Hare Krishna

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  • Last week at uni I let a guy regress me into a past life at a Krishna Society meeting. The next day I went to a Krishna Temple in central london and listened to a talk by some Krishna Monks and got to ask them some questions. We all sung a song and some people played music and it was all very lovely but I was just wondering, has anyone else had any experiences with the Krishna Consciousness movement? Good or Bad?

  • Last week at uni I let a guy regress me into a past life at a Krishna Society meeting. The next day I went to a Krishna Temple in central london and listened to a talk by some Krishna Monks and got to ask them some questions. We all sung a song and some people played music and it was all very lovely but I was just wondering, has anyone else had any experiences with the Krishna Consciousness movement? Good or Bad?


    nice folks...spent a weekend years ago at a lovely house in the country with them ..lovely music,nice spiritual ideal and lovely food:thumbup: Over the years I've shared ideas with ISKON folks at some of various meetings/conferences I've attended..
    I've got no problem with them..though years ago when I was a kid,they were considered 'The Scientology like Cult'' of their time;)..I would rather my kids express an interest in ISKON:thumbup: than the Alpha Course any day;)

  • I got into an argument with one once :D


    No really :D


    Part of the second year (I think) of my degree our class went up to Baktivedanta Manor for the day (the place George Harrison gave them) and had a great time chatting with them and meeting the cows :D I have no recall on what the argument was about, and we all parted on smiles :D but one of the things they were trying to get us to understand was internally inconsistent and they did ask us to ask questions. Twas a fun day :D hehehe

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • i have a soft spot for the hare krishnas being a bit of a vedantan meself. the hindus have all the best food :D


    Not so :D The Sikh Gudwara serves the best curry (and free too!) :D Another trip as part of the degree :D The worst bunch were the greek orthodox; they never turned up so we just had a grumpy nun showing us around :D

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Not so :D The Sikh Gudwara serves the best curry (and free too!) :D Another trip as part of the degree :D The worst bunch were the greek orthodox; they never turned up so we just had a grumpy nun showing us around :D



    bah.. i call and raise your sikh curry with a ramakrishna vedanta special or a skandavale balti. both free


    :D

  • bah.. i call and raise your sikh curry with a ramakrishna vedanta special or a skandavale balti. both free


    :D


    Meer beginners compared to the lake of dhall, curried vegetables, rice, chapati and even fruit salad for pudding :D


    It was the best thing I ever ate in Southampton :D

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • A mate of mine got involved with them through a girl who was interested in them. He had been an outgoing guy with a variety of interests. Next thing we knew he was prancing through southampton abd apparently oblivious to anyone and everything from his previous life. I hope he found happiness if thats what he was looking for, but I wouldnt be sure. There were rumours that they sugar bombed new recruits and used a variety of other psychological techniques as well to gain control of people, but to be fair that may have been scaremongering. Certainly my mate looked pretty out of it though by all accounts.

  • every time i've come across them has been a positive experience for me and i've enjoyed chanting with them several times at different festivals. not once did i feel pressured into joining them.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • i got stopped by a nice vedic monk in town a while back he was lovely and obv was looking for donations explained what he believed and i got a book in return....it was a bit iffy in places(like most religion) but other than that was incredibly interesting and made lots of good points. i can lend it to anyone if they want a peek. will root it out tommorow as it has a long title and i cant remember right now.

  • Bhaktivedanta Manor is only a few miles from me and I visit at least once a month.
    I find the monks and devotees very friendly and welcoming, and I've never felt any presure to join them in anything other than food and chat.

    To be is to do......Socrates To do is to be.....Sartre Do be do be do........Sinatra

  • I had a Hare Krishna stay with me for a few weeks years ago. He was the best lodger I ever had. He made amazing food and greeted me when I got back home from work with a cup of tea and the offer of a massage. He never preached at us. :)

  • They are a narrow cult, with a whole lot of skeletons lurking in the cupboard, including former 'spiritual masters' involved in crime and sexual abuse.
    Their notions about hindu philosophy are limited to say the least.


    http://www.harekrsna.org/gbc/black/bogus4.htm


    There are a lot of allegations there, but, unless I missed something, no corrobating evidence or sources that can be checked. :S

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • I'd say that you'll get the same problems with ISKCON that you will with any organised religion with clearcut tenets and morals. I hesitate to say "cult", because I don't think they're any more extreme than your average Evangelical Christian group. I think you'll stand a chance of getting things like sugar-bombing, suspicion of non-ISKCON friends, relative and interests, etc. However, I'd be a bit suspicious of ex-members exaggerating these tendencies.

    A positive thing about ISKCON, to my mind, is their vegetarianism, and great food. They seem to be having a go at running no-slaughter dairy farms in the USA, which is impressive in my book.

    Negative things about ISKCON in particular, rather than all evangelical-like groups, are:

    1. A lot of child-sex-abuse cases, going back to the 1960s. There were a lot of similarities with Catholicism, as it was linked to having a celibate male elite. However, they were more honest about their problems than the Catholics, and seemed to have sorted it out.

    2. Attitudes and beliefs shared with much mainstream Hinduism:
    (i) A disdain for labour, manual skills, etc. They need gardeners, plumbers, etc., but look down on them.
    (ii) Female inferiority
    (iii) Extreme anti-sexual values - more extreme than Catholics, they forbid contraception, and even say that non-contracepted sex should be only for reproduction, not pleasure.
    (iv) Homophobia

  • There are a lot of allegations there, but, unless I missed something, no corrobating evidence or sources that can be checked. :S



    Try talking to ex-devotees, esp those involved in the 70's after the death of Prabhupada, the founder.
    I myself met bhagavan gurudeva, one of Prabhupada's sucessor gurus back in about 1983, and found him to be a singularly un-impressive character, with frankly sycophantic attendants. A short time after this, he absconded with a female devotee and a large pile of cash. I believe he was subsequently jailed for embezzling funds.


    Also look at the large number of allegedly 'infallible spiritual masters' who have 'fallen', to use their own term, in recent years.


    However, the abuses and criminality are only one aspect. There's also the fact that this represents a dumbed down version of hinduism. And it isn't actually very characteristic of hinduism in general, as Prabhupada tends in his writings to rubbish every other Indian philosopher and guru. They bear a relation to the huge mass of hindu philosophy and schools similar to that of jehova's witnesses to christianity.


    Anyway - just for the record, I have never been a follower. This was something I looked into for a short while over 20 years ago.
    I know a number of ex-followers, all of whom I feel have been screwed up by their past involvement, including one who was personal secretary to Tirthapada, another sucessor guru who broke away from mainstream ISKCON, told his acolytes to take drugs to know Krishna, and was subsequently murdered in a ghastly manner by a deranged follower.


    I think the thing is a form of brainwashing based on falsity. However, it's up to people to decide for themselves. I'm just trying to point out that this isn't all the sweetness and light as which it poses itself.


    If you want to check out the authenticity of the abuse cases, try googling it. The ISKCON reform movement might be a good place to start.

    reconsider what you have learned about life - choose to listen to nature's broadcast - the voice of earth....


  • please show evidence of the above in the vedas and upanishads and gita.

  • But I didn't say "in the Hindu scriptures"; I said "in much mainstream Hinduism".
    And I was talking about ISKCON anyway, hence the "much", not "all".

    It actually seems rather odd you asking for chapter and verse from those scriptures, because
    (i) Hinduism in the general sense is not a scrptural religion in the same way as the Abrahamic religions are.
    (ii) ISKCON is a scrptural religion, but the scriptures to which it refers are the Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. I am not aware of ISKCON ever appealing to the Vedas or Upanishads for their doctrine (I might be wrong, though).

  • But I didn't say "in the Hindu scriptures"; I said "in much mainstream Hinduism".
    And I was talking about ISKCON anyway, hence the "much", not "all".

    It actually seems rather odd you asking for chapter and verse from those scriptures, because
    (i) Hinduism in the general sense is not a scrptural religion in the same way as the Abrahamic religions are.
    (ii) ISKCON is a scrptural religion, but the scriptures to which it refers are the Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. I am not aware of ISKCON ever appealing to the Vedas or Upanishads for their doctrine (I might be wrong, though).


    there are many branches of hinduism and the upanishads, vedas and gita play an important part in most. you made the statement about women in mainstream hinduism so can you back it up? everything i have read and experienced shows the exact opposite. unless you are confusing culture with religion

  • ps.. as a woman and a lesbian and initiated vedantan and a witch :P i find it interesting that you think that the very path that taught me so much about non-duality and maya is oppressive to me ;)


    and please... how does kali oppress women? :D

  • Eh? I never mentioned Kali. To my knowledge ISKCON does not revere Kali (again, I might be wrong). Quite frankly, I think we're arguing at cross-purposes.

    My initial message was aimed at pointing out what the objections to / risks with ISKCON are. I mentioned "much", not "all", "mainstream Hinduism", which is as much a culture as a religion. It was you who started on about the Vedas and Upanishads, which I had never even mentioned, and which are not important scriptures for ISKCON. I really don't see how your comments relate to mine, and I suspect you are arguing just for the sake of it. Goodbye.

  • Eh? I never mentioned Kali. To my knowledge ISKCON does not revere Kali (again, I might be wrong). Quite frankly, I think we're arguing at cross-purposes.

    My initial message was aimed at pointing out what the objections to / risks with ISKCON are. I mentioned "much", not "all", "mainstream Hinduism", which is as much a culture as a religion. It was you who started on about the Vedas and Upanishads, which I had never even mentioned, and which are not important scriptures for ISKCON. I really don't see how your comments relate to mine, and I suspect you are arguing just for the sake of it. Goodbye.



    you said hinduism ( mainstream ) oppresses gay people and women. i am asking how. you cannot or will not answer this. that is not arguing for the sake of it, i want you to back up what you are saying because i have experienced the opposite. i guess you can't.


    i mentioned kali because she is one of many powerful hindu deitys in mainstream hinduism. you know the one that oppresses people like me :rolleyes:

  • ps.. as a woman and a lesbian and initiated vedantan and a witch :P i find it interesting that you think that the very path that taught me so much about non-duality and maya is oppressive to me ;)


    and please... how does kali oppress women? :D


    Krishna Consciousness is anti- sex, and that certainly includes lesbians and gays.
    No sex other than for reproduction is one of the 5 regulative principles they insist on.
    Nor do they teach non dualism, but Chaitanya's 'bheda abheda tattva', or qualified non dualism.
    It's also a fact that maya is seen by them as a power of illusion, and also femminine in nature.
    The age of kali they say is the iron age of ignorance.


    Before you ask I have no time or interest in trawling through Prabhupada's writings to find quotes to back this up. Anyone who has read his gita translation can check it out for themself.


    And Rombald is correct to say they don't use either the original vedas or the upanishads.

    reconsider what you have learned about life - choose to listen to nature's broadcast - the voice of earth....

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Shaman ().


  • thanks for answering my question :D


    i still have no answer to how mainstream hinduism oppresses either tho which was what i was confused by and questioning.


    i don't know enough about the hari krishnas but i do know a fair bit about hinduism esp. vedanta and kali ma.


  • i still have no answer to how mainstream hinduism oppresses either tho which was what i was confused by and questioning.


    I don't know much about how Hindus in general view lesbians and gays. Generally, it seems to me that Hinduism has all the usual patriarchal values, although obviously women can get to the top, as in the case of Indira Ghandi.
    How this works in the case of women from lower classes of Indian society, I just don't know.


    They have the very oppressive caste system, which seems to be very much entrenched. Millions who are classed as un-touchables or dalits, have very few civil rights, and are generally oppressed. Same in the case of the sudra or worker caste.
    And there's no mobility between castes. Not a very liberal set up in my opinion.
    Some of the spiritual figures of modern India such as Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo, Vivekananda and Parhamhansa Yogananda, as well as Gandhi, called for the abolition of the caste system - but still it remains, and seems very resiliant to attempts to reform it.


    This applies to Hinduism in general. The Hare Krishnas say they don't believe in the caste system - however, they have what in effect is an all male heirarchy. All their 'spiritual masters' are men, and they tend to think women are less intelligent etc. That's my reading of it anyway.

    reconsider what you have learned about life - choose to listen to nature's broadcast - the voice of earth....

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Shaman ().

  • I don't know much about how Hindus in general view lesbians and gays. Generally, it seems to me that Hinduism has all the usual patriarchal values, although obviously women can get to the top, as in the case of Indira Ghandi.
    How this works in the case of women from lower classes of Indian society, I just don't know.


    They have the very oppressive caste system, which seems to be very much entrenched. Millions who are classed as un-touchables or dalits, have very few civil rights, and are generally oppressed. Same in the case of the sudra or worker caste.
    And there's no mobility between castes. Not a very liberal set up in my opinion.
    Some of the spiritual figures of modern India such as Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo, Vivekananda and Parhamhansa Yogananda, as well as Gandhi, called for the abolition of the caste system - but still it remains, and seems very resiliant to attempts to reform it.


    This applies to Hinduism in general. The Hare Krishnas say they don't believe in the caste system - however, they have what in effect is an all male heirarchy. All their 'spiritual masters' are men, and they tend to think women are less intelligent etc. That's my reading of it anyway.


    yes agree with some of the above, esp regarding caste but surely these are cultural things rather than religious or spiritual. much of the hindu scriptures teach that woman is shakti, revered and female goddesses are given equal footing to male in terms of their importance.


    i was intitiated by a swami ( head of the ramakrishna vedanta centre ) who knew i was lesbian and he told me that i worshipped shakti and that was great because the whole order were kali devotees. he said to see " all women as goddess and sacred energy " and he gave me a pet name of " shyam/ shyama which means blue/black - kali's colour.... but then vedanta is a very chilled branch of hinduism. there was no mention of celebacy and i was treated with great respect as embodiment is shakti BECAUSE i was a woman.


    in the hindu centre by me, women have equal footing, there are a mix of nuns and monks in hinduism and none is seen as better than the other nor do they hold more " power " - you don't find that in other big religions unfortunately.


    with kali being such a strong female goddess in mainstream hinduism, i just cannot see how the religion can be dismissed as oppressive to women or gay people. cultural issues about in all society yes but i have found hinduism so amazingly open this was why i had to challenge the original statement.


    sorry if this is disjointed am v tired

  • yes agree with some of the above, esp regarding caste but surely these are cultural things rather than religious or spiritual. much of the hindu scriptures teach that woman is shakti, revered and female goddesses are given equal footing to male in terms of their importance.


    I'm not sure the culture can be separated from the religion. Even in the gita the caste system is mentioned as emanating from Krishna. And they have their hereditary priest caste of brahmins.


    Quote

    with kali being such a strong female goddess in mainstream hinduism, i just cannot see how the religion can be dismissed as oppressive to women or gay people. cultural issues about in all society yes but i have found hinduism so amazingly open this was why i had to challenge the original statement.


    sorry if this is disjointed am v tired


    As I said before, I don't know about this. Probably it varies quite a bit as hinduism is a big and diverse thing.
    Myself I'm not a hindu, and I tend to view women as women, men as men. I don't see any need to identify either as goddesses or gods.

    reconsider what you have learned about life - choose to listen to nature's broadcast - the voice of earth....

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Shaman ().