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hinduism♥krishna
16 October 2013, 04:24 AM
Namaste , hare krishnas.

Here is my one question # to all my iskconITES. Why Iskcon don't accept itself as vaishnawism ? Why hare krishnas says we are not hindus ?

Isn't krishna a hindu god ? Isn't iskcon is a branch of gaudiya vaishnawism ( hinduism ) ? Then what makes you to think iskcon not as a part of Hindu sanatana dharma ?

Besides , iskcon's official site WWW.Krishna.COM is propagating many myths about hinduism such as hinduism is not sanatana dharma , hindus worship demigods , hinduism includes only impersonal bramhan , Hinduism is polytheistic etc.
http://www.krishna.com/krishna-consciousness-part-hinduism

I request you all to stop this act to defame hinduism and its other gods by spreading myths through krishna.com under the name of vaishnawism ( branch of hindu dharma ) .

Edited : Without any reason , iskcon has labelled itself as a non-hindu . Can we think it as a political attempt to attract non-hindus in Iskcon ? Here I am not offending hare krishnas . I just want to know if this is not reason ,what should be the reason ?



:coffee:confirmed by hindu scholars :

International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), known colloquially as the Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organisation . Gaudiya vaishnawism is a branch of vaishnawism and vaishnawism is one of the four main branches of Hinduism .
It was founded in 1966 in by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.Its core beliefs are based on select traditional Indian scriptures, particularly the Bhagavad-gītā and the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.

It claims their origin from chaitanya mahaprabhu who was a prominent hindu bengal saint and devotee of lord Krishna !

Thank you .Ram Krishna hari

Anirudh
16 October 2013, 10:06 AM
Namaste hinduism♥krishna,

They are saying Hinduism is not Sanaatana Dharma. After reading the link (http://www.krishna.com/krishna-consc...-part-hinduism) you had given, I think they may be correct.

I just came across this (http://vediccreationism.com/node/26) interesting blog.

Members like Indiaspirituality Amrut can tell us whether Sanaatana Dharma Polytheistic?

ShivaFan
16 October 2013, 11:18 AM
Namaste

I think I agree with Anirudh.

Also, while this is an ISKCON solicitation, perhaps a non-ISKCON reflection on this "controversial" site and link provided might be interesting, so I volunteer!

I do not agree with major aspects of ISKCON, in particular their obvious monicker of monism, but for that matter Hindus who only worship the Brahman as the true god or eternal truth also are arguably putting on the cloak of monism, but I do not reject them as part of the Family of Hinduism even though most ISKCON as well as impersonalist worshippers of the Supreme Brahman frown upon or reject the use of the term "hindu".

I read the link provided, and I think this is much ado about nothing. This website is not some general purpose Hindu website inviting all Hindus of a very diverse Family as cordial guests, rather it is very specific to Krishna centric Gaudiya related sect with roots to Bengal and Orissa, no different than for example a Murugan Temple website which obviously is not a "Hindu forum" and which obviously would spend most of its content on any local tales, history or traditions of the temple, glorification of Muruga and His leelas, and you probably are not going to find any murti of Krishna in the temple photo gallery shared on the web. What would you expect to find? A quote to the effect "Krishna is the Nirguna Brahman"? It's not going to be there, instead you may find a quote from a bhajan or scripture declaring Muruga as supreme or the all pervading Brahman or the Supreme Person and so on depending on the Sampradaya.

So what is being demanded of this ISKCON site? Stop what? Stop exercising their religious expression on a site dedicated specifically to the beliefs of their sect?

Yes, as I read the link provided, they clearly are saying "hindu" and "hinduism" are not Vedic terms. Many would agree with them. Even though I personally do not object to using the term, if this website specific to their sect objects and they do not want to be called such and consider themselves non-hindu, so? It's their website for their sect, not some parliament of Hinduism nor some collegic exercise or collaboration of many sects.

Yes, they are clearly saying only Krishna is the supreme and other incarnations are actually Krishna specifically or that many other Devas or Devi are "demigods". So? Again, it is a website dedicated to their sect and belief, what I do notice is they nevertheless are respectful not to harp on fixated and constant drumbeat such as "Shiva is ignorance" or "Ganesha is false!". No doubt they consider Shiva bhakts are under the influence of tamas or ignorant, but for a website which isn't general purpose Hindu forum they still are cordial considering the nature of site.

I understand the question is "why" they consider themselves non-hindu, and as a Saiva I should let them answer that, it's just that something is being demanded of them to stop something for which they have no obligation to stop. And in regards to the answer to this question the link itself already answers it...

And if further answers come, it will be obvious, that it is their belief, l mean what do you expect them to say? Duh....

This is much ado about nothing and full of "circling the wagons".

Om Namah Sivaya

hinduism♥krishna
16 October 2013, 11:44 AM
श्री गणेशाय नमः

Namaste, aniruddha.

They think ,worshipping only krishna is the Sanatana Dharma and worshipping other gods is not a sanatana
dharma. If this is so, then what about bhagavan krishna who was a devotee of shiva ? then was Krishna not following sanatana dharma ?

Besides, they deny the existence of hindu dharma as there is no mention of hindu word in hindu scriptures. Is this the logic ? Certainly, 1st standard logic ! They certainly know the truth ! Original name of Hinduism is sanatana vesic dharma But they are intentionally hiding this from people around the world.

Now, what is Sanatana Dharma ? A difficult question ! According to my pov, At the supreme level, Hinduism is neither monotheistic nor polytheistic. According to our vedic culture , If one is a devotee of a certain deity, then it doesn't mean that he doesn't worship any other god. Worshipping other deities is the duty of followers of ved.Most sectarian people also don't worship only one god, yet they are devotees of one god . However we can confirm one thing, the goal of hindus is bramhan. So can we say sanatana dharma is monotheistic ? The question remains unanswered for me.


DHANYAVAD

ॐॐॐ

Believer
16 October 2013, 12:13 PM
Namaste,

According to my pov, At the supreme level, Hinduism is neither monotheistic nor polytheistic.
That is the reason why we need Acharyas to set us straight. When laymen, with their limited knowledge/experience of the divine, start claiming that 'Hinduism is neither monotheistic nor polytheistic', what are we to do with their pov's? What exactly is Hinduism? What is the third option, if it is neither monotheistic nor polytheistic? Why should we waste time in debating another saadhak's pov, instead of spending time on our own sadhana and learning about what sages/rishis/acharyas with scriptural authority and personal realizations have to say? All these mental gymnastics involving trivial issues do not lead us to higher consciousness, which is the real business of life. When distractions take more time than the goal, it is a losing proposition, no matter how you look at it.

Pranam.

hinduism♥krishna
16 October 2013, 12:19 PM
Namaste Shivafan,

It is ok to propagate the beliefs of sect but It's not right to defame other sects of sanatana dharma. It's not a hindu way !

Lord krishna is supreme bramhan. Fine ! But it's not their duty to specifically call other god as a demigod ! And what is this demigod ! Half god ? Is this the vedic word ? And is it right to call other gods as ordinary jiva ?
Is it right to say polytheistic is a bad thing and Hinduism is polytheistic ?

Dhanyavad

Eastern Mind
16 October 2013, 01:06 PM
Vannakkam: I echo what ShivaFan said. It's their belief. I tolerate all non-violent expressions of religion. If I don't go there and participate, then why should it bother me? There is an old expression that applies in times like this: "Let it go in one ear and out the other." which means don't have what other people say affect you.

If someone wants to express their belief, so? It is a free country, after all. If your belief is that Siva is a demigod. all non-Pentecostals are going to hell, or that all dogs were born on Mars, what does it matter?

It matters what a person believes for themselves. Telling me my faith is false isn't going to affect me one iota. The contrary is also true. Me telling them they are wrong isn't going to affect them one iota either.

However .... You come into MY HOUSE, you bring it to arms, you make it very very personal, then sorry ... you just made it MY business. :)

But at this point nobody held a gun to my head to force me to read the content of a particular website.

Aum Namasivaya

grames
16 October 2013, 01:18 PM
It is an interesting article which confuses people and i believe the intend is that. The content of the message clarifies why ISKCON should not be called "Hindu" or identified with the term "Hindu" but then jumps the ocean and gives some irrational justification of "other" faiths or following of the same "dharma". With the rational behind why ISKCON should not be called "Hindu", none of the practice of SD should be called with the label "Hindu". Technically, instead of unbranding the label, the article is teaching another whole new meaning to the Brand "Hindu".

This is very unhealthy stand PoV of krishna.com and this is not what their loved founder and Acharya has believed in. The GV is culmination of all Vaishnava thoughts, philosophy and practice and this is what their great goswamins acknowledge and advocate and Shri Prabupada also preached the same. The Label or Brand Hindu over simplifies the broad spectrum of the practices, faith and belief that exists in the south east asian land mass with certain geographical boundaries. None of the independent stream can identify themselves or itself as the entire "Hindu" representation ( of course, there are new groups who tend to do that and call themselves as the whole package of what Hinduism is) and SD is not a single practice faith system and none can be called or identified as "Hindu". Hindu or Hinduism is a compound name technically so with better understanding, i strongly believe no one should call themselves with the misleading compound name Hindu. I call myself or brand myself a Vaishnava and that is surely a member of the umbrella Hindu but not Hindu itself.

Hare Krshna!

govind_das
16 October 2013, 02:12 PM
As to the question of whether or not ISKCON is a form of Hinduism, in several of Swami Prabhupada's books, he refers to himself as a Hindu. One reference I can give right offhand is in "Science of Self-Realization", p. 34, he says "So, you may be Christian and I may be Hindu", and there are other instances that I can't locate right now.
But based on that, I'd say that, despite what they call themselves according to ISKCON's founder, it is a form of Hinduism.

Believer
16 October 2013, 03:28 PM
Namaste,

i strongly believe no one should call themselves with the misleading compound name Hindu.
And the pov's keep coming!

Nothing wrong with expressing one's opinion in a public forum, but is there any value added to the discussion? Is there ever a hope that people of Bharat will actually drop their identification as being Hindus? Will outsiders follow suit? Will Satay soon be changing the name of the forum? What difference does it make as to what label is used to identify oneself, as long as beliefs and practices rooted in the Vedic culture are accepted and adopted in our daily lives? I'm just sayin'.

Pranam.

Anirudh
16 October 2013, 03:31 PM
Namaste hinduism♥krishna,

Like I said in my first post, we need to know whether Sanaatana Dharma is Polytheistic. My knowledge on Vedas are limited to blogs and forums. So I can't comment authoritatively.


what about Bhagvan krishna who was a devotee of shiva ?
I think Shri Krishna will not contradict himself. He says he is is everything, every where, all the time. That's what I understood from his Vishva roopa darshan. So arguments like Shiva Vs Vishnu and vice versa do not make sense

We should also note that the word Hindu has been injected into us by Islamic invaders.

Anirudh
16 October 2013, 04:14 PM
Namaste Beliver ji,

I don't want to argue with you. Whether the term Hinduism means Sanaatana Dharma or not is a related question to this post. And I am just highlighting that alone.



Is there ever a hope that people of Bharat will actually drop their identification as being Hindus?

Will outsiders follow suit? Will Satay soon be changing the name of the forum?


As long as Bhaarathvarsh is ruled by pseudo secularists, there are no chances. But our scripture says Satyameva Jayathey.

Like Madras became Chennai and Bombay became Mumbai, some day that will also happen.

During the tyrannical British rule had our ancestor not believed that some day they will quit our nation, will we be free from their tyrannical rule ?

grames
17 October 2013, 01:31 PM
Hi.,

Satay can continue to call it "HINDU" because this represents the "compound" class instead of anyone in particular. Not sure if you have understood my message and there is nothing wrong with the label or brand "Hindu" but it requires clarity when you attempt to understand it and the understanding should be that it represent the whole umbrella of ways of living and practices rather than anything in particular or singular.

Hare Krshna!

Believer
17 October 2013, 07:02 PM
Namaste,

Hinduism may be practiced a thousand different ways based on the sect, traditions and geographical area one belongs to in India, and yet each one of us is a Hindu. We may alert people new to Hinduism that the religion is practiced with some variations by each group but that does not make individual practitioners part Hindus, and the sum of the parts to be a complete Hindu. Each part is Hinduism with a distinc flavor. No one practices it with all the hundred different flavors to be called a complete Hindu. I get your drift, but am not in total agreement with it, and that should be okay, as we can agree to disagree, and still stay civil.

Pranam.

Anirudh
18 October 2013, 09:49 AM
Namaste,

In few temples I visited, even in this age animal sacrifices are prevalent.

If I have the liberty to practice a faith in what ever the way I wish and still expect it to be authoritatively treated as Sanaatana Dharma then why should we promote strict rules and regulations under the umbrella of Sanaatana Dharma?

The link given by OP says Hinduism is not Sanaatana Dharma. Why should we treat an amalgamation of different practices (including animal sacrifices) and relate it with a thing that preaches Ahimsa?

hinduism♥krishna
18 October 2013, 10:21 AM
Namaste,

In few temples I visited, even in this age animal sacrifices are prevalent.

If I have the liberty to practice a faith in what ever the way I wish and still expect it to be authoritatively treated as Sanaatana Dharma then why should we promote strict rules and regulations under the umbrella of Sanaatana Dharma?

The link given by OP says Hinduism is not Sanaatana Dharma. Why should we treat an amalgamation of different practices (including animal sacrifices) and relate it with a thing that preaches Ahimsa?

Namaste , no doubt, Hinduism's original name is sanatana vedic dharma. In sanatana dharma, animal sacrifices are permissible for certain yadnyas. After sacrificing, that animal gets birth in human loka or in higher loka.

Animal sacrifice is a part of vedic dharma and Vedas itself promotes a sacrifice of animals. :)

Anirudh
18 October 2013, 11:14 AM
In sanatana dharma, animal sacrifices are permissible for certain yadnyas. After sacrificing, that animal gets birth in human loka or in higher loka.

Animal sacrifice is a part of vedic dharma and Vedas itself promotes a sacrifice of animals.

Thank you hinduism♥krishna.

If I learn something which negates this position, will post my findings.

Also it will be helpful, if you can give me links or name those books which says animal sacrifices are permissible for certain yadnyas.

hinduism♥krishna
18 October 2013, 12:20 PM
Thank you hinduism♥krishna.

If I learn something which negates this position, will post my findings.

Also it will be helpful, if you can give me links or name those books which says animal sacrifices are permissible for certain yadnyas.
Namaste ,
Animal sacrifice is called as 'bhuta yadnya ' in Sanskrit ."Animal sacrifice is right as per the Vedas. It is discussed in the Mahabharata as well. However shrila prabhupada denied to do this yadnya in kali yuga.

refer to Rig Veda verse 10.86.14, in which Indra says, "They cook for me 15 plus 20 oxen," and verse 8.43.11, which describes Agni as one whose food is the ox and the barren cow.

It would be wrong to say that the Vedas do not allow any animal sacrifice. However, sacrifice was generally regarded as an inferior sacrifice for less-evolved souls, in whom the gunas [qualities] of rajas [agitation] and tamas [lethargy] are still powerful. For those of inner vision, more sattvic [pure] in nature, the animal was symbolic of certain states of mind to be offered to the Deity. So, it is also wrong to say that the Vedas had a high regard for animal sacrifice and thought it to be equal to the other types of sacrifice.

http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part5/chap23.htm

http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=5262

These may help you or just Google search ' animal sacrifice in veda '.

Dhanyavad . Jai shri rukmini Krishna

hinduism♥krishna
18 October 2013, 01:03 PM
Hi.,

Satay can continue to call it "HINDU" because this represents the "compound" class instead of anyone in particular. Not sure if you have understood my message and there is nothing wrong with the label or brand "Hindu" but it requires clarity when you attempt to understand it and the understanding should be that it represent the whole umbrella of ways of living and practices rather than anything in particular or singular.
Hare Krshna!

Namaste , grames.

This is really something new and verily unacceptable for everyone ! :) .
It's not necessary to practice many things to be called as hindu . If you are Krishna bhakta ,you will be called as hindu . If you are shiva bhakta ,you will be called as hindu .If you are devotee of both Krishna and shiva ,you will still be called as hindu ! Yes ,we should use sanatana dharma word as it's proper than hindu .But saying hinduism is not a sanatana dharma is meaningless . Iskcon many times uses vedic dharma to make others believe blindly that it's really a vedic culture and propagating something like that other deities worshippers are out of sanatana dharma .In this way they tactically seperate Hinduism's real identity as sanatana vedic dharma .

This doesn't affect to hindus but what about newbie hindus and Westeners ? They can be misguided
Jai shri rukmini Krishna !

Anirudh
18 October 2013, 01:39 PM
Namaste

Thanks for those links. They ignited my desire to understand the truth. In my quest, found this link (http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.in/2009/11/animal-sacrifice-how-veda-dharma-views_06.html) as it answered many questions that rose after reading the link you had given.

I am copying few lines from the bloggers mind as it seems to be the crux...



Einstein's discovery can be used to make an atom bomb to destroy the world. It can also be used to cure a remote disease. It depends what use we put into.

We must look at the yajnas and sacrifices such as Ashwa medhas in this paradigm. Just for having discovered his theory, Einstein could not be faulted for the drop of atom bomb. In the same way, for recording the ways of ashwamedhas etc, Vedas and Hinduism can not be faulted.


In the context of the question this thread raised, I rest my case here...

More I visit this forum, more I learn.

I must thank Satay for creating this virtual world. Thank you Satay...

grames
18 October 2013, 04:25 PM
Dear

It is not new and it is in fact, new to those who haven't got a chance to know how the practices and life styles evolved in the sub continent or at least to the known recorded history. Even in your summation, you are conveying the same message (but by the parameter of worship alone) but hope i think you also know for the fact, HINDU here does not cover everything else ( whether you call it Hinduism or SD is not what i am explaining or talking about). There is no disagreement that all are different parts of the Hinduism or SD but just the label Hinduism or Hindu is abstract. Its like calling "Color" but until you tell what :Color: it is, the fact is that it just remains abstract. So, green is a color, agreed. Red is a color agreed. What is a Color?? That's exactly the notion of "Hindu" and its meaning. It is just the fact that, they dont want to be identified with abstract names instead they want to be identified as "Krshna Prema Bhakta Varga" Only. So, going with your logic, it is not wrong or incorrect either but just that with information, you can understand it better and clear.

Other devata worship is not denounced and should not be denounced and if that is true, the long list of Guru and their Vyasa Pooja performed by ISKCON will be a joke. An exclusive surrender to Krshna does not mean you don't offer "respect" and obeisance to the great higher beings and Gurus and kicking the ladder that takes you to the destination Krshna is not worthy.

Newbie hindu or westerner Hindu need not get carried away with just terms :). If they come to HinduDharmaForums, they will see so many sub sections and they all are not "collectively" called Hindu but they are concrete instances of the abstract label or brand Hindu.

Again, SD will be most suitable label or name in my personal opinion!

Hare Krshna!

Believer
18 October 2013, 09:37 PM
Namaste,

I think we are gravitating towards a convergence of ideas.

To keep things simple,
I could be a Hindu who worships Krishan Bhagwan as the supreme deity, OR
I could be a Hindu who worships Shiv Bhagwan as the supreme deity, OR
I could be a Hindu who worships Kali Ma as the supreme deity, OR
whatever else is out there,

In each case I am a complete Hindu, not a part Hindu.
I just practice one of the many flavors of Hinduism.

SD would be a better designation, but that is water under the bridge. We call ourselves Hindus and others know us as Hindus. If someone thinks they can change all that, I would like him/her to step forward and I would support them all the way in their endeavor. But just having this pie in the sky dream of changing the designation and asking the whole world to follow us in the name change, is what I just said, a pipe dream and an exercise in futility.

This is just one example of what happens in this forum - people reintroduce already discussed ideas/problems to the forum without volunteering to fix them. We all know that SD would be better designation of our faith, nothing new there. Who is going to lead in making the change? It is unlike a simple task of changing the name of a city from Madras to Chennai. Preaching to the choir does not accomplish anything. One needs to get out there and make things happen, instead of just making posts in this forum.

Pranam.

brahman
19 October 2013, 01:30 AM
Namaste,

Why should we treat an amalgamation of different practices (including animal sacrifices) and relate it with a thing that preaches Ahimsa?

Dear Anirudh,

Animal sacrifice is permitted in the Vedas (http://books.google.co.in/books?id=ZYWFdFUfBf8C&pg=PA103&redir_esc=y); it also declares the indispensability of killing animals for the performance of some complex rituals in its purest ever formats.

Yet, it would seem difficult to find a single passage in the same Vedas that substantiates the absence of evil consequences arising by the killing of animal species.

Killing produces sin; sin is the generative force that that produces fear; fear has the ability to originate pain; thence killing is dangerous.

Animal slaughter is impure and unclean as well; and since all these rituals are capable of producing results that only lasts for a limited period of time, the state of happiness obtained by this practice cannot be eternal either. It is just another POV. Love:)

Anirudh
19 October 2013, 12:38 PM
Namaste Brahman

I too got the same message after reading a blog I had mentioned in my last post in this thread.


Animal slaughter is impure and unclean as well; and since all these rituals are capable of producing results that only lasts for a limited period of time, the state of happiness obtained by this practice cannot be eternal either.

kriyarameeshh
19 October 2013, 01:19 PM
Sri Matre namaha,

ISCON itself is not part of Hinduism. Don't bother. They are just propagating a cult of their own. They would well be remembered as part of the history text books or in the museums as was the case with many other world religions.

Regards,
Rameeshh

ShivaFan
19 October 2013, 03:00 PM
Namaste Kriyarameeshh

Actually, most sects within Hinduism have unique distinctions which set them apart such that some other could declare it as its own religion. Including yours probably.

But they all also share too many "Hinduisms" and deep roots that really limit getting away with declaring your sect as not part of these roots. I am not saying it cannot happen, perhaps Jains are an example but sometimes Jains are very Hindu indeed.

I disagree that ISKCON is its "own world religion", ISKCON is from these roots, will never be considered its "own religion" outside of these roots by outside observers, nor by scholars over the time of history, nor by other Hindus in large part. It wouldn't even matter if ISKCON itself declared they are their "own religion", it isn't how history is going to record their participation, and history belongs to the victors.

I would not be so fast to declare ISKCON dead, and not one to be a victor in the spoils of history. I am not sure what sect you belong to, I do not belong to ISKCON but it would not surprise me that ISKCON "survives" while your sect may not be known or at least eclipses your sect.

Many ISKCON temples are full of Indian born, not just Westerners. In fact, many ISKCON temples are pretty much totally run by Indians.

A temple is its congregation, and the Holy Residents of that temple. I am not so sure that congregation is going away anytime soon. If anything, I predict it will be much larger 100 years from now than it was today, which by the way is not obscure in the least in todays standards.

In India itself, nothing that was is no longer there. You will find it if you look.

Nothing is over until "the fat lady sings" as the saying goes. So you might as well get used to it and get along with fellow Hindus.

Om Namah Sivaya

kriyarameeshh
19 October 2013, 05:15 PM
Sri Matre Namaha,

Namaste Siva Fan,

I'm from India, born and raised in a Hindu family. But we do not belong to any particular sect, for I do not even understand this Sectarian stuff with in Hinduism. My mother worships Guru and Dattatreya, my father loves Vishnu and I 'm more inclined towards Divine mother. I adore and worship Bhagavan Sri Krishna but would never accept the teacings of ISKCON. There is more to it and I have just finished posting in one of the threads in the Hare Krishna forums. Only I understand that pain I under go each time ISKCON falsify s the facts about Krishna and other Hindu Scriptures.

Regards,
Rameeshh

ShivaFan
19 October 2013, 08:19 PM
Namaste Kriya Ramesh

What a pleasant surprise that your Mother is a devotee of Guru and Dattatreya! I give my respects both to your Mother and your Father who you say is a devotee of Lord Vishnu.

Recently in the last year I have developed a huge respect for devotees of Dattatreya and Gurus of this lineage. There is now a temple of Hanuman in Texas (but I live in California), this temple is founded by Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji of such a lineage and is doing very well.

I actually enjoyed your post in the "Before samsara" thread regarding being sort of tricked by ISKCON devotees selling books and calendars to raise temple funds in front of the Sai Baba of Shirdi Temple in Bangalore. Not to sound smart alec, but I actually found it amusing and wished I was with you at both this temple and at the Bangalore ISKCON temple so that I could enjoy these adventures.

I know that sounds strange, but it comes from my "Western" Hindu background, such amusing sheenanigans are not so common in nor in front of Hindu temples in the West, but seem sort of common in front of or inside of Hindu temples in India, whether from ISKCON or not, all sorts of temples. I mean no insult, but I actually laughed reading your story, and I can tell you stories that would make your adventure of being "taken for a ride" verily pale in comparison, they all happened in India and some of them could make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Some were even dodgy or dicey. Probably the most classic are those at the Kali Ghat Temple Kolkata, but I can tell you so many more and me and my Western friends actually look back at these "taken for a ride" adventures with loving amusement and love to retell them to others and actually yearn to return and get "ripped off" again.

Yes. We want to go back, again and again, some of these rides are now seen as some of the best moments in our boring lives if it were not for such leelas with devotees!

Of course, you are Indian, so you may not fully understand. Being taken for a ride for a few hundred rupees is well worth the price to such as me. Later, we smile, and add it as "spice to the soup" of the wonderful adventures in Hinduism. You need to understand, Western Hindus stand out as the "guy with money" and soon we learn to fully expect what is about to happen as a temple, pandits and officials of the temple, hope beyond hope try to get some rupees and temple donations from those such as me coming from America, and so what? I may be "taken for a ride", but it's not that big of a deal to get all upset about it.

Way back when, I bought my "Life Membership" from ISKCON in Vrinadavan. I am not ISKCON, but I purchased it. It cost me way back then 1,000 rupees.

Today that amounts to only 16 dollars. 16 dollars won't buy you 5 KGs of Zebra brand basmati rice today (that's my favorite rice).

I suppose way back when, I was "taken for a ride" for that 1000 rupees. But that Life Membedship card can come in real handy for lodging at ISKCON sites all over the world when it might be difficult to find lodging. WELL worth that 1000 rupees, which is pea feed today!

I remember sitting on the floor of a temple in Vrindavan too, which was not ISKCON, perhaps as I describe this there may be some resident of Vrindavan who will recognize the temple as I describe it. Me and another "Westerner" are there, and two temple officials are hovering us, on the walls of the lobby are white tiles with names of those who have donated to the temple.

They want desperately for us to give a donation. In return they promise a white tile with my name on it will also be put up in the lobby. They really were trying hard. And there was no doubt, they were asking for a donation much, much larger than most of those who have a tile in their name or from local Indians.

Do I have a problem with that, that we were being "taken for a ride"? Guess what... we gave. It was way more than the 1000 rupee life membership to ISKCON. So they were so happy. They had us fill out our name for the tile, we even got a receipt.

I have no doubt, that no such tile was ever made in my name, nor ever put in that lobby.

It didn't matter.

It was one more, beloved adventure in Hinduism. To this day, I am so happy to have given to that temple. I had a chance to be part of one little moment in that temple which has no time but all time and forever.

Om Namah Sivaya

govind_das
19 October 2013, 08:47 PM
I personally am grateful to ISKCON for popularising Hinduism in the west. For many Americans, ISKCON is the best known representative of Hinduism. Although I am not ISKCON, my first introduction to Vaishnavism and Hinduism in general was from reading their books. I have since read other books by different Hindu teachers, but for me, my discovery of Hinduism began with a couple of Hare Krishna books.

hinduism♥krishna
21 October 2013, 02:56 PM
Namaste

For those who don't know origin of iskcon :

International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), known colloquially as the Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organisation . Gaudiya vaishnawism is a branch of vaishnawism and vaishnawism is one of the four main branches of Hinduism .
It was founded in 1966 in by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.Its core beliefs are based on select traditional Indian scriptures, particularly the Bhagavad-gītā and the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.

It claims their origin from chaitanya mahaprabhu who was a prominent hindu bengal saint and devotee of lord Krishna !

Devi Dasi
20 November 2013, 05:27 AM
Namaste , hare krishnas.
Here is my one question # to all my iskconITES. Why Iskcon don't accept itself as vaishnawism ? Why hare krishnas says we are not hindus ?

Besides , iskcon's official site WWW.Krishna.COM (http://WWW.Krishna.COM) is propagating many myths about hinduism such as hinduism is not sanatana dharma , hindus worship demigods , hinduism includes only impersonal bramhan , Hinduism is polytheistic etc.
http://www.krishna.com/krishna-consciousness-part-hinduism Prabhuji, the site you have linked is not the official ISKCON site, but a bookstore and reflecting a personal opinion of that particular author. THIS is the Official ISKCON website. Please note the contents. Haribol.



Welcome to the official site of the The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). ISKCON is a religious movement that also identifies itself as The Hare Krishna Movement™. ISKCON belongs to the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sampradaya, a monotheistic tradition within the Vedic and Hindu cultural traditions. http://iskcon.org/