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*or how I learned to stop worrying and love the new world order
Table of Contents
they would not teach me of in college
of everlasting light
just a spring clean for the may queen
love will take you there
me, feel me
there, and everywhere
is a place on earth
one told me about her
stop till you get enough
the looking glass
along the watchtower
you forget about me
of the house of the usher
da dum dum dum
a long strange trip it's been
was kung-fu fighting
siddhanta to justify Prabhupada
from a chain gang
won't be long
love got to do with it
to the jungle
give love a bad name
in the light
on Aindra Dasa' book
-- sort yourself out
tattva and Narayana Maharaja
are not the way they used to be
law and Prabhupada
we're one but not the same
Maharaja's irony and ecstasy
Dandavats.com consider Prabhupada a
52. Addendum - Controversial topics
53. Appendix I - Vedanta, self introspection, and free will. Part 1:
Thought and free will
54. Appendix II - On Vedanta, self introspection, and free will.
Part 2: Memory and free will
55. Appendix III - Vedic sources on women's rights
This book came about as a compilation of select blog posts from 2008-2013.
The focus of the book is on the true nature of reality; how Krishna
consciousness (being conscious of Krishna, and his teachings) reveals the true
meaning of the "New World Order," i.e. someone who experiences true
enlightenment will understand and see that there truly is a long-time
conspiracy running the world---although what that conspiracy really is seems to
elude most people, who usually miss the forest for the trees. For example,
consider that while watching a movie about a conspiracy, that you start to
believe that what you see is real and not a movie, when in reality the actual
controller of what you're seeing is due to a conspiracy by the director of the
movie. Reality is just like that, there is a controlling conspiracy, it's just not
what most people think it is.
I also discuss many other idiosyncratic views and ideologies taught by Swami
Prabhupada and ISKCON in the name of the Chaitanya Vaishnava bhakti-yoga
tradition, and contrast them with my own understanding based on my years of
living as a yogi in various ashrams and studying from various gurus, as well as
from my long time study of many ancient and medieval yogic texts.
ISKCON proper, as well as the much larger ex-membership, the congregation,
and followers, I sometimes call ISKCONISTAN. It's for convenience sake to
distinguish succinctly that community of believers from other Hare Krishna
communities, many of whom don't believe in or teach the same ideology as
Swami Prabhupada and his devoted followers.
At the end there' s an Addendum which is linked to throughout the book. It can
be used as a reference when need be. It's a compilation of what's
euphemistically called "Srila Prabhupada's controversial statements" by the
leadership in the ISKCON community.
There are also three Appendixes at the end, two of them are on free will
according to Vedanta and my version of common sense science; the third has
links to a few recent well done research papers on the roles of women in
ancient Indian or Vedic culture. One is more general, the other is on a more
specific topic about women in spiritual leadership roles, e.g. as gurus.
Kṛṣṇa Janmāṣṭami August 28, 2013
ISKCON, or the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, better known
to the public as “The Hare Krishnas,” was the first organization to teach Bhakti
Yoga on a large scale outside India. ISKCON is a branch of the Gaudiya, or
Chaitanya Vaishnava sampradaya—a tradition based yogic religion native to
India, connected to the older Brahma-Madhva sampradaya, teaching a variant
of Vaishnava Vedanta – the largest following being in the north-east states of
Bengal and Orissa where the sect began in the 16th century. ISKCON was
started in New York City in 1966 by a 69 year old Indian swami named A.C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He is usually referred to by his followers as
“Srila Prabhupada.” He was and is seen by his followers as a divine being sent
by God from heaven to enlighten the world. He taught his followers – and they
believe – that he and his teachings have been empowered by God to take over
While ISKCON has around 5,000 to 20,000 full time members or monks
(married and unmarried), they have hundreds of temples and ashrams around
the world with many large temple complexes in India. It’s difficult to estimate
the number of full-time members. Many of the members are either in India or
Eastern Europe (including ex-Soviet states), and many stay for a while then
leave, then come back, going back and forth. There is no census or reporting
society wide on membership, therefore estimating is going to be difficult. The
congregation numbers are probably in the millions, although they’re mostly
Indians (probably 95%) both in India and around the world. There are many
more non-Indians who rarely visit temples but still consider themselves
believers and followers to some degree.
Therefore there are millions of people around the world, especially in India,
who consider themselves to be disciples of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Indeed
ISKCON has become one of the most influential religious organizations in India
today. They have strong and wide support among the elites of Hindu society all
over the world, and have been the most popular “Hindu church” for the Hindu
diaspora for 40 years. Most temples in North America and other countries with
large Indian communities, serve mainly the Indian Hindu community and are
commonly run by Indians — which is contrary to the image of the Hare Krishnas
in most people’s minds, who see them as a cult of western converts to
Hinduism. While the organization started out like that, over time there was a
shift in membership and focus as the Indian diaspora embraced ISKCON as
their own. This was mostly due to ISKCON being the only purveyor of popular
Hinduism (bhakti) outside India, and therefore “the only game in town” if you
wanted to expose your children to the temple culture of popular Hinduism.
ISKCON became and still is an important part of the lives of a large percentage
of the Indian Hindu diaspora, not only for religious and cultural reasons, but
also for social connectivity.
Partially because of their success with the Hindu community around the world,
they were able to gain the trust of the upper classes and elites of Hindu society
in India, and have become accepted as an authentic Hindu religious
organization — still the only imported Hindu religious organization to do that,
although it’s imported only in the sense that the organization started outside
India, while the religion itself did not, except for it’s unique view of the founder
of ISKCON, as well as several other idiosyncrasies — all explored in this book.
Having their roots in India helped to gain ISKCON respect as authentic among
Hindus, but at first the all western membership was just a source of curiosity
and amusement, they were not taken seriously by most people — rumors
became widely spread that ISKCON was a CIA front. But that quickly changed
as the Indian diaspora is very influential in India — especially the Indian
political and corporate class, who along with their families had adopted ISKCON
as their home away from home.
Today ISKCON is a major religious institution in India, with wide support and
patronage, with many large architecturally impressive temple complexes and
ashrams which are among the most popular in India. They are currently
building their most impressive temple to date in West Bengal, not too far from
Kolkata — when completed it will rival any church in the world in scale and
beauty, see it at Temple of the Vedic Planetarium
ISKCON is not the only Hare Krishna organization in the world. The religion
started in India in the 16th century and has many millions of followers in India,
most are not affiliated with any organization. After A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
died in 1977 other elderly swamis from the same religion began to leave India
to teach. Also several Prabhupada’s disciples left ISKCON to teach as gurus.
They have established several other Hare Krishna organizations with many
temples, ashrams, and followers around the world. They have gained most of
their full time membership from ex-members of ISKCON. The other swamis
don’t present exactly the same teachings as A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.
A "Hindu" named Bud wrote to me:
ISKCON is NOT part of mainstream Hinduism, not by a long-shot. You can
read what Prabhupada himself said at this article from Hinduism Today.
First off, ironically, besides Bud being an American convert to a Shiva
worshiping sect, and besides the fact that the article he links to is a
propaganda piece by a Hindu sect competing with ISKCON for followers outside
India; the truth is that Hinduism Today is published by a small offshoot Shaivite
Sect (headquartered in Hawaii), which was started by an American convert to a
devotional Shaivite sect in South India—his current bio on Wikipedia is
admittingly a copy of something published by the sect, building him up way
beyond reality. In no way is he, or his sect, a big player in the Hindu world.
They’re a very tiny organization with only two ashrams. At their world
headquarters in Hawaii they have 20 members. Practically everything you can
read about them online (not only Wikipedia) is from their public relations office,
designed to make them appear as if they’re big and have a lot of influence.
Surprisingly some people buy into it without checking them out closely. They
give a list of operating three temples, although two of them are on the same
property in Hawaii, one being the old temple. They are first and foremost a
publishing house and salesmen, making money from selling all things related
to Hinduism---art, music, books, deities, to theological and yoga courses. I’m
not saying this to diminish them, but originally the magazine was called The
New Saivite World, which was exactly like Prabhupada’s Back to Godhead for
that sect. Calling it Hinduism Today shouldn’t mislead anyone into thinking it’s
some big Hindu news agency, or any size news agency. Nope, just a small
religious sect trying to make a living, mostly by scouring Google news or other
search engines for keywords like Hindu or Hinduism and then posting the
articles they find on their magazine.