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Thread: Vaishnava vs(?) ISKCON?

  1. #11

    Unhappy Re: Vaishnava vs(?) ISKCON?

    Namaskar smaranan,

    Thank you for you reply.

    Actually, my experience at a ISKCON temple is quite equal to yours. When I started my studies ISKCON was all I got. So I bought Bhagavad Gita as is is, a lot of books by Prabhupada and everybody wanted to be my close friend. I got indeed many friends. Later on, when I started to study a little bit more and started to quote others saints and acharyas, they became very strange with me. I started to feel like I wasn't welcome anymore, which was very sad, because even thought I didn't agree with all their points, I still had (and still have) sincere affection for all of them.

    In one occasion, after listening to a long Bhagavad Gita class intended almost only for justifying guru paramparā, the importance of initiation and infallibility of the guru, I said something to a ex-close (unfortunately) friend that made me loose all hopes to find more spiritual friendships there. I said: "There is only one guru, God". Volcanoes inside him, as you said. You imagine the rest. Till now I am considered kind of a asura intended to destroy the dharma. I became very sad because my interests was sincere. That is why I think that ISKCON became kind of a sect, closed inside their own walls.

    Thank you one more time for your reply to this post,
    Hari Om,

  2. #12

    Re: Vaishnava vs(?) ISKCON?

    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    Conducting Ram Bhakti in a Shiv mandir would be as inappropriate as non-mahamantra chanting in an ISKCON mandir. Why should anyone bend to my whims? If I visit your house, I would expect to behave within the guidelines that you have set forth for running your household. I cannot force my values on you. There has to be a balance between my desires and obligations. If I desire to visit you at your house, I am obligated to accept your house rules. I don't have to accept those rules as universal and agree to follow the same rules at my household though.

    PraNAm Believer ji

    So, a NO-OP is forcing my values on them? I only attended Mangal Aarati. Is that a crime? To attend Mangal Aarati? I love KRshNa too. It is not like I worship someone else. Also, follow their worship conventions in the temple.

    It was this Mataji's desire to bring me "into the fold" as always, as usual, that made her strike a conversation with me. That is all. What is "non-mahamantra chanting?" I did not go and sit in their midst. It was just a natural hang out after the aarati. And I was leaving. She caught me.

    Hare KRshNa
    Last edited by smaranam; 22 January 2015 at 05:50 PM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  3. #13
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    The Holy Land - India
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    Re: Vaishnava vs(?) ISKCON?

    Namaste Smaranam,

    I am sorry for how they behaved and I apologize on their behalf. I don't even know why I am doing that because in spite of being associated with them off and on for a long, long time, I have never been one of them. I just wish that they would be more reasonable in their behavior and that we would leave them alone if we don't like their practices. After all, we are all part of the bigger Hindu family, even though they try to exclude themselves from that title/grouping. I don't get along too well with some of my cousins, but I can't disown them as they are all related either to my mother or to my father. Similarly ISKCON is related to my beloved Krishanji and no matter what differences I have with them, I tolerate them. Hope we can conclude this discussion on a positive note. Jai Shri Krishan!


  4. #14

    Re: Vaishnava vs(?) ISKCON?

    Please don't apologize. You have nothing to do with it, but no one need apologize. I have visited ISKCON temples only on occasion but should not go there that is all. I used to have this "how can I walk past KRshNa's temple without going in?" but not anymore. Had I listened to KRshNa years ago it would be different.
    Last edited by smaranam; 22 January 2015 at 05:51 PM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  5. #15

    Re: Vaishnava vs(?) ISKCON?

    Pranams smaranam ji,

    Your certainly a special soul and have great Bhakti to Sri Krsna, but I think an important point is there is no monolithic Hinduism, monolithic Gaudiya Vaishnavism, or even a monolithic ISKCON.



  6. #16
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    Re: Vaishnava vs(?) ISKCON?

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  7. #17
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    Re: Vaishnava vs(?) ISKCON?

    Smaranam Ji,

    Hare Krshna!

    Did you forget to see the love of that dasi to take you to Krshna with her whatever she knew or did you feel you are already krshna's special so no one else can show you the love for Krshna?

    Krshna is more merciful and shower thousand fold pleasure to those who love and respect His devotees however meek or idiots they are. And He leaves the place where there is sense of He is mine and i am His proud and advanced devotee. In devotion, the best devotee consider himself the last in the queue to see, meet Krshna and Krshna waits with pleasure and suspense for that last devotee. So why dasanudasanudasa is the best position and situation.

    Hare Krshna!

    Quote Originally Posted by smaranam View Post
    Please don't apologize. You have nothing to do with it, but no one need apologize. I have visited ISKCON temples only on occasion but should not go there that is all. I used to have this "how can I walk past KRshNa's temple without going in?" but not anymore. Had I listened to KRshNa years ago it would be different.

  8. #18

    Re: Vaishnava vs(?) ISKCON?

    Quote Originally Posted by grames View Post
    Did you forget to see the love of that dasi to take you to Krshna with her whatever she knew
    Hare KRshNa, Gramesji,

    Till date, I have only felt love for these devotees. Yes, part of it is concern for you as a soul and I do see that. I had no personal grudge against her. On the contrary, I have also taken scorn, contempt, hostility from people in this group in stride. For years and years my feet kept going back to them out of love and admiration, despite their reprimanding and name calling.

    Believer ji called it lack of common sense. He did not call my repeatedly going back to them despite everything I faced, as “love and respect.” I do see his point. What you have quoted above was an answer to that – although it sounds haughty to you taken out of context.

    Just because some devotees do not believe something, does not mean you have to let them continue what they want to think and make plans for you just for the sake of “the love that this dasi has to take you to Krishna”

    Do you see the same “innocent love” in the Christian Fundamentalists and Missionaries to take Hindus to Christ? I do, but if you don't, why not?

    In devotion, the best devotee consider himself the last in the queue to see, meet Krshna and Krshna waits with pleasure and suspense for that last devotee. So why dasanudasanudasa is the best position and situation
    Hare Krshna!

    KRshNa is like the sun. May everyone have KrshNa. Case closed.

    What is all this "consider himself the last in the queue to see, meet Krshna"
    Why should there be a queue to meet KrshNa? How do you expect two lovers to survive in long queues? KRshNa does not say you have to wait in a queue. To Him the jnAni-devotee is the best.

    Moreover, your statement seems to be an oxymoron. The best devotees have already met KRshNa. Then, after this they are supposed to pretend to not have met Him and go and stand in a long queue? At that rate sakhis, Nanda Yashoda, Madhumangal MansukhA et al will never meet or see KRshNa.


    kRshNAya vAsudevAya haraye paramAtmane
    praNAta klesha nAshAya govindAya namo namah: _/\_
    Last edited by smaranam; 24 January 2015 at 07:59 AM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  9. #19
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    Re: Vaishnava vs(?) ISKCON?

    Namaste all,

    Once believer ji says, s/he is not officially connected to ISKCON and on another occasion, s/he says, 'I apologize on their behalf' Why? to apologize whom you are not adhering too and they are not in your control, nor do they do what you ask them to?

    Smaranam di Jai Shri Krishna

    I agree with you

    There are two calves. suppose you wish to tie them to a tree for some reason (dont ask what's the reason )

    Calf 1 is cuddled with love and then slowly taken to a tree and then tied down.

    Calf 2 is forcefully pulled to the tree and tied down.

    Now, when you untie the knot and set the calf free, which calf will run away from you and which wont?

    Coming back to OP's question

    There are traditionally 4 sampradAya-s in Vaishnavism. The founders, who are actually not founders but revivalists of their respective traditions, have established 4 main matha-s and established four siddhAnta-s. These are

    1. visiSTAdvaita - SrI rAmAnujAcharya jI - SrI vaiShNava
    2. bhedabheda SrI nimbArkAcArya jI - kumAra vaiShNava
    3. Suddha advaita - SrI viShNusvAmI jI - rudra vaiShNava
    4. dvaita - SrI mAdhvAcArya jI - brahma vaiShNava

    Each has their own unique philosophies. Perhaps grames ji and others can elaborate

    From the dvaita, SrI chaitanya mahAprabhu's achintya bheda-abheda came into existence.

    AcArya-s from each sampradAya has written a commentary on brahma-sutra claiming support of their siddhAnta and in process refuting other siddhAta-s (as truth can only be one.)

    There are also rAmAnadI-s, a sect formed by SrI rAmAnandA jI. they worship SrI rAma as the supreme Godhead and follow VA philosophy.

    Hence there has to be some difference in explanations.

    ISKCON is a branch or an independent matha which follow Gaudiya Vaishnavism (GV). visvanAtha chakravarty has also written a commentary on gItA.

    What matters is the ways and working of ISKCON. Some GV's do not like the way Srila Prabhupada and specially his disciples were and are preaching.

    The fact that Srila Prabhupada himself didnt appoint any successor makes me believe that there was none who was considered as faithful and capable to carry on the tradition. For the first time, I have heard that there is GBC, a Governing Body Council for any spiritual organization, specially those attached to an established siddhAnta.

    Sure there are errors in translations, as we are all humans. But the fact is that SP's own writings are now being changed in the newer versions of Gita that are published by ISKCON.

    This is more of a concern.

    Regarding translation, everyone tries to adhere to a siddhanta and hence some statements are taken literal for some, implied meanings are taken so as to align with the siddhanta. The writing style and the refuting style of SP is more aggressive and hence some find it not so friendly.

    The problem is not in word-2-word translation, but in the full verse translation. Again commentary, at times, stray away from the main translation. This is my personal opinion. But when it comes to explaining bhakti, his translations are beautiful.

    Last edited by Amrut; 23 January 2015 at 09:16 AM.
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  10. #20

    Re: Vaishnava vs(?) ISKCON?

    Pranams rteixeirapl,

    I wouldn't be put off totally within Gaudia Vaishnavism as it is a great tradition and Philosophy and practice, there are other versions within that tradition of Bhagavad Gita that give more perspectives on Bhakti Yoga.

    When I am online I use this version, it also gives it's own translations followed by commentaries of all the 4 main Vaishnava Sampradayas Acharyas, how close the translations and commentaries of the original I do not know, as I have never read exclusively their translations and commentaries on Bhagavad Gita.

    If you have the chance the translation by Srila Narayana Swami is very good . I cant find one online as I read from the Hard Back edition. Included is
    The Bhavanuvada of the Sarartha-varsini-tika The Innermost Intention of the Shower of Essential Meanings by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur

    and His own purports Sarartha-Varshini Prakashika-vritti

    The Sanskrit is more elaborate which may add a further perspective.

    Isckon is a very nice place to get association with devotees, which in this day and age is hard to find, they have a great set up and while there maybe some institutional trappings of some within the movement if one keeps ones head down and not get into sticky issues things can pass without to much event.

    Very well written and fair assessment by Amrut Ji.

    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 23 January 2015 at 09:18 AM.

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