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Thread: Iskcon clarification

  1. #1

    Iskcon clarification

    Is Iskcon its own tradition? Is there an equivalent to Iskcon which has no problem with meat eating. I personally feel that all is God and to distinguish from meat to vegetable is simply partaking in different forms of God.

    My problem is that I really truly feel drawn to the global awareness initiative of Iskcon, but am trying to find a place where my non-vegetarian ideals fit in.

  2. #2

    Re: Iskcon clarification

    Doh; Ignore this there is an Iskcon section!

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    Light Re: Iskcon clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by SethDrebitko View Post
    Is Iskcon its own tradition? Is there an equivalent to Iskcon which has no problem with meat eating. I personally feel that all is God and to distinguish from meat to vegetable is simply partaking in different forms of God.

    My problem is that I really truly feel drawn to the global awareness initiative of Iskcon, but am trying to find a place where my non-vegetarian ideals fit in.
    Yes, Iskon is its own tradition. Some like me partially disagree and agree with them. Meat eating? For your kind info, some Hindus are meat eating. Meat eating is forbidden to those who aspire spirituality, because of the hormones and chemicals in it, which may strengthen the body, but weakens the mind, try experiments for months, you'll know the reason for yourself.
    I don't know who I am, nor what I am.
    I don't know what I need to know.
    I don't know who you are, nor what you are.
    All I know is that you love me, Oh Sarvathma.
    Lead me on the righteous path, so that I may reach you.

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    Re: Iskcon clarification

    ISKCON are a subsect of the Vaishnava sect of Hinduism. Vaishnavism is the sect of Hinduism that worships Vishnu and/or Krishna as the Supreme. There are different subsects of Vaishnavism, generally founded by different people. ISKCON follows the Gaudiya subsect, founded by Bengali saint and social reformer Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1534). Chaitanya founded his sect mainly as one for sannyasis (those who had renounced the world). The practices of the sect (and the ones that ISKCON follows strictly) are suitable for sannyasis but not so suitable for the rest of society. Sannyasis have no families so they would have time to chant the Hare Krishna mantra 1,728 times per day as ISKCON requires, they are not attached to anything material (as ISKCON devotees are supposed to be) and they would not talk extensively with non-devotees as non-devotees would have no interest in talking to a sannyasi.

    So the differences come from one specific subsect of Hinduism founded originally for sannyasis.

    Many Hindus are not vegetarian. None of my wife's family are. Most Hindus are also not part of any particular sect (e.g. Vaishnavism, Saivism). Most Hindus worship a variety of Gods but do not see themselves as belonging to any one sect. You will find that most Vaishnava traditions emphasise or require vegetarianism. Shakta sects (those that worship the Goddess as the Supreme) may not require vegetarianism and some even perform animal sacrifices to the Goddess.

    If you can, though, try to give up meat. At least stop eating beef, and try to be vegetarian for at least one day a week (Friday is good - many South Indian Hindus observe a vegetarian diet on Fridays). Being vegetarian is not as hard as it seems. There are vegetarian substitues for almost all kinds of meat (vegetarian sausages, mince, burger patties, schnitzels, fried chicken) and many of these taste almost identical to meat. I often eat vegetarian sausages and chips for my dinner.

  5. #5

    Re: Iskcon clarification

    Actually I eat at most one meal of meat a day I can't stand the stuff it has always made me feel ill, and generally foggy minded. While I don't like meat and am myself slowly transitioning to a vegetarian diet, I still personally don't see issue with it.

    Thank you very much for your help with this matter. Does anyone happen to know of any truly non sectarian Sanatana Dharma organizations with similar missions to Iskcons. I mostly feel compelled to be apart of something that progresses the faith as a whole throughout the world.

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    Re: Iskcon clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottMalaysia View Post
    Chaitanya founded his sect mainly as one for sannyasis (those who had renounced the world). The practices of the sect (and the ones that ISKCON follows strictly) are suitable for sannyasis but not so suitable for the rest of society.
    that is not correct . chaitanya did not create an order of sannyasis . he personally took sannyasa under sankaracharya's dasanami sampradaya , but most of his followers were grihastas .

    monasticism that one sees in gaudiya vaishnavism presently is not more than 100 years old !
    na kAshthe vidyate devo na shilAyam kadAchana
    bhAve hi vidyate devas-tasmAd-bhAvam samAcharet

  7. #7

    Re: Iskcon clarification

    Actually I eat at most one meal of meat a day I can't stand the stuff it has always made me feel ill, and generally foggy minded. While I don't like meat and am myself slowly transitioning to a vegetarian diet, I still personally don't see issue with it.

    Thank you very much for your help with this matter. Does anyone happen to know of any truly non sectarian Sanatana Dharma organizations with similar missions to Iskcons. I mostly feel compelled to be apart of something that progresses the faith as a whole throughout the world.

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    Re: Iskcon clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by SethDrebitko View Post
    Thank you very much for your help with this matter. Does anyone happen to know of any truly non sectarian Sanatana Dharma organizations with similar missions to Iskcons. I mostly feel compelled to be apart of something that progresses the faith as a whole throughout the world.
    I know Ramakrishna Mission has centres throughout the world. Srila Prabhupada called them "murghis" because they ate chicken (murgh in Hindi). However, no Hindu organisations except ISKCON go out and proselytize the way ISKCON does. This is because Hindus believe that "Ekam sat viprah bahuda vadanti" (Truth is one, the wise call it by many names). This statement basically means that God can be approached in many different ways and that you shouldn't tell someone that their way of approaching God is wrong. Therefore, most Hindus do not proselytize. If you go to a non-ISKCON temple, you'll find that most, if not all of the devotees are Indian. Some Indian Hindus (like TatTvamAsi on this forum) even believe that it's not possible to convert to Hinduism - one has to be born into it. While this statement is not true and has no supporting verses from the Scriptures, it is common enough amongst Indian Hindus, especially Smartas.

    Srila Prabhupada believed that what he was teaching was spiritual science, not religion or a specific set of beliefs. He believed that Krishna Consciousness was science - it is true whether you believe it or not. Therefore, he wished to make everyone aware of this science and he did so by writing books and getting his devotees to distribute them.

    I disagree slightly on the issue of proselytization. I don't believe that we should proselytize to Christians, Muslims, Jews or people who are already following a religion. But I do think that we should proselytize to atheists, agnostics and people who are "spiritual but not religious" because these people do not have a religion.

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    Re: Iskcon clarification

    Vannakkam Seth:

    Firstly, non-sectarian is hard to find. There are of course, those with wider points of view than others. But even wide talking Vedantins such as the Ramakrishna Mission can be adamant about their tolerance. But I'm with Scott in that that is the only one I know of that has a world-wide presence and doesn't proseltyse.

    I think it might help if you could define what you are looking for. is it Seva, bhakti, meditation, or interaction with others? Each group usually has a particular focus, and if we know more about what you are looking for, perhaps we can be of better assistance. The Swaminarayan sect, Sai Baba groups, Shirdi Sai, Chinmaya Missions, and more have world wide organisation.

    But I disagree with Scott on proseltysing to atheists and agnostics. Often that is their chosen path, and a Hindu distributing a pamphlet would be just as annoying to them as a Jehovah's Witness, a Mormon, or an ISKCONite. They'd lump us all together. I do believe we should make available information for those who ask, which is one of the outcomes of this forum, intended or not.

    Aum Namasivaya

  10. #10

    Re: Iskcon clarification

    I think it might help if you could define what you are looking for. is it Seva, bhakti, meditation, or interaction with others?
    Well my interest is in finding a group whose goals are to propagate Hinduism without proselytizing. I think that by living a Hindu life, and showing our presence, through clothing or other things, and creating resources to ease people into things.

    I don't think we should seek converts like christians, but no one said we could not leave the door open and be ready with our own pamphlet teaching guides. I want to be careful not to funnel people down certain sectarian paths though mostly working people up to edge and letting them decide where to go from there.

    I recognize though that I am far from knowledgeable enough in the faith to take anything on like this so I was hoping there would already be something.

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