ISKCON Srila Prabhupad on bullock cart in procession in India

Published on August 4th, 2013 | by urbox | Full size image

108

Are the Hare Krishnas a Cult?

Another thing which makes me think that this is a cult is the number of white people I see following you. How is this possible? Born Christian (most likely), how were they all converted? I’m sure most of them came from Russia but I do not know why. If you want, can you please publish this story? A lot of people have this same question about Hari Krishna being a corrupted

Dear harikrishna.org,

Here is an excellent story to print on your site. Hundreds of hindus can find out the truth!

I am a 19 yr old Hindu student and follower of the Swaminarayan faith as well as all other major Hindu gods/goddesses. You could consider me a ‘normal’ hindu in that sense. I have seen your Hari Krishna parade once and was told by my father that you were a cult. Generally, I know that cults are bad in a sense that there is corruption or something involving improper finance handling or any illegal crimes. Is this true about HariKrishna? If it is a cult, I would stay away from it.

Another thing which makes me think that this is a cult is the number of white people I see following you. How is this possible? Born Christian (most likely), how were they all converted? I’m sure most of them came from Russia but I do not know why. If you want, can you please publish this story? A lot of people have this same question about Hari Krishna being a corrupted cult.

Thank you.

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108 Responses to Are the Hare Krishnas a Cult?

  1. Charelle-Marie says:

    I Am A White English Female, I Follow The Krishna Concioussness, And No It Is Not A cult, My mother Is Catholic But I Was Never Intrested Because They Preach And Ram The Idea Of God Into Your Head Id Say Christians And Catholics Are More The Cult!
    I Visited the Krishna Temple In Watford Once It Was Beautiful, Peaceful, Full Of Love, The People Were So Friendly And Answered The Questions I Had They Didnt Ramble On To Me How I Should Become A Krishna Follower, Like christians, They Only Told Me What I Wanted To Know And Said If You Have anymore Questions Please Ask, they didnt send a collection plate round its your choice to put a donation in. your not looked upon badly if you dont donate. unlike in christianity or as a catholic

    So there Is your Answer There Are White People Follow the Indian Religion Too. & Indians Who Are Christians And Catholics…That Would Mean Every Religion Was A Cult Beacause Someone With A Different Colour Skin Follows It??
    I Think Not
    Krishna Is A Great Religion and He Takes Care Of You.
    Back To Godhead. Leave This Material World.

    • shane says:

      i believe the principles in the religion are fine yet have found that alot of the leaders are gay and corrupt

    • Sean Strunk says:

      I’m enjoying reading all these things people say and I was reading yours and my favorite was when you said “Back to godhead. leave this material world” A light seriously went on in my head when you said that. Thank You

  2. Bhaskara says:

    A comment on, “Are the Hari Krishnas a cult” ?

    The answer to this is no, and why do I say no? Well…..It is simple, If a person Chants the Maha Moantra of– Hri Krishna Hari Hrishna Krishna Krishna Hari Hari Hari Rama Hari Rama rama Rama Hari Hari then sion any person who takes up this Blissful meathode of God realization- will actually start to feel the mellow bliss within their own hearts.

    Generally a cult is a group of people who do things in society that go against the normal process of living among other human beings, This Hari krishna movement is a spiritual process that dates back well over several millions of years. In fact, even today there are tens of millions of people all over this world who follow this way of loving
    God,.Krishna)
    The name Krishna translate to “He who is the topmost resevoir of Pleasure.”
    You and I and all humans on this planet are alway seeking out after a way of having pleasure, and if we do not feel the real love of God within our hearts, then we all will seek out Love or “Pleasure” through the temporary means of lust, power, and false ego.
    A cult would better be though of as a group of people who think it is ok to commit suicide, just as they have done so in gianna Africa many years ago. That was a very crazy, and sad thing to do. People who allow themselves to be brainwasked into thinking that a Human person Like rev Jones is the final word on God and salvation,and that Killing oneself, is the thing to do, then those people who choose to follow a so called leader like I have just discribed above, then those poor human beings could defintatlly be called a cult. this word (cult) in WEbster’s dictionary means-that which is practised in a manner that goes against the normal means that is know by society at large.
    And so, even we can see within the Christian faith, and the Muslins there are some strange cult practices that seem to go agained the norm of things.

    Thaat is why some people even might mistakingly think that this Hari krishna momement is some kind of a cult. Well……..This is very far from the Truth my friends. In fact this chanting of the Hari Krishna Mantra is an eternal spiritual purifying process where by a person can once again become aware of God’s love within our hearts.
    This Hari Krishna Process of Yoja or “connecting woth the supream Personality of “Godhead”, is an eternal process that has been available to us human souls for many milllions of years, and most recently this eternal process of Bhakti Yoga has been reinstated again only a little over 500 years ago by this blissful incarnation of “Lord Sri Chaiytania Maha Prabhu”. Krishna always will reapeare on this material earth whenever there is a decline in spiritual practises.. There is an amazing book that anyone wants real mercy- may read, and it is called the “Bhagvad Gita As it is” by A.C Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada.
    Please go to the Website called krishna .org. This Gita Book Means (The Song of God) this version of the Gita has not been changed in any way by lesser persons..
    This is the original version that has been translated from the original text of of the original Vedas, The knowlege of This Very Amazing Spiritual Book will make everything very clear whomever takes up the challenge to read the spiritual nector within this book of great teachings coming directly from God, and it is actually written by God himself- “Krishna”…

    Furthermore, I must warn y0u my frieds,” Whomever starts to read this Bagavad Gita As it is” will gradually star to loose the ability and the desire to enjoy this temporay and hellish material world. I say this fact only because it is a true statement. My name is Bhaskara and I just happen to be a spiritual soul who has been following this Science of God realization for the past forty years, and I have made a lot a Amazing progress along this Spiritual path. I cannot really enjoy this material sence enjoyment in this temporay body any longer., This Wonderful book ” Bhagavad Gita” has distroyed my material desires, I now can only Love Krishna within my heart. However, Oh…. How Sweet Krishbna Is……If we really want to be free from the cyle of birth and death, and if we really want to be free from all anxieties, and if we really want to feel bliss and extacy within our oun hearts…… and if you really want to feel real pleasure… Then…….go ahead….. Read this “Bhagavd Gita As it is” then very soon…… you will know and feel the wonderful things that I enjoy at every moment in my life.

    Yours., In Love and Light Bhaskara Prabhu

  3. Mahasaumya Dasa says:

    Of course it is a cult–the cult of Shri Chaitanya, as Prabhupada said. Do you think a church is better? Nothing bad ever happens in a church?

    Please folks, try to think about terms before you use them. In my opinion, when cults become churches they tend to lose all of their rasa, their juice.

    • sam says:

      Acts 20:28 Jesus died for the church. a church is not yet perfect as a matter of fact it is a place where criminals and sinners and all bad people should be, because it is design to be a safe haven for all that are needing
      a savior. someone who can forgive their sins and not be guity. a church is not the building it is the people that gather in that building are the church in which the Son of God died for. so that they who will accept and ask forgiveness from God will be pardon from all sins.
      Krishna is a cult because people there try to convince others that by becoming one of them can be sinless James 2:10 says “you can keep allthe commandment all your life, but if you offend just one of these commandment you are guilty of all

      • Mary Fletcher says:

        Sam, Amen.

      • krish says:

        Actually it is not part of the hare krishna philosophy that you become sinless. but to love and serve god will forgive us for our sins. everytime we step on an ant it is a sin. there are so many other sinful acts we accidentally commit every day such as this. Why are you claiming something about beliefs you obviously no nothing about. oh and i dont know why it is being refered to as a religion. it is a “bhakti yoga” love of god. it is not exlsive to “hare krishnas” and joining is just a fomrality to state you find that perticular group of people aid you in your journy to developing a relationship with god. In order to build temples and organize the printing of books containing philosophy it is necassary to have an organization. however nobody is meant to identify with being part of any religion. doesnt krishna say give up all variety of religion? when someone realizes who they are and who god is then it doesnt matter which faith brough him/her to that realization.

        when we think of a cult we think of people being cheated or of people being fanatical about certain beliefs. now it is not fair to label one religion a cult and say mine is free from any such allegations. all religions have cult elements. the scriptures the hare krishnas follow state we live in a world of the cheaters and cheated. it wouldnt be right to think the people who join the hare krishna group are free from this. One hare krishna was pointing out earlier the certain aspects of christianity which make it a cult. well it is important to state that while its not that persons experience, many people would accuse the hare krishna movenment of siamilar things. cheaters will always seek out institutions as it is the perfect place to cheat. hare krishna!

        • Actually it IS a part of our philosophy to become sinless! Actually ,you MUST become sinless to enter the Kingdom of God. What are you reading prabhu?

      • Actually ,as a 25 year member I do not recall any ‘Hare Krishna’ trying to convince me of anything. The books themselves convinced me because they are pure and true. It was something that I felt [feel] in my heart. It was natural. I never once had to be convinced of anything. It was/is blatantly obvious that it IS the truth when practiced properly. This is another reason I became a devotee. I did nt need a preaching sermon to convince me and I did nt get or need condemnation of other religions to prove the point that Krishna conciousness was bona fide. Its just our natural state so there is no question of having to convince anyone. I sure never saw them guilt trip anyone or make bogus charity/healing claims or financial promises in the name of God. No I never saw that. But I have seen it with many others. Especially Christians. Talk about a group that never stops trying to forcfully convince people.

      • Actually if you notice , MOST christians DO NOT follow the ten commandments ,,namely’Thou shall not kill’. To be a christian means to be Christlike. Im sure if you gave Jesus a choice between eating an apple or a cow,,He would choose the apple ,,since He was all about compassion. Most Hare Krishnas are far more devoted and far more Christian in beleifs and behavior than most Christians. The Bible also states that we should nt pass judgement on anyone for any reason. So all paths have good and bad points,,good and bad members. Lastly,our tradition is far older than the Bible so it makes more since to me to follow the tradition that appeared first.

        • Lauren says:

          To be a Christian does not mean, to be Christlike. To be a Christian means that the person has put his or her faith and trust wholeheartedly in Christ. When Christ is in your heart, and the closer you are to Him, the more His desires, become yours, that is where being “christlike” comes in, and yes, Christians do not follow the ten commandments fully, anyone can try as hard as they can, but it is impossible. The ten commandments were mainly presented to show us how far from God we actually are. Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

          I do agree with a couple statements you have made; (1) Sadly’ most Christians do not live the “Christian lifestyle” and are considered “lukewarm” Christians, and are only a Christian on Sunday mornings or when it fits into their lifestyle, and that should not be the case. We are called to pick up our cross daily for God….. (2) Yes, the bible does say we should not pass judgement, that is God’s job. However, it does also state that we should hold each other accountable and help each other grow in his or her relationship with God. This is to be done out of love, which I will admit is very hard to do. It’s like pushing someone out of the way of a bus… hard to do without getting a few bruises. However, in James 5:19-20 it says “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death…” This basically saying that by telling someone “hey, this is wrong” could actually save that person’s eternal salvation.

          Also, all beliefs have a little bit of truth to them. Some like to pick and choose which truths they prefer, due to how well it fits his or her lifestyle. John 3:20 says “For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed.” People like to ignore the fact that everyone is a sinner and NEEDS a savior. People like to think that if they are a good person, God will let them into heaven. Which, sadly, this is not the truth. In John 14:6 Jesus says “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jesus died to save us, all of us. However, many people deny Him. Therefore, many are going to hell. No one likes to hear that they are going to hell, it’s not fun telling people they are going to hell. However, it is the truth. This i teh beautiful thing about the gospel… even though we all are sinners and deserve to go to hell, God loved us so much that He made a way for us not to! He gave His only son to die for me and you! I mean, c’mon, who out there would gladly give up his or her child to die for all of mankind? It is a free gift of salvation, you don’t have to earn it or work for it at all. You just have to accept it.

          You have to understand God’s wrath to appreciate His mercy. <3

      • Bhaktin Anna says:

        Christianity has a long and very very established history of converting others, by force, coercian, bribary.

        Throughout the years ive been patronised and insulted by christians and christian preachers alike who would see me suffer for eternity because i dont accept their version of the truth.

        As a jew we used to give classes on how to respond to christian preaching tactics, especially those usued by the likes of jews for jesus and ive experience first hand the type of mind games some groups will try and play in order to get a soul for jesus..

        to point out faults in krishna conciousness while ignoring the glaring ones in christianity shows to me a lack of knowledge and for me makes your comments un credible..

        hare krishna is not a cult, it does not take people by force or bribary or coercian. we share our faith but we do not condem others if they choose not to take it. we live in peace. we are not a cult

        • Lauren says:

          As for the Christians who have insulted you, I am sorry. That is not what it is intended to be. As I talked about above, it is to be done out of love. Sometimes its frustrating and hard to do because you want to save that person so bad, it comes out aggressive.
          But just because people willingly join does not qualify it as not a cult. Not claiming it to be, but I am just saying that in history, many cults had willing members. Those memebers thought they lived in peace as well.

        • Mary says:

          The many Christian churches I have been to and belonged to do not coerce. This is apparently a misconception on your part.

  4. rama tirtha says:

    what swaminarayan sect are u from?is it baps or isso?whatever it is i am most suprised a bhakta of swaminarayan would ask such a question.Im a white 19 year old who knows a little about swaminarayan and would like to say1.no it isnt a cult2.that whoever is your guru(if u have one) should be abandoned asap.u are familiar i expect with gita and related sastras so why are u under the impresion that all whites are christian?u yourself could have been a white muslum in ur last life!please tell ur father that he needs to seriously educate u on the REAL swaminarayan and not that nonsense baps teaches.no offense but baps isnot the original swaminarayan.nowhere in vedas is akshar purrusotama mentioned. hope this helps. jai swamiji!

  5. Damadar says:

    Dear devotees and other interested readers,

    The founder-acarya of Iskcon referred to the practice of bhakti yoga, or Gaudiya Vaisnavism as a “cult.” The primary definition of the term “cult” is a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies. That bad things have happened in the Gaudiya Vaisnav tradition is simply due to the human condition, and similar occurrences have happened in all, if not most religions, or cults. Anti-cultists have invented a new derogatory definition for the term “cult.” The closest dictionary definition I could find that describes the anti-cultists’ use of the term refers to a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. This definition describes many religious traditions. We should all remember there is only one God, and the best part of most religions is that people are encouraged by sincere religious leaders to worship God, and to engage in prayer, and to follow moral principles. There are far more similarities among religions than differences. Personally I prefer bhakti yoga, although I was raised Christian. My preference for Gaudiya Vaisnavism is due to the detailed descriptions of God’s activities, forms, names, and qualities found in the Gaudiya Vaisnav canon.

  6. Radha Ramana das says:

    I guess the Catholic church is also a cult because in America they have more latino members. This goes for the Mormons as well. Sadly, i see alot of Devotees who cannot practice because of the simple fact that they are lusty and sinful. The only logical explanation for not living a life of purity is that you are not serious about giving up sinful enjoyment . Rather than admit this fact you choose to say ‘its a cult’ ‘its dangerous’ etc…well, we can blame blame blame for a lifetime . People tend to play the ‘blame game’ in life period..Not just regarding religion. If its not for you ,fine. But , please, stop making up insane ‘cult’ articles..show proof of damage done,show proof that its a cult..Leading religious scholors say that the Hare Krishna Movement is not a cult! Please do your research. If its a cult then there are millions of brainwashed cult members all over India. Come on Guys!

    • sam says:

      the bible said that even the very elect will believed a lie, let me tell youa story in the bible, moses went to mount sinai to receive the tablets of commandment from God, He was just away for days and guess what the children of israel did in his absent, they made a golden calf to be worship.
      people are clinging to new things and things they haven’t tried!!! but it is sad that that there are hundred of testimonies who cameout of the hare krishna organization that are dissapointed, like child abuse women molestation and brainwashing etc.etc….only in Jesus Christ that man can have peace as He invites every hare krishna member to come out from among them for He (Jesus) will abundantly pardon you “come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest….”

      • These allegations have come ‘out of ‘ ALL relgions. Exactly what is brainwashing? If you watch T.V. every day for hours is that not brainwashing? Actually our leader said’ Yes,we are brainwashing,,you have dirty brains that need to be washed! ‘ Also , Krishna stated long before Jesus appeared that He was the Supreme. The difference in our beleifs is that we only want to serve God and provide Him with service/enjoyment,,we do not seek enjoyment for ourselves. We dont leave the Temple service and go to a movie ,or a bar,or Mc Donalds,,,We strive daily to avoid all sin at all costs. As long as we are not sinning and behaving badly and behaving better than most others on the planet I dont see what the issue is. Last but not least ,God is unmlimited..Who are you to dare attempt to limit Him? All things are possible with God. Lets not forget that.

      • (Soon to be) former devotee says:

        As a new ( and quite possibly) a former devotee of Hare Krishna, I feel very awful about what had happened to me. I was in an intense relationship with another devotee, who KNEW he was Lord Krishna-and Christ as well, actually. So he could justify anything he did, good or bad, by the fact that he was Krishna and so did as he pleased. I was often forced into sex and was made to believe that i was his wife (even though there was no marriage), that is how strongly he controlled me (Krishna controls everything, right?). He was very sexist and thought that men were more important than women-(let me point out that ‘Hare’ of Hare Krishna comes from Mother Hara and is the energy that surrounds Lord Krishna). I’m not saying that all devotees are this bad or delusional, but i think a lot of people misunderstand or misuse the idea that ‘Krishna is inside’.

        I can never return to the temple, but i hope to return to Jesus. Some branches of Christianity may have their own problems as well-like people constantly forcing their beliefs on you, fights between different types of Christian groups, child abuse by priests and so on…I think Christ and his message are quite different from some forms of Christianity today.

        Also, many people have seen the movie about devotees in Nepal who smoke pot all day and chant, so they have a negative view of the movement, seeing it as a cult.

        • Hare Krishna

          There are so many demons presenting themselves as devotees of Krishna and so many demons presenting themselves as followers of Christ also.

          In Kali-yuga it is very difficult to take to spiritual life because as soon as you are a little interested in spiritual life so many demons will come to you posing as spiritual guides and mislead you.

          You have to be very fortunate to come in contact with a pure devotee of Krishna. That is the only hope.

          So you have fortunately come in contact with Srila Prabhuapda, so please take advantage of Srila Prabhupada’s association by reading his books. He will give you the knowledge how to distinguish between the demons and the devotees. Without this knowledge you will constantly fall into the same trap of being exploited by so-callled gurus and devotees who are actually only demons trying to enjoy their senses.

          Anyone who claims to be Krishna you should know immediately he is a demon. That is the material disease. Krishna is the Supreme Enjoyer and we become envious of Him. Our natural constitutional position is to serve Krishna but sometimes we want to become the master and want to be worshipped like Krishna. So that is not possible in the spiritual wold. There Krishna is the Supreme and everyone else is serving Krishna. And that is the reality. However just to let us play out our desire to be the master, Krishna creates this material world for us, and He sends us here. The reason we are here is we want to be the master, we want to immitate Krishna. And this world is created in such a way that to some small extent we can become the master here but all our plans will be frustrated time and time again and we will never succeed in any way. So after many many lives of such frustration we will realize that we are not actually the master, Krishna is the master and we will surrender to Krishna and that is the perfection of our life.

          So if anyone is claiming to be Krishna here in the material world you can immediately understand he is the biggest rascal, the biggest demon and you should have nothing at all whatsoever to do with him…

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • vishal says:

            Hare Krishna

            A person who is haunted by demons speaks non sense .
            similarly a person who is haunted by maya of kaliyga speaks non sense.

            we should not debate unncessarily on religion .
            If someone is intelligent and inquisitive enough then he doesnt debate and put his opinion , instead He goes in search of answers.

  7. Mary Fletcher says:

    Well, It’s very difficult for parents who miss their now Hare Krishna monk who travels around and is mostly out of touch with his family, giving up everything for the temple. And, if we do see him, we cannot eat together easily, as he is critical of anything we eat. It hurts. Somehow, I wouldn’t think (my) God would want a family to be so disjointed, just because I am a Christian (protestant) and our son is a Hare Krishna Monk.

    • Susie Jane says:

      Hello Mary Fletcher,

      My son is 20. I miss him. When he comes to visit, I give him money to buy the supplies he needs for his diet, and he prepares new foods for us. It is always a joyful time when he is around. So far, he has given only of himself. And he did that anyways.

      How did your son get involved with Hare Krishna?
      Has your son been with them long?
      Where has he been traveling to?
      How old is your son?

      I hope that he is in contact with you so that you do not worry.

      You say ‘giving up everything for the temple’. What does that mean?

      I am reading some books and also the internet so I can learn about what my son is learning.

      I hope to share more meaningful conversation with my son next time he calls. I pay for minutes on his little phone. I bought him a pair of glasses when his broke and some minutes. That is all the money I put out for him since he left home. He has used it to call some family members and a friend from home, we know that is good.

      He left for the first time spring 2010. He went to W. Virginia to work on the farm. He returned home for just three days. It was a fantastic visit. He was very devoted to the religion. Our small family had a beautiful time together, and the foods he helped prepare. He left for New York a few days later and was gone nearly a month. He returned home for a family event. No one saw signs of anything negative concerning him. He kept to his schedule and the visiting family respected him and his needs.

      I think my son wants to be a monk as well. But what if it were another religious occupation taking them away for missionary work and education?

      Who is to say what our kids will do when they reach a certain age?
      Whatever my son is doing today, I feel confident that it is a gentle and loving and necessary thing to be doing with his life. I believe that the core of this religion is positive. That does not mean that there are not impostors among them, as in any organized group.

      +++++++

      I pray for Jesus to walk with my son, and with yours and keep all devoted people safe.
      I pray for Jesus to be in the hearts of all people, all religions.

      +++++++

      Peace.

      • Mary Fletcher says:

        Susie Jane, Sorry I just noticed your reply. My son is 21 now and has been involved in Hare Krishna for a couple of years. He was introduced in his first year of college, where he was into (worse things) drugs, illicit sex (he tells me), etc. I also have been reading the Bagavad Gita. He has traveled all over the U.S. and one to India (where he was very sick – from food or something). There is a little contact as I pay for his cell phone access, last visit was in May this year. If he were a Catholic Monk, I would be fine with it, knowing where he was and being able to visit, etc. It bothers me that he may be encouraging another young person to pain their family as we have been in pain. I want him to find God, but am very uncomfortable with Krshna and this method for searching. I understand that children leave, but there is a difference in leaving and what this religion is.

        • Susie Jane says:

          Hello Mary

          I sympathize with your discomfort. I am really in a good place now with my 21 yr. old son. He has been to NYC for several months, and now in W. Va. for a few more weeks. For the first time, he is talking in a good way about college and has been on a good track with the Krishna movement. I have met several local people he meets with and they are wonderful, kind and generous gentle people for what I saw in a few hours. I would not be comfortable with a Catholic choice at all, I have been only non-denominational Christian and other protestant religions. But I kind of know what you mean.

          My son talked about going to India, got his passport and was going to sell his stuff for the fare. I offered to loan the money to him so he can keep his things but he after NYC, he put the trip off, as he felt he was not yet ready. I believe that is a good choice that they suggested he not go yet, whew. I was very worried, not only about the food, but the political unrest and the way Americans are disliked most everywhere now, sadly.

          I really hope things go well for your son. My son recommended a book for me, it is called “The Journey Home” and I am reading it now. It is good, not yet done with it.

          Maybe you would like to stay in touch, I am on Facebook too, as
          Susie Jane – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?
          email: momishere91910@yahoo.com

          Take care,
          Susie

        • sooraj kamath says:

          dear mary fletcher,
          Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. if you sincerely pray to Jesus then Jesus will reveal unto you who the heavenly father is. he is none other than Krishna. Krishna looks like a young boy and possesses unlimited beauty, knowledge, richness, strength, fame and renunciation.
          the only purpose of this human life is to understand Krishna and go back to him after death. your son is one of the most fortunate person in this world to have come in touch with krishna consciousness.

        • Rajat says:

          Hello Mary,I can understand the pain thru which you might be going, well believe in GOD (JESUS,ALLAHA,KRISHNA) what ever name you like the most. Krishna has never told to leave their parents or beloved ones in search of HIM. HE Says that HE is with everyone (Every where), especially in the Hearts of Every being so why roaming here & there in search of him if he is closest to you. It is Said that GOD IS MOST NEAREST thus MORE FARTHEST for those who never trust him, Well your son might be in the search of a true Teacher or GURU who can guide him in a true path of GOD. You should be proud that your son has left bad deeds & has taken a true path, once he comes in contact with the GOD, will also make you proud. Because it is said that if your SON finds the GOD, you are bound to find GOD too without any efforts ,because you sacrifice your love for SON & just because of your SONS good Karmas(Deeds).So as far as your comfort level with krishna is concern could u please eleborate more on this. Regarding the type of religion it is the oldest religion from the day when first Human being came into existence. This is the ROOT & all other religions are its Stems. So why to be afraid your son is in a true & Right path. I am very Sad to see that Indian people mostly youngsters especially in urban areas have been misguided by some western forces to take to western culture & forget their most valued Indian culture. & feel very happy that the Western people are taking to Indian culture(this doesnot mean conversion from one religion to another religion). SO read more & More Bhagwad Geeta & you will understand the truth.

    • Dearest Mary..Im not sure how long your son has been a devotee or how old he is. As a devotee for 25 years I can offer you some insight regarding this issue.In my early days I was very fanatical about many things ,,especially the fact that my family ate meat. I would actually confront anyone from India [strangers] in the grocery store and scold them about buying meat. I was VERY heavy with everyone I knew regarding this issue. I covered my car with ‘anti meat eating stickers’ etc. Our philosphy is very pure and requires high standards and in the beginning we become very anxious to live that life of purity. As a result we often miss the other rules that order us to remain ALWAYS full of compassion for everyone. Clearly ,criticism of others habits in a negative way is not the way to preach and it does nt win people over. Most of us ,as we grow spiritually realize that we cannot condemn anyone or treat them harshly if we want them to become devotees or at least respect the devotees and our choices. It is also not part of our philosophy to put others into anxiety in any way. I think that as your son matures he will read these things and realize that badgering you over your diet is not the proper way to behave. He should teach you how to make preps that he approves of or make them himself ,,or bring nice preps from the Temple for you to try. My point is that when we are new we are very heavy toward others who are not so strict in they re beleifs. As we mature this subsides in most cases. I learned eventually not to police what others eat and I also realized that it does nt work.At most I may not share a meal with you because you are not vegetarian but I would never condemn. As we grow we realize that being a vegetarian in itself is enough to make people think. You dont have to put them down or preach. Please give your son time . You could also read the small books to gain a basic understanding of our philosophy and you could point out to him the instructions on being humble and not condemning anyone. Its a chore and its difficult at first. My family situation was the same but as time went on and we all matured and learned more about this tradition it became as normal as breathing. Good luck to you and I can assure you that this negative behavior about your diet will cease. Another good way to deal with it is to eat seperately . Good luck. I know its not easy. Also I want to say that our leader Srila Prabhupada has stated that being a vegetarian is not spiritual,,even elephants and mokeys are vegeatrians.

      • Actually Mary I missed that your son is 21 and has been a devotee for a couple of years,sorry about that.

  8. A born Hara Krishna now gone says:

    Is the Hara Krishna a cult?

    To those that are members of the organization the perspective would most likely be ‘of course not’. For when one is deeply embedded in brainwashing, suppression and confided by strict rules dictating every action, it is hard to see objectively.

    I was born into the Hara Krishnas.

    What I remember…the world ‘outside’ was evil, maya and the only interaction with ‘karmis’ (non-devotees) was to try to help them to see the error of their ways. There was no interaction what so ever with the exception of dancing and singing on the streets to present a false sense of joy. Oh yes also to present myself as an orphan or a cancer child in order to abscond funds from the evil doers in the name of Krishna.

    Is the Hara Krishna a cult?

    Let’s think about being a child…

    At the age of two the mother and father are no longer around as their life and duties belong to Krishna. And there is no one else around eighter. At the age of four children are regarded as being Krishnas children and sent to Ashrams…where rampant sexual, physical, emotional and mental abuse are the norm.

    Family is to be left behind. Particularily external families, complete seperation is the norm

    And when children try to escape…they are deeply repramended and taught their lesson.

    No parents, no family and no one that cares. My memories are of being alone, many tears. I remember as a young child wondering what i had done wrong. Why no one thought about where I was.

    And what about the suppression of women:

    “you can beat your dog, so you can beat your wife”
    “If a women gets raped it is because she made the man lusty”
    “Women never progress past the age of a 12 year old”

    I feel sadenned when I see Hara Krishna women. I see the same repressed emotion and yearning as when I was in the temple. I recall addressing a woman about the above mentioned thoughts and she immediately called over a man to respond as she was dumbfounded as to what to say.

    looking at the ISKON news I am not suprised to see only 1 women staff member.

    As a child born into the Hara Krishnas my world was very very small. The bubble of the temple property. I was taught how I must think, act, play, and be. There were no options.

    Needless to say I am now not particularily open to religions. I am trying. And yet I see a very distinct difference between Christianity and the Hara Krishnas.

    To the scholar who has determined that the Hara Krishnas are not a cult…I wonder how your perspective would be impacted if you actually lived within the confides of the organization.

    Using theories and external judgements is very different than existing within a world that is completely closed to any externals.

    And there was discussion about becoming a functioning member of society…yes I am extremely proud of who I am and where I have arrived at.

    This has followed 20 years of extremely hard work. Healing, therapy, self reflection, and some years where I was not ‘a functioning member of society’. Self inflicted wounds, a continued path as the victim and complete confusion in how the heck I was supposed to suddenly be someone that I have been taught to hate were the norm

    To integrate into a world that I was taught was evil and terryfing and to try to be ‘one of them’ compiled with the years of neglect and abuse was not an easy task.

    So please think very hard before presenting such confidence in a perspective that comes from analytical theory as opposed to life experience.

    • Susie Jane says:

      I am sorry to hear of your sad childhood experiences.
      I hope the organization has improved during the past 20 + years.

      • sam says:

        improved? that’s the way of life inside!!! you can dress a pig and shelter that pig in the house that pig still a pig. unless you get rid of the pig and adopt a person then there will be a great change

      • Mary Fletcher says:

        Susie Jane, See how it is “inside”? Very sad.

    • Puja says:

      I am not Hare Krishna, but I do have parts of my family identifying with the Hindu faith and other parts with the Christian faith.
      Not to undermine the stress you experienced as a child, but try to grow up with a Catholic mother and an ‘untouchable’ Hindu father. I would greatly sympathize with you.. if I had not known an equally troubling up-bringing myself. That kind of oppression is not an absolute common experience among all families and sects of Hinduism. Such as the Catholic priests that molest young altar boys; this sort of conduct is unfortunately a cross-culture phenomenon. Humans, as you’re well aware of, are passion driven animals. There will be instances where these instincts will overrule rationality and common good. Also note allegations of cruelty against women among the different religions. These type of cruelties are not only characteristic of one, specific religion.

      What about Christianity? I’m glad we have progressed from the Roman era, where Christians were thrown into the Colosseum with the lions for public entertainment.
      Islam? Being a Muslim woman can be trying… especially with all the hooplah around 9/11. Either their terrorists or the target of sympathetic glances. I’m sure the Muslim woman is tired of getting the “you poor, misguided, mistreated soul…” when she is more than capable of governing her own life.
      Hinduism? Many secs within Hinduism justify gender division with the ‘dharma’ and ‘caste’ system, yet they seem to be just fine raising their families, living the way they know how. Sometimes things go wrong and people are mistreated. It happens.

      You represent one opinion, which unfortunately (or fortunately) is not a consensus. We must all deal with our hardships in the way we know how. Oh.. but I’m sure that your awful childhood experiences are completely unique.

      • chris metcalfe says:

        From smet
        This is in response of Puja’s letter. This is the first time I am writing in response to anything, but i had to tell you that what you wrote made so much sence. You knocked the nail right on the head, and I couldn’t have put it so well the way you did.
        I myself had a very bad past, I will not go into. I would like to say that you put everything into perspective and made me realize that bad can come from anywhere. It’s not because of the religion, but people can exploit it. From Sheila

  9. I agree that many horrible things happened in the movement. I know how you guys suffered as kids and I know that many gurukuluis suffer even still. Some are addicts ,some depressed,some even killing themselves. In those days devotees were VERY naive /ignorant and blind regarding sending their children away. Of course,it was done with the best intentions ,but sadly it went very wrong.There is no excuse for that. However,you mention so many things that occur quite frequently in the ‘outside’ world as well. Its not ‘advertised’ when its a single household ,but its very much flaunted when its a relgious group. As far as devotees soliciting donations from the ‘evil’ people of the world,,,I think all relgions feel this way and do the same.I agree,to do so dishonestly is not acceptable and I too have become ‘fried’ when ‘devotees’ do this. These atrocities are few and far between compared to the days you are speaking of. The movement has learned alot from those days.Most parents do not seperate from kids . Most work ‘outside’ jobs and alot of devotees go to movies,food places,etc,,its very loose these days.[compared to before] I can say that most so called devotees today are nothing more than iskcon employees and therefore do not represent Srila Prabhupadas iskcon as they claim. I would nt call them a cult ,,just a business like any other business. Nevertheless this process is bona fide and meant to be followed purely. Sadly thousands of hypocrites have messed that up and tarnished Srila Prabhupadas reputation as well as that of Vaishnavism. The process itself remains pure. You do not have to associate with iskcon to have Krishna conciousness[contrary to popular iskcon rhetoric]. Srila Prabhupada wanted us in His iskcon following his teachings 100 per cent. Considering iskcon is not doing that ,,I [you] are not obligated to abide by their[gbc] rules and regulations . We just have to follow. I am truly sorry for your suffering but it does nt reflect on all devotees. Many of us relize the atrocities that have occured and are appalled by them. Hare Krishna.

  10. Mary Fletcher says:

    Now, my son the Hare Krishna monk is gone to India and we will not see him on his 21st birthday tomorrow, probably not even hear from him. It’s so sad for a child to be conditioned to completely disconnect from his family. He indicates that we will hear from him, but we have not and he left a month ago. Of course, other parents have that same difficulty for different reasons, but I do wonder.

    • Respected Mother Mary Fletcher,
      From the external aspect it may look to you that your son is gone somewhere and out of the family. But in the true sense he has done the greatest service to your family. He has taken up the responsibility of liberating the whole family from the cycle of birth and death and delivering you out of the miseries of this material world.
      In the Scriptures, in the story of Hiranyakashipu who was a demon and tortured his son Prahlad who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu (Lord Krishna), The supreme personality of Godhead, Lord appeared in Narasimha avatar and killed the demon. Prahlad pleads the Lord to give liberation to his father though he was a demon and has done all sinful activities throughout his life. To this Lord replies since you are a Vishnava (pure devotee of Lord), not only your father but 14 generations, that is 7 generations upstream and 7 generations down streams will be effortlessly liberated. Lord guarantees this to all Vaishnavas. They will be responsible for the liberation of of 14 generations of their family. Once liberated you will no more take birth in this place of miseries. You will eternally go back to Godhead, to the spiritualn abode of the Lord and live blisssfully with eternal happiness and enjoyments there..

      Dear Mother, i request you to start enquiring about knowledge of Krishna consciousness.. You too start following Krishna consciousness in your family. It is not any religion unlike christanity. It has nothing to do with any religion or there is no need of any conversion of religion. You be a christain itself and follow Krishna consciousness. It teaches purely love of Godhead, how to love God.. It is the true purpose of human life. Visit ISKCON temple and start enquiring about it..

      • Mary Fletcher says:

        Bhakta Rajesh,

        Thank you for your reply.
        I have visited the local temple a few times and am reading the Bhagavid Gita. Apparently, you and I disagree on “service”. My Bible tells me that each individual is responsible for their own beliefs, not to be liberated by someone else. Jesus died for everyone’s sins. Through him, I am saved.
        I remain a steadfast disciple of Jesus Christ and I do not require Krishna consciousness, as I will go to Heaven, because I believe in and worship God and Jesus Christ.
        Blessings, Mary Fletcher

        • Susie Jane says:

          Mary Fletcher:

          Sorry, I did not realize to scroll down, only after my first comment to you. I just discovered this site. I wish your son and you the best.

    • urvi says:

      yes mam mah brother also a devotee…he is btech….at last our family suffer alottss….plss if u get any imp about this oll…give me …

  11. Mary Fletcher says:

    Well, we hear from our Hare Krishna monk son, but it’s usually brief, no visits, and generally preaching about how Americans are selfish and Christians don’t worship God enough (only 1 time per week). I believe this is brainwashing.

    • Madhuri says:

      Mary,
      I have been a Hare Krishna devotee for ten years, and initially my parents and friends were worried that I too had been brainwashed and joined a cult. I believe it is easy for people to classify Krsna Consciousness as a cult, because it seems ‘strange’, and especially the repetitive chanting is deemed as brainwashing. Christianity was also classified as a cult when it first moved overseas, I suppose because it seemed strange too. My father was especially worried after I joined that the temple would use me and take my money after brainwashing me. This never happened of course, but I do understand that bad things have happened to a lot of followers of the Hare Krsna movement, mainly due to exploitation from corrupt leaders (whose actions are not sanctioned by the movement). Most of those leaders are long gone, and most devotees now are fortunate enough to belong to communities of god-minded people.

      Cults do exist, but I believe you can rest assured that Hare Krishna is not one of them. The difference is that cults usually have a set of beliefs that are dictated by a leader (these often change according to the whims of the leader) and are completely without scriptural foundation, and usually the cult holds some kind of benefit for the leader, usually financial or otherwise. The founder for ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada, never reaped any material benefits from his disciples. He worked tirelessly for the cause of god-consciousness, sleeping as little as two hours a night as he translated the ancient sanskrit texts into english, all for our benefit.

      I understand that Krsna Consciousness is not your spiritual path of choice for your son, but it is a genuine spiritual path, with genuine saints and scriptures. He is following his path, as you are following yours. His chanting on beads is similar to the Catholic rosary, and is intended so that he can remember god at all times. The Catholics actually borrowed the rosary idea from India. I also understand that you must be missing your son, as my family misses me. For me, having some kind of separation from old friends and family is my desire, because I have found that they cannot help but try to influence me and talk me out of my spiritual path. This includes offers to go to restaurants, eat their home cooked meals, have a glass of wine, all which are against my beliefs. To a lesser extent, asking me to go to movies, watch TV, go to concerts, go shopping, all which divert my attention from Krsna. However, I am quite happy to associate with old friends and family on my own turf, in my house with my food, at a Hare Krsna restaurant (yum!) or at the temple. I know this is difficult to understand, and can seem extremely fanatical, but sometimes it feels for me that the entire world is against my beliefs and is trying to pull me down a Krsna-less path. I hope you can appreciate that mainstream culture is not god centered, and that’s why we stay away. I find relief being with other devotees who understand me, and I feel comfortable knowing that I’m supported and accepted by those around me. If your son seems critical of you and the Western lifestyle in general, he is probably just finding it difficult to accept that the lifestyle of his family and home grown culture is so different to what he believes it should be. I remember saying some pretty harsh things to my parents in the beginning in my futile attempts to get them to become vegetarian… :) )

      Mary, I really wish you all the best. As a mother, I know that any separation from a child is hard on the heart. Please be assured that this is a good path for your son to take on his journey to god. There are so many other negative alternatives available in the world that are designed to degrade the soul. It might help you to know more about the Hare Krishna people (the real ones, not the corrupt few who have somewhat tarnished it for the rest of us!). We are a loving, peaceful people who only want to spread god concsiousness. Hare Krishna Food for Life is just one charity program making a difference in the world. They have served over 800 million nutritious meals to the needy, and are always there helping with disaster relief. They have also been there in war zones when other relief organizations gave up. Some devotees even sacrificed their lives attempting to feed the hungry people of war torn countries. I hope this helps you on your path to acceptance of the Hare Krsna people.

      Peace be with you and Hare Krsna

      • Susie Jane says:

        Madhuri,

        I accept my son being on this journey and wish him great happiness, peace and well being. You may read my comments above to Mary Fletcher.

        My son has been away since May with two visits, with a few phone calls to me and other family members. I treasure each communication from him.

        I have been reading about Krishna and understand more today than I did last week. I plan to keep supporting my son and his beliefs, and to continue learning about his lifestyle. I never want to alienate him from me or his loved ones.

        I will visit him wherever he is whenever, I hope he invites me sometime.
        I respect his lifestyle and try to never interrupt his natural rhythm. I feel closer to him when I read about what he is doing.

        Peace

  12. sooraj kamath says:

    Mary Fletcher, it is good that you are a steadfast disciple of jesus christ. but know that your son being a hare krishna devotee is much more steadfast disciple of jesus christ than you are.
    whom Lord Jesus reffered to as the HEAVENLY FATHER is none other than LORD KRISHNA. jesus has not revealed the complete truth to the christians. Jesus says- there is so much more i want to tell you, but you cant bear it now. the reference is bible JOHN 16:12.
    on the other hand Lord Krishna tells Arjuna-I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous. This being known, nothing further shall remain for you to know. the reference is bhagavad gita chapter 7 text2.
    Jesus says in the fourth commandment- thou shalt not kill. this commandment has been modified and made- thou shalt not murder. and you christians happily kill the cows and eat beef. whereas your hare krishna son follows the original commandment of Jesus very strictly.
    Jesus was a great vaishnava and he has spent a few years in India preaching and meditating. Jesus is referred to as the son of God and he says heavenly father is christ. christ is none other than krishna or krsta as he is called in greek.
    anyways you sincerely pray and worship Lord Jesus and he will reveal unto you all the truth. jesus says”But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. reference John 16:13.
    thank you. hare krishna.

    • Kureah says:

      I am a half-Korean/Japanese Buddhist female who was raised in Christianity. I am seeing so many things that are wrong with your statement… You clearly are very educated in Krishna (and I respect you for this), but not in Christianity. In Greek, Christ is called Christos (the aforementioned Christianity was Greek Orthodox), and it means the annointed one. Also, the fourth commandment happens to be Honor Thy Parents. The fifth is Thou Shalt Not Kill. I bear no opinion on whom Jesus spoke of when he said the Heavenly father, but was raised to believe it was ‘Yaweh’ (the great I am). And my Greek mother was actually a vegetarian. Many Christians are. However, I fear Krshna cannot be Yaweh, because…
      But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. (Numbers 9:11)
      He is to present the basket of unleavened bread and is to sacrifice the ram as a fellowship offering to the LORD, together with its grain offering and drink offering.
      (Numbers 6:17)
      The LORD said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the LORD, so that the LORD’s fierce anger may turn away from Israel.”
      (Numbers 25:4)
      The LORD has a wrath that Krshna seems to not have.
      Peace,
      Kureah

  13. Danny says:

    The word cult is thrown around too often these days as a negative word. The interesting thing is that when such things as cults began to crop up (around the time of the Greeks and ancient Egyptians), they were welcomed. It allowed certain people who, for whatever reason, prefered one deity to another, or prefered a different way of practice, to do what they desired. And these cults grew until, their empires and deities fell.

    That however is by the by in this disscusion. We are talking about ISKON. It is not a cult, it is a seperate method of practice to mainstream religion. That is the reason it is seen in a bad light. And it is fair to say the religion has had it’s ‘bad eggs’ but all religions do. Just look at the recent scandal in the catholic church. But most followers of Krishna conciousness are very sociable and caring, plus more. Most truly wish to follow their faith, and if asked, share it.

    As for brainwashing, I think it’s easy to fall back on such an excuse, when someone decides to follow a religion such as this. Mainly because it is a very in depth and studious religion, which takes time to Learn and digest. Therefore taking much of said persons time. And it may seem that they have become a fanatic overnight, but I say that it is only because of the excitement such teachings can bring. Even to one who reads rather than practices. Brainwashing will always be the classic scapegoat. And a religion such as this will always have it’s controversy. However it is how it’s followers deal with that controversy that shows the true nature of the religion.

    It is not a cult, nor does it brainwash. It merely inspires. And there are some, who ate inspired so much, that they decide they want to be part of it. A good example would be a party hosted by friends and family. You hear the music, the chatter and smell the food, this excites you, as you know that it would be great to catch up with friends and relatives you hardly get to see. Oh and if you’re single there also happens to be that guy or girl that you like, at the party. Naturally you would want to be a part of that party. How would you feel if someone told you it was bad to join the party, or that you had been somehow forced to go. I’m sure a fair few people would have some choice words for the person who said that. It is perhaps not an example that will apply to all, but it serves it’s purpose.

    My love to you all

    • Mary Fletcher says:

      Danny, When a religion takes a person completely away from their family, that is either brainwashing or just plain wrong! In the Bible, one of the commandments says to honor your Father and Mother, which separating from is not honoring when they are just following God on another path. A Krshna follower on here indicates that he/she is also separated from parents and that is JUST PLAIN WRONG.

      • Susie Jane says:

        Many religions teach their followers to stay away from people who do not believe as they do, as well as Amish people from what I understand. I don’t agree with it either. I pray my son will not lose touch with me or his brother and family. I find comfort knowing the person who got my son involved originally is a Krishna devoted person who is married, has a job and a house and does live a life outside of a Hare Krishna temple. I believe that my son wants to be more devoted. I just can’t bear the thought of losing him completely. This is why I am reading and learning what I can, so I can converse with him in a way that is not trivial.

        • Mary Fletcher says:

          Susie Jane, Yes, I saw that with a friend of mine who was a Jehovah witness and he had to hide his time with me (a Christian) or he would have been excommunicated and shunned by his church. I see that as WRONG! The same for any church who exercises this kind of control. Mary

      • Puja says:

        In the same fashion, many people identify Catholicism or living in a convent as a cult — You have immense restriction on diet, leisure time, contact with relative and family and live in a more isolated environment.

        The key here is not to throw unjustified comments around. You would then resemble a “kanard”, the scholarly definition of a duck, or in this case, “someone who spreads fear and uncertainty by misleading comments, uninformed ‘quacking’, or completely fabricated ‘facts’ in order to serve a personal interest” (aka the feelings mommy gets when her little boy if off being his own man). I do not mean to disrespect your beliefs (I am what you would call a non-denominational Christian) as I believe in a relationship with God. I fall short of the immense devotion to God shown by many of these Krishna followers. Take the blinders off and look around once in a while.

        Romans 2:1-2 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.”

      • Actually this attachment that you feel is only material. Natural ,yes,but material. You cannot keep your son with you always . Or anyone for that matter. Yes ,you are attached to your son because that is natural. But why are you angry? Because he joined the movement or because you are nt getting what you want because of it>? Would you rather not see your son because hes a dope head on the streets or because hes locked up in prison? Would that be better? Hes on a spiritual journey that has nothing to do with such attachments as birthday parties and other temporary things that are basically meaningless in the ultimate sense.Kindly consider that he is living a wonderfully pure life and gaining so much knowledge by travelling around,,especially to India. Please dont put all of this aside because you are missing your son.If this negative attitude persists and you repeatedly state that ‘your God’ is the only way,etc,etc ,,you will only ruin your relationship with your son. Rather than call Krishna Conciousness brainwashing I would call it potent! The process works! Also note that millions in India have followed this path for thousands of years,,Indians are VERY family oriented.I dont think all of India is brainwashed and every other country isnt. Thats absurd. Our tradition is taught daily by our members in High Schools,Universties, all over the World. Professers of relgion have said countless times that our scriptures are the oldest and are most certainly bona fide. Please do more research before you condemn your son more. And refrain from any Jesus rhetoric as you would expect a Muslim or a Hindu to do who was constantly quoting scripture and putting you down with verses from ther relgion to convince you that being a christian is wrong.Everyone is destined for they re own spiritual path. I can also assure you that the more you preach about Jesus the more determined he will be to avoid you. Your son s spiritual path is obviously not Christianity,,just as I may love vanilla and you may hate it,,,but neither one of is wrong..we just have different tastes. Please consider these points . Good luck.

  14. sooraj kamath says:

    Mary Fletcher,
    an ordinary person living in the society has obligation towards his parents, teachers, friends and relatives. he is obliged to serve his parents. BUT a person who has dedicated his life for the service of supreme Lord Krishna has none of these obligations.
    i will show you a verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.41

    devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāḿ pitṝṇāḿ

    na kińkaro nāyam ṛṇī ca rājan

    sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaḿ śaraṇyaḿ

    gato mukundaḿ parihṛtya kartam

    O King, one who has given up all material duties and has taken full shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, who offers shelter to all, is not indebted to the demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind or even one’s forefathers who have passed away. Since all such classes of living entities are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, one who has surrendered to the Lord’s service has no need to serve such persons separately.
    A krishna conscious son actually gives the best service to his parents because he will liberate 7 generations from the cycle of birth and death so that all of them will go back to krishna and enjoy an eternal blissful life.

    • Susie Jane says:

      Just because he has none of the obligations, does not mean his heart is stone to shun his loved ones.

    • krish says:

      i wish everyone will spt preaching to mary. you are all so insensetive. do you reslise how telling someone my way is better than your way is not very nice. Mary had a relationship with her son and her son has just changed. now you all know as well as me that people dedicating their life to god doesnt usually last more than a few years then they get married and start to have a more normal life when kids go to school and stuff. so i dont thionk it is right that between this time people should start preaching to their families and being so cold.

      • Susie Jane says:

        She is looking for comfort and you believe she cannot be comforted by people trying to help. We are all wrong to try to help her to understand? We should just ignore her reaching out or what would you have us do?

        I do not believe everyone here is “preaching” to Mary.

      • urvi says:

        u r just useless u cant even imagine how we suffer…..its sooo painfull…..just like someone takes your heart…..

  15. Hare Krishna Susie

    This happens to every mother. Their son’s all leave home at some point. But in many cases these days they are leaving and getting involved in very destructive things like drugs and very immoral lifestyles and crime and so many other unsavoury things.

    Your son has decided to dedicate his life to serving God, so that is a very glorious thing. His lifestyle is very good. And I am sure that he will keep in touch with you as much as any son keeps in touch with his mother after he leaves home.

    Of course the mother is always thinking about her son. But the son is out there living his life. What can be done?

    Your son has made the best possible choice. To dedicate his life to serving God. You can not find a better lifestyle.

    Madhudvisa dasa

    • Susie Jane says:

      Everything is wonderful. My son is still very involved, I am happy for that. Thank you for your caring comments.

  16. Louis Byron says:

    I am not a member of ISKCON nor am I a practicing Vaishnavite. I do have some experience chanting the Maha Mantra and I am familiar with Prabhupada and his writings. All religions are on some level a “cult”. The Hare Krishna movement seems a bit extreme to many westerners because we have become so enmeshed in our material needs and physical sensations. Even the most cynical among us can admit, if he/she is brutally honest, that we 21st century human beings have largely forsaken spirituality in our daily lives. My recovery from drug and alcohol addiction brought this realization home for me. Most of our lives are driven by our selfish interests or perhaps the selfish interests of those closest to us. We strive for material success and instant physical gratification. Our self-worth is largely dictated by how we think others around us perceive us. There is no better example of this than the recent popularity of so-called reality shows and the constant patter of social networks and personal blogs. No wonder most of us are horrified and terrified when a religious movement asks its adherents to donate their material wealth to others, forsake physical gratification, and direct their daily life to serving God.

    ISKCON is an imperfect organization precisely because men and women got involved and the imperfection of the human condition tainted and distorted the original spirit of the movement. History has shown this to be true time and time again for all organized religions. However, I believe that the principles upon which Prabhupada founded the organization are thoroughly positive and without taint. They are the same two principles which the co-founder of AA, Dr. Bob, described as the foundation for a spiritual life: Love and Service. If Love and Service makes ISKCON a cult, then sign me up. God Bless.

  17. Mary Fletcher says:

    Louis Byron, Please speak only for yourself, not all of us westerners. Not all westerners have forsaken spirituality or done many of the other things you mention, so please do not lump us all together. While we may be human, and consequently, sinners, many are doing the best we can and doing much daily spiritually. Jesus Christ died for everyone’s sins, so while we are not perfect, you may only speak for yourself. Mary

  18. sara tzeggai says:

    How one could be in krishna consciousness? Please give an example.
    I would love to be in krishna’s conciousness at all time. thanks

    Sara

    • Hi Sara

      Please read Srila Prabhupada’s books. He is teaching us there how to be Krishna Conscious 24 hours a day.

  19. sara tzeggai says:

    Do you travel to India to visit the sites of Krishna? Please rspond. Thanks
    Sara Tzeggai

  20. Mary Fletcher says:

    Dearest Rahda, I pray that your anger subsides and that you learn not to judge. Blessings, Mary

  21. sara tzeggai says:

    Hare Krishna is not a Cult. It is a Spirtual organization that nurtures the body, mind, spirit and soul. Thanks.

  22. sara tzeggai says:

    why egg is not included in the diet. Please explain. Thanks.

    • Egg is not clean. It is the period of a chicken. It is not in the mode of goodness, so it is not offerable to Krishna.

  23. Bhaktin Anna says:

    Hare Krishna is not a cult.
    When i first walked into a hare krishna temple I had the same misconceptions as many people here have. I knew devotees as crazy people who smiled way too much , wore strange clothes, and tried to give me books about a blue god who seemed to like cows a little bit too much. Id heard about them being a cult and i was pretty certain that was right.. hippies playing indians and strange with it too – definatly not normal – not something to get involved with.

    I visited the temple in central London out of shear curiousity of hinduism( id always been a bit of a hippy -and recently id been going to buddhist meditation classes) and convenience (it was the easiest hindu temple to get to)
    I went with fingers crossed- back then as a practising jew – swearing and praying that those people would not get me – i was going to take a look – to satisfy my curiousity and then get back to my torah and dreams of moving to Israel.
    I expected to be jumped on, to have the philosophy rammed down my throat(the way id experienced with christian preachers – whos eyes always seemed to light up at the prospect of converting a jew ) i swore to keep my eyes open and my guard up – those hare krishnas were NOT getting me…

    what i found when i walked into that temple were a bunch of peacefull, happy people. people who were happy that i had come, who answered my questions with no offense, who offered friendship and acceptance without asking anything back, who were just happy i had opened my eyes enough to see what they were about.

    I walked away that day with pictures of Krishna in my purse and tulsi beads around my neck, chanting hare krishna all the way home and with a bunch of new friends…
    ahh – but its a cult you say – thats how they rope you in – then the pressure builds – except it didnt..

    As a devotee i have compelte freedom, I come and go to the temple when i please. i am involved as much or as little as i want to be. i chant when i want, eat what i want, do what i want in my free time. No one interrogates me, no one pressures me.
    i chant because i want to, i refrain from meat eating because the reasons for it make sense, because i BELIEVE in the scriptures..
    being a devotee has made me calmer, happier. I dont drink or smoke, or do the bad stuff to myself i used to – and i have a whole bunch of friends who are geniuine. i am a better, more productove member of society- and if that is down to a cult – well – so be it.

    for outsiders who think that devotees spend all day working or having scripture drummed into us – its not true . we are just like other people -except the reasons for our actions are differant than most .. with a spiritual driving force – rather than a material one.

    of course you will always get people who are more strict in their interpretations of scripture, practise, beliefs – who could be called fundamental. but that is true in all faiths- and the odd fundy amoung us certainly doesnt make our whole faith bad.

    as for those poeple with sons who have little contact with families. my feeling is very much that when someone runs away like that – who shuts himself off and who refuses contact- the reason is often far more complex than just being kidnapped by a cult. Family dynamics, personality, personal feelings about faith all play a part. and often its easier for the family to place blame on an outside force than it is to admit to issues below the surface..
    so perhaps its a need for space- a time away from the ”real world” – just like when people turn phones off or dont answer emails when they have a bad time of thing…
    or perhaps its stuff that they just havent told you about – kids dont always tell their parents everything..
    or maybe theyve just found a way of life that they love and theyve decided this is how they want to live – maybe they are one of the ”fundys”

    either way – my eperience of devotees tell me forced imprisonment is unlikely.
    pray for them if you like – but respect their right not to be christians or muslims,, pray for them but dont ram jesus down their throats..

    hare krishna movement may not be perfect, and oddballs and fundys exist in all faiths, but it is not a cult, nor is it evil or satan worship or anything else…

    • Hare Krishna Anna

      You have very nice realizations. Krishna consciousness is not a cult. It is pure spiritual knowledge. And that is what you will find in the books of Srila Prabhuapda. Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna and Krishna consciousness is the pure worship of God.

      But you will find some crazy cultist people everywhere, among the Christians, among the Jews and among the Hare Krishna’s also.

      It is the same Krishna, the same God, the same Person whom all the religions and faiths of the world are searching out. And to actually find and understand and develop a real loving relationship with God, Krishna, we need the blessings and guidance of a person who already has a real deep pure loving relationship with God. And to find such a person in this material world is a very rare thing. The great fortune for us is Srila Prabhuapda is such a pure devotee of Krishna and we have the opportunity of hearing from him, reading his books, associating with him and if you take advantage of Srila Prabhupada’s association like this then you will make rapid spiritual advancement.

      You may have seen in some other posts on this article I have said ISKCON is a bit cultish. And that is true. The problem is in time in the material world things get spoiled. The thing is established purely in the beginning but over time it gets spoiled. And this has happened, unfortunately, with ISKCON. It is all right in the beginnng. You are reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, you are chanting Hare Krishna, you are feeling a great relief because of the benefits of Krishna consciousness and the philosophy of Krishna consciousness is so nice and give such a clear understand of the world and how things are working. It is very satisfying indeed. You are feeling very happy at Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet. But then the temple devotees, the temple president, etc will approach you and let you know that “Prabhuapda is dead. You need a living guru Prabhu.” Which for new devotees who are reading Prabhupada’s books and getting wonderful new realizations from Srila Prabhuapda every day is a great shock.

      But they will insist. “Prabhuapda is dead, you need a living guru Prabhu.” And if you do not surrender to this “Prabhuapda is dead” philosophy they will brand you as a “ritvik” and ban you from the temple…

      So this is what has happened to ISKCON unfortunately.

      It has become an organization that serves a few bogus gurus who demand that you give up your real natural relationship with Srila Prabhuapda and worship them, serve them, instead of serving Srila Prabhuapda. You most probably have not yet seen this side of ISKCON yet but if you keep hanging around the temple you will see this…. It is a great disaster, a great pity. A few demons have taken over and demand that they be worshipped, and that everyone should accept them as their gurus and they claim that Prabhuapda is dead and therefore no longer able to be anyone’s guru. It is such an offensive and demoniac philosophy and it goes on under the name of “ISKCON”.

      So what happens with ISKCON is people like you start on the path of Krishna consciousness and make some advancement. However when ISKCON demands that you give up Srila Prabhuapda and accept one of the people they have appointed as your guru, even though they openly will admit their gurus are not pure devotees and they can not even give any guarantee that the guru is going to go back home, back to Godhead, what to speak of his ability to take thousands of disciples there with him, you have to make the choice: give up Prabhuapda or be thrown out of ISKCON.

      If you choose to give up Prabhuapda and accept one of the ISKCON conditioned soul gurus as you spiritual master he will not be able to properly guide you and he will go to hell and you will follow him to hell. If you choose to keep Srila Prabhuapda as your guru the ISKCON devotees will consider you a “ritvik” and drive you out of the temple and ban you from the temple…

      Maya is always giving us big challenges when we try to advance spiritually and now ISKCON has become one very big challenge, one very big test. Actually now if you stick to ISKCON you can not make any spiritual advancement. Because sticking to ISKCON means you must accept a conditioned soul as your spiritual master and you can not make spiritual advancement unless you accept a pure devotee as your spiritual master…

      So unfortunately these days ISKCON has become maya’s biggest trap…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  24. nas says:

    hi,i think it depends on the term cult’s meaning. if it means a group of people who are strange enough to make others refuse their friendship, then the Hare Krishna is not a cult. but it might be an offshoot of other religion that tries to enhance the faith and clearify the path to reach God in its unique manner. i also belong to a spiritual system which is considered an offshoot of islam and it is very similar to the Hare Krishna as well. i believe that the true deep spiritual guides to find the most pleasurable love is implied in most religions, but it depends on the human to realize them,and here starts the race of humanity, who can reach this goal first? now it’s up to us to chose in life which is more worthy to dig for. Hare Krishna is definatly one of the ways that may lead if we unerstand it

  25. Sunil says:

    There’s a very fine line dividing a religious group and a cult. Breaching this fine line is a common occurrence in every religion currently on this planet. All we have to do is wait for the woeful days when this happens.

  26. uvika sharma says:

    iskcon is …… i have lost my young btech brother…he was among the toppers…
    I know how me and my parents are suffering… My brother is innocent….now he is deeply involved…. I know how we have to face problems…. alone

    • Hare Krishna Uvika

      What Srila Prabhupada is giving us in his books and what ISKCON is supposed to be giving to the people who join is the absolute truth, the purpose of life. Our purpose is to serve Krishna. Our purpose is not to become completely entrapped in the bodily concept of life in this material world thinking that we are part of a particular family and becoming implicated in so many reactions and so much karma and being forced to come back into this material world and suffering for so many births in the cycle of samsara, birth and death…

      So to the extent that your brother learns this and if he actually surrenders to Krishna and becomes a pure devotee of Krishna then he has perfected his life and that will be a great help to you also and the rest of the family.

      This family is a trap and in this family we become so much convinced that we are these material bodies and so much attached to our other family members. But this is all maya. We are born in one family in one life and then in the next life we are born in a completely different family. Actually we are the eternal spirit soul present within the body. I am not an Australian man and you are not an Indian man. I can be born in my next life in India and then I will be thinking that these Indian people around me are my family and I am Indian. You can be born in Australia in your next life and you will be thinking that the Australian people around you are your family and you are Australian. This is all maya, all nonsense actually. We are not this Indian body or this Australian body.

      We are passing through different bodies, changing bodies, and if we actually want to succeed on the real important journey, the real mission of our lives, then we can not get distracted by this family or nationality… We have to look beyond this and discover our real nature as spirit souls and again engage in our real eternal occupation, our sanatana-dharma, which is to surrender to and engage in the service of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead…

      Unfortunately ISKCON are not very good at teaching this at the moment. But hopefully your brother will take the oportunity to read Srila Prabhupada’s books and come to really realize these things himself and as I said that will be the perfection of his life.

      The perfection of life has nothing to do with getting a good qualification at a university or getting a good job. The perfection of life is something completely different from this…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  27. uvika sharma says:

    iskcon….is glamorous….ful of commercialisation……our young generation is ruining….day by day………..it is not in safe handsss………..

    • Today’s ISKCON is nonsense unfortunately. They have almost completely lost everything that Srila Prabhupada gave them… They can not help you when it comes to engaging in pure devotional service. It is basically a commercial show to provide a platform for bogus gurus to be glorified in and to make money from the innocent Indian public unfortunately. They only preach to Indians because Indians already believe in Krishna and can be easily convinced to part with their money “for Krishna.”

      It is such a different organization to the organization that Srila Prabhupada created. It is not about pure devotional service at all. They are trying to create some mundane religion for the Hindus. That’s all. What is the success if they just create another Hindu organization that has a couple of hundred temples around the world? That is not Krishna consciousness. That is not what Prabhupada is teaching us.

      What Prabhupada is teaching us is eternal and universal. It is not Hindu, it is not limited to any country or any culture. It is not constrained by any boundaries. What has happened to ISKCON is a very sad thing. It is certainly no longer Prabhupada’s movement…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Vijay Shethna says:

        What Hindus do you know that give money. Most of us Hindus believe that they are a joke and that anything they had has been tainted over time especially because of being introduced to the wast and White men and women

        • The only people who give money to ISKCON are Hindus. They get all their money from Hindus… Except for some income from the book distribution which is now practically zero. So many Hindus are so very foolish. Foolish enough to give money to ISKCON…

  28. Name Surname says:

    I have read:

    Bhagavad Gita

    The Bible (Old testament and new)

    The Koran

    The message in each is the same. Sacrifice the ‘self’ to know God.

    Bhagavad Gita is the clearest of these messages.

    Bible’s message slightly muddled.

    Koran heavy handed, little to no wisdom. Mostly threats. Worship Allah or burn in hell!

  29. Sunil Choudhary says:

    yes

  30. sara T says:

    Hare Krishna,
    Mahv – Dasa – I hope, you received yesterday’s email.

    People with Poor or limited knowledge can call Krishna religion a Cult.
    There are many religions (Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, etc) in this world which God bestowed to each country according to their position, location, cultural believes, wisdom and understanding. And with this religions, prophets, avatars came to teach the scriptures. However, they ( Mohamed, Jesus, Buddha and other) are not Gods. They are part and parcel of God, because they are His creation.
    The first and foremost bible in the world is the four Vedas came from God himself and given to avatars to guide us on how to live in this earth and possibly can make our ascension.
    All the present scriptures came from the Vedas but all have bits and pieces of the vedas that’s why the world is ignorant of God, his mission and our mission in this life. The only book that lead us to the understanding of the best and whole scripture is the Gita As It Is. Gita is the essence of the Vedas and the foundation of all religion. Any one, who wants to know God, should read the Gita As It Is and see Vishnupuran dvd – You will see how Lord Krishna created the universe. Knowledge makes us see things clearly.
    No one is God beside Lord Krishna. All other prophets, Avatars and Demi-Gods are his creation. He gave them power to lead humanity to God’s path. They are under His control.
    The Demi-Gods are not Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient like Lord Krishna but God’s servant to serve humanity and they are happy for what they have come to earth and loved Lord Krishna deep from their heart and we have to follow their foot steps, love them, respect them for their good work but worship only Lord Krishna.

    Our children are God’s children. They brought their own karma and live through it just as we are living our life. We have to try to teach them the best and pray to God to help them.
    We have to learn to let go the attachment of our children, mothers, fathers, etc. Otherwise we are going to suffer unnecessarily. I was one of the mothers to control my son’s life but it didn’t work because I want to satisfy my selfish interest rather to live his life – eating meat, watching tv, not reading spiritual books, etc.
    When I learn the non-attachment from Lord Krishna in the Gita, I regain my life and my relationship with my son. Read the Gita how Arjuna learned to let go his attachment towards his family and friends from Lord Krishna.
    Lets do the Maha Mantra for uplifting Mankind daily minimum 16 rounds or more and nurture our consciousness/soul with the essence of Gita.
    Hare Krishna and Be Happy,
    Sara T

  31. Mangesh Shinde says:

    do u know by calling ISKCON cult, u made a very serious crime…its a sin man…Lord Chaitanya bless u…u 1st chant hare krishna mahamantra for just 1 month with 16 rounds daily…u urself get the answer of ur question…

  32. Sunil Choudhary says:

    It is a cult, similar to any other religion. Show me the difference?

  33. Sean says:

    Hi, a little background first. i was raised catholic. my family was born again for a very short time but returned to catholicism in the 90′s. I left the catholic faith after the scandals. I was an altar boy early in my life and was aware of some of the poor behavior. I was molested as a child but not by someone of the church and it affected me for a very long time after. After I left the faith i met some great folks from both bhakti and Iskcon. i was given the Bhagavad Gita as a gift and it seemed to me to be inspired writing. then i heard of the iskcon scandals. dont get me wrong. i realize all earthly organizations have their difficulties but i guess my question is. how can i have faith if god, krishna or whoever cannot protect children in their own place of worship. I asked this of my former faith and all I ever heard was that I could not know the ways of God but that answer seemed weak to me. I know this is a difficult question and im not trying to be confrontational.

    • Hare Krishna Sean

      We have come to the material world because we have rejected God. The reason we are here is that we want to enjoy separately from god. We are all trying to take the position of god. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and we are all His servants. But we have rejected that idea and we want to become the enjoyer and we don’t want to surrender to and serve God.

      There are so many ‘places of worship’ that are supposed to be places of worship of god but more often than not they get taken over by demoniac men who want to get some of that worship for themselves. The whole religion thing gets perverted and in the guise of religious men, gurus or priests they are simply trying to exploit the followers for their own material so-called pleasure.

      So more-often-than-not the churches, temples, etc, are not being used for the glorification of God and the worship of God, the leaders of these institutions are often using them for their own purposes.

      Demoniac men are actually drawn to these positions of guru and priest like iron to a magnet. Because, in the name of god, these preachers can command authority over the members of their church and the wrong sort of preacher is looking for this. He uses his position for his own material sense gratification and exploits the members of the church.

      It is a great pity but that is the fact. So one has to be very careful of these so-called men of god…

      As far as God protecting us, we have rebelled against Him, we have used our limited independence to reject Him, so what can we expect? These days the so-called men of god are justifying all sorts of sinful activities in the name of God. So the churches run by these men are not places of god.

      It is actually very, very, very rare to find a real man of God, and if we don’t get an actual servant of God, an actual surrendered soul as our spiritual guide then naturally he will exploit us in one way or another for his own benefit and will not be able to help us or connect us with God.

      What I am trying to say is that practically every guru or so-called man of god is completely bogus and has no real connection with god at all. They do not follow the laws of god themselves, mostly they do not even know the laws of god and there is no what they can teach their followers the laws of god…

      So the whole ‘god worship’ thing as it is going on in the world today is a big scam. Naturally you find so many scandals.

      However a sincere soul will not be disturbed by this, rather he will expect this. And he will find out a true spiritual guide, a true man of God, and follow him.

      I can guarantee you with 100% certainty that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami is a pure devotee of Krishna and he will never exploit any one for his own personal gain. He has no need for any personal gain for he already posses the greatest wealth, pure love for Krishna. He only wants to help and guide us so we can also get the same gift.

      So please read Srila Prabhupada’s books and chant Hare Krishna. That is the way to success for you for sure. And you have to expect that 99.9999% of the people are out to cheat and lie and do anything and everything to exploit others for their own personal benefit. That is the way of the world we live in, it does not matter if they put on a priest’s gown or dress in the dress of a sanyassi, still you will find the same selfish materialistic mentality is there..

      This material world is like the prison house. As the prison house is full of criminals and it is very difficult to find a single law-abiding man in the prison, so similarly, in this material world it is very difficult to find a single man who is actually a ‘man of god…’

      But we have one. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, so it is in our best interest to hear from Srila Prabhupada and follow his instructions because it is only by hearing from and serving such pure devotees of Krishna that we will ever have any hope of getting out the endless cycle of birth and death in the material world and going back home, back to Godhead.

      So do not worry about what has happened in the past. Whatever bad things happen to us we have to understand that ultimately they happened because of our karma. We did so many bad things in this life and previous lives and we have to expect some suffering as a result of that. The real cause of all our suffering is our own sinful activities in the past. We may try and identify some other person as the cause of our suffering but that person is not the real cause of our suffering. He is also forced to act because of his karma and we are forced to suffer because of our karma. So whatever suffering we endure we have to know that we ourselves are 100% to blame. The people who appear to be inflicting that suffering on us are not actually to blame. They are also forced to act according to the intricate laws of karma.

      So the point is to go forward and not become distracted from following the path of Krishna consciousness as it is chalked out for us by Srila Prabhupada!

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  34. Mary Fletcher says:

    Madhudvisa and Sean,,
    One can have a direct relationship with God. A church is really the people, so, since people are humans, there will be unfortunately be imperfections and sin.
    I follow Jesus, the only perfect human who ever lived. Even if people in whatever church I am part of sin (and yes, they should be held accountable for their sins), my personal relationship with God and Jesus, His son, remains the same. Pray unceasingly.

    By the way, Srila Prabhubata was also human.

    Praise God!

    • Yes Mary, Jesus was human and Prabhupada was human. And Prabhupada was perfect also. This “the only perfect human that ever lived” is total nonsense. If Jesus could be a perfect human then others can become perfect also. After all it was Jesus that said “One can not enter into the Kingdom of God without becoming as perfect as me.” (or something like that). So the idea of Jesus was that his followers would become perfect also and then and only then will they be qualified to enter into the Kingdom of God.

      This “My religion is right and everyone else is wrong” is nonsense. Krishna makes it clear in the Gita that He appears in this world time and time again and sends his sons like Lord Jesus Christ and prophets and devotees to reestablish the religious principles in societies all over the world when they are not being properly followed.

      So it is not that there is only Jesus and that Jesus is the only pure person who has ever lived. That is nonsense. Completely incorrect. Krishna comes Himself many times and sends many of His pure devotees here, not just Jesus. Of course a pure devotee is very rare. But it is not that there is only Jesus and no one else. That is wrong.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

    • sara T says:

      Hare Krishna,
      Ms. Mary Fletcher,
      If all christians follow lord Jesus path, every one should have gone to heaven as Jesus did. Lord Jesus was living in earth following Gods scriptures. His words was that He was His Father’s Bussiness. He never said I am God.
      Lord Jesus and all other Ascended Masters are demigods created by God. They are God’s servants and helping humanity to love God and do God’s work in order to liberate us from earth’s maya.
      Because of our poor knoweldge of God/Lord Krishna, we depend on demigods. However, those who are enlightened never depend on demigods/Humans for benefit or for any other things. They go straight to Lord Krishna because He is God of heaven and earth with all kind of power.
      Lord Krishna said in the Gita “ABONDON ALL VARITIES OF RELIGION AND JUST SURRENDER INTO ME. I SHALL DELIVER YOU FROM ALL SINFUL REACTION. DO NOT FEAR.” Demigods can’t save us or eradicate our Karma only Lord Krishna has the power to do it.
      Lord Krishna gave us free will to choose whatever we want to choose either God or Demigod. Srila Prabhupada is a great Avatar leading humanity in the time of Kali yuga to the perfect path – God’s path than any other Avatar at present time. Because of him, we are not only understandin who is Lord Krishna but we are having a chance to become the devotee of Lord Krishna. Prabhupuda books are enough to describe him as a man of God’s Wisdom who is loved by all. To understand who is Lord Krishna, we have to read the Gita As It Is and chant the Maha Mantra of Lord Krishna, then our doubt will be evaporated.
      Hare Krishna,
      Sara

  35. Sadtya says:

    Hare Krishna, Prabhu Madhudvisa Das

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    Please,Prabhu If you don’t mind give me guidance,I’ve just known that there is scandals in The ISKCON from your article, and I’m really shocked. my question is what about The Srila Prabhupada’s books which are distributed by iskcon, like Srimad Bhagavatam, Srimad Bhagavad Gita,etc.are those books still original?,is it really what His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Has written?Thank you so much ,Prabhu.

    your servant

    • Hare Krishna Sadtya

      So far ISKCON have not changed Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is still the original book however you have to be very careful with it because Srila Prabhupada translated up to Tenth Canto Chapter 13 and they have completed it in a very unauthorized way by devotees who are not at all pure devotees of Krishna.

      So ISKCON Bhagavatam after Tenth Canto Chapter 13 is NOT by Srila Prabhupada. So from that point on I would suggest you don’t read past Canto 10 Chapter 13, because then it becomes a completely different thing altogether… But up to Canto 10 Chapter 13 it is Prabhupada’s original Bhagavatam.

      As far as ISKCON Bhagavad-gita this is NOT Prabhupada’s original Gita and has thousands of unauthorized changes many of which seriously effect the meaning of what Srila Prabhupada has given us in his authorized Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

      ISKCON Krsna Book is also very much changed, but most of the other books are still original, more-or-less. Devotees should be complaining bitterly to the ISKCON temples and the BBT about these changed books . ISKCON temples can get Srila Prabhupada’s original books from Krishna Books Inc., and they should do this. If no one purchases the changed books from the BBT they will be forced to go back to printing Srila Prabhupada’s original books.

      It is a great problem that ISKCON do not wish to respect and preserve the original teachings of Srila Prabhupada.

      You can get Srila Prabhupada’s original books at:

      http://www.KrishnaStore.com

      and read them online at:

      http://www.PrabhupadaBooks.com

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      ISKCON Krsna Book is also v

    • Hare Krishna! says:

      Hare Krishna Sadtya!

      ISKCON has definitely had its fair share of issues and are still dealing with issues, but this will happen with any group of people trying to work together…There will always be some conflicts…But ISKCON is definitely trying to follow what Srila Prabhupada laid out, and has progressed from the earlier days after Srila Prabhupada left his body…If the devotees who believe that only Prabhupada can initiate try and create an organization like ISKCON, they will also face difficulties…It is only natural to face difficulties here in the material world…But the essence of ISKCON’s message is the same as it was when Srila Prabhupada established the movement. There are many many persons in ISKCON who are examples of this message, and are spreading Krishna Consciousness all over the world, day and night! Hardly getting any rest, and often overworking themselves to exhaustion simply because they love Srila Prabhupada so much and want to spread his message to anyone and everyone…There is nothing in it for themselves(materially speaking) because having to travel from city to city, day by day, and constantly having to provide guidance to many enquirers and take care of their own chanting and reading is not an easy task, and definitely not luxurious(materially speaking)…I am not asking you to join ISKCON, but simply asking you to not harbor bad feelings about us. We are trying very hard to please Srila Prabhupada, and as I was born into ISKCON and grew up in ISKCON, I have seen that there are misguided devotees in ISKCON(generally the immature ones), but that doesn’t mean that all are misguided…I see that everyone is simply trying their best to please Srila Prabhupada, which will ultimately please Lord Krishna. Thank you for your time and consideration!

      Hare Krishna!

      • ISKCON is now completely, absolutely different from the time when Prabhupada was personally present. It has gone off in a completely different direction from the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and is not fulfilling the mission of Srila Prabhupada at all. They have disobeyed the orders of Srila Prabhupada and therefore disconnected themselves from the disciplic succession, which is the source of the spiritual knowledge and spiritual potency. It is like if you disconnect a fan from the electricity supply it may spin for a little while but there is no power and soon it will stop… ISKCON is now like that. It is going on as a mundane religious institution but has no potency to deliver pure devotional service, Krishna consciousness to anyone…

  36. murali says:

    I have been involved in Hare Krsna movement for 20 years. For sometimes I was part of ISCKON, after part of Gaudiya Math from India.
    What atracted me to them is knowledge, nothing else. Vedic knowledge.
    Regarding the institutions, I was never part of either of them. Istitutions consists people and they may be good or bad, they are just people with all the problems, conditions, ilnesses and so on.
    They can do many good things or they may do many bad things.
    The vedic knowledge helped me so much that now I am married, having nice children, and everything whatever I desired. From spiritual point of view I want to be ready to love God without any motivation in my heart. Just love

  37. ks says:

    Hi I’ve copied and pasted the information from Wikipedia about this movement. 1ikipedia is an extremely reliable source of information, its long but worth the read once your done reading, you make up your own mind…Personally I think the parts of the philosophy makes some sense but the followers are definitley fanatical.

    Directly from Wikipedia…
    Internal problems and controversy

    In the years following Bhaktivedanta Swami’s death in November 1977, a number of theological controversies arose:[44]

    Origin of the soul

    Bhaktivedanta Swami explained that the soul falls from the spiritual world to this material world and that the supreme objective of the human life is to become Krishna-conscious to be able to return “Back to Godhead” (also the title of the official ISKCON magazine). However when translations of important Vaishnava texts began to appear that seemed at variance with these teachings[clarification needed], controversy arose.[44][45]

    Rasika-bhakti

    The elder sannyasi Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami was a disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s sannyasa guru and was long a well-wisher of ISKCON. A small group of prominent ISKCON leaders were closer to his association and Bhaktivedanta Narayana made no effort to conceal his relationship with them, which as time went on became increasingly intimate. His emphasis on gopi-bhava, the mood of Krishna’s cowherd lovers, particularly disturbed his ISKCON audiences since Bhaktivedanta Swami had stressed that the path of spontaneous devotion was only for liberated souls. At the annual GBC meeting in 1993, members questioned their affiliation with Bhaktivedanta Narayana. Those involved minimised the seriousness of the relationship, though for some it had been going on for as long as five years. By the next annual meeting, the GBC forced the involved members to promise to greatly restrict further association with their new teacher. Though adhering externally, their sympathies for Bhaktivedanta Narayana’s teachings were unabated. In 1995 GBC position was firm and the controversy was first on the 1995 annual meeting’s agenda. A week of thorough investigation brought the implicated members in line. Asked to suggest what they might do to make amends, the leaders involved with the controversy tendered their resignations, which the GBC promptly refused. They further volunteered to refrain from initiating new disciples or visiting Vrindavana until their case could be reassessed the following year and at the March 1996 meeting GBC insisted on maintaining most of the restrictions.[44]

    While the capitulation of the GBC members previously following Bhaktivedanta Narayana has certainly demonstrated GBC solidarity it was insufficient to prevent a continued exodus of devotees who feel unable to repose full faith in the ISKCON Governing Body Commission authority.[44]

    The Guru and the Parampara

    ISKCON adheres to the traditional system of paramparā, or disciplic succession, in which teachings upheld by scriptures are handed down from master to disciple, generation after generation.[46] A minority of people who express faith in Srila Prabhupada’s teachings say that Srila Prabhupada, in contrast to the tradition, intended that after his physical demise he would continue to initiate disciples through ceremonial priests, called ritviks. One version of this idea is espoused by a group calling itself the ISKCON Revival Movement.[47] ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission has rejected all such ideas. [48]

    Issues within the society

    ISKCON also experienced a number of significant internal problems, the majority of which occurred from the late seventies onwards, and especially within the decade following Prabhupada’s death.[49]

    In 1976 a case involving allegations of “brainwashing” involving a minor named Robin George and her parents went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1983, a California jury awarded the family more than $32 million in damages for false imprisonment and other charges, which was reduced to $485,000 in 1993.[50][51]

    Also ISKCON has been subject matter of discussion in some anti-cult movements.[52][53][54] Indologist Klaus Klostermaier has described ISKCON as “the most genuinely Hindu of all the many Indian movements in the West”,[55] and as to its fortieth anniversary in America, as “having been successful on the basis of longevity”, having “undergone changes to its goals and identity”.[56]

    Stories of child abuse at the society’s boarding schools in India and America began to emerge in the 1980s, with cases dating back from the mid-1970s onwards.[57] Some of these cases later appeared in print, such as in John Hubner and Lindsay Gruson’s 1988 book Monkey on a Stick. In 1998 an official publication produced by ISKCON detailed the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children at the society’s boarding schools in both India and the U.S. during the 1970s and 1980s.[58] Later ISKCON was sued by 95 people who had attended the schools. Facing the fiscal drain likely to ensue from this legal action, the ISKCON centers involved declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This allowed them to work out a settlement of US$9.5 million, meant to compensate not only the former students who had brought the suit but also any others who had undergone abuse but had not sued.[59]

    To guard against further abuses, ISKCON has established a child protection office with teams worldwide, meant to screen out actual or potential abusers, educate children and adults on child abuse, and encourage due vigilance.[60] A petition circulating (as of July 2006) among ISKCON members calls for “zero tolerance” for past offenders.

    In response to the need to establish transparency and accountability among its members, ISKCON encouraged the establishment of an ombudsman organization, ISKCON Resolve.[61]

    There have been also allegations in relation to murders and fraud linked to the ISKCON movement, with ex-member and guru Kirtanananda Swami convicted.[62]

    Rath Yatra controversy

    An ISKCON Rath Yatra festival in New York City, USA
    ISKCON organises Rath Yatra festivals in different countries around the world, including India. Although held once annually in each location, these festivals occur on different dates throughout the summertime, which is marked difference from the Rath Yatra as held at the Jagannatha temple in Puri (where the festival originates). At this temple, the Rath Yatra festival is held once each year on a specific date in July, and complaints have recently been made regarding ISKCON’s having their international festivals at significantly different times to this.[63]

    On December 20, 2007 the Puri priests held a demonstration saying “a number of non-Hindus foreigners under the cover of ISKCON were trying to enter the temple”, which is not allowed by that temple’s tradition (only Hindus, whether Indian or foreigners are traditionally allowed in that temple).[64] In two incidents, the priests drove out nine Indonesian men (converts to Hinduism) who were said to have changed religion solely to enter the temple. Police later assisted the men in entering the structure. The validity of this temple policy has been questioned in the media on a number of occasions,[65] especially since this ban was imposed by a British collector in 1805.[66]

  38. Young Fallen Soul says:

    hi there, i have been a hare krishna devotee for 12 years now i am currently 16 and i am learning about krishna consciousness. it is said it does not matter what religion you are but as long as it helps you to understand god the easiest and for me ISKCON is very helpful, i have been to india this year to the holy places and of course there was poverty but when you go to the temples especially in vrindavan and mayaypur they are very clean tidy and very big. i have met very advanced devotees who are maharajs, like jayapataka swami and a few more, they are the kindest, sweetest people ever they do not rape young kids or do bad things to small children they are nice and help guide us when we are young. i like the hare krishna’s they are kind to me and when i am confused about god or questions about life they help answer them for me, i strongly recomend people become a devotee of lord krishna and take shelter from his lotus feet because only then can you realise true knowledge, i used to be a sikh but found the religion confusing because nobody taught me anything and i found it boring, i then went to hindu temples which was slightly better because they were playing nice music and one day my parents took me to a hare krishna temple and i enjoyed it very much i made friends easily we would dance together and sing the hre krishna maha mantra. i joined when i was four and never looked back all my questions are answered by srila prabhupada in his books and if i still am confused i ask senior devotees i still wish to learn more and am still young. there is nothing wrong with any religion because it is there to help people to understand god better, sikhism was confusing to me and i finally found out why sikhs chant Vahi Guru, the V in Vahi represents lord Vishnu, the H in vaHi represents lord Hari the G in Guru represents Govinda and the R in guRu represents lord ram, by chanting vahi guru sikhs are chanting the names of lord krishna and therefore can get a chance to go back to god, i still have to find out more about islam and christianity, but sure religions have some flaws i find a lot in christianity where in the ten commandments it says ” thou shalt not kill” yet christains still carry on eating meat because they get pleasure from it and it satisfies their senses and this is wrong because you are self gratifying yourself, and in islam they slaughter cows as sacrifice, but cows are very dear to lord krishna so how can muslims achieve love of god if they are murdering lord krishna’s cows. the cow is considered holy in hinduism because all the demi gods reside in the cow and that is why we respect mother cows because not only do the demi gods reside in the cow but also they provide us with milk which is why we consider her a mother.

    i would like to discuss with others about religions especially iskcon i get much satisfaction from it but not on a material basis on a spiritual basis because i am chanting the names of lord sri kirshna !!

    hare krishna
    PAMHHO to all the vashnavas/vaishnavis
    your servant
    a fallen soul :(

  39. Young Fallen Soul says:

    another thing i find in Christianity is that they refer to god as father and of course he is our father but how long will Christians keep asking their father to give them material stuff, once you grow up we should serve the father rather than the father keep serving us is that not right? as a father looks after his children’s through childhood to boyhood to manhood at the stage the child has become grown up they should look after the father in return. similarly hare Krishna’s serve god as a father( one of the many ways to serve god) because he has provided us with everything we need. krishna gives us everything we need not what we want, we may want a expensive car, but krishna provides us with a car. why? so we do not become entangled in Maya and what is the use of an expensive car we will worry too much of it getting damaged just like our body, we focus too much on the outside and rarely on the inside so we make our bodies look good and do not focus on the soul we can die at any time so it is important to chant hare Krishna to allow ourselves to go back home back to godhead. many misconceptions of this world is that we think we are this body, WE ARE NOT THIS BODY WE ARE THE SOUL and we are here on this material earth because of our past karma or because we have decided we want to enjoy life without Krishna, so Krishna being the person who fulfils all of our desires even if it means we become separated from him because he cares fo us so much he is willing to let us go to make ourselves happy, but we are not happy in this material world we think we are but we are not that is the common misconception, that is maya that is ILLUSION!!!

    thank you for reading and would love to discuss much more about these topics with any devotees or Christians, Muslims etc!! :)

  40. rashmi bhandary says:

    Hare krishna!
    Im a hindu but never liked hinduism as it was so confusing,discriminating….Thanks to iskcon devotees and Prabhupada for making it clear(infact what iskcon says is
    is practised by most hindu brahmins).Initially chanting was strange and to chant 16 rounds would take hours.I am practicing krisna consciousness for the past 10 years now..One can practice it anywhere and there is no need to join the temple at all.Initially I was chanting but did not follow the 4 regulative principals and there was no compulsion at all from anyone.However the hare Krishna mantra is so powerful that gradually i was able to give up non veg and follow the principles.I am now a better mother,wife and person.I am not a temple devotee- i work,dance,shop,..everything that a so called normal person does but for Krishna.ISKCON is not a cult and if it makes a person a better person than so be it.Hari Bol!

  41. Barkha says:

    Hare Krishna being a cult? I think not. I am not a “Hare Krishna”, I am born in a Hindu family, but I don’t go to temples or anything of that sort, so I am as good as an atheist. I love reading the Bhagvad Gita, it seems to awaken this light in me. And every time I read it, it seems to give me understanding of new things. In my opinion that all these arguments as to which religion is a cult and which one isn’t, is-plain and simply put- stupid. I go to a catholic school, so I have fair knowledge of the bible as well (the bible is amazing as well, as it inspires me just as much) . The one thing that I have learned in life is that God, there are many paths which lead to God. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Christian, Muslim, or Hindu. According to me, you can attain God by service to his creation. That does not only include humans, but mother earth as a whole. Our actions (karma) is what matters most. You can sit in your house all day chanting holy chants, or you can preach the ten commandments all you want, but if you don’t get off your bum and help someone/something in need, then you are just as useless as detailed map to a blind man. As Krishna said in the Gita (when conversing with Arjun, I guess) that Karma is the most important aspect in life. We should perform our karma and never expect the fruit of our actions, as he is the only one who can reward us with these ‘fruits’. I would never associate the word pleasure with Lord Krishna, as what the words of Krishna gives me, is not pleasure (because come on, the word pleasure sounds wrong anyways) but rather it elates my sense of worth, it awakens my conscience, and it makes me feel more of a human. I think in every religion, in all the holy texts it says that the only way to please God is through service to humanity. We can debate on which religion enlightens its followers more than the other, but the one who is getting closer to God is the one who is performing his actions with complete reverence and selflessness. And to those who complain of being used by this particular group or that one are just stupid. I mean no one has the power to force you to do things against your will. If someone tells you he is God, and asks you to indulge in sexual activities with him, do you not have enough common-sense to say “HELL NO!” ?? Is commonsense so rare? God also says do not judge, so no one has any rights to say that a particular religion is a cult just because they don’t conform to your religion. So, in relation to this question, we are not in debate as to which religion is demonic and which religion isn’t. Every religion has its share of rebels, or corrupt minds, and people have to just learn to be aware of them, and pray that they may correct their behaviour. The purpose of religion, IMO, is to tell people that the greatest way to salvation is through service to humanity, and tell them of peace. If belonging to a particular religion leads to behaving like and having opinions of those who commented before me (the judgmental ones, that is), I’m better of being the way I am, without any religious teacher, the bible and the Gita being my guide.

    Thanks :)

  42. Manish Chakraborty says:

    Well you say that you are a ‘normal’ Hindu yourself, then you above all should know that this is no cult. Its not movement at all in the political sense of term which you seem to be using. What you see are the devotees of the Supreme Lord Hari, in some religious procession. They do not go out in the street shouting around some proclamation. No. They are out in the parade to sing and praise the holy names of the Supreme Lord. And its a totally logical and reasonable thing to do, from a scientific perspective as well as a religious perspective.

    You see everything in this creation is just a minute or an infinitesimal portion of the Lord’s external energy. So everything you see is a portion of his external material energy. Not even his spiritual energy, which cannot be perceived by the faulty senses. So the lord is everywhere. Everything belongs to him. Every sentient being is an eternal servitor of the Lord. Now this knowledge of being an eternal servitor of the Supreme Lord gives the devotees an unprecedented amount of joy and bliss.

    Thus naturally they go out in the streets to sing and praise the name of the Supreme Lord, who is the Source of All Source and the Causes of All Causes, but he himself doesn’t have any Cause.

    So you understand what i’m trying to explain. The Supreme Lord is everywhere, omnipresence, omnipotent. So now think about it. A person who knows this how can he resist the joy and bliss from this transcendental knowledge and not praise the name of the Lord where ever he goes. It simply doesn’t matter if he sings the name of the Lord in his private temple or outside in the street, because he knows very well that this material world is only a temporary existence and the Lord alone is the truth.

    And after all this parade is actually a grace of the Lord upon the peoples who are trapped in material concept of life or who are in the grips of Maya, because even the sight of such parade would purify a materialistic person.

    I hope i can clear some of your doubts or answer some of your questions.

  43. Bernard Morrow says:

    Why is it that most people or at least the naive variety seem oblivious of the monstrous evils perpetrated by the ISKON movement?Every thing from Murder,Gun and drug running to child rape.These problems are systemic to the organization.It is the inevitable consequence of following an incompetent Guru.If you want to avoid these problems the incompetent guru must go or otherwise the evil is sustained and perpetrated unto perpetuity.Its really very simple,it is peoples small mindedness that is the only barrier.”If thine eye offend thee pluck it out”

    • Yes. You are correct. Since the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada so many bogus gurus came. They are conditioned souls, pretending to be liberated souls. It is a disaster. All trying to eclipse the position of Srila Prabhupada and all introducing their own watered-down, bogus versions of the philosophy. And you are correct. The dirty hearts of the gurus are transferred to the disciples and that has created today’s ISKCON full of every sort of criminal and sinful activity. It is evil as you suggest. But evil is self-destructive. It will not last. It will destroy itself.

      People who join ISKCON may not be evil in the beginning. But if they stay in the evil atmosphere and if they accept a conditioned soul as a guru they will become evil. Worshiping a conditioned soul produces the opposite result to worshiping a liberated soul. Instead of becoming more spiritual today’s ISKCON devotees become more materialistic by associating with the organization. It is a truly a disaster of monumental proportions.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  44. Charanprem Singh says:

    Hello Mary Fletcher. It would appear to me that your closed approach toward you son may have been what was pushing him away. Krishna Consciousness does not require anyone to be away from their families, yet offers opportunities for spiritual growth that may or may not be away from home. My family has also made claims of Krishna Consciousness taking me away from them, but it is not the movement, it is their attitude toward me. They, like you, refuse to accept me for who I am and respect my path. I prefer to keep my distance, but let them know that I am always there for them if they need me.

    Hare Krishna!!

  45. Charanprem Singh says:

    Also Mary, Jesus left home to follow God as well. Did Mary and Joseph cast him down for doing so? Jesus found comfort in the company of his followers; those who aspired to live pure life as we should. Your son is doing this same thing.


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