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Where to meet other people interested in Hinduism?

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Laddu1, Nov 14, 2022.

  1. Laddu1

    Laddu1 Member

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    I know this seems a bit silly as most people would say "... uhh at the temple? duh??" but it is not so easy for me, or maybe I am making this too difficult (probably the latter).

    In my city we have one iskcon temple and a hindu minority. A "regular" hindu temple with various deities is located about 2 hours away. They are privately managed and therefore don't have regular festivities like iskcon does. Also I commute about 2.5 hours every day for work and so on the weekend I absolutely cannot step in a train again.

    I used to be in iskcon and will probably go there at least once again in the future for some festival, but for now, because of their cult tactics, I stay away from them so that I don't become a fanatic again. And I am also tired of devotees telling me how to live my life and how sinful my lifestyle is and whatnot.

    And the hindu minority temple.. well I have seen videos of it online and all of it was in their language and to be honest I don't feel comfortable going there. (no offense, it's just very different for me).

    I would like to find local-ish (or even international) friends with whom I can share kirtan links and do arati together and take deities for a walk. Maybe even one day a romantic interest.

    I try looking online but people are either not interested in it, or once again are telling me that I do it all wrong. Those who do happen to be interested, they are very much into the philosophy kind of it, whereas I prefer the practical activities and to be honest don't really understand philosophy much.

    Where I live, pretty much all of the youth is atheist (which makes sense as religious leaders are corrupt) and the concept of deities is regarded with curiosity at best, or with a weirded out face expression (most of the time) at worst.

    Am I asking for too much...?

    Thank you to everyone reading :)
     
    #1 Laddu1, Nov 14, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2022
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  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
    Premium Member

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    How do you know what you know about temples? In my city many Hindus are rather surprised to hear their city has 12 temples. A lot are semi-secret places, as many Hindus just don't advertise. There may well be other temples around.
    Some organisations have satsang groups. Organisations like Satya Sai INternational and BAPS do. Still others rent halls for larger festivals. There might be one close by, but you'd have to contact the parent body in your country to find out.
    There may well be individual Hindus around, shopkeepers and the like, in the same conundrum. Maybe you could start your own group.
     
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  3. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Don't get into what you don't like. You may continue to go to ISKCON temple during festivities. Visit traditional Hindu temples whenever it is possible. Don't be afraid of them. They are not proselytizers. Don't spend too much money if some priest asks you for puja (special worship).
    In your situation, internet, RF is your best bet for reliable information. Social media for 'romantic interests' :).
    No problem with atheists, as you know I am an orthodox Hindu and a strong atheist.
    No, you have not asked for much, and do not hesitate if you want to ask for more. :D
     
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  4. Laddu1

    Laddu1 Member

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    @Vinayaka interesting, I didn't think of contacting mother organizations yet.. Thank you very much!

    @Aupmanyav aw thank you, that is a very sweet reply especially at the end.


    ----
    I'm very sorry btw, I checked yesterday that I had already asked this question when I first joined here
    But you guys still kindly reply, thank you!!:)
     
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  5. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    I've been watching more out of intellectual curiosity, but in case you still like the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, there are a few ISKCON free-riders. I believe most of them are grouped into a "World Vaishnava Association" (World Vaisnava Association - Wikipedia), but as far as I know, this association only includes Gaudiya Vaishnava groups. The best known is probably Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's (PureBhakti.com) From what I experienced as a guest in their group, they do not chant Hare Krishna (as intensely) as ISKCON, but hold "worship services" (bhajan sessions) several times a day, singing songs from the book "Sri Gaudiya-Giti-guccha" (https://www.purebhakti.com/resource...617-gaudiya-giti-guccha-7th-edition-2016/file). However, like other Gaudiya Vaishnava groups, they emphasize submission to the guru, so you might go from the frying pan directly into the fire if you should decide to join them.
     
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  6. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    Did you check out Bhakti Marga ? They’re considered a personality cult with a bad rap. Their leader used to claim he was a Sri Vaishnava, but he mostly teaches some “salad bowl Hinduism” in comparison to ISKCON, which might be closer to mainstream Hinduism than ISKCON probably is. Judging upon their videos of Sunday prayers, they read the Srimad Bhagavatam a lot.
     
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  7. Laddu1

    Laddu1 Member

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    @Sirona

    Thank you for your reply!! Sorry about only answering now.
    I have looked at Narayana Maharaja's site before but I just don't really feel a personal connection to him.

    With Vishwananda of Bhakti Marga, I am very cautious of him. I never really liked him ever since I saw him, had a bad feeling. Then I learned that he has so many sexual abuse claims against him from his OWN disciples! In the past, and now! So that really seals the deal for me. Even though I like how they worship Nrsimhadev, as I like him a lot.

    Thank you for the links of the gaudiya vaishnava website! I will definitely look it up. I am still into gaudiya vaishnavism as iskcon and their teachings will always have a soft spot in my heart. But in my practice I incoorporate other deities too, not just Krishna.

    If everything goes well, I would like to go to a hindu temple in a city nearby for Maha Shivaratri. I hope it will work out, we will see.
     
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