Time to Get Real
Posted March 11, 2007
The Guru system is totally outdated and probably only worked well when life was simpler and people did not get proper care in general in life, so they could be taken care of by their Guru at least to that previous old time sub-standard of living they maintained while diving wholeheartedly into their Bhakti Yoga practice. This is not longer a valid situation as modern society has uncovered so many human needs that simply went unfulfilled in the past.
I know of no ISKCON Guru that is truly looking out for their disciples up to the modern standard. There is not even a universal health care program for aging devotees, many of whom are suffering from the years of all cooked, fries and sugar diet as well as Guru's neglect of the bodily and psychological health of their disciples.
Also it is truly ridiculous to present that 5000 years ago people were so smart and now we are so stupid. Frankly, that is stupid! The Egyptians were doing their thing 5000 years ago, we know how they lived and it was terrible! Also there are still people living the same today as they did 5000 years ago and their standard of living is unnacceptable to today's society.
If people were really so smart in the old days that they didn't have to write things down, how come there are no pictures drawn with perspective until about 1440. They lived for 100,000 year life spans with worldwide civilizations that lasted for millions of years but in all that time they couldn't learn to draw?
I always picture some guy walking his donkey in the Himalayan mountains and he pulls back some brush which exposes a cave door and upon entering the cave voila! Here are all the partying ancient Yogis! Wow, they look great for being thousands of years old and getting no sun at all! That 3000 year old guy doesn't look a day over 2,990. :-)
Let's face it, as we gather confirmable factual information at blinding speed, these silly ideas are going to make it more and more difficult for the movement to be effective. Most ISKCON leaders do not believe the vedas should be taken literally, but still they try to lump it in with basic universal truths while they know full well that the sun does not revolve around the earth! This astounding fact indicates that one can find the most materailistic people as most of the religious leaderships in the world. To them, they are scaring people with the Pillsbury dough boy and to me that is the most materialistic that one can be.
I have contacted most of the preachers in ISKCON U.S. and ultimately they present a "take it or leave it" mentality because they either do not care if it is true or not, or again, they do not believe it themselves. The Guru system breeds an elitest mentality and a system of "authority rules" and the Guru system is also very militaristic.
Let's face it, on so many levels we are all connected so if you cannot save everyone, then how can you save yourself?
Frankly it is about time that devotees humble ourselves to the public, and ask why do we try to accept things that are simply not true, when we could easily update and then take the many wonderful blessings of Bhakti Yoga and truly help people from their perspective as well as a true perspective?
Even Bhaktivinode Thakur said that the Vedas are allegorical, so what? The "what" is that we lose our position of "authority" if we insist they are literal. It is a false position because it can only be accepted by very sincere and/or incredibly ill informed and/or uneducated people.
The senses are more than adequate to navigate ourselves through this existence and Yogis go by their senses too. For something to be "absolutely" true, then it should also be confirmed by the outer as well as the inner self. The only thing that is specific to KC that is true to our basic society standard of truth that we all live by, like it or not, is that chanting lowers stress and that is based on Harvard studies. Other than that, what does KC have to offer that is not a fantastic untrue idea attached to a universal truth?
Free veggie food with prayer is the most amazing preaching and promo tool of ISKCON but unfortunately most Temples now charge money for prasadam and some even charge for chanting sessions. Face it, Guru is a business and except for Radanath Swami, who sleeps in the Temple room and a few others. Business is thriving and we have no idea what they do behind closed doors, nor will we ever know. Many Gurus sit around in private talking about diciples in terms of income. If you get 10,000 diciples and each one gives you an average of $100 per year, then you have a great Yogi job that pays $1,000,000. per year with all kinds of perks, like servants, transportation, room and board and again, they can do what they want behind closed doors. Many ISKCON Guru's "cash out" with a wonderful retrement and others just keep enjoying the fruits of their business.
A really easy way to test this is to get your philosophy together, which they discourage as "speculating", and challenge them with confirmed truth. You will quickly see what I mean and that is without all the eye witness acounts and documented cases. So if ISKCON wants to even slightly approach the former glory made possible by the "love "generation, then we must stop being "museum" curators, "historical re-enactment sociteies" and get out there and feed people and realize that they are all devotees. If they are not, then we are not either. Make your choice, save everyone and yourself, or stay into the elitist club of people who are "in" with the spiritual crowd and leave everyone else here to rot.
It is so easy to "humble" ourselves to each other in a system where you move up in the ranks like the army. What is truly humble though, is to go out and help people from their immediate perspective and also in a way that is lasting too. It's easy to preach to people who give you money and also agree with you. Actually most people do not agree, they just won't admit it. ISKCON's idea is that the world is not "up to spec" and God could easily fix it with a simple glance but He doesn't because we are less than perfect and therefore do not deserve it. Even though our memories are taken away along with our knowledge, and we live in a situation of duress where each breath kills millions of entities, still ISKCON presents an idea of karma as punishment and that idea not only does not add up, but it is also a very unhealthy mind set. To add insult to injury, Iskcon presents that God does not even afford us the basic rights people receive from a run of the mill mundane county court.
ISKCON philosophy is that if God wants to be abusive then it is OK becasue He is supreme. No wonder there is still so much abuse and practically all the leaders are implicated in cover ups of abuse. "You are what you believe". If you believe that God is a monster who would torture His own children then you will treat people accordingly.
Most ISKCON devotees are into a "save yourself" mind set and they are in a sense sitting this life out in hopes of getting a better one. Is this really accepting God or rejecting God? What if this is simply the best that God can do? Why must the problems of this creation be blamed on us?
God's authority is not just in some books that ancient students of theistic science wrote, it is in the reality of God's own creation. For example, God made it so that only humans, apes, and dolphins are able to have sex outside of procreation. So God's authority is above the ISKCON idea that we should only have sex for procreation. It is a proven fact, as our surgeon general reiterates that sex is extremely healthy on many levels. If devotees want a realistic principle that we can actually follow, how about no "exploitative sex"? I got so tired of hearing that if one wants to have sex then they will be turned into a pigeon so they can have sex 70 times a day. This is complete ignorance as pigeons do not have sex 70 times a day. They bring food to the nest up to 70 times a day during certain cycles, but they can only have sex during specific times, and that sex is only for procreation and it is not as complex or gratifying as human relations.
This idea also presents God as a monster because God obviously realizes that the person desired "human" sex and not pigeon sex. ISKCON seems to suggest that God is looking for any excuse to mess with us, that is, unless we are "endorsed" by ISKCON reps. Of course, the reps can take some of the work load off of God, give Him a break, and mess with us for Him. That is like dovetaliling our God complex in Krishna's service. :-)
Yogis say that kids are like animals and truly Yogis walk a very thin tightrope when they present the idea that some humans are on the "human" platform and others are on the "animal" platform. This is the basis of racism and the KKK. The KKK believes that blacks are a form of monkey and therefore animals. Devotees think monkeys are a species of human. Interesting correlation..... no wonder there is so much racism, male chauvenism, war glorifying, and tons of socialy outdated and negative concepts with ISKCON presentation. Also ISKCON shows it's ancient ignorance here because the true definition of species is based on breeding and humans cannot breed with apes.
ISKCON comes back with this amazing conspiracy theory that God is also in the dis-information business as he will leave dinosaur bones to allow us to be in illusion about the truth of the Vedas and God makes the layers of ice "seem" like there were ice ages, but that is only to throw off the Godless atheistic scientists. In the meantime, had not the scientists, many of whom gave their lives and were mercilessly killed by the Churches in the old days, found out how to heal people through confirmable knowledge, most of us would not be alive today!
So truly if ISKCON could let go of its "authority rules" mind set and inspire people to turn to God by truly helping them with unconditional love and devotion to the modern standard, a standard that more closley fits the realities that we all live by, then we would have something special indeed.
I used to make tons of devotees, now I must constantly define my "self evident unconditional love platform" as absolutely non-religious. ISKCON took me part of the way, now it can only hold me back, unless enough of the leaders miraculously decide to "get real".
Please contact me if you wish at email address removed by request
NOTE: The author's opinion has changed since writing the article. In May 2009, they wrote to us, asking that their email address be removed and commenting "I wrote this in passion about a Gurukuli friend and I was wrong about so many things."