Kill and Be Killed

Kill and Be Killed

Kill and Be Killed

Excerpts from Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, Chapter 24, Texts 249-251 & purports

If one gives another living entity unnecessary pain, one will certainly be punished by the laws of nature with a similar pain. Although the hunter Mrigari was uncivilized, he still had to suffer the results of his sinful activities. However, if a civilized man kills animals regularly in a slaughterhouse to maintain his so-called civilization, using scientific methods and machines to kill animals, one cannot even estimate the suffering awaiting him. So-called civilized people consider themselves very advanced in education, but they do not know about the stringent laws of nature. According to nature’s law, it is a life for a life. We can hardly imagine the sufferings of one who maintains a slaughterhouse. He endures suffering not only in this life, but in his next life also. It is said that a hunter, murderer or killer is advised not to live and not to die. If he lives, he accumulates even more sins, which bring about more suffering in a future life. He is advised not to die because his dying means that he immediately begins to endure more suffering. Therefore he is advised not to live and not to die.  [Read More…]

THE HEART OF A GOPI

The Heart of a Gopi

THE HEART OF A GOPI
By RAIHANA TYABJI

East-West Publications Fund
c/o B/12 Nizamuddin West.
New Delhi-110013, India.

© Copyright 1971
East-West Publications Fund
78, Anna Paulowna Straat
P.O. Box 7617, The Hague, Holland
Printed at The Military Press, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi-110024

The First Day

So, this is Gokul.

But yesterday I lived and moved and had my being in a palace, and to-day—today I am in a hut! But yes­terday I was a rich man’s beloved daughter, and to-day I am the wife of a Gauli! Where are my father’ and mother now? Fled from the wrath of the King—their daughter delivered to her saviour—Do they remember me? Perhaps they are at peace, knowing that I am safe. And, truly, that is much to be thankful for in these troublous times. Where are they hidden? He knows. But he will not tell even me, for the tongues of women, he says, wag in their sleep. But they are securely hidden, of that he assures me. And to me he could not lie. But yesterday—or is it a thousand yugas or a thousand kalpas ago?—I was clad in silk, and to-day but a red rag conceals my nakedness. (Yet He likes the colour.) And yesterday I picked flowers with my sakhis, and many maidens hung upon my lips to fulfil my slightest command. To-day I must go milk his cows with other milk-maidens, and it is I—Sharmila, daughter of the great chief—(hush! his name must not even be whispered, not even thought of!)—who have to wait on the father, mother, sisters of a Gauli! Is it a dream? Nay, this hut is real. And this red rag that covers me is real. And the ground is real, whereon I slept. But yesterday —but why remember yesterday? Our Guru spoke truly when he advised my father to look upon the past as unreal, since it was not, and the future as unreal since it, also, was not—is not………………….. [Read More…]

The Vrindavana Village “AT ANY COST DO IT”

The Vrindavana Village - AT ANY COST DO IT

The Vrindavana Village “AT ANY COST DO IT”

Murari’s Kirtan Valley
At-any-cost-do-it-final.pdf

Hare Krishna,
Looks like here we find the real Final Order regarding how to perpetuate the mission.
Whole world enveloped in KC if these farms become successful
Big buildings a waste of time!

————

We seek the simple essence of truth in all the instructions of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, because His essence of truth is the same essence of truth found in all our sampradayic teachers. We choose not to speculate in any attempt to “make things more relevant or acceptable” at the cost of sacrificing the essential truths which will bring our individual souls to pure love of Krishna… In this regard, we examine a series of statements by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Prabhupada, regarding his last wishes to establish Vrindavan Villages across the globe.  Gadidas … 2017

Prabhupada:   They were happy, the inhabitants of Vrindavan, with Krishna and living with the cows. That I want to introduce…………………………………. At any cost do it!

Morning Walk, May 27 and 28, 1974, Rome:

Yogesvara: So then we should begin our rural communities like New Vrindaban, and then by training up people in the cities, we can send them gradually…

Prabhupada: There will be no city, We don’t want cities.

Bhagavan: What about our city temples?

Prabhupada: No, no. For the time it may go on. But as we make progress, there will be no necessity. City means… For the present we have got. Because the city is there, we are there.

My comment:  We can clearly see here that Srila Prabhupada had a vision for us that was away from the city, far away. Obviously, to start this movement the cities were the best place.  Small temples were established, and deities were even installed. But Prabhupada was not phased by any of that, he wanted everything moved far from the city. The deities as well…

Prabhupada: Our next program is to organize farming. Let anyone come. We shall give him free food and employment: “Come on.” Not that, “I want to work as a clerk in the city.” You produce your own food. I give you ingredients. I give you land. And work for five, six hours, and take your food and chant Hare Krsna. But we never say that you have to pay so many dollars.  [Read More…]

Where is the BBTI’s Money?

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What is the yearly revenue for the BBTI? According to the IRS, in 2016 (the last year posted), the BBTI had a total revenue of $838,859. The World Sankirtan Newsletter reports that there were over 8 million books sold that year. According to the Newsletter, a large book of 300-500 pages is equal to one book point and the total book points for 2016 was 8,146,115. What is the price that temples are charged for a large book from the BBTI? Their price list has a variety of prices, but seem to show average price of about $2.50

A little basic arithmetic shows that the income for all of Srila Prabhupada’s books for 2016 should have been well over $20 million! 8,146,115 x $2.50 = $20,365,287.50. Srila Prabhupada’s instructions about how the proceeds from his copyrights are that half the income goes to printing more books and half goes to a Building Fund to build temples or maintain existing temples. Of course some of the money from these 8+ million books would come from foreign BBTs, but the contribution to the Building fund, whether from foreign or the BBTI should be half of the $20,000,000, if Srila Prabhupada’s instructions are being followed. [Read More…]

O DEAREST CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP

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O dearest captain of the ship
to cross over this most dangerous ocean of Kali
deluding all the fallen souls to wasting time in folly
dearest Shrila Prabhupada at thy feet I’m now falling.

For you have revealed the fallen soul’s supreme friends
come to take all the fallen souls back to home again
by training them through your books how to transcend
repeated births and deaths putting all sorrows to an end.

In my mind I’m now lying helplessly before you
O Ac Bhaktivedanta Swami Shrila Prabhupada
begging you to force me to surrender to Krishna Gopala
and brake right through Maya’s illusory wall. [Read More…]

Letters To Srila Prabhupada: A Proposal

Pranams Prabhus

A proposal

Letters To Srila Prabhupada

That Srila Prabhupada is still managing the original Hare Krsna movement he can still therefore receive and read letters from his disciples, his followers and his admirers in general. We therefore humbly request that the Writers Corner which has been proposed, if accepted post whatever letters the devotees, followers and admirers wish to send to Srila Prabhupada at any time from any location.
We encourage those writing such letters that they not be composed of complaints regarding anything that might unnecessarily upset Srila Prabhupada. Rather give him as much good news and information as you want about what services you are doing for him and plans you have for the future. Some may ask questions of Srila Prabhupada that may be answered by other devotees in their letters. [Read More…]

Cost of Silence II

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX1BiRhSpig

Almost two years ago the Cost of Silence documentary covered the extensive child abuse, both historic and current, that has plagued the the Hare Krishna movement, and the inadequate initiative of ISKCON’s leadership to tackle this pandemic.

Part Two looks at what’s happened since. How the the leadership responded to address this pervasive problem.

When the Cost of Silence first came out I hoped that raising awareness on the extent of the child abuse problem in ISKCON would motivate the devotee community to give careful consideration to the issue, and inspire some constructive changes; I never imagined there would be a need for a follow up…

Over the years I have repeatedly observed the GBC make decisions that were detrimental for child protection. But some recent developments that have unfolded in the last two years highlight the extent of their willFul disregard for the plight of the children. Two years ago, it may have been still possible to give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn’t know the full extent of the child abuse problem. That perhaps they had been so busy and distracted with their cumbersome managerial responsibilities that the welfare of children had slipped out of their sphere of awareness… Unfortunately, today it is no longer possible to afford them this benefit. [Read More…]

Rama Navami – Appearance of Lord Sri Ramacandra

Rama Navami - Appearance of Lord Sri Ramacandra

April 14, 2019 – Rama Navami
Appearance of Lord Sri Ramacandra
(Fasting till sunset)

FASTING

68-03-12. Letter: Balai
SO FAR THE ADVENT DAY OF LORD CAITANYA IS CONCERNED, I HAVE WRITTEN A FULL SUGGESTION TO MONTREAL, IN WHICH THE MAIN POINTS ARE THAT WE SHOULD ALL OBSERVE STRICT FASTING UP TILL MOONRISE, AND AT THAT TIME, AN OFFERING IS MADE TO LORD CAITANYA OF EKADASI FOODS, FRUITS, PEANUTS, MILK, AND SO FORTH. THEN, ON THE NEXT DAY, FRIDAY THE 15TH, A FULL-SCALE FEAST IS HELD TO CELEBRATE HIS ADVENT DAY. On the 14th, chanting, reading of Srila Bhaktivinode’s book, Life and Precepts and Caitanya Caritamrta, Introduction to Bhagavatam, may be held all the day in the Temple.

69-02-20. Letter: Satsvarupa
Lord Caitanya’s advent day is on the 4th of March 1969. ON THAT DAY YOU SHOULD KEEP FASTING UP TO THE MOONRISE IN THE EVENING, AND THE WHOLE DAY MAY BE UTILIZED IN PERFORMANCES IN KIRTANA AND READING OF LORD CAITANYA’S TEACHINGS. IN THE EVENING AFTER CEREMONY OF KIRTANA IS OBSERVED, LIGHT REFRESHMENTS LIKE FRUIT AND MILK, BOILED POTATOES MAY BE TAKEN AND THE NEXT DAY GENERAL FEASTING AND DISTRIBUTION OF PRASADAM TO PUBLIC MAY BE OBSERVED. [Read More…]

A Most Toxic Purgative

Radhanath Slayer Swami

NOW YOU TOO CAN WORSHIP MEEEEE

His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupāda:

This morning, the press representative, he was astonished that “Swamiji, so many people are coming, they are declaring that ‘I am God.’ What is this?” So these rascals are like that. Therefore there are so many incarnations of God without the powers of. So people, why they should be cheated? If somebody comes and says that “I am God,” why don’t you test? For testing this… When Kṛṣṇa assumed the Supreme Personality of Godhead… Of course, Arjuna was convinced. He accepted, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma [Bg. 10.12], but for future guidance, he requested Kṛṣṇa, “Please show me Your universal form.” Otherwise, without showing universal [form], they’re still claiming that “I am God.” God is not so cheap thing. They’re imitating, trying to imitate. This is very dangerous.

And those who are accepting such rascals, they are also not intelligent. They should know. Just like I asked the press representative, “Suppose if I come and say that I am President Johnson, will you accept me?” So similarly, people should know what is God, what is the definition of God. How can I accept a rascal as God? They have no sense also. Somebody comes, “I am God,” and he accepts, “Yes, he’s God.” What is this nonsense? (Lecture, Bhagavad-gita 3.18-30, Los Angeles, December 30, 1968) [Read More…]

Radhanath – unwanted slimy creature

Radhanath Swami Unwanted criminal and slimy creature

Radhanath – unwanted criminal and slimy creature

This was just posted on Facebook“.

“Each and everyone of you can help to get rid of this slimy creature who is posing as a »modern saint.«

Not by violence – but rather by the traditional Vaishnava way of neglecting and rejecting. Just show him the door wherever he shows up – as the rich and famous whom he is trying to curry favour with, are already doing.

He is an insult to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda and the entire Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya. It also has been confirmed recently by yet another testimony that he was one of the main instigators in the murder of a devotee. (Sulocana) [Read More…]

Restoring the Original ISKCON (Part One)

 

Although the idea that we can restore ISKCON to its former glory may seem presumptuous and nearly impossible–like killing a rhino with a blow dart–it is our duty to try.

What to do first? We have already done the first step. The Hare Krishna Society has produced a booklet summarizing the essential conclusions regarding the mission and teachings of the Krishna consciousness movement, and dozens of senior devotees contributed to and agreed on all the points in SPS and the importance of these points. This should remain our fundamental position paper to enlist the help and participation of devotees who agree with all conclusions.

Next, we have cooperated to help Nityananda produce a full expose of Iskcon leaders and their participation in the cover-up of the murderous plot to poison Srila Prabhupada and pervert his mission. This project, complete with accompanying videos, is very dramatic and will be even more useful if applied in a positive way rather than just as a means of tearing down iskcon leadership. One positive effect would be if these revelations encourage devotees to fully abandon maya-iskcon and cooperate with the Hare Krishna Society by following the principles pointed out in SPS.

Most devotees are struggling to maintain their spiritual life all alone– or in the orbit of iskcon. Many are not supportive on iskcon leadership but try to remain in good-standing with them—just to keep in association with devotees. They see no alternative for association anywhere else. Some adventurous souls like Rathayatra have moved to India to get needed sadhu-sanga via Bangalore iskcon, but the iskcon Bangalore policy is to ban all “foreigner” devotees and appeal to the nationalistic, bodily sentiments of the general public in South India –for the sake of money collection, temple construction, and social prestige.

In my opinion, it may be futile to go on chasing iskcon leaders. They will never change due to their severe offenses. At best, we can rescue a few good devotees from their chaos, but even this Srila Prabhupada never tried to do with regard to the Gauidya Math. In fact, when Indian GM devotees came to join ISKCON, they were especially tested to see if they were really sincere. Srila Prabhupada preferred disciples who had never been in any kind of poisonous association. Indians in general were looked at carefully due to the rampant association that most Indians have had with mayavadis, impersonalists, sahajiyas and all manner of pseudo-spiritualists. [Read More…]

What this coming astrological alignment in Sagittarius means

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbXpecTOTFg

Let’s seize this opportunity to rescue the children and the copyrights,
and to reestablish Srila Prabhupada’s position as the final authority in his society!

We have an amazing and unprecedented opportunity in the coming 8 months: with Jupiter and Saturn both in Sagittarius with Ketu (and Pluto) there is the potential for people to be able to see truth that has been obscured by illusion. This is because Sagittarius, as the ninth sign of the Zodiac, is an environment that resonates with truth, justice, religiosity, philosophy and morality. The two slow planets, Jupiter and Saturn affect facets of our character that deal with our sense of justice and our deepest life’s lessons respectively. The opportunity available to everyone is to be able to see the truth that has been hidden by illusion and to have the strength and fortitude to be able to work towards justice.

Because Jupiter takes about a year to transit any given sign of the Zodiac and Saturn takes 2 and a half years, Jupiter and Saturn end up together in a constellation about every 16 years. However it is rare that they conjoin in Sagittarius, with the most recent conjunction in 1960. In 1960 people did apparently feel the truth/justice influence: 18 countries gained independence from various imperial powers, the US government officially linked smoking to heart disease and the Civil Rights movement scored a huge Supreme Court victory in the Boynton v. Virginia case that ruled racial segregation in transportation to be illegal.

This particular transit of Jupiter and Saturn in Sagittarius is even more interesting because they are joined by Ketu and Pluto. Ketu is linked to unexpected “black swan” events and Pluto is considered to rule over sex, money and secrets. In the coming months, be ready for: serious lessons about facing the truth, satisfaction from activities to gain justice, unexpected surprises and to uncover scandals.

There are some serious injustices that need to be exposed and remedied within ISKCON. The first and most serious is the systemic abuse of the devotee children as documented in Saunaka Rsi’s videos, The Cost of Silence and Cost of Silence II. While most devotees are aware of the abuse and of the fact that the abuse is continuing under a policy that allows known pedophiles such as Bhavananda to be honored within ISKCON and allows convicted child abusers to continue to have access to children, most devotees don’t know what they can do to stop the abuse. While it is beyond the scope of this article to have a final plan to stop the abuse, this article is written with the intention to bring the problem more out into the light so that the society can collaborate to find a solution. The solution will manifest when enough devotees say, “enough!” We cannot tolerate policies that allow children to be abused and we should insist on the removal, by force, if necessary, of any ISKCON leader that allows this diabolical policy to continue. [Read More…]

Nori Muster: My Years After Leaving ISKCON

Nori Muster: After Leaving ISKCON

My Years After Leaving ISKCON
By Nori J. Muster [Nandini dasi]
July 30, 2001

Thirteen Years After Leaving ISKCON

In 1978, when I was twenty-two years old, I decided to join the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and dedicate my life to the organization. Over the next ten years, I lived and worked in ISKCON as a Hare Krishna devotee. Finally, in 1988 I resigned my position as associate editor of their newsletter, ISKCON World Review, and left. It has now been thirteen years of learning and recovery, including publishing a book about my experiences: Betrayal of the Spirit. This essay will explain some of the major hurdles and lingering effects of my fateful decision.

Organization of Bad Vibes

One of the most insidious teachings of ISKCON is that you must give up your previous “material” life and devote one hundred percent of your time and energy to the group. At ISKCON’s request, I abandoned all my friends and family without thinking about how it would hurt them or make them worry about me. When my book came out, relatives and friends of other Hare Krishna devotees have contacted me for advice. Listening to their grief made me realize how my own family may have felt. It has been a struggle to reclaim some of my roots. I also found that once cut off, some relationships never grow back. It has been difficult for me to face this consequence. Like many other members, I believed that the organization had The Answer and everyone else was in the dark. I tried to force my group’s beliefs and values on other people. ISKCON preachers tell members and others to accept their whole philosophy and reject any other philosophy. They forbid members from reading outside literature for fear that they would be influenced by opposing philosophies. I now recognize this as a disrespectful and fanatical attitude meant to control members. I also got a few people to join and i’ve apologized to a few of them.

When I met devotees in 1977, the original guru Srila Prabhupada died (some say he was murdered). This lead to a power struggle within ISKCON, as the alleged guru killers quickly assumed the mantle of leadership and then mounted a tremendous campaign to hold onto their power. Living inside an institution like this, which was based on a lie, took its toll. During the years I was a member, ninety percent of the original members left. Looking back now, I see that the eleven gurus (the alleged murderers) were highly motivated to make their own disciples stay. They manipulated us with warnings about the karmi (non-devotee) world and told us that if we blooped (left the organization), we would go to hell. They told us that before taking initiation we were dogs and that we would go back to being dogs if we left. The gurus told horror stories about other blooped devotees, meant to scare us into staying. Insiders told nasty jokes about ex-members and make fun of them behind their backs. Gurus’ thugs (called kshatrias) beat people up to maintain order. In 1986 a devotee thug killed a man in Los Angeles for speaking against the gurus. [Read More…]

BBTI: Oust the book changers! (petition)

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjfp2kfr0LQ

https://www.change.org/p/bbti-oust-the-book-changers

Srila Prabhupada told us that his books are the law books for the next 10,000 years. As beneficiaries* of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, let’s send a message to the holders of Srila Prabhupada’s priceless copyrights that we will not tolerate this posthumous editing that goes against Vaisnava etiquette, publishing standards and common sense. Let’s insist that the Trustees of the BBT follow the directions of Srila Prabhupada! [Read More…]

The Trial of the Hare Krsna Devotees in Germany

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION - The Trial of the Hare Krsna People in Germany

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN WEST GERMANY

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION - The Trial of the Hare Krsna People in Germany

The raid . . . the media barrage . . . the courtroom encounter.
A half-million-dollar effort to snuff out the Hare Kṛṣṇa Movement.

Hare-Krishnas-Trial-Germany.pdf

The Trial of the Hare Krsna People in Germany

The searchlights flickering on the refectory walls didn’t phase anyone very much. It was just after 8 a.m on Sunday, December 14, 1974, and the hot cereal with fruit and milk had top priority for the roughly seventy devotees at the hilltop Kṛṣṇa center in the south German countryside. But soon one of them asked, “What’s going on?” and another went to the window.

“The whole driveway is filled with police cars,” the young man said, “—all the way down, as far as you can see.”

Most of the devotees kept focused on their breakfast, though a few more went to the windows. More policemen were getting out of their green and white cars and making their way up the hill. They had guns, shields, gas masks, and helmets with face guards, and in a moment they had the place surrounded.

Blond, blue-eyed Maharathi dāsa opened a window and asked, “Why have you come?”

One of the officers shot some tear gas his way. Before anyone could open the doors, they had broken in and were storming through the halls with their boots and machine guns, looking into open cabinets and closets and breaking open the locked ones.

When Maharathi had washed his eyes, he asked the policemen not to smoke inside the temple.

“If you don’t be quiet,” one of them offered, “we’ll knock out your teeth.”

When the police reached the women’s quarters, they threw saris on the floor and laced them with oil. One policeman announced, “This is my harem,” and another addressed the celibate girls as “beautiful prostitutes.” When one of the girls objected, a policeman warned, “Be careful, you cow. Otherwise, I’ll hit you in the face so hard you’ll think a horse has kicked you.” [Read More…]

THE FADING OF UTOPIA: ISKCON IN TRANSITION

THE FADING OF UTOPIA: ISKCON IN TRANSITION

THE FADING OF UTOPIA:
ISKCON IN TRANSITION

STEVEN J. GELBERG (SUBHĀNANDA DĀS)
THE DIVINITY SCHOOL, HARVARD UNIVERSITY

iskcon-in-transition.pdf

Much depression of spirit has been felt, and struggling thro’ dark and gloomy prospects on account of apostacies, lifelessness and backslidings of unfaithful members, and the scanty ingathering from without. (from a Shaker journal, 1856) [1]

Dialogue in ISKCON has come to mean aggressive in-fighting. Fanaticism often replaces intelligent analysis. To discuss is to do battle. Our godbrother becomes an adversary, and when we are finished with him, his ego is so bruised and his self-esteem so shattered that disgraceful separation from the Movement is his only recourse. (Hare Krishna devotee, 1984) [2] [Read More…]

The Temple of Doom

The Temple of Doom - Moundsville

Followers of Krishna built an elaborate palace in West Virginia to honor
their founder and his ideals. But the ideals disappeared as the movement
turned to greed and violence. ISKCON has ended up as a series of cults that
are far more materialistic than the culture ISKCON’s founder sought to transcend.

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS / JUNE 28, 1987 / WEST
Newspaper Cover Story: Crime and the Krishnas – Part Two
By John Hubner

The Temple of Doom
By John Hubner

Last week in West, in the first of a two-part series on the Krishna movement, staff writer John Hubner told how Swami Prabhupada started the movement in the United States and how its members became increasingly involved in illegal activities after his death. The public, however, continued to think of the Krishnas as a benign if strange relic of the ’60s. Then a former devotee named Steve Bryant began a crusade to unmask the movement’s leadership.

STEVE BRYANT was careening around the country, driving through state after state, screaming at his wife, Jane, even though she was hundreds of miles away in West Virginia. At 3 a.m. one very hot night in Dallas in July 1985, Bryant parked his van, telephoned Jane, and begged her not to divorce him. She refused. Bryant hung up and immediately called Kirtanananda, the most powerful guru in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness—ISKCON. Kirtanananda was leader of New Vrindaban, a 3,000-acre; 700-member Krishna commune in the hills of West Virginia.

In the phone call, Bryant accused Kirtanan­anda of breaking up his marriage. As he always did, Bryant taped the phone conversation.

“You’ll have to surrender to me,” Kirtanan­anda said, implying that was the only way Bryant would get his wife back.

Bryant argued that the guru had no right to come between them. “You tried to persuade her that you had the only relationship with her,” he said.

“I have the only eternal relationship with her,” the guru replied.

“I just talked to my wife, and she doesn’t want to come back to me—ever. And I can’t allow my sons to stay there [in New Vrindaban].”

“All right, we’ll fight for it,” the guru said, “You want to just go through with a fight, huh?” Bryant asked.

“Yeah!” the guru replied. [Read More…]

Vaishnava Calendar April 2019

Vaishnava Calendar: April 2019

Download:
http://harekrishnacommunity.org/Content/attachment/Desktop_Calendar-April%202019.jpg

April 01, 2019: Papamocani Ekadasi: Description at
http://www.harekrsna.de/artikel/ekadasi/Paapamochanee_Ekadasi.pdf

 

 

On Leaving ISKCON

ISKCON EXIT - On Leaving ISKCON
On Leaving ISKCON

by Steven J. Gelberg (Subhananda das) 1991/92

Editor’s Note
: Steve Gelberg 
(Subhananda das) was a devotee for 17 years, and most of that time he was a staff writer for the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, the publishing arm of ISKCON. After leaving ISKCON in 1986, Steve went on to earn his master’s degree in comparitive religions at Harvard. He wrote this essay in 1992, in order to share his insights with others who left, or were thinking of leaving the organization. The essay is presented here in its complete, unedited form.

Since most devotees do eventually leave ISKCON (AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada correctly predicted that the great majority of his disciples would ultimately abandon the movement), the leaving experience itself (and its aftermath) is certainly one of the core experiences in the life of most devotees, and therefore worthy of reflection and discussion.

Steve Gelberg - Subhananda dasWhen Prabhupada predicted, once, that ninety percent of his disciples would eventually leave his movement, we, his disciples, were shocked that such a thing could be possible. In time, the overwhelming majority of his followers did indeed leave ISKCON, and it now appears the same will hold true for his grand-disciples.

It’s hard to imagine an experience more wrenching, more potentially disorienting, than leaving a spiritual community or tradition to which one has devoted years of one’s life. To lose faith in a comprehensive system of ideas that have shaped one’s consciousness and guided one’s actions, to leave a community that has constituted one’s social world and defined one’s social identity, to renounce a way of life that is an entire mode of being, is an experience of momentous implications.

Especially when the community/tradition one is leaving defines itself as the repository and bastion of all goodness, all meaning, all truth, all decency, all meaningful human attainment, it may require a major psychological effort to reorient both to one’s own self and to the wider world. Internally, one must work to rediscover and reclaim one’s own unique, personal sources of meaning and to live authentically from those inner depths. Externally, one must learn how to deal with the outer world, the vast territory laying beyond the gates of the spiritual enclave — that place that has for so long been viewed as a dark and evil abode unfit for human habitation. Very often devotees no longer content living in ISKCON prolong their stay simply out of fear of the demonized world. [Read More…]

How the Krishnas turned bad

Hansaduttas guns

photo compositing: artist impressionHansadutta the Isk’Con Rambo

“The Hare Krishnas have got a whole bunch of guns at their headquarters,” a friend on the police force told us. “You’ve got to check them out. They’re really crazy. We checked with a City official. “They’ve got over a hundred weapons up there” he said. “Over 150 weapons,” a police lieutenant said. Shot-guns, AR-15s and .357-magnum pistols.” After receiving these tips we asked a former member of the cult about the Krishna attitude toward violence. “Devotees come to believe that whatever they do is all right as long as it’s done in Krishna s service, he said. “They can even kill if it’s done for Krishna.”

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS / JUNE 21, 1987 / WEST
Newspaper Cover Story: How the Krishnas turned bad
By John Hubner

In its early days, the Krishna movement was regarded as everything from a col­orful nuisance to a significant link between Eastern and Western culture. But only now are we beginning to learn how deeply corrupt the movement became in less than 20 years. The movement’s founder wanted to win the West from its materialism. Twenty years later, his disciples stand accused of running drugs and guns, abusing women and children, and even committing murder. The public, continued to think of the Krishnas as a benign relic of the ’60s. Then Steve Bryant’s death stalled investigations that are now going on all over the country. ‘Steve Bryant is a true martyr,’ says Joe Sanchez. ‘He died to clean up his faith.’

THE KRISHNAS TURNED BAD

When HANSADUTTA ARRIVED IN THE BAY AREA in 1978 to become guru of the Berkeley Hare Krishna temple, he told reporters, “To see a big man, you have to see his secretary. I am of kind a secretary to God.” Here is how the secretary to God dealt with an administrative problem:

“I called Jiva into my office and held a .38 to his head. I told him he had five minutes to clear out. Jiva turned white and started to beg. I said, ‘OK, you can stay, but you’ll have to take a vow of sannyas.’ Jiva took sannyas,”

Sannyas is a vow of chastity, and if any Krishna should have taken it, it was Jiva, an ex-con whose Western name was James Patrick Underwood, Underwood was in charge of the Berkeley temple’s women’s collecting party, a group of 15 or 20 women who spent every day on the street soliciting money and  selling flowers and candles. They were Underwood’s harem. He had sex with them, took drugs with them, and beat them. The women were good for $2,000 to $3,000 a day—as much as $10,000 a day during the holidays—but that wasn’t enough for Underwood.

“Jiva would drop his people off, and when he came back, the van would be full of suitcases,” says Vern Daven, a former Krishna devotee in the Berkeley temple. “He stole them off turnstiles in airports.” [Read More…]

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