THE HARE KRISHNA MOVEMENT

ISKCON or the International Society for Krishna Consciousness was created in the sixties by Abhay Charan De Prabhupada in New York.

The movement is fanatically devoted to the ancient Hindu god, Krishna. It advocates the chanting of the mantra, Hare Krishna, in order to win salvation from suffering and to develop a perfect love for God. The chanting is called Sankirtana. The chant is the mahamantra.

The cult has been known for telling lies to get new members and money and has been guilty of attempting to brainwash. It must be good at conditioning people when it offers an ascetic lifestyle in honour of an amoral god! The Perfection of Yoga (page 7), tells us that the guru who believes in and is authorised by the cult says only what Krishna says. The implication being that he should be obeyed as Krishna should be obeyed.

Krishna is infallible (page 273, 321, Bhagavad-Gita). And Krishna has to come first and everything must be done for his sake. One must do everything, even eat, just for him (ibid, page 15). One must not work to get anything from it but to please Krishna (ibid, page 8). Good has to be done for Krishna says it is good and not out of any self-interest (Bhagavad-Gita, page 296). Arjuna was told to kill in war because Krishna desired it in the scripture the Bhagavad-Gita and Prabhubpada commented that everything ought to be done for the sake of Krishna (page 39). Being a slave for Krishna is silly enough when one is more sure of one’s own existence than his but is worsened by the fact that the evidence for the existence of the historical Krishna is so feeble that it might not be evidence at all.

The religion makes the error of assuming that miracles prove that the incarnations of God like Krishna are indeed divine. But they believe in miracle-working demons and demigods! Prabhupada detested the notion that the miracle stories about Krishna were not meant to be taken literally (page 70, Life Comes from Life). The authors of the stories never said that they were fairy-stories so they meant them to be taken historically. Holiness is not a sign that if a person claims to be God he is God for God can do what appears sinful but it is not really sin (page 42, Sri Isopanisad).

The sect adores images of Krishna believing that he becomes the image in order to be more accessible to his worshippers (page 24, Sri Isopanisad). But when the mahamantra is all-important a person should not be looking for images at all but trying to awaken awareness of Krishna indwelling the heart. Why adore the image if Krishna is within you and if the material image is a distraction from focusing on his spiritual essence and presence in a spiritual manner? Would Krishna do such a stupid miracle as to become an image?

Incredibly, Prabhubpada taught that the lake of Radha in India, Sri Radha-kunda, is as loved by her lover Krishna as much as she is (page 90, The Nectar of Instruction).

And it is disturbing that a person will be considered the best of the bunch if he says the name of Krishna (page 54, The Nectar of Instruction). Why not God? Why not Jesus?

The cult teaches that the Sankirtana, tears of love for God and ecstasy – the trance that the chant puts you in – get sins forgiven (page The Nectar of Instruction).  God would not want people to be forgiven for going into a trance but for doing good. There is another problem. If the chant forgives sins then only a sinner can chant it. That is impossible and contradictory. A sinner cannot please God or have a real relationship with him. To stick to sin while doing good is telling God you will not fully love him so the goodness is really and wholly evil.

The cult asserts that the Lord’s disciples are cleansed from sin because they eat food that they offer to God (page 59, Bhagavagad-Gita). It is not offering the food you eat that should do this but good works. Nobody would merit praise for offering food for that is too easy. The Catholic Church is guilty of the same blasphemy against God for saying that the Eucharist does more to make you holy than good works.

According to Walter Martin (page 96, The New Cults) the sect believes that Krishna is impersonal for he is identical to the creation. Josh Mc Dowell and Don Stewart say the same thing (page 130, Concise Guide to Today’s Religions). If it does then the cult is saying that all things are caused and controlled by something that ought not to be loved for the person is superior. Also, if God is as impersonal as a machine then how can they be sure that we his creation are not being deceived by him all the time? He cannot be trusted at all when he lets error and lies happen. We should deny the existence of this God in order to be able to trust our reason and our senses. He is an affront to human dignity.

The Hare Krishna cult calls Krishna a person and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna is the supreme person in the impersonal God or he is a person and not a person at the same time or he s just a person with an impersonal spirit attached!  If God is impersonal then persons are illusions for God is all and personality cannot come out of impersonality when that is all there is. Prabhupada used this argument himself (page 29, The Path of Perfection).

The cult says that nobody can beat Krishna for tricking people and telling lies (page 204, Bhagavad-Gita). Krishna confessed his dishonesty. When it is sinners he has come to save and he feels entitled to lie to them or to cheat them by sending them to a religious fraud (page 91, Life Comes from Life) who can know if he is really saved? Krishna could be getting revenge for some misdeed done in a past life. What use is a saviour who you cannot trust and devotion to a God who may not be devoted to you? Such devotion would not be real but self-degradation. The errors in the scriptures of the cult and in its doctrine would count as evidence that Krishna is determined to make fools of its members.

The religion claims that all who really wish to find Gods’ truth will come to the Hare Krishna teachers to find it. This makes the faith very divisive and self-righteous.

The cult defies science and says there is life everywhere in the universe even on the moon! (page 1, Life Comes from Life). The divinely inspired Prabhupada said this.  Those who say that life came from non-living matter are stereotyped and castigated as rascals and frauds even though when life is made from matter it could have come from matter (page 15, 136, Life Comes from Life).