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Re: Hare Krishnas?

In article <haycock-150694130117@mac76.think.com>, haycock@think.com (Anne Haycock) writes:

> I have a quick question for whoever may be reading right now and can help
> me out.  What exactly does the Hare Krishna cult believe?

   They believe in the Hindu gods.  Krishna is their primary deity, the 
Bhagavad Gita is their primary scripture, and Srila Praphupada (who died
recently) was considered the only authorized interpreter.

   They have to chant mantras some very high number of times per day,
they forgo hair for the sake of asceticism, Western members forgo their 
Western names and take on Indian names, they're vegetarians, they believe
in reincarnation, and they have to wash after every bowel movement.

   Mainstream Hindus tend have a low regard for the movement.  I've heard
they regard the members as untouchables, and don't allow them in the 

> From my biased, Christian teaching it is a cult, but I'd like to know what 
> criteria it fulfills to be called such.

   Well, you must have some definition of "cult" in mind.  I won't try to 

   A couple of things that might be worth noting:  Missionaries sometimes
identify themselves in what I would regard as a cryptic fashion.  One asked
me for a donation to what he seemed to imply was a secular charity, and 
showed me a form with "ISKCON" printed on it.  If I hadn't recognised the 
abbreviation ("International Society for Krishna Consciousness"), I might 
have donated.

   I've heard that members have to donate 50% of their income to the 

   Some of my info may be wrong.  Stay tuned...

> Reason for asking?  Another one of our English friends from Sri Lanka has
> appeared in Boston,(imagine my sister's aghast surprise when her best friend
> from Sri opened the door of the House--Geeg was looking for her twin
> brother...we knew about him and his older brother...but their sister
> too?!), seeming to be very much a part of the Hare community here.  This
> makes 3 of the 5 kids we know from this family.  I have my hypotheses why
> this "way of life" fulfills a need for them, but that's a different issue.
> Thankx for replies,

   I've cross-posted this to a couple of other newsgroups.  You'll get better
replies soon.

misrael@csi.uottawa.ca			Mark Israel

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