MyBB Internal: One or more warnings occurred. Please contact your administrator for assistance.
MyBB Internal: One or more warnings occurred. Please contact your administrator for assistance.
ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Printable Version
Forums
ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Printable Version

+- Forums (http://india-forum.com)
+-- Forum: Indian History & Culture (http://india-forum.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=3)
+--- Forum: Indian Culture (http://india-forum.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=11)
+--- Thread: ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. (/showthread.php?tid=695)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 07-28-2005

<!--QuoteBegin-Carl+Jul 27 2005, 11:09 PM-->QUOTE(Carl @ Jul 27 2005, 11:09 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->

<b>To admins:</b>
Hit-and-run, copy-paste, arbitrary slanders like this thread have always been difficult to counter, since accusations and criticisms are always easier to make than to give the necessary exhaustive replies to. Any inchoate refutation soon threatens to assume the alarming dimensions of an epic. Since it is not practical or possible to try to refute all the challenges of such detractors in one fell swoop, I request a better system of thread-management.

<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Carl, any suggestions?

Me thinks, we should start a bin <b>"Who is not a Hindu, and why?"</b> to deal with some posts <!--emo&:lol:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='laugh.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Seriously, we can all come to consensus on splitting the multi-faceted topic we are dealing with - including political angles - after all raja neethi, raja dharma whose foundation and legitimacy comes from vedic dharma and not everything is just spiritual or hair splitting philosophical debates - welcome all suggestions on how to organize better discussions, and let everyone participate and debate, not debase each other.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 07-29-2005

<b>k.ram</b>,
I agree with you, completely. If some of my posts seemed a little rhetorical, it was in response to similar stuff from others.

Your suggestion of compartmentalizing the discussion into the social/cultural, political and philosophical is sensible. From the beginning, I was saying that a broad definition of the term "Hindu" is attractive for the social capital it creates, based on a common culture, and common threats. But that should not blur the philosophical distinctions between various schools of thought. Why is this so difficult for some people to accept? My point is that "Hinduism" should be defined in <i>purely</i> cultural terms, rather than to stitch together some "new" doctrine that artificially attempts to patch together all kinds of irreconcilable viewpoints (including non-Vedic ones). The result is a hodgepodge, that does not bode well for the health of Vedic civilization in the medium or long run. Whatever the external socio-political arrangement, it is the inner spiritual purity that holds everything together. "Purity is the force; utility is the principle."

So as a utilitarian expedient, the different traditional and new schools should certainly agree to call themselves Hindu, but each should be required to properly represent themselves -- and others. Each sampradaya should be allowed to maintain its doctrinal purity. Time will decide which ones survive unchanged as spiritually potent forces in the long run.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 07-29-2005

Gurulog,

How about three bins for three slightly overlapping themes? Although Sanatana Dharma cannot be really defined as a “religion”, let us move on assuming that it is a “religion”. Easy first step.

The first bin on Practice (Philosophical, Spiritual, Cultural), the second bin on Experience (Cultural/Social), the third on Community (Social/Political).

Each bin thus captures and represents one of the main ways that dharma is expressed which makes an impact on all hindus and others, living in the eco-system.

The first bin is for how religious practices can exert a powerful hold on people, and become focal points of their lives as they facilitate experiences of divine or ultimate reality [Whatever it is called in their own minds]. Let’s just look at it for what it is - In other words, religious practices are powerful because they are vehicles for religious experience. <i>{Let us avoid hair splitting here - orthodos or heterodox schools etc etc - <b>we have philosophy thread just for that</b>}</i>

The second bin discussing/analyzing different forms of religious experiences that shows how they not only involve people in relationships with divine or ultimate reality but its impact on immediate surroundings. Technically such experiences generate loyalty to religious communities and guide people in managing their immediate social world and concern for society (or lack there of) – discussion mainly on the latter part <i>{We really cannot discuss personal experiences nor do we want to discuss opinions - Just the "local(micro)" impact} </i>

The third bin exploring the impact of such religious communities on society on a much broader scale – India/World - in light of increasing assault on Hinduism by the usual suspects, complicated by our own misunderstanding and laziness to put an effort into busting myths propagated by vested interests. For lack of better word, let’s call this “Theorizing Bin - Past, Present and Future” The past-present-future angle sets the context behind each argument, otherwise it is futile, in so far as developing a theory. <i>{If anything constructive comes out of this bin, then how do we accomplish it at both micro and macro levels?}. </i>


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 07-30-2005

K. Ram,

Your three bin idea is good.
I would like to post in your third bin, the Theorizing Bin.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 12-20-2005

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianCivili...n/message/83283

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->From: Parama Karuna <xparamakaruna@...>
Date: Mon Dec 19, 2005  6:48 pm
Subject: How ISKCON got mixed up with Jesus  xparamakaruna
Offline Offline
Send Email Send Email
Dear Shiva Charan ji,
Namaskar and Hari Om!
Thank you very much for your kind reply.
Your question is indeed extremely interesting and important in the present
situation, also considering the dangers of the "Suicidal Hinduism" that has been
constantly sliding towards the Abrahamic mentality.
A complete answer would require a very long posting. I will try to keep it
short and simple, leaving the door open for more discussion in the future, also
in the private channel.

I believe I had mentioned already how Bhaktivinoda (the real founder of the
Hare Krsna movement in modern times) saw the need to "Christianize" Hinduism
thus making it more acceptable by the British rulers, the Western academics in
general and especially by the "brown sahibs" who formed the "educated class" or
Indian "intelligentsia" of the time.
Thus he transformed the pre-existing religious tradition of Gaudiya Vaisnavism
in a "package" that was eminently monotheistic, patriarchally-oriented, and
based on faith and devotion more than philosophy.
At the same time, Bhaktivinoda's "package" equally distanced itself from the
impersonal advaita philosophy (which had very little impact on the masses of
people) and from the "polytheist" character of temple worship (which had created
sectarianism under the influence of monotheism after the Muslim invasion).
He also anglicized the spelling of Sanskrit (as in "pooja" or "shree") or
translating Hindu concepts in English terms that could be considered equivalent
(as in monks, monasteries, pontiff, salvation, legends, incarnation, apostle,
mystic, sects, etc), a tendency that became very fashionable with all Hindu
writers in English language.

Basically, Bhaktivinoda proposed Vishnu as the Indian equivalent of the
Christian God, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu as the Indian equivalent of Jesus Christ.
In this way, he could discuss religion with the British rulers and scholars to
affirm the value of Sanatana Dharma on the same theological, ethical and
historical level of Christianity (which was then considered the "standard of
civilization").
In fact, Bhaktivinoda's theological/philosophical explanations tended to
present Krsna as the "intimate" aspect of Visnu, and the loving service to Krsna
as a form of religion that went much deeper than ordinary Christianity, to
attain levels that had been exhibited only by a small number of exceptional
"saints and mystics" in Christian history. These "great Christian mystics" had
also developed symptoms of ecstasy in a kind of "madhurya rasa" relationship
with God.

This was a very important step as until then, the British (and the
"modernized, secular, scientific, intellectual" brown sahibs) considered
Hinduism simply as a "bunch of superstitious legends, devils and fairies".

Under the inspiration and instruction of Bhaktivinoda, his son Bhaktisiddhanta
continued to adapt the package for the "consumption" of the intellectuals and
scholars, including the less-anglicized Hindus. Bhaktisiddhanta founded the
Gaudiya Matha (largely inspired by the respected Sankara Mathas), giving
prominence to practices and concepts that had not been characteristic of the
Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition in his times and his father's times (the strict
discipline of sannyasa and brahmacarya, establishment of temples and Deity
worship, organized preaching, book distribution etc).
At the same time, the simple philosophy of the Gaudiya Matha (based on bhakti)
became very popular with the general people especially in Bengal, where a mass
of non-qualified babajis and bhaktas often created scandals by exploiting their
followers and violating social and ethical norms for their own selfish
gratification.
In short, Bhaktisiddhanta presented the "Vedic religion" by separating it from
"Hinduism" (with its "polytheistic, folkloristic, tantric, impersonalistic,
smarta" values) and creating the "Indian counterpart" of Christianity - with the
equivalent of monks, monasteries, churches, regularly attended functions,
religious propaganda, rosary, monastic rules, ecclesiastic system, etc.
Of course, the entire thing was strictly in accordance to the genuine Vedic
knowledge - which also includes these aspects without the philosophical and
ethical deviations of Christian churches.

However, Bhaktisiddhanta's untimely disappearance left a void in the Gaudiya
Matha as his disciples lacked his vision and energy. So in general they just
maintained the externals, often succumbing to the inherent dangers of a
"church-like package": politicization, internal strife, trivialization,
sectarianism, ritualism, and creation of a "parasite class of monks/priests" who
developed (more or less subconsciously) envy, loathing and hatred for "ordinary
married people".

The most famous disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta, Bhaktivedanta, decided to drop
the Gaudiya Matha (plagued by fighting, confusion and ineffectiveness) and went
to USA to preach extensively to English-speaking people, according to the
instructions he had received from his guru.
In 1965 he started the International Society for Krsna Consciousness (ISKCon),
which was a totally different thing from the Gaudiya Matha - so much that his
godbrothers heavily criticized him for many years.
Bhaktivedanta could see that Sanatana Dharma could be transplanted in Western
countries (as desired by Bhaktisiddhanta and Bhaktivinoda), but it needed to
become much "easier" and "Westernized" because the people there could not
understand Vedic philosophy and sometimes even the basic concepts of common
sense. However, he insisted that his followers should carefully read all his
books, where he had clearly and repeatedly discussed about the importance of the
original Vedic knowledge.

Bhaktivedanta wrote a great number of books, translating and commenting Gita,
Bhagavatam, Isopanisad, Caitanya Caritamrta (an esoteric biography of Caitanya),
and philosophical works written by Caitanya's followers, such as Bhakti rasamrta
sindhu and Upadesamrta. He also wrote a number of introductory booklets that
summarized important Vedic concepts, making them easily understandable for
Westerners.
The other, very important, task he undertook was to organize a spiritual
society where the members could remain engaged in karma yoga, bhakti yoga and
jnana yoga according to their tendencies and needs, as a "sapling" of a genuine
varnasrama system in contrast with the degenerate mess of Hindu society (based
on birth right).

Since Caitanya had focused on the distribution of the Hari nama and prasada as
easy methods for preaching to the masses, Bhaktivedanta organized sankirtana
parties in Western cities (this is why his movement came to be known as the
"Hare Krsna movement"), and Sunday feasts at all centers (with free distribution
of first quality prasadam) open to all.
Since his guru, Bhaktisiddhanta, had extolled the superior effect of the brhat
mrdanga (the printing press for religious works, that could amplify the
"chanting of the Divine glories" and make it accessible to thousands of people
without limitations of space and time), Bhaktivedanta established the
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and produced a great number of books and publications,
including the magazine "Back to Godhead", also encouraging his followers to
write and express their own spiritual realizations from the specific angle of
perspective that each one of them had, due to their guna and karma.

The prasadam distribution program became very popular with the Western people,
and this developed the idea of opening vegetarian prasadam restaurants in
several cities.
Such "Hare Krsna restaurants" offered a number of benefits:
1. giving a legal protection to the prasadam distribution in Western countries
(where food production and distribution is strictly controlled by health and
trade organizations)
2. organizing the distribution in specific places and times, without
disrupting the other activities of the temple
3. creating a source of income for the society, that could support the temple
worship and other programs.

Bhaktivedanta established at least 100 temples with Deities of Radha Krsna and
Jagannatha (with an excellent worship standard), introduced the Ratha Yatra
festival in many big cities, and initiated thousands of disciples into the
tradition of Gaudiya vaisnavism, requiring a very strict discipline (minimum
number of mantra japa every day, strict vegetarian diet, no intoxication, no
illicit sex, no gambling etc).
Not one single follower/disciple was allowed to remain idle and live a
parasitic life in the name of "religiousness". Everybody had to work, and
Bhaktivedanta himself gave the example - from cooking and washing the pots, to
translating and producing books etc.

Bhaktivedanta's revolutionary vision of the varnasrama system also included
the establishment of self-sufficient farms and other enterprises (such as the
Spiritual Sky incense products etc), religious gift shops, gurukula schools, and
media (records, videos, etc) including musical and dramatic performances.

The philosophy presented by Bhaktivedanta in his books and lectures is
tailored in very simple terms for his Western followers so that they could grasp
the basic meaning of Sanatana Dharma.
The majority of those followers were largely under-qualified in regard to
education and intelligence, as well as practical abilities: they were mostly
collected among the hippie generation during the short span of 12 years (from
1965 to 1977).
The youngsters of that generation (generally born in USA in the period from
1945 to 1950) craved for new values and spiritual engagement, a paternal figure
and an alternative to the American society. Many had their brains burned by LSD
or other psychotropic substances, many had dropped out from school and family,
and had been living on the streets in protest against the Establishment.
At some point, Bhaktivedanta even said that some ill-motivated people had
infiltrated the movement because it was successfully challenging the "American
values".
Some of his disciples committed heavy blunders and went awry in many ways, and
each time Bhaktivedanta patiently corrected them (as long as he was present),
sometimes getting angry and disgusted at them, but never kicking anybody out
(which in my personal opinion might have been a mistake).

In any case, Bhaktivedanta died in 1977 without leaving any qualified
successor, and his half-baked disciples deviated in many ways from the vision of
the founder of Iskcon, mostly falling back into their cultural traps.
Kirtanananda immediately started by completely "Christianizing" his area,
having devotees dressed up like Christian monks, changing the Sanskrit prayers
into English translations, introducing a lavish personal worship of
Bhaktivedanta's image in the style of the Christian worship of Jesus (with
crowns etc), writing books about "Christ and Krsna". It seems he also absorbed
much of the Christian "ethic values" since intimidation and violence (up to
killing) was amply used against "dissidents". Kirtanananda was convicted of
murder (corpses were found in the foundations of some buildings at New
Vrindavan) and to my knowledge, he is still in US jail at present.

At each new generation of disciples (from 1977 to date) the deviations have
become more serious, and at present the situation is disastrous.
Most of the original disciples who had some realization and/or good sense have
been driven out from the organization, and many have joined various Gaudiya
mathas or started their own Missions. An effort to bring back the "Hare Krsna
movement" to the original vision of Bhaktivedanta is being made mostly by IRM
(Iskcon Reform Movement) and by the Prabhupada Society (headed by Kapindra Swami
and the "Prabhupadanugas").

However, the real problem (that seems so difficult to understand) is the lack
of vision - specifically, of the great picture.
The "vision" (drasta, darsana etc) of the great picture is exactly what
characterizes Sanatana Dharma.

The Abrahamic concept of Churches or sects (as in the various Protestant,
Orthodox and Catholic sects of Christianity, or the Shiite and Sunni Muslim
sects) is exactly the opposite of the vision of the Greater Picture.
It simply insists on denying the concept itself of a greater picture and gets
fractured more and more, in endless bickering over who has the "only absolute
truth" -- which for them is not the Greater Picture that encompasses and
reconciles all the relative truths, but the "best and only truth" that
successfully contradicts all other truths: usually by physically destroying
those who believe in such "rival truths".

It is also possible that infiltrated agents have actively steered the movement
into becoming a "Church" by taking advantage of the cultural tendencies and lack
of sastric knowledge of the mass of followers.
In any case, we observe today that Iskcon, like the Church(es), votes on
philosophical issues to decide the "official siddhanta" and then enforces it
with material means of control on its followers (like the Church Councils),
thunders against all other "heretics and enemies" and actively persecutes them,
papers up the huge ethical and criminal sins of their authorities, consistently
protects evil-doers and deviators by further victimizing their victims (see the
child sex abuse scandals), negates the importance of the individual relationship
with God (i.e. one can reach the Divine only through the priest system),
financially exploits its followers utilizing the funds to provide extravagant
luxury and material power to "renunciates", elects the gurus and controls them
(suspending or removing them if they fail to satisfy the central management
policies), and has an ecclesiastic hierarchy based on material power and
obedience. And political agendas, of course.

Originally Bhaktivedanta preached that "Lord Jesus was the son of God" because
he wanted his Christian American followers to listen to him and relate his
teachings to "religion".
However, he said (and wrote) very clearly that the Christians were not
following Jesus' teachings (something that could also be easily accepted by the
people he was talking to) and therefore instead of listening to the nonsense
propounded by the Christians, people should instead read Gita and Bhagavatam and
follow Krsna's instructions.
Unfortunately, many of his followers are/were overly attached to their
Christian background, and they tend(ed) to pick only what they like (i.e.
attachment to Jesus) and just forget the rest. Since there is no genuine
spiritual teacher around to correct the situation, things keep rolling down the
drain.

So what we can respect is not the present Iskcon, but the original vision
established by its founder, Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Mixing up the two is
a huge mistake.


In conclusion:
Bhaktivinoda, Bhaktisiddhanta and Bhaktivedanta, like all other genuine
spiritual teachers, present the eternal and all-encompassing Truth of Vedic
knowledge according to the specific desa, kala and patra they are dealing with,
and to the specific "need of the hour".
Bogus teachers simply remain attached to the past and keep "fighting wars that
have long ended", when in fact they could simply open their eyes and have a look
around for a reality check, to find out where the battle really is.

Today, the Dharmic fight we must fight is against the aggression of the
evangelists and their "secular" supporters.

We now need to do exactly the opposite of what Bhaktivinoda did: we need to
DE-CHRISTIANIZE Hinduism.
Today India has no British rulers, and in Western countries millions of people
avidly read Gita and practice some Hindu sadhana. And they are getting so fed up
with the Churches that they are ready to embrace the "religion of the Yedi
knights" or Harry Potter or anything else.
This is having a profound and powerful impact on the academic and cultural
world, too (unfortunately, Indian intelligentsia seems not to be noticing as
they will remain the "last bastion" of Max Muller's opera omnia and the
Christian propaganda).

We need to bring back the Message to the Vedic roots, eliminating the
superfluous trappings that have been used to decorate it in the past. Like old
flower garlands, such decorations have wilted and rotten, and have become a
source of disgust rather than beautification.
What we need to do first of all is understanding which is decoration and which
is the basis - the structure - that needs to remain.

PKD


---- Original Message ----


How did ISKCON get mixed up with Jesus? Also why do they border on
being
monotheistic? I have a deep regard for ISKCON but this certainly
baffles me.

Regards
Siva Charan<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 12-21-2005

The following extracted from Iskcon/Gaudiya source - shows how the 2 vaisnava acharyas - Ramanuja (visistadvaita) and Madhva (dvaita) are projected in their scripture - Navadvipa Mahatyma

http://www.indiadivine.org/hinduism/articl...-dhama-Mahatmya

<b>On Ramanujacharya </b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Joining his hands, Ramanuja made a request to Jagannatha.

"'You have mercifully mentioned Gauranga, but exactly Who He is I do not know.'

"The Lord answered, 'Everyone knows the master of Goloka, Krishna. That Sri Krishna, Whose vilasa murti is Narayana, is the supreme truth, residing in Vrndavana. That Krishna is fully manifested in the form of Gauranga, and Navadvipa Dham is the same as Vrndavana. This Navadvip is the topmost abode, situated beyond the material universe, and in that place Gauranga stays eternally. By My mercy that Dhama has come to exist within Bhu Mandala, yet remaining unaffected by maya. This is the verdict of scripture. And if you think that Navadvipa is only a material location, then your devotion will perish. By My will, My inconceivable energy preserves this full transcendental Dhama within the material world. Simply by reading scriptures, one will not get the highest truth, for the highest truth surpasses all reasoning power. Only the devotees, by My mercy, can understand.'

"Hearing this, Ramanuja was moved with prema.

"'Lord, Your lila is truly astounding. The scriptures cannot know Your opulences. Why is not Gauranga lila described clearly in the scriptures? When I closely examine the shruti and puranas, I find some hint of the Gauranga Tattva only. Now, however, I am ready to serve Your order, for all doubts are gone. If it is Your desire, I will go to Navadvipa and preach Gaura lila throughout the three worlds, giving evidence from the hidden scriptures to all the people, converting all to devotional service to Gauranga. Please instruct me.'

"Jagannatha said, <b>'Ramanuja, do not broadcast like this. Keep the esoteric Gaura lila secret. Only after He has finished His lila will the general public receive it. Preach for Me on the level of dasya rasa, while in your heart worship Gauranga constantly.'</b>

"Taking the advice of the Lord, Ramanuja secretly cultured his attraction for Navadvipa. Narayana, being merciful, led Ramanuja to Vaikuntha Pur, and there showed him His transcendental form served by Sri, Bhu, and Lila. Ramanuja thought himself fortunate to obtain this darsana, but instantly the figure changed to that of Gaura Sundara, the son of Jagannatha Misra. Ramanuja swooned at the brilliance of the form. Gauranga put His lotus feet on His head. Ramanuja, divinely inspired, recited prayers of praise.

"'I must see Gaura's actual lila on earth. I can never leave Navadvip!'

"Gauranga said, 'Your wish will be fulfilled, son of Kesava. When the Nadiya lila will be revealed in the future, you will take birth here again.'

"Gauranga disappeared. Ramanuja, contented, resumed his journey. After some days he arrived at Kurma Sthana and with his disciples saw the place. During his life he preached dasya rasa throughout the south of India, while internally he was absorbed in Gaura lila. By Gauranga's mercy, he was later born in Navadvipa as the devotee Ananta."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>The Srivaisnavas comments (followers of Ramanuja)</b>

<!--c1-->CODE<!--ec1-->SrI:

I like the Hare Krishna devotees for their simplicity, but the following is a little too much for me to digest, anyway helps me draw a line. Seriously, do we appear as objects of joke to ISKCON? Please read on completely, and also the story about the fishes and "free will" at the end. I think the greatest attribute of our ThennAchArya Sampradayam is not discussing anybody in a poor light. Even Sankara was given due respect.

-Adiyen.<!--c2--><!--ec2-->
For further follow up on the discussion refer

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ramanuja/message/5883

<b>
On Madhvacharya</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Here also Madhva and his disciples stayed for some time. Gaurasundara appeared to him in a dream.

"'Everyone knows that you are My eternal servant. Appearing in Navadvipa, I will accept your sampradaya. Go everywhere and carefully uproot all the false scriptures of the Mayavadis and reveal the glories of worshipping the murti of the Lord. I will broadcast your pure teachings later on.'

"Gauranga disappeared. Madhva, awaking, was dumbfounded. 'Will I ever see that beautiful golden form again?' he cried.

<b>"In reply there came a voice from the sky. 'Worship Me secretly, and you will come to Me.'</b>

"With this instruction, Madhva went on with great resolution to defeat all the Mayavadi philosophers."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

See the highlighted text, God instructing, Ramanuja and Madhva to lie - secretively <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 12-22-2005

Manro

I dont understand what you are trying to say.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 12-22-2005

<!--QuoteBegin-rajesh_g+Dec 22 2005, 03:31 AM-->QUOTE(rajesh_g @ Dec 22 2005, 03:31 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Manro

I dont understand what you are trying to say.
[right][snapback]43576[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Understandable
Initially, it was posted as a new topic, the admin had merged it with this exsiting thread.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-02-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-Sunder+May 19 2005, 01:01 AM-->QUOTE(Sunder @ May 19 2005, 01:01 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->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
[right][snapback]34120[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-02-2006

"ISCKON" is a great organisation engaged in "Bhagavan Nama Prachara". The following Verse Viz.,

"Kalau Kalmasha Chiththanam papa drauyopa jeevinam
Vidhi kriya vihinanam Gathir Govinda Kirthanam"

very clearly says that the only Gathi in the pollulted atmosphere of kali is chanting of the name of God.

"hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare"

is the "nama mala" of "bhagawan" they are selflessly preaching the world over.

Chaithanya Mahaprabhu almost through out his life in spite of in different state of mindsets ranging from viraha to bhavasamadhi motivated one and all cutting across caste , creed and even religion to chant this beautiful "nama mala" of "Bhagavan". His goshti of bhakthas went in procession chanting in "uccha swara" the glorious name of God. This was because even those who dont themselves chant the name of God can atleast get benefitted from hearing his glorious name. Thats why great saints cutting across different sampradayas motivates people to do nama sankirthan of God.

"ISCKON" people terms "Hare rama ... Hare Hare" as "maha mathra". I humbly but agree to the importance they attach to this pavithra Bhagavan Nama.

But technically i opine differently in the nomenclature used.

"manthra" is defined as "Mananath thrayathe ithi manthraha". The basic pre requisite of any manthra is that it is repeateadly recited in one's mind.

Another aspect I could not reconcile to is chanting any other name of God is discouraged by "ISCKON". Be it even any other of name of Lord Krishna himself. There are crores and crores of people in India who chants "RAM". I could not understand as to why they could not attain salvation by chanting this another holyname of God while submitting my utmost respect for "Hare rama ... Hare Hare"


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-03-2006

I WANTED TO ADD SOMETHING IN THIS THREAD. WRONGLY I HAVE ADDED IT IN WHO IS A HINDU.

HOWEVER LET ME PUT FORTH SOME OTHER POINTS I WISH TO SHARE.

IN THE PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS I CAME ACROSS A POINT THAT "ALLAH" AND "CHRIST" ARE KEPT AT PAR BY "ISCKON" BUT LORD SHIVA IS TERMED AS DEMIGOD.
MAY BE THIS MAY BE THEIR OPINION. BUT ONE THING IS CLEAR. NO VAIDIK SCHOOL OF THOUGHT BE IT VISHISHTADWAITHI OR DWAITI WOULD SUBSCRIBE TO THIS DEROGATORY THOUGHT.
WE THE TRADITIONAL SANATHANI FOLLOWERS OF DHARMA VIEW THE DIFFERENT SAMPRADAYAS ON THE MERITS OF EACH.
OFCOURSE THE IDEOLOGIES OF EACH SAMPRADAYA DIFFER.
BUT WE CRITICISE THAT PART OF IDEOLOGY WHICH DIFFER FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW AT THE SAME TIME APPRECIATING THE COMMONALITIES.
LIKE "ISCKON" PEOPLE DOES NOT LIKE ADVAITA. OR THEY FEEL THAT THEIR PHILOSOPHY IS DIFFERENT FROM ADVAITA. THE HONEST WAY OF SAYING IT IS THAT WE DONT ACCEPT ADVAITA. OUR PHILOSOPHY IS DIFFERENT.
TO GIVE A CONCOCTED NAME OF "MAYAVADA" TO "ADVAITA" PHILOSOPHY AND THEN START DISPROVE WHAT U UNDERSTAND AS "ADVAITA" IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG.
"ADVAITINS" SAY "BRAHMA SATYA" "GAGAT MITYA".
I VERY HUMBLY FEEL THAT THIS IS A PHILOSOPHICAL STATEMENT.
PRACTICAL PRONOUNCEMENT OF THS STATEMENT CATCH WEIGHTAGE WHEN THE CORRECT "ADHIKARI" SAYS IT.

LIKE WHEN PRAHLADA SAID "I SEE BHAGAWAN EVERY WHERE", EVERY CHETANA AND ACHETANA OBJECT WERE NOT SO AS SUCH TO HIM BUT THEY WERE ALL "BHAGAWAN"
BUT HIRANYAKASHIPU SAID "STHAMBE NA DRUSHYATE" IT WAS TRUE FOR HIM.
BUT MATTER OF FACT IS PRAHLADA, ME, ONE AND ALL PARTICIPATNG IN THIS DISCUSSION FOR ONE THING WOULD AGREE THAT THE VASTHU U CALL AS OMNIPRESENT - U CALL IT AS - BHAGAWAN, LORD KRISHNA - BRAHMA VASTHU - ET ALL. IT IS OMNI PRESENT.

FOR PRAHLADA THE STHAMBA WAS BHAGAWAN AND FOR HIRANYAKASHIPU IT WAS STHAMBA.

SIMILARLY WHEN ADVAITINS SAY "BRAHMA SATYA" AND "JAGAT MITYA" THEY ARE ON THE SIDE OF PRAHLADA AND WHEN SOMEBODY HEAPS ABUSES ON "ADVAITINS" BECAUSE OF THE FACT THEY SAY THAT "JAGAT IS MITYA" AM SORRY TO SAY THEY ARE ON THE SIDE OF HIRANYAKASHIPU.

HAVING SAID THIS IT IS NOT THAT WE DO NOT DISAPPROVE THE GOOD DEEDS OF ISCKON. TRUE TO KALAU KESHAVA KEEERTHANATH, THEY ARE DOING NAMAPRACHARA SELFLESSLY.

MAY BE DUE TO WESTERN INFLUENCE, THE ORGANISATION IS THESE DAYS WRONGLY BLOSSOMING WITH HATE THOUGHTS. HATE THOUGHT ARISES NOT OUT OF LOVE FOR ONE'S OWN IDEOLOGY BUT BECAUSE OF EGO. A PERSON FILLED WITH HATE THOUGHTS BELONGING TO ANY IDEOLOGY IS IN FACT A DISGUISED FOLLOWER OF OPPONENT IDEOLOGY. BECAUSE RATHER THAN FOCUSSING HIS THOUGHTS ON THE BEAUTY OF HIS OWN IDEOLOGY, HE ALWAYS FOCUSSES HIS THOUGHTS ON THE PERCEIVED - I AGAIN STRESS - PERCEIVED DEMERITS OF OPPONENT IDEOLOGY. LIKE KAMSA.
KAMSA WAS AN OPPONENT OF KRISHNA. BUT HE SPENT MORE TIME ON THINKING OF KRISHNA - MORE THAN THAT OF ANY FOLLOWER OF ISCKON. HE WAS INCLUDED IN THE LIST OF PEOPLE WHO ATTAINED BHAGAWAT SAYUJYA WHICH IS TOLD IN BHAGAWATHA "BHAYATH KAMSAHA".
HAVIG SAID ALL THIS, I LOVINGLY READ THE "GRANTHAS" OF GOWDIYA VAISHNAVAS. "BRHAD BHAGAVATHA KATHAMRTHAM", "UJJWALA NEELAMANI", "GOPALA CHAMPU"AND MANY OTHER. ALTHOUGH I DO NOT BELONG TO ISCKON SAMPRADAYA I FEEL NOTHING WRONG IN GOING THROUGH THESE GREAT WORKS OF EARLY GOWDIYA VAISHNAVA ACHARYAS WHO WERE MEN OF COMPASSION, HUMILITY, BENEVOLENCE FAR DIFFERENT FROM THE SET OF ARROGANT ( I AM REALLY SORRY TO SAY THIS) SELF STYLED GURUS OF CURRENT DAY ISCKON WHO SITTING ON ROOFTOP SAY THAT ALLAH AND CHRIST ARE ONE AND THE SAME AS KRISHNA BUT THOSE WHO ARE WORSHIPPING DEMI GODS LIKE LORD SHIVA ARE SINFUL ENTITIES AND DOOMED.
ANOTHER CONTROVERSIAL PIECE I UNFORTUNATELY PICKED ON SURFING ISCKON SITE WAS THE ABUSES THEY HEAP ON PUJYA HITAHARIVAMSA OF RADHA VALLABHA SAMPRADAYA.
ISCKON GIVES ITS OWN ABUSIVE VERSION OF STORY OF LIFE AND TIMES OF HITAHARI VAMSA. THE SITE SAYS HE WAS SCOLDED BY THEIR LIENEAGE OF ACHARYAS SINCE HE TOOK THAMBOOLA CHARVANAM ON EKADASHI DAYS AND HE WAS DRIVEN OUT OF GOWDIYA SAMPRADAYA. THEY GO ON TO SAY THAT "RADHA RASASUDANIDHI" - A GRANTHA PRESUMED TO BE AUTHORED BY SHRI.HITAHARIVAMSA WAS NOT AUTHORED BY HIM. ISCKON PEOPLE CLAIMS THAT THIS WAS AUTHORED BY "VENKATABATTA GOSWAMI" A RELATVE OF "GOPALA BATTA GOSWAMI".
NOW MY HUMBLE OBSERVATION IS THIS SORT OF NAME CALLING AND CONCOCTED PRESENTATION OF LIFE AND TIMES OF PEOPLE PERCEIVED AS GREAT BY A GOOD LOT OF PEOPLE IS PURELY WESTERN STYLE. THIS SORTS OF THINGS U CAN IMAGINE BETWEEN A SHIA AND SUNNI. A CATHOLIC AND PROTESTENT OR ORTHODOX CHURCH. NOT BETWEEN ADVAITI VS. VISHISHTADWAITI VS. DWAITI VS. ANY BRHMO SAMAJI VS. ANY ARYA SAMAJI OR ANY BHARATHIYA SANSKRTHIC IDEOLOGISTS. HERE WE DIFFER ONLY IN IDEOLOGICAL MOORINGS AT THE SAME TIME KEEPING SAINTS AND SCHOLARS AT A HIGHER PEDESTAL. BE IT SHANKARACHARYA, RAMANUJA, MADHWACHARYA, VALLABACHARYA, NIMBARKACHARYA, CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU, KABIR, RAHIM, RASKAN, RAVI DAS, SENA NAYI, RAMA KRISHNA PARAMA HAMSA, VIVEKANANDA, MAHARISHI DAYANANDA.
NOBODY CRITICISED THE IDEOLOGY OF ANOTHER BY GIVING A DEROGATORY NAME TO THE OPPONENT IDEOLOGY LIKE WHAT ISCKON IS DOING NOW.
WHETHER "RADHA RASA SUDANIDHI" IS WRITTEN BY "VENKATA BATTA GOSWAMI" OR "HITA HARIVAMSA" IS IMMATERIAL TO ME. THE GRANTHA IS A NECTAR FOR ANY BHAKTHA WHO WORSHIP RADHA KRISHNA YUGALAM. RATHER THAN WASTING TIME IN DISPUTING THE HISTORY OF GRANTHA I WOULD REQUEST MY FELLOW ISKCON FRIENDS TO SPEND TIME IN STUDYING THE NECTAR OF "RADHA RASA SUDANIDHI"

I HAVE TRIED TO PUT FORTH MY POINTS IN A MOSTLY HUMBLE MANNER. BUT HAD I SOUNDED ANYWHERE OFFENSIVE OR HURT ANY VAISHNAVA WITHOUT HESITATION I OFFER MY UNCONDITIONAL APOLOGIES.

BECAUSE A BHAKTHA SHOULD NEVER BE IN A POSITION AND SAY SEE I AM THE ONLY TRUE ALL ARE FAKE. WHAT I UNDERSTAND FROM THE HISTORY OF CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU, RUPA GOSWAMI, SANATHANA GOSWAMI, JEEVA GOSWAMI, RAGHUNATHA DASA GOSWAMI, RAGHUNATHA BATTA GOSWAMI AND GOPALA BATTA GOSWAMI IS THAT A BHAKTHA SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE A HUMBLE MINDSET AND ALWAYS CONCENTRATE ON LORD KRISHNA.

LET ME PRAY THEM TO BLESS ME IN SUCH A POSITION.

RADHE KRISHNA


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-03-2006

can you tell us how to become members of ISKON??
especially if possible at their centre in Mayapur.... i know its possible to become a member in any of their satellite centres as well, but i would like to sign up in Mayapur. What are the activities and are there any explanatory lectures on the Vedas??


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-03-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->can you tell us how to become members of ISKON??
especially if possible at their centre in Mayapur.... i know its possible to become a member in any of their satellite centres as well, but i would like to sign up in Mayapur. What are the activities and are there any explanatory lectures on the Vedas??
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Don't join ISKCON.

ISKCON is anti-hindu.

If you like Gaudiya Vaishnavism (like me), then you can practice its teachings without joining ISKCON.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a very great Saint who promoted Nama Sankirtana.
Read about him here:

http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/saints/gauranga.htm

He was traditional Vaidika Brahmana who wanted to revive the Vedic traditions.

ISKCON has hijacked Chaitanya's philosophy and is trying to create a new religion.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-03-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-mitradena+Mar 3 2006, 09:04 PM-->QUOTE(mitradena @ Mar 3 2006, 09:04 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->[ Don't join ISKCON.

ISKCON is anti-hindu.

If you like Gaudiya Vaishnavism (like me), then you can practice its teachings without joining ISKCON.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a very great Saint who promoted Nama Sankirtana.
Read about him here:

http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/saints/gauranga.htm

He was traditional Vaidika Brahmana who wanted to revive the Vedic traditions.

ISKCON has hijacked Chaitanya's philosophy and is trying to create a new religion.
[right][snapback]47713[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


I think many people misinterprete and misunderstand ISKCON. WHile I agree that present day ISKCON may have become misdirected, the original intentions were very much true.

AGain by joining ISKCON, many interprete this as staying in the temple which is a parasitic existence and degeneration rather than spiritual progress. Proper way is to follow the philisophy of Praphupada and excellent translations of many of the scriptures.

If you are living internationally, then one may utilize their excellent infrastructure for attending sankirtans and availing vast body of literature they carry.

However, one may stick to the main goal which is spiritual upliftment and follow the bhakti path towards SriKrishna. There is no harm in that.

The extent of involvement with ISKCON should be limited to spiritual interactions. Following other Gaudiya paths may be difficult if you are living internationally.

Like every thing, it is up to the seeker to take the good aspects and leave out the unimportant aspects. Attneding ISKCON sankirtans and discourses is alright in my opinion. Prabhupada books are also excellent guides.

However , I donot recommend to fall into the trap of giving up everything and becoming dependent on ISKCON which many have done resulting in the degeneration of otherwise an excellent philosophy.

As SriKrishna said in Bhagavada Geeta that one should never stop working even for a second. The Karma Yoga is the best path to spiritual upliftment interspersed with Bhakti Yoga. The focus should be ' SriKrishna' and not the 'ISKCON' which Prabhupada had said.

But people get carried away and become too involved with ISKCON which the mean to achieve the end which is 'Grace of SriKrishna'.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-04-2006

Aryawan,

I agree with most of what you said.

You can listen to Prabhupada's lectures online here:
http://www.prabhupadavani.org/

I have listened to them at least a 1000 times. Very inspirational.
But we need to ignore the stuff he says about Bhagavan Shiva and Advaita. The rest is good.


But, read this:

http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/saranagati/html/hinduism.html

I don't like this kind of nonsense. This is just jugglery of words.
We all know the word "Hindu" is not mentioned in the Vedas. So what?
Actually the eternal Dharma has no name.

It is just a designation in vogue today to unify members of the Vedic religion.
This is same trash that Arya Samajis and Veera Saivas use to claim being a separate religion.

What do you think?


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-04-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Mitradena,Mar 4 2006, 12:08 AM]
Aryawan,

I agree with most of what you said.

You can listen to Prabhupada's lectures online here:
http://www.prabhupadavani.org/

I have listened to them at least a 1000 times. Very inspirational.
But we need to ignore the stuff he says about Bhagavan Shiva and Advaita. The rest is good.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

As He himself had said that there is a reason for everything. In the same vein even his own existence and avatara of Chaitanya was because of special reasons. If you go deep in to the psychological aspects of Bhakti movement which originated in the medieval period, you can understand easily his logic. Let me give you an analogy; a man or a woman can truly love only one person in his or her life time. It is not possible to love two persons at the same time or even in one life. Hence. in order for Bhakti Yoga to fructify, there has to be absolute devotion towards one God or in this case SriKrishna who is considered to be a complete avatara. Buddha avatara was more monastic in nature and hence it would be inappropriate to link ideas of absolute love with a monk avatara. Hence. this slightly condescending approach towards other Gods, though in Bhagavada Geeta SriKrishna clearly states that whichever God/path you may follow, you will ultimately come to Me (SriKrishna).

Main purpose of Chaitanya movement was to stop the tide of conversions of Hindus in to Muslims during the Muslim rule in India. He along with Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa (who also stopped conversions in to Chritianity) stopped the tide of conversions particulalry in the eastern India, otherwise most of the east India including Bengal would have been Muslim long ago.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But, read this:url=http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/saranagati/html/hinduism.html]http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/saranagati/html/hinduism.html[/url]

I don't like this kind of nonsense. This is just jugglery of words.
We all know the word "Hindu" is not mentioned in the Vedas. So what?
Actually the eternal Dharma has no name.

It is just a designation in vogue today to unify members of the Vedic religion.
This is same trash that Arya Samajis and Veera Saivas use to claim being a separate religion.

What do you think?
[right][snapback]47738[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Well his own purpose of life was to spread SriKrishna philosophy in the world. And that would not have been successful if he would have followed the same path of missionaries that is total conversion due to political and social backlash. Hence, this principle based focus on SriKrishna. Also it is true that there is no mention of Hindu religion in the scriptures. Present day Hindusim is in many ways a reactionary movement due to repeated onslaught by external forces throughtout last 2000 years of Indian history. Most of the present days Hindus are Smartha followers of a mixture of various Gods, Godesses local customs, and traditions. Because the main Sanatan/Vedic dharma is not a strictly speaking a codified religion such as Islam and Christianity, various saints and reformers came and propounded their own version of vedic dharma thereby fulfilling their purpose of existence for that specific period of history. Now, being a Chaitanya follower of bhakti movement Prabhupada propounded absolute devotion towards SriKrishna cutting away all other local customs and traditions or even Gods. According to Vedic dharma probably all other religions are offshoots (distortions/rebels) of main sanatan dharma just following a different path. Hindusim retains maximum elements of Sanatan dharma however with all the distortions over the period of thousands of years which can be attributed to the effect of Kaliyuga.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-05-2006

ISKCON, as one thought them to be, is history.

New version is http://www.iskconirm.com

Hindu friendly? YTBD. Revision 2 seems to be more promising. Presumption of innocence until proven guilty in operation.. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-06-2006

whts YTBD??


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-06-2006

my personal take is that everything comes with a good and bad side.

on the good side, ISKCON spread vaishnavism globally more than any other entity i know, perhaps more than ANY other hindu sub-sect.

on the bad side, they now seem to be seeking a separate identity and posing as a "better" alternative than mainstream hinduism.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-06-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-ben_ami+Mar 6 2006, 02:29 AM-->QUOTE(ben_ami @ Mar 6 2006, 02:29 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->whts YTBD??
[right][snapback]47872[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Y</b>et <b>T</b>o <b>B</b>e <b>D</b>etermined.

<!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->