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[P]
Who are the Hare Krishnas?

By tannhaus in Culture
Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:10:24 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

"Wanna buy a flower?"

That's a phrase many of us are familiar with.  Collectively we imagine some thin, bald white guy in saffron robes standing at the airport as he asks that very question.  We know these people as the "Hare Krishnas".  We have seen them in the airports and on the street corners dancing with tambourines and bells.  We have seen them selling flowers, books, and even in some cases, baseball caps.  If you listen to a Christian preacher speaking about cults invariably he will mention the Hare Krishnas.  Yet, your average American can't tell you what these people believe.  Are they really some 60s cult?  Why the singing and dancing?  Why don't they get a real job?  Who are these people?


The Movement Comes to the West

If you ask these questions to the average American you will get many different answers. Most believe the Hare Krishnas originated in the 1960s as a product of the hippy movement. In truth the Hare Krishna movement was brought to the West in the 60s. A sixty-nine year old Indian swami (a teacher who has brought his senses under his control) by the name of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (picture here), or Srila Prabhupada for short, travelled to America in order to fulfill the orders he received from his own spiritual master some forty three years before.

His orders were to bring what he termed the "Krishna consciousness movement" to the West. So, with 40 rupees (slightly over $7 US), a box of dry cereal, one suitcase, and 5 cases that contained 200 copies of Srimad Bhagavatam first canto in three parts, Srila Prabhupada arrived on the cargo ship the Jaladuta at Boston's Commonwealth Pier on September 17th, 1965. During the 35 day journey on this steamship, Prabhupada had suffered not one but two heart attacks only to arrive at Boston Harbor with no contacts or supporters and what he later described as "hardly a day's spending money".

Sri Caitanya introduces the Maha Mantra

Srila Prabhupada was a guru, a spiritual master, who was the thirty-third guru in a disciplic succession that goes all the way back to the original form of God, Krishna, who visited India some 5,000 years ago. More recently in the lineage, Srila Prabhupada is the eleventh guru in disciplic succession from an incarnation of God known as Sri Caitanya who appeared in Mayapur, a quarter of the city of Navadvipa, India in the year 1486. Sri Caitanya swept aside the suffocating restrictions of the caste system and taught that love of God was possible for all people, no matter their caste or station in life. He taught that by the chanting of the holy names of God any person could develop love of God and eventually return back to the spiritual world. In his words,"harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha" which translates as "In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way."

To facilitate the chanting of the names of God, Sri Caitanya delivered a mantra to the people that is called the "Maha Mantra" which means "great chant". The Maha Mantra is composed of several holy names of God and is as follows: "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.  Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." It was the chanting of this mantra in the West that quickly caused Srila Prabhupada and his followers to be nicknamed "the Hare Krishnas".

The Gaudiya Vaisnava Movement is Born

As Sri Caitanya's movement caught on in Navadvipa, the local Muslim ruler by the name of Chand Kazi began to believe that the Krishna consciousness movement threatened the established order and therefore the peace of Navadvipa. He ordered his constables to raid the home of one of Caitanya's followers where they smashed the drums used during the chanting of the Maha Mantra. Then he outlawed the chanting and threatened to severely punish any that were found to disobey within the city. Upon hearing this, Sri Caitanya ordered the largest nonviolent act of civil disobedience that had ever been staged in India up to this time. At a prearranged date and time Sri Caitanya, along with one hundred thousand followers, flooded the streets of Navadvipa bringing the city to a screeching halt. As they danced through the city the sounds of the Maha Mantra reached a deafening roar.

This impromptu parade finally converged upon the palace of the Kazi who hid inside out of fear. At the request of Sri Caitanya, the Kazi appeared in order to carry out negotiations. Presenting a calm and logical argument, Sri Caitanya not only convinced the Kazi of their benevolence but eventually even made a convert of him. To this day the followers of Sri Caitanya visit the tomb of the Kazi and pay their respects. Even during Hindu-Muslim riots the chanting of the holy names was allowed within the city limits of Navadvipa. The branch of Hinduism that the followers of Vishnu (Krishna) belong to is called Vaisnavism. So, since the city of Navadvipa is in the Gauda region of India, his followers became known as Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Gaudiya Vaisnavism is the correct term for the "Hare Krishna movement".

Why Srila Prabhupada Brought the Movement to the West

The holy scriptures that Vaisnavas follow were written down 5,000 years ago after the advent of Krishna. These scriptures are called the vedas and instead of promoting a religion they promote a culture, a way of life commonly referred to as vedic culture or Krishna consciousness. It is this culture that Srila Prabhupada travelled across the ocean to bring to the West. He often lamented that in the West men are taught from vast storehouses of knowledge dealing with technology and science, but no one was teaching how to love God.

The hippy movement was evidence that even though the United States was the richest country in the world materially, it was spiritually bankrupt. People were taught they should love God but never given any clear instructions on how to develop that love of God. Therefore he brought the Krishna consciousness movement to a civilization yearning for spiritual knowledge and direction. Since the Krishna consciousness movement was not a religion but the science leading to love of God, Srila Prabhupada felt confident that he could teach the Westerners to love God, whether they called God by Allah, Jehovah, or any other of his many names.

In vedic society there are four "divisions of work" as set out by Lord Krishna:  the brahmanas (priests), the ksatriyas (warriors/administrators), the vaisyas (farmers and merchants), and the sudras (workers). Srila Prabhupada was intent on not only distributing the knowledge of Krishna consciousness to the masses, but upon injecting the class of brahmana into western society. If the priesthood was alive and operating within western society then by their actions and dissemination of knowledge they could help lay the groundwork to introduce the other classes into western society as well.

Brahminical Culture is Introduced

Srila Prabhupada soon started an organization he named the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and went about establishing temples throughout the West to act as preaching centers for the dissemination of knowledge and spiritual insight. The brahmanas would live in these temples and rely on Krishna for their sustenance. If someone hears the holy names of God or gives in charity to the brahmanas to further Krishna consciousness they are rewarded spiritually and can progress in their journey back to God. So the priests would go out daily preaching, chanting the Holy names, distributing literature and accepting donations for the good of all.

Soon you saw these priests in airports and on street corners practically everywhere. They wore the traditional clothing and hairstyle as described in vedic literature. The color of the robe they wore was saffron indicating their celibacy and renunciation or, if the person was married or seeking marriage, white. They would shave their heads but leave a ponytail in back called a sikha. This was not only for cleanliness but indicated the person's submission to guru and the vedas. The hair is the crown of the head and by shaving it in such a way it showed that the person was more interested in cultivating spiritual life than fulfilling the desires of the flesh. (This hairstyle was even seen in early christianity which a sculpture in the Cathedral of Notre Dame from c. 1300 makes evident). Like Sri Caitanya and his associates 500 years before, these priests would dance and sing the Maha Mantra. The class of worker known as the brahmana had officially arrived in the West.

The Disappearance Day of Prabhupada and His Movement Now

After preaching in the West for eleven years, Srila Prabhupada passed away on November 14, 1977 at the age of 80. Devotees of Krishna say that was his "disappearance day" and do not say he died because, in actuality, since the soul is eternal, no one ever dies. By the date of his disappearance, Srila Prabhupada had translated and written commentary to the 18,000 verses of the Srimad Bhagavatam, the 700 verses of the Bhagavad Gita and the 11,555 verses of the Caitanya Caritamrta. He had created a monthly magazine, Back to Godhead, which at one point had a monthly distribution of over 1 million copies. He had initiated over 5,000 devotees, written over 7,000 letters to those disciples, established 108 temples across the world, travelled around the world 12 times and published 147 books, among many other things.

An article in the New York Times from 1998 estimates there are one million ISKCON devotees around the world. The major religion in Fiji is the Hare Krishna movement. Food for Life, which is the ISKCON food relief program, exists in over 60 countries and serves over 70,000 free meals daily. It is the largest vegetarian food relief program in the world. These days, brahmanas are in the minority in the Krishna consciousness movement. Your average Hare Krishna looks just like anyone else. As a matter of fact, you could even count the great grandson of Henry Ford among their ranks. One thing is for certain:  these are the Hare Krishnas...and they're here to stay.

(About the Author: The author is the webmaster of his local ISKCON temple website and is aspiring to one day take initiation from the guru His Holiness Bir Krishna Maharaj).

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Display: Sort:
Who are the Hare Krishnas? | 367 comments (346 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
Informative, but... (1.66 / 6) (#1)
by 123456789 on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 04:30:23 PM EST

... what's the point?

No offense intended - I am (admitedly) not into knowledge for knowledge's sake. So tell me what this has to do with me.

---
People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.
- Soren Kierkegaard
RE: Informative, but... (none / 2) (#4)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 04:39:57 PM EST

Well, it is largely knowledge for knowledge's sake.  It won't appeal to EVERY reader, but hopefully it will appeal to some.  The Krishna consciousness movement has been very visible in the past and many people have come into contact with it: George Harrison of the Beatles fame released a hit single of the Maha Mantra in 1969 where it reached the top 10 or top 20 best-selling record charts throughout England, Europe, and parts of Asia.  During that time the BBC featured the "Hare Krishna Chanters" four times on England's most popular program of the time "Top of the Pops".

So, while everyone won't be interested in this, I'm sure a lot will.  For those that have come into contact with this movement and wondered about it, it might be nice to be able to read this little introduction.


[ Parent ]

So what? (none / 2) (#59)
by Zerotime on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:16:59 AM EST

The Wombles have been on TOTP more times than that.

---
"I live by the river
With my mother, in a house
She washes, I cook
And we never go out."

[ Parent ]
Re: So what (none / 0) (#86)
by eejit on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:28:13 AM EST

The Wombles have been on TOTP more times than that.
But do they have a crazy-boy cult? I think not. ;)

[ Parent ]
Aaaah (none / 0) (#362)
by kraant on Mon Aug 09, 2004 at 08:54:03 PM EST

Time for you to write an article on the wombles then methinks.
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]
If you don't care... (2.60 / 5) (#43)
by kcidx on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 09:57:15 PM EST

...don't post.

I am sure there are literally millions of things you could learn about each day, but choose not to.

So what is your point? Is every article on Kuro5hin of interest to you?

[ Parent ]

Yes. (none / 1) (#97)
by killmepleez on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:01:07 PM EST

Every article is of interest. As a K5izen, I am implicitly and explicitly invited to share my thoughts on articles and on others' responses to those articles. Hence, every article is of interest because every article offers me the opportunity to make one of three classes of comments:
  • I support this article and don't have anything to add to the discussion.
  • I disapprove of this article and don't have anything to add to the discussion.
  • I support or disapprove of this article, but in either case I have something to say about the ideas presented, and here it is.
This same implicit invitation-to-comment is also responsible for your response to the grandparent.

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
My point was... (none / 0) (#285)
by 123456789 on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 04:44:01 PM EST

There is always a point (I would actually say "agenda") and trying to hide it is irritating. If the author is trying to get "the good word" out about his religion then s/he should just come out with it and say so.

If the point was to educate us about the religion (just for interest's sake) then this would be more appropriately an MLP article.

et al.

---
People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.
- Soren Kierkegaard
[ Parent ]
This is like (none / 2) (#101)
by killmepleez on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:07:39 PM EST

Informative, but... what's the point?

That's like a microbiologist watching a sequence showing the complex process by which a virus infects a host cell and then releases copies of itself, and then asks, "Impressively brutal tenacity, but... what's the point?" Spreading itself is the very essence of being a virus.

Now think about that in the present context....

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
(Kramer) You just blew my mind! (/Kramer) (none / 0) (#284)
by 123456789 on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 04:39:55 PM EST

Best reply to a comment by me EVAR...

---
People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.
- Soren Kierkegaard
[ Parent ]
I am just wondering (2.80 / 5) (#2)
by nollidj on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 04:32:05 PM EST

...and kicking myself for not having my copy of Wampeters, Foma, and Granfalloons handy.

Is Srila Prabhupada the individual whom Kurt Vonnegut describes in Yes, We Have No Nirvanas?

muahaha. MuaHaHA! MUAHAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAA!!!!

Kurt Vonegut (1.00 / 2) (#17)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 05:56:53 PM EST

Personally I don't know.  I haven't read his works.  Sorry.


[ Parent ]
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (none / 1) (#224)
by millerju on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 07:09:21 PM EST

I happen to have a copy handy, the guru that Kurt visited was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He apparently has a website http://www.maharishi.org/ I don't know if he's affiliated with the Hare Krishnas or not.

[ Parent ]
Mahesh (none / 0) (#365)
by zephc on Sat Sep 04, 2004 at 01:09:41 PM EST

is a charlatan who runs Transcendental Meditation, or 'TM', which is roughly an east Indian version of Scientology.

Tha Maharishi and Yogi titles are ones he gave himself, not ones he ever earned.

[ Parent ]

Question: (2.69 / 13) (#6)
by Captain_Tenille on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 04:56:13 PM EST

Why would anyone want to try and introduce caste into American society?
----
/* You are not expected to understand this. */

Man Vs. Nature: The Road to Victory!

The caste system (none / 2) (#10)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 05:34:14 PM EST

The caste system was a perversion of the vedic culture.  It is actually nothing like this.  Under the caste system someone was born into a caste or a subcaste and thought themselves better than the lower castes.

Under the vedic system, no one is born into a caste.  They are born as a human being.  As they grow, their interests and abilities decide which category they go into.  Every division depends on every other division.  

These are pretty much natural divisions whereas the caste system was very UNNATURAL.  Just because your father was a priest doesn't mean you are.  We can see that in the US with the "preacher's kid" syndrome.  They're often hell on wheels because they're trying to assert THEIR identity when everyone thinks of them as a preacher's kid.  

Under the vedic system it's more of an acknowledgement of these different natural divisions instead of imposing a caste system.


[ Parent ]

More importantly (3.00 / 11) (#40)
by mcc on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:53:13 PM EST

How would we tell the difference?

BA-DUM CHING

[ Parent ]

Chanting (2.64 / 17) (#8)
by bugmaster on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 05:15:44 PM EST

How does chanting the same thing over and over repeatedly get me closer to any kind of god ? I mean... if I chant "int main(int argc, char *argv[])" over and over again, will that impart onto me a deeper understanding of C ?
>|<*:=
Mantras (none / 3) (#9)
by angus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 05:29:46 PM EST

an article in itself.

I'm not really interested in the subject, but, well, there you have the information if you are.

[ Parent ]

RE: Chanting (none / 2) (#12)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 05:40:33 PM EST

We believe that God and his names are "nondifferent".  So, if you say the name of God he is present in the sound vibrations.  By chanting the names of God you commune with God.  So, the hearing and the chanting of these names purifies those that do it.

This is present in Christianity as well.  You can see it when the Christians say such and such "in the Name of Jesus".  The jews that wrote the old testament refused to write all four letters YHVH (Yod He Vau He) with the same pen because they believed the name of God was so holy it deserved extra respect.

Srila Prabhupada would often say that if you believed in Christ, chant his names...chant the name of Allah.  The most important thing is that you are chanting and thinking of God.

[ Parent ]

Vibrations (none / 1) (#46)
by bugmaster on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 10:28:56 PM EST

That's interesting... So, you believe that chanting the name of God literally summons him to the material plane (or, at least, summons a part of its essence) ? I didn't know there were major religions out there that believed that, other than Wicca perhaps.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
RE: Vibrations (none / 1) (#48)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 10:48:34 PM EST

Well, we believe that the material world is actually the energy of God.  He created the world...it is the working of his energies....but he himself is not bound by it.  So, in a way, God is everywhere.

Also, every living being....in their heart as well as in each individual atom, God is present.  He is the witness to our actions.  When we want to remember Him, he helps us to do that.  When we want to forget Him, he helps us to do that.  We have free will.

In addition to that, yes...he's present in his names.  When you speak his name and the vibration fills the room, essentially God fills the room.  Also he's present in his forms.  We have what look like statues or religious icons on the altar in all ISKCON temples.  They are called murtis. We believe that even though a sculpture frees the form of God from the marble....or whatever it is made of, that he is really doing that..freeing the form that God has decided to take.  That way we can actually look at the form of God, dress it...prepare food for it....and take our devotion to a much more personal and easily understood level.

You mentioned Wicca.  If you notice on our altars there is a woman with God.  She is an expansion of his ability to enjoy.  Her name is Radha.  Krishna means "all attractive" and it's said that without Radha Krishna loses his attractiveness.  So basically, without Radha, God isn't God ;)

I guess you could basically see Radha as the Goddess.

[ Parent ]

Pantheism/Polytheism (none / 1) (#54)
by bugmaster on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:42:46 AM EST

It sounds like Hare Krishna is a combination of pantehism and polytheism then ? I am not sure how that fits in with the idols, though: is this something that every follower of the religion does ? How does it fit in with the concept of God being everywhere at once, and outside of space-time; i.e., why does such a powerful force need food ? Just curious.

I actually don't know much about Wicca; I think they have a God and Goddess too, though.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

RE: Pantheism/Polytheism (3.00 / 2) (#62)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:34:30 AM EST

No, it is monotheism.  There is one God, but his forms and his energies are numerous.  Even though a desk is God's energy, it really isn't God.  It is his energy.  It's really hard to explain the difference on that.  I guess you could liken it to the sun:  The sun is in one place in our solar system.  However, the rays of the sun are everywhere...that is the sun's energies.  The sunlight is really part of the sun...but at the same time, not the sun.

I am not sure how that fits in with the idols, though: is this something that every follower of the religion does ?

They're not really idols.  An idol would be more like "This is God and he doesn't exist anywhere else.  This is him...this is his body".  The murtis are forms of God...but God has many forms.  He's not limited like we are.  He can clone himself, appear as different things, etc....he's God.

But yes, every follower worships the form of the Lord.  The Lord takes these forms for that purpose.  It's really hard for us as humans to imagine God.  It's hard to grasp that concept...and it's hard to worship and serve something that we really can't comprehend.  So, God takes these forms...these murtis..to put it on a simpler level for us.  So, we can offer food to that murti, we can dress that murti, we can bathe it, etc...and by doing so we serve God...in that form.  It helps our devotional service a whole lot.

why does such a powerful force need food ?

He doesn't.  He doesn't need anything from us...or even need US for that matter.  He's complete in and of himself.  But for our benefit, he allows us to serve him in these ways.  In the case of the food, by offering the food to him it becomes something spiritual.  Then when we eat it, it helps to purify us and bring us closer to him.

Yes, Wicca has a God and Goddess.  Some wiccans prefer worshipping just the Goddess, but they all acknowledge both.

I really like your questions. If I haven't answered something adequately, please feel free to  bring it to my attention.

[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0) (#259)
by CodeWright on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 09:01:41 AM EST

...these are well thought-out answers.

And a bit more sane sounding than most discussions of the Christian Trinity.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Regarding discussions of Christianity (none / 0) (#271)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 01:43:46 PM EST

Well, for me personally, that is what attracted me to the vedas and ISKCON.  I was raised as a Christian.  However, a lot of things did not make sense to me.  In the sect of Chistianity I grew up in (fundamentalist christians) if you had questions they told you that was the devil trying to lead you away from God.  So, questions were discouraged.

In the Hare Krishna movement, it's the exact opposite.  They really care about your questions.  Prabhupada, from what I've heard, once said that people who ask a lot of questions make great disciples because once they understand, they REALLY understand.  If you ask a question at your local temple and they can't answer it, they try to find someone else at the temple that can.  If they can't answer it, then you go ask a guru...and you can ask different gurus to get your answer.  Usually there is something in the vedas that explains the question you're asking.  You don't have to take everything on blind faith.

I, personally, have always had a lot of questions about religion.  I'm naturally an inquisitive person.  I even found out how to tie a sari because, for some reason, I just wanted to know.  Srila Prabhupada called this the science of Krishna Consciousness.  It IS so complete that if you ask questions, you can get answers.

That is one reason it's valuable to people of all faiths....no matter what form of God they worship.  No one is telling them they don't have to worship that form of God.  On the contrary, go right ahead.  However, when you have questions you can't find answered by God in your religious text, you can find the answer in the vedas.  So, they could use the vedas as a supplement, of sorts, to their own religious texts.  That would bring about a more complete understanding of God for them.  

[ Parent ]

Ummm... (none / 0) (#274)
by CodeWright on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:06:58 PM EST

...you seem to say that the answers to all questions reside in the vedas. How is this different from saying that the answers to all questions reside in biblical texts?

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
RE: Ummm (none / 0) (#275)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:20:54 PM EST

Certainly ALL answers do not reside in the vedas...you can't use the vedas to figure out how to program your vcr.  (Some can't even use the manual to figure that out).  But, for religious questions it offers a more complete view.  HOWEVER, if you are satisfied with the text of your religion and don't have any unanswered questions, then you really wouldn't have to look anywhere else.  There are many people that, like you said, believe the Bible or Koran answers any questions they might have.  That's fine.  


[ Parent ]
Summoning, Invocation, Evocation (none / 0) (#280)
by RadiantMatrix on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 03:44:59 PM EST

Wiccans (for the most part[0]) believe that chanting is only a tiny part of an invocation. Also, many pan/poly-theists would say that invocation doesn't bring a spirit to the material plane, but rather raises the magical space (for Wiccans, generally a circle) into the spiritual realm, then calls that being to the "intersection".

Granted, that's a really simplistic way of describing it, but you get the idea.

Further, there are religions and cultures that don't make a separation between the "physical" and "spiritual" planes. To these groups, invocation is really an invitation for the spirit to make itself known.

=====
0: 'for the most part', because if you ask 6 Wiccans a theological question, you will get 9 answers.
=====

"In any sufficiently large group of people, most are idiots" - Kaa's Law

[ Parent ]

Meditation (3.00 / 10) (#13)
by ucblockhead on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 05:41:06 PM EST

Chanting is sometimes used in meditation because it makes it easier to prevent stray thoughts.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
RE: meditation (none / 2) (#15)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 05:47:55 PM EST

That's a very good point.  In the Hare Krishna movement we often try to engage our senses during meditation.  We use wooden beads when we chant...that takes care of our sense of touch.  We chant which takes care of our sense of hearing.  We often burn incense to take care of the sense of smell and chant in front of an altar so we can look at one of God's forms.  

[ Parent ]
Yeah, well... (2.16 / 6) (#21)
by ucblockhead on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 06:34:38 PM EST

There's meditating and there's babbling at the invisible sky giant. Sometimes they're hard to tell apart.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
RE: Yeah, well... (none / 2) (#25)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 06:54:54 PM EST

Fair enough, but this article was meant to give a brief introduction and explanation of the Krishna consciousness movement, not to convert people to it. If you like the movement, that's fine.  If you don't, that's fine as well.  But I thought people would enjoy a little information about what that movement is...

[ Parent ]
shouldn't be that hard to tell them apart. . . (none / 2) (#27)
by thankyougustad on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 06:56:50 PM EST

Normaly we associate calm, lucid people with meditating. We general associate people who can't look you in the eyes, or walking funny, with gibbering at the sky giant.

A good system of meditation, including that used by the Hari Krishnas, is used by many people as a way unwind and feel calm. No harm in that, and easy to recognize.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
MMmmmm (none / 0) (#361)
by kraant on Mon Aug 09, 2004 at 08:48:57 PM EST

Babbling at the invisible sky giant...

He's my bestest friend...
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

Chanting, shrooms, praying, controlled breathing (none / 3) (#39)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:49:20 PM EST

It is just another way to get high and reach [insert the cult's/religions word for enlightenment].

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
Example (none / 0) (#183)
by awgsilyari on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:26:45 PM EST

Haven't you ever picked a word, something simple like "fence," and repeated it aloud over and over? This sounds stupid, but give it a shot. You'll find that after 20 or 30 repetitions, something odd starts happening. The word begins to lose its meaning and becomes just a sound.

Repeating a chant for a long period of time does something similar to your mind on a wider scale. You begin to slip into a different mode of consciousness and the meaning attached to the objects in your mind starts to dissolve. Eventually you may reach a state of pure awareness without thought or comprehension. This is one of the goals of meditation.

I know it sounds ludicrous, but the fact of the matter is, if you practice this, you in fact will enter an altered state of consciousness. Whether or not that state is religiously significant is up to you. I do not personally subscribe to any particular religion, but I have experienced firsthand the effect that chanting and other forms of meditation can have on the mind.

The words of the chant itself are not as important as the act of chanting. It is possible to achieve a meditative state in other ways. I have done it by breath counting... "1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5..... 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5...." The trick is to count without thinking. It takes practice.

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

Altered states (none / 0) (#252)
by bugmaster on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 03:47:03 AM EST

You're absolutely right about altered states of consciousness and chanting, but... does an altered state of consciousness automatically lead to enlightenment ? I mean, there are easier, faster ways to alter your consciousness -- LSD being one of the more popular ones -- but do they really mean anything ? That was the original point of my "int main(int argc, char *argv[]) { /* ohmmmmm */ }" post.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
Hard question (none / 1) (#266)
by awgsilyari on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 11:50:16 AM EST

does an altered state of consciousness automatically lead to enlightenment?

I find it is impossible to answer that question, because no matter which definition of enlightenment you choose, somebody will point and say "But that isn't enlightenment." Rather than run in circles regarding the definition of the word, let me tell you what I know:

The primary characteristic of meditative states is ego loss. That is, the concept of "I" vanishes from the mind. This is accompanied by expansive sensations and a feeling of being united with all of existence. There is perception without thought -- not "understanding" in the intellectual sense, but in a more gutteral sense. During such moments all questions of existence melt away and the "true nature" of reality seems to be directly apparent.

The reason these states are so hard to grasp for those who have not experienced them is because they do not involve thought. There is no sudden understanding of the underlying mechanics of the universe. "Understanding" necessitates thought, and thought is the enemy of the meditative state.

It is difficult to explain the value of such experiences precisely because they cannot be accurately put into words or communicated by ideas. Buddhists would describe it as a breakdown of dualism, if that means anything to you. Others might describe it as a lifting of the veil of false objectivity to reveal the underlying, very subjective, nature of reality.

This sounds like mumbo jumbo. Is it? I don't think it matters. What matters is the state itself. What matters is that, while in such states, there is a great feeling of tranquility and pure perception which by its very nature cannot be communicated. I understand the value of such a state but can't really explain it to you, because there is nothing to explain.

I mean, there are easier, faster ways to alter your consciousness -- LSD being one of the more popular ones -- but do they really mean anything ?

Of course not. There is no meaning to the world but that doesn't mean we cannot perceive it fully. I doubt that LSD is able to achieve the same effects as mental discipline, but it is definitely in the same neighborhood.

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

money (2.57 / 7) (#11)
by ucblockhead on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 05:39:43 PM EST

He had $7 when he arrived. How much did he have when he "disappeared"?
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
RE: money (none / 3) (#14)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 05:44:34 PM EST

He lived as a brahmana.  One of their requirements is that they do not keep money for themselves. They are not even allowed to have a lot of personal possessions.  They depend totally on charity. They are required to spend the money they receive in the service of God.  The assets of ISKCON are in the millions as they were at the time of his death.  But, since he was a renunciant, this money was not his.  His children even sued in India because they wanted the money as an inheritance.  But the Indian courts ruled it was not his money.


[ Parent ]
OOPS (none / 0) (#18)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 05:57:58 PM EST

That should have been sannyasi...a renunciant...not a brahmana, sorry.


[ Parent ]
I see (none / 1) (#20)
by ucblockhead on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 06:33:50 PM EST

And who decided how to spend the millions controlled by ISKCON?
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
RE: I see (none / 2) (#23)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 06:43:11 PM EST

There is a Governing Body Commission (GBC) that was introduced by Srila Prabhupada to manage ISKCON.  They make their decisions through consulting the local temple presidents and others...as well as holding votes.  

The local temples have councils to manage things as well.  So, no one person is in control of anything.


[ Parent ]

Yeah, I know a guy like that (2.50 / 4) (#38)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:47:36 PM EST

He backed up a bad loan in the roaring 80s, got burned and is over 1 million EUR in debt because of that. Because of the immense wisdom of Finnish tax people and tax laws, he is not able to have a personal bankruptcy. So he's stuck with living on nothing, never being able to earn a decent wage, never getting any loans, never owning anything. Kinda like your guy here.

But guess what? He has a nice house, a 12-meter boat, a nice car, nice clothes, nice watch, nice everything. And he's not doing anything illegal.

I'm sure the official Hare Krishna lore tells stories of your master's (or whatever you call him) benevolence and frugality. I'd like to know the real story and see how he lived behind the scenes.

Not many men do what they preach. This holds doubly so for cult leadears.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
RE: Yeah, I know a guy like that (none / 2) (#45)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 10:28:09 PM EST

I'm sure the official Hare Krishna lore tells stories of your master's (or whatever you call him) benevolence and frugality. I'd like to know the real story and see how he lived behind the scenes.

There WAS no behind the scenes.  In the 10 years between his coming to the US and his disappearance, Srila Prabhupada travelled the world 12 times.  This time was spent with the devotees in the area and preaching Krishna consciousness.  It wasn't like he had his house he stayed at and most people only saw him for a service or two a week.  His day was spent around the devotees...and not the same ones all the time.  

[ Parent ]

+1 FP (1.28 / 7) (#19)
by debacle on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 06:09:23 PM EST

AST abound.

It tastes sweet.
On spirituality and love (2.61 / 13) (#28)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:02:51 PM EST

The hippy movement was evidence that even though the United States was the richest country in the world materially, it was spiritually bankrupt.
Why do people across the world insist that the United States is spiritually deficient? And why do so many who make that claim juxtapose it with the great wealth in the country? The United States is not a moral cesspool and never has been. Throughout its short history the United States has been blessed with hard working, decent, moral people. I imagine the same holds true for most countries.

Each generation contends with its outcasts and rebels. The pattern repeats again and again:

"Our youth love luxury. They have bad manners and contempt for authority. They show disrespect for their elders and love idle chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants not the servants of the household. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers"

Socrates, 450 B.C.
There are corrupt elements. And there are those who are spiritually lost. Each society has them. Hollywood appears to have collected many amoral people. And the hippies were truly seeking a path as much as the new agers are today. However, to claim that those people are representative of the entire population or even their entire generation is outrageous. It is unfair and dishonest to take the behavior of a small group and apply it to an entire country.

The majority of Americans have been honest hard working folk. They care for their parents. They raise their children the best they know how. They treat their neighbors with respect and treat their friends like family.

People were taught they should love God but never given any clear instructions on how to develop that love of God.
Why should people need someone to teach them how to love God? Why should they need chants and instructions? Do you need instructions on how to love your pet? your spouse? your child? Love is a natural human condition.


RE: On spirituality and love (none / 2) (#32)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:49:55 PM EST

Why do people across the world insist that the United States is spiritually deficient? And why do so many who make that claim juxtapose it with the great wealth in the country?

Well, for me I think the reasoning goes that since we have more money, we have more ability to buy books, go places, and search out spiritual knowledge than some poor sharecropper in a third world country.  But instead of using our great wealth for spiritual pursuits, we spend most of it on luxuries and entertainment.

And the hippies were truly seeking a path as much as the new agers are today. However, to claim that those people are representative of the entire population or even their entire generation is outrageous.

Yes...they were seeking a path.  But, that's the whole thing.  They were unsatisfied with the answers society was giving so they broke away and tried desperately to find those answers.  Their generation was not supplying the answers or disseminating the truth to their satisfaction...so you had great numbers of people just drop out of society.

It doesn't mean that they were corrupt...or that their generation was corrupt.  It simply means that there were a lot of unanswered questions for people that were genuinely seeking spiritual knowledge...knowledge they didn't feel like they could get from their society.

Why should people need someone to teach them how to love God? Why should they need chants and instructions? Do you need instructions on how to love your pet? your spouse? your child? Love is a natural human condition.

What we call love is actually a lesser emotion than love in the spiritual realm.  Oftentimes our love is selfish.  We "love" someone because of the way they make us feel and treat us.  Yet, when they stop gratifying our senses, we want a divorce.  

True love is a bit different from that.  It's a much higher emotion.  Everyone is capable of it at their core.  Sure, we see signs of it in people like Mother Theresa.  The process of Krishna Consciousness is designed to get us to the level where we are pure enough that we CAN love God with that deep unconditional spiritual love. That doesn't come naturally for most people (even though it is buried within them)...and the process is designed to help them develop it.

I agree that most people in the US are generally moral.  But, even though morality is a basic proponent of religion, it is not all there is to love of God.  

When true love of God develops, the person is not interested in sense gratification but derives his pleasure from God and his service to God.  Every religion has stories of people like this.  But, getting from where we are to that state hasn't been fully explained in most religious texts.


[ Parent ]

On love and conditions (none / 2) (#41)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 09:01:45 PM EST

The hippy movement was evidence that even though the United States was the richest country in the world materially, it was spiritually bankrupt.
Why do you think the United States was/is spiritually deficient?
But instead of using our great wealth for spiritual pursuits, we spend most of it on luxuries and entertainment.
Why should wealth be used for spiritual pursuits?
Their generation was not supplying the answers or disseminating the truth to their satisfaction...
The problem of the hippies was not that answers were not being supplied. The problem was that they expected someone else to give them answers. Just as their parents had given them food and clothing and shelter, they expected to be given the answers to life, the universe and everything.
What we call love is actually a lesser emotion than love in the spiritual realm. Oftentimes our love is selfish. We "love" someone because of the way they make us feel and treat us. Yet, when they stop gratifying our senses, we want a divorce.
What you speak of is not love. You speak of lust and desire. Calling that thing love only confuses things.
True love is a bit different from that. It's a much higher emotion. Everyone is capable of it at their core.
Love isn't a higher emotion. It's a basic emotion. Everyone feels it. Everyone has it.
The process of Krishna Consciousness is designed to get us to the level where we are pure enough that we CAN love God
Why do you think purity a prequisite for love?
to the level where we are pure enough that we CAN love God with that deep unconditional spiritual love.
True Love occurs because of a shared bond. You cannot love that which you have nothing in common with. You love your parents for struggling and sacrificing for your sake. You love your children and siblings because they share your genes. You love people who share your dreams, your values. You love people who share your burdens.

Unconditional love is vile. It means loving the man who murders thousands and the man who rescues thousands equally. It means loving the arsonist and the erector of buildings equally. It means having the same love for the man who poisons animals and the one who plants trees.

Love of God is conditional. You love God for creating the universe. You love God for creating you. You love God for protecting you. You love God for caring for you. Would you love a God that cared nothing for you? Would you love a God that delighted in torturing you? If you say, "I love God because....." then your love is conditional.

God's love is also conditional. For some people God loves that which he has made, therefore God loves because he is the creator. For some God loves those who worship and praise him and follow his rules. All others are an abomination in God's sight. Does this sound unconditional?

Sure, we see signs of it in people like Mother Theresa.

When true love of God develops, the person is not interested in sense gratification but derives his pleasure from God and his service to God.

This sounds like equating of love to slavery and servitude.

Why must your love be a loss of self and submission to another?



[ Parent ]
RE: on love and conditions (none / 0) (#47)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 10:36:46 PM EST

True Love occurs because of a shared bond. You cannot love that which you have nothing in common with. You love your parents for struggling and sacrificing for your sake. You love your children and siblings because they share your genes. You love people who share your dreams, your values. You love people who share your burdens.

No...again this is love in the material world. It is not the same as love in the spiritual world.

Unconditional love is vile. It means loving the man who murders thousands and the man who rescues thousands equally. It means loving the arsonist and the erector of buildings equally. It means having the same love for the man who poisons animals and the one who plants trees.

No, I was speaking of love of God...not of man and his actions.  You should see every man as a spirit being within a body, but you don't have to love every action a man does.

Love of God is conditional. You love God for creating the universe. You love God for creating you. You love God for protecting you. You love God for caring for you. Would you love a God that cared nothing for you? Would you love a God that delighted in torturing you? If you say, "I love God because....." then your love is conditional.

Again, this is love in the material world.  Just because you direct it towards God doesn't mean it's necessarily the same as the love of God that I'm speaking of.  Sri Caitanya once prayed that if God wanted to step on his head and crush him, he would still love God.  That is spiritual love..unselfish love.

God's love is also conditional. For some people God loves that which he has made, therefore God loves because he is the creator. For some God loves those who worship and praise him and follow his rules. All others are an abomination in God's sight. Does this sound unconditional?

No, it doesn't.  But, that is not our belief.  We believe that God loves everyone...unconditionally.  He's not going to send you to hell at the end of this life... he's not going to strike you down for disobeying.


[ Parent ]

The gulf strikes back (none / 1) (#68)
by bugmaster on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:20:08 AM EST

I think you've just ran up agains the gulf that I was talking about in my previous post. You believe that there exists a very specific spiritual world; and that there is a certain kind of love there, which is distinct from our impure moral love. adimovk5, however, does not believe that this kind of love exists at all (unless I misread his comment). It might even be that he, just like myself, denies that any kind of spirit world exists at all (it's not my place to put words in his mouth, though). Personally, I am not even able to comprehend this true love that you're talking about; it sounds like gibberish to me.

I am not trying to demean your religion in any way; I am jusy trying to point out that faith alone is not enough to convince anyone of anything, because faith cannot be communicated.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

RE: the gulf strikes back (none / 1) (#71)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:54:43 AM EST

I understand what you're saying...and I'm pretty much an amateur at this.  I'm no brahmana.  Plus, it's pretty difficult to explain an eastern religion to a westerner to start with.  It takes a lot of study and isn't something that can be communicated in just a few posts.

So, the reason you're not getting a clear understanding of it and it sounds like gibberish is MY fault.  I'm having a hard time really explaining it in a way you could understand.  However, it was obviously explained to me or I wouldn't understand it.  But, it wasn't explained in one day.  A lot of these concepts one day it just clicks and you understand what they're getting at.

Even people who have spent their whole lives in Krishna consciousness are confused about different topics.  It takes a lot of study.  That's one reason people within the movement are encouraged to accept a guru.  When you have difficulties understanding something, he helps explain it to you.

As to whether this is the best way...or even a good way wasn't the point of my article.  I'm not really qualified to teach Krishna consciousness.  But, I felt I WAS qualified to explain the basics I did in the article. I tried to keep it neutral and not promote Krishna consciousness but just explain who we are in a basic way.

[ Parent ]

Not your fault (none / 1) (#73)
by bugmaster on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 06:29:13 AM EST

Aw, don't be so hard on yourself. Religious faith (as far as I can tell) cannot be merely explained. It is, after all, faith -- belief in the abscence of any evidence. If there was any kind of rational or metaphysical argument that proves that faith X is true, it wouldn't be faith then -- it would be knowledge. Just as a Christian could not convince you that Jesus exists (in a literal sense, not in a "Jesus is the aspect of the Universal Power" sense), you could not convince me that the vedic spirit world exists (or any other kind of spirit world, for that matter). For example, I just don't see a how you (or anyone else) could explain this true universal love to me, since this is something that must be experienced personally, and I haven't experienced it.

Unfortunately, this is also why the Hare Krishna goal of reorganizing our society according to their principles is doomed to failure: there is no objective way to convince everyone (well, without resorting to brainwashing) that their faith is the correct one.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

RE: Not your fault (none / 1) (#74)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 06:33:23 AM EST

Well, I think it can be explained...but I cannot do it adequately.  Like I said, obviously someone explained it to me...since I was agnostic before.

Of course, there will be many that don't believe.  But, that's ok.  If they don't believe in this lifetime, then maybe they will in their next....and it's not that we expect that the US will become the next vedic society.  What's most important is that the priesthood is here..and the temples are here...for those that want to learn.

[ Parent ]

on needing yes men (none / 1) (#156)
by seanw on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:18:00 AM EST

you know, it's really nice to hear people with fervertly held religious beliefs that don't desperately need everyone to agree with them.  or demean and squash those that disagree.

I think it's a sign of security that you don't have something to prove.

you could teach the republicans in washington a thing or two

[ Parent ]

One thing about Hare Krishnas (none / 0) (#184)
by GenerationY on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:35:02 PM EST

they are pretty well respected ecumenically (if thats the right word; ie. by other religions) for playing fair and trying to get on with them in a spirit of fellowship.

IMHO this is a good reason for saying that they are probably not a cult.

[ Parent ]

On spiritual love and the world (none / 0) (#91)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:06:42 PM EST

bugmaster was almost correct when he guessed at my beliefs. I believe there is a pure spiritual love. It is unconditional love. It is total and unyielding. It has no bounds. It is felt by the faithful toward their object of worship. It is misguided and dangerous.

It is this same force that causes crusaders to raise armies against their fellow men. It is the same force which causes people to follow their leaders regardless of the evidence against them. How can you completely and love totally that which you do not know?

I do not believe in a seperate spiritual world. The world is one whole endless body. When I was born, part of the world became my body. When I die, my body will return to the rest. I am not separate from the world. No more than my arm is seperate from my body because it is my arm. No more than a lake is seperate from the Earth because it is a lake.

Is there a God? It is entirely possible. It is possible that God created the entire world. It is also possible that the world came first. It is possible that God created this Sol and Earth and all the planets, Yahweh may be the creator of local space. In any case God has not chosen to reveal himself to me. I will not worship and praise a being based on the say so of people I don't know who wrote a popular book.

Does God require praise and worship? Consider even a less than omnipotent and omniscient being. This demigod has the power to create this Earth and all the life on Earth. Why would such a God demand worship from anything? Why would such a God require restrictions in return for favor? Why would such a God punish people for not following his rules?

I am part of the world and the world is me. I am a cell in the body. Is the body sentient? It's possible. A boulder is not sentient (as far as we know) but a tiny amoeba is. There is no way of knowing at this time. And would we know it if a more advance sentience communicated with us? When a scientist nurtures a petri dish, the contents of the dish have no concept of him. Do the apes and whales and dolphins understand us? How much further beyond our senses and understanding would God be or an entire living world?

What is the goal of your religion? Is it to reach nirvana? Do you desire to be blissfully happy and mindlessly in love with God? Do you seek to bring others to that same place? Why? What would it gain the world for everyone to sit around blissssfully happy in communion with God?

There is an Earth here. Why is it here? Why are we here?

Either way, God or not, sentient world or not, my life is the same. I am here on Earth in 2004. I can choose to be a positive building force or a negative destructive force. I choose to be positive. I choose to love. I choose to nurture. I choose to build. I choose to teach.

We are here to nurture, to love, to build, to teach.

Why do you need anything more?

[ Parent ]

On understanding (none / 0) (#93)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:28:36 PM EST

I'm having a hard time really explaining it in a way you could understand. However, it was obviously explained to me or I wouldn't understand it. But, it wasn't explained in one day. A lot of these concepts one day it just clicks and you understand what they're getting at.

The fact that you understand your religion does not make it true. At one time Western Civilization belived that the Earth was flat and square, because the book its religion was based on said the Earth had four corners. Heaven was above the flat Earth and Hell beneath. Then the world was found to be a globe. Western Civilization moved to the concept of the sphere Earth at the center of concentric spheres. Then science showed Sol was the center. Each time religion fought against the new worldview until it was forced by evidence to recant.

There are still people today who believe the Earth is flat.

By the same token your not being able to explain it does not make it false. There are many things on Earth that happen that I cannot explain. There are many things that are explained to me that I understand at the time that I cannot repeat. It is a case of the teacher being better than the student.



[ Parent ]

RE: On understanding (none / 1) (#94)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:42:21 PM EST

It is a case of the teacher being better than the student.

I totally agree.  Even though I can write a small article without botching it up too bad, I'm not like Srila Prabhupada or Bir Krishna Maharaj.  

The simple fact is...I'm a student.  I'm an amateur.  I can't teach.  But, I think I ended up writing a halfway decent article in spite of that.  Of course, final judgement on that will go to my peers here.

In all honesty, I'm just happy that people read something I wrote and felt it was worth discussion.  I'm bouncing off the walls happy now.


[ Parent ]

On approval and satisfaction (none / 0) (#99)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:05:02 PM EST

In all honesty, I'm just happy that people read something I wrote and felt it was worth discussion. I'm bouncing off the walls happy now.

There is something deeeep within every person that seeks approval. I think that is the root of the popularity of sites such as k5. When you put a lot of thought into a story and people respond constructivly, it is satisfying.

The comment rating system is also a wonderful invention. It allows people to rate you without commenting. It is very satisfying to put together a well reasoned comment and have people rate you well.

[ Parent ]

RE: on approval and satisfaction (none / 0) (#127)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:27:16 PM EST

Yeah, actually that's what encourages me to comment on slashdot.  I can post a comment, then go back and see my comments, how they were rated, who replied, etc.  So it gives you incentive to participate and produce informative/thoughtful comments.

[ Parent ]
Resemblance (none / 0) (#250)
by bugmaster on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 03:33:45 AM EST

This struck me as curious: I ahve a friend who is very intelligent, but also a devout Christian. When I ask him pressing questions about his religion, he eventually says the same thing that you just did -- almost word-for-word, only replace "Srila Prabhupada" with "The Pope" or something to that extent. I wouldn't have thought that two religions that are so different would produce such similar responses.

I think this is another case of the rift between religious and secular thinking. Faith is something that one knows to be true, no matter what, as surely as "I exist". Therefore, it has to make sense, by definition; any seeming contradictions or inaccuracies are the fault of the faithful, or a result of limited human knowledge in general. For those who don't have the faith, such a position is impossible to fully grasp.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

Spirituality (none / 1) (#57)
by bugmaster on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:53:46 AM EST

You are assuming as a given that learning to love God, and being spiritual in general, is an admirable goal -- and, in fact, the penultimate goal for any human being. There are many people, however, who do not see this as true. Some people value knowledge of the physical realm; some value their own gods; and yes, some value material goods.

I understand that these people are deficient in some way from your perspective... but... they don't share your perspective. When you tell them, "you need more spirituality in your life", they react as you would if they'd told you, "you need a brand-new set of IKEA furniture", or "you need to learn more about quantum mechanics". There is a gulf here, and I just don't see a way across it.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

RE: Spirituality (none / 0) (#60)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:20:59 AM EST

Well, no one would be forced to learn religion.  The way it works in vedic society is according to someone's desires and quality of work, they are brahmanas, ksatriyas, and vaisyas.  Everyone else is a sudra.  So, people don't have to learn about religion.  The sudras may even eat meat..which is forbidden for the upper divisions (ksatriya on rare occasions when he hunts it himself is an exception).

The idea behind all of this is nothing is forced on you.  If you don't do it of your own free will, it is useless.  Under vedic society in India, they even had a "red light district" of sorts with prostitutes, meat eating, liquor, etc.  Those were activities against the vedas.  BUT, unless a person makes the choice to abstain on their own, it's worthless.

So, even in vedic society people would be allowed to be atheists, agnostics, what have you.  They were not put into positions of authority because the government was to be run according to vedic standards.  But, they were allowed to believe as they wish....and everyone was provided for.  No one went hungry or did without a place to live...no matter what their beliefs.

[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#61)
by bugmaster on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:32:14 AM EST

It sounds like the vedic society is a theocracy, then, with non-believers being second-class citizens (they can't hold office). That doesn't sound so great to me. How do the vedas justify their theocratic principles ?
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
RE: Hmm (none / 1) (#64)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:48:19 AM EST

Well, the way it works is that the priests study the vedas and such the most.  That is how they spend their time.  Then, they advise the Ksatriyas (who are the warriors and administrators).  The ksatriyas advise the vaisyas (merchants/farmers) and the viasyas advise the sudras (workers) accordingly. So, everything pretty much filters down from the top.  

Even though they can't hold office, the sudras are not abused.   They're given everything they need to live and be happy.  The idea is that every person is a soul and so should be treated with equal dignity.  Maybe they aren't interested in religion in this life...but perhaps in their next life they will be.  They're even allowed to drink, have sex with prostitutes, etc.  Even though it isn't vedic, it would be available in certain areas..because forced renunciation is no renunciation at all.

In the US we're told that anyone can hold the highest office...the office of President.  But, in reality, is that really true?  Look at Ross Perot.  He was incredibly wealthy, but he wasn't even given equal airtime with the republicans and democrats..even though that's supposedly our law.  We're told our voice matters, yet when thousands protested invading Iraq, the government did it anyway.  

In india they had a caste system...which was horrible.  But we have it here as well.  The sons of the wealthy and politicians rule us...with few exceptions.  Under the vedic system, who you were born to did not matter.  You were given the same opportunity as everyone else.  Unfortunately, India strayed heavily from the vedic system as this current age progressed, and by the time of the Muslim invasions...society was so diseased that it was time for change.

[ Parent ]

Values (none / 1) (#66)
by bugmaster on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:12:40 AM EST

Your post about sudras sounds horribly condescending; a person might describe their pet that way. "They're taken care of, and provided with everything they need... we even allow them to sit on our chairs sometimes". You're right about Ross Perot etc., but, under our current system, everyone is at least equal on paper. And our economic system is entirely separate from religion: you don't have to buy meat if you don't want to, but you don't need permission if you do.

I think that you missed the main point of my post, though. In the vedic culture, spiritual enlightenment is the ultimate goal; hence, it does make sense for the most enlightened people (the priests) to rule the rest. However, many if not most people deny that vedic spirituality is a worthy goal. For example, many Christians believe that submitting to Jesus Christ is the ultimate goal, and hence view Hare Krishnas as heretics. Atheists believe that any kind of theocracy, regardless of the underlying religion, is extremely bad news (and thus they would oppose both the Hare Krishnas and the Christian fundamentalists). I could say similar things about Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans (although they tend to be a lot less authoritarian), etc.

Now, the standard response to this is, "well, but clearly, the vedic religion is the one true faith". However, that's what the Christians (Muslims/Wiccans/whatever) say about their religion; and atheists say that all faiths are false on a basic level. So... objectively speaking, why should we convert our society to vedic principles ?
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

RE: Values (none / 0) (#69)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:31:46 AM EST

Well, I was saying that about sudras because in our society, the lower class ISN'T taken care of.  We have people living on the streets, begging for food, etc.

Now, the standard response to this is, "well, but clearly, the vedic religion is the one true faith".

No, we don't see it like that.  It's more of a culture than a religion, per se.  There are wiccans that are initiated Hare Krishnas.  There are christians as well.  I don't know personally any muslims that are, but I imagine that Kazi was both as well.  Prabhupada once said his aim wasn't to convert Christians, but to teach them to be good Christians and love God.  The vedic culture he brought was to meant to help them fill in the gaps..and answer questions...not to necessarily convert them.

We believe a vedic society would help reduce suffering.  Clearly, everyone would have their basic needs met. All the different religions could exist in harmony...once they understood their major similarities and quit bickering over their minor differences.

We believe mankind suffers in the material world.   What we think of as being happy is actually less suffering than we're used to.  We are subject to four things: birth, disease, old age, and death.  Everyone has to go through those things because they live in the material world.  So, in a vedic society one would learn to escape the cycle of reincarnation and transcend that suffering.  That's the biggest benefit to everyone.

But, you're right.  People who are not religious would have a hard time accepting vedic society.  But, establishing a vedic society would not be an overnight thing.  It would take hundreds of years..if not thousands.  The thing with a vedic society is, in order for it to work, everyone has to be at a certain spiritual level... It's not possible in the here and now.  As this current age progresses, it will become even less possible.  But, even introducing little patches of vedic society is beneficial.
   

[ Parent ]

Utopia ? (none / 0) (#75)
by bugmaster on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 06:41:42 AM EST

Ok, so it seems like you are advocating a societal change, not a religious one. That is, you don't care if people believe in the vedas, you just want them to stop gambling (just an example).

I confess, I like the society you propose. Everyone is taken care of, there is global understanding, etc. It's the classic Utopia. However, as you have correctly pointed out, there is no way to implement this Utopia until everyone becomes a total altruist. This is not likely to happen anytime soon. Furthermore, it's not clear whether this should happen -- as Huxley points out in his Brave New World, just to use one example.

In any case, I don't see how any kind of Utopia could be introduced "in patches". The patches would still have to exist within the society at large, and it seems to me that they wouldn't last long.

Furthermore, I think you underestimate how different the major religions really are. For example, the fundamentalist version of Islam teaches that killing infidels is one of the ultimate virtues; this is something that cannot be reconciled with most other religions. Christianity teaches "turn the other cheek"; Judaism teaches "eye for an eye" (well, some flavors do). Your own religion teaches vegetarianism; few other religions go that far (though Judaism doesn't like pork). And of course, atheists believe that all religions are fundamentally false, and that the material world is all we have. I just don't see a way to reconcile these differences without compromising the core of any of these religions.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

RE: Utopia (none / 0) (#76)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 06:54:08 AM EST

Well, we are advocating a change in society, but in order for that to happen, there would have to be a change in the individuals first.  

As far as not caring if people believe in the vedas but stop doing certain actions, that's not entirely it.  If they stop doing certain actions but repress themselves in doing so, then they're no better off.  They have to reach a spiritual level where they can lay down those wrong actions..without repression.

The most important thing we would like to get across to society is the chanting of the names of God.  It doesn't matter what form of God they believe in, they should chant his name.  In this day and age, that's the only way to make definate spiritual progress.  

So, no matter what the person's religion, if they chant the names of God they will receive benefit.  That is true even if they don't believe in the vedas.  Ultimately, we would hope that people saw truth in the vedas.  That would not require them to change their religion.  

As far as having small patches of vedic culture, we do that.  We have Krishna conscious communities around the world.  Another way we do that is the fact we have, to a small extent, injected the brahmanas into western society.  By having the temples and the dissemination of literature from them, we've done that...although not completely.

We're not expecting society to just change to a vedic culture.  But, we do what we can.  The most important thing is to be there for those that wish to inquire.

[ Parent ]

you're distorting some things here (none / 0) (#80)
by pyramid termite on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 08:17:52 AM EST

Well, I was saying that about sudras because in our society, the lower class ISN'T taken care of. We have people living on the streets, begging for food, etc.

and they don't in india? ... it's my understanding that india's problems are much greater than ours, yet i assume that they've had a good opportunity to achieve a vedic society ... and i have serious doubts as to whether ancient india was as idyllic as you say it was

also, isn't it true that the sect known as the hare krishnas represent a small section of hinduism?

and why would i obey the dictates of a religious priesthood whose beliefs i didn't share unless i was forced to? ... why did buddha find vedic society unsatisfactory and why didn't buddhism get the presence in india that it did in other asian countries?

with all of our society's flaws, it does seem as though we do better by the poor here ... and the town i live in has a muslim center and a hindu temple and i've yet to hear of any unfortunate incidents ... because our secular government has declared that such incidents violate our basic human rights and won't be tolerated ... would a government based on the proponents of one religious group do the same?

i don't believe that we in the west have done a worse job ... in fact, the evidence says we've done better, not just materially, but spiritually

you seem to feel that western society has failed ... i don't think so ... not yet


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]

RE: you're distorting some things here (none / 0) (#88)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:46:50 AM EST

and they don't in india? ... it's my understanding that india's problems are much greater than ours, yet i assume that they've had a good opportunity to achieve a vedic society ... and i have serious doubts as to whether ancient india was as idyllic as you say it was

They had a vedic society at one point. It started degenerating after Lord Krishna left.  Now, yes, India's problems are unbelievably worse than ours.  But, the average person in India doesn't even read the vedic texts.  You can't look at modern India as an example.  

also, isn't it true that the sect known as the hare krishnas represent a small section of hinduism?

Well, vaisnavism, the followers of Visnu (Krishna) is one of the three major divisions.  Gaudiya Vaisnavism is a much smaller branch of that.  The word Hindu itself isn't even found in the vedic texts.  It was a word used to describe the people that lived below the river Shindu (which they could only pronounce as Hindu).  It lumps together several religions that really should be separate.

and why would i obey the dictates of a religious priesthood whose beliefs i didn't share unless i was forced to?

Short answer, you wouldn't.  That is why I keep saying that in order to change society to a vedic society, there would have to be a change in individuals first.  Plus, I'm not even saying that vedic society would even be possible to exist fully in the modern US.  WE believe the current age is a degenerative one and as time goes on, the likelihood of establishing a vedic culture on earth disappears.

why did buddha find vedic society unsatisfactory and why didn't buddhism get the presence in india that it did in other asian countries?

The buddha didn't live in vedic society.  By then it had already degenerated.  The buddha is a special case, though.  He is mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam as well as other texts.  He was an incarnation of God with a specific purpose.  Vedic society had degenerated and the priests were performing cow sacrifice among other things.  The buddha appeared to steer society completely away from the vedas because they were being used for such attrocities.  On my personal altar I have two forms of God:  a picture of Krishna and a statue of the Buddha.

i don't believe that we in the west have done a worse job ... in fact, the evidence says we've done better, not just materially, but spiritually

In modern times, that may be the case.  However, if you look back only a brief period, they were burning people at the stake for witchcraft and driving a stake through your tongue if you cursed in public.  

But again, vedic society in India began collapsing 5,000 years ago.  India has not been an example of vedic society since then.

[ Parent ]

Uhhhh... (none / 0) (#258)
by Aphexian on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 08:42:13 AM EST

our secular government has declared that such incidents violate our basic human rights and won't be tolerated ... would a government based on the proponents of one religious group do the same?

Ah ha. Ah ha ha ha... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Whew HAHAHAHA!

America is SECULAR?! AHHAHAHAHAH!! ROFL! LOLOL! OMG!!

IHBT! IHBT! I bet you were reading a dollar bill and reciting the pledge of allegiance when you wrote that, weren't you... You sneaky sneaky troll....

Tee hee. Heee heee heee.... Wow. Heh. Ha... Woooo... You're an idiot.

[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]

Willful ignorance (none / 1) (#180)
by haydentech on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:14:14 PM EST

You are assuming as a given that learning to love God, and being spiritual in general, is an admirable goal -- and, in fact, the penultimate goal for any human being. There are many people, however, who do not see this as true.

That doesn't make it less true. All that means is that some unwise people choose to ignore that truth to follow their own way. Disbelief in, say, gravity doesn't mean that gravity ceases to be relevant in your life. Disbelief in God is the same way. You can't make God and the consequences of disbelief vanish in a puff of smoke simply by your force of will.



[ Parent ]
Of course (none / 0) (#189)
by bugmaster on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:51:01 PM EST

I didn't claim that disbelievers are wiser, or that believers are wiser, or whatever -- I merely pointed out that their views are irreconcilable.

They are irreconcilable for the same reason that faith is differencr from gravity. Everyone feels gravity in pretty much the same way (drop a rock, it falls down). If someone doesn't believe in gravity for some reason, demonstrating gravity to them is trivial: just drop them off the roof or something. Faith, on the other hand, is a deeply personal experience; additionally, most major religions believe in gods that do not manifest overtly in our world, and thus, faith is required in the first place in order to feel the gods' presence, and to identify "consequences of disbelief" (especially since many of them happen after you're dead).

Note that, again, this in no way implies that faith in your particular god (or faith in general) is false. It does, however, make it virtually impossible for believers of different faiths, as well as the atheists, to convince the opposing party of the superiority of their point of view.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

the path (none / 0) (#222)
by clambake on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 06:52:52 PM EST

And the hippies were truly seeking a path as much as the new agers are today. However, to claim that those people are representative of the entire population or even their entire generation is outrageous.

Yes...they were seeking a path.

A path into the beds of naive hairy women's beds.  Seriously.  I'll bed a HUGE impetus for the movement wasn't spirituality but sex.

[ Parent ]

Umm... (2.72 / 11) (#42)
by kcidx on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 09:50:29 PM EST

Throughout its short history the United States has been blessed with hard working, decent, moral people.

I hate to always bring this up but...

The United States, back before it was called that, was blessed with hard working, decent, moral people.

Then it was invaded and conquered by hard working, genocidal, religious fundamentalists who had been kicked out of England for being off their rockers.

[ Parent ]

rockers (none / 2) (#102)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:16:16 PM EST

Then it was invaded and conquered by hard working, genocidal, religious fundamentalists who had been kicked out of England for being off their rockers.

Were the majority hard working, genocidal, religious fundamentalists or was that a minority? I believe most of the European immigrants in North America were poor people who wanted a better life. They didn't make the journey to eliminate the Amerindian population and they weren't fundamentalist.

There is no disputing that the founders of the various colonies were almost uniformly fundamentalist. They fled the tyranny of other religions so that they could have a tyranny of their own.

Do you have any evidence on the genocide? I don't recall any reports of natives being systematically destroyed because of race.

[ Parent ]

Genocide (none / 1) (#170)
by kcidx on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 10:49:34 AM EST

Do you have any evidence on the genocide? I don't recall any reports of natives being systematically destroyed because of race.

I have a strong suspicion you are either being intentionally difficult, or you are just blindingly ignorant, so I'm not going to justify your message with much of a response.

Let me just say this - it's clear that they were destroyed, systematically. If you disagree with that, you don't live on the same planet as I do. Furthermore, genocide doesn't require you to destroy an entire race *because* of their race, it simply requires you to systematically destroy a race or culture, which we have clearly done.

There is volumous literature on the subject. I'll leave it up to you to try and pull yourself out of the darkness though - I typically don't consider it my responsibility to save people from their willfull ignorance.

[ Parent ]

You are joking, right? (none / 0) (#306)
by geoswan on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 04:14:53 PM EST

You are joking, right? When people are imprisoned, or are subject to forced migrations, as happened to Native Americans, we call it ethnic cleansing today.

When you are a kid, before you reach the age of reason, the people you trust can sneak ideas past you that you would never accept as an adult.

When I was a kid, before kindergarten, I was helping my mom unpack our groceries. I picked up a package of raw hamburger. And I looked at it for the first time. And I asked my mother, "Mom, does meat come from animals, like Bootsie and Blackie?" She replied, "Yes, but it is okay. We only eat animals that are specially bred for it."

And around the same time I said, "Mom, if the Indians were here first, why don't they still own all the land?" And she replied, "Yes, they were here first. But it is okay. We signed treaties with them."

You may have heard about those treaties before your critical faculties were fully developed. I only really saw how terrible and unequal those treaties were when I went and worked on a Rserve.

[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#330)
by kcidx on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 01:17:23 PM EST

I don't really see how your message is supposed to be a reply to mine.

Sure, it's on the same topic - but why would you suspect I am kidding when I call it "genocide" instead of "ethnic cleansing?"

[ Parent ]

Successive gurus (2.57 / 7) (#29)
by gpig on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:11:53 PM EST

Srila Prabhupada was a guru, a spiritual master, who was the thirty-third guru in a disciplic succession that goes all the way back to the original form of God, Krishna, who visited India some 5,000 years ago.

5000 / 33 = ~151

Each guru would have had to have lived 151 years to teach the next .... maybe they lost count somewhere?

Unless Krishna biased the odds by staying for an thousand years or so when he visited India, of course.

RE: Successive gurus (3.00 / 8) (#30)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:28:06 PM EST

Sorry for not making that clear.  The guru parampara or disciplic succession only lists the most prominent gurus in the succession.  So even though Prabhupada was 33rd in line in that disciplic succession, there may have been 100 gurus .  They passed it down from disciple to student, but they're not listed in the parampara because they weren't very notable otherwise.

A guess you could think of the parampara as a sort of "who's who" in the succession.

[ Parent ]

If they can't memorise everyone like in Enemy Mine (none / 2) (#227)
by sudog on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 08:33:55 PM EST

... then what good is it?


[ Parent ]
I enjoyed your article (1.64 / 14) (#31)
by thankyougustad on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:34:54 PM EST

but I am going to vote it down. Your account was created just to post this article and you don't seem to be participating in anything else. . . so to me this smacks of proselytizing, despite the excellent informative tone. I would have voted it up from a regular user. Thanks anyway.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

RE: I enjoyed your article (3.00 / 5) (#33)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:57:18 PM EST

Actually I haven't posted anything else...that is true.  I always read kuro5hin (I have it in a little box on my slashdot page) and have been reading it for well over a year.  

I finally decided to get an account so I could post this story.  I enjoy the articles here but have been doing most of my discussion on slashdot.

So, it may look like proselytizing...and for that I'm sorry.  I deliberately tried to write this article neutrally and after I wrote it I thought it would be of interest on kuro5hin.  I wasn't interested in converting anyone, but giving an accurate account.

Does it really matter though how I choose to start participating?  I've read a ton of articles on here...my favorite being about the little girl who committed suicide...probably a year ago or more.  But until this point I really didn't feel I had anything to add to the discussion....so I just read.


[ Parent ]

Good luck (none / 1) (#34)
by mcgrew on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:02:01 PM EST

The parent comment should have been an editorial comment rather than a topical comment, I think. Me, if I'm online when it comes to a vote you'll get +1FP. Even though I didn't exactly finish it or anything...

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

RE: Good luck (none / 1) (#35)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:11:11 PM EST

Thank you.  I'm not used to writing articles like this.  So, it's a new experience for me.  But, I wanted to make it neutral and informative.  On the web I didn't find a clear, neutral, and informative introduction that I liked.  So, I wrote it.

It may not interest a lot of people, but from what I've read on here in the year or so I've been reading, it's the exact type of thing that people in here enjoy: a little bit of information on something they don't normally come across in their reading.

I don't expect to convert anyone to the Krishna consciousness movement with this.  It's just not that type of article.  

[ Parent ]

contribute! (none / 1) (#103)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:45:49 PM EST

You should start contributing your thoughts to the discussion. You have been lurking for a long time. Your viewpoint might help others see things differently. Surely you think when you read things here?

[ Parent ]
RE: Contribute (none / 3) (#104)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:48:37 PM EST

I do think about them and now that I have an account, I will start taking part in discussion.  It's a lot easier when you don't have to register and can just click reply to.  

[ Parent ]
Who cares ? (3.00 / 7) (#56)
by bugmaster on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:47:48 AM EST

If it's a good article, vote it up. If it's badly written or incoherent or just plain boring, vote it down. Who cares what the author had in mind ?
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
Because I am interested in information . . . (none / 1) (#79)
by thankyougustad on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:24:08 AM EST

for information's sake. I don't want to read something with an ulterior motive. Even if this is written just to expose people to kirshna consciousness, it is written hoping that a fraction will become interested enough to look into becoming hare kirshna.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
RE: because I am interested in information.... (none / 3) (#92)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:10:55 PM EST

Then read information for information's sake.   I included in the article information that I was associated with the hare krishnas.  I did not hide it, it was out in the open.  So, even though I tried to write a neutral article, if bias crept in, you were forewarned.  

You obviously read the article and took part in the discussion.  It provoked enough interest in you that you were willing to use your time to read and discuss.  Isn't that the point of articles here on Kuro5hin?  

Why, if it was good enough for you to read and discuss, would you want to allow someone else the same opportunity?  You even said you thought it was well written and informative.  My tone in the article was not proselytizing but informative.  So, I really don't understand what you have against the article.  Many articles in here are written by people that are biased towards the subject matter.  It's almost impossible to write on something and NOT be biased.  However, I stamped it with my association so you would know any bias I had up front.  Not a lot of people go that far.


[ Parent ]

But... (none / 1) (#111)
by gildor on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:18:07 PM EST

Every article here has some sort of ulterior motive.

[ Parent ]
Bah (none / 1) (#115)
by thankyougustad on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 04:37:05 PM EST

Prove it.

Besides, though the author's article is well written and as un-biased as it could possibly be, coming from a believer, his responses to people's questions are not. They are given in a 'this is the way it is' kind of way, and not a 'this is what the Hare Krishna devotees believe,' kind of way. It makes me feel as though he is trying to make me believe the unprovable. I also don't appreciate being told I know nothing about true love.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
What the (none / 1) (#173)
by bugmaster on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:05:15 AM EST

Uh, everything has an ulterior motive, by your definition. An article about Geometric Algebra is written hoping that a fraction of the readers will be interested enough to become mathematicians. With this kind of outlook, you might as well just sit home, stare at the ceiling, and sing "la la la" as loud as you can, lest you be exposed to some dangerous ideas.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
I don't care enough (none / 0) (#191)
by thankyougustad on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 01:54:33 PM EST

to get into it with you, but I know quite a lot about the hare krishna organization, thanks to a good friend who was once a part of it. Comparing the hare krishna religion to geometry, or baseball, or anything that doesn't require a significant change in lifestyle isn't going to work. Thanks for your time.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Ulterior motive (none / 2) (#260)
by Aphexian on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 09:05:56 AM EST

If you are so unsure of your faith (or lack of it) that you believe an article with bias would be able to corrupt your opinion, I feel sorry for you.

This may not be how you feel, but honestly I can't think of another reason someone would be so afraid of an article about a specific religion.

[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]

Are you drunk? (none / 1) (#282)
by thankyougustad on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 04:25:24 PM EST

Are you dipshit? What would make you think I felt threatened by this peice? My FAITH? Corrupt my opinion? You must not be a native speaker of English. What in the world would make this idea come into your head? Did you smoke a pound of pot? Are you certified? I can't believe I even wasted my time reading your dumb assertion.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Drunk I am? (none / 1) (#288)
by Aphexian on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 08:18:16 PM EST

I can't believe you took the time to respond. I've never read something so without merit before. Amazing.
To answer your questions, since you seem to be so interested -

Are you drunk?

I wasn't when I posted that, however, now yes. Yes I am currently drunk. It feels quite exquisite, I recommend you give it a try.

Are you dipshit?

No, I'm not dipshit. I'm not 'a' dipshit either.

What would make you think I felt threatened by this peice?

I thought you felt threatened because of your unabashed, knee-jerk reaction. You obviously appreciated the article, but were afraid to vote it up, as it might... Well it might something, I'm not sure what was going through your head there. Generally when people believe one way (such as, the article was good), and react another way (vote it down), it is because of fear or ignorance. Luckily I didn't call you ignorant, I might've really upset you. And you misspelled piece.

My FAITH?

Yes, yours... What are you, blind? Is someone reading this to you?

Corrupt my opinion?

Yes yours... Very compelling question though.

You must not be a native speaker of English.

Surprisingly, yes I am a native speaker of English, and from the looks of it, much better trained than yourself.

What in the world would make this idea come into your head?

I think I already answered this - You do like to repeat yourself don't you? I thought you were afraid because of your knee-jerk reaction, and I hate to say it, but I'm afraid this particular commentary is only strengthening my opinion.

Did you smoke a pound of pot?

Over my lifetime perhaps, but I assure you I was quite sober when I posted that comment. I hope you can take my word for it.

Are you certified?

Why yes, as a matter of fact. I am a certified Reverend, a certified PADI advanced open water scuba driver, a certified CPR instructor, and a card-carrying member of Blockbuster. But I doubt that's what you meant. Am I certifiable? Absolutely not, I'm quite sane, no longer sober, and somehow more proficient than you at sentence structure, grammar, and argument composition.
Thanks for the queries, they were fun! You must've eaten your share of queer-ios this morning.

Oh! A play on words. I hope I'm not forced to explain that to you as well.

[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]

actually. . . (none / 0) (#294)
by thankyougustad on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 09:44:43 AM EST

I was the one who was stoned when I responed. Allowing for my own knee-jerk reaction, you should use a little bit of your introspective powers and examine your own motivations for yourcomments. In no way did this article threaten to 'corrupt my opinion.' Nice job assailing my typos, though. They must really appreciate that kind of pedantic logic in the Church.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
actually... (none / 0) (#298)
by Aphexian on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 01:37:42 PM EST

Nice job assailing my religious preferences. I'm an atheist. Hmm, religion in general makes you nervous, doesn't it?

I don't allow for your knee-jerk reaction, that's what this is all about... I use my introspective powers quite a bit, and I'm very comfortable with the fact that I don't agree with hypocrisy or intolerance. Little habit I picked up - sorry if it bothers you.
Oh and I'm comfortable being a pedant as well. Introspectively I've realized that it really comes on strong when I'm accused of speaking English as a second language.

And congrats on being stoned. I'm sure your contemporaries are in awe of you. Once you learn to handle your high instead of vomiting it onto K5, you're going to be unstoppable.

[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]

eh (none / 0) (#312)
by thankyougustad on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 08:43:50 AM EST

who gives a shit?

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#315)
by Aphexian on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 11:45:50 AM EST

Apparently you give quite a shit, as you keep responding. Unfortunately it appears I have overwhelmed you, so I'll leave you alone for now - And I sincerely hope I've made you reevaluate your opinions.

If not, well, I've make you look like a jackass and thats almost as rewarding.

[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]

well. . . (none / 0) (#325)
by thankyougustad on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 10:22:00 PM EST

my ego is going to force me to respond to this, even though I know I am immersing myself in the absurd. Let's review: I posted a comment saying that I would vote the article on The American Hare Krishna organization down, because I felt that since the user had signed up strictly to post the article, I felt it was out of place.

You countered by suggesting that I felt threatened, in fact, by the article, and that it might, as you put it, corrupt my opinion.

I then, after spending six hours cleaning squid, smoked a joint and flew off the handle, because your baseless assumption annoyed me so much.

Some insulting ensued, and nothing was resolved. I suggested that it, the issue, whatever that may be, was not important.

You then countered by hoping that I had reevaluated my opinions, whatever those may be. I can assure that I have a wide set of opinions on all kinds of topics, but I don't think you have made me revaluate any of them.

I still don't feel this article belongs here, though I don't really care. I would vote it down again if I could. I still think KC is kind of cool. I still don't think opinions can be corrupted, being that they are just opinions and have no objective moral value in and of themselves. And I still don't care how you use your sharp intuitive powers, though tomfoolery on the internet seems to be getting you pretty far. Maybe you could post a story about all the rubes you've made jackasses out of on the internet.

Have a nice afternoon.



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Wow. Do you read ANYTHING!? (none / 0) (#311)
by irrevenant on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 09:14:45 PM EST

'cos I can't imagine much that would be written without SOME sort of ulterior motive.  It was all written by humans, after all, and we rarely if ever operate from a single motive...

[ Parent ]
Perhaps I should have been more specific. (none / 0) (#328)
by thankyougustad on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 07:39:20 AM EST

By ulterior motive I am pointing out that this article was writen with the strict intention of exposing people to KC in order to convince them of its precepts. The article itself is well written, and in a basically neutral tone. However, once you start reading the writer's responses you see he has a vested interest in the material at hand, and his responses tend to have a 'this is the way it is' attitude.

I don't consider literature to have an ulterior motive. I also don't really consider op-ed peices to have ulterior motives, as the reader should know what he is getting into. In this case, the reader is introduced to a religious organization in a neutral way, and once done all his questions are answered by someone with an ax to grind. It has no place on K5, in my much contested opinion.



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
So K5, in your mind, should be more like a frat... (none / 1) (#174)
by skyknight on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:05:47 AM EST

in which you must first be ritually hazed before you can participate in any significant way.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
No. (none / 1) (#193)
by thankyougustad on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:00:35 PM EST

However, when introudicing a community to an esoteric religion, it would be nice, for the community (because they know they are getting information from someone without an ax to grind) and the author (because he or she will come off as well rounded and legitimate), if the the author participated elsewhere.

Krishna consciousness has a hard enough time staving off the accustations that it is nothing more than a cult. Showing up to any kind of community and talking about this kind of thing right off the bat is bad news. This is a community, based on sharing and mutual exchanges of information. Why should I listen to someone here who is not interested in any of the other dialogues, and just wants me to warm up to His Divine Grace A.C. Hhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada?



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Hence the purpose of the voting queue... (none / 1) (#194)
by skyknight on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:03:39 PM EST

If people think that it's simply publicity whoring, then it can be shot down as such. Furthermore, if it is interesting publicity whoring, it still might be worth keeping. This is a discussion site, and anything that triggers discussion is, in my mind, valuable.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
There you are right. (none / 1) (#197)
by thankyougustad on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:17:26 PM EST

The memebers of this community chose to vote this peice up, as is their wont. I have gotten over it now that it is up, and I am enjoying the discussion. I still feel that the peice, however, is not so much an explanation or indtroduction to an Eastern Religion, but more like a tract I get handed on the street in Washington, DC. As it turns out, that is almost exactly what it is. The author has ceased to be neutral, and now presents his answers to K5's questions in a 'this is the way it is, and krisna's six blue arms control our lives,' format.

PS: according to him your life is empty and you know nothing of true love.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Well, he's probably right... (none / 0) (#198)
by skyknight on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:22:57 PM EST

but a cultish religion ain't gonna fill the void.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
RE: There you are right (none / 1) (#207)
by tannhaus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:57:19 PM EST

I really don't see why you are so intolerant.  Yes, my views differ from yours.  So does everyone elses.  If you actually take the time to read my replies, I've been more than polite and stated several times that people have the right to believe what they wish.  Yet, you're going to sit here and say things like this about me.  What gives, dude?  

If someone has done something to you in the past, it's not my fault.  I didn't know you and still don't.  I wrote an article, thought it would be of interest, submitted it...and people voted that it was of interest.  Now, they're sitting here and discussing it.  I haven't sat here and disrespected anyone, yet you have spent most of your posts here slamming me.  

I don't understand, but that's definately not cool.  We are all reasoning adults.  I have made decisions regarding my religious beliefs and you have made decisions regarding yours.  Just because I have come to a different conclusion doesn't mean you should attack me.

I have been polite in my discussions.  I have explained that "my religion ends at my skin" and that I'm not going to look down on them or think bad about them because they think differently than me.  Yet, you turn right around, say I'm doing something differently and start bashing me and my religious views.  

Not cool at all.


[ Parent ]

no. . . (none / 1) (#211)
by thankyougustad on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:20:34 PM EST

I haven't spent my time slamming you or your beliefs. Find one denigrating comment from me about the Hare Krishna movement, I will print it out and eat it. I take issue exclusively with the nature of this article, being that it comes from a devotee and as such is not presented as intellectual edification. It may be presented as spirtual aid, that I'm not going to contest.

I have not accused you of disrespect, nor have I directed any disrespect toward you, nor am I attacking your beliefs, for which you would know I have a lot of respect if you participated elsewhere on this website. I have been a vegetarian myself for more than a decade, have read the bhagavad gita, am familiar with the vedas, appreciate Eastern religion, and am very, very tolerant. I have not insulted anyone in this thread, nor have I insulted your beliefs.

I simply did not vote for this article, and I do not think it has a place on this website. You have made 50 some comments with your account, all of them in regards to this one article.

As I said earlier, it is well written and I enjoyed it (is the the insult you were referring to? Excuse me, I meant it as a compliment), but I think it is coming from someone with a vested interest in the movement and so cannot be considered scholarly.

Enjoy your afternoon.</p

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]

Obviously you're not a fraternity brother (none / 0) (#206)
by IndianaTroll on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:52:34 PM EST

There is no significant participation by anyone...even after the ritualistic hazing.

Professor Troll

Your personal experiences don't mean diddly in a nation of 300 million people. jubal3
[ Parent ]

Opus said it best... (2.25 / 12) (#36)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:35:52 PM EST

Hairy Fishnuts?!?!?!

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
RE: Opus said it best (none / 0) (#49)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 10:54:46 PM EST

lol

When I first heard them called the Hare Krishnas I was like "Why do they call them Hairy Krishnas?  They even shave their heads."

[ Parent ]

Pear Pimples for Hairy Fishnuts! (none / 0) (#225)
by PowerPimp on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 07:17:30 PM EST

JUST COUGH UP SOME DOUGH, MAC!
You'd better take care of me God; otherwise, you'll have me on your hands...
[ Parent ]
All I recall.. (2.16 / 6) (#50)
by tarpy on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 11:07:36 PM EST

was being accosted by a militant Hare Krishna in Pioneer Square in Portlant.

Froth on the lips does not make me want to listen.


Sir, this is old skool. Old skool. I salute you! - Knot In The Face

RE: All I recall.... (none / 3) (#51)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 11:10:28 PM EST

lol

Yeah...some of them go overboard.  Mostly it's inexperience.  They move into the temple and they're so fervent but inexperienced.  It's actually against our beliefs to pressure anyone.  We're only supposed to talk to those willing to listen.

I apologize for your bad encounter though.

[ Parent ]

RE: All I recall.... (none / 1) (#112)
by wejn on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:27:23 PM EST

I don't mean to offend you ...
but ... why are you apologizing for someone's bad behaviour/action? Is that sane? I'm shaking my head ... I simply don't get it.

I thought (eh, still think) that every human being is responsible for his (its?) own actions - nothing more, nothing less.

[ Parent ]

RE: All I recall.... (none / 2) (#118)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:00:21 PM EST

True, but as a member of the movement, I felt it polite to apologize to you for the actions of someone else in the movement...since they represent us to a degree.

[ Parent ]
no biggie... (none / 0) (#153)
by tarpy on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 01:09:30 AM EST

it was more surprising than anything.

I have to say that up to that point, my experience with HKers was limited to airport encounters of the nature described in the Airplane movies (very nice, very polite, vaguely hippish kids)

Back before 9-11 when anyone was allowed past the gates, there was this one guy who was always parked outside the door to the LAX Admiral's Club, I must have politely declined his offer of a book dozens of times over the years.




Sir, this is old skool. Old skool. I salute you! - Knot In The Face
[ Parent ]

I wondered how it would look (2.83 / 6) (#52)
by khallow on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 11:18:26 PM EST

In vedic society there are four "divisions of work" as set out by Lord Krishna: the brahmanas (priests), the ksatriyas (warriors/administrators), the vaisyas (farmers and merchants), and the sudras (workers). Srila Prabhupada was intent on not only distributing the knowledge of Krishna consciousness to the masses, but upon injecting the class of brahmana into western society. If the priesthood was alive and operating within western society then by their actions and dissemination of knowledge they could help lay the groundwork to introduce the other classes into western society as well.

I wondered what an evagelical version of Hindu would look like. Guess this is one way it could look. How rigid are these "classes"? Any problems with me being in two or three classes at a time?

Stating the obvious since 1969.

RE: I wondered how it would look (none / 1) (#53)
by tannhaus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 11:22:28 PM EST

Well, you mean if like you wanted to work for someone and farm too?  I mean...that would work.  I guess your class would depend on your primary job. The vedas are actually pretty lenient.  

[ Parent ]
Yes, but (none / 0) (#55)
by bugmaster on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:46:32 AM EST

Can a brahmin farm and work for someone, as well ? America is big on egalitarianism: the notion that anyone can do anything they like, given a lot of work and a bit of good luck. Now, in practice, this is probably not true; still, this is a cherished ideal in this culture. I don't think the culture will be very receptive to a fixed caste system which limits what you can do solely based on the caste you were born into.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
RE: Yes, but (none / 1) (#58)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:13:57 AM EST

Yes, but the caste system is a perversion of the vedic culture.  The caste system was horrible...and needed to be removed from the culture.

In vedic culture, you're not born into a caste.  What your parents do has no bearing on you.  After you start growing up, your desires are what matters...and you're given training for the job YOU want...not the job your family decided for you....it's according to YOUR work.  

The caste system was just a way to look down on those below you.  In true vedic society, a brahmana could be the son of a sudra....or a sudra could one day become a brahmana.  There is no lock-in.  

[ Parent ]

Castes vs Jobs (none / 0) (#63)
by bugmaster on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:38:05 AM EST

That sounds a lot better, but still a but unclear. How your caste decided upon ? That is, let's say I am a sudra. How can I become a brahman, and who decides that I'm ready ? Similarly, can a brahman ever be busted down to a sudra ? In American culture, the employment system pretty much takes care of this: your standing within the company depends on your ability to do your job, and your ability to kiss your manager's ass. It's not perfect, but it is reasonably clear.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
RE: Castes vs jobs (none / 0) (#65)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:52:20 AM EST

Well, you would have schools..and yes, no matter what your birth...you could change the division you're in.  If a brahmana acts like a sudra..then yes, he could be removed...probably by the other brahmanas.  If your quality of work is not what it should be...then yes, you find yourself in another line of work :-P

[ Parent ]
Who decides ? (none / 1) (#67)
by bugmaster on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:13:57 AM EST

This doesn't answer my question at all. Who decides if "a brahmana acts like a sudra" ? Is it just the other brahmanas ? If so, how do they decide -- do they vote, do they look at his performance record, what ?
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
RE: Who decides (none / 1) (#70)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:44:57 AM EST

Well, it would be the other brahmanas deciding...and they would look at his performance record.  I don't know for certain that a vote would be required, but I don't see any other way to do it.  

There are standards for the different classes...and if they don't adhere to those standards, they're not allowed to retain their position.  The standards are set up in the vedas: the basic standards being 1. no meat eating 2. no illicit sex 3. no intoxication 4. no gambling.  If you don't adhere to those standards, you are a sudra.  

There are certain standards specific to each class as well...like if a ksatriya refuses to fight or runs from the battlefield, he has to live his life out in the forest...basically begging for food (like the sannyasi - renunciant does.) If he can't do the job he should become a merchant/farmer or if he can't do that, a sudra.  But, you don't disregard the duties of your class.

But yes, your performance record and your actions are what they look at.  One person can't get mad at you and make you switch your class.  There has to be a consensus based on the vedas.


[ Parent ]

exceptions? (none / 0) (#105)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:56:52 PM EST

What if a person is brahmana in everyone way but one?

Imagine a person who is learned and spiritual. He is happily married to his wife who also adores him in return. Their children are wonderful and respected by all. He never gambles, swears, smokes, or drinks alcohol. Others turn to him for advice and his advice is always good.

In every way he is the ideal brahmana except one. He likes to eat beef. He enjoys a hamburger. He enjoys a well cooked steak, especially slow cooked on a grill. He eats chicken and fish as well.

What is the place in vedic society for this man?

[ Parent ]

RE: exceptions (none / 1) (#109)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:13:07 PM EST

He would be a sudra.  Those four regulative principles 1. no meat eating 2. no intoxication 3. no gambling 4. no illicit sex are a minimum for all classes above sudra.  We believe those four actions cause bondage to the material world and effect someone's spiritual progress. If he were to eat meat and then teach from the vedas...which say meat eating is wrong, then he would be a hypocrite. The brahmanas represent the highest standards of spiritual life, so they have to live up to the highest standards themselves.  Being a brahmana isn't for most people.  I certainly am not a brahmana.  It takes a spiritual advancement that I do not have.    

[ Parent ]
meat bondage (none / 0) (#110)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:17:16 PM EST

Why does eating meat cause bondage to the material world?

[ Parent ]
RE: meat bondage (none / 1) (#117)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 04:59:03 PM EST

We have to kill in order to live ourselves.  That is one of the rules of the material world.  Our food was once living and we killed it to consume it and nourish ourselves.  But, any act of conscious killing, even if for our food, gives us bad karma.  We have decided this other living being is not worth as much as us and needs to die so that we can live.

Krishna accepts vegetarian food as stated in the Bhagavad Gita.  So, we can kill and offer our food to Krishna and then eat the remnants.  That is karma free killing.  It's much like when Christians "say the blessing" over their food and thank God for it.  However, we go one step further and give the food to God, and then eat afterwards.

When you kill a plant, you are responsible for the death of that plant..unless you offer it to Krishna and then eat the remnants. When you kill an animal, not only are you responsible for the death of that animal (which you can't offer to Krishna) but you are responsible for the deaths of the other animals or plants he had to eat to sustain him up to the point you killed him.  

According to the book "Diet for a New America", every pound of beef that makes it to market reflects 16 pounds of grain that cow had to eat to make it to the point it was slaughtered.  So, if I eat half a pound of grains and don't offer it, I'm responsible for the death of those plants.  But, if you eat 1 pound of beef, you're responsible for the death of that cow, 16 pounds of grain, plus any cruelty that cow experienced as a result of being raised and slaughtered to be put on your plate.

So, the karma toll is extremely high for eating meat.  In order for you to receive Karma you have to be present in the material world.  So, you are bound to the material world until you have paid off that karma.  If you continue eating meat or eating food and not offering it to Krishna, your bondage continues.

 

[ Parent ]

meat karma (none / 0) (#120)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:07:20 PM EST

Why can't meat be offered to Krishna and therefore the plants it consumed?

[ Parent ]
because (none / 2) (#124)
by Work on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:12:10 PM EST

krishna is dangerously low on barbecue sauce

[ Parent ]
RE: meat karma (none / 1) (#126)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:19:58 PM EST

At the battle of Kuruksetra, that was one of the things he told Arjuna, that he accepted only vegetarian foods.  That conversation is known as the Bhagavad Gita.  

[ Parent ]
no meat (none / 0) (#128)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:37:00 PM EST

Because one man in one conversation chose not to eat meat, no right thinking man can eat meat?

[ Parent ]
RE: no meat (none / 2) (#131)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:52:51 PM EST

We believe Krishna is God.  So, we follow what Krishna said in the vedas.

I'm not saying no right-thinking man can eat meat.  My religion ends at my skin.  I won't judge YOU according to what I believe.  Your beliefs belong to you and ,as such, they are valid.  

But, you asked what we follow and I tried to explain it to you.  That's all.  

Even within the Krishna consciousness movement, a lot of people have problems following the regulative principles.  One of my best friends online is a hare krishna that got pregnant before marriage.  It's a bit different from some of the other religions.  We believe that Krishna consciousness is a progressive thing.  It takes time.  You don't start following the regulative principles overnight.  If you repress yourself out of guilt, that is worse than going ahead and doing the thing to start with, because it builds up pressure internally and sooner or later you explode.  

I know it's a slippery slope replying to all these queries because, by giving the answers, people think I am passing judgement or holding them up to my standards.  That isn't the case.  You are a reasoning and thinking individual, the same as I am.  If I come to a conclusion, it doesn't mean you automatically have to agree with me.  You have a brain too.

I don't think less of you for not believing.  One of the people I think most highly of...and I got her to read my article before I submitted it to get her thoughts, is atheist.  I don't try to convert her and I'm not trying to convert you.  God gave us free will.  It's not up to his followers to take that free will away.

I wrote this article to explain who we are....not to say "Ok, this is the way it is and you should start acting accordingly".  I don't agree with that viewpoint at all and I think that's the reason a lot of people show hostility towards religion or religions other than theirs.  They're sick of someone trying to shove the religion of the day down their throat.  

I thought people would enjoy being exposed to information they probably wouldn't run across otherwise and from the looks of things, I was right. This article has generated a lot of discussion and I'm happy for that.  Nothing else has to happen for me to consider it a success.  People read it and took time out of their day to post their thoughts.  

[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 3) (#171)
by fauxpas on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 10:49:55 AM EST

I haven't signed in over a year, but I wanted to let you know that some of us lurkers greatly enjoy reading your explanations and interpretations. Don't be discouraged by zealots and narrowminds. Thanks for improving the signal/noise ratio !

[ Parent ]
RE: Thanks (none / 0) (#205)
by tannhaus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:45:40 PM EST

Thank you for your support.  I expected I would run into some intolerance when I posted it.  Some people love to hate and look for any excuse to do so.  However, I've had more people that have been tolerant and respectful.  That makes me feel good.

[ Parent ]
Same Here (none / 0) (#249)
by bugmaster on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 03:27:58 AM EST

Yeah, when I attack the Hare Krishna, I am attacking the religion, not you personally :-) Great article, I liked it very much.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
RE: Same Here (none / 0) (#272)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 01:49:28 PM EST

Well, like I said before, I really like your questions.  You've been very respectful and tolerant.  That's the whole idea behind this article.  I didn't expect mass conversions to Krishna consciousness.  I didn't expect a single conversion to Krishna consciousness if you want to know the truth.  But, I expected it to answer the question of who we are, to an extent.  

It's generated a lot more discussion than I thought it would, and even though I suck at explaining some of these things...and am not qualified to explain other things, I think that generally we've had a good discussion and the article fulfilled its original purpose.  So, all is good.

[ Parent ]

Mythos (none / 0) (#248)
by bugmaster on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 03:26:51 AM EST

Hey, that's pretty interesting -- I've heard these names before, but I can't recall what happened during the battle, who Arjuna was, or what it all was about. I should go back and read up on the Eastern mythology.

Anyway, did Krishna actually justify why he won't eat meat (and, therefore, why it's impossible to purify meat through him) ? Or did he just decree it and move on ? I mean, I realize that he's a god and thus doesn't need to explain himself to us, but it's still curious.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

Bullshit. (none / 2) (#141)
by Danzig on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:24:32 PM EST

Any religion that does not let you use any drugs is obviously bullshit. Also, I seem to recall that you guys are the ones that outlaw non-reproductive sex.

More importantly, why the hell would I want to leave the material world? Life is fun.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
RE: Bullshit (none / 0) (#149)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:26:36 PM EST

Non-reproductive sex isn't "outlawed".  As I stated in another comment, one of my closest friends online is a hare krishna that got pregnant before marriage.  It is one of the four regulative principles, but following the four regulative principles is a process.  You aren't meant to immediately give up everything all at once.

[ Parent ]
RE: RE: Bullshit (none / 1) (#151)
by Danzig on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:20:34 AM EST

Wait, so I can be at the highest level or whatever you call it and do nothing but have wild jungle sex with my wife? Really? If not then you are just making excuses. How you treat those who fall short of the commandments has nothing to do with what the commandments actually are.

I notice you said nothing about the drugs. Can I be at the highest level if I do nothing but large amounts of opioids, cannabis, and psychedelics?

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
RE: Bullshit (none / 0) (#157)
by tannhaus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:28:32 AM EST

No, you wouldn't be "at the highest level" if you were violating the four regulative principles.  Those principles are 1. no meat eating 2. no illicit sex 3. no intoxication (includes drugs) 4. no gambling.

If you violate those principles you are not "at the highest level".  But, you progress at your own pace.  


[ Parent ]

I thought not. (none / 3) (#158)
by Danzig on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:42:31 AM EST

So we come back to my original point, which is that any religion that doesn't let you do drugs is bullshit.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
Drugs and spiritual advancement (none / 0) (#303)
by tannhaus on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 02:45:49 PM EST

If drugs were the path of spiritual advancement then crackheads would be saints.  The fact is, certain drugs may alter your perception.  But that, in and of itself, does not cause spiritual enlightenment.  I've met many people in my life that had been using LSD and marijuana for years.  They are no more spiritually insightful than anyone else.  They just think they are.  

That is just another reason to keep doing the drugs.  There are spiritual practices, such as meditation, that can alter your perception.  They don't require you to break the law or introduce another pollutant into your body.  True enlightenment is when the drug user says "Wow, this is illegal.  If I get caught with this drug, I could be arrested.  A drug arrest on my record could very well ruin my life.  I should lay it down."


[ Parent ]

Well that's their problem. (none / 0) (#334)
by Danzig on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 07:13:31 PM EST

Where did I say anything about using drugs for enlightenment? That is a horrible reason to use drugs. You use drugs for fun, everyone knows that. If a religion forbids using drugs for fun, then it is bullshit.

Enlightenment sounds boring.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
The sex life of the observant brahmanas? (none / 0) (#297)
by geoswan on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 01:32:08 PM EST

Danzig asked you:

Wait, so I can be at the highest level or whatever you call it and do nothing but have wild jungle sex with my wife?

I found your answer equivocal. Isn't it true that you believe non-reproductive sex also ties one to the material realm? Isn't it true that the process of evolving your consciousness requires abandoning the enjoyment of sexuality?

If so, doesn't your answer fall short of the kind of honesty one expects of a spiritual man?

I am with Danzig on this one. Some spiritual people see a full exploration of our sexual nature as a kind of communion. They see it as a spiritual act.

If your movement does not concur, you should clearly say so, here and now.

[ Parent ]

RE: sex life (none / 0) (#300)
by tannhaus on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 01:47:49 PM EST

I have been honest.  We believe there are four regulative principles that you should follow.  If you do not, you will hinder your spiritual progress.  These four regulative principles are:
  1. no intoxication
  2. no meat eating
  3. no illicit sex
  4. no gambling
BUT, as I have stated: giving up these four things is a process.  No one expects you to do it all at once.  I spent one year at the temple before I gave up cigarettes...which is a form of intoxication. Like I said before, my friend who is a hare krishna, got pregnant before marriage.

Whereas the advanced devotees do not do these things, everyone progresses at their own pace.  It is our belief that if you keep chanting and keep trying to serve God then eventually you will give up these four things...and be able to give up those four things without repressing yourself.  If you repress yourself then giving it up was useless.  As a matter of fact, it could be detrimental because you would think more about those things.

This was not a simple yes or no question. Recently I had a discussion about non-reproductive sex in marriage.  The way it was explained to me is that the newly married couple might engage in sex quite often, but as you progress you are meant to slowly give it up.  It's not an all or none process.  We are humans.  We have to make progress.  

99.9% of the people out there could not give up these four things without repressing themselves.  Srila Prabhupada called it "monkey renunciation".  The monkeys are vegetarians.  They don't own anything...not even a house.  They live in the forest like some renunciants do.  But, are the monkeys renunciants?  No.  The how and why of not doing it matters as much or more than the fact you're not doing it.

[ Parent ]

Sounds simple to me! You are meant to give up sex (none / 0) (#314)
by geoswan on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 10:51:16 AM EST

As you progress you are meant to give up sex? That sounds very simple to me!

This was not a simple yes or no question. Recently I had a discussion about non-reproductive sex in marriage. The way it was explained to me is that the newly married couple might engage in sex quite often, but as you progress you are meant to slowly give it up.


[ Parent ]
decline and rigidity (none / 0) (#106)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:00:50 PM EST

If your quality of work is not what it should be...then yes, you find yourself in another line of work

Isn't this what caused the rigidity of caste in India and the gradual decline of the country? Why should the brahmana be able to decide who belongs in which class?



[ Parent ]

RE: decline and rigidity (none / 0) (#125)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:18:10 PM EST

Well, based on the vedas and the standards in them, the brahmanas would be able to interpret if another brahmana is adhering to the standards.  As far as the lower classes, I'll be honest and say I'm not exactly sure WHO would decide then...because the ksatriyas are the administrators.  So, I'm not really sure who would decide for the other classes.  

I think the gradual decline of the country was because they corrupted vedic society and strayed from the vedas.  Of course, you can see this happen in other forms of government as well.  The difficulty is really keeping people true to the form of government....whatever it may be.

As far as the rigidity of the class system, I think ego had a lot to do with that.  As people strayed from the vedas they wanted to cement their position and the position of their family within society.  So, they created the caste system..which was a perversion of the divisions of work Krishna laid out...so they would be assured their children held the same social standing.  

But, under the vedic system birth doesn't mean anything...it's YOUR aptitude and abilities that count.  Plus, since every class is necessary, you don't have this class looking down on that class.   They are all part of the body...and every part of the body is necessary.

[ Parent ]

vedic societies (none / 1) (#129)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:40:36 PM EST

Are there any vedic societies on Earth? Not closed communities. Open societies with a vedic government. I would accept even a small town.

[ Parent ]
RE: vedic societies (none / 0) (#132)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 08:04:56 PM EST

Not anymore.  There are the communities... and Mayapur is largely Hare Krishna...but still, the answer to what you're saying is no.  There is no government that I am aware of that is vedic.  In this age it would be really hard to create such a government because the individuals are not at the level to run and maintain such a government. The communities are designed to be examples of vedic society and are actually what we would prefer...rather than these huge cities.  Of course, like I've said before, doing something like this on a large scale would take hundreds if not thousands of years to bring about.  It would be the ideal, but perhaps won't happen in this age on a large scale.


[ Parent ]
Mayapur (none / 0) (#134)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 09:01:12 PM EST

If Mayapur is largely Hare Krishna, are there any vedic politicians in the government?

[ Parent ]
RE: Mayapur (none / 0) (#148)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:24:15 PM EST

I don't know of any individuals for certain, but I would have to say definately.  One of those gurus in the disciplic succession that Prabhupada descends from was a government official.  If you want to google him his name was Bhaktivinoda (or Bhaktivinode) Thakur.  

You have to remember though, there are three main branches of "hinduism" and vaisnavism is one.  Gaudiya vaisnavism is a smaller sect of that, but still large.  Mayapur is visited by over one million people a year because it is the birthplace of Sri Caitanya.  So, there are most likely Gaudiya vaisnavas holding office all throughout the region....especially since the region of Bengal is predominately Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

[ Parent ]

Different translation of the Vedas, Gita (none / 0) (#299)
by geoswan on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 01:40:36 PM EST

Tannhaus, did you ever try reading a version of the Bhagavad Gita other than the ones translated by your gurus?

I decided to try to read the Bhagavad Gita when I was a teenager. I didn't read your guru's version. I read a copy my high school teacher loaned me. I didn't find any of the principles you and your guru expound at all.

Here is my challenge. Read some other translations. Then, play detective, figure out why they differ.

[ Parent ]

RE: Different translations (none / 0) (#302)
by tannhaus on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 02:31:11 PM EST

I know why they differ...and that's the whole reason Srila Prabhupada spent the time in translating this version....and that is why he named the translation Bhagavad Gita "As it Is".  This issue of many different translations is actually addressed in the introduction.  You can read it at this location.  

You can find a list of reviews from professors and others here

[ Parent ]

In other words, you HAVEN'T read other versions? (none / 0) (#316)
by geoswan on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 11:59:21 AM EST

I know why they differ...and that's the whole reason Srila Prabhupada spent the time in translating this version...

Unless you say otherwise I am going to assume that you have NOT shown the independence of mind to read anything about the central work of your faith that has not been translated, and yes, interpreted by your guru.

[ Parent ]

RE: haven't read the other versions (none / 0) (#323)
by tannhaus on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 03:58:03 PM EST

No, I haven't read ALL the other versions.  My first contact with the Bhagavad Gita, though, was when I had first come to New Orleans.  I lived 3 blocks away from a library and just picked it up out of curiousity.  I do not remember who it was by, but it was heavily illustrated.  I read it and found it interesting enough to finish, but really didn't find it interesting enough to follow up on.

It was years later that I saw the hare krishnas again and came across Srila Prabhupada's translation.  If you check out the sanksrit and the word for word translation, that is what the bhagavad gita says.  The purport is his interpretation and comments.  

[ Parent ]

Is their value in learning to think for yourself? (none / 0) (#317)
by geoswan on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 01:14:50 PM EST

I know why they differ...and that's the whole reason Srila Prabhupada spent the time in translating this version....and that is why he named the translation Bhagavad Gita "As it Is". This issue of many different translations is actually addressed in the introduction. You can read it at this location.

You can find a list of reviews from professors and others here.

Your guru claims his translation adds none of his own interpretations? What he claims to do is just not possible. It is inherent in the nature of language that all translation requires the exercise of judgement and interpretation.

Consider the story of Papillon. It was very popular when it was published in English. Readers were deeply affected by this book. And the real reason they were so affected is that it was translated into English by a gifted writer. Patrick OBrian translated Papillon.

In my limited exposure to your guy, he is a terrible writer. Unfortunately, as the popularity of L. Ron Hubbard's last novel shows, literary quality is not required of spiritual leaders.

Why should we trust your judgement, when you are showing such poor judgement? If you were buying a car, you would not just trust the salesman, and his sales brochures. You would ask around, you would look for independent reviews. If you were buying a house you would do a title search, you would hire an independent inspector. Here you are, about to make an even bigger commitment, commit your whole life, and yet you haven't done your homework.

I went to your guru's introduction. May I paraphrase it? Doesn't your guru say: "ignore all translations. Every other translator has added his interpretation. Mine is the only translation that gives you access to what God really said. You can trust me."

However, what does the very first review in your list of reviews say?

"...The Swami does a real service for students by investing the beloved Indian epic with fresh meaning..."

So Dr Geddes McGregor endorsement of your guru's translation completely contradicts the reason you are telling me I should trust it.

The second "review" talks about the Gita, and not your guy's translation. So this is an endorsement of his translation how?

I am sure you have come across late-night infomercials for guys like Tony Robbins. They lead off with selected, out of context, clips from famous people, that imply they owe all their success to Robbins. Your list of selected, out of context quotations, that you call "reviews", serves the same dis-honest purpose as the quotations Tony Robbins uses.

This list of "reviews" is deeply inadequate.

* When were these endorsements made?
* Why can't the reader link to the articles in question? Or failing that, why aren't the sources cited?
* Why isn't there a link to biographical material about the reviewers.

[ Parent ]

RE: Learning to think for yourself (none / 0) (#324)
by tannhaus on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 04:17:16 PM EST

The layout of this translation of the Bhagavad Gita is as such:

sanskrit
word for word translation
the verse all together
and then purport

The word for word translation of the sanskrit and putting the verse together require some skill and a bit of judgement, so he made that transparent and let you see exactly what he did.

The purport is solely his interpretation.  He did not try to pseudo translate the verse to gain a different meaning.  He translated it word for word.  Then he added his interpretation separately.  His interpretation lines up with that of the guru parampara..the disciplic succession.  But, he never tried to say "Well, Krishna is symbolic of.."  He took the Bhagavad Gita as it is...for what it says.  This is a very literal interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita.
 

[ Parent ]

Well... (2.90 / 20) (#78)
by BJH on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:09:59 AM EST

Any problems with me being in two or three classes at a time?

Yeah, multi-class characters advance at a slower rate than single-class characters, as your XP are spread evenly across each class.

--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

Hurray! (none / 1) (#122)
by waxmop on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:41:17 PM EST

That's so funny that you should start your own cult.
--
The threat of losing all of your shiny possessions is what keeps us slaves to the machine. --Parent ]
"My Sweet Lord," George Harrison (1.04 / 21) (#72)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:57:41 AM EST

My sweet lord
Hm, my lord
Hm, my lord

I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you lord
But it takes so long, my lord

My sweet lord
Hm, my lord
Hm, my lord

I really want to know you
Really want to go with you
Really want to show you lord
That it won't take long, my lord (hallelujah)

My sweet lord (hallelujah)
Hm, my lord (hallelujah)
My sweet lord (hallelujah)

I really want to see you
Really want to see you
Really want to see you, lord
Really want to see you, lord
But it takes so long, my lord (hallelujah)

My sweet lord (hallelujah)
Hm, my lord (hallelujah)
My, my, my lord (hallelujah)

I really want to know you (hallelujah)
Really want to go with you (hallelujah)
Really want to show you lord (aaah)
That it won't take long, my lord (hallelujah)

Hmm (hallelujah)
My sweet lord (hallelujah)
My, my, lord (hallelujah)

Hm, my lord (hare krishna)
My, my, my lord (hare krishna)
Oh hm, my sweet lord (krishna, krishna)
Oh-uuh-uh (hare hare)

Now, I really want to see you (hare rama)
Really want to be with you (hare rama)
Really want to see you lord (aaah)
But it takes so long, my lord (hallelujah)

Hm, my lord (hallelujah)
My, my, my lord (hare krishna)
My sweet lord (hare krishna)
My sweet lord (krishna krishna)
My lord (hare hare)
Hm, hm (gurur brahma)
Hm, hm (gurur vishnu)
Hm, hm (gurur devo)
Hm, hm (maheshwara)
My sweet lord (gurur sakshaat)
My sweet lord (parabrahma)
My, my, my lord (tasmayi shree)
My, my, my, my lord (guruve mamah)
My sweet lord (hare rama)

(Hare krishna)
My sweet lord (hare krishna)
My sweet lord (krishna krishna)
My lord (hare hare)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

"He's so Fine", Chiffons (none / 0) (#254)
by Meatbomb on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 05:49:51 AM EST

(Do-lang, do-lang, do-lang)
(Do-lang, do-lang)

He´s so fine
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
Wish he were mine
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
That handsome boy overthere
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
The one with the wavy hair
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
I don´t know how I´m gonna do it
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
But I´m gonna make him mine
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
He´s the envy of all the girls
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
It´s just a matter of time
(Do-lang-do-lang)

He´s a soft spoken guy
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
Also seems kinda shy
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
Makes me wonder if I
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
Should even give him a try
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
But then I know he can´t shy
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
He can´t shy away forever
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
And I´m gonna make him mine
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
If it takes me forever
(Do-lang-do-lang)

He´s so fine
(Oh yeah)
Gotta be mine
(Oh yeah)
Sooner or later
(Oh yeah)
I hope it´s not later
(Oh yeah)
We gotta get together
(Oh yeah)
The sooner the better
(Oh yeah)
I just can´t wait, I just can´t wait
To be held in his arms

If I were a queen
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
And he asked me to leave my throne
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
I´ll do anything that he asked
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
Anything to make him my own
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
For he´s so fine
(So fine) so fine
(So fine) he´s so fine
(So fine) so fine
(So fine) he´s so fine

FADES-

(So fine) oh yeah
(He´s so fine) he´s so fine
(So fine) uh-huh
(He´s so fine)
He´s so fine.....



_______________

Good News for Liberal Democracy!

[ Parent ]

oh no (none / 0) (#319)
by anonymous cowerd on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 02:17:32 PM EST

oh no
I don't believe it
you say that you think you know
the meaning of love
you say love is all we need
you say
with your love you can change
all of the fools
all of the hate
I think you're probably out to lunch

oh no
I don't believe it
you say that you think you know
the meaning of love
do you really think it can be told
you say that you really know
I think you should check it again
how can you say
what you believe
will be the key to a world of love

all your love
will it save me
all your love
will it save the world
from what we can't understand

oh no
I don't believe it

and in your dreams
you can see yourself
as a prophet saving the world
the words from your lips
I just can't believe you are such
a fool

- FZ

"This calm way of flying will suit Japan well," said Zeppelin's granddaughter, Elisabeth Veil.
[ Parent ]

happy clappier than thou (none / 0) (#360)
by jos on Fri Aug 06, 2004 at 08:00:29 AM EST

x5
Ma-ia-hii
Ma-ia-huu
Ma-ia-hoo
Ma-ia-haa

Alo, Salut, sunt eu, un haiduc,
Si te rog, iubirea mea, primeste fericirea.
Alo, alo, sunt eu Picasso,
Ti-am dat beep, si sunt voinic,
Dar sa stii nu-ti cer nimic.

Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei,
Nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma, nu ma iei.
Chipul tau si dragostea din tei,
Mi-amintesc de ochii tai.

Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei,
Nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma, nu ma iei.
Chipul tau si dragostea din tei,
Mi-amintesc de ochii tai.

Te sun, sa-ti spun, ce simt acum,
Alo, iubirea mea, sunt eu, fericirea.
Alo, alo, sunt iarasi eu, Picasso,
Ti-am dat beep, si sunt voinic,
Dar sa stii nu-ti cer nimic.

Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei,
Nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma, nu ma iei.
Chipul tau si dragostea din tei,
Mi-amintesc de ochii tai.

Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei,
Nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma, nu ma iei.
Chipul tau si dragostea din tei,
Mi-amintesc de ochii tai.

x4
Ma-ia-hii
Ma-ia-huu
Ma-ia-hoo
Ma-ia-haa

Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei,
Nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma, nu ma iei.
Chipul tau si dragostea din tei,
Mi-amintesc de ochii tai.

Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei,
Nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma, nu ma iei.
Chipul tau si dragostea din tei,
Mi-amintesc de ochii tai.

[ Parent ]

Rusty opened up new membership... (1.88 / 17) (#82)
by waxmop on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 09:11:49 AM EST

...and all we got was a bunch of cult astroturfs. I was surprised the universism piece made it (with a score of 21!), but if this story makes it I'm sending email to John Ashcroft asking him to pray for our souls. If this site is doomed to become a salad bar of pseudo-religious gibberish, then at least let's get some selections from across the spectrum.

To the author: at least acknowledge the existence of critics of Hare Krishnas in the article.
--
The threat of losing all of your shiny possessions is what keeps us slaves to the machine. --

Hey, it beats (2.60 / 5) (#83)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 09:43:30 AM EST

the 1,000,001st story saying "Bush sux".
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Bush does suck. (none / 1) (#166)
by SanSeveroPrince on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 09:11:37 AM EST

What I find absolutely fascinating is that he's sucked more in his years of presidency than all the Vivid girls in their combined carreers.

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
I agree (2.75 / 4) (#107)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:01:21 PM EST

If a Scientology astroturf gets posted next, I'll probably leave the site.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
not all bad (none / 2) (#138)
by cronian on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 09:22:42 PM EST

Periodically, it is good to find out what crap the cult leaders are peddling. There are reasons why certain religious franchises are successful while others fail. I think it can help provide insight into understanding of other francises's marketing, like fast food chains.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Not necessary (none / 3) (#140)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:19:03 PM EST

My article on Buddhism didn't include criticism, jjayson's article on Zen Meditation didn't include criticism, kpaul's article on Eschatology didn't include criticism. See a pattern developing here?

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
There's lots of differences. (none / 2) (#146)
by waxmop on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:12:45 PM EST

Remember the "how to eat a goat's head" story? If that same story were posted by some new account name that just so happens to have a stake in the goat head industry, wouldn't you have felt differently about it?

The stories you mention were authored by people that were already active on the site. Perhaps this is more subjective, but those stories didn't seem to suggest that their religion/philosophy/meditation was the one true solution. This piece feels like a recruiting pitch.
--
The threat of losing all of your shiny possessions is what keeps us slaves to the machine. --Parent ]

My feelings as well n/t (none / 1) (#196)
by thankyougustad on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:11:48 PM EST



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Did you read my diary entry on this? (none / 0) (#152)
by richarj on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:24:08 AM EST

Church of the Long Duck

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
What the hell, dude... (none / 2) (#181)
by awgsilyari on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:19:40 PM EST

We all vote on the articles. Who exactly are you blaming here?

As for being pseudo-religious, can you tell me what makes one belief system pseudo-religious, and another, uh, real-religious?

at least acknowledge the existence of critics of Hare Krishnas in the article.

I think the discussion attached to the article has sufficiently acknowledged those criticisms. Why place so much responsiblity on the author? Why do you think we have discussions on articles?

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

Ok. (none / 1) (#187)
by waxmop on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:45:13 PM EST

Pseudo-religious: Deepak Choprah, Miss Cleo, L. Ron Hubbard, Jimmy Swaggart. Religious: Osama Bin Laden, Mother Teresa, Ian Mckaye, John Ashcroft.

A lot of the pro-HK commenters and +1FP voters seem to be new accounts. Meanwhile, comments critical of HK are catching zeroes like pro-Bush creeds on Kos. Maybe that doesn't matter to you, in which case, shine on.
--
The threat of losing all of your shiny possessions is what keeps us slaves to the machine. --Parent ]

Meh (2.60 / 10) (#84)
by omiKron on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:10:17 AM EST

This has potential were it written by someone not associated with the krishnas. Where's the other side?

I was recently at a hippie festival where the krishnas showed up... the festival ran a vegan kitchen but the line-ups were long, and the krishnas were making flapjacks or some odd thing. Later on I heard that more than a few vegans ate the krishna cuisine without being informed there was butter in the mix... it had been the first time in years that some of these people had eaten animal products. In the context of the event it didn't occur to people to ask, but the krishnas should have known. They'd been going to this event for years and should have had a sign or told people. Aside from that they just seem to sing a lot and drive people a bit batty with songs that go on for hours. Friendly people though, don't get me wrong.

If we're going to be getting all these religious articles on K5 how about some write-ups on the endlessly amusing ones, like the Church of Euthenasia? or the ahh.. they're from Quebec... Reilists? something like that. Those nuts who are all about the UFOs... yeah. They really made an impression on me obviously, hahaha.
MUTATE & SURVIVE

Honestly (none / 1) (#85)
by GenerationY on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:22:48 AM EST

that is a really trivial thing to attack a system of faith over. I mean, c'mon. Other religions are having people slaughtered all over the planet as we speak, and have for thousands of years. And you are getting steamed up over a bit of butter and the inability of people to ask questions/read signs or whatever.

[ Parent ]
Not steamed (none / 0) (#87)
by omiKron on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:58:41 AM EST

Oh I'm hardly steamed up... I was probing my memory for some personal experience of 'the other side' of that bias found in this article here, and amusingly, that was the worst I came up with. I couldn't care less, really. If I were those vegans I think I'd have some righteous indignation, but no - I was just yabbin'.

MUTATE & SURVIVE
[ Parent ]
RE: Meh (none / 2) (#89)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:53:57 AM EST

This has potential were it written by someone not associated with the krishnas. Where's the other side?

I purposely wrote this as a neutral article.  Then, I purposely stated that I was affiliated with them so you would be able to take that into account as well.  Although I don't think the article is biased and is a neutral account, if it is biased, I gave you information on my association so you can decide for yourself.  That is as far as I can go to make it a decent article.

[ Parent ]

Alright, not so bad... and some questions (none / 1) (#278)
by omiKron on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:54:06 PM EST

I'm changing my opinion as this turns into a Krishna Q&A session and I see more information coming out in the discussion... Some random (perhaps useless) queries floating through my brainpan, that you may or may not wish to answer: - are there specifically Hare Krishna creation/apocalypse stories? - are there 'famous' Krishnas (people who may have been celebrities of some stature who took up the faith) excepting the aforementioned Ford relative? - was there ever a backlash as various 60s cults such as the moonies became vilified in the public eye? - does the soul eternal, after "disappearance" reside in any particular realm? - is there co-operation between Hare Krishnas and other faiths for humanitarian purposes?
MUTATE & SURVIVE
[ Parent ]
RE: some questions (none / 0) (#287)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 05:48:46 PM EST

Hare Krishna creation/apocalypse stories:

Yes, THIS is an illustrated explanation of creation.  As far as an apocalypse, the material world goes through cycles. The current age is an age of degeneration that will last for millions of years.  Then, the lord will manifest himself as a specific incarnation named Lord Kalki and the earth will start going into a phase of enlightenment.  This goes on and on.  Eventually the material world is destroyed.  But, it is created again after a period of time.  It's a constant cycle.  As long as there are souls that want to try and enjoy their lives apart from God, he will allow them to try.

Are there 'famous' Krishnas (people who may have been celebrities of some stature who took up the faith)

George Harrison of the Beatles did to some extent.  Although he never fully committed to it, he was responsible for the first printing of the "Krishna  Book" that told of the life of Krishna while he was on earth.  He also donated one of his houses named Bhaktivedanta Manor to the Hare Krishnas for their work in England.

Was there ever a backlash as various 60s cults such as the moonies became vilified in the public eye?

There still is.  At one point children, after hearing from their parents about how we're an evil brainwashing cult and Satanic, set fire to a barn we have at our local Krishna consciousness community called New Talavan.  The barn contained floats and other things for our festivals.  It caused $10,000 worth of damage.  We still haven't replaced all of these things...that's a great sum of money for us.  We serve 200 meals a day to different homeless shelters and orphanages every day in New Orleans.  Above all, giving food to the hungry takes precidence...even above repairing our temple and buying festival paraphenalia.

Does the soul eternal, after "disappearance" reside in any particular realm?

Yes.  Upon the death of the body, if the soul is still hungering after material enjoyment, it experiences reincarnation...not just on earth, but there are other material planets as well.  If the person was particularly good and moral, they could go to a spiritual planet.  There, even though they will eventually die again, they have a much nicer life...much longer...and with a lot more things to enjoy.  If the soul was completely attached to a form of God, however, that person goes to a spiritual planet where that form of God lives.  So, they are allowed to spend eternity with that form of God.  

However, life on that planet isn't just sitting around in a grassy field playing harps.  You have a life.  You have friends...you cook food...you associate with God.  You don't realize "Wow, I've been here 10,000 years".  You simply exist without suffering and in happiness.

Is there co-operation between Hare Krishnas and other faiths for humanitarian purposes?

Definately.  Since we believe all different religions actually worship the same God, just in different forms, we're all working towards the same goal.  So, not only do we work together for humanitarian reasons (such as Food for Life that I mentioned in the article, where up to 30% of the volunteers actually come from the communities we help in) but we also get together for interfaith discussions and work for tolerance and understanding.

You can find our Interfaith statement here where it talks about the importance of working with all followers of God, no matter what their religion.  If you read the pdf, you will find statements by many difference religious organizations in regards to our document.

In addition you can find an article about our attendance at the "World Parliament of Religions" here.  You can also see an article about our most recent dialogue with the vatican here.

A lot of this I got off the iskcon website in the news section, which you can find here.

[ Parent ]

butter in the mix (none / 3) (#90)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:00:39 PM EST

I was recently at a hippie festival where the krishnas showed up... the festival ran a vegan kitchen but the line-ups were long, and the krishnas were making flapjacks or some odd thing. Later on I heard that more than a few vegans ate the krishna cuisine without being informed there was butter in the mix

If you're speaking of a rainbow gathering, I met them at a rainbow gathering 10 years ago.  The Hare Krishnas have been going to rainbow gatherings for probably as long as they've existed.  The hare krishnas are known for their respect of the cow and their use of milk and ghee (a clarified butter) in their cooking.  Since this was a hippy festival and not a vegan festival, since the hare krishnas have been attending it forever themselves, and since it is known that we respect Mother Cow and use her products...I really think those people should have asked.  Everywhere else they buy food, they read the ingredients or ask.  This should have been no exception.

I'm not saying it's not unfortunate that these people violated their beliefs, because it is.  However, it's up to them to remain true to their beliefs and put forth the effort.  I am a vegetarian and I always ask.

[ Parent ]

alert! (none / 0) (#160)
by Norkakn on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:39:10 AM EST

Ah!, the Rainbow children are everywhere!!!!!

oh well, this is what I get for living in a co-op, I see rainbows everywhere, even K5.

[ Parent ]

Mother Cow ? (none / 0) (#270)
by bugmaster on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 01:25:17 PM EST

Ok, now I've just got to ask. Mother Cow ? What ? I thought Krishnas worshipped the omnipresent God, not cows... I mean, technically God is in the cows too, but clearly there's something else special about them from the Krishna perspective.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
RE: Mother Cow (none / 0) (#273)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:02:38 PM EST

Well, the vedas give us a list of our 8 mothers.  I don't have the full list available right now, but it includes: your birth mother, your spiritual leader's wife, earth itself, the cow, etc.  By spiritual leader there I mean anyone, like the temple president, that offers you spiritual guidance.

If you think about it, one of the things a mother does is gives us nourishing milk.  But, most of us aren't actually breastfed.  We get milk from a cow.  Even into adulthood we're being breastfed indirectly by a cow.  She's docile, she's loving (actually cows are...as much as any dog)..and she gives us her breastmilk for our nourishment.

So, we honor that cow as one of our mothers.  Prabhupada used to say that one of the most horrible things about modern civilization is that it has taught us how to kill our mother.  Men do not respect the cow and once she no longer gives milk, they kill and eat her.  THAT is an attrocity in our viewpoint.

[ Parent ]

What about trees ? (none / 0) (#276)
by bugmaster on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:35:38 PM EST

We get oxygen that we need to breathe from trees and other plants -- and throughout our entire lives, not just in childhood. Shouldn't we honor Mother Tree ? Come to think of it, shouldn't we honor baby formula factories as well, since many of us were fed baby formula (Similac etc.) in infancy ?

What I'm trying to say is that a mother provides a lot more than just nourishment; to me, equating a cow (that chews cud and swats flies all day) with human mothers seems a bit insulting. Are you sure that this is what the vedas say ?
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

RE: What about trees (none / 0) (#277)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:52:13 PM EST

Well, I personally think trees would fall under mother earth.  Oxygen is part of the earth's atmosphere.  The plants would fall under the category of mother earth too, since they are grown directly in her soil and would fall into the category of nourishment we get from the earth.

All the baby formulas are soy or milk based...so that goes back to the above.  

Your birth mother provides a lot for you, yes.  She nourishes you emotionally as well as physically.  Certainly I'm not saying all these mothers are equal.  Your spiritual leader's wife is nowhere the equal of your birth mother (for most).  But, all those mothers provide for your nourishment in different ways.

If you look at Websters, one of the definitions given for mother is:

 2. That which has produced or nurtured anything; source of birth or origin; generatrix.

So, even though those mothers do not produce us, they nurture us in different ways.

[ Parent ]

Eeergh (none / 0) (#279)
by bugmaster on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 03:14:24 PM EST

All the baby formulas are soy or milk based...so that goes back to the above.
Well, by analogy, all cow milk is grass-based. Yet the Krishnas worship cows and not the grass. It just seems weird to me. Hmm, come to think of it, sheep and goats give milk too -- and, in some countries where cows can't prosper, goat milk is the staple of the diet. Should we worship goats too ? It still doesn't make sense to me.

2. That which has produced or nurtured anything; source of birth or origin; generatrix.
Eeergh ! I don't think many people think of their mother as "the generatrix". The word "mother" has all kinds of warm fuzzy emotions associated with it, whereas "generatrix" evokes visions of some sort of a cyberpsionic entity built by the Ordos, or maybe an Ikaruga end stage boss. *shiver*
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
Cows? (none / 0) (#289)
by pod on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 08:51:34 PM EST

She's docile, she's loving (actually cows are...as much as any dog).

Err, cows are dumber than rocks, and comparing them to dogs is insulting, for the dogs that is. Been around cows much?

[ Parent ]

RE: Cows? (none / 0) (#290)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 09:52:20 PM EST

Yes, actually we have over 100 cows at our krishna consciousness community near here..not to mention growing up with cow farms within walking distance.... cows are really not dumb at all.  But, I was equating the cow being loving to the dog...I said nothing about intelligence.

[ Parent ]
raelians /nt (none / 1) (#113)
by Teuthida on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 04:06:17 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Other side? (none / 0) (#257)
by irrevenant on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 08:01:06 AM EST

"This has potential were it written by someone not associated with the krishnas. Where's the other side?"

Why do we need an "other side"?  The article makes no pretence of being objective - it's clearly an "insider's view of" piece.

I don't see anything wrong with that, so long as it doesn't _pretend_ to be an objective piece.  If someone wants to write about the other side, they're free to.

[ Parent ]

Mmmmmmmmm, butter. [nt] (none / 0) (#261)
by CodeWright on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 09:22:22 AM EST



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
+1FP barmy cultists (1.14 / 14) (#100)
by RandomLiegh on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:07:38 PM EST



---
Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
---
-1, low entertainment value (1.11 / 9) (#114)
by Dont Fear The Reaper on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 04:26:03 PM EST



I saw one of these guys on my college campus (2.80 / 10) (#119)
by Insoc on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:03:03 PM EST

I was by the Student Union. Apparently he really wanted to give me the book, but he needed a donation, so I handed him a dollar, and he complained about having to cover publishing costs. I asked for my dollar back, he just gave me a smaller book and I went on my way. In a way, it was more aggravating than the Christian fundies that set up shop on campus, as at least they don't make you pay for their little Bibles or even take them.

I've had this as well (none / 1) (#121)
by GenerationY on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:22:53 PM EST

also he initially represented himself as collecting for charity, which isn't true (strictly speaking it is, but I didn't think it very fair at the time). This was all a long time ago when I wasn't as confident or aware as I am now (which probably still isn't saying much but bleh...)

[ Parent ]
Libertarians (none / 0) (#188)
by rho on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:45:19 PM EST

This was my first experience with Libertarians as well. I enjoyed talking to the guy, he had lots of interesting literature, and I picked out several. As I was about to bike away, he mentioned that it would cost me $7 or so for that literature. I continued to talk to him about various things, surreptitiously sliding my selected tracts back onto the table under the guise of using my hands to gesticulate emphatically--and then I pretended I was late for something and pedalled away.

I felt kind of bad because I had really mangled the stuff I had picked up--rolling 'em up in my hands and such. But hell, he was trying to sell a political philosophy. Who knew I would have to pay for my education? (Those crazy Libertarians!)
"The thought of two thousand people munching celery at the same time [horrifies] me." --G.B. Shaw
[ Parent ]

I'm back! (1.57 / 14) (#123)
by Zombie Srila Prabhupada on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:10:03 PM EST

Word up: I'm here to set the record straight: I started the Hare Krishna Mindfuck Church for one simple delicious reason: poon is even better when it's brainwashed. If roofies would have hit sooner, I wouldn't have wasted my time hijacking a real religion to peddle to dropout yuppies.

This sock puppet account would be a lot more successful in the hands of some real trolls. I'm just a troll groupie. Please reply to this if you want the password.

My experience with Hare Krishnas (2.42 / 14) (#130)
by Danzig on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:52:04 PM EST

I am walking along campus. This weird bald guy accosts me, and asks me if I want to learn about Krishna or some shit. He says he is a monk. I say no thank you or some other phrase that was way more polite than he deserved. He asks me if I want to buy a book. Sorry buddy, the hellfire and brimstone preachers give out Bibles for free. I say no. He then asks me for a fucking donation.

That is a load of shit. I am not interested in learning myself; why the hell should I help you waste more people's time?

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
Now now.. (none / 1) (#178)
by awgsilyari on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:09:29 PM EST

I don't know what city that happened in, but around here, when I encounter a Hare Krishna, I usually take a few minutes to chat with them, and tell them I have no money to donate at the moment.

Usually, they'll give me the damn book for free. I've nearly filled an entire shelf with various tomes by now. I even read some of them.

I would take the religion far more seriously if it was not so focused on gods, goddesses, and fairy tales about the creation of the world. There's definitely something mysterious about the world, and these people have some very interesting ideas and yes, even insights into it, but it's all clouded by mystical jibber-jabber and fables rooted in an obsolete culture. Not unlike the Christian Bible, come to think of it, which has some very good points but is generally polluted by  too much stone-age superstition.

I'm far more influenced by Zen Buddhism and Taoism, as practiced by their more enlightened members, because they don't strain themselves trying to fable away every little mystery of the universe. However, I still respect the members of Krishna Consciousness for standing on the sidewalk and taking crap from strangers all day while trying, honestly in my opinion, to make some kind of positive difference in people's lives. That's why I give them a few moments of my time.

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

I was handed a book and asked for a donation... (none / 2) (#221)
by clambake on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 06:39:27 PM EST

I donated the book.

[ Parent ]
+1 FP. (2.20 / 5) (#133)
by gr3y on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 08:11:59 PM EST

Great. Now if only someone would write an article about the Erisians or the Church of Satan.

Too bad the "Long Nothing Heresy" was voted down.

I am a disruptive technology.

I would be satisfied if it were the raeleans (none / 0) (#136)
by lukme on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 09:11:13 PM EST




-----------------------------------
It's awfully hard to fly with eagles when you're a turkey.
[ Parent ]
Yep. (none / 1) (#139)
by gr3y on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 09:37:43 PM EST

Lots of weird religions, sects, and cults out there: Raelians, Church of Satan, Temple of Set, OTO, Scientology, the Brethren, Children of God, Branch Davidians, etc.

A brief, concise, and honest history of any of them would make a good article. No theology, no belief systems (unless it's a geek religion, like Jedi, Cthulu, or Darwin because geeks can generally discuss things in reason) just history.

Lots of interesting history on the dark side...

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

RE: Yep (none / 2) (#147)
by tannhaus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:17:02 PM EST

If you honestly think that would be a good idea, I can ask one of my friends if she's willing.. she's OTO.  I can't promise she'd be willing...but if you sincerely want to see that, I'll ask her.

[ Parent ]
I sure do! (none / 0) (#150)
by gr3y on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:40:39 PM EST

I know there's a dark side, but most of these rubes don't because they haven't been paying attention or haven't witnessed temptation.

Following the "church of the long now" article, I will vote up any brief, concise, and honest history of any religion, sect, or cult.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#262)
by CodeWright on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 09:25:28 AM EST

Please ask her.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Pro-Feudalism Cult (2.69 / 13) (#137)
by cronian on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 09:16:35 PM EST

Srila Prabhupada was intent ... upon injecting the class of brahmana into western society. If the priesthood was alive and operating within western society then by their actions and dissemination of knowledge they could help lay the groundwork to introduce the other classes into western society as well.
So in other words, he was trying to destroy democracy, and replace it with caste system. I presume this guy didn't believe in class mobility.

America really doesn't need another religion to justify elite rule. I'm not sure Hare Krishna's have come up some theology to justify all this crap.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
When I amapproached by a Krishnan: (1.85 / 14) (#154)
by it certainly is on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 01:26:37 AM EST

Sure thing, pal. I'll say "Gouranga" if you'll say "Jesus is Lord". How about that? Yes? Will you say it? Say it with me, "Jesus is Lord". It's not that hard. Do you know what it means? It means that Jesus is the Son of God, ad Jesus died for our sins. Here, have this flower, and let Jesus fill your heart.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

RE: Gouranga (none / 0) (#203)
by tannhaus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:38:12 PM EST

Those people that chant Gouranga are an offshoot of ISKCON.  I don't know much about them other than that, but I thought I'd point out that they're not us.  Although ISKCON was the West's introduction to Gaudiya Vaisnavism, we're not the only ones out there.  

As far as Jesus being Lord, many Hare Krishnas would agree with you.  They believe Jesus was empowered by God and was a very holy person.

[ Parent ]

Try again (none / 0) (#247)
by bugmaster on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 03:20:40 AM EST

Point taken about ISKCON vs Hare Krishna in general. However, I think you missed his point about Jesus. Christians do not merely believe that Jesus was empowered by the Universal Spirit or whatever; they believed that he was God himself, in the flesh. They also have a fairly complex heaven/earth/limbo/hell cosmology which will probably take weeks to explain. So... do you accept Jesus as your personal savior ? If not, why not ?

Inicidentally, I personally think that Christians ripped off their Jesus from the original Hindu religion, or some offshoot thereof; Jesus is very similar to an avatar of the God, sort of like the form of Shivah is an avatar of, well, Shivah. Christianity makes a lot more sense when seen that way... But that's just my offtopic guess, though.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

Mysticism-seeking K5ers! (2.09 / 11) (#155)
by it certainly is on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 01:31:30 AM EST

I'm sure you're looking for a new source of spirituality now that Wiccanism doesn't scare your parents any more. Well, look no further than Sredni Vashtar. Vashtarinism is a bona-fide Eastern Idol-Worshipping Cult straight from the shores of India! Be sure and tell all your friends about how you are a Vashtarian. All praise Sredni Vashtar the Beautiful!

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

Vashrar, bah (none / 0) (#172)
by bugmaster on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:00:23 AM EST

Idol-worship ? Bah ! Christians do it every day, who cares. I say, go all the way man. Voodoo is where it's at. A Loa a day keeps the parents enraged.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
"Doesn't scare your parents"? (none / 0) (#223)
by Elendale on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 07:07:53 PM EST

Look no further than the worship of Loki, Norse God of chaos (mostly), lies (not really), and male pregnancy (lots of this)! Loki encourages you to stay up late, skip work (or school, i guess), and eat with your hands. Loki also encourages lots of sex, eating people's hearts to steal their magical powers, gender bending, and the total undermining of authority by sometimes being indespensible and sometimes killing (or not killing, depending on who you ask) one or more of the other gods in your pantheon. In short: Hare Loki, hare Loki!
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Portfolio (none / 0) (#246)
by bugmaster on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 03:15:56 AM EST

You forgot the most important item in Loki's portfolio: FIRE. Fire ! Fire fire fire !! If you're not setting things on fire, you're not worhipping Loki properly. In conclusion: FIRE !!!
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
Well, there're some questions on that one... (none / 1) (#253)
by Elendale on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 05:23:46 AM EST

Primarily in that the Loki = fire deity seems to be a mis-reading of his name (which is very close to "logi", which is fire). There is one big issue with this in that he, at one point, loses an eating contest to (literally) fire. While he was a voracious eater and could match the fire as far as speed the fire also ate the plates, tables, and everything else.

But then again: by the law of belief = power there's no problem with his being a fire deity!
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Typical K5ers (2.16 / 12) (#159)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:04:45 AM EST

See anything slightly religious or spiritual, and bash it shitless without even looking into it with an open mind.

Then complain about how closed minded and zealous religious people are. What a bunch of hypocrites.

I've read quite a bit about Buddhism and Hare Krishnas, and there are a lot of interesting ideas in their thoughts that are not even religious.

I do not mindlessly bash religions. (none / 2) (#162)
by Danzig on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 05:22:51 AM EST

I mindlessly bash stupidity, and any religion that 1) asks you to buy their holy book before you are a member and 2) asks you for a donation when you refuse qualifies as stupid in my book.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
Stupidity... (2.60 / 5) (#163)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 06:21:22 AM EST

...Is judging a whole organization by the acts one person.

BTW. The reason they ask you to buy a book, is so that you read it out of interest, then maybe become a member. I mean, after all, stupidity would be to ask someone to join their religion before they know anything about it. Like Scientology for instance.

As for asking for a donation, no harm in trying, is there? After all, people donate money to other causes without expecting anything in return. It's perfectly plausible that a person may want to help them out, but not be interesting in a book.

[ Parent ]

Amen (none / 1) (#168)
by haydentech on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 10:27:51 AM EST

Stupidity is judging a whole organization by the acts one person.

Oh my goodness, someone who actually makes sense on k5. I may faint...

I am so sick of the "Christianity is stupid and I'll tell you why, I knew this Christian and he/she blah blah..." stuff I see on here. Don't judge Christianity by Christians, judge Christianity by Christ!



[ Parent ]
How many members does it take (none / 0) (#169)
by Nursie on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 10:38:33 AM EST

Am I allowed to say christianity is stupid when I have 100 examples? or 100,000?

I'll find 'em, I'm pretty sure they're out there.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Actually, no (none / 2) (#177)
by haydentech on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:58:14 AM EST

Am I allowed to say christianity is stupid when I have 100 examples? or 100,000? I'll find 'em, I'm pretty sure they're out there.

No, and by saying that you seem to have missed the entire point of what I said. If you want to know about Christianity, look at Christ, not fallible people calling themselves Christians. By definition, no person can perfectly model Christ, and a large percentage who call themselves Christians are really not Christians anyways.

You do realize that calling yourself a Christian and actually being a Christian are two different things. I can call myself a rocket scientist and tell that to everyone I meet, but unless I really am, it's just empty words. Should you conclude that rocket science is "stupid" based my actions as a professed rocket scientist? Of course not. I doubt there's a widespread problem with rocket scientists living up to the ideals of rocket science, but you (hopefully) get my point.



[ Parent ]
Looking at christ is not a valid way (none / 1) (#185)
by Nursie on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:37:12 PM EST

If people of the christian faith do not actually follow the teachings of christ, if the institutional structure and followers of said institution do not implement the tenets of the scriptures and the apparent basis of it all then it is not valid to look at christ.
That is like saying "Look at Karl Marx" when talking about stalinist communism, they are very different things. Though Stalin laid claim to communism and equality for all, methods of production in the hands of the workers etc etc, in reality he was mass murdering scum, which, incidentally, several christian leaders in times past have been. Christianity is the religion as it is practiced, not as it is written.

And before you once again tell me that the people I'm thinking of are not christian - they would say they are. What gives you the right to say you're a real christian and they aren't? Maybe they have a different interpretation and you should find yourself another label if you don't wish to be associated with them.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
What you actually said is. . . (none / 1) (#195)
by thankyougustad on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:08:53 PM EST

'I'm a Christian with a persecution complex.'

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Judging by Jesus (1.50 / 2) (#226)
by A55M0NKEY on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 07:39:25 PM EST

Well if I were to judge Christianity by Christ, then I'd have to say it was a very stupid religion. As the first Christian, he got nailed to a cross - not a good outcome.

That is if JC WAS a Christian, and if the nails were real...

A man named Jesus Christ probably existed at one time. But that Jesus Christ was even a Christian himself is far from certain. The question is: Did he believe his own bullshit?

If JC was not a Christian then he was probably after money and poon from whatever suckers he could con, and the apostles were probably in on it to some degree. Getting nailed to a cross was a theatre trick, and the water he walked on was only one inch deep, and viewed at a shallow angle so that it appeared that he walked on it. Healing can be done by any tent revival con artist that hires good actors.

If JC was not a Christian, then the whole death and resurection was just a way for him to retire. In con artist terms, it was 'the blow off'.

If JC WAS a Christian, it means he was a Jew who believed that he was the Son of God. I can totally see how this might have happened.

Mary's screwing around on Joseph with the Milkman, and Joseph suspects. But Joseph is a little crazy and his mind concocts an apparition to let him know it's really the Son of God his wife is having when they haven't done the nasty in a year, and that he shouldn't mind. Either that, or Joseph was a nice guy, and didn't really want to have his wife stoned to death for adultery, or was ashamed to be a cuckold or something. Both Mary and Joseph would have an incentive to make something stupid like that up.

So Jesus grows up with his parents telling him he's God incarnate, but none of his friends believe him. In fact, they laugh their asses off at him and kick his lilly ass on a daily basis. Really Jesus has no friends. He wonders why he doesn't have any magic powers either, being God and all...

If Jesus actually thinks he's God, then he dies for the delusion - the first of millions that have died because of the delusion that JC is God.

But it seems more likely that he would have realized he wasn't God when he tried to fly or something. The following is plausable ( but obviously made up )

Jesus soon begins to realise the truth. The things that the bullies have told him, that he refused to believe, that he's just a person, a bastard even, and that his mom's a slut start to sink in. JC realises they are true, and shuts up about the 'I am God' bit for a while.

But not wanting to be a dissapointment - being God is kinda hard to live up to, Jesus has secretly befrended a street hustler and magician who teaches him about illusions, and con schemes, from short 'where's the marble' scams to Ponzi schemes. Soon Jesus starts building reputation around town for pulling off some amazing stunts. He's a regular David Blaine.

But being a con man is a career that requires you to move, or get busted. JC tells his homies: "A prophet is not without honor, save in his hometown." and then splits.

JC and the aposse of 12, soon have tons of lower level cult members to gather cash money, and more followers. They all think they're going to heaven, and it's getting harder and harder to deliver the miracles. They've gotten everyone theyre going to get in the area using mere parlor tricks, and have actually amassed quite a lot of bling-bling and ho's. After tapping some of that ass one more time, they bribe the executioner to help them with the blow off scheme. Christ is retired in the Bahamas ( or the Israeli equivalent ) and the aposse of 12 don't have to deliver until the second coming. The followers, who have invested all their worldly posessions in the cult have nobody to collect from. A great blowoff for a classic Ponzi/Pyramid scheme.



[ Parent ]

RE: Stupidity (none / 0) (#201)
by tannhaus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:32:26 PM EST

I agree.  The book is there to read at your own leisure...when you have the time and at the pace you want to read.  They are often books by Srila Prabhupada and very clearly put forth Krishna consciousness.  Srila Prabhupada was an expert in communicating these ideas.  So, why not let him?

[ Parent ]
GIGO (none / 1) (#208)
by A55M0NKEY on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:58:56 PM EST

Garbage In Garbage Out. It means that if you believe in mumbo jumbo like 'the afterlife' or in the case of hinduism ( of which the Hare Krishnas ) are a sect, then you will make bad decisions based on that. You might even become celibate and wear a pink robe with flowers in airports your whole life and remove your stupid ass from the human gene pool so you can think you will 'go to the higher planets' when you die.

You might not do a lot of things like eat those spicy beef meatballs or juicy spare ribs, paranoid of being reincarnated as a plant. ( actually, meat eaters come back as predators, and the promiscuous come back as plants under Hinduism I think, but I could be wrong. Either way, losing out on good food or good sex would make you an idiot.

If God wanted you to believe in him or do stuff then he'd come down, introduce himself and explain in person what he wanted. You have no reason to believe that thousands of year old books ( or books hidden in a hat and transcribed ) come from anywhere special. They are just books. You have just as much reason to believe that God wrote the 2002 Baseball Encyclopedia as you do to believe that he wrote the Bible, or the Bagavad Geezer.

[ Parent ]

RE: GIGO (none / 1) (#210)
by tannhaus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:11:15 PM EST

If God wanted you to believe in him or do stuff then he'd come down, introduce himself and explain in person what he wanted.

But...I thought that's what we believe he did?

I mean, the rest of your post you're entitled to those beliefs, just like I'm entitled to mine..and I was just going to skip over this post and not comment to it....but I have to because you really lost me on that one.  

We're saying that's precisely what God did...


[ Parent ]

All sources of religious texts are unverifyable (none / 2) (#213)
by A55M0NKEY on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:59:51 PM EST

The Bible tells stories of God showing himself, as a bush, or by zapping cities or unleashing floods. Krishna appears in Hindu *texts* personally too. But YOU have no way to verify that.

An omnipotent God would not break a sweat if he gave his cell phone number ( or at least his email address ) to each and every person. He could appear at a moments notice in more than one spot to sit down and have a chit chat over some pizza or beer. He could do that if he was the Guidance counselor type of diety.

Or he could appear over Toronto as a dark thundercloud and a billowing voice zapping buildings and warning all to stop wanking so much or else suffer his wrath. He could incarnate himself in New York as the Stay Puft Marshmallow man and order people around if he cared to. Or he could personally appear and say to each person: Don't be such a sinner or else I'm gonna have to Godsmack you upside the head.

That he doesn't, and moreover gives not evidence of his existance means one of three things: 1) he doesn't care - cool. 2) he doesn't exist - makes most sence 3) he is an asshole and wants to send a bunch of people to hell or reincarnate them as bugs for kicks without so much as a warning - and dusty old books don't count when there are thousands of them that contradict each other and all claim to be authored/transmitted/whatever from the almighty him/her/theirself(s).

If God is an asshole ( if God is not good ) then screw him, or kiss his ass if you think it will help. God is no better than satan, and no religion is anything more than organized kissing of the evil deity's butt.

But there is no reason to be paranoid about an uncaring or malevolent God. There is no reason to believe a diety exists at all. That's a comforting thought.

A bunch of people saying that God visited earth is not convincing because they either cite inanimate objects as sources whose authorship can not be verified, or word of mouth reports that have been passed on for long enough that the original sources are dead and therefore can not be verified. Those that cite inspiration from or conversation with the almighty him/her/themself(s) as the source of their religious mandate fail to produce testable proof that anything happened or even to produce hackneyd magic tricks that can stand scientific scrutiny. ( Of course any sufficiently advanced technology is indestinguishable from magic - maybe someone claiming to be God would really be a person from the future or a space alien. God has left no evidence of his existence - he either doens't exist, doesn't care ( he could still be good in this case if he let everyone into heaven, or if there was no heaven. Maybe it's best to leave people alone like we leave the wild animals in a park alone ), or God is malevolent.

[ Parent ]

Unless you are just being objective, (none / 0) (#230)
by sbash on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 08:49:54 PM EST

With the the mindset you portray, if God did come up to you, tap on your shoulder, share some of his infinite wisdom and proclaim himself the lord, you would not believe him. Nor would most of the people he confronted with the truth. Jesus is an excellent example of this. So why should he bothing coming into our reality to prove to the few that do not beleive in his existance. So who is to say that God does not make an appearance from time to time. Oh, that is right, the non believers... ;)

|_
"Eating curry with the boys? You must be British or boring" - Stinky Bottoms
[ Parent ]
marmots (none / 2) (#234)
by Mizuno Ami on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 09:22:57 PM EST

I'd believe a burning bush. Either that or I'd stop droping acid.

[ Parent ]
Same here (none / 1) (#235)
by A55M0NKEY on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 09:50:30 PM EST

Me too. A few good tricks would go a long way towards making me believe. Hearing a few stories from other people like this would make me believe too: Man, yesterday, I was thinking of this girl's titties, and touching myself, when this Booming Voice came from nowhere. Wind and torrential rain falling in my frikken bedroom! The voice says: "THOU SHALT NOT WANK THYSELF OFF!" "Ok! Ok!" says I. I thought I was going to have to explain to the Almighty why I was such a pervert, but just then the rain and wind stopped, and the voice was gone. I looked up to see MY MOTHER HAD OPENED THE DOOR AND WAS STANDING THERE IN SHOCK! My dick was in my hand, still hard. I was soaked, and my homework was everywhere. She stammered: "You're, you're going to hell young man!" before storming off. Embarassing dude. No shit dude. Damn embarassing! <SKY DARKENS> Booming Voice: THOU SHALT NOT.. Yeah yeah , I know I'm sorry God, Thou shalt not take your name in vain, I'll try not to do it again. Booming Voice: THOU SHALT NOT INTTERUPT THE LORD ALMIGHTY! Knock Knock Booming Voice: Who's there? An interrupting cow. Booming Voice: An interrupting cow wh.. MOOO!!! Booming Voice: Haw haw haw.

[ Parent ]
RE: Same here (none / 0) (#237)
by tannhaus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 10:58:07 PM EST

A few good tricks would go a long way towards making me believe.

Personally I think people would just work harder at finding explanations as to why the miracles were not actually miracles at all...but have scientific explanations.

But, if God came to earth and forced you to believe, he would take away your free will.  Then it would have been useless to give you free will in the first place.  


[ Parent ]

Who's forcing anyone? (none / 0) (#239)
by A55M0NKEY on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:27:00 PM EST

God showing up and performing magic tricks wouldn't take away my free will. Knowing that God existed would just be added data that I would take into account when I CHOSE my own course of action.

There are people who believe absurd things despite what they see. Seeing a God do magic tricks wouldn't force me to believe in God anymore than seeing fossils forces people to believe in evolution. It would just be evidence that would be taken into account in making my own decision.

[ Parent ]

Perfect; You just proved my point dude! (none / 0) (#241)
by sbash on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 12:22:49 AM EST

Thanks. So now that you have said that, why would God bother coming into this reality to try to convince someone of something they have no interesting in beleiving. The power of denial is very strong. Instead he spends his time with those who know how to share his love.

|_
"Eating curry with the boys? You must be British or boring" - Stinky Bottoms
[ Parent ]
Not pointless at all. (none / 0) (#263)
by A55M0NKEY on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 09:52:37 AM EST

I for one, would probably CHOOSE, with my free will, to try and not piss off the Almighty too much if I believed there indeed was an Almighty. So God coming down and showing himself often enough to remove reasonable doubt of his existance WOULD have an effect at least on me. I bet the truely obstinate are few. Santa Claus coming to town would let people like me make informed decisions as to whether to 'sin' or not. After all, he knows when you are sleeping and he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good - so be good for goodness sake!

Of course any diety has alot of evil to answer for. With absolute power comes ultimate responsibility. If the Jews are his chosen people, then God is a sadistic kid playing with a magnifying glass and the Hebrews are just an unfortunate ant colony. Lucky them, they get to be 'chosen'...

Sorry, apologists-for-theism can't excuse God's absence by saying it would have no effect. It certainly would have an effect. For one thing, it would end all religious wars. The religion with a real God that people can see that performs real miracles that people can see. WIth a God that isn't afraid to respond audibly and have a 2wo way conversation with people and who just happens to have never been wrong, perfectly articulate, and who leaves nothing but warm feelings, prosperity, wisdom, and happiness in his wake would be the religion people would convert to. It would be common sence.

--------------------------

Come along;

You belong;

Feel the Fizz of Cuckoo Cola!

[ Parent ]

Experts on deity psychology, are we? (none / 0) (#301)
by ILikeCheese on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 02:10:37 PM EST

I find it rather funny that you guys are arguing over what God should do. What makes you think that you, with your limited perceptions, would know the appropriate behavior for an omnipotent being that runs the whole universe? You argue alternately that God should "perform magic tricks" to prove his existence or only hang out with the "true believers" as doing otherwise would be futile, but how can you really claim to know what the most productive behavior for a deity would be?

God may or may not exist, but the fact that he (apparently) does or does'nt behave according to your personal standards is hardly proof for either end of the argument.

[ Parent ]

Let me summarize: (none / 0) (#329)
by A55M0NKEY on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 10:48:39 AM EST

I don't state anything about the psychology of any diety. My argument doesn't care about his motives, and is valid no matter what he wants or doesn't want. It only deals with the matter from my own human point of view.

  • If God wants something from humans and won't tell them he wants it, yet will punish them for failing to live up to his expectations, then he is malevolent. Setting booby traps for people is 'a bad thing' if you're a person who might fall into one. Saying he is malevolent doesn't say anything about the 'love, or hate, in his heart' or anything going on in his 'mind', it merely says that his actions from a human being's point of view, are bad. He could be malevolent in the same way that an earthquake is malevolent.
  • If God doesn't want anything from humans, and doesn't visit, or say hello, and it doesn't matter what humans do with regards to God, then he in effect doesn't care. It doesn't matter to humans who God likes or dislikes, or who he is rooting for as long as there is no interference and no accounting in the afterlife. As long as God never does anything about his feelings no matter what they may be, he can ( from the human point of view ) be considered as not caring, and safely ignored. This doesn't say anything about God's supposed psychology either.
  • If God doesn't exist, then he obviously doesn't have psychology.

That is the whole argument. It is complete and applies to any Omnipotent God. If a God is not omnipotent, ( as is the case with paganism ) then not expending effort on behalf of humans is understandable. If God is Omnipotent, but not Omniscient, then either God doesn't care, and will not hold souls ( if THEY exist ) to account in an afterlife, or God is such a Nincompoop that he has failed to notice that holding people to account for rules they are not aware of is unreasonable, or he has noticed that, and is a sadistic bastard. If God is omniscient, then he would have noticed that holding people to account for rules they are not aware of is cruel and unreasonable. Either God is cruel and unreasonable ( malevolent ) by nature, or he doesn't care.

You might then say: Natural laws are cruel and unreasonable, why not God? A meteor that hits the earth is governed by the law of gravity, yet without gravity, there would be no air to breathe, and no sun to warm the earth. The law of gravity has both good and bad points, but it can hardly be called malevolent. You certainly would not want to repeal the law of gravity.

True, but I don't worship it either. I don't suppose nature has some kind of personal intelligence. Being everything, 'nature' would qualify as omniscient, and omnipotent. But lacking a personal intelligence, it lacks will, morality or moral culpability. It also lacks hate, love, or mercy, and it is pointless to pray for nature to intercede on your behalf.

We operate in a world where we can die without warning for being ignorant of natural laws. Mix bleach and vinegar without knowing that Chlorine gas will be produced, and you could die a choking death. Bleach isn't malevolent. Put it in a load of whites, and they come out cleaner and whiter than without it. Vinegar is good on french fries. If there were unknown rules about how to conduct one's life that affected one's disposition in an afterlife, and they were not administered by a being with personal intellegence, then the laws themselves would be unfortunate, or fortunate depending on how you happened by luck to conduct your life.

If it were possible to observe the afterlife and 'soul's disposition in it' after having lived different lives, then you might be able to scientifically determine what the rules were for living one's life so as to have the best disposition in the afterlife. As it is, we can't see souls, and they almost certainly do not exist, so any rules about living one's life are opaque.

[ Parent ]

You're forgetting one (none / 0) (#331)
by ILikeCheese on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 01:59:04 PM EST

It's possible that God exists, does care, and actively does things to influence the world, it simply doesn't seem that way to our non-omnipotent selves because we cannot begin to grasp the optimum ways of running the universe. I'm not saying this as a way of proving God exists, I'm merely saying that the fact God doesn't appear to influence our daily lives isn't enough to prove that he doesn't exist (or even that he is malevolent or noncaring).

Although, I do agree that religious texts are a bad thing to base your life on, since they are so many, so contradictory, and so restrictive. Also, many of them insist that only one can be correct. Seems like bad odds to me. I'll take beer instead.

[ Parent ]

Language has become mushy. (none / 0) (#332)
by A55M0NKEY on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 05:19:27 PM EST

Optimum for Whom?, Malevolent from who's point of view? God care/not care about what?

Let's start with Optimum. '*The* Optimum' implies a point of view. If the point of view is God's then 'the optimum' would be taken to mean optimum from his own selfish point of view. But if it were my point of view, then the universe, running optimally, would be such that I win the lottery tomorrow and retire in riches. If the point of view is "Everyone's" points of view taken as an aggregate then there are probably many different ways of running things that would have the same aggregate score of goodness, and which would be equally optimum, although they could differ greatly from each person's point of view. For instance in scheme A Jack could win the lottery and Jill could have a pail of water fall on her head, and in scheme B, it could be the other way around. Both schemes A and B would be equally optimum for a universe containing only Jack and Jill.

God would have his own idea of what Optimum is. It could be aesthetic, for instance, possible universes could be graded in Gods eye according to purpleness. The more purple the universe, the better, with the optimum universe being the most purple.

If God likes purple, I could give a rats ass. If he acts in such a way as to harm me in order to make the universe more purple, then he is a source of bad things as far as I am concerned. If he helps me as a byproduct of his selfish quest to make the universe more purple, then I am not grateful, but I am fortunate. If all God wants is more purple, he is as uncaring as any other force of nature.

The same is true if God is trying to 'help everyone' instead of make everything more purple. A high 'goodness' score for everyone taken as an aggregate is not neccessarily a high goodness score for an individual. The universe having a high aggregate goodness score as an aesthetic value is truely a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. If the 'aggregate best' universe has me wallowing in freakish misery while the rest of creation parties, then that would be an unaesthetic universe from my point of view. If more than one optimum exists, then God is free to choose, but you have no way to know what might influence him to choose an optimum that is optimum for you, but he doesn't give you a hint, then he obviously doesn't care about you personally. If he is not free to choose between optima because there is only one, then his feelings are irrelevant - He is not free, and so is merely a force of nature.

If God is free, and chooses to hurt you, then he is malevolent from your point of view - even if everyone else gets a free pizza. If he chooses to harm me instead of you, then he becomes malevolent from my point of view, although you get a free pizza this time.

Lastly: God caring. This is actually two things: God caring for your welfare, and God caring what you do. God might condemn you to a bad life, or an eternity in hell or whatever and still care about you. He might shed a tear for your plight, but since someone must suffer, he has chosen you out of no fault of your own. As long as God doesn't help you, he has shown that he cares less about you than whatever purpose your suffering might have in his plan. In effect, God's care for your welfare is nullified and irrelevant from your point of view. He might as well be uncaring.

If God cares about what you do, then as long as he does nothing based upon what you do then he is in effect uncaring. If he punishes you without warning about the action that merited it, he is malevolent, if he rewards you without letting the rest of the world in on your secret then he becomes malevolent to the rest of the world by unfairly condemning them to do without when they could easily change their behavior and reap the same rewards.

Suppose God wants people to masturbate more, and he blesses a person that masturbates often with a healthy prostate. Because God didn't warn the masturbatory abstainers that they should masturbate more, he has actually punished everyone who didn't wank it with a higher chance of prostate cancer unfairly, making him a malevolent force. Normal healthy prostate is the baseline, and increased cancer risk for non-wanking is the punishment. ( replace 'prostate' with 'uterus' in previous remark if you are a girl )

[ Parent ]

-1 Organised religious nuts (1.46 / 13) (#161)
by eejit on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 04:24:20 AM EST

I voted this down because it's these in-your-face annoying as hell religious nuts that really spoil a nice sunny day in the park. Bah.

I find this interesting (2.20 / 5) (#164)
by gr00vey on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 06:42:37 AM EST

although some of the Krishna's can be mildly annoying, I think they are more moral overall than say Christians... It really is a form of hinduism, no? Here is a link to the texts Bhagavad Gita The Bhagavad Gita, usually considered part of the sixth book of the Mahabharata (dating from about 400 or 300 B.C.), is a central text of Hinduism, a philosphical dialog between the god Krishna and the warrior Arjuna. This is one of the most popular and accessible of all Hindu scriptures, required reading for anyone interested in Hinduism. The Gita discusses selflessness, duty, devotion, and meditation, integrating many different threads of Hindu philosophy.

Great source of entertainment (2.61 / 13) (#165)
by SanSeveroPrince on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 09:01:29 AM EST

Hare Krishnas have been an endless source of entertainment through the years.

My favourite is walking after one of their processions singing 'hail satan' in tune with their own chants. Eventually, one of them will try to tell me off, at which point I can berate them for not respecting a fellow human being, and giving in to anger and intollerance.
This actually happened a couple of times in Amsterdam city centre.

Each time, my fiance would pretend she was not with me. Funny, that.

That said, I massively enjoyed their 'brainwash your kids' tapes with tales of Krishna on them, back when I was younger. A couple of decades younger.

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


this is relevant (1.53 / 15) (#167)
by tralfamadore on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 10:26:14 AM EST

pear pimples for hairy fishnuts?

re: pear pimples (none / 0) (#202)
by ebonkyre on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:33:15 PM EST

"just cough up some dough, mac!"

The truth hurts sometimes... Nothing beats a nice fat cock. ShiftyStoner
[ Parent ]
Back during my undergrad years... (none / 3) (#175)
by skyknight on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:11:57 AM EST

I was accosted on campus by a member of some odd religion, some sect or other whose name I do not recall. I mentioned this to a friend of mine who happened to be Catholic, and he said that he too had recently been approached as well. He referred to them as a "cult". I asked him what it was about Catholicism that distinguished it from being a cult. He did not proffer a very convincing answer.

As best I can tell, that which distinguishes a "religion" from a "cult", is that the former has a far more effective marketing department than the latter. While major organized religions manage to buy off politicians and corporations, "cults" only manage to be amusing or annoying spectacles to pedestrians.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Right and Wrong (3.00 / 4) (#190)
by hansel on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 01:37:40 PM EST

Cults tend to be much more coercive environments than religions.  "Brainwashing" is too strong to describe what they do (notwitshstanding anti-cult hysterics), but if you took everything that's commonly regarded as a cult vs. a religion, the obvious difference is that cults tend to hold a much tighter emotional, and sometimes financial or physical grip on you.

One of the signs of a cult, as opposed to a religion, is that the cult requires you to surrender all your earthly possessions to the sect and become perfectly dependent upon them for your support, which makes it almost impossible to leave or question things.  In contrast, I can attend Catholic masses and receive the Eucharist for free if I choose to.

Another sign is fostering psychological dependence upon the cult or members in it.  The Church of Boston is, IIRC, a radical Christian cult where members must confess every single day to their superior, and their definition of sin is exceptionally broad, creating an environment in which all your feelings of self-worth and guilt are controlled exclusively by the sect.

Where the comparison also becomes obvious is in the transition of some cults into religions, like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses.  In the past they were considered cults, but as they've grown and stabilized they've become much less coercive in their general behaviour.  For example, shunning is not practiced as frequently among JWs these days.

You're right that it's mostly a difference in degree between religions and cults, but you got the axis of the spectrum wrong when you identified marketing.

[ Parent ]

Yeah, those are good distinctions... (none / 2) (#192)
by skyknight on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 01:56:42 PM EST

but clearly my friend had not thought about it very much. I think in general people tend to define anything that they find disagreeable to be cultish (or terrorist for that matter).

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Basically (2.00 / 3) (#229)
by rmn on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 08:44:52 PM EST

Basically, every religion is a cult (a system of belief and / or worship). An organised cult with enough followers is usually called a religion. It's like amateurs vs. pros.

RMN
~~~

[ Parent ]

I think you have it right (none / 1) (#326)
by jolly st nick on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 10:37:47 PM EST

As best I can tell, that which distinguishes a "religion" from a "cult", is that the former has a far more effective marketing department than the latter.

I think that to a large degree, you have this right. "Cult" is used to mean a religion that the speaker doesn't like. Granted, religions labeled as cults often have unattractive features, such as extreme authoritarianism and behavior control. But its very tricky to assemble these unpopular features into anything like a litmus test, because every one of them is found in, and has legitimate uses in, more respected religions. For example, shunning "profane" influences is found in many religions, even to the point of separating from your own family:

If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
--Jesus (Luke 14:26)

The Buddha himself left his sleeping wife and newborn child to become a wandering monk.

No doubt Gotama's family, or the families of Jesus' followers, would label the call to renounce the world as "cultish". However, it's a different matter when this is done in the context of religions that stress radical egalitarianism (as Buddhism and eary Christianity did) than when done in a situation where the followers are supporting the lavish lifestyles of authoritarian leaders.

[ Parent ]

re: the sanskrit. (2.00 / 4) (#176)
by gzt on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:17:25 AM EST

Please mark long "A" by either aa or A. ie, naastyeva. I don't know whether the usual convention is to break up naastyeva into naasty eva or not, though.

Anyways, here's how it should be written: (none / 1) (#243)
by gzt on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 12:49:16 AM EST

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha

should be:

harer naama harer naama harer naamaiva kevalam kalau naastyeva naastyeva naastyeva gatir anyathaa.

The translation, by the way, is very embellished. "There is no other way in this time alone [than] by the name of Hari." I don't like that translation, either, but I'm not about to check it.

[ Parent ]

RE: anyways, here's how it should be written.... (none / 0) (#244)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 01:59:39 AM EST

Well, it doesn't sound like his translation is embellished as much as it's just a clearer translation.  I mean, reading that one it sounds like it's saying the same thing, but the translation just isn't as clear.  

As far as the extra a, I would assume both are correct.  Srila Prabhupada was often lauded by Sanskrit scholars (including Dr. Alex Wayman
Professor of Sanskrit, Columbia University and Dr. Alaka Hejib Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University).  Personally though, I have no idea.  The local temple president holds a Masters degree in Sanskrit and I've never heard him say anything but the best about the translations.  He was actually doing research work at Kolkata's Ravindra Bharati University under a government grant when he was asked to come to the West and teach Sanskrit.  Eventually his guru asked him to come here and provide service at the temple.  

So, I don't know.  I wouldn't think it to be wrong though.

[ Parent ]

Oh, y eah. (none / 1) (#268)
by gzt on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 12:29:51 PM EST

It's not a wrong translation, it's interpolated. It was probably a sentence in the context of a paragraph, so context was added.

As for the a's: Sanskrit is not meant to be written in roman letters. But long A should be marked somehow, since there's a big difference between nama and naama. But this is transliteration, and nobody cares. Nothing's really wrong in any transliteration, just less transparent.

[ Parent ]

kaalau. (none / 0) (#281)
by gzt on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 04:22:23 PM EST

dammit.

[ Parent ]
also child molesters... (none / 3) (#179)
by TearsInTheRain on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:13:08 PM EST

There were (are?) a number of lawsuits against ISKON for harboring/allowing/etc child molesters to go on unabated.  (google for more) I guess the catholic church doesn't have a lock on that kinda thing.

I think Hinduism is a decent enough religion, if a bit racist/classist.  Kinda setup to keep people in their place, but the good thing is they dont prostelyze.  Having a buncha white stoners think they have found their place in the world because they have discovered eastern religion is just silly to me.  If you are going to follow an eastern religion, buddism seems the more sounder religion.

And whats up with the no-meat thing?  As I recall the geeta, krisha basically said "grains are good for people" and "what you eat, eat in my name".  well, neither of those two statements actually say meat == bad.  Hinduism actively supports meat eating by having the warrior caste and worker castes eat meat, only the brahmins aren't allowed to.

Actually its funny reading vedic history books, because they suggest that the original vedas promoted human sacrifice and definitely meat eating.  however as the priests became corrupt, the people grew quite angry, so the priests decided to radically change and become vegetarians who respect life.  LOL!

Most religions seem to follow the same path - starts out humbly with a great idea, gets powerful, attracts corrupt people who abuse the system and take advantage of dumb (but well meaning) people who defend it until the corruption can no longer be ignored.  

So what. (none / 2) (#200)
by A55M0NKEY on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:31:09 PM EST

Some christian priests are child molesters too. Religion is dumb, but the fact that some religious practitioners are child molesters doesn't leave the whole religion open to attack on that ground. Religion is easy to attack with logic - strawmen aren't neccesary.

[ Parent ]
According to the Dalai Lama (none / 1) (#236)
by UCF BullitNutz on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 10:49:14 PM EST

Who yes, I know is not of the same sect of Buddhism, says that although he does not enjoy eating meat, it is not forbidden. It is required, however, that you pray for the soul of the animal and offer it your goodwill, that you are not consuming it out of spite, hatred, whatnot. IIRC, he said it in his book, "The Art of Happiness."
----------
" It ain't a successful troll until the admin shuts off new user registration for half a year." - godix
[ Parent ]
Wow. (none / 0) (#264)
by Nursie on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 10:02:17 AM EST

WHy would you consume an animal out of spite? I never stop to think that long about my meats!

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
A guess (none / 0) (#309)
by skim123 on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 07:10:10 PM EST

Maybe if it hurt you somehow. For example, this guy might have ennoyed some Barracuda with a bit of spite in his heart.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Ummm. (none / 0) (#255)
by For Whom The Bells Troll on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 07:24:41 AM EST

Not many would say Hinduism was setup for any purpose; it's more like a complex set of rules and values with scores of (often mutually exclusive) interpretations and commentaries.
however as the priests became corrupt, the people grew quite angry, so the priests decided to radically change and become vegetarians who respect life.
The historical ban, if you will, on meat-eating is often traced to the 18th century saint, Dayanand Saraswati's movement, the Arya Samaj. As with anything to do with India, vegetarianism is again a complex issue; there are at least two Christian sects which don't eat meat.

So, yup, don't be surprised if you find that the square is, more often than not, a circle in India.

---
The Big F Word.
[ Parent ]

ISKCON and child abuse (none / 0) (#291)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 11:28:27 PM EST

First, don't believe everything you read online.  This abuse happened between 1972 and 1990.  I have spoken to a gurukuli (person who attended these boarding schools) that had attended in that time frame and knew about the abuse.  She was present at the 1996 meeting mentioned in this article:

Go here to read the article.

What she explained is this:  In that time frame, ISKCON was very disorganized.  So much emphasis was put on distributing literature and spreading the message, that often they would take THE NEWEST ADDITIONS to the Krishna consciousness movement and have them run the schools.  That article mentions that in passing.  They thought the most important thing was disseminating information and no one really thought about possible child abuse.  If you think about it, MOST people didn't think about child abuse then. Child abuse was something that happened somewhere else with people someone else knows...not HERE and with people WE know.  That proved to be a horrible mistake.

You can read an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle HERE.  You can see that differently from the catholics, ISKCON acknowledged it had a problem with child abuse, hired an investigator to find out the exten t of the problem and then published the investigator's findings.  The lawyer that sued the catholic church over sex abuse caught wind of it and then worked to file a lawsuit to get money from ISKCON as well.

A lot of the ridiculous claims made in that lawsuit were thrown out in District court.  It's also worth noting that ISKCON had closed all the schools where the abuse had occured by the mid 1980s.  

This  article as published in The Indian Express explains a little more about that.

This was an announcement by ISKCON to try and find all the abused children.  You notice they state:
Filing a claim does not mean one is "joining" the existing lawsuit. Nor will filing a legitimate claim at this time hurt ISKCON, or be an offense to Srila Prabhupada. No ISKCON member should criticize someone who files a claim.

This isn't the case of an organizational cover-up (and the courts have agreed).  It is the case of a young organization being abused by a few.

[ Parent ]

WTF Front Page? (2.28 / 14) (#182)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:26:39 PM EST

And not a single sentence about why Hare Krishna's are considered a cult by many. Or why the movement itself has been so controversial over the years in North America and Europe.

This should not have been voted FP.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown

True, they're a cult (none / 0) (#199)
by A55M0NKEY on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:27:35 PM EST

But let me add that there in no qualitative difference between cult and religion. It is only a matter of degree-of-insanity.

[ Parent ]
definitions from somewhere (3.00 / 4) (#204)
by KingPrad on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:39:34 PM EST

a cult is an unpopular religion

a religion is a popular cult.

--
dunno where these are from

[ Parent ]
Definition (none / 0) (#232)
by blakdogg on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 09:02:09 PM EST

I was told that a cult is a religious group with a small number of followers. I was taught that in school - primary school
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
ass (none / 0) (#337)
by coryking on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 10:49:06 PM EST

Maybe you should have said something about it rather fucking up the story with your pathetic whining.

[ Parent ]
Blissfully oppressed in ISKCON - alternatives (3.00 / 13) (#186)
by decon recon on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:40:13 PM EST

Twenty years ago, while hitchhiking around, I ended up staying in an ISKCON temple for awhile. Quite curious about vedic culture, I tried the whole thing: getting up early, the bhramachari (monk) lifestyle, chanting way too much (hours and hours). You can get blissed out on this routine -- the rhythmic chanting and austere lifestyle kicks in the seratonin big time. Great tasting food too.

However, for the new recruits: There is not enough sleep. Too much sugar. Lots of butter. Newbies stumble around with glazed eyes. You are kept away from outside folks -- who are going to hell most probably.

For all the sacrifice and austerity for ISKCON recruits, there is no real spiritual technology to dive deep in self inquiry. There is endless chanting and singing and reading of texts. There is no ashtanga yoga practice in Prabhupada's presentation of vaishnavism (no pranayama/breathing practice, no sitting meditation methods). What you do get: lots and lots of dogma.

Prabhupada's interpretation of vedic tradition is blatantly sexist and racist and is stuck in a medieval cosmology -- the moon is not in the solar system because it is a celestial planet, the species are fixed locations on an incarnational arc, the ultimate form of god is the blue Krishna, who presides over heaven and jumps down into our material world once in awhile. The lack of sleep wears you down -- and eating lots of very tasty high sugar food helps wash this all down.

Most unfortunately, Prabhupada left out the liberating aspects of vedic culture and kept the oppressive stuff.

I wish I could say something more positive about ISCKON. But, really I can't. ISKCON has way too much dogma and prejudice. There is not enough actual spiritual practice. ISKCON is as fundamentalistic as hasidic judaism or wahabi islam. ISCKON does not well represent the wonderful spiritual treasures of south asia.

For those seeking critical spiritual liberation ways from south asian culture, I believe it is much more fruitful to look to thinkers who bridge eastern mysticism and western culture like Krishnamurti, Osho (Rajneesh) and Chogyam Trungpa.

If you want to go in a theistic direction, Catholics like Merton and Stendl-Rast have wedded dharma practice to Catholic mysticism. For those attracted to hindu bhakti paths, there are plenty of mystical and devotional paths out there that can synergize with modern western culture. ISKCON does not. I have explored various hindu paths and one is a part of my life.

Some advice if you are going to explore this stuff: Look around at several paths and read some of the texts and some critical writings before you dive in.


Wow, what happened to truth? (2.00 / 3) (#216)
by actmodern on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 04:59:03 PM EST

You talk about these religions like you're talking about restaurants people should check out. Hold on there just one freaking moment.

You're talking about people "melding" eastern and western religions as if it was food. Please get a little perspective. Religion is not something you "modify" to suit your needs.


--
LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.
[ Parent ]

act modern!? -nt (none / 0) (#218)
by decon recon on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 05:23:26 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Yeah. (none / 2) (#238)
by Zerotime on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:21:01 PM EST

There certainly wouldn't be more than two hundred denominations of Christianity if that could ever happen.

---
"I live by the river
With my mother, in a house
She washes, I cook
And we never go out."

[ Parent ]
Why not? (none / 1) (#245)
by jongleur on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:28:33 AM EST

I bet even Christians, deep down, below consciousness, don't believe Christianity. They may believe they do but because they can't interact with it daily and consistently like they can reality, they don't believe in it as much as they do in the things of this world. As evidence, few are willing to trash their lives on earth for great rewards in eternity, or are eager to die, or indeed, take their church frame of mind into the world with them.

Given that, if you can't buy any religion literally but like some ritual and a framework and story for your life, and a place to hang your inclination toward morality or find higher moral principles, why not pick something or follow a practice that does that for you? Like someone's said, good people will find excuses to be good. So let them.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]

Because it's religion? duh? (none / 0) (#293)
by actmodern on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 03:44:18 AM EST

Why not?

You don't get to pick and choose who is god. God is simply god. If he exists, then he does so independantly of what you believe.

Some idiot is going to reply with "reality is what we make of it." Horseshit. Try saying that to a brick that's flying at your skull.

My favourite response from wack job religious nuts who follow the religion of the month is: "oh but you have to have faith."

Faith my ass. I'd rather have something rational like worshipping something that wasn't created overnight in some philosophy nerds basement.

--
LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.
[ Parent ]

Well that's the thing (none / 0) (#307)
by jongleur on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 06:17:31 PM EST

God doesn't do anything with brick-like solidity.

And there are Moslem's to whom Islam is as obviously right as Christianity is to you.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]

Not a Xian (none / 0) (#321)
by actmodern on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 03:10:47 PM EST

Why did you assume I'm Xian? I'm nowhere near that.


--
LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.
[ Parent ]
I've had similar experiences (none / 1) (#283)
by nicestep on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 04:30:11 PM EST

About twenty-five years ago I visited the Hare Krishna temple in Evanston, IL. and later went from being a "fringe" devotee to a fairly active "bhakta" (basically meaning that I didn't live in the temple, but I spent every minute of my free time working there, including five am worship, evening classes, and cleaning up around the temple).  In total I was involved for about two years.  

What the article says about the doctrine and history of H.K. is true as far as it goes, but beyond the doctrine you have some very cult-like behavior.

If you join you'll eventually think of all of your old friends and relatives as demonic.  You'll eat food that tastes good but does not provide adequate nourishment (it is possible to have a healthy vegetarian diet, but what we ate wasn't it.  Everybody either loses or gains a lot of weight.)  You'll start chanting when anyone tells you something you aren't allowed to agree with.  You won't get enough sleep.

I met some nice people in ISKCON and I'd like to think that the movement changed since I got out (through deprogramming) but I very much doubt it has changed or ever could change.

[ Parent ]

A LOT has changed (none / 1) (#286)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 04:56:19 PM EST

Actually, it has changed a tremendous amount.  As a matter of fact, you'd probably be shocked to read this put out by ISKCON:

http://www.iskcon.com/basics/parentsetc.html

Many Hare Krishnas just shake their heads at ISKCON of the 80s.  A lot of the bad publicity the movement got was because of this time period.  The spiritual master had just died and people were left without direction.  So, it took the 80s for the movement to stabilize and start moving forward again.  

[ Parent ]

An unpleasant encounter with the Hare Krishnas (none / 1) (#295)
by geoswan on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 12:45:09 PM EST

Set the way-back machine to 1974. I was a student at an alternative school. And I wanted to share an experience with some of my fellow students -- the 24 hour perception trip.

The idea was to subject yourself to a barrage of intense experiences, each totally different from each other. Visit the stock market, and then the slaughterhouse, then the symphony, then panhandle with the squeegee kids. The claim was that this bombardment would lead you to the kinds of deep, fascinating insights one got from dropping LSD, without the LSD.

Okay, it might sound laughable now. But this was 1974.

Organizing this was more hard work than you might imagine. Finding an intense experience at 4:00 am was one of the difficulties.

But the Hare Krishnas are up at 4:00 am for their morning prayers. I phoned their temple, and the big cheese said we would be welcome to join them.

Well, at 4:00 we joined them. Their morning devotions involve loud chanting and vigourous dancing.

But what happened next was the interesting part.

One thing I have noticed about cults is that the recent converts generally feel a compulsion to try to convert others. They won't shut up or rest until they have done so.

Each of us was surrounded by a few energetic, excited, but incoherent devotees who each wanted to tell us how great things were for them now.

This was kind of boring.

But then the big cheese of the temple drew me aside. He told me that me and my people would have to leave.

This was going to leave a gap in my itinerary, so I asked him why.

Here is something Krishna people don't mention. Hare Krishnas are firm believers in the caste system. When you join the Krishnas the big cheese of the temple decides which caste you really belong in.

The excited devotees who were surrounding us were the low caste one, the ones who did the dirty jobs in the temple. They were the ones the public normally didn't get to see.

The big cheese told me they had their tasks to do that day. And they had a certain quota of devotional phrases to incant during the day, as they did their chores. Our presence was already throwing them off schedule. They would be behind in their devotional incantations all day long now.

These poor kids, who had been assigned to the lower castes, had been converted, but then never had their chance to get over that early compulsion to convert others, because they were never allowed to meet outsiders.

Did we last out the 24 hours? Nope. We managed about 18. Did we get any deep spiritual insights? I don't know. I didn't. But this insight into how repressive the Krishnas could be was interesting to me.

[ Parent ]

RE: an unpleasant encounter (none / 0) (#296)
by tannhaus on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 01:06:45 PM EST

I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but honestly, I've never heard something like that in the two years I've been associated with them...from their tales of the past or anything.

Prabhupada specifically said that the caste system in India was corrupt and nothing like the divisions of work that Krishna laid out.  He also said that we are all sudras in this day and age.  So, whoever "the big cheese" was, he wasn't even remotely following the teachings.

I would like to know what temple it was, however to see if I can find anything about it.  Some temples were horribly mismanaged and when ISKCON caught word of it, they were excommunicated.

[ Parent ]

We are all "sudras"? (none / 0) (#313)
by geoswan on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 10:46:18 AM EST

Prabhupada specifically said ... that we are all sudras in this day and age.

So, in your experience with contemporary H.K., you haven't seen any converts, perhaps runaways and former homeless people, been put to work, doing all the dirty work that the "untouchables" do in India? So, in your experience, none of the attitude that certain tasks are "unclean" rubs off on your American H.K.?

This temple was in Toronto, Canada, in March or April of 1975. (I said 1974 because that was when the school year started. Sorry, the event was really in 1975.)



[ Parent ]

RE: We are all sudras? (none / 0) (#322)
by tannhaus on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 03:49:49 PM EST

Well, I know all the new live-ins in Mayapur (India) clean the bathrooms and other "dirty work" for a while.  They think it helps kill false pride and helps them develop an attitude of service.  I've heard that from the guy in charge of finances at the local temple.  He lived in Mayapur a long time and was in charge of their finances before he was sent here.

But, looking down on the new people as being "untouchables"?  No.  Dividing them into castes?  No.  

I just did some googling and found out someone named Bhaktimarga was running the Toronto temple in 1999.  He had been doing so for 26 years (but another article said he came into contact with the hare krishnas in 1973...so I can't be for sure).  But, this may the guy you talked to. See if this looks like the guy you remember.

I really think you can chalk that up to inexperience though.  Srila Prabhupada couldn't be everywhere at once, and with no organizational structure, they sometimes did things that were not correct.  If what I googled is correct, he joined up in 1973...and started running things the same year.  But, that article may have been incorrect.  At any rate, you may be able to ask him yourself.  He is currently doing a walk across canada, but they may be able to get a message to him.

http://iskcon.ca/canwalk/contact/contact.html

Sorry I can't be of more help, but this is the first I've heard of something like that.

[ Parent ]

Do you guys really believe in ghosts? (none / 0) (#318)
by geoswan on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 01:40:50 PM EST

I went to the web-site of the guy you hope will promote you. I didn't realize you guys believed in ghosts. But he seems to be saying you do.

Many times in the past devotees have talked to me about ghosts and how we needed some professional ghost busters in different places to take care of them, but I have always refused to listen to such talks as my faith in the sastric descriptions of the potency of Krishna's names remains unshakable.

Years ago there was one "ghost buster" from India who was invited by the local GBC to visit different places in Europe. He charged about 50 dollars a pop to bust people's ghosts. Devotees were lined up for blocks practically to avail themselves of his services. He became very rich by this process. I was thinking if I ever needed any money I could do this too!

Maybe your boss is just joking about taking advantage of people's gullibility? If so, it is a bad joke.

When I was temple president in Caracas, Venezuela we had one mataji who would do sankirtana by dressing up as a gypsy and telling peoples fortune with a crystal ball. It was quite amazing to watch her.

Oh. He endorses taking advantage of people's gullibity again! And you consider it meaningful to get a promotion to a higher spiritual level from this joker?

[ Parent ]

RE: belief in ghosts (none / 0) (#320)
by tannhaus on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 03:04:33 PM EST

Well, I just read the diary entry in question and neither of them sound like they were taking advantage of people's gullibility.  

Now, as far as him saying about doing the ghostbusting too, yes, he was joking.  He loves to joke and laugh.  He's actually quite funny.  

But, as far as ghosts, they are mentioned in the vedas....in many places.  They are often (though not always) those that have committed suicide.  They are given a body where they still have desires, but no way to satisfy those desires.  Basically, someone reincarnates as a ghost.  However, it's said that when one chants, it drives away ghosts.  That's what he was joking about there.

As far as the crystal ball, it doesn't sound like they were taking advantage of anyone there either.  The mataji was really doing crystal ball gazing in an effort to draw a crowd.  He said it was quite amazing to watch her, so obviously she was good at it.

In the Krishna consciousness movement, there are no precepts against fortunetelling.  As a matter of fact, I know one mataji in New Talavana (the local krishna consciousness community) that does tarot readings in the french quarter for a living, and a guy that does occasionally.  The vedas even describe a system of astrology that people actually call "vedic astrology".

Even though the "supernatural" as many call it, doesn't hold focus in the Krishna consciousness movement like say in Wicca, it does exist.  People routinely use vedic astrology to get a marriage compatibility chart so they're more prepared for their marriage, for example.

Just because it's easy to mislead people when it comes to fortune telling and the like doesn't mean everyone misleads people.  In my early 20s I actually worked as a tarot reader and I firmly believe in the legitimacy of the art when taken in context and done in all seriousness.

This really shouldn't be harder to believe than any other beliefs of a religion.  If you ask many Christians what a ghost is, they will tell you its a demon.  The catholic church even did the famous exorcisms (which involved invoking the name of God...thus driving the ghost away).  Many times the mentally ill were labeled "possessed" but I think in some cases they were actually there to drive away a ghost and did so.


[ Parent ]

Fortunetelling (none / 0) (#339)
by bugmaster on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 08:20:19 AM EST

Actually, the fortunetelling aspect of your post interests me more than ghosts.

Do the Hare Krishnas truly claim to possess precognitive powers of some sort ? If so, why don't you (meaning, the organization, not you personally) just predict the winning lottery numbers, and donate the winnigs to charity (or, better yet, use them to further the Hare Krishna cause) ? If using your powers for monetary gain, no matter how benign, offends you, there are always other things to predict. For example, you could warn people of impending natural disasters, epidemics, even traffic jams.

In the most trivial case, you could win tons of converts by simply demonstrating that your powers work. For example, if I were to throw 10 colored dice (fair ones, of course), and you are able to predict the exact numbers 10 times in a row, I would be immensely impressed; my own materialistic worldview would probably come to an end. Other skeptics would probably feel the same.

So... how come the Hare Krishnas haven't done any of that ? Of course, "we don't claim to have any powers of prophecy" is an acceptable answer; sorry if I misunderstood your post.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

RE: fortunetelling (none / 0) (#341)
by tannhaus on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 01:47:08 PM EST

Actually, true fortune telling doesn't work like that...whether it be vedic astrology, runes, tarot, etc.

Fortune telling does not tell the future.  Fortune telling identifies influences at work in your life and a possible outcome.  That's the value of it...it gives advice concerning where you're at.  

[ Parent ]

No Clairvoyance ? (none / 0) (#345)
by bugmaster on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 04:56:08 PM EST

Ok, so if vedic astrology doesn't involve clairvoyance, in what way is it supernatural ? More specifically, how is it different from the usual mundane psychological councilling; what makes it vedic, so to speak ?
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
RE: No clairvoyance (none / 0) (#348)
by tannhaus on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 11:20:40 PM EST

Well, it is clairvoyance...knowing things outside the reach of your senses is clairvoyance.  

Vedic astrology deals with just that...the alignment of the stars and planets.  But, the future isn't set in stone.  You can tell me what MAY happen...but you can't tell me what will happen.  I could make a choice in the next five minutes that changes my whole life....a seemingly innocent choice.

But, vedic astrology will tell you the influences at work in your life.  Prabhupada's astrologer at his birth said he'd be a holy man and open 108 temples.  When he died, 108 temples were open.  However, he stayed on the exact path he needed to in order to accomplish that.  

But, nothing is set in stone.  Things we do affect other things in our life in ways we can't imagine.  Fortune telling of any sort helps give you advice...and a glimpse of the bigger picture.   A good fortune teller will tell you that...they can't tell you how things WILL be...but only the influences at work and perhaps a possible outcome.

If you're in the book store, pick up a book on the tarot and leaf through it.  Look for the meanings of the cards.  You will see they describe influences and not detailed events.

[ Parent ]

Tarot (none / 0) (#354)
by bugmaster on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 05:34:51 AM EST

But I don't care about tarot right now (I know a bit about it already). I was more curious about vedic astrology. You said that it was effective, but I still can't figure out what it's actually supposed to do. In any situation, there's a set of possible outcomes; some of them are more likely than others. Regular, non-clairvoyant people think about the situation, look at their (and others') past experiences, and determine the most likely outcome, and the most desirable course of action.

There's nothing magical or spiritual about this process, though -- it's strictly mundane, and everybody does it, consciously or not. Is the vedic astrology more effective than this ? If so, how and why ?
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

Vedic astrology (none / 0) (#355)
by tannhaus on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 06:20:36 AM EST

Well, I'm really not qualified to comment on vedic astrology.  I've come into some contact with it, but not to a great extent.  But yes, it's very helpful to have all the information you can at your fingertips when you make decisions.  Vedic Astrology will tell you good times to do things...bad times to do things...etc.  It will tell you what influences are in your life and when.  So, when you make your decisions you can take that into account.  I don't know anyone that makes decisions solely off vedic astrology...but they use it as extra information...to try and make the right decisions.

For instance, when you get a marriage compatibility chart.  It might say you're a horrible match because of this, this and this.  But, you don't call off the marriage.  You just pay attention to those details and prepare for them.

[ Parent ]

Also on fortune telling (none / 0) (#349)
by tannhaus on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 11:30:03 PM EST

I forgot to mention, but the very act of me reading your cards changes the outcome.  Most people recommend having a reading done every six months.  By your actions in those six months with knowledge of the influences at work, you've changed any future that may happen.  

Charlatans have turned fortune telling into something its not...just to prey on people's gullibility.  When I read tarot cards for a living someone told me "Oh, I don't even know the meanings of the cards...I just make up something vague and tell them what they want to hear".  Unfortunately, that person is in the majority.

The same goes with the horoscopes you see in the newspaper.  That's not real astrology.  For real astrology to work, the person has to know your exact time of birth and your place of birth.  Then they can decide exactly what stars and planets were where and give you an accurate detail of the influences at work in your life.  It takes skill and it's a very complicated and long process.  My friend in the OTO does astrology (not vedic).  She uses a computer to figure out the position of the stars and such so she doesn't have to deal with all the math and computations.  Still...it takes her quite a long while....not something you can churn out in an hour.


[ Parent ]

That's one magic disciplic succession (2.83 / 6) (#209)
by scruffyMark on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:10:45 PM EST

the thirty-third guru in a disciplic succession that goes all the way back to the original form of God, Krishna, who visited India some 5,000 years ago.

5000 / 33 = 151.5 and change

So each guru in this succession lasted about 152 years before his/her disciple took over. Assuming that disciples take over from their gurus at a relatively young age, say 20, that means that the average guru lived to be about 172 - assuming that succession takes place on the death of the guru. If there is such a thing as a retired guru, then even longer.

I don't know about their religion, but they must have some interesting things to teach about exercise and nutrition...

Perhaps not magical (none / 1) (#212)
by TheMealwormFarm on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:33:49 PM EST

This was already explained.


------
"Grandpa, didn't you wonder why you were getting paid for doing absolutely nothing?"
"Well, I figured the Demmycrats were in office again."
[ Parent ]
That's kind of weird (none / 0) (#267)
by scruffyMark on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 11:55:17 AM EST

"This is an unbroken succession. We haven't really got records of the succession. So, we don't know who half these people were, but rumour has it that's it's unbroken. Next question please."

Thanks for pointing that out though.

[ Parent ]

RE: That's kind of weird (none / 0) (#269)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 01:24:55 PM EST

I'm sure they have the records of the succession.  I know they have a lot of information on each of the gurus listed that I personally do not have.  But, the guru parampara really isn't meant to be a historical document but instead to show what notable people were in this succession.  It's like a who's who list.  

The succession WAS broken before Krishna and that's one reason why he came.  Vedic knowledge is meant to be transmitted from guru to student and without that transmission, even though it is written down, you lose a lot of meaning.  That is why Srila Prabhupada's books are so valuable to us.  He includes his purports at the end of the verse, explaining it and cross referencing it to give us the big picture.

There is a lot of information not presented to the average person within ISKCON as far as historical documents and such...much like the average catholic is not sent to the vatican in order to do his study.  That would take away from the message of each belief system by bogging down the person with information that is essentially useless to him.  

[ Parent ]

Hare Khrisna (none / 3) (#214)
by aguila on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 04:10:01 PM EST

Most educated persons, and anyone else who studies the long and complex history of religions and human history, must over time come to a point either unbelief (which is different from disbelief) or emotional weeping to the point of despair (if one cares about the matter at all).  There is not one example, not one, which has managed to be a shining example for any purpose or any reason.

Every single one has been corrupted, and the corruptions propagate themselves into horrors of expression which the first generation of worshipers would be astounded to have even taken place.  Every initial expression or nearly every initial expression of religion has a wonderfully inspirational expression of something precious and uniquely insightful, even beautiful, in regards to
an individual or even humanity's inter-relations with the Creator in some way.  Yet in every case, the same process happens as it is the responsibility of each generation to move with it's own inspiration of faith, this becomes more and more difficult as either it moves from primary
direct inspirational experience into something more abstract, and something which is imposed upon one not by having been convinced by fair argument but rather by political or intimidating force or force of conquest or war.

One would think that repetitive emotional programming or manipulation would have become clear modern indications disqualifying cults as valid religions, but so much abuse by every religion has been done that any modern cult even so much as born 10 minutes ago can seriously claim to be more benign with it's blinking technological ly powerful gadgetry indicating superior states of awareness of one sort or another that it will collect a mass of convinced practioners at an incredibly suprising rate.  It can point to what other's have used for conversion - war, rape, political influence, even genocide - and state quite rightly that all they are doing surrounds the blinking lights of a box or the speeches of a guru or Master of a certain parental or genetic stock -- and the response must be silence.

And while all things have a context, it is very hard to justify sex with children for any reason or purpose, yet human history has shown that even this has been and in some areas of the world still is permissible under the concept of child brides and childhood wedddings.

And despite the tendency of many to describe such practices under the heading and title as Religion or Culture -- this is exactly what the problem is.
Too much horror and abuse is under that blanket of Religion and Culture and it is time to strip it off and examine it for what it is.

An acceptable excuse for the abuse of children, for the existence and propagation of slavery, for the domination and subjugation of whole peoples who happen to be born of pigments different than one's own, the mindless subjugation and domination of women and much more because certain adults benefit from generation to generation by these horrors.  

These "traditions" have nothing to do with God or holiness, but everything to do with mankind's unwillingness to surrender it's vindictive and unbridled abuse of and over others.  The way to stop it is really to stop ourselves from supporting any group, institution or person which manipulates and propagates upon others any one of these horrors for any reason at all.  Then in time, perhaps if human will is persistent enough human culture and even human religion may become cleansed... and with God assisting Mankind's will to become steady so that we save ourselves from ourselves, maybe even cleansed as well as free.

There is an interesting conversation often overlooked in which one of Christ's disciples question's Christ regarding goodness.  It has always intrigued me that Christ clearly depicted, only God as good.  

We are all familiar with the pretense of faith and other virtues as opposed to their actual existence.  Yet up to this moment who can actually be said to be listening truly from one's heart?  I see fancy dressing, hairstyles or no hair and various states of nondress, sex of all kinds even with the obviously ill and/or healthy beasts or human... I cannot say to have seen more than what what was described by Aquinas in his Confessions; I can say that in my time, this time, I wish I had seen much, much less.

There are none who are afraid either of Christ's or the Buddha's warnings, and none take it as a guide to pay serious attention to.  You would think humanity with it's wonderful power of reason would attend to leaders who 600years apart refer to the same story of the Prodigal Son with important and subtle variations which enlighten still for those who care to think deeply enough;
and to their very similar attention to gentleness and respect of others.

As for dancing to God's name, that is nothing new in this Hemisphere.  The native American Indians throughout the Hemisphere know all about this as did and do the Mayans and Inca; US citizens only know one name for this however (pow-wow) and that is because of the arrogance of their own myopic racist vision which became irrevocably tied to the uniquely American version of Christianity.  Few know that when the first generation of American Indians heard of Christ from missionaries... they thought it (he) was a god of fear.  This is documented in Seven Arrows by H. Storm  

It is perhaps poetic justice that the descendants of such missionaries and thieves are chasing their tails looking East or to technology -- the "new" magic -- for something already within their grasp.
I point out thievery because he pointed out something very interesting in quite a few places about riches and theft.  For instance, the Cherokee have yet to be compensated in any form for the land stolen from them by the United States  on the orders of Andrew Jackson (although the Supreme Court forbade it).  How is it that the Japanese descendants were compensated but the Cherokee not;  and what of the Mohawk, Araphoe, Black Feet and I can go on... I'm no scholar but didn't Christ make it clear that all injustices must be paid for back - in full?  The US lost several cases to various American Indian Nations which they are waiting to receive the land itself for; ask around how many U.S. Christians are obeying the judgement of Law and their conscience in abandoning stolen by their ancestors.  

Listen to stunned silence at the question and their response to Christ's challenge to them to obey righteously.  They will have plenty of company where they are going -- eventually just as all "obvious" followers of one faith or another.  Dante's vision of Hell or even the movies the Hellraiser series or Jacob's Ladder will appear as delights... but no one can afford to gloat, because everyone is sharing in the injustice that is propagated everywhere equally.

Too many are too comfortable to really get awake and take meaningful action today.  As has been said regarding the Buddha's truths is true for other truthful things as well, "Unless one comes seeking immediate relief as though one's own hair is on fire ... it is better not to start".
=============== Lakota Sioux: Mitakuye Oyasin English Translation: We are all related.

no (none / 0) (#219)
by raskolnik on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 05:55:32 PM EST

This is barely relevant and a huge overgeneralization. The idea that religion is somehow entirely evil is just plain false. You cannot truthfully say that no one has ever been made a better person by their religion, or that a given religion has never done anything good. You assume a lot of things the poster never said, and presume to put a lot of blame where it doesn't belong. "[I]n every case, the same process happens as it is the responsibility of each generation to move with it's own inspiration of faith, this becomes more and more difficult as either it moves from primary direct inspirational experience into something more abstract, and something which is imposed upon one not by having been convinced by fair argument but rather by political or intimidating force or force of conquest or war." This is flat-out wrong. There are plenty of people (myself included) who chose their religions on their own, not because of some outside pressure.
<hr> No hables sino que puedes mejorar al silencio.
[ Parent ]
And a long azz post to post twice! (none / 0) (#220)
by A55M0NKEY on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 06:17:56 PM EST

If someone's gonna rant, ONCE IS ENOUGH!

[ Parent ]
On a Huge Overgeneralization (none / 0) (#367)
by aguila on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 06:39:02 PM EST

I did not state that religion is evil.  What I attempted to bring out, perhaps badly, is that natural and inevitable process of how time affects religion and religious concepts.  The problem which I'm pointing at, again badly, is the process and inevitable political interests which affect all human societies and twist even the best ideas into something unpalatable, impractical and unbearable to later generations.

The failure I'm pointing at is not so much religion but each generations choices to abandon it's highest values across every culture.  Instead many take advantage of quoting holy verses to allow, engage and commit the most outrageous crimes which are somehow allowable all of a sudden because the victims are of a different faith and/or race.  

An infamous example of this abusive power is proudly and boldly declared by no less a personage than Cortez himself, who declared war against a whole continent.  The abuses of the Conquistadors blessed by the way by the Order of the Holy Inquisition is something that all the Americas still suffer from centuries later, even Columbus is not clean from this blood.  There is no way that descendants of native peoples and others can look at each other without tears -- all for the privelage of speaking Spanish; for the oceans of blood spilled one should say, "Thank you?"  For all that, still one Catholic priest spoke against the horror done to Africans and Indians in the so called "New World".  His name was Bartolome de las Casas.  There is a whole website dedicated to his work and effort; it is at: http://www.lascasas.org/index.htm

In brief, political or socially expedient power imposed upon others.  That is what the human world always had allowed itself to allow and participate in; this is what started the rape of the Americas; which inspired Hitler and so on.  The Taliban and copycat others are just one more of the same in a different dress.

I guess I could argue the same point from the positive, but I don't know of a nation following Ghandi, or Martin Luther King.  Instead I see much , much worse all in the name of one religion or another.  And that is what is the problem.  The pretense of faith through the use of violence, political or other pressure -- not the faith itself.

I'm happy to read of at least one person who has not experienced such negative societal power directed against oneself or one's faith.  But too many have, and that should end.  

The best way to end the abuse is also the hardest.  As with anything truly meaningful it must start with one person, each must work from within one's self within the context one is actually at.  In that sense all the teachings remain true from the ancient world up to the Buddha and up to our time,
the challenge and the answer is the same -- one person at a time.
=============== Lakota Sioux: Mitakuye Oyasin English Translation: We are all related.
[ Parent ]

Hare Khrisna (1.71 / 7) (#215)
by aguila on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 04:19:41 PM EST

Most educated persons, and anyone else who studies the long and complex history of religions and human history, must over time come to a point either unbelief (which is different from disbelief) or emotional weeping to the point of despair (if one cares about the matter at all).  There is not one example, not one, which has managed to be a shining example for any purpose or any reason.

Every single one has been corrupted, and the corruptions propagate themselves into horrors of expression which the first generation of worshipers would be astounded to have even taken place.  Every initial expression or nearly every initial expression of religion has a wonderfully inspirational expression of something precious and uniquely insightful, even beautiful, in regards to
an individual or even humanity's inter-relations with the Creator in some way.  Yet in every case, the same process happens as it is the responsibility of each generation to move with it's own inspiration of faith, this becomes more and more difficult as either it moves from primary
direct inspirational experience into something more abstract, and something which is imposed upon one not by having been convinced by fair argument but rather by political or intimidating force or force of conquest or war.

One would think that repetitive emotional programming or manipulation would have become clear modern indications disqualifying cults as valid religions, but so much abuse by every religion has been done that any modern cult even so much as born 10 minutes ago can seriously claim to be more benign with it's blinking technological ly powerful gadgetry indicating superior states of awareness of one sort or another that it will collect a mass of convinced practioners at an incredibly suprising rate.  It can point to what other's have used for conversion - war, rape, political influence, even genocide - and state quite rightly that all they are doing surrounds the blinking lights of a box or the speeches of a guru or Master of a certain parental or genetic stock -- and the response must be silence.

And while all things have a context, it is very hard to justify sex with children for any reason or purpose, yet human history has shown that even this has been and in some areas of the world still is permissible under the concept of child brides and childhood wedddings.

And despite the tendency of many to describe such practices under the heading and title as Religion or Culture -- this is exactly what the problem is.
Too much horror and abuse is under that blanket of Religion and Culture and it is time to strip it off and examine it for what it is.

An acceptable excuse for the abuse of children, for the existence and propagation of slavery, for the domination and subjugation of whole peoples who happen to be born of pigments different than one's own, the mindless subjugation and domination of women and much more because certain adults benefit from generation to generation by these horrors.  

These "traditions" have nothing to do with God or holiness, but everything to do with mankind's unwillingness to surrender it's vindictive and unbridled abuse of and over others.  The way to stop it is really to stop ourselves from supporting any group, institution or person which manipulates and propagates upon others any one of these horrors for any reason at all.  Then in time, perhaps if human will is persistent enough human culture and even human religion may become cleansed... and with God assisting Mankind's will to become steady so that we save ourselves from ourselves, maybe even cleansed as well as free.

There is an interesting conversation often overlooked in which one of Christ's disciples question's Christ regarding goodness.  It has always intrigued me that Christ clearly depicted, only God as good.  

We are all familiar with the pretense of faith and other virtues as opposed to their actual existence.  Yet up to this moment who can actually be said to be listening truly from one's heart?  I see fancy dressing, hairstyles or no hair and various states of nondress, sex of all kinds even with the obviously ill and/or healthy beasts or human... I cannot say to have seen more than what what was described by Aquinas in his Confessions; I can say that in my time, this time, I wish I had seen much, much less.

There are none who are afraid either of Christ's or the Buddha's warnings, and none take it as a guide to pay serious attention to.  You would think humanity with it's wonderful power of reason would attend to leaders who 600years apart refer to the same story of the Prodigal Son with important and subtle variations which enlighten still for those who care to think deeply enough;
and to their very similar attention to gentleness and respect of others.

As for dancing to God's name, that is nothing new in this Hemisphere.  The native American Indians throughout the Hemisphere know all about this as did and do the Mayans and Inca; US citizens only know one name for this however (pow-wow) and that is because of the arrogance of their own myopic racist vision which became irrevocably tied to the uniquely American version of Christianity.  Few know that when the first generation of American Indians heard of Christ from missionaries... they thought it (he) was a god of fear.  This is documented in Seven Arrows by H. Storm  

It is perhaps poetic justice that the descendants of such missionaries and thieves are chasing their tails looking East or to technology -- the "new" magic -- for something already within their grasp.
I point out thievery because he pointed out something very interesting in quite a few places about riches and theft.  For instance, the Cherokee have yet to be compensated in any form for the land stolen from them by the United States  on the orders of Andrew Jackson (although the Supreme Court forbade it).  How is it that the Japanese descendants were compensated but the Cherokee not;  and what of the Mohawk, Araphoe, Black Feet and I can go on... I'm no scholar but didn't Christ make it clear that all injustices must be paid for back - in full?  The US lost several cases to various American Indian Nations which they are waiting to receive the land itself for; ask around how many U.S. Christians are obeying the judgement of Law and their conscience in abandoning land stolen by their ancestors.  

Listen to stunned silence at the question and their response to Christ's challenge to them to obey righteously.  They will have plenty of company where they are going -- eventually just as all "obvious" followers of one faith or another.  Dante's vision of Hell or even the movies the Hellraiser series or Jacob's Ladder will appear as delights... but no one can afford to gloat, because everyone is sharing in the injustice that is propagated everywhere equally.

Too many are too comfortable to really get awake and take meaningful action today.  As has been said regarding the Buddha's truths is true for other truthful things as well, "Unless one comes seeking immediate relief as though one's own hair is on fire ... it is better not to start".
=============== Lakota Sioux: Mitakuye Oyasin English Translation: We are all related.

Uh, not exactly. (none / 0) (#231)
by afabbro on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 08:57:18 PM EST

Most educated persons, and anyone else who studies the long and complex history of religions and human history, must over time come to a point either unbelief (which is different from disbelief) or emotional weeping to the point of despair (if one cares about the matter at all).

I'm sorry, but that's simply not true. There is no logical basis for despair. I can be an unbeliever - in fact, I can think that when I die, that's it - and still not "despair". In fact, I can be quite happy. In fact, such realizations make me MORE happy.

Why? Well, there's two ways to look at life. (a) life is short, you die, that's it, oh God it's all so pointless and bleak, or (b) life is short, you die, that's it, whew! Really takes the pressure off.

[ Parent ]

He said either/or, read what you quoted again. (none / 0) (#292)
by McMick on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 12:29:39 AM EST

asdf

[ Parent ]
unbelief/disbelief? (none / 0) (#242)
by CAIMLAS on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 12:45:14 AM EST

How are these two different, might I ask? -
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

You're so WRONG. I'll give you an example: (none / 0) (#251)
by doesnt on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 03:38:49 AM EST

Just to reply to your first paragraph alone, makes the whole post worthless.

Joseph Campbell.

[ Parent ]

Reincarnation (2.50 / 4) (#217)
by Orion Blastar on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 05:10:51 PM EST

I read one of their phamphlets, it was on reincarnation.

They explained it quite clearly.

You wear a white coat, and then you take it off and wear a black coat. You are neither the white coat or the black coat, you mearly changed coats. The body is very much the same way, you wear one body, die, and your soul wears another body.

It was quite simple, and made the most sense of any reincarnation explination that I have ever read.
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***

In that case (3.00 / 4) (#228)
by rmn on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 08:37:45 PM EST

It would seem most souls have no sense of fashion or style.

RMN
~~~

[ Parent ]

Hey. . . (none / 0) (#233)
by thankyougustad on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 09:08:42 PM EST

the original poster messed up the idea. Its that you are wearing a white fine linen suit and then you change into a black silk suit. Just to say coats is not enough. Niether white linen suits nor black silk suits will ever go out of style.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
I'm talking about bodies (none / 0) (#240)
by rmn on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:28:06 PM EST

He messed up the idea and you missed the point. :)

RMN
~~~

[ Parent ]

Who says you have a choice in bodies? (none / 0) (#304)
by Orion Blastar on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 03:42:17 PM EST

Maybe you randomly are put into a body? Maybe fate or karma or a higher power decides?
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***
[ Parent ]
RE: choice in bodies (none / 0) (#305)
by tannhaus on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 03:49:41 PM EST

According to the vedas, due to your desires and karma at the time of your death, you are given the appropriate body.  

[ Parent ]
Analogies (none / 0) (#327)
by epepke on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 06:12:02 AM EST

I don't forget my name, how to do algebra, or the first girl I kissed when I take off a white coat.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
But who keeps making those souls? (none / 0) (#343)
by tijnbraun on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 02:21:27 PM EST


If we assume that people would reincarnate then somewhere souls have to be produced, otherwise the number of people in this would could not increase. Or do the amount of sould not increase and do souls sometimes reincarnate as a non-human animals? Then the number of animals ought to be constant... which I find highly unlikely...

What is the hindu view about this dilemma (or is there not a dillema and I am seeing problems that or not there?_

[ Parent ]

RE: who keeps making these souls (none / 0) (#344)
by tannhaus on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 02:43:04 PM EST

Souls incarnate as lower life forms as well...plants, animals, etc....not only on this planet but many others.

[ Parent ]
Soul Generation (none / 0) (#346)
by bugmaster on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 05:04:27 PM EST

Wait, I must be missing something. Are new souls being produced at all ? If so, how and by whom (if anyone) ? If not, does this mean that, as people keep ascending, our Universe will eventually run out of souls ?

Also, it's interesting that you mention other planets. I think Hare Krishna is the only religion (well, except for Wicca and such) that acknowledges the possibility of other intelligent life forms out there somewhere.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

RE: Soul Generation (none / 0) (#347)
by tannhaus on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 11:13:36 PM EST

No, we existed before the material world...but when enough of us started getting desires to try and enjoy and be like God...he gave us a way to do that.  So yes, at some point there will be no souls left in the material world...although that will be billions and billions of years off.


[ Parent ]
Intelligent life (none / 0) (#357)
by mharmless on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 08:49:26 PM EST

The mormons are annother religion that acknowledges such. Actualy, their religion requires it. Furthermore, they belive the vast majority will look like us.

[ Parent ]
Re: Intelligent life (none / 0) (#359)
by bugmaster on Fri Aug 06, 2004 at 05:23:56 AM EST

Furthermore, they belive the vast majority will look like us.
Naturally. Why does Mormonism require it, though ? I thought they were all about parallel universes, not our own little one.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
Intelligent life (none / 0) (#363)
by mharmless on Tue Aug 10, 2004 at 12:26:38 PM EST

Mormon doctrine dictates that God was once mortal, that Jesus is literaly his son, that humans are made in God's physical and spiritual image, and that God was created by his God. They belive that eventualy people will be able to become like God in every way (including having your own Creation), just as God became like his God.

Parallel universes were never once mentioned or sugjested while I was still in that church, but it has been over a decade now. The way it was presented in the late eighties was that God only has dominion over our local area in the universe, and that other areas would be the dominions of God's contemporaries. Therefore, they expect that we will find other sentients that look pretty much like us. If there are no alien sentients at all or if none of them look anything like us, then a core part of their beliefs are flawed.

[ Parent ]
I'm a practising Hindu, (2.75 / 4) (#256)
by For Whom The Bells Troll on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 07:29:33 AM EST

in that I dont mind worshipping to my Vedic ancestors every morning at dawn, but even I found ISKCON pradhana sessions a tad, well, different. I mean, I went to this ISKCON rath yatra a couple of weeks back and... well, let's just it's the first time I ever danced in a conga line for religious reasons.

Which is not to belittle the movement of course, just saying it's probably less mainstream Hindu than most people think.

---
The Big F Word.

Reenactment of their greatest moment (2.70 / 17) (#265)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 10:10:12 AM EST


     GOURANGA!

     \_/   _O/_
    _|_\    |_/_ 
    O\  ___  \   /_/
 \O/ __/_|_\_    \ /_
 /_\/_ ____ _|   /O            
  \\  O    O          _O/_\/  /\_O_  _O___


Gouranga? (none / 0) (#308)
by Alienated Buddha on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 06:52:56 PM EST

I once recieved an email with that being the only word written in the subject and body of the email. What the hell is it? Most mysterious spam ever ...

[ Parent ]
RE: Gouranga (none / 0) (#310)
by tannhaus on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 07:36:09 PM EST

It's a splinter group of ISKCON.  From what I understand, they don't chant the maha mantra and instead chant Gouranga.

[ Parent ]
Sigh, you'd think that K5 goers.. (none / 0) (#333)
by McMasters on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 05:40:17 PM EST

Would at least know how to use Google.

[ Parent ]
God visiting (none / 1) (#335)
by tannhaus on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 10:07:07 PM EST

You're completely ignoring the fact many believe God HAS visited.  If you choose not to believe that, it's fine.  But, it really sounds like you're saying "he should visit and tell us what he wants" and that's exactly what he's done.

RE: drugs for fun (none / 0) (#336)
by tannhaus on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 10:11:31 PM EST

You could say that about anything though:

If a religion doesn't let you kill people for fun..

If a religion doesn't let you steal for fun...

If a religion doesn't let you have sex in public for fun...

etc. etc.

Some people are happy not adhering to a belief system.  They want to enjoy the material world and that's why it was created...when you're in that state of mind.  So, have at it... no one is trying to tell you that you can't.  There are consequences..such as when you break the law...but do what you decide to do.

I'm not sure why this happened (none / 0) (#338)
by tannhaus on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 11:07:09 PM EST

these were posted as replies to other comments and they ended up as replies to my original post.

[ Parent ]
Idiot. (none / 1) (#350)
by Danzig on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 01:10:03 AM EST

Killing people harms non-consenting others. Stealing people harms non-consenting others. Sex in public (with all parties consenting) may harm non-consenting others if it is blocking traffic or something, but a religion that forbids sex in a public park is bullshit.

I am happy adhering to a belief system, which is that most drugs are not only fun, but valuable. You (or ISKCON) are trying to tell me that I cannot, because I will be unable to use drugs (or have recreational sex) at your highest level. This is more than a state of mind thing, this is proof that your religion is full of shit. If you are doing drugs or having sex correctly neither are about the material world.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
And I am an idiot as well. (none / 0) (#351)
by Danzig on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 01:10:41 AM EST

You cannot steal people, at least in countries where slavery is illegal.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
RE: Idiot (none / 0) (#352)
by tannhaus on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 03:18:28 AM EST

You (or ISKCON) are trying to tell me that I cannot, because I will be unable to use drugs (or have recreational sex) at your highest level.

It's called standards. In other things in life, position indicates adherence to certain standards..whether they be performance based, doctrine based, etc.  

A religion would be bogus that let just anyone lead it, no matter what they did. I don't understand why you think you should automatically go to the front of the class just because you're you.  There are things in this life you have to work for.

[ Parent ]

I did not say they should let just anyone in. (none / 0) (#353)
by Danzig on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 05:28:53 AM EST

Nothing is wrong with standards in general. Don't murder, steal, rape, lie, etc. are all good. It is bullshit standards that are wrong, and blanket bans on all recreational drugs and/or sex are bullshit.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
Standards (none / 0) (#356)
by tannhaus on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 03:22:31 PM EST

It is bullshit standards that are wrong, and blanket bans on all recreational drugs and/or sex are bullshit.

And who decides that?  I mean, personally, you're free to choose whatever religion you wish...or not choose any religion at all.  However, if religion is supposed to get you closer to God, then ultimately they follow the standards and regulations they believe are handed down from God.

We have no way of proving beyond the shadow of a doubt what God wants, so their beliefs are just as valid as yours and, therefore, not bullshit.  We believe we should minimize and eventually completely eliminate our attachments and desires for the material world.  You, however, think you should enjoy the material world.  That's fine...no one is forcing you to believe otherwise.  However, we have just as much a right to our beliefs and processes that you do to yours.


[ Parent ]

I think. . . (none / 0) (#358)
by thankyougustad on Thu Aug 05, 2004 at 07:45:07 AM EST

that a lot of it has to do with the idea that drugs and sex are directly tied to the body, and therefore impermanent, and therefore material, and not spiritual. But my personal opinion is that we've only got one body (probably) and might as well enjoy it before we're dust.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Read Monkey on a Stick for the dark side (none / 1) (#340)
by Giraffe on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 09:42:29 AM EST

Monkey on a Stick: Murder, Madness, and the Hare Krishnas by John Hubner (sadly out of print) details the murder for hire scandals, the massive drug dealing, the child abuse and prostitution - the whole sordid mess that was the Hare Krishna movement in the US after Prabhupada died.

You'll get a very different look at the Krishna cult. The Kuro5hin article is like reading about the Catholic church in the US without seeing anything about abusive priests.

RE: the dark side (none / 1) (#342)
by tannhaus on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 01:48:18 PM EST

I spoke a little about that here.

[ Parent ]
Right ... (none / 1) (#364)
by duncan bayne on Sun Aug 29, 2004 at 09:14:26 PM EST

The brahmanas would live in these temples and rely on Krishna for their sustenance. ... So the priests would go out daily preaching, chanting the Holy names, distributing literature and accepting donations for the good of all.

What totally self-contradictory shit. The brahmanas don't rely on Krishna for sustenance, they rely on the productive members of society whom they dupe into giving them a fraction of their hard-earned wealth.



unproductive (none / 0) (#366)
by tannhaus on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 11:26:37 PM EST

Some would consider spreading God consciousness to be more productive than toiling day after day and ending up in the same position you were the day before.

[ Parent ]
Who are the Hare Krishnas? | 367 comments (346 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
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