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Errors in theology of ISKCON (a.k.a. Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas)

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International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was founded by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda in 1966 as religious organization based in New York.
Members of ISKCON and allied organizations are also known by a popular name “Hare Krishna movement”, or “Krishnaites” (ISKCON members call themselves “Vaishnavas”, they do not use the name “Krishnaites”).
In Western world ISKCON is often attributed to new religious movements. Some religious scholars (for example Alexander Dvorkin and others) classify ISKCON organization as the totalitarian cult. [1]


ISKCON is a Gaudiya-Vaishnava Hindu religious organisation.
Gaudiya-Vaisnavism emerged in the 16th century in Islamic Bengal, in the areas of current Bangladesh and India.
The founder of Gaudiya-Vaishnavism is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who falsified the basic Vedic dogma, which states that the only way to become a Hindu is to be born in India, born in the caste system.
Because Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was recruiting new religious adepts from among the Muslims, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu announced that the basic Vedic dogma supposedly is no longer valid and that any foreigner can join new religion invented by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a religion in which Vedic dogmas are distorted, counterfeited and turned upside down. The main mass of Gaudiya-Vaishnavas were the Muslims converted into distorted and mutilated new Vedic religion.
Thus, in the 16th century Chaitanya Mahaprabhu created new religion, which has nothing to do with the original Vedic teachings.
ISKCON organization claims to be the continuation of religion established by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and one of the main ISKCON scriptures is the book “Chaitanya Charitamrita” (“Caitanya Caritāmṛta”) which describes the life of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
ISKCON promoted Krishna-shepherd cult (not to be confused with Krishna from the Bhagavad-gītā) was formed at the beginning of our era in the community of Abhira tribe (Ābhīras) shepherds.


International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was founded by a man whose real name is Abhay Charanaravinda De, but he named himself with a new very modest name Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.
Shri translated from Sanskrit means “His Divine Holiness”,
Shrimad translated from Sanskrit means “The Most Beautiful”,
Prabhupāda translated from Sanskrit means “One at Whose Feet the Masters Sit” (in other words, “The Teacher of All Teachers”).[2]

The wife of Prabhupāda did not support Prabhupāda in spreading of Krishna consciousness. Moreover, she was convinced that Prabhupāda is a dud and is engaged in a nonsense.
Prabhupāda did not drink tea because tea is prohibited for sannyasins as supposedly arousing product. Prabhupāda told his wife to cease to drink tea too, however she ignored Prabhupāda’s commandment and she continued drinking tea.
Once, when Prabhupāda was busy pondering about Krishna, Prabhupāda’s wife sold one of Prabhupāda’s sacred books (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam), because she needed money to buy herself tea and something sweet for tea. At that time there was no money at home, because Prabhupāda’s ISKCON business was not yet running and Prabhupāda’s ordinary business plan had crashed. Later, when ISKCON organization will flourish, Prabhupāda will have tons of money, but at that time Prabhupāda’s financial matters were still very bad. When Prabhupāda found out that his wife sold the book Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in order to buy the confectionery to tea, Prabhupāda got so angry that he left his wife together with their children, he left the home never returning back, and since then he had no interest whatsoever to find out how they live.āda.php
<...> Srila Prabhupāda's wife was not interested in his mission and she even sold his Srimad Bhagavatam to buy tea for her habit that she could not quit. Eventually Srila Prabhupāda retired from family life in 1950 and took up the order of vanaprastha (retired life). <...>
Krishna Connection. Worldwide Vaisnava Matrimonial Site. About His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupāda

Sacred scriptures

The teaching of ISKCON organization is based on the following scriptures:
1. Bhagavad-gītā (Mahābhārata, Bhisma Parva),
2. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa),
3. Caitanya Caritāmṛta,
4. Brahma Samhita,
5. Narada Pa˝caratra (in rituals).

Mahābhārata and Bhāgavata Purāṇa are Purana texts.
Caitanya Caritāmṛta is the life description of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is the founder of Gaudiya-Vaisnavism.
Brahma Samhita is Agamic text.
Narada Pā˝carātra is Vaishnava Sanskrit Agamic text. [3]

ISKCON organization claims that its teaching supposedly is based on the ancient Hindu sacred texts Vedas, however according to academic classification none of these five scriptures are Vedas. [4][5]

Hare Krishna mantra

Hare Krishna (Sanskrit: हरे कृष्ण, Hare Kṛṣṇa) or Maha Mantra („Great Mantra“) is the main mantra of ISKCON Vaishnavas. The purpose of this mantra is to worship Krishna.
For the first time this mantra is mentioned in Kali-Santarana Upanishad – one of the Upanishads which belongs to Yajurveda, however does not belong to the canonical Thirteen Principal Upanishads (Vaidika Upanishads (Śruti)).
In the beginning of XVI century the founder of Gaudiya-Vaisnavism Chaitanya Mahaprabhu popularized “Hare Krishna” mantra in India. Outside of India “Hare Krishna” mantra was popularized by ISKCON founder Prabhupāda and his followers.
ISKCON theology claims that “Hare Krishna” mantra helps achieve the highest perfection of life – the state of ecstatic love for Krishna.

Mantra is a poetic stanza in anuṣṭubh meter (a quatrain of four lines (pāda) of eight syllables). Mantra consists of 16 Sanskrit words.
In the original version of mantra, which is written in the Kali-Santarana Upanishad, the order of words in mantra is the following:
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare

In ISKCON Vaishnavism the order of words in mantra is the following:
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare

The word “Hare” can be interpreted as either vocative form of word “Hari” or the vocative form of word “Harā”.
According to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada the word “Harā” means “the energy/shakti of Supreme Personality of Godhead”.
However, academic Sanskrit dictionaries translate the word “Hari” as “yellow or reddish brown”.

ISKCON claims that word “Rama” supposedly means “He who is the Source of All Pleasure”.
However, Sanskrit word which is used in Rigveda and in Atharvaveda actually means “dark, black, darkness, night, dirty”. [6][7]

ISKCON claims that word “Krishna” supposedly means “He who is All-Attractive”.
However, academic Sanskrit dictionaries translate the word “Krishna” (Sanskrit: कृष्ण) as “black, dark-blue, kind of demon or spirit of darkness”.
kRSNA f. kind of leech
कृष्णा kRSNA f.
kind of perfume
कृष्णा kRSNA f.
kind of venomous insect
कृष्ण kRSNa adj.
kRSNa adj.
kRSNa adj. dark-blue
कृष्ण kRSNa adj. evil
कृष्ण kRSNa m. to behave or act like kRSNa
कृष्ण kRSNa m. fourth or kali-yuga
कृष्ण kRSNa m. black or dark-blue
कृष्ण kRSNa m. crow
कृष्ण kRSNa m. black colour
कृष्ण kRSNa m. Indian cuckoo or Kokila
कृष्ण kRSNa m. black part of the eye
कृष्ण kRSNa m. dark half of the lunar month from full to new moon
कृष्ण kRSNa m. incarnation of Lord Vishnu
कृष्ण kRSNa m. Bengal currant [ Carissa carandas - Bot. ]
कृष्ण kRSNa m. iron
कृष्ण kRSNa m. black pepper
कृष्ण kRSNa m. antelope
कृष्ण kRSNa m. black Agallochum or agarwood [ aromatic resin embedded wood ]
कृष्ण kRSNa m. kind of animal feeding on carrion
कृष्ण kRSNa m. black spots in the moon
कृष्ण kRSNa m. lead
कृष्ण kRSNa m. antimony
कृष्ण kRSNa m. kind of demon or spirit of darkness
कृष्ण kRSNa m. blue vitriol
कृष्ण kRSNa n. blackness
कृष्ण kRSNa n. darkness
कृष्णा-नील kRSNA-nIla adj. black-blue
Sanskrit Dictionary

When Prabhupāda claims that word “Krishna” supposedly means “He who is All-Attractive”, he refers to the quote of Udyoga-parva 71.4, in which the meaning of the word “Krishna” is falsified in the following way.
'The word 'krish' is the attractive feature of the Lord's existence, and 'na' means spiritual pleasure. When the verb 'krish' is added to the affix 'na' it becomes Krishna, which indicates the Absolute Truth.'
Mahābhārata. Udyoga-parva 71.4

It is very easy to show that this explanation is false.
There is a common universal rule for the creation of new vocabulary words: if some word has long been in existence and if that word has a long ago established meaning, then nobody gives diametrically opposite meaning to the same identical word.
We will clarify this principle with the practical example.
According to the logic of Prabhupāda, we can just as well claim that the word “demon” is supposedly derived from
demon = “de” + “mon”
Syllable “de” is derived from the “deity”
Syllable “mon” means “one”
Monotheism (from Greek μόνος, monos, "single", and θεός, theos, "god")

In the result we get that word “demon” supposedly means “one deity/god”.

Below is the academic Sanskrit dictionary, in which you can check the meaning of Sanskrit words.
The word “Krishna” in Sanskrit letters: कृष्ण
The word “Rama” in Sanskrit letters: राम
The word “Hari” in Sanskrit letters: हरि
Sanskrit Dictionary

Obedience to spiritual teachers

In the scripture Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (the founder of ISKCON) A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda says that in order to execute the will of the spiritual master, the disciple should be prepared to die along with the spiritual master and abandon all personal considerations.
SB: 4.28.50 Purport: <...> a devoted disciple of the spiritual master would rather die with the spiritual master than fail to execute the spiritual master's mission. <...> the disciple should decide to die along with the spiritual master. In other words, to execute the will of the spiritual master, the disciple should be prepared to lay down his life and abandon all personal considerations.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). Chapter 28: Pura˝jana Becomes a Woman in the Next Life. SB: 4.28.50 Purport

Veneration of spiritual teacher’s feet

1) Veneration of spiritual teacher’s feet (which are often called the “lotus feet”)
2) eating the remnants of food which was eaten by spiritual teacher
play very important role in ISKCON theology.
Always Serve The Vaishnavas. Shrila Prabhupāda's lotus feet. Swami Gaurangapada. 2007-10-18
Shrila Prabhupada's lotus feet

ISKCON scripture Caitanya Caritāmṛta commands that Vaishnavas must:
1. venerate the dust of the feet of the spiritual master,
2. venerate the water which was used to wash the feet of spiritual master,
3. eat the remnants of food which was eaten by spiritual teacher.
CC Antya 16.58: Therefore, giving up hatred and hesitation, try to eat the remnants of the food of Vaiṣṇavas, for you will thus be able to achieve your desired goal of life.
CC Antya 16.59: The remnants of food offered to Lord Kṛṣṇa are called mahā-prasādam. After this same mahā-prasādam has been taken by a devotee, the remnants are elevated to mahā-mahā-prasādam.
CC Antya 16.60: The dust of the feet of a devotee, the water that has washed the feet of a devotee, and the remnants of food left by a devotee are three very powerful substances.
CC Antya 16.61: By rendering service to these three, one attains the supreme goal of ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa. In all the revealed scriptures this is loudly declared again and again.
CC Antya 16.62: Therefore, my dear devotees, please hear from me, for I insist again and again: please keep faith in these three and render service to them without hesitation.
CC Antya 16.63: From these three one achieves the highest goal of life — ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa. This is the greatest mercy of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The evidence is Kālidāsa himself.
The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta. Chapter 16: Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Tastes Nectar from the Lips of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. CC Antya 16.58-63
<...> Нужно всегда твердо верить в это. Даже если вы много повторяете святое имя и читаете źШримад-Бхагаватам╗, это не особенно поможет вам. Но остатки пищи возвышенного вайшнава даруют наивысшее благо. Эти остатки бывают двух видов — нектар хари-катхи и прасад. Таким же огромным могуществом обладает пыль с лотосных стоп вайшнава и вода, которой их омывали. Все это — объект поклонения и служения для нас. Не пытайтесь играть или бороться с вайшнавом, чтобы силой взять пыль с его лотосных стоп. <...>
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharadža.
Сокровенные Истины Бхагаватам (Шри Бхагавата Рахасья). По материалам лекции Шри Шримад Бхактиведанты Нараяны Госвами Махараджа Шри Бхакти Веданта Самити. Москва. 2007. 44-45 страница

According to Vaishnava tradition, women are not allowed to touch the body of the Guru, women are allowed only to touch the shoes of Guru and thus get the dust from the feet of Guru.
ISKCON organization recommends for Vaishnavas to purchase Prabhupāda‘s feet impression casting for a fee.ādas-lotus-feet-impression-casting-h-krishna-1109.html
Srila Prabhupada's Lotus Feet Impression Casting
Krishna Store. Srila Prabhupāda's Lotus Feet Impression Casting
A life-size casting of the footprints of Srila Prabhuapda's lotus feet. Arranged so one can easily bathe the lotus feet of Srila Prabhuapda and capture the water.
Price: 29,98€
Author: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupādaādas-lotus-feet-raised-casting-h-krishna-1110.html
Srila Prabhupada's Lotus Feet Raised Casting
Krishna Store. Srila Prabhupāda's Lotus Feet Raised Casting
A life-size casting of Srila Prabhuapda's lotus feet. Engraved with "The Lotus Feet of the Pure Devotee of Krishna. Founder Acharya: International Society for Krishna Consciousness. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Leading the way Back to Godhead.
Price: 29,98€
Author: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhuapda

Infallibility of the spiritual teacher and the scriptures

In the scripture Caitanya Caritāmṛta Prabhupāda claims that spiritual teachers and scriptures are absolutely infallible and they cannot make mistakes.
CC Ādi 2.86: “Mistakes, illusions, cheating and defective perception do not occur in the sayings of the authoritative sages.

Ādi 2.86 Purport: <...> But there cannot be mistakes, illusion, cheating or imperfect perception in the words of liberated sages. Therefore there is no mistake in this statement that Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Sanskrit statements of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are all transcendental sounds. Śrīla Vyāsadeva revealed these statements after perfect realization, and therefore they are perfect, for liberated sages like Vyāsadeva never commit errors in their rhetorical arrangements. Unless one accepts this fact, there is no use in trying to obtain help from the revealed scriptures.<...>
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 2.86. Chapter 2: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ādi 2.86 Purport,_then_it_has_to_be_accepted._Nobody_can_deny_the_Vedic_evidence._That_is_the_system
<...> But the strong evidence is śabda-pramāṇa. Śabda, śabda-brahman. That means Vedas. If one can give evidence from the quotation of the Vedas, then it has to be accepted. Nobody can deny the Vedic evidence. That is the system. <...>
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Lecture on BG 2.8-12 -- Los Angeles, November 27, 1968

Below is an example of infallibility of ISKCON scriptures.
SB: 3.31.5: Deriving its nutrition from the food and drink taken by the mother, the fetus grows and remains in that abominable residence of stools and urine, which is the breeding place of all kinds of worms.
SB: 3.31.17: Fallen into a pool of blood, stool and urine within the abdomen of his mother, his own body scorched by the mother's gastric fire, the embodied soul, anxious to get out, counts his months and prays, "O my Lord, when shall I, a wretched soul, be released from this confinement?"
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). Chapter 31: Lord Kapila's Instructions on the Movements of the Living Entities. SB: 3.31.5
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). Chapter 31: Lord Kapila's Instructions on the Movements of the Living Entities. SB: 3.31.17

Below is an example of infallibility of spiritual teachers – excerpt from Prabhupāda‘s lecture about American astronauts landing on the moon. Prabhupāda asserts that the distance between the Moon and Earth is much larger than the distance between the Earth and the Sun, therefore it is impossible for American astronauts to reach the moon, Prabhupāda claims that American scientists are lying about the landing on the moon.
Devotee (2): Did they actually land on the moon, Srila Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: No, they cannot go there. What is the question of landing? They cannot go there. It is far, far away. What you calculated? 1,600,000 miles away, up the sun planet. 1,600,000 miles above the sun. According to your calculation, the sun is away from this planet by 93,000,000 miles. And above that, 1,600,000 miles. Then you go to the moon. How it is possible?
Guru krpa: How is the moon behind the sun?
Prabhupāda: Not behind, above.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Srila Prabhupādas statements about the moon landing. ACBSP. 27th May 1975. Morning Walk in Honolulu, Hawaii

Cosmological knowledge

The cover of the scripture Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (published ISKCON organization) contains a painting which shows the structure of the universe according to ISKCON theological dogmas.
The explanation of the cover painting is presented inside the book Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which claims that the Sun is the center of the universe, and the rays of Sun warm and illuminate the whole universe, there are millions and billions of universes, each with a shining sun, and that universes arise from Maha-Vishnu breathing bubbles, and these bubbles are produced by the sleeping Maha-Vishnu while he is floating in the ocean.

Page 470 of PDF file.

Explanation of the cover

1. The original spiritual planet, which resembles the whorl of a huge lotus flower, is called Goloka Vṛndāvana. It is the abode of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the original Personality of Godhead.

2. This original planet Goloka throws off a spiritual ray of effulgence called brahmajyoti which is the ultimate goal of the impersonalists.

3. Within this unlimited brahmajyoti there are unlimited numbers of spiritual planets, as there are innumerable material planets within the sun rays of the material universes. These spiritual planets are dominated by plenary expansions of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and the inhabitants there are ever liberated living beings. They are all four-handed. The Lord is known there as Nārāyaṇa, and the planets are known as Vaikuṇṭhas.

4. Sometimes a spiritual cloud overtakes a corner of the spiritual sky of brahmajyoti, and the covered portion is called the mahat-tattva. The Lord then, by His portion as Mahā-Viṣṇu, lies down in the water within the mahat-tattva. The water is called the Causal Ocean (kāraṇa-jala).

5. As He sleeps within the Causal Ocean, innumerable universes are generated with His breathing. These floating universes are scattered all over the Causal Ocean. They stay during a breath of Mahā-Viṣṇu.

6. In each and every universal globe the same Mahā-Viṣṇu enters again as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and lies there on the Garbha Ocean on the serpentine Śeṣa incarnation. From His navel-abdomen sprouts a lotus stem, and on the lotus, Brahmā, the lord of the universe, is born. Brahmā creates all living beings of different shapes in terms of desire within the universe. He also creates the sun, moon and other demigods.

7. The sun is situated almost in the center of each and every universe, and it distributes profuse light and heat all over the universe. There are millions and billions of suns in all the millions and billions of universes within the mahat-tattva. The suns and moons are required within the universes because they are dark by nature. The Vedas instruct us to go out of the dark universes and reach the glowing effulgence, the brahmajyoti.

8. The brahmajyoti is due to the illuminating Vaikuṇṭha planets, which need no sun or moon or power of electricity.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam helps us reach the supreme planet, Goloka Vmdavana. The door is open for everyone. Human life is meant for this particular aim, for it is the highest perfection.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). First Canto - Part Three. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. 1972. Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number: 70-127183. ISBN: 0-912776-34-X

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam kosmologinės žinios
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). First Canto “Creation”. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. (15 December, 2007). ASIN: B01MY3M72R. ISBN-10: 0892134305. ISBN-13: 978-0892134304

Prabhupāda claims that American astronauts could not had flown to the moon, because the moon is much farther from Earth than the Sun.
Prabhupāda claims that American astronauts had flown not to the moon (which is seen in the sky), however American astronauts flew to the planet Rahu, which is closer to the Earth than the moon.
A moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and unmanned (robotic) missions. The first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2 mission on 13 September 1959.
The United States' Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon on 20 July 1969. There have been six manned U.S. landings (between 1969 and 1972) and numerous unmanned landings, though no soft landings have occurred since 1976.

Unmanned landings
Several nations have sent numerous spacecraft to the surface of the Moon. The Soviet Union performed the first moon landing in 1959 by crashing the Luna 2 spacecraft at high speed onto the lunar surface, a feat duplicated in 1962 by the Americans with Ranger 4. During the time of the Cold War, such contests to be the first on the Moon with a particular capability was one of the most visible facets of the Space Race.
Manned landings
A total of twelve men have landed on the Moon. This was accomplished with two US pilot-astronauts flying a Lunar Module on each of six NASA missions across a 41-month time span starting on 20 July 1969 UTC, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11, and ending on 14 December 1972 UTC with Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt on Apollo 17. Cernan was the last to step off the lunar surface.
All Apollo lunar missions had a third crew member who remained on board the Command Module. The last three missions had a rover for increased mobility.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Srila Prabhupādas statements about the moon landing. ACBSP. 27th May 1975. Morning Walk in Honolulu, Hawaii
Srila Prabhupadas statements about the moon landing
They have not gone to the moon
excerpt from conversation with disciples, Perth, May 12, 1975

Prabhupada: They have not gone to the moon planet.
Paramahamsa: Really?
Prabhupada: Yes. It is far, far away. Their calculation is wrong. They are going to a wrong planet.
Paramahamsa: It must be the Rahu planet.
Prabhupada: Yes, or something else. Not moon planet.
Paramahamsa: How many...
Prabhupada: It is above the sun planet.
Paramahamsa: Moon planet is further?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Paramahamsa: Oh. Because they say that the moon planet is the closest planet to the earth. That is their calculation. And they say that it orbits around the earth, and then that the earth orbits the sun.
Prabhupada: All wrong. What is the... According to them, what is the distance of sun planet?
Paramahamsa: Sun planet is 93,000,000 miles.
Ganesa: They say the moon planet is only 250,000 miles.
Prabhupada: It is wrong thing.
Paramahamsa: Is their calculation for the distance of the sun wrong also?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Paramahamsa: 93,000,000? It says in the Bhagavatam exactly what the distance?
Prabhupada: The whole universe, diameter, is panchshat-koti-yojana. One yojana equal to eight miles, and one koti is ten miles, er, ten million. So panchashata, fifty into 10,000,000 into eight.
Paramahamsa: Yeah. So it's fifty crores yojana. Fifty crores yojanas?
Prabhupada: Yes, fifty crore yojanas, panchashat. So one yojana equal to eight miles, one crore equal to ten million.
Paramahamsa: That's eighty million.
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Paramahamsa: Eighty million times fifty.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Paramahamsa: Means 400,000,000
Srutakirti: Hmm. More than that. Four billion.
Paramahamsa: Four thousand million, which is four billion?
Srutakirti: Four billion miles.
Paramahamsa: Four billion miles is the diameter.
Prabhupada: Is the diameter.
Paramahamsa: You gave that in The Teachings of Lord Chaitanya also.
Prabhupada: Yes. And the sun is in the middle.
Paramahamsa: So two billion miles from the edge of the universe.
Prabhupada: Yes. And they say? 93,000,000.
Srutakirti: That's from the earth to the sun. That's not from the sun to the edge. That's from earth to the sun.
Amogha: Is earth near the edge of the universe?
Prabhupada: No. There are many other planets down. Seven planetary system.
Paramahamsa: The higher planetary systems are closest to the sun? And then...
Prabhupada: No, sun is the middle. This is circumference. Sun is the middle. And the whole diameter is fifty lakhs and... What is...? And moon is above, 200,000 yojanas above the sun.
Paramahamsa: Ah. 200,000 yojanas. That means 1,600,000 miles above the sun.
Prabhupada: Above the sun. How they'll go? [laughter] They are going to the wrong... bluffing only. I am repeatedly saying, they have never gone, simply bluff. How it is that they brought some dust? So brilliant, it is blazing, full. There is fire blazing.
Paramahamsa: They say that they measured the moon and that it's very small compared to the earth, very tiny.
Prabhupada: All wrong.
Paramahamsa: If it's a longer distance than the sun but still it appears so big in the sky, it must be a very large planet.
Prabhupada: Yes. Similarly Venus and others, they are also above.
Paramahamsa: Oh, above the sun.
Prabhupada: The sun is moving near about that. This is one universe, and there are thousands and millions of universe. Jagad-anda-koti. Yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti [Brahma-samhita 5.40]. That is God's creation. And they are becoming God, "I am God." Yasyaika-nishvasita-kalam athavalambya [Bs. 5.48]. If we simply think of the creation of God, we can appreciate how great He is.
Paramahamsa: That's why it's described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam?
Devotee (2): Did they actually land on the moon, Srila Prabhupada?
Prabhupada: No, they cannot go there. What is the question of landing? They cannot go there. It is far, far away. What you calculated? 1,600,000 miles away, up the sun planet. 1,600,000 miles above the sun. According to your calculation, the sun is away from this planet by 93,000,000 miles. And above that, 1,600,000 miles. Then you go to the moon. How it is possible?
Guru krpa: How is the moon behind the sun?
Prabhupada: Not behind, above.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Srila Prabhupādas statements about the moon landing. ACBSP. 27th May 1975. Morning Walk in Honolulu, Hawaii

Question: what is the planet Rahu, which is not known to modern science?
Hindu dogmas claim that God Vishnu cut off the head of demon Rahu, and this cut-off head is flying in the space to this day. The cut-off head of demon Rahu is so huge that when it is flying in the space it blocks the rays of the Sun and thus causes solar eclipses. Meanwhile, the headless body of demon Rahu (called by the name Ketu) also flies in the space and sometimes blocks the moon thus causing lunar eclipses.
Rahu is one of the navagrahas (nine planets) in Vedic astrology.
In Hindu tradition, Rahu is a cut-off head of an asura, that swallows the sun causing eclipses. He is depicted in art as a serpent with no body riding a chariot drawn by eight black horses. Rahu is one of the navagrahas (nine planets) in Vedic astrology. The Rahu kala (time of day under the influence of Rahu) is considered inauspicious.
According to legend, during the Samudra manthan, the asura Rahu drank some of the amrita (divine nectar). Sun and moon realized it and they alerted Mohini (the female avatar of Vishnu). Before the nectar could pass his throat, Mohini cut off his head. The head, however, remained immortal due to the effect of amrita and became Rahu. It is believed that this immortal head from time to time swallows the sun, causing eclipses. Then, the sun passes through the opening at the neck, ending the eclipse. The body also turned into Ketu due to a boon, and it in turn swallows the moon on timely basis to cause a lunar eclipse.
Astronomically, Moon in its orbit, on a northerly course from South to North, crosses the ecliptic (the apparent path of Sun). This point of intersection is known as Rahu or Dragons head. 180 degrees away from this point, Moon on its southerly course crosses the ecliptic. This point is called the dragon’s tail or Ketu.
Thus, Ketu and Rahu denote the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon as they move around the celestial sphere. Therefore, Rahu and Ketu are respectively called the north and the south lunar nodes. The fact that eclipses occur when the Sun and the Moon are at one of these points is explained in stories as the swallowing of the Sun and the Moon by the demon snake.
Thus, Rahu and Ketu do not have physical identity but only mathematically calculated sensitive points. The Rahu and Ketu points are not stationary in space but have a mean motion of about 19 degrees and 30 minutes in a year. It means it takes about 18 years and 6 months to make a revolution around the Earth. This motion is retrograde. There is a concept of Mean Rahu and True Rahu. The ancient Hindu astrology takes the true position of Rahu and Ketu. It is unique in the sense that it was the first to have a dedicated name for these identified astronomical points that are helpful in deducing eclipses.
Ketu is the descending lunar node. 'Ketu' is said to be the body of Rahu, after the head of the asura was cut off by God Vishnu. In Hindu mythology, Ketu is generally referred to as a "shadow" planet. It is believed to have a tremendous impact on human lives and also the whole creation. In some special circumstances it helps someone achieve the zenith of fame. Ketu is often depicted with a gem or star on his head signifying a mystery light.
Astronomically, Ketu and Rahu denote the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon as they move on the celestial sphere. Therefore, Rahu and Ketu are respectively called the north and the south lunar nodes. The fact that eclipses occur when the Sun and the Moon are at one of these points gives rise to the myth of the swallowing of the Sun and the Moon by the demon snake.

Question: Why can we see the moon and the sun in the sky, however we cannot see the planet Rahu?
Prabhupāda‘s answer: Rahu planet is invisible.
Prabhupāda claims that American astronauts flew to the invisible planet Rahu (i.e. American astronauts flew to the cut-off head of demon Rahu), not to the moon.
The Rahu planet comes in front of the moon
SB 4.29.69 P Talks Between Narada and King Pracinabarhi

In this connection, the darkness occurring before the full moon, the lunar eclipse, can be explained as being another planet, known as Rahu. According to Vedic astronomy, the Rahu planet, which is not visible, is accepted. Sometimes the Rahu planet is visible in the presence of full moonlight. It then appears that this Rahu planet exists somewhere near the orbit of the moon. The failure of modern moon excursionists may be due to the Rahu planet. In other words, those who are supposed to be going to the moon may actually be going to this invisible planet Rahu. Actually, they are not going to the moon but to the planet Rahu, and after reaching this planet, they come back. Apart from this discussion, the point is that a living entity has immense and unlimited desires for material enjoyment, and he has to transmigrate from one gross body to another until these desires are exhausted.


Guru dasa: Why does the moon reflect? They say the moon is sandy, but this sand here is not reflecting.
Prabhupada: That... They are not going to the moon planet.
They are going to some other planet, Rahu planet.
Guru dasa: Rahu?
Prabhupada: Yes. There are many planets invisible. So there is a Rahu planet which comes in front of the moon planet, and that is called eclipse. So there is a planet rotating. I think they are going to that Rahu planet, not to the moon planet.

Knowledge about the soul

In Bhagavad-gītā Krishna claims that the soul is unbreakable and can not be divided into small pieces.
2.23: The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.
2.24: This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. 2.23-24

Prabhupāda claims that besides humans all living creatures have a soul – all animals, plants, trees do have a soul.,_September_10,_1973
<...> Don't think that the plants and trees, they have no life. They are also living entities. We do not accept this theory that the animals have no soul. No. Everyone has got soul. Even the plants, trees, everyone has got soul. They have got different bodies only. It is not that only human being has got the soul, not others. No. Actually if we make analysis what is the symptoms of possessing soul, you will find everywhere. Even in plants' life you will find. Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, one of the greatest scientist of the world, he has proved by machine that when you cut the trees or the leaves, they feel sensation, pain, and that is recorded by machine. So everyone has got soul. <...>
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Lecture on BG 7.1-3 -- Stockholm, September 10, 1973

ISKCON scriptures claim that every plant has a soul and that the soul is unbreakable and can not be divided into small pieces.
However let’s analyze a simple phenomenon like plant propagation from cuttings. Plant cutting (a.k.a. as striking or cloning) is a technique for vegetatively (asexually) propagating plants in which a piece of the stem or root of the source plant is placed in a suitable medium such as moist soil, potting mix, coir or rock wool. The cutting produces new roots, stems, or both, and thus becomes a new plant independent of the parent.
Using plant cutting technique we can divide one plant into many pieces and every such new piece now has become a separate plant. Since every plant has a soul, this means that one soul of the original plant was divided into many souls using such primitive technique as plant cutting.
As we can see from this very simple example, Krishna’s teaching about soul properties contradicts very simple well known experimental facts like plant propagation from cuttings. The conclusion is obvious: Krishna is incompetent person in the field of the souls.

Attitude towards atheists

Prabhupāda’s definition of the term “atheist” is different from commonly used definition of the term “atheist”. According to Prabhupāda, all people who do not believe in Krishna are defined as “atheists”. According to Prabhupāda, not only the true atheists (who do not believe in any god), but also all other religious people who do not believe in Krishna (like Christians, Muslims, etc.), are classified as “atheists” by Prabhupāda, however ISKCON organization does not proclaim this approach publicly, and this knowledge is reserved only for “advanced” Vaishnavas.
ISKCON scripture Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam claims that people who have not ever heard of Krishna are equivalent to dogs, hogs, camels and asses.
SB: 2.3.19: Men who are like dogs, hogs, camels and asses praise those men who never listen to the transcendental pastimes of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the deliverer from evils.
The general mass of people, unless they are trained systematically for a higher standard of life in spiritual values, are no better than animals, and in this verse they have particularly been put on the level of dogs, hogs, camels and asses. Modern university education practically prepares one to acquire a doggish mentality with which to accept the service of a greater master. After finishing a so-called education, the so-called educated persons move like dogs from door to door with applications for some service, and mostly they are driven away, informed of no vacancy. As dogs are negligible animals and serve the master faithfully for bits of bread, a man serves a master faithfully without sufficient rewards.
Persons who have no discrimination in the matter of foodstuff and who eat all sorts of rubbish are compared to hogs. Hogs are very much attached to eating stools. So stool is a kind of foodstuff for a particular type of animal. And even stones are eatables for a particular type of animal or bird. But the human being is not meant for eating everything and anything; he is meant to eat grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, sugar, etc. Animal food is not meant for the human being. For chewing solid food, the human being has a particular type of teeth meant for cutting fruits and vegetables. The human being is endowed with two canine teeth as a concession for persons who will eat animal food at any cost. It is known to everyone that one man's food is another man's poison. Human beings are expected to accept the remnants of food offered to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and the Lord accepts foodstuff from the categories of leaves, flowers, fruits, etc. (Bg. 9.26). As prescribed by Vedic scriptures, no animal food is offered to the Lord. Therefore, a human being is meant to eat a particular type of food. He should not imitate the animals to derive so-called vitamin values. Therefore, a person who has no discrimination in regard to eating is compared to a hog.
The camel is a kind of animal that takes pleasure in eating thorns. A person who wants to enjoy family life or the worldly life of so-called enjoyment is compared to the camel. Materialistic life is full of thorns, and so one should live only by the prescribed method of Vedic regulations just to make the best use of a bad bargain. Life in the material world is maintained by sucking one's own blood. The central point of attraction for material enjoyment is sex life. To enjoy sex life is to suck one's own blood, and there is not much more to be explained in this connection. The camel also sucks its own blood while chewing thorny twigs. The thorns the camel eats cut the tongue of the camel, and so blood begins to flow within the camel's mouth. The thorns, mixed with fresh blood, create a taste for the foolish camel, and so he enjoys the thorn-eating business with false pleasure. Similarly, the great business magnates, industrialists who work very hard to earn money by different ways and questionable means, eat the thorny results of their actions mixed with their own blood. Therefore the Bhāgavatam has situated these diseased fellows along with the camels.
The ass is an animal who is celebrated as the greatest fool, even amongst the animals. The ass works very hard and carries burdens of the maximum weight without making profit for itself *. The ass is generally engaged by the washerman, whose social position is not very respectable. And the special qualification of the ass is that it is very much accustomed to being kicked by the opposite sex. When the ass begs for sexual intercourse, he is kicked by the fair sex, yet he still follows the female for such sexual pleasure. A henpecked man is compared, therefore, to the ass. The general mass of people work very hard, especially in the age of Kali. In this age the human being is actually engaged in the work of an ass, carrying heavy burdens and driving ṭhelā and rickshaws. The so-called advancement of human civilization has engaged a human being in the work of an ass. The laborers in great factories and workshops are also engaged in such burdensome work, and after working hard during the day, the poor laborer has to be again kicked by the fair sex, not only for sex enjoyment but also for so many household affairs.
So Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam's categorization of the common man without any spiritual enlightenment into the society of dogs, hogs, camels and asses is not at all an exaggeration. The leaders of such ignorant masses of people may feel very proud of being adored by such a number of dogs and hogs, but that is not very flattering. The Bhāgavatam openly declares that although a person may be a great leader of such dogs and hogs disguised as men, if he has no taste for being enlightened in the science of Kṛṣṇa, such a leader is also an animal and nothing more. He may be designated as a powerful, strong animal, or a big animal, but in the estimation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam he is never given a place in the category of man, on account of his atheistic temperament. Or, in other words, such godless leaders of dogs and hoglike men are bigger animals with the qualities of animals in greater proportion.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). Canto 2: The Cosmic Manifestation. Chapter 3. SB 2.3: Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart. SB 2.3.19 Purport

Attitude towards money

In the scripture Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Prabhupāda claims that Vaishnavas must give all their money (Lakṣmī) for spreading the Krishna consciousness movement.
SB: 7.13.32 Purport: <...> we should not be attached to this money for sense gratification; every cent should be spent for spreading the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement <...> Let us not make this money the cause of our distress; it should be used for Kṛṣṇa, and that will cause our eternal happiness. Money is Lakṣmī, or the goddess of fortune, the companion of Nārāyaṇa. Lakṣmījī must always remain with Nārāyaṇa, and then there need be no fear of degradation.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). Chapter 13: The Behavior of a Perfect Person. SB: 7.13.32 Purport

Spiritual values are all those which are associated with Krishna. The material values are transformed into spiritual values, if they are used to serve Krishna, i.e. giving the greater part of your income to ISKCON organization.

Attitude towards sexual intercourse

The best way to serve Krishna is to renounce all world and to become a monk (sannyasin) and to live in the temple. Sannyasin must renounce any sexual intercourse. If Vaishnava is unable to renounce sexual intercourse, then Vaishnava must marry, however Vaishnava is allowed to have physical sexual intercourse with a woman only to produce a child, i.e. once a month, on the day when a woman has the greatest chance of becoming pregnant. Prior to the sexual intercourse, each spouse must chant the great round of Maha Mantra, i.e. 50 rounds of japa mala (string of 108 prayer beads, similar to the rosary) – each bead corresponds to the complete mantra, and then Vaishnava must start inseminating his wife by concentrating his consciousness into Krishna. However, if Vaishnava wants to live perfect life, then such Vaishnava must abandon his wife and must move into the temple and live in the temple with pure devotion to Krishna.
Unlike sannyasins, who are strictly prohibited to have sexual intercourse, Krishna had a very intense sex life – during his life of 126 years and 5 months duration, Krishna “produced” 161,080 sons, i.e. Krishna had been “producing” 3.5 of children per day every day, if you will assume that Krishna started “producing” children from the very first day when he was born.
SB: 10.61.1 Purport: Lord Kṛṣṇa had 16,108 wives, and thus this verse indicates that the Lord begot 161,080 sons.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). Chapter 61: Lord Balarāma Slays Rukmī. SB: 10.61.1 Purport
<...> Krishna lived for 126 years and 5 months. <...>
18 February – 5115 years after Krishna’s bodily departure

Attitude towards women

In the scripture Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Prabhupāda claims that faithful wife of Vaishnava after her husband’s death must voluntarily die by falling in the blazing funeral pyre of her husband (this procedure is called satī or saha-maraṇa).
SB: 9.9.32 Purport: <...> In the Vedic culture there is a system known as satī or saha-maraṇa, in which a woman dies with her husband. According to this system, if the husband dies, the wife will voluntarily die by falling in the blazing funeral pyre of her husband.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). The Dynasty of Aḿśumān. SB: 9.9.32 Purport
SB: 4.28.50 Purport: It is the long-standing tradition of the Vedic system that a faithful wife dies along with her husband. This is called saha-maraṇa. In India this system was prevalent even to the date of British occupation. At that time, however, a wife who did not wish to die with her husband was sometimes forced to do so by her relatives. Formerly that was not the case. The wife used to enter the fire voluntarily. The British government stopped this practice, considering it inhuman. However, from the early history of India we find that when Mahārāja Pāṇḍu died, he was survived by two wives — Mādrī and Kuntī. The question was whether both should die or one should die. After the death of Mahārāja Pāṇḍu, his wives settled that one should remain and the other should go. Mādrī would perish with her husband in the fire, and Kuntī would remain to take charge of the five Pāṇḍava children. Even as late as 1936 we saw a devoted wife voluntarily enter the fire of her husband.
This indicates that a devotee's wife must be prepared to act in such a way.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). Chapter 28: Pura˝jana Becomes a Woman in the Next Life. SB: 4.28.50 Purport

In the scripture Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Prabhupāda claims that women are by nature less intelligent.
SB: 1.4.25 Purport: <...> The dvija-bandhus are classified with the śūdras and the woman class, who are by nature less intelligent.<...>
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). Chapter 4: The Appearance of Śrī Nārada. SB: 1.4.25 Purport

In Bhagavad-gītā Krishna claims that women are of lower birth.
9.32: O son of Pṛthā, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth — women, vaiśyas [merchants] and śūdras [workers] — can attain the supreme destination.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Bhagavad Gita Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. 9.32

Attitude towards children

In the scriptures Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Prabhupāda claims that children are the by-products of the body.
2.20 Purport: <...> The by-products of the body, namely children <...>
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Bhagavad Gita Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. 2.20 Purport
SB: 3.31.20 Purport: <...> By the influence of māyā only, one forgets his eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa and identifies himself with his body and the by-products of the body — namely wife, children, society, friendship and love. Thus he becomes a victim of the influence of māyā, and his materialistic life of continued birth and death becomes still more stringent.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). Chapter 31: Lord Kapila's Instructions on the Movements of the Living Entities. SB: 3.31.20 Purport

Therefore, in order the by-products of the body (i.e. children) would not hinder parents achieving the state of ecstatic love for Krishna, Prabhupāda recommends parents to put their children into ISKCON’s private boarding schools called gurukulas.

Attitude towards stri-śūdra-dvija-bandhu

In the scripture Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Prabhupāda claims that Bhagavad-gītā (Mahābhārata) was specifically written only for the less intelligent classes of people – women (stri), workers (śūdras) and dvija-bandhu, because these three classes of people lack intelligence needed to understand Vedas.
SB: 1.4.25 Purport: <...> If the father and the mother do not undertake the process of spiritual family planning and simply beget children out of passion only, their children are called dvija-bandhus. These dvija-bandhus are certainly not as intelligent as the children of the regular twice-born families. The dvija-bandhus are classified with the śūdras and the woman class, who are by nature less intelligent. The śūdras and the woman class do not have to undergo any saḿskāra save and except the ceremony of marriage.
The less intelligent classes of men, namely women, śūdras and unqualified sons of the higher castes, are devoid of necessary qualifications to understand the purpose of the transcendental Vedas. For them the Mahābhārata was prepared. The purpose of the Mahābhārata is to administer the purpose of the Vedas, and therefore within this Mahābhārata the summary Veda of Bhagavad-gītā is placed. The less intelligent are more interested in stories than in philosophy, and therefore the philosophy of the Vedas in the form of the Bhagavad-gītā is spoken by the Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Vyāsadeva and Lord Kṛṣṇa are both on the transcendental plane, and therefore they collaborated in doing good to the fallen souls of this age. The Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. It is the first book of spiritual values, as the Upaniṣads are. The Vedānta philosophy is the subject matter for study by the spiritual graduates. Only the post-graduate spiritual student can enter into the spiritual or devotional service of the Lord. It is a great science, and the great professor is the Lord Himself in the form of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And persons who are empowered by Him can initiate others in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). Chapter 4: The Appearance of Śrī Nārada. SB: 1.4.25 Purport

Prabhupāda in his lectures claimed that dvija-bandhu is a man who wants to be a brahmana, but who does not have the necessary education and qualification.
<...> Dvija-bandhu refers to those who are born in a high family but who are not properly qualified. A man who is born in the family of a brahmana but is not qualified as a brahmana is called dvija-bandhu. For these persons he compiled the Mahabharata, called the history of India, and the eighteen Puranas. <...>
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Srila Prabhupāda Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam, 12-22-70, Surat

<...> without education, without qualification, he wants to become a brahmana. They are called brahma-bandhu or dvija-bandhu. So Mahabharata is meant for the, these persons: stri-sudra-dvija-bandhunam. They cannot understand directly the Vedic injunctions; therefore it is simplified in a history. Mahabharata is the history. <...>
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk -- November 7, 1975, Bombay

Attitude towards suicides

In Hindu dharmasastras there is considerable discussion as to whether man has a right to kill himself.
Dharmasastras claim that religious suicides are permitted in some circumstances:
1. by ascetics;
2. drowning at the junction of the sacred rivers – the Ganges and the Jamuna – as a sacrifice;
3. wandering and self-starvation in the last years of one's life;
4. suttee, in which a woman was immolated on her husband's funeral pyre, thus following him into the next world;
5. persons who suffered from incurable diseases, or who were so old and enfeebled as to wish to end their lives, are also permitted to commit suicide.[8]

ISKCON theology claims that a person cannot arbitrarily commit suicide, however, ISKCON theology recognizes prevalent Hindu dogma which says that if a man will drown himself at the junction of the Ganges and the Jamuna rivers (which is located 7 kilometers from Allahabad city in India), then such man will immediately become moksha (mokṣa), and he will finally be liberated from the wheel of saṃsāra (the wheel of deaths and rebirths), but this knowledge is reserved only for “advanced” Vaishnavas, so that newbie adepts would not so easily free themselves from the wheel of saṃsāra by drowning themselves at the junction of the Ganges and the Jamuna rivers.
The junction of the Ganges and the Jamuna rivers is called Triveni Sangam Prayag (Allahabad). This is the place where three rivers meet – the Ganges, the Jamuna and the mythical Saraswati River. Triveni Sangam Prayag (Allahabad) is a very sacred place. Hindu mythology says that this is the place where the God spilled a few drops of the nectar from the pitcher, therefore when a man bathes in this holy place, he immediately washes away all his bad karma. This is the holy place where thousands of pilgrims flock to immerse themselves in holy water. Hindu mythology says that in this place Prakrista Yajna was performed by Lord Brahmā, and also this place was visited by Lord Rāma when he was in exile. This is the holy place in which the ashes of Indian national heroes were scattered, including Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. [10]
Hindu mythology claims that it is best to drown yourself by jumping from branches of sacred banyan tree into the Ganges river at the junction of the sacred rivers – the Ganges and the Jamuna. Near Allahabad city there are banyan trees, hundreds of years old, which thick branches are flung over the Ganges river. As in ancient times, to this day, people, who want finally to become free from the wheel of saṃsāra, are jumping from branches of these banyan trees into the Ganges river and drown themselves.
<...> A dip at the holy Sangam – the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythological Saraswati rivers, 7 km outside Allahabad – is widely believed by Hindus to free humans from the remorseless cycle of reincarnation. <...>
Suicide threat clears Ganges’ muddied waters. January 11, 2007
Hundreds of India's most revered Hindu holy men are threatening a mass suicide at one of the world's largest religious festivals next month in protest at the pollution of the Ganges, India's most sacred water course.
The threat comes as about six million pilgrims prepare to attend the three-month Ardh Kumb festival where devotees queue to take a "holy dip" in the confluence of the rivers Ganges and Yamuna, the site where the mythical Sarasvati river was said to have flowed, outside Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, north India.<...>
The Telegraph. India's Hindu holy men threaten a mass suicide over polluted Ganges. 30 December 2006

Attitude towards killings

ISKCON theology forbids killing of animals, however, Krishna claims that if a person has attained Krishna consciousness, then such a person is allowed to kill other people.
In Bhagavad-gītā Krishna claims that if a person, while being in Krishna consciousness, kills other people, then such a person is not affected by the reaction of such killing.
18.17 Purport: <...> Anyone who is acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness under the direction of the Supersoul or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even though killing, does not kill. Nor is he ever affected by the reaction of such killing. <...>
18.13 Purport: <...> And Kṛṣṇa conscious acts done under His direction from within yield no reaction, either in this life or in the life after death.
18.14 Purport: <...> Those in complete Kṛṣṇa consciousness are not ultimately responsible for their actions. <...>
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. 18.17 Purport; 18.13 Purport; 18.14 Purport

Below is the practical example of this principle. In Russian Novosibirsk oblast, Vaishnava had been raping and murdering children for five years in a row. When he was finally caught, the ISKCON organization immediately began denying that he is the member ISKCON organization. This is the standard trick of ISKCON organization – ISKCON always renounces the membership of a Vaishnava, when he is caught committing crimes.
Below is the interview with Vaishnava-murderer-pedophile (in Russian).
20 октября 2010 г. Управлением Внутренних Дел, поселка Маловяземское города Новосибирска был задержан человек, работавший преподавателем в одной из местных школ а также являющегося активистом местного отделения секты кришнаитов. Его обвиняли в педофилии. После задержания, обвиняемый сразу же во всем сознался.
Педофилом, совращавшим несовершеннолетних детей оказался гражданин РФ Слепцов Владимир Ганусович он же сектант по кличке Вальмики Дас. Что самое интересное свою педофильскую деятельность он вел на протяжении 5 лет, все то время, что работал в школе. Все эти пять лет держал детей, в отношении, которых осуществлял домогательства в страхе, и поэтому жалоб на него не исходило ни от кого, а руководству школы №12, где он работал, Владимир Слепцов был известен, как исключительно порядочный человек. Однако, когда было установлено, что он совратил около пятидесяти детей, а троих довел до самоубийства – все были в шоке. Педофил попался случайно: он любил приходить к детям домой, под видом преподавательской деятельности в качестве внеклассных занятий, а сам совершал с над ними насильственные действия, и вот однажды был схвачен на месте преступления родителем одного из детей, вернувшемся домой раньше обычного. Что примечательно, при обыске квартиры педофила, в подвале у него было найдено три трупа, детей, которые считались без вести пропавшими.
В данный момент кришнаит-педофил Слепцов Владимир находится в следственном изоляторе, поселка Маловяземское, новосибирского района. По заданию редакции, я отправился на встречу со столь опасным преступником, для того, чтобы взять у него интервью. С УВД, проблем не возникло, и разрешение на беседу с педофилом-убийцей мне лично выдал начальник Районного отделения УВД.
Педофила содержали в чистой камере, следственного отдела. Когда я, сопровождаемый двумя сотрудниками милиции подошел к решетке, кришнаит покрыл меня нецензурной бранью, но после того как успокоился, все такие решился ответить на пару вопросов.
Кришнаит Вальмики Дас: <...> У вас даже мозгов не хватает прочесть Бхагават-Гиту, где в восемнадцатой главе написано, что Любой человек, действующий в сознании Кришны… даже убивая, не совершает убийства, как и не затрагивается он последствиями такого поступка.
Владимир Дубровин: то есть ваше религия откровенно проповедует насилие и педофилию? Так что ли получается? А как же жить в обществе где все убийцы и педофилы?
Кришнаит Вальмики Дас: кришнаитство проповедует такие поступки только по отношению к таким скотам как ты и прочим кто не входит в веру бога Кришны! Для нас вы просто грязные животные! А все ваши дети это твари.
Владимир Дубровин: откуда же в вашей религии столько зла и ненависти?
Кришнаит Вальмики Дас: Дело не в нас, а в вас. Пока вы не признаете нашего бога Кришну, мы вас будем убивать, а ваших детей насиловать. <...>
Кришнаиты Педофилы (Жуткий скандал в Новосибирске) (по материалам МК). Московский Комсомолец. 26.10 2010

Varnasrama - the Vedic social system

Varnasrama in Sanskrit means “the social system of Varnas”.
Varna (वर्ण) is a Sanskrit word which means type, order, or class. The term refers to social classes in Brahminical books like the Manusmriti. These and other Hindu literature classified the society in principle into four varnas:
  ● the Brahmins: priests, scholars and teachers.
  ● the Kshatriyas: rulers, warriors and administrators.
  ● the Vaishyas: merchants.
  ● the Shudras: laborers and service providers.

This quadruple division is a form of social stratification not to be confused with the much more nuanced Jāti or the European term "caste".
The varna system is discussed in Hindu texts, and understood as idealised human callings. The concept is generally traced to the Purusha Sukta verse of the Rig Veda. However modern scholarship believes that this verse was inserted at a later date, possibly to create a charter myth.
The commentary on the Varna system in the Manusmriti is oft-cited. Counter to these textual classifications, many Hindu texts and doctrines question and disagree with the Varna system of social classification.

The book of Harikesa Swami “Varnasrama – Manifesto for Social Sanity” describes in detail that the goal of Vaishnavas is to seize into their hands the control of all human population and to establish the order of religious total dictatorship in which the Vaishnavas Brahmans would control everything, and all people who do not obey to the dictatorship of Vaishnavas, will be killed. [1]
Harikesa Swami (his real name is Robert Campagnola (a.k.a. Bobby Campagnola)) was a member of ISKCON since 1970. After the death of Prabhupāda, since October 11, 1979 he became one of the 11 of the most prominent disciples-inheritors of the Guru and the administrator of ISKCON’s property. The world was divided into 12 different preaching zones, and the leader for each zone was called acarya. The zone of leadership for Harikesa Swami was northern Europe, including Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and the East European countries and the whole of the Soviet Union. At the time when Harikesa Swami was writing the book “Varnasrama – Manifesto for Social Sanity”, he was the chief guru of the Soviet and Eastern European Vaishnavas and all his commandments were mandatory for the Vaishnavas. Harikesa Swami was ISKCON’s Minister of Education and he was the head of „The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust“ publishing house. [1]
Harikesa Swami, also known as Vishnupad (born Robert Campagnola), was one of the leading disciples of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and a guru within the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as 'the Hare Krishnas' or ISKCON).

He personally met the founder of ISKCON, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in Brooklyn, while recording the Prabhupada's music in July 1971. Harikesa Swami was initiated by Prabhupada in New York, July 1971, and given the name Harikesa dasa.

Zonal Acarya time
When the founder of the ISKCON religious movement left, the leadership of the faith was divided up on 12 of the most prominent disciples of the Guru, and Harikesa was one of them. The world was divided into 12 different preaching zones, and the leader for each zone was called acarya. The zone of leadership for Harikesa was northern Europe, including Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and the East European countries and the whole of the Soviet Union.
Under the leadership of Harikesa, the ISKCON faith was spread widely over all of his allotted zone, and the number of members and centres of ISKCON multiplied in the area.
The preaching efforts were dependent on having translation of the books written by the leader of the ISKCON movement, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and under the direction of Harikesa a new branch of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust publishing house in Sweden, and collected around him new members of the ISKCON movement who could translate the collected books to their respective languages. This was the time before desktop publishing, and just in the beginning of photo typesetting. Harikesa lead a group of his group of his followers to develop their own computerised desktop publishing computer equipment, to be able to produce all the different languages, which also included developing own phototypesetting fonts. With his idea, every new language got their own customised personal computer, which were transported or smuggled into the respective country, and the ready translated books were sent on diskettes to the publishing house central, where all the final steps of book production were performed. By this streamline production scheme, it was possible to produce a lot of titles of the ISKCON books, in a very short time, and with only a very lightweight core crew to do the actual book publishing work. This was practically speaking the invention of desktop publishing before its time.
By that work, soon the translated books of the ISKCON faith started coming to all the Soviet Union countries in their native language, which in turn initiated and caused the spread of the ISKCON religious movement in those countries.
Apart from leading this book publishing work, Harikesa was also the spiritual leader of his zone, and travelled a lot to the countries in his area to oversee the opening of new ISKCON centerers, accepting new disciples, and leading them into the ISKCON faith.
Leadership of the Northern Europe branch of the BBT book publishing time continued all the time until 1998, upon which time it continued with the leadership of those of his former disciples who stayed in the ISKCON organisation.
Поскольку в человеческом обществе отсутствует голова, безумные люди, которые не являются брахманами, ведут мир к мучительному саморазрушению... До тех пор, пока во главе человеческого рода не встанут брахманы, не будет мира, счастья, удовольствия (с. 106).
Современная общественная система, к которой люди чувствуют себя привязанными, может быть безболезненно изменена, если будут приняты правильные социальные цели, которыми обладают настоящие вайшнавы и ведические тексты (с. 133).
Харикеша Свами хотел бы “использовать информационную сеть общества для того, чтобы распространять знания о божественном” (с. 136), то есть превратить СМИ в инструмент пропаганды сознания Кришны, не без основания надеясь, что
перестройка быстрее всего произойдет в тех обществах, в которых изрядная доля информации может распространяться беспрепятственно. В настоящее время информационные каналы злоупотребляют тем, что пленяют разум человека материальными целями. Интеллигентная прослойка вайшнавов может одухотворить эти каналы, причем использовать их они будут для того, чтобы вызывать духовные перемены в обществе (с. 134).
В новом обществе перед перестроенными СМИ будут поставлены иные задачи:
В обществе Варнашрама информационный поток будет находиться под контролем брахманов. Это означает, что вся распространяемая СМИ информация должна будет соответствовать духовному стандарту... Общество Варнашрама зависит от интеллектуального руководства со стороны брахманов. Поэтому общество Варнашрама не может оставить СМИ под контролем других влиятельных сил (с. 146).
Все ключевые позиции в СМИ будут, таким образом, заняты высшей кастой брахманов:
Перед брахманами стоит задача обучать народ с помощью информационной сети. Брахманы станут советниками людей и будут определять характер общества (с. 118).
Актеры, комментаторы, операторы и т. п. останутся шудрами — низшей кастой наемников, работающих за деньги. Однако
все, кто решает, какое знание и информацию следует распространять: редакторы, журналисты, сценаристы или постановщики, должны быть брахманами, обученными тому, как управлять обществом. Под руководством брахманов средства массовой информации будут служить той же цели, что и при сегодняшнем капиталистическом руководстве, а именно поддерживать общественную стабильность. Однако это будет не зашедшее в тупик материалистическое, а прогрессивное духовное общество (с. 148).
Идеальная общественная система — это вознесенная на небывалую высоту и не подлежащая обсуждению теократия, основанная на кастовой системе. Система Варнашрама MOCK происходит от
Всесовершенного Всевышнего... Высший Господин уполномочил своей властью представителей для того, чтобы осуществить в этом мире свои предписания... Высший Господин желает внедрения своей совершенной общественной системы (Варнаш рама-дхарма) в качестве стандарта для человеческого общества (ее. 73,81,88).
Это крайне авторитарное общество характеризуется наличием кастовой системы. Даже Харикеша Свами самокритично признает, что
Правительство Варнашрама — следует это понять — это не фашистский, однако жесткий режим (с. 208).
Часто можно встретить “органическое” описание идеальных систем. Многие фашистские идеологи любят сравнивать государство с организмом, который имеет голову (правящая элита), руки (каста полицейских и воинов), живот (каста торговцев и банкиров) и ноги (рабочая часть населения).
Во главе общества действительно должна стоять умная голова, которая принимает решения, соответствующие абсолютным принципам (с. 88). Эта руководящая элита и есть вайшнавы, вайшнавы-ачарьи, то есть монахи Общества и их предводители. Никакие выборы не нужны, так как
если простой народ увидит, как они действуют, и услышит, что они говорят, то совершенно очевидно, что он будет увлечен и последует за этими высоко квалифицированными, исполненными благодати и духовности людьми, которые заботятся исключительно о высочайшем благополучии человечества (с. 82).
Кришнаитский гуру высказал свое мнение и о рабочих, к которым в его системе принадлежит более половины населения. Вот что он о них думает:
Профессиональным склонностям шудр соответствует физический труд или услужение... Шудра находится в услужении у трех других общественных классов... Его доход зависит от степени удовлетворения, которое он приносит своим заказчикам. .. Люди со способностями шудры предназначены для того, чтобы жить под контролем трех других общественных групп... Его (шудры. — Л. Д.) основной интерес заключается в удовлетворении собственной чувственности, он чувствует влечение к запрещенным гнусным вещам, как-то: мясо, рыба, яйца — и особенно к перебродившей и гнилой пище. Шудра одержим вином, виски, пивом, сигаретами и сигарами, часто он наркоман. Он может проиграть все свои деньги и промотать их ради удовлетворения своей чувственности. Шудра не в состоянии перенести ограничение в чувственных наслаждениях ни одного мгновения и при первой возможности с чувством полного облегчения предается поискам наслаждений. Его любимое занятие — это сексуальная жизнь. Безудержно гонимый своими гениталиями, он работает денно и нощно, чтобы создать соответствующую его похотливым желаниям обстановку... Шудры всегда находятся под контролем кого-либо другого, что соответствует их наклонностям. Лучшее для них — подчиниться контролю вайшнавов системы Варнашрама. Тогда они, наконец, будут довольны (с. 215,217,227).
Следует отметить, что в отличие от кастовой системы в традиционном индуизме, где принадлежность к касте определяется рождением, члены новых каст будут отбираться на ранних стадиях школьного образования:
Никто полностью не лишен личных качеств и никто не может не действовать в соответствии с природой. И это только вопрос времени, когда в ребенке проявятся симптомы определенных общественных классов (с. 143).
Таким образом, судьба человека определяется не слепой случайностью, а правящей элитой. Каждая каста будет получать образование, строго соответствующее ее положению в обществе:
Школьники, достаточно способные для того, чтобы обучаться на брахманов, получают достаточные познания по всем философским и социальным предметам. Для других общественных групп это не требуется и неуместно. Наряду с будущими брахманами длительный курс обучения проходят только кшатрии (то есть воины, политики), которые позднее займут высокие руководящие посты. Остальные члены общества получат соответствующее их касте образование, по окончании которого они будут пригодны к профессиональному выполнению своего социального долга...
В возрасте примерно 12 лет ребенок покидает базовую школу и в дальнейшем получает продвинутое образование в соответствии со своими профессиональными наклонностями.
Если школьник обладает способностью шудры, то есть рабочего, его научат исполнять определенную работу. Он будет посещать школу до тех пор, пока не получит достаточно знаний для ее выполнения, но не дольше. Затем он покинет школу, чтобы заняться общественно полезной работой. Школьник, продемонстрировавший способности вайшьи (торговца), получит более продвинутое школьное образование, специализируясь в области вайшьиских профессий—таких, как торговец, банкир, землевладелец. Зги профессии не требуют обширного образования (с. 144).
В школе не будет места религиозному плюрализму. Во всех школах нового общества будут учить лишь кришнаизму:
Что же касается приводящих к ошибкам бессмысленных принципов атеистов, то не следует информировать о них детей, посещающих школу Варнашрама, разве что для того, чтобы знать, во что верят другие (с. 141).
Несмотря на постоянные заявления кришнаитов об их стремлении к миру и регулярные “фестивали мира”, которые они проводят, в системе Варнашрама важнейшие функции доверены касте военных — кшатриям. В обществе будущего предусмотрены и “кшатрии атома”, в задачу которых входит
духовно или с помощью электронных средств... оружием и приборами стереть врага с лица земли (с. 180).
Носитель божественного сознания как глава правительства должен получить возможность
вести как оборонительную, так и наступательную войну и привести войска к победе. .. Он должен будет напасть, поработить их, нейтрализовать их злое поведение и затем построить в их стране общество общественного сознания (с. 163).
Перед нами глобальные планы:
Если одно из обществ сможет измениться и принять духовные ценности, очень важно, чтобы руководители закрепили интересы этого духовного общества по всему миру. Вооруженное сопротивление будет исходить только от демонических личностей, которые всем сердцем прилепились к атеизму и материализму. Именно этих людей необходимо выслать. Тогда мир освободится от их происков (с. 163). Что значат глупые и сентиментальные идеалы “жить и выжить” в мире, который ясно проявил склонность к саморазрушению? (с. 181).
Неотъемлемая часть “идеального общества” — это образ врага. MOCK называет своих врагов “демонами”:
В этом мире живут три рода людей: богоизбранные, демоны и невиновные. Богоизбранные заняли свое место в служении Высшего. Демоны активно работают над тем, чтобы истребить любое знание о Боге. Невиновные образуют стадо, которое идет за тем, кто стоит во главе общества (с. 158).
Все граждане будут проходить через обязательную систему по промыванию мозгов.
Исправительные мероприятия, введенные могущественным главой Варнашрама, не ограничатся только различными видами военного вмешательства.
Граждане отравленных атеизмом обществ получат инструкции брахманов для того, чтобы понять необходимость системы Варнашрама... Можно легко отделить полезные элементы общества от бесполезных, вызвав каждого для совместного пения мантры “Харе Кришна”. С помощью такого совместного пения мантр многие люди, являющиеся сейчас, возможно, преступниками, могут очиститься и выполнять для общества полезную работу. Если некоторые люди и в дальнейшем останутся негодяями, несмотря на то, что путь очищения будет доступен каждому из них, необходимо, чтобы полиция кшатриев крепко занялась каждым неисправимым (с. 163,177).
А вот как следует вести дискуссию с критиками системы:
Завистливых и в особенности неосновательных критиков можно пригласить к общественной дискуссии с брахманами только для того, чтобы поддерживать дух народа. Как крайнее средство брахманы будут вызывать кшатриев, которые призовут к порядку подобных агитаторов (с. 165).
Чрезвычайно интересна и теория о наказании несогласных:
Так как людей в обществе Варнашрама будут с рождения обучать высоким образцам человеческого поведения, у них не будет извинения за преступность. Поэтому полиция Варнашрама будет довольно строга к нарушителям закона, их будут приговаривать к суровым наказаниям... После попытки наставить на путь истины начинающих преступников, полиция кшатриев должна будет изгнать или устранить закоренелых преступников... Применение смертной казни не подлежит обсуждению. В современном обществе на смертную казнь смотрят, как на бессмысленную жестокость, почти везде она отменена. Но отмена казни доказывает только несознательность руководителей общества, но никак не их милосердие к убийцам... Если убийца будет казнен согласно религиозному закону, то согласно закону кармы он будет освобожден от посмертного наказания.
Наказания послужат очень сильным устрашением. Было бы лучше, если бы сентиментальные сторонники индивидуальной свободы возмущались тем, что беспощадное поддерживание права и порядка не учитывает социального происхождения и окружения преступника (с. 176-177).
Итак, “Общество сознания Кришны” отрицает свободу. Но при этом, когда критики тоталитарных сект говорят об отсутствии свободы внутри сектантских общин, то их обвиняют в необъективности. Теория Варнашрама — теоретическое обоснование запрета на свободу, исходящее из уст самих сектантов. Для пропаганды и осуществления подобных концепций в обществе кришнаиты, как и другие молодежные религии, охотно пользуются правом на свободу совести и мнений. Однако недопустимо злоупотреблять одним из основных прав человека — правом на свободу совести — для того, чтобы ограничивать остальные основные права. Как мы видели на примере концепции. Варнашрама, в конечном счете это приведет и к ликвидации права на свободу совести.
Картина жизни, которую для нас планируют кришнаиты, достаточно ясна. У российских кришнаитов эта книга предназначена “для внутреннего пользования”, и поэтому они не любят, когда ее цитируют “внешние”. После первой публикации этих цитат кришнаиты развернули массовую клеветническую кампанию, которая достигла своей кульминации их участием в московском процессе в 1997 г. (о нем см. сборник “Секты против Церкви”. М., 2000). Важно напомнить, что процесс они с треском проиграли, и до сих пор никто не смог опровергнуть утверждения о том высоком месте, которое занимает концепция Варнашрама в вероучении современного кришнаизма.
Совершенно очевидно, что MOCK — жесткая группа для захвата власти, построенная на строго тоталитарных принципах и мечтающая распространить их на все население земного шара, и все разговоры кришнаитов о “демократии” и “веротерпимости” — не более чем прикрытие для содержащихся в их вероучительных источниках далеко идущих человеконенавистнических и агрессивных планов.
Александр Леонидович Дворкин. Сектоведение. Тоталитарные секты. Опыт систематического исследования. Нижний Новгород, 2002 г., p. 219. ISBN 58821305060.
Харикешэ Свами. Манифест Варнашрамы. Практическое руководство по реорганизации общества. Екатеринбург, б. д. Страницы цитат, помещенных в скобках, даются по немецкому изданию в переводе П. Чинилина. (Harikesa Swami. Varnasrama; Manifest der sozialen Vernunft (Варнашрама — манифест социального душевного здравия). New York, Los Angeles. Vaduz, Bombey, 1981.)
Harikesa Swami. Varnasrama Manifesto for Social Sanity. Edited by Devamrita Swami. 1981. Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. ISBN 0-89213-042-3.
Harikesa Swami. Varnasrama Manifesto for Social Sanity. Bhaktivedanta Book Trust; First edition (Nov 1990). ISBN-10: 0892130423. ISBN-13: 978-0892130429

Ecstatic love for Krishna

Ecstatic love for Krishna” is the highest spiritual state in International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
The founder of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda listed eight symptoms of “ecstatic love for Krishna”:
There are eight symptoms of existential ecstatic love: becoming stunned, perspiring, standing of the hairs on the body, faltering of the voice, trembling of the body, changing of bodily colors, shedding of tears and devastation.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. The Nectar of Devotion. Chapter 28: Existential Ecstatic Love
The bodily symptoms manifested by a devotee in expressing ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa are called anubhāva. Practical examples of anubhāva are as follows: dancing, rolling on the ground, singing very loudly, stretching the body, crying loudly, yawning, breathing very heavily, neglecting the presence of others, drooling, laughing like a madman, wheeling the head and belching. When there is an extraordinary excess of ecstatic love, with all of these bodily symptoms manifested, one feels relieved transcendentally.
These symptoms are divided into two parts: one is called śīta, and the other is called kṣepaṇa. When there is yawning, the symptoms are called śīta, and when there is dancing they are called kṣepaṇa.
Dancing <...>,
Rolling on the Ground <...>,
Singing Loudly <...>,
Crying Loudly <...>,
Yawning <...>,
Breathing Heavily <...>,
Neglecting the Presence of Others <...>,
Drooling <...>,
Belching <...>.
Sometimes trembling of the whole body and hemorrhaging from some part of the body are also manifested in response to ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa, but such symptoms are very rare, and therefore Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī does not discuss any further on this point.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. The Nectar of Devotion. Chapter 27: Symptoms of Ecstatic Love

ISKCON holy scripture “Caitanya Caritāmṛta” claims that (the founder of Gaudiya Vaishnavism) Caitanya Mahāprabhu was experiencing all symptoms of ecstatic love for Krishna in his visions in which he saw Krishna.
CC Antya 14.68: They almost died when they saw Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu with His mouth full of saliva and foam and His eyes turned upward.
CC Antya 14.98: When Svarūpa Dāmodara and the other devotees reached the spot and saw the condition of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they began to cry.
CC Antya 14.99: All eight kinds of transcendental transformations were visible in the Lord's body. All the devotees were struck with wonder to see such a sight.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta. Chapter 14: Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's Feelings of Separation from Kṛṣṇa
CC Madhya 18.159: While walking, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, understanding that the others were fatigued, took them all beneath a tree and sat down.
CC Madhya 18.160: There were many cows grazing near that tree, and the Lord was very pleased to see them.
CC Madhya 18.161: Suddenly a cowherd boy blew on his flute, and immediately the Lord was struck with ecstatic love.
CC Madhya 18.162: Filled with ecstatic love, the Lord fell to the ground unconscious. He foamed about the mouth, and His breathing stopped.
CC Madhya 18.163 While the Lord was unconscious, ten cavalry soldiers belonging to the Muslim Pāṭhāna military order rode up and dismounted.
CC Madhya 18.164 Seeing the Lord unconscious, the soldiers thought, “This sannyāsī must have possessed a large quantity of gold.
CC Madhya 18.168 The brāhmaṇa said, “You Pāṭhāna soldiers are all under the protection of your king. Let us go to your commander and get his decision.
CC Madhya 18.169 “This sannyāsī is my spiritual master, and I am from Mathurā. I am a brāhmaṇa, and I know many people who are in the service of the Muslim king.
CC Madhya 18.170 “This sannyāsī sometimes falls unconscious due to the influence of a disease. Please sit down here, and you will see that He will very soon regain consciousness and His normal condition.
CC Madhya 18.183: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “These are not rogues. They are My associates. Being a sannyāsī beggar, I do not possess anything.
CC Madhya 18.184: “Due to epilepsy, I sometimes fall unconscious. Out of their mercy, these four men maintain Me.”
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta. Chapter 18: Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Visit to Sri Vrindavana

From neuroscience point of view symptoms of ecstatic love for Krishna of Caitanya Mahāprabhu described in “Caitanya Caritāmṛta” perfectly match musicogenic epilepsy (a.k.a. audiogenic epilepsy) criteria.
Reflexive epilepsy is a form of epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by environmental stimuli. Musicogenic epilepsy, according to Dr. Acerkman if Temken Mercy Medical Center and Doctor Martha E. Banks, is just one of many forms of reflexive epilepsy in which a seizure is triggered by music or specific frequencies.
Sensitivity to music varies from patient to patient. Some are sensitive to a particular tone from a voice or instrument. Others are sensitive to a particular musical style or rhythm. Still others are sensitive to a range of noises such as a blowtorch or revving engine.
Musicogenic Epilepsy is relatively rare. Brain surgery last week at Long Island Jewish Medical Center to cure a woman with musicogenic epilepsy has raised awareness of the neurological condition. According to the Associated Press, 25 year-old Stacey Gayle's seizures were triggered by reggae and hip-hop artist Sean Paul's music. Following brain surgery, Gayle hasn't experienced another seizure, to date.
Reflexive seizures are difficult to identify, because often the stimuli is unknown. Although musicogenic epilepsy is not common, according to Doctor's Daly and Barry, Jr., the first case was reported in 1884. Dr. Acerkman and Banks study verified Daly and Berry's conclusion that both psychoacoustic and psychological factors play a role in inducing reflexive seizures. This means that in part musicogenic seizures are caused by certain noises and in part they are caused by negative associations with certain noises or music.
Additional indications which have been observed in patients with reflexive epilepsy include: dÚjÓ vu, hearing loss, twitching, loss of consciousness, head tilts, increased blood pressure, respiration changes, elevated temperature, incoherence, trembling of limbs, feeling of a need to grasp a thought that has just escaped their mind, and perspiration.
Reflexive epilepsy can be triggered by a number of things. In addition to musicogenic epilepsy, researchers have found reflexive epilepsy to be triggered by a tap on the shoulder, flashes of light, alcohol, temperature changes, exercise exhaustion, stress, and menstrual cycle or other hormonal changes. Insomnia, video games, insomnia and fatigue, and specific visual pattern have also been known to trigger epileptic seizures. Rarely, seizures may be triggered by thinking, eating, or soaking in water. <...>
Wendy Dawn, Yahoo Contributor Network. Jan 23, 2008
Musicogenic Epilepsy and Other Seizure Triggers.

Life in the community

Life in the community is very strictly regulated, the schedule does not leave a minute of free time.
In the ritualized life, there are nine main occupations:
1. hearing about Krishna,
2. chanting of mantra,
3. remembering,
4. serving,
5. worshiping,
6. praying,
7. obedience,
8. maintaining friendship with Krishna
9. giving everything that you have.

Too much sleep is very bad, so Vaishnavas need to get up at 3:00 or 3:30 AM (Vaishnavas must go to bed after 9:00 PM). After waking up, Vaishnavas must immediately begin the ceremony. Vaishnavas must walk around all idols, they need to wake up their idols, they need to wash and brush the teeth of idols, they need to dress the idols, and they need to feed the idols. Then Vaishnavas must chant the mantra using japa mala (string of 108 prayer beads, similar to the rosary). This takes at least two hours. Then Vaishnavas must listen to the lectures of Prabhupāda and sermon for one hour. After that Vaishnavas must work and then have a breakfast at 9:00 AM. By this time the food has already been prepared and dedicated to Krishna. After the breakfast Vaishnavas go outside to raise money and those activities that bring money are called sankirtan.
Women are treated badly by Vaishnavas, because, according to ISKCON theology, women are less worthy than men. If they had behaved well in a previous life, they would have been born in a man’s body, not in a woman’s body. Therefore, a woman must fully and completely obey a man. Usually women get the dirtiest and hardest work. [1]

„Monkey on a Stick“

Two American journalists John Hubner and Lindsay Gruson used Prabhupāda’s favorite phrase “monkey on a stick” as the title of their book.
The book describes the first 20 years of ISKCON organization existence, with the focus on the dramatic row of crimes committed by Vaishnavas.
The book of John Hubner and Lindsay Gruson describes that a member ISKCON organization Steve Bryant, who exposed the ISKCON organization’s corrupt leadership, was designated as the “monkey on a stick”. In year 1986 former member of ISKCON organization Thomas Drescher killed Steve Byrant in Los Angeles.
When Prabhupada, the Krishnas’ founder, had to kick a devotee out of the movement for doing something especially bad, like embezzling money, he would refer to the Indian parable of the monkey on a stick. “Let him be the monkey on a stick and let us have no more of that,” he would say.
When a monkey breaks into a banana plantation in India, the farm’s owners kill the monkey, impale him on a stick, and leave him to rot outside the plantation. Other monkeys see him hanging there and stay away from the bananas.
John Hubner and Lindsay Gruson. Monkey on a Stick: Murder, Madness and the Hare Krishnas. 1988. p. 17. ISBN 0151620865

Sexual and physical abuse of children in ISKCON gurukulas

In year 1980s the stories began to spread in public about the exploitation of children in ISKCON’s boarding schools (gurukulas) located in India and America. The dates of events were starting from mid-1970s and later.[11]
Below is the quote from the letter of the boy who lived for a long time in ISKCON’s gurukula:

Попытка вновь напомнить о кошмарах гурукулы - это самая жестокая вещь, которую можно сделать подростку. Я пытаюсь забыть все ужасы, которым мы подвергались во имя Бога, физические избиения, психологическое преследование, постоянные изнасилования... Меня изнасиловал тот самый учитель, который также изнасиловал моего брата во Франции, мою сестру по матери заставили пить ее собственную мочу в Далласе, мой отчим перевозил деньги от продажи наркотиков из Лас-Вегаса в Лос-Анджелес. Мою мать заставили выйти замуж против ее воли. Гуру моего младшего брата был убит всемирным лидером санкиртана. И ты хочешь, чтобы я продолжал в том же духе? Или ты просто поместишь меня в список неизбежных потерь...? На самом деле, если ты не знаешь, таких, как я, тысячи по всему миру.
The Voice of the Second Generation. As it Is. 1993. April-June. Nr. 002. P.3.
Весной 2000 г. группа из сорока четырех бывших воспитанников гурукул подала в Техасе иск на 400 млн долларов против MOCK за моральный и физический ущерб во время их искалеченного детства (см.: Жертвы "Общества сознания Кришны подали в суд на секту//Прозрение. 2000. №2(5)).

Some of these stories have been collected and published in books, such as the book of Daniel Lutz ”My Karma My Fault”, Alexander Dvorkin’s book “Review of totalitarian cults.” (“Сектоведение. Тоталитарные секты.”), etc.
Daniel Lutz in his autobiographical book “My Karma My Fault” claims that gurukulas break the lives of thousands of children, because children are raised in gurukulas as Mowgli, without any education, and in the result these children can not be fitted into the society, because they do not have any professional and social skills.
“I had no proper education, no profession, no tools to enter the ‘normal’ world,” he says. “It’s extremely difficult to have an afterlife when you’ve been seriously traumatized. It’s very difficult to find your place in a world you perceive as having betrayed you since early childhood. It takes a long time, a lot of work, to begin to re-inhabit your body, mind and senses, or to form any new relationships.”
ISKCON News: New Gurukuli Memoir of Abuse a Powerful Reminder for Further Vigilance. 15 Nov 2010

ISKCON organization, being unable to continue to hide the information about the ongoing massive exploitation of children in gurukulas, in year 1998 published the official report done by sociology professor Jr. E. Burke Rochford about the sexual and physical abuse of children in ISKCON gurukulas during 1972-1985 period. The report was called “ISKCON Communications Journal“.[12] At the time of release of the report approximately 1500 children had graduated the gurukulas.
Children who had graduated ISKCON gurukulas sued ISKCON organization demanding the compensation for suffered sexual and physical abuse in ISKCON gurukulas.
In spring of year 2000, in Texas, the group of forty-four former pupils of gurukulas sued ISKCON for $400 million compensation for moral and material damages in their crippled childhood. [13] [14]
In year 2002, ISKCON organization founded the ombudsman organization as a response to the requirement that ISKCON organization should be transparent and that ISKCON members would bear responsibility.[15]
Later ISKCON organization was sued by 95 people who attended gurukulas in the childhood. ISKCON centers, which were included in the charges, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in order avoid the financial costs that would result from litigation.
In year 2005 US court ordered the ISKCON organization pay US $9.5 million as compensation requested by 542 persons. The amount of compensation per person ranged from $ 2,500 to $ 50,000.
Terrified ISKCON management set up a special institution with the name “ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection“, which responsibility was to take care that the knowledge about the child abuse would no longer reach the society.[16]
“ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection” has set up its branches all over the world. Their purpose was to trace the real or potential exploiters, to educate children and adults about the child abuse and to encourage the watching of each other.[17]
Since July 2006, a petition is circulating among the members of ISKCON which invites to adhere to the “zero tolerance” policy towards the former exploiters.

Problems with the society

ISKCON had many problems with the society starting from 1970s, especially in the decade after the death of Prabhupāda.[18]
In the summer of 1983 the jury in a southern California court awarded US $32 million to minor Robin George and her mother in a cult-brainwashing case against four Hare Krishna ISKCON temples.[24]
In year 1983 California court awarded 32 million dollars in damages for illegal imprisonment and other illegal actions. Later, in year 1993, the amount was reduced to 485 thousand dollars.[19]
Also some anti-cult movements were in litigation against ISKCON.[20][21][22]
Also ISKCON movement has been accused of murders and fraud, as for example Kirtanananda Swami (a.k.a. Swami Bhaktipada) was sentenced to 20 years in prison.[23]


1. Александр Леонидович Дворкин. Сектоведение. Тоталитарные секты. Опыт систематического исследования. Нижний Новгород, 2002 г., p. 219. ISBN 58821305060.

2. Linda Rhodes. Challenge of the Cults and New Religions, The. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan. 2001. p. 178. ISBN 0-310-23217-1

3. Oriental Institute, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. 1940. Gaekwad Oriental Series, Issue 86, p.7

4. Гаудиа Вайшнавизм - не ведическая традиция?

5. Памятка начинающего кришнаита, или немного фактов об ИСККОН

6. Mayrhofer M. Etymologisches W÷rterbuch des Altindoarischen — Bd. II — Heidelberg, 1996. — S. 449.

7. Mayrhofer M. Kurzgefasstes etymologisches W÷rterbuch des Altindischen — Bd. III — Heidelberg, 1964. — S. 54.

8. Suicide in Asia and the Near East, University of California Press, February 1984, P. 211. ISBN-10: 0520048113, ISBN-13: 978-0520048119

9. At the Three Rivers. Time, February 23, 1948,9171,798222,00.html

10. Child Abuse in the Hare Krishna Movement: 1971–1986. 1 June 1998

11. An article in ISKCON Communications Journal. 1 June 1998

13. Жертвы źОбщества сознания Кришны подали в суд на секту╗ Прозрение. 2000. № 2 (5)

14. Жертвы źОбщества сознания Кришны╗ подали в суд на секту╗. 2000-12-15.

15. ISKCON Resolve

16. Press Release: Courts Confirm Hare Krishna Chapter 11 Reorganization – Religious Society Apologizes to Victims of Child Abuse.

17. Child Protection Office. 26 January 2008

18. The Perils of Succession: Heresies of Authority and Continuity In the Hare Krishna Movement

19. Krishna Group Loses Brainwashing Lawsuit. New York Times. June 18, 1983. New York Times. 18 June 1983

20. Social Compass. Knott, K. In Every Town and Village: Adaptive Strategies in the Communication of Krishna Consciousness in the UK, the First Thirty Years. 2000. Volume 47. Issue 2. Page 153

21. Larry Shinn. The Maturation of the Hare Krishnas in America

22. Sociological Quarterly. Berg, T.V, Kniss, F. ISKCON and immigrants: The Rise, Decline, and Rise Again of a New Religious Movement. Volume 49. Issue 1. Pages 79–104

23. Chicago Tribune. Ex-Hare Krishna leader gets 30 years for fraud. Page 21. 21 June 1991

24. Hinduism Today. August 1993