2005, 02:59 AM-->QUOTE(gangajal @ May 21 2005, 02:59 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> Sundar ji,
      Advaita Acharya was a direct disciple of Chaitanya. I do not know how ISCKON members will interpret the description of Advaita Acharya.

Gangajal <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Thank you Gangajal ji.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 05-21-2005

My very limited experiences with ISKCON have so far been on the positive side. I like the books and the paintings etc. ISKCON has done great work in making Vaishnava litearture available all over the world in nicely edited and illustrated form.

I had a curious interaction once. One of the pretty intellectual (high degrees in CS) swami type from ISKCON gave a series of lectures on science and spirituality. First two lectures were pretty good. The scientific spirit was there to see. But the 3rd lecture left me reeling. The whole scintific part was folded up and dumped. The transformation in the nature of the lectures was startling. He started listing his 'beliefs'. And he went like this:

We believe that there is a planet called Vaikuntha where Krishna lives.
....
We believe human mind has antimatter in it
...

Well, he translated 'Loka' into a planet, and non-material; became antimatter. But planets and antimatter mean very specific things in science. Mixing them up like that was pretty startling for me, especially since it came from an intellectual scientist type. Also the 'We believe' type cut and dry statements.felt like listening to a televangelical show than a Hinduism discourse.

In clothing, paintings, bhajans, books ISKCON is more Indian than Indians. But in religion per se it often seems to have a striking non-Indian character too.