reply to post by petrus4
Interesting opinion, because in SA the Hindu community are generally very active in ISKCON, mainly as congregational members, and they volunteer for
feeding schemes and attend the festivals.
It is certainly not seen as phony.
Neither does ISKCON forbid or prescribe which deities should be worshipped outside the temple.
The regional deity (or expansion of Lord Krishna) in SA is Lord Jagannatha.
However, in the stories of Krishna's pastimes, all the Hindu deities are mentioned.
They just say that generally in the Kali-Yuga the easiest way is to chant and make daily activities devotional, rather than to sit on a mountain and
meditate, because the vibrations of this age are too distracting.
I've seen devotees in discussion with Christians and Muslims, and not once did they say any other faith is doomed or going to hell.
Although Phrabupada was sometimes curt with his sense of overwhelming responsibility, to me his message was that Krishna consciousness was for
everyone, and as a congregational member you could practice what you can as a Jew, a Hindu or any faith. He even said chanting Christ would lead to
However, not all critics agree on this, or on what he always meant.
To devotees, the hostility came from the Impersonalists in the Hindu (and I suppose Buddhist) streams.
More heated arguments would occur between Krishna devotees and those of Sai Baba (whom they considered a fraud, as he claimed to be an avatar of Lord
Phrabupada saw Vedic culture as real, while the term "Hindu" was imposed by outsiders as a collective term for people who lived across a river.
This has led some anti-cult critics to presume that ISKCON is a religion of its own, which has no real connection to Hinduism or any other faith.
However, this is obviously not quite true either.
There are people who practice Krishna consciousness and Buddhism (see the psychologist at the bottom of the previous page) and other devotions.
I suppose, if you're going to live in a Krishna temple, then the forms of Krishna should be most appealing to you.
But they never say give up your religion or deity, or you cannot come for congregational service, or volunteer.
In fact, on one camp I made a bad remark about Christians, and they didn't like that all.
As far as "Hindu fundamentalism" goes, the recent books on parallel streams of fundamentalism in the world religions point out more violent forms,
especially cases of violence between Hindus and Muslims, and recent cases of suttee (widow burning). None of these had anything to with ISKCON.
This doesn't mean that there has not been violence in ISKCON, but it's been rather insular, and about internal power struggles.
edit on 30-3-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)