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ISKCON Bangalore: How do Tamil Brahmins feel?

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Srinivasar of ISKCON Bangalore has become the "new popularized image" of Venkateswara, with most ignoring or not knowing that the image is ISKCON affiliated. So I'd like to know how do we feel about this? And when I say "we", I'm not just talking Tamil Brahmins, but pretty much all those of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamilnadu (forgive the order of the states, no offense meant by the ordering, I was going by where Bangalore ISKCON located, where Tirumala is, followed by the fact that despite the arbitrary borders we're all Tamil). Me personally, I'm not avidly opposed to ISKCON, but I'm definitely not a supporter of ISKCON. I'm more of the opinion of let them live on the fringes of society, as long as they don't enter my sanctum. Which is pretty much the opinion of the established kshetrams. Well slowly but surely that's all changing, because in keeping up with the times, they've expanded into the most popular deities. Started with RadhaShyam and Puri Jagannath, then onto Srinathji and Ranchodji, and finally now Srinivasar has become the current face of ISKCON. I'm feeling somewhat like the Jewish masses felt with Jesus when he tried to bring down their temples, how the people of Mecca may have felt when all the statues in the Kaaba were destroyed, and probably countless examples that have been lost to antiquity. Are we going to all start losing our Tamil/Telugu Brahmin identity and falling into the fold of ISKCON? Do I feel a bit threatened by it? Sad to say, but the answer is yes, I kind of do feel threatened by it. We might have been taught not to feel threatened, but so were the people of Mecca and look what came of that. JSN and JSK, but I just wanted to address this and see what the consensus felt.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Srinivasar of ISKCON Bangalore has become the "new popularized image" of Venkateswara, with most ignoring or not knowing that the image is ISKCON affiliated. So I'd like to know how do we feel about this? And when I say "we", I'm not just talking Tamil Brahmins, but pretty much all those of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamilnadu (forgive the order of the states, no offense meant by the ordering, I was going by where Bangalore ISKCON located, where Tirumala is, followed by the fact that despite the arbitrary borders we're all Tamil). Me personally, I'm not avidly opposed to ISKCON, but I'm definitely not a supporter of ISKCON. I'm more of the opinion of let them live on the fringes of society, as long as they don't enter my sanctum. Which is pretty much the opinion of the established kshetrams. Well slowly but surely that's all changing, because in keeping up with the times, they've expanded into the most popular deities. Started with RadhaShyam and Puri Jagannath, then onto Srinathji and Ranchodji, and finally now Srinivasar has become the current face of ISKCON. I'm feeling somewhat like the Jewish masses felt with Jesus when he tried to bring down their temples, how the people of Mecca may have felt when all the statues in the Kaaba were destroyed, and probably countless examples that have been lost to antiquity. Are we going to all start losing our Tamil/Telugu Brahmin identity and falling into the fold of ISKCON? Do I feel a bit threatened by it? Sad to say, but the answer is yes, I kind of do feel threatened by it. We might have been taught not to feel threatened, but so were the people of Mecca and look what came of that. JSN and JSK, but I just wanted to address this and see what the consensus felt.


Hi,

I am not a Tamil Brahmin but I would like to share my thoughts.

Even though I dont agree with the ISCKON mindset but whatever said and done..they are doing no harm and they are also part and parcel of Hinduism.

If we allow the feeling of "sect" ism come into our minds..we would just land up like how Shiah and Sunni Mazhabs feel about each other and the consequences can be disastrous.

Dont worry about identity too much...each one of us are supposed to shed all identity finally to realize God.

A Hindu should never feel threatened by his own religion.

I know my answer might not be what you wanted to hear but at least as a Hindu one needs to be united and not divided.
 

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
I do not go to Kalibari because of their animal sacrifice. So it is an individual's choice to go ISCKON temple or not. I do go to ISCKON temple. I may not agree with some of their methods. I do not have any particular interest in going in a queue for a darshan either. I do want to see the idol, but to see God I do not have to stand in line.

There is no monopoly in Hinduism.
In the temple here in USA, we have all deities. Including Mahavir Jain, Radha Krishna, Aiyappa, Navagraha, Balajee, ETC. It is a Hindu temple that may not match with any Tamil Temple.
 
OP
OP
D

Dinesh Venkatachar

New member
Hi,

I am not a Tamil Brahmin but I would like to share my thoughts.

Even though I dont agree with the ISCKON mindset but whatever said and done..they are doing no harm and they are also part and parcel of Hinduism.

If we allow the feeling of "sect" ism come into our minds..we would just land up like how Shiah and Sunni Mazhabs feel about each other and the consequences can be disastrous.

Dont worry about identity too much...each one of us are supposed to shed all i dentity finally to realize God.

A Hindu should never feel threatened by his own religion.

I know my answer might not be what you wanted to hear but at least as a Hindu one needs to be united and not divided.


Actually I liked your answer a lot. Because (1) you mentioned that you don't agree with the ISKCON mindset, which removes the issue of bias, and (2) you mentioned that "A Hindu should never feel threatened by his own religion." There's never actually going to be any unity other than unity in diversity, try as everyone may. Once we accept the principle of unity in diversity then we can be peaceful. I think I was sensing the threat in that it was seeming that people were being herded like sheep from being Balaji devotees to members of ISKCON without realizing, sort of like a zombie nation. But I was seeing the masses in the few rather than the other way around.
 

krish44

Gold Member
Gold Member
I read somewhere about head of an ISKCON community in UK isolating and ill treating one of the disciples and ultimately trying to separate him from his wife another

disciple,ending in the murder of the disciple by one of the goons of the head.there are some strange going on in the communities in UK and US with police going after them

I do not know how much of it is true
 

vgane

Well-known member
Gold Member
Srinivasar of ISKCON Bangalore has become the "new popularized image" of Venkateswara, with most ignoring or not knowing that the image is ISKCON affiliated. So I'd like to know how do we feel about this? And when I say "we", I'm not just talking Tamil Brahmins, but pretty much all those of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamilnadu (forgive the order of the states, no offense meant by the ordering, I was going by where Bangalore ISKCON located, where Tirumala is, followed by the fact that despite the arbitrary borders we're all Tamil). Me personally, I'm not avidly opposed to ISKCON, but I'm definitely not a supporter of ISKCON. I'm more of the opinion of let them live on the fringes of society, as long as they don't enter my sanctum. Which is pretty much the opinion of the established kshetrams. Well slowly but surely that's all changing, because in keeping up with the times, they've expanded into the most popular deities. Started with RadhaShyam and Puri Jagannath, then onto Srinathji and Ranchodji, and finally now Srinivasar has become the current face of ISKCON. I'm feeling somewhat like the Jewish masses felt with Jesus when he tried to bring down their temples, how the people of Mecca may have felt when all the statues in the Kaaba were destroyed, and probably countless examples that have been lost to antiquity. Are we going to all start losing our Tamil/Telugu Brahmin identity and falling into the fold of ISKCON? Do I feel a bit threatened by it? Sad to say, but the answer is yes, I kind of do feel threatened by it. We might have been taught not to feel threatened, but so were the people of Mecca and look what came of that. JSN and JSK, but I just wanted to address this and see what the consensus felt.

Dear Sri Dinesh,

I am happy to note that ISKCON is spreading our God's name and fame across the world...

We are seeing another form of Lord Perumal! We should not get worked up by this innocuous act!

I attended an ISKCON prayer meet in an obscure village near Warri in Nigeria a few years back...

As per me they are doing an yeoman service for the cause of Hinduism! They are our evangelists which TTD has not been able to do!

All the prayers were done by the Nigerian locals!

In fact at Jakarta (Indonesia) where I visited last year, the local Shiva temple has a Perumal idol as well as that of Guru Gobind Singh and Shirdi Sai Baba!

Let us welcome this!

lord_Balaji.jpg

One of the images of Perumal (above)
 
Last edited:

sarang

Well-known member
There is also a BBC documentary on UK ISKCON, its members, strong discipline, religious and charity activities and selfless service by its members and followers.

I read somewhere about head of an ISKCON community in UK isolating and ill treating one of the disciples and ultimately trying to separate him from his wife another

disciple,ending in the murder of the disciple by one of the goons of the head.there are some strange going on in the communities in UK and US with police going after them

I do not know how much of it is true
 

krish44

Gold Member
Gold Member
if you can do google search ISKCON UK murder what you see will make your stomach turn and you might vomit

UK police is after them as there are many strange going on in their community.

their organisation beats the mafia in their actions

they even chase the escapees from their order and fix them
 

sarang

Well-known member
Everyone will find what they want and what appeals to their nature; google search is a big help in this noble pursuit. In fact all religious organizations, big or small, starting from vatican will have some such incidents saved in their vaults. Many other secularists, communists and country heads - idi amin, stalin, gadaffi, sadam, to name a few have such acts credited to them. You may also search and post for the benefit of brahmin community what is happening in madrasas in UK!

if you can do google search ISKCON UK murder what you see will make your stomach turn and you might vomit

UK police is after them as there are many strange going on in their community.

their organisation beats the mafia in their actions

they even chase the escapees from their order and fix them
 

sarang

Well-known member
When religious heads and organizations expand into money, property related and money making activities, the rules and environment change for better and worse. Kanchi mutt, sathya sai, melamaruvattur, asaram and hundred other have faced similar accusations - money laundering, tax evasion, murder, abuse of women and children, kidnap, threatening behaviour etc. They get huge negative publicity in the beginning and are forgotten in due course without verdicts. Dissenters and groupies within the organization become exposers and samaritans and get good mileage in the beginning, and make hay when the going is good.
 
OP
OP
D

Dinesh Venkatachar

New member
I'm liking this thread, possibly because moderated by the website host. I am starting to understand the issue a little more clearly. Indians of India, living in India probably have a different opinion of ISKCON than Indians born and raised in the USA. I can't post videos yet, because I haven't ranked enough points, but I can say, just youtube search "ISKCON Union Square". I'm seeing a diverse opinion on ISKCON, for ISKCON, against ISKCON, and indifferent to ISKCON all with good reasoning. I do encourage the input, because it'll help me and possibly others have a better understanding on where they fall in the whole spectrum. As for my opinion on Balaji, his most proper worship stands with the rituals carried out in Tirumala (and elsewhere) by the Vaikhanasas. The whole world and universe has access to him, but his proper worship is carried out by the Vaikhanasas. Not Shankaracharya or Ramanujacharya, or any who came after changed this nor should it be changed. I'm not a Vaikhanasa, but I say if the tradition is to be preserved then the jurisdiction lies with them :).
 

CHANDRU1849

Well-known member
Dear Sri Dinesh,

I am happy to note that ISKCON is spreading our God's name and fame across the world...

We are seeing another form of Lord Perumal! We should not get worked up by this innocuous act!

I attended an ISKCON prayer meet in an obscure village near Warri in Nigeria a few years back...

As per me they are doing an yeoman service for the cause of Hinduism! They are our evangelists which TTD has not been able to do!

All the prayers were done by the Nigerian locals!

In fact at Jakarta (Indonesia) where I visited last year, the local Shiva temple has a Perumal idol as well as that of Guru Gobind Singh and Shirdi Sai Baba!

Let us welcome this!

lord_Balaji.jpg

One of the images of Perumal (above)


Is ISKCON doing service to all Hindu Gods or confines only to Krishna? Unless we have clear answer, it is not possible to judge ISKCON's service. Some people say ISKCON's ideology is worshipping only Krishna. If that is the case, I think ISKCON will not bring unity among Hindus.
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
Dear Sri Dinesh and Renukaji,

Both of you have mentioned in your posts that you do not subscribe to ISCKON. Can you explain what is the ideology that ISCKON stands for or propagates? I want to know your perception of the organization and its ideology. I can get what they want to tell about themselves by googling. That is not the requirement of me. Will you both tell me? Thanks.
 

auh

New member
...There's never actually going to be any unity other than unity in diversity, try as everyone may. Once we accept the principle of unity in diversity then we can be peaceful. ...

There can be no "Unity in diversity" but only "Unity in-spite of diversity".

Regards,
 

indianassault

Active member
vaagmi sir,
ISKCON propagates only Krishna worship and they dont even consider any one else. THeir style of prayers is different like anyone can become Pujari , go to sanctum and show the arti. If you carefully read the GIta as it is, written by some ac prabhu pada, he refers to only vishnu and krishna as the supreme and the rest as demigods. ( i am assuming Shiva) . He also says, Brahma being a super soul couldnt fully comprehend Krishna s form and hence the rest cannot.
I see them as a cult organisation with strong pulling power, but Krishna is one you I or anyone can reach very easily by devotion and we dont have to be part of Iskcon to do that.
I am neutral on my views to them. I prefer the local aagama style temples.
And yes, if any of you visit mysore, visit the vontikoppal venkatramana temple, its a replica of tirumala and you can also see the cutest navaneetha krishna there.
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
what i like about iskon temples is that these are spotlessly clean. what i find eerie about these, are in front of krishna's sanctum sanctorum, they have a life size livelike statue of sri prabhu padu. one tends to get nightmares, if one stares at this too long.

in the west iskon is considered a cult. the guys wear kudumis and go about the streets singing hare rame rama rama. it is said that once you are in, there is no way out. in toronto, the majority of the adherents are whites though there is a good sprinkling of gujaratis. their food is delicious and free.
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
vaagmi sir,
ISKCON propagates only Krishna worship and they dont even consider any one else. THeir style of prayers is different like anyone can become Pujari , go to sanctum and show the arti. If you carefully read the GIta as it is, written by some ac prabhu pada, he refers to only vishnu and krishna as the supreme and the rest as demigods. ( i am assuming Shiva) . He also says, Brahma being a super soul couldnt fully comprehend Krishna s form and hence the rest cannot.
I see them as a cult organisation with strong pulling power, but Krishna is one you I or anyone can reach very easily by devotion and we dont have to be part of Iskcon to do that.
I am neutral on my views to them. I prefer the local aagama style temples.
And yes, if any of you visit mysore, visit the vontikoppal venkatramana temple, its a replica of tirumala and you can also see the cutest navaneetha krishna there.

If this is what ISCKON is all about, I do not find anything objectionable there. Hinduism has many cults and many interpretations of its scriptures and Bhagavad Gita. We tolerate and coexist with all of them. So one more group added to that rainbow will not make it look bad. Their calling their favourite godhead as Krishna is not perhaps liked by those who worship a different godhead. But ultimately God is just one called by all these names. I must visit the local ISCKON temple one day.
 

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
If this is what ISCKON is all about, I do not find anything objectionable there. Hinduism has many cults and many interpretations of its scriptures and Bhagavad Gita. We tolerate and coexist with all of them. So one more group added to that rainbow will not make it look bad. Their calling their favourite godhead as Krishna is not perhaps liked by those who worship a different godhead. But ultimately God is just one called by all these names. I must visit the local ISCKON temple one day.

I agree with this view.
I was at their Govinda restaurant and had wonderful meal (it was not free). But like Kunjuji says it bothers me that there was only a life size statue of Prabhupada.
It is a cult, but so is other cults of Hinduism.
 

indianassault

Active member
I agree with this view.
It is a cult, but so is other cults of Hinduism.

I do not see other cults for Venkatachalapathy or Arunachaleswara or Sabarimala who needs no introduction nor publicity.

Only whn someone needs to be popularized, these things happen.
 
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