Hare Krishna!

I do not want to hurt anyone faith or believes. I just want to inquire for spiritual advancement.

1) I generally feel that ISKCON members over the time has made answers to all possible spiritual questions based on a particular interpretation of scriptures which may or may not be true. Whenever a new member comes, he simply accepts the answers given by previous acharyas without questioning them. Whenever  somebody questions anything, he is reminded of vaishnav aparad, offences etc and said to have faith in the process. Although iskcon people says, they are not blindly following anything, but deep down yes they are.

2) The real key to spiritual advancement is to question, to explore, to experience yourself. Don't believe in anything unless you have yourself experienced it absolutely with no doubt.  People will say that Prabhupadh says about first, second and third class people. Everyone thinks that I am first class person so I should not question and simply follow. I respectfully disagree with Prabhupadh's argument here. People who does not question, explore, contradict and simply follow will have doubts later in life. Those who are hard nuts, who are open minded to believe and disbelieve in anything, who first see themselves and then believe, will have far less chances of doubts in future.

3) Why Krishna? We can worship any god be it Shiva, Ganesha, Durga as long as we are not having any material desire. Is it because the scriptures say it or ISKCON community made the scriptures say it? If Krishna was known to be God, why didn't all the scripures clearly mentions it everywhere in every scripture. We find one line in scriptures telling Krishna to be god. But it may be referring to the quality of God (Krishna = all-attractive) and not as a person.

4) The people who consider god as impersonal, or buddist, jain people, they all have one thing in common, they do not believe, they experience first and then believe. This inspires them more and more in spiritual path.

5) We do not see any kind of miracle or supernatural in following ISKCON. I know, people will say the sun is a miracle, etc. but these doesn't work. Again, these are the answers made by previous achryas in their books and people are sticking 100% to it. Some will say you will taste it when you get advanced, but that may be the psycological effects of chanting and doing good deeds, nothing else. Some will say we are not that advanced as previous acharyas. I want to know who is advanced in iskcon. If the process is same, why it is not producing advanced people like Namdev, Tukaram now who have shown many miracles in their lifetime. People will say no no they are actually gopis named this and that etc. How do you know? Our acharyas have told us. How do they know? We have faith. How do you know that they know? On the other hand, in buddhism, or people who believes in impersonal god are showing miracles. For example: many people predict their time of death, there are many examples of people attaining sidhis. As far as I know, no such miracle is experienced in iskcon. I know that these sidhis and all are useless as Prabhupadh told, but still they motivates the person in their spiritual path. People will say all these things are automatically attained by people who follow the process. Please let me know any such example of that.

6) People generally feel that Prabhupadh is the upper limit in spiritual  advancement. How do you know? Prabhupadh went to Golok. How do you know? We can't be as advanced as Prabhupadh. How do you know?

7) In ISKCON people says that they feel estacy while following the process, so they must be moving in right path. My argument is that people who follow impersonal god, or any other personal god or no god or himself/herself as god are also feeling estacy. People will say their estacy is only a fraction of estacy felt through the prescribed process. How do you know? Have you experienced both? Then who are you or the acharyas to decide?

8) Prabhupadh says that Buddha is an incarnation of Krishna who has come to deceive atheist. It can also be the other way. Maybe iskcon is deceiving people to chanting, imbibing good qualities converting every attachment to attachment for Krishna so that later attachment of form can be removed to make them experience and meditate upon impersonal god.

9) What I believe that people are choosing ISKCON as it is a simple process (or let's say shortcut) easily available. Everyone is following it, so we should also. People believe that we are safe now. We have a community and family now. Now they stop exploring and comparing and start following. Further it is buttered by its authoritativeness and parampara, sampradaya etc etc. All this process stands upon one thing : one particular interpretation of scriptures, and not on scriptures.

My purpose is to question my faith not anyone else's. I hope I can get constructive arguments from YOUR experience and not from the scriptures or someone says so, so that we together can advance in spiritual path.


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  • How does one Devour the elephant of doubt? One night at a time. Question # is it blind faith or
    Unconditional/open-minded submission, or in other words maturity or complete Honesty.
    Which means we are old spirits who have all ready ran the gambit of all religions speculative philosophys & sciences. Principals use to say"We the Vishnaves have not come to Krishna out of naively we come hear out of exhaustion having trayed erything else"
    So when you say Sinyour devotees you can realy/sincerely believe it to be true. All false egos try try & try again to superimpose there/our own significance on to the overall scenario of things that's what the minds ego does indeed Myya is empowered by GOD to do. I.e. conveyance us/our minds pride that freedom is over-there, that happiness is just round the coroner, that power influence & love is just a job or a friend or a discipline away. Yes with God's own blessing!/empowerment. So in an endless loop we tried life after life death after death we from womb to the tumb hoping against hope on top of hope that those who should love is will and that our good intentions will wreep worthy fruits. But alas they never do do they because these subtle and horse reality are a bag of tricks. & no one will get out of it alive! In other words for example Jesus lived a short life dedicated to establishing religion that the world at large could comprehend & participate in. Indeed offering Himself up as the sacrificial Guru, & calling all the world together under the wages f compassion & Love. Yet at the End of all His austerity & pains was He spared HELLnaw-He wasn't what to speak of you & I? Of He got 3 Days What will we get? i 4-1-do not want to know? Further if/when they asked (JC) in who's Name do U- put forth your works He couldn't say (inconclusive) in other words He can't explain what He's not (blessed) to know,.?
    Buddest seeking freedom & Narvonna, liberation from this body&planet like it was all a great big mistake that GOD made. Just like weaning one's self off of all things emotional and physical & existing in some cosmic limbow is actually some kind of definition of a successful conclusion to this life- time & situation? NOPE this is not an exercise in mental or intellectual performance. & what was His (Buddha's) conclusion when asked "who He thought was/is the Head GOD "inconclusive" end quote.
    Allah the path of dehuminizing Cow killing war mongering. None can say who or what It (Allah) Is because He-She or ot never said or showed up, as to be honored or respected as the GodHead they clams to be so that is in-fact blind following the blind into the ditch? But let me slow down so Religions and philosophys are basically, a set group of Life principals that if followed will certainly improve one's karma while living on this planet & in this body. NOTE I. Said improve one's good karma & not
    (Equipt one to perfect one's own existence, & thereby become properly educated to the proper skills needed for the (creative) performance of life's dutys required for existence in Any realm. Hear & now or latter somewhere ease? Vishnava's Are educated to such an extant that they can & do honor GOD or God's this planet or the creation at large causing it to swune swimmingly-into the worm rapsady of Rahda Krishna's Prama/LOVE & happiness.
  • E-Counselor

    To continue:

    6) Srila Prabhupada has got us on this path -therefore he is the pre eminent shiksha guru for the entire ISKCON for all times. Therefore, he is the highest authority for us. His books are continuing to guide us even in his absence.

    Whether he went to Goloka or he was sent to another loka to preach the message of the lord is not important - like you say - what is the proof - how does one know? He is a pure devotee - of that there is no doubt. The reason for no doubt is - he fulfills the criteria mentioned in scriptures for pure devotee, his life and death fulfilled what is mentioned in scriptures regarding how a devotee should live and die - again no scriptural reference as desired.

    Its not that we cant be as advanced as him, its that our love and respect for our guru is such that we would always like to be his follower. Would you tell your father I am better than you, better at everything? Would your father like to hear it? Then why the rules are different for spiritual father/ grandfather? Even Srila Prabhupada demonstrated the same by giving all the credit for his achievements to his guru. That is the process - a fruit laden tree is only bent down prabhu, a tree with no fruits will stand tall and nothing can bend it. It can only be cut (very easily at that).

    7) So you have met devotees who say they feel ecstacy? You have a problem believing them? I think your problem is whom to believe - both the process followers say they feel ecstacy - right? Now that is entirely your choice - what suits your temperament more. In one lecture by HH Bhanu Swamy Maharaj, I have heard that scriptures say God is with form and also that He is formless. How is it possible? Its our vision - like for eg - if we see a city from an aircraft, everything will appear tiny and eventually one dot, a closer view, maybe we can make out individual buildings and lanes. But to actually meet the people of that city, one has to enter the city and meet the person/ people. All 3 are right - its our vision and the distance we are at from the object of vision.

    8) Its your mental speculation - I will not answer this. How many people you know who have come to ISKCON thinking God is a person, who are later told - look there is a secret - He is actually impersonal. I dont know anyone like that.

    9) If you think its such a simple process, pls follow and find out for yourself. If it was so simple, get up in the morning - no work, simply chant the lords name, eat, dance in kirtans and make merry, live off other people's donations - pls stay in temple for a day - that much will be enough for you.

    Best of luck prabhu. My purpose was not to be rude, my purpose was to address each of the points raised by you.

    I can only advice you to choose your path and start walking on it. Like I said - the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    I will wait for your response to my answers.


    Your servant,

    Radha Rasamayi DD


  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna Prabhuji,


    To begin - lets take your heading - what a sweeping statement!!! In fact, ISKCON is not at all about blind faith. It is about practical application of what scritpures are saying in our modern day life. There are enough live examples of people in all walks of life, all fields of modern life - whether toddler, student, working, retired or simply serving, all kinds of profession and all kinds of ashrams - whether brahmachari, grihasta, vanaprasta or sanyasi. I am surprised you didnt come across this range of devotees I just mentioned. Where did you get that idea from?

    1) It is in fact welcomed that questions are asked and answers given. You are mentioning that over time, ISKCON has answers to all questions - you have a problem with that also? Regarding interpretation of scriptures which may or may not be true - the proof of the pudding is in the eating prabhu. Have you seen how drug addicts got purified into pure devotees by following the process of ISKCON? Pls see the earlier videos of how ISKCON was formed and how the initia, devotees struggled alongwith Srila Prabhupada to establish and run it - doing practically impossible things. See their faces then and now (or later). See their body language - the way they dress, the way they danced - esp matajis. See them now - if it may not be true - why would they keep themselves in delusion all their lives, adopting an alien culture where there are more donts than is comfortable.

    Try going to even an Indian city today and preaching - na dhanam, na janam, na sundarim..... how many followers do you think you will gather? You will get back an answer - then why live? This was the culture at that time when Srila Prabhupada landed in Boston Harbour 50 years ago. He preached and it was the purity of his words that others followed and made their lives successful.

    For your information, every single new member questions before accepting this path - it is in fact encouraged. We are not looking for fanatics and blind followers.

    The vaishnav aparadhs are listed - 10 in number and are recited in every temple in the morning with meaning. Therefore, there is no secret. What could be - it depends on the way one is questioning - if one is asking in a challenging tone with the view to ridicule the speaker, naturally that is not answered. Would the same thing not happen in the material world prabhu?

    Nobody is encouraged to follow without having faith in the process. If one does not have faith, then theres no point - whatever we say will not resound with you. Isnt it the same with a doctor - without faith in the doctor, the treatment will not bear fruit. If that is the case with material disease, what to speak of the disease called death?

    Once one accepts the path, I presume after developing some faith and getting some taste, then one is told to obey. What is wrong in that? If you want to join any particular course of school, you can do inquiry and decide whether you want to join or not - once you join, you are expected to follow the rules and regulations, isnt it? Still, in ISKCON, nothing is forced. If one is not comfortable doin or not doign something, generally there is no force and one is given time to overcome it from within. There may be inquiries into waht is the difficulty - but there is no force. Pls tell me specific incident if you have experienced any.

    2) COmpletely agree with you - one must question spiritual doubts and practical application of spiritual matters. The method of inquiry is demonstrated by Arjuna in the entire Gita and mentioned by the lord in the Gita also. Since you said you dont want any scriptural reference, I am skipping it.

    Srila Prabhupada specifically mentioned in one purport to Gita that - neither blind faith nor endless questioning is good. As you may agree, extermes of anything, excess of anything is not considered good. A fanatic and a doubting thomas are pretty much on the same boat. Somewhere we have to start by assuming to put our faith on someone, on some path. We may not realise it, we are putting blind faith into so many things in the  material world. Do you question the Dr why he is subscribing a particular medicine twice a day, for 3 days? What would happen if you take it once a day for 6 days? Do you do that? Then why its a free for all when it comes to spirituality and of course, the person being questioned is supposed to be picture of perfection, of patience, shoudl have all the answers and should explain with poise and lucidity, and the person asking has the right to be rude, to reject the argument, to find faults in the speaker and in the entire process. When newspapers announce scientists findings on various matters, how many people question the method of study, the sample taken for study and so on... most ppl simply accept what newspaper says scientist is saying - isnt that blind faith, when there are innumerable examples of scientists changing their versions and conclusions every few years.

    Before you think I am blaspheming scientists to establish ISKCON's supremacy, I would like to tell you that I am married to a scientist - who is also a good sadhaka. In each of his lectures, he will mention scientists say this or that.... and I keep smiling.

    Its becoming too long - I will adress your other points in next post.


    Your servant,

    Radha Rasamayi DD



  • About blind faith -
    Prabhuji, when I was new to Iskcon, I of course had many doubts about many things. Firstly about Lord Himself. Nobody can get fully satisfied in what they are doing if they blindly follow. I actually referred some other religion books not thoroughly but yes like what it says about God. But I was not convinced. Nowhere is there such true description about God other than our scriptures. There is a sentence in the book Gita that if you have doubts, then at least theoretically accept Krsna as God. So I thought, Why not? I started reading the books and felt that it's all right.
    About Vaishnava Aparad
    As far as I know, if you ask questions in a tone to get to know better or to clear your doubts, then such questions are always welcome. Our philosophy is actually based on questions and answers.
    But they refer to Vaishnava Aparad only when it turns out to condemn the Acharyas or disrespect then, you know something like that.
    They stop you from disrespecting any further by telling or mentioning that it will be Vaishnava Aparad! So it's like helping.

    I'll try to answer your second question
    I agree with your sentence, the key to spiritual advancement is to question, to explore and experience it for yourself. They ask you to simply follow Prabhupad because unless you read what Prabhupad has written in his books how will you question about it, explore and experience? They ask you to follow what Prabhupad had written because they are totally satisfied with that it's all true . They want to help you by making it easier for you, so that you get to know easily without much mind boggling.
    So yes when you read many questions or doubts will arise, all will be cleared hopefully and start believing in it and follow it.

    Your third question.
    Okay, so if you have read Srimad Bhagavatam, Creation canto. You will see the entire description about how everything was created. They explain more extensively beyond Trimurti or Trinity. As far as I know, the highest possible description in other hindu scriptures is this Trinity, i.e., Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. But our Vaishnava scriptures give us extensive details about what's beyond this. They go up to the ultimate, Krsna. If you read the scriptures, I don't think anybody would be disbelieving in them. You will realize it to be true with not a pinch of doubt.
    First of all, all are in the world of misery like a desert. Krsna related info is not easily available to everyone. Only fortunate ones will get it. Just like oasis in a desert.

    Fourth question
    They try to meditate on something and try to find peace, I suppose. Krsna explains in Gita about meditation and different yogas. Later he says which is best for us, that is bhakti to Him. Instead of following all the other exercises we are directly contacting the Supreme Person. That is this process. And all the processes will lead to this step.

    The thing is the soul with full satisfaction selects where to go. You may carry out any process, at the moment you may feel satisfied and later you will get bored and come down. This is what happens with impersonalists. But when you stay with Krsna you will not fall down cos we will be totally satisfied then.
    If Krsna gives us large amounts of happiness there we will faint unable to withstand. Why I'm telling this is, if somebody gets doubt that we may get bored there. No we will not. Bcos. Krsna is infinite. So we will be very very happy.

    Fifth question
    Who is advanced in Iskcon?
    Though I feel there are many advanced devotees in Iskcon. From the miraculous point of view. Yes, no one here is as advanced as any of the Acharyas. Their level of devotion was very advanced. They could realize the truth themselves by the help of their gurus or God.
    Now the age is degraded. People do not understand about this very easily. So everything is given in chewable format, but still it's difficult to follow it. It's not easy. It's very difficult. True.
    I think what Prabhupad meant was, instead of being atheists, let them come little towards the footpath ( spirituality and religion) , if not to the road or path to the real and final destination (Krsna).

    People say right when they say Prabhupad is far very advanced than us all. They say that cos they compare, ourselves and Prabhupad's greatness. They conclude that yes he is great.
    Even Prabhupad thinks he is not at all advanced as compared to His Guru Maharaj.
    See even if the disciple sometimes appears to be very intelligent, he is still low compared to His superiors cos he learnt everything from them.
    I have been trying to read, read and read but still unable to understand Gita completely. But our Acharyas have written books after realizing Krsna by themselves. Prabhupad too has given everything as chewable to us. But still unable to complete this one book. I am sure this might be the case with many others. So how can we compare ourselves to our Acharyas?

    In impersonal realization there are just some bodily changes I think. But in transcendental ecstacy your soul feels it. If we want to find out that is there any ecstacy and how will it be transcendental realization, let's just follow the process and hope to realize it. You can experience something only if you believe in it.

    Okay, so let us follow this process now. Later on if Iskcon would try to deceive me to become impersonal, then we shall all not believe in it and remain in the same process. Then Iskcon will definitely quit impersonal things and come back to its originality. I'm sure by the mercy of Krsna.

    No its not at all easy. It's very difficult. Usually people take a lot of time in first accepting. Okay, yes this is genuine. Everything is readily available but people do not choose immediately. There is definitely difficulty.
    • You are welcome. Hare Krsna
    • Thank you for your input. I really appreciate that.

  • Volunteer

    Hare Krsna,
    My obeisances to all devotees, guru and gauranga.


    Your take on ISKCON is infact wrong because firstly, new members dont sign up just on blind faith. People visit the temple, they like what they see and how dedicated devotees are, they enjoy the kirtans and prasadam and they infact feel happy which is the true nature of soul. This becomes their true calling. ISKCON (or even other faith ) members are not stopping people from going back to their material life (if that is what they want). But people do come back mainly because of what THEY have experienced. This is not blind faith. This is initial stages of faith. This is the seedling of bhakthi.

    There are three degrees of faith. The lowest type gives only enough faith to bring us into the association of devotees but is not based strongly enough on scriptural knowledge or belief in the truth of scripture to keep us there. The second type is firmer, and although we may not be conversant in scripture, we believe in the truth taught there. A devotee with the highest type of faith has firm conviction as well as firm knowledge of the scriptures.

    Blind faith to a certain degree is beneficial for our spiritual progress. Why? Because we are limited - IN EVERYTHING. So we have to put faith (even blindly) to things we cannot comprehend. Just think about the first aphabet when we learnt at school, did we question the teacher on why we should write "A" as "A"?. We accepted it for what it is.

    To give you another example: Has any one actually seen Neil Armstrong step on the moon? Or have you seen the craters on the moon personally? But we still believe that moon has craters or Mr Arstrong did take a first step on the Moon? We believe or have faith in NASA, right? and this faith is based on just photographs which can be created, modified by anyone. Isnt that blind faith?

    More answers will follow later..

    Chant and be happy.

    Srila prabhupada ki jai..

    Hare krsna

    • Hare Krsna Prabhuji!

      1) Isn't it similar to an atheist community club which listens to every new members nicely, gossip, sing, dance and eat together and read self help books to imbibe good qualities in their life. What THEY have experienced is just the experience of giving up bad habits and making good ones. I don't say that is bad but that does not contradicts any of my points above.

      2) Prabhuji, this is not the question of any minor problem in life like learning a new language. This is the question about our very life's purpose, the biggest question of our life. We can't put blind faith on anything in this case. People find one possible solution and are sticking to that without inquiring about other possible solutions. This sees ridiculously wrong to me.

      3) Neil Armstrong's case is still in debate. Why? Because we HAVE NOT put blind faith on pictures. We have critically seen the pictures and tried to mactch them with existing scientific facts. You subconciously gave me example to prove my point. If we have simply put blind faith on Neil Armstrong, we may not have been able to identify the flaws in images.

      Again, my purpose is not to shake the faith of others. My purpose is to question my believes. Madhvacharya used to question the believes of his Guru. All great spiritual people become great only because they did not put blind faith in existing theories, they question them and reached the truth.

      Hare Krsna!

  • There is many religions and spiritual paths who are like many rivers floating toward same ocean. They are all going same speed, but those fish who swim faster arriving sooner. Similar to that, those who have more focus, faith and/or love for God occupies the mind more , therefore achieving Him faster.

    The Supreme Lord manifest in those forms which people adore, therefore  we shouldnt judge even tribe in deep jungle, because  even blind faith in  dirty peace of stone can make a miracles.

    • 1) If we have many "rivers" that reach the same "ocean", why ISKCON "river" is faster, why we criticize  so called  other "rivers" like buddhism, jainism, impersonalism, voidism.

      2) Prabhuji, I totally believe that full faith in anything makes us achieve that. Full faith in a bad habit also makes us achieve that. But we have to intellectually and with experience decide where to put faith in. We only, no one else.

      3) I am afraid to say but this reply does not contradict to any of my point above. People from ANY other religion can make the same comment.

      Hare Krsna!

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