Vidyasankar tries hard to shine some light into the singularity of
the collective Hare Krishna cranium and, not surprisingly, fails. The
HKs, in general, are not self-thinking individuals and they have very
little use for the methods of rational discourse. Their minds work
much like digital switches. They are either ON or OFF. Mostly, I
might add, OFF.
I knew the dudes for quite a few years in Boulder, Colorado and
have read their literature, interacted with them, seen their ways
and finally disagreed with them on many issues. In short, I know
what I am talking about when I speak of the Hare Krishnas.
Let me first list some of their virtues:
1) Nice, friendly, personable fellows.
2) They make excellent food and are enthusiastic about sharing it
with others; In particular, their semolina halva gets a solid A.
3) They sing besura bhajans and pronounce them as "baajaans."
They have only one vice: They don't know what the hell they're
Of all the things that bothered me, none was as troubling as their
"our way is the only way and all others are wrong" rhetoric. This
attitude runs totally counter to the Hindu tradition of allowing for
a multiplicity of views and instead sounds more like the Christian
missionary or Islamic way of doing business.
I have respect for Prabhupada; however, he doesn't have the sole lock on
the truth as the HKs proclaim. But at least the fellow had some substance
to him (his sense of personal discipline etc). He also had an opinion on
everything ranging from sex to salvation to quarks to Begum Akhtar.
The organisation he founded is today a ragtag and bobtail outfit peopled
by a bunch of mostly unintelligent and supremely ignorant dummies.
Ignorance, per se, wouldn't be all that bad if only the Krishnas hadn't
their truckload of arrogance to go with it.
HK dudes, don't get hyper about all this. I have some words of advice
for you fellows. All for free!
Learn to countenance diverse viewpoints, debate them civilly and
rationally, read a book or two written by a non-Prabhupada:-), don't
pretend you know Sanskrit merely because you can read it in the
English transliteration, eschew your tendency to argue with the "mayavadis"
ad infinitum ad nauseum, before you criticise Sankara make sure you have
read AND UNDERSTOOD at least ONE LINE of his exegesis ("because Prabhupada
says so" type of argument will fetch you zero points), tone down the
sycophantic praise of Prabhupada, don't ambush people at airports with
your books, stop telling young Hindu couples to abstain from sex except
to conceive (remember how you have had your fun; let people have theirs),
before you preach your lofty stuff practice it yourself, learn to build
bridges of understanding, tear down the walls of your ignorance, cement
the bonds of love and compassion towards all, preach the gospel of love.
Finally, VERY IMPORTANT: Go easy on the ghee. I hate to run that extra mile
the next day to burn off the extra calories. Let us try and do things the
Sattvic way around here.