ISKCON and Advaita

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Apr 17 17:23:05 CDT 2000

On Mon, 17 Apr 2000, Vivek Anand Ganesan wrote:

>   Pardon me for any pungent remarks made herewith but I
> feel
> that it is futile to "discuss" anything with ISKCON-ites
> a.k.a. "Hare Krishna-s".  Whatever they may call
> themselves,
> they come across as fundamentalists full of proselytizing
> zeal ( quite similar to Christian evangelists ).  They are
> not open to discussion of any kind.  They are just
> supremely
> convinced of the truth of their position and don't feel the
> need for any dialogue.  So, why bother?

It is not the most agreeable of tasks but I do it because to allow lies to
flourish is a grievous sin that affects everyone.

There is an element of cultishness about ISKCON and some of its members
can only be described as mentally ill.  But there are other people who are
genuinely interested in following the shastras and in serving Bhagwan and
find ISKCON however biased or arbitrary to be more congenial than some
so-called Advaitins who frankly are little better than atheists.  The
latter type just repeat arguments because they don't know any better and
are quite reasonable once the record has been set straight.

>   Anyways, their self-professed goal is to "rid" Hindu-ism
> of mAya-vAda and to re-instate some long lost golden era
> ( which of course was ShrI PrabhupAda's "divine" mission ).
> They have no respect for BhagavatpAda and consider it
> necessary to abuse him at every available opportunity.
> They
> provide a hodge-podge objection to Advaita and when
> cornered
> they just start abusing Adi Shankara ( as if that proves
> their point ).

Have you been reading my mail? :-)

>   Usually, they "bait" people in the guise of conversation
> ( like Amway folks ) and if they find out that you have any
> connections to Advaita, God help you! Incidentally, when I
> first came in to contact with them, my knowledge of Vedanta
> was limited to what I had read in Swami Vivekananda's
> books. Because of many "sparring" sessions with them, I was
> provoked to learn more and this led me to "classical"
> advaita.  This is the ONLY good thing that came out of my
> encounter with them.

It just goes to show you that the best defense against this type of
behavior is to educate ourselves.  In fact knowledge is the cure for all
of lifes ills.  Many people on this list are doctors or PhDs or have other
kinds of professional education.  Let us redouble our efforts to be as
learned in higher knowledge as we are in worldy knowledge.

>   Considering all this, if you can still give 'em hell then
> let us in on it ( provided it is OK with the other person
> ).

I won't bore the list with all the voluminous details but I'll post a
summary afterwards.  A couple of interesting points have been raised

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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