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

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ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view.
<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+Oct 27 2006, 01:29 AM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ Oct 27 2006, 01:29 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->
Haven't met any European Hindus in real life but know about a couple, one of them was a Greek girl who became a Hindu and later married a person of Indian origin in the UK.

I am not a big fan of ISKCON.

I think these days dharma has found a place in Europe but there are some distortions, for example the distortions about Yoga just being some kind of physical exercise and having nothing to do with Hinduism, these days some Christians even start coming up with ridiculous things like "Christian Yoga". But there is a long way to go in other counrties except UK and Netherlands for Hindus, for example I heard that France and Italy do not yet recognise Hinduism as a valid religion or something, these things need correction, also in US Hinduism is portrayed very derogatively compared to other religions but I am not sure what the situation is in Italy though, I do know that in UK after some efforts by Hindus these derogative textbooks were replaced by more balanced ones.

As for the Indian opinion about foreigners converting, well there are different opinions, the more Orthodox Hindus such as the Srinageri mutt Shankaracharya who refuses to initiate any converts, but most Hindu organisations do accept people who are interested, the Hindus who are also more educated for the most part have no problem with it, coming to the rural Hindus, well they will probably get shocked about a white person following Hinduism because they never see any and think that only Indians (or people of Indian descent) can be Hindus.
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First of all, thankyou very much for your satisfating answer!
In fact in Italy Induism is mostly unknown to people, few people knows it and if they do for them it's only an Indian religion, the only people here who practise Hinduism are Indians living here or the devotees living in the ISKON villages.
You are right about yoga, many people attend yoga lessons just to learn concentration or to practise any oriental doctrine, or also because they've read something about any VIP that practise Yoga itself!!

About rural Hindus, do you mean that a white Hindu has never gone to any rural village? Do rurals think white people MUSTN'T be Hindu because of the origins, or they only have never seen a WH? There aren't white Hindus living anywhere India? Nor in the cityes?
If so I'll come one day, converted to Hinduism(I'm near to this) and it will be the first time I'll visit India.. But I'll come with a sari and the bindi on my forehead to see the surprised reaction of rural people!!
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<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->About rural Hindus, do you mean that a white Hindu has never gone to any rural village? Do rurals think white people MUSTN'T be Hindu because of the origins, or they only have never seen a WH? There aren't white Hindus living anywhere India? Nor in the cityes?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Well there maybe some European's who went to villages but most Hindus who live in villages never see a white person in real life, also the one's they see most of the time maybe tourists and Christians, many times they can be missionaries harvesting the souls.

Also in rural areas literacy is not that great compared to urban areas so people don't really know that much about the outside world, I am not saying they think white people can't be Hindus, I am just saying that they get shocked because the whole concept is foreign to them because they never even think along those lines in everyday life and think that all white people must be Christians (especially if they interacted with the missionary vultures).

But once you explain to them, many of them will understand. It's not just white people, many Hindus don't even know that Bali Island in Indonesia is over 90% Hindu, so if a Balinese Hindu visits Indian villages he/she might get the same curious looks in the beginning because people don't know.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If so I'll come one day, converted to Hinduism(I'm near to this) and it will be the first time I'll visit India.. But I'll come with a sari and the bindi on my forehead to see the surprised reaction of rural people!! <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Well yes, you might get some curious looks because people in rural areas might have never even seen a white person in real life, so it's a kind of inquisitiveness/curiosity for many of them for the first few times, then they get used to it.
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<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But once you explain to them, many of them will understand. It's not just white people, many Hindus don't even know that Bali Island in Indonesia is over 90% Hindu, so if a Balinese Hindu visits Indian villages he/she might get the same curious looks in the beginning because people don't know.
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Forget about Europeans or Bali Hindus. When I went to rural Tamil Nadu I got a few curious looks myself.

Basically I was treated as a foreigner.
The local people were not rude, just curious and asking lot of questions.

Since there is a large amount of diversity in India itself, most people are very adjusting to new people.

I have never seen anyone including very Orthodox types ever prevent anyone from entering a temple just because he/she looked different.

I think it is a case of curiosity more than anything else.

People will stare at you and may ask questions, but I don't think there is going to be any discrimination.
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<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->As for the Indian opinion about foreigners converting, well there are different opinions, the more Orthodox Hindus such as the Srinageri mutt Shankaracharya who refuses to initiate any converts.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I don't know if the Sringeri Mutt initiates converts or not, but the Sankaracharya of that Mutt does write articles regularly for the Hinduism Today magazine.

This magazine is run by White Hindus from Hawaii. So at least implicitly he recognizes them as Hindus.


At the Kanchi Mutt we have one Thai hindu studying the Vedas.
There was one half-European half-Indian who performed a Bharatanatyam concert there.


So even these Ultra Orthodox Brahmanical institutions don't discriminate as much as people think.


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I have been going to the local Iskcon weekly gatherings for 6 months now. I was really disgusted at how they say jesus and mohamed are paths to krishna. I asked them how the hell they can praise someone who says he alone can lead to God, and when that God described by Jesus himself is so bigoted and superficial, and how iskcon would like muslims to listen to mohd and break their temples. They gave some apology about words being put in jesus' mouth, and about mohd saying good things too. I exposed all these lies with web sites and asking each one to read faithfreedom.org, koran, hadith, old testament, caesar's messiah etc.

Now most are coming around to my view, and the smartest one there says prabhupada used jesus etc to try to gain xtian converts, not for any other purpose. I constantly tell them about working to save Hindu Dharma rather than trying to put down demigods and sai baba etc, and they are coming round. One day we met a hindu student activist trying to get signatures to protect textbooks in US from anti hindu distortion, and all iskonites in my group eagerly signed on.

I think this view that "jesus and mohd are crap", the right view, will slowly permeate upwards. I will make sure of that. Iskon has the b@lls to preach in Pak. I cannot bring myself to go against anyone who brings some light to mulla fools in pak. We need to coopt iskcon. I know these things take time, lots of time, but I can see it happening.

Iskcon certainly is not 100% right, not even 70%, but that does not mean we make enemies out of them. It means we talk to them, and spread the reality about jesus and mohd amongst the iskonites.

Remember: if we cannot correct isknotes on jesus and mohd, what hope do we have of correcting the psec hindus?

If any iskonite in my group says anything against hinduism, I call them out on it. I also ask what part of the scripture gives jesus and mohd any authority. I ask how we can call ourselves devotees while praising people who preached and practised breaking krishna murtis, among other things.
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[quote name='Erica' date='26 October 2006 - 04:47 PM' timestamp='1161898789' post='59806']

You are right about yoga, many people attend yoga lessons just to learn concentration or to practise any oriental doctrine, or also because they've read something about any VIP that practise Yoga itself!![/quote]



ISKCON considers yoga to be an exercise routine.

From Srila Prabhupada's commentary to [url="http://asitis.com/6/3.html"]Bhagavad Gita 6:3[/url]:



Quote:Concerning the eightfold yoga system, attempts in the beginning to enter into meditation through regulative principles of life and practice of different sitting postures (which are more or less bodily exercises) are considered fruitive material activities. All such activities lead to achieving perfect mental equilibrium to control the senses. When one is accomplished in the practice of meditation, he ceases all disturbing mental activities.

A Kṛṣṇa conscious person is, however, situated from the beginning on the platform of meditation because he always thinks of Kṛṣṇa. And, being constantly engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa, he is considered to have ceased all material activities.
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