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Do ISKCON disciples consider themselves as Hindus? Is it true that even the Hindus joining ISKCON regard themselves more as ISKCON disciples that being Hindu.The founder Acharya is Srila Prabhupada ji who was a Hindu kayasth man. Everyone following his ideals has to confess to be a Hindu.Hare Krishna... Shri Radhe Krishna Sarvada Vijayate...

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  • One of my instructing Gurus once said something to the tune of,

    "If we could have some taste of the sweetness of Pure Love of Godhead-- Hinduism itself would seem sinful."
  • Hare Krishna is not a label, it is an infallible mantra and the most perfect name of God. And is every single word you use for something a label you need to steer clear of too? Be careful. A label is generally referring to false identification and identifications based on love and Spiritual life shouldn't be regarded as labels.
    • Love this reply. Hare Krsna!
    • Yes, I am aware. To clarify, within the context of gross religious abuse, I meant the intention with which any one of these names are used. If the consciousness is to provoke others than its real essence is abused which is great offense in itself.
      • I understand what you are saying. That is why Prabhupada so clearly stressed that anyone is welcome to join and chant Hare Krishna with us, just don't ever forget:

        " 'For spiritual progress in this Age of Kali, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative to the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord.'


        Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.

        So we must always hold firm to the idea that Sanatana Dharma is what we strive for, that is why it is my opinion that it is normal for a Hare Krishna to call themselves Hindu if it in fact helps them maintain a stronger Spiritual identity with Spiritual life. Like you said to provoke or abuse others is offensive, but Spiritual identities generally are not ill-used names, and when one misuses them they have a sort of "internal energy" within them that makes it obvious that someone is being unfair or attempting to shift the meaning of the term. For many, it's very important not to give up the name of their religion. Many have even died for such a cause. Hare Krishna.
        • If I had made the impression of meaning entirely something else, I humbly apologize. Truly, the name is absolutely potent even if it used as mere labels to identify oneself or point out those they identify themselves with. My point was to convey the divide which sometimes is, unfortunately, a cause of further confusion among ourselves and among others on the matter of soul identification as opposed to body identification. By 'body identification' I meant both in literal sense of the body and as a metaphor for "exclusivism".
          For example, "this devotee belongs to this group and this devotee belong to that group...therefore, this devotee is the real deal and this one is not."
          Sometimes, especially the neophytes, are so caught up in this label consciousness rather than Krishna Consciousness that questions such as the Arjun Saxena has put forth here arise - "Is it true that even the Hindus joining ISKCON regard themselves more as ISKCON disciples that being Hindu?"...when in fact it is both yes and no. In that regard I used the Holy Names, Hare Krishna, just to convey the idea of label obsession among others Then again obsessing on the Holy Names - Hare Krishna even as labels is still great thing regardless but I hope you get my point. Let's just say I was trying to be fair on Mr. Saxena. That was my intention and not to write off the Holy Names as "just another label". If there are still any offensive elements on my humble attempt to answer Mr. Saxena's question, I humbly beg your pardon and will try to rectify that.

          Hare Krishna!
          • What I inferred from here was that the labels of religions should not be Incorporated with the spiritual process.
            Is this fine enough??
            However I would say that this could be given to support slaying of animals in Islamic traditions, which is indeed prohibited by the Vedas, and which in turn could be supported by saying there had been many paigambars and one of them might had been Krishnachandra Ji Maharaj. Now they consider it a spiritual process. A true verse would be that Krishna in his Human Form in the Dvapar was a member of the Sanatan Clan, I am not going and neither trying to get deeper in Kurus and Vrinis, and being a disciple of Him , he being the Jagadguru, one has to follow the Sanatan Dharm, today known widely as Hinduism.
            If you find in Ram the instinct of Krishna then you have to worship Lord Shiva as well , Shakti as well, you have to gain support of the Vedas to get into the in-depth meaning of the Bhagwad Geeta. You have to infer the purana and follow the sanatan tradition and hence call , call it to be a tag, yourself a Hindu. Hindu tags are not divisions, infact every devotee of Lord is a Hindu, it the very truth which Krishna called Arjun to be Kurunandan, Bharat vrishabh etc. So be rest assured even if you don't call yourselves as Hindu you are a Hindu in the very instinct of your soul.
            Hare Krishna...
          • I am thankful for your response and I was just trying to rectify to make sure that there weren't any misconceptions. Misidentifying with the body is a great problem in modern society, though our Flesh is a type of Spirit as well, as is everything it's own type (matter is Spirit, as there is "Spiritual matter"), it is important to understand that, as Prabhupad keeps stating that "we are not the body." The relationship between body and Soul may seem simple but it is actually really deep philosophy and I am glad you brought it up for something to meditate on. Thank you and Hare Krishna Prabhu!
  • Not really. The problem with labels is that we are back to square one - body identification...Hindus, Buddhists, Christians...Shaktas, Vaishnavas, Gaudiya Mathas, Hare Krishnas...and so on which defeats the purpose of self realization. However, the change in consciousness where actual realization take over to finally see the truth about the soul takes millions of doesn't happen overnight. One can argue that "even a single impure chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra can liberate a person" true but we continue to pollute ourselves in thoughts, speech and action at the next moment, either in pride, anger, doubt etc.
    Therefore, to a certain extent, like a rehab, a soul is provided a replacement to satisfy his desire to belong to something within a spiritual group which is a billion times better than a mundane group. However, the problem starts when you get carried away, when a person mistake the letter for the substance...when a person pledge loyalty to the label "Hindu", "ISKCON", "RamKrishna Mission" etc. than to Krishna or His teachings Himself. In other words - fanaticism.
    If you allow yourself you will see this problem anywhere, and also, if you look deeper it is neither the defining feature of the group but rather a naturally occurring level among the spiritual practitioners. There are those who are beginners, intermediate and the advanced and it is all defined by what's within (consciousness) than the external features such as the spiritual attire.
    Most people encounter the neophyte (beginner) devotees of ISKCON and they, for some reason, hastily jump to conclusion...not just of ISKCON if you encounter a neophyte practitioner of any spiritual group they are all kind of touchy about whatever group they consider a part of. That's what you are confronted with.
    Srila Prabhupada was a great and exceptional Vaishnava Acharya (super advanced devotee) and once a soul reached that stage, they have literally transcended the 4 varnas...they have become more brahmin than brahmin. Therefore, it would be an offense to consider Srila Prabhupada "a kayasth man".
    In conclusion, just to entertain a fanatic Hindu an ISKCON devotee may declare himself/herself to be a Hindu (no big deal) but the Hindu fanatic has missed the point and the devotees would be fulfilling the fanatic's desire just like a desire tree (Kalpavriskha).
  • Prabhupad has called Himself a Hindu when He wanted to reveal that aspect of the Hare Krishna Philosophy, as a very large majority of Hare Krishnas are Hindus too, though one does not have to identify themselves with the term "Hindu" in order to be a Hare Krishna and chant the Maha Mantra, a duck can quack it and say "Hare Krishna! No, I am a duck!" Prabhupad has called Himself a Hindu in order to propagate the Gaudia Vaishnava movement among those needing to feel included with such a term and call themselves Hindus, but Prabhupada generally called our religion "Sanatana Dharma," that is, the Eternal Religion, and the identification of Hindu as being a designation that can change to something else later for many based on their desire. A Hindu can change his personal belief alignment to ChristianIity, but they are still rendering pure devotional service through the love of the Martyr Jesus Christ to Krishna. The Sanatana Dharma is still there. Although those more keen on the term "Hindu" to define their Faith must also accept that true Hinduism is Sanatana Dharma full of pure love of Krishna when practiced properly, and we have a perfect system for that in ISKCON. The primary thing is that we are Hare Krishnas, whether also Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain, Hindu, or Muslim, we seek to serve Krishna and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness allows anyone to join provided that they accept it's Faith in Krishna. Om Tat Sat Hare Krishna.
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