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Re: REQUEST : Hare Krishna Group

Posted By Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian (rbalasub@ecn.purdue.edu)
Wed, 25 Dec 1996 12:32:06 -0500 (EST)

Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:

> H. Krishna Susarla wrote:

[ ... ]

I wanted to reply to the original post, but didn't have time then. My reply is
in part to Vidyasankar's post and partly to HKS'. Hope there is no confusion.

HKS wrote:

> > It would be more appropriate to say "ISKCON faithfully continues the core
> > traditions of the Vaishnava system of Vedanta, upon which today's Hinduism
> > is loosely based."

This type of wishful thinking, i.e., hindusim is based on vaishnavism is quite
ridiculous. There aren't the numbers to support such fanciful theories.

> > After all, there is no "Hindu faith" to speak of, and it

Vidyasankar wrote:

> There might well be. You don't have to conform to one set of strictly
> defined rules to be a Hindu, but don't let that fool you into thinking
> that it doesn't exist. Also, do not underestimate the importance of
> non-Vaishnava groups and non-Vaishnava Vedanta for Hinduism. For that
> matter, for most Hindus, Vedanta barely touches their lives. When you
> call upon Agni, Vayu, Indra, Varuna and Mitra in your naming ceremony
> for a child, initiation ceremonies, weddings, pregnancies and funerals,
> you can hardly classify that as monotheistic Vaishnavism or as Vedanta
> or both. Hinduism, such as it exists, is firmly based upon ritualistic
> practice on the one hand, which has little to do with Vedanta, and upon
> mythology on the other hand, which has even less to do with Vedanta.

Vidyasankar, he is using the oldest tactic of the ISKCON apologists, viz,
getting into arguments about the definition of Hinduism. This method has been
used with quite a bit of success in the past, mainly in alt.support.ex-cult.
Sometimes there are questions about some alleged ISKCON improprieties and god
save the poor soul who mentions the word "Hindu" in the same post. This "hindu"
definition will then be used to divert attention. Frequently people don't
know much about Hindusim and get sidetracked, as intended.

HKS wrote:

> > seems to me that the devotee who wrote this statement was being unusually
> > generous in attributing the regulative principles of 1) no meat eating, 2)
> > no illicit sex, 3) no intoxication, and 4) no gambling to any sort of
> > "Hindu faith." As the facts of the matter will plainly show, there are all
> > too many Hindu spiritual leaders who engage in the above activities (some
> > in the name of religion, like slaughtering goats for a Kali puja) and still
> > fanatically assert that they are Hindus. Furthermore, there is no mention
> > in the Vedas of any "Hindu faith."

Note that direct disciples of Prabhupada, like Kirtanananda have been convicted
of racketeering. It's no use asserting that he was not in ISKCON when it
happened. The fact is that he was doing these things when he was in ISKCON and
the organisation jettisoned him to avoid negative publicity, at the last minute.
So there's no point in asserting ad nauseam about the "regulative principles".

Since we are talking about adherence to vedic culture note that in the manu
dharma it is said that the man who foregoes his duties of sacrifice (animals
are specifically mentioned) to the devas incurs sin. Not that I do it, but I
don't see why it is not allowed when the vedas and smritis specifically advise
doing it, if the vedas are what you claim to follow. This inferiority complex
of many Indians about animal sacrifices is ridiculous, because they get
negative publicity about it from Christian missionaries, who don't hesitate
eating animals, but cry foul when they see animal sacrifice. So if you don't
want to do it don't do it, but don't put on your usual holier-than-thou-
-Hare-Krishna mask and judge the people without even reading the books which
you claim to have read (viz vedas and smriti). If anyone has a claim to feeling
superior because of following vedic dharma it's the goat sacrificers.


Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant (May faulty logic
undermine your entire philosophy)           -- strong Vulcan curse

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