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Hare Krishna?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Riders, Sep 22, 2022.

  1. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

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    I can not find a section for the Hare Krishnas so I am putting it here. So I am watching a special on youtube. The Hare Krishna teacher says they do not accept folks to live in their temple and be a full-time member if they have a criminal record, financial debt, or someone who is looking for a place to live.

    I understand someone with a criminal past and someone who is looking for a place to live. Do not get me wrong, I am not interested in joining the Hare Krishnas, right now I can not even get out of the house.

    I just have a couple of questions. Does Hare Krishnas reject someone in financial debt because a lot of donations are required?

    Does that apply to both people living in the temple and living at home who attend services there?
    Namaste
     
  2. Sand Dancer

    Sand Dancer Crazy Cat Lady
    It's My Birthday!

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    From what I have read they don't want people passing on debt to their children. Not sure about the second question's answer.
     
  3. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Financial debt = Negative Bank balance

    So, only Negative Bank balance is not allowed. Zero Bank balance is fine

    Hence it has nothing to do with "donations being required"
     
  4. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    Hare Krishna belongs to Hinduism although they are considered a controversial group by many Hindus (and non-Hindus too).

    At the beginning of Hare Krishna mid-1960s to early 70s, Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishnas, found his audience among hippies and as there were many hippies who took drugs or had lost orientation in life, Prabhupada accepted "anyone". Life in a Hare Krishna temple has a very rigid structure, with rules for things like eating and sleeping and not taking drugs, so, for the hippies who had lost "structure", Hare Krishna gave them a new one.

    Nowadays, Hare Krishna is more than 50 years old (they were founded in 1966), so they want to create the image of a respectable established religion and get rid of their hippie image. They attract people who are vegetarians / vegans and yoga people, and they also are a haven for Indians living abroad because it is not easy to live Hinduism in a non-Hindu country. They claim they don't force people to become Hare Krishna members anymore (which in my case wasn't true, they tried).

    In my Hare Krishna group, there was a homeless American guy who had stranded in Germany. The last thing I heard about him was that the Hare Krishnas took him to Italy, presumably because it's warmer there. Occasionally, there also was some homeless guy who came knocking at the temple door asking for free food. But I live in Germany, where such things are rather rare. If there are too many people asking for help, as I imagine the U. S. to be like, they probably won't be so generous anymore.

    Another member in my group did have a criminal past, but he worked on a farm owned by some HK member and he didn't wear his past on the sleeve.

    According to ISKCON rules, temples must be "self-sufficient", so asking for donations is a necessity for the "survival" of the group. Many HK groups are very small, so they can't "throw around" money as a megachurch possibly can.

    If I were you I would be careful what to tell them because like many proselytizing group they may want to learn about your character traits / weaknesses to manipulate people into joining the HK. Prabhupada said something like, "At first we are lenient, but then we will make the leash tight" (I don't remember the exact wording). It starts with free vegetarian dinner, for example, and then people are encouraged to "chant 1 round of the Hare Krishna mantra" here and bowing down there. It may be a long, slow process but assumed you go there regularly, at a certain point they will start to pressurize you into joining them.

    They also consider themselves "a missionary group" so on the long term they may make you canvass Prabhupada's books on the street, which is their "preaching mission" and the major source of income for ISKCON. The problem is that you must buy the books from ISKCON first, so it would definitely be better for you to have money. Besides, you may "need" certain books, which are not cheap either.

    - A "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" (10-20 €) in any case
    - A "Srimad Bhagavatam" book set (costs 300 € new in Germany). I bought a used set for 100 €.
    - A "Caitanya Caritamrta" book set (costs between 80 and 300 €).

    Of course, there's no "rule" saying that you must buy these books but in case they get you seriously interested you may be expected to have them.

    If you want to read Prabhupada's books for free you may find them here: Online Vedabase - The topmost source of spiritual knowledge

    As for food, if you join them you will be expected

    - not to consume meat (including eggs and fish), alcohol, drugs (including nicotine), and stimulants (coffee, genuine tea, chocolate). Ice cream is taboo, too (presumably because it contains egg).

    - not to "gamble" (which includes real gambling as well as thinking critically)

    - no "illcit sex" (means only in marriage, and for the purpose of begetting children only; this means not for fun)

    You will be expected to rise very early in the morning in order to chant the mantra (sacred words)

    Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
    Krishna Krishna, Hare Rama
    Hare Rama, Hare Rama
    Rama Rama, Hare Hare


    on a "mala", which is similar to a rosary but has 108 beads + one big bead. You take the bead next to the big bead between the thumb and the ring finger of the right hand and say the mantra. Then you grasp the next bead and say the Hare Krishna mantra again. When you arrive at the big bead again, you have completed "one round". ISKCON will expect you to chant (whisper) 16 rounds on the "mala", which are 108 x 16 or 1,728 repetitions of the mantra per day, which takes about 2 hours.
     
    #4 Sirona, Sep 23, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
  5. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

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    Well I live in a garage apartment on my sister's house grounds. I have to go by her rules she gives me.She would not allow me to go to the Hare Krishna temple. So I do watch some of their videos and prayers.But I'm not planning on becoming a member or going to the temple it's not possible for me.
     
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