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Thread: Vaishanava Organizations/Institutions

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    Vaishanava Organizations/Institutions

    Jai Sri Krsna

    Over the past five years, since I have been on the bhakti path, I have met many devotees like me who aim for devotional service. Most of them come from ISKCON, where I grew up taking my first steps. In addition to ISKCON, I met devotees from other organizations / institutions, including Bhakti Marga, Pure Bhakti, Lord Chaitanya's Mission, as well as several other paths related to vishnuism.

    What caught my special attention was the fanatical and speculative attitude of most of the people I met, and strong criticism for the other paths. A few years ago, during Pandava Nirjala ekadashi, in which I fasted completely, I had the opportunity to go to the Jehovah's Witnesses for sankirtana. The result was that several of them uttered the Holy Name of Krishna, but most did not want to hear anything from me, and yet they wanted me to listen to them. Now, years later, I see that the attitude of Jehovah's Witnesses did not differ in any way from that of the majority, it may seem, of advanced and initiated devotees. The spiritual process of Bhakti-Yoga begins with Sravanam, means listening, and it remains the most important aspect from the beginning to the end of this process. Thanks to humbleness, we are able to take the instructions from Guru or other devotees and become fully successful in spiritual self-realization, basically to return to pure devotional service for Radha and Krishna. Paradoxically, people who are on different paths of vishnuism do not want to listen, but only want to speak and be heard. I noticed how false ego and the mind speaks through the majority, so-called "devotees" and in that refers to every organization without exception, which hurts very much considering the nobility of the acharya-founders of these institutions who present pure devotional service.

    All this made me no longer want to consider myself a member of any of the abovementioned organization and I rely solely on the grace of those pure devotees who have laid the foundations for many of us. What are your feelings and realizations on this topic?

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    Re: Vaishanava Organizations/Institutions

    Namaste Nataraj Das

    I confirm all you wrote, it is exactly what I experienced the last years and I decided more or less for the same solution. I attend whenever there is something interesting for me, but I do not talk about my conviction. That has the advantaga that I do not have to reconsider every word of mine. On the other hand I do not have to listen to any advice that tries to convince me, that I am on a inferior respectively wrong path.

    What you talk about is group dynamics and is the same in any community. A group defines itself through a conviction or a common understandig. It is self-contained and the homogeneity must not be disturbed. Influence from outside is unwanted. For most of the people the group is a shelter that provides a footing.

    Even the so called spiritual groups act like this. If you visit a Sai Baba community refrain from talking about Amma. If you are together with Amma devotees don’t mention that you read books of Swami Shivananda. If you are together with Shivananda devotees don’t get the idea to sing a bhajan from the Sai Baba collection.

    Yes it is religious fanaticism … our God is the best/better than yours, our Guru is the best/better than yours.

    At the end the highlight of my experiences: Near my city there are two temples – a Vinayaka temple and a Gaudiya Krishna temple. Once, coming from Vinayaka temple, I had Vinayaka Prasad with me when I went to the Krishna temple. I offered them of the Prasad. They refused and told me ‚We eat Krishna Prasad only‘. I apologized for my folly.

    Good luck, stay as you are and don’t worry!

    Hare Krishna!
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

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