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  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 8:39 am on July 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , religion   

    Surleen Kaur, ISKCON, and The Indian Hypocrisy 

    I am a Krsna Conscious person.

    It is no longer appropriate to talk about one’s religion on the internet. I think that trend began somewhere in 2015, and has become predominant in 2020.
    But I think, if you identify yourself as a religious person, then you shouldn’t be ashamed of it, or hide it from others.

    Religious people should be treated the same as atheists.
    Everybody loved Tom Cruise until it was revealed that he was a Scientologist. And then, he got a lot of hate for it. Even though, I haven’t seen him talk about Scientology to others or preach to them about it.

    Almost every religion in the world has a philosophy of preaching to the others. And each one has statements that denote that the followers of the said religion are morally and intellectually superior to those who aren’t.

    This is why people hate religion.
    Nobody wants to be looked down upon or treated as an inferior human being.

    Therefore, I have certain rules regarding religion. The first one being that I do not preach to others.
    This actually goes against the philosophy of every religion. They want their followers to preach to the non-believers. They want their numbers to increase.
    But I don’t want to preach. I don’t care about followers. I want to practice my devotional service in peace.

    This is the same principle that I apply regarding privacy, open source software, Linux and so on.
    I do talk about religion, privacy, freedom and other things that interest me in my personal space. Those who want to learn about it can come. Those who don’t can stay away.

    I went to a Catholic school. At the same time, I started visiting a nearby ISKCON temple and have done so for two decades, regardless of where I was.

    There’s a certain standup comedian, Surleen Kaur, who made a joke about pornography and ISKCON. A lot of Indians didn’t take this very kindly and so they decided to cancel her. Plus ISKCON wanted to sue her and the Shemaroo company was forced to wipe the footage from the internet.

    Now I believe in freedom of speech and stating the facts.
    I also happen to know several ISKCON leaders who were caught watching porn and/or have admitted to doing so. The information is out on the internet. Before trying to massacre a standup comedian for some lousy joke, perhaps you could do a little research on the subject.

    And while I’m on the subject, have any of the Indians crying for Surleen’s blood read any of ISKCON’s literature?
    Yeah, I’ve spent several years studying the scriptures so I happen to know a few things these ignorant fools don’t.
    What happens if someone reads the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, and finds the part where Srila Prabhupada writes that the materialistic men are living just like cats and dogs? Should or shouldn’t people be offended by that?
    Should anyone sue ISKCON for having scriptures that state the facts? Or do those cease to be facts the moment people are offended? Should it be called blasphemy?

    The truth remains the truth. It doesn’t matter if it’s some upcoming standup comedian saying it, or a highly venerable saint saying it.

    How many Indians have read ISKCON’s books? How many have studied the philosophy and adopted the lifestyle prescribed in the Vedas?
    How many Indians have stopped drinking tea, chewing tobacco and eating foodstuff containing onions, garlic and mushrooms? How many have been chanting 16 rounds daily? How many Indians have given up their material desires only to serve The Supreme Personality of Godhead?

    As far as I know, Indians are the most materialistic people on the planet. So much, that even religion has become a booming business in India.
    Since Srila Prabhupada’s departure, even ISKCON has turned into a business in many cities, with all the sweet shops and restaurants with karmi chefs, with gift shops selling dior perfume and some tribal wristbands from Africa, and so on.
    Has anyone looked into this?
    Has any Indian walked past the gift shop in an ISKCON center, looked at the different brands of perfumes and wondered, “Wait a minute! Are they selling Dior perfume here?”
    How about the restaurants and sweet shops? Has anyone gone to the kitchen in the back to see if the chef is an ISKCON devotee or some karmi guy paid to cook?

    Has anyone listened to Srila Prabhupada’s conversations where he clearly said devotees aren’t supposed to engage in mundane welfare activities?
    That’s right. Srila Prabhupada never authorised any program to feed school children all across the country. He never wanted ISKCON to be recognized as some NGO engaged in feeding the poor and helping the needy. I think Mother Teresa was pretty good at that.

    A lot of Indians simply know ISKCON as a religious organization that feeds the hungry. They know about the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra, and that’s pretty much it.
    No concrete philosophical understanding, no interest in following the Varnasrama way of life, and a surprisingly huge shame in wearing dhoti and tilaka.
    So the people may say they’re proud of their culture and heritage. But if you asked them to dress according to their culture, they’d call it old-fashioned and outdated.
    How many Indian girls still wear saris everyday? Apart from the special events, festivals and occasions, they still dress in western fashion.

    The way I see it, the majority of Indians have drifted towards a more modern western lifestyle with more openness and freedom.
    So why are they inflamed when some woman cracks a lame joke about religion and pornography?
    Do they not support freedom of speech?
    And why would anyone be offended when they are nowhere close to even being members of a religious organization?
    I’ve been a regular in ISKCON for two decades but I haven’t been offended. Neither should anyone else who’s heard standup comedy before.
    Standup comedy is about delivering blunt truths in the form of witty insults.
    Nobody else speaks the truth anymore. Not the politicians, not the government, not the teachers, not even the religious people.

    ISKCON has had a history of surpressing the facts and pushing everything under the rag.
    The organization has managed to cover up decades of child abuse, corruption, rape and even murder.
    Even the sannyasis, who are supposed to be the top leaders, men equal to God, without a taint in character, have been found to be involved in such henious activities.
    And this is a problem that plagues all religious sects – the Christians, Scientologists, Muslims and everybody else.
    Non of these religious groups wants to acnowledge these activities in their history. If you ask them, they just brush it aside and call it nonsense or hateful comments or whatever.
    Why can’t people acknowledge the facts?
    This is the Kali Yuga.
    There are no perfect human beings.
    But, there seem to be an awful lot of pretentious scumbags who are even willing to kill to hide their nefarious activities from being discovered.

    If everyone could just stop with the hypocrisy, that’d be great.
    I don’t want to live in a world where people can’t crack a joke without offending somebody. I don’t want to live in a world where comedians have to censor themselves to stop offending people.
    I believe in freedom. This is one of those freedoms. I should be free to speak the truth. You should be free to be offended and go crap yourself.

     
    • Pratik 1:30 pm on November 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Well, I strongly disagree. The arguments made to justify the pernicious behavior of these comedians seem highly preposterous to me. They are fallacious and essentially lack a sound factual, constitutional, and logical basis. You appear to profess yourself as a scholar of ISKCON’s philosophy and spiritual teachings; I wish you had the same scholarship on the constitutional rights guaranteed to every Indian.

      You talk of the liberal value that guarantees oneself the right to speak and express freely under Article 19, Clause (1a) of the Indian constitution. However, you tend to forget that the right to freedom of speech and expression is not absolute. It is subject to Clause (2), “Nothing in Clause (1a) of this Article shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the state from making any law, relating to libel, slander, defamation, sedition, or any other matter which offends against decency or morality or undermines the security of, tends to overthrow, the state.”

      Moreover, Article 25 guarantees a religious person the freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practice freely, and propagate its religion. So, if a comedian crosses the line to make a few idiots laugh while hurting the sentiments of thousands, if not millions, of devout believers and slander their sect, then the believers are entitled to drag him/her through the courts. Don’t you think such dim-witted blabber breaches the constitutional rights of a believer and, in turn, disrupts social harmony? If not, then either you are a hypocrite yourself, or you just don’t understand the law in its entirety. Why shall a comedian’s right to freedom of speech and being offensive outclass a religious person’s right to get offended?

      Now, let’s just answer a few questions raised by you and invalidate your baseless arguments one by one:

      1.You ask, “And why would anyone be offended when they are nowhere close to even being members of a religious organization?”

      Ans: FYI – The person who has intended to take legal action is a devout ISKCON member, Radharamn Das, Vice-president, ISKCON, West Bengal.

      2. You say, “Standup comedy is about delivering blunt truths in the form of witty insults.
      Nobody else speaks the truth anymore. Not the politicians, not the government, not the teachers, not even the religious people.”

      Counter – If I were to believe that you and your beloved comedians speak the truth, then I rather need to disown the India’s constitution and surrender unto you and your will. I just don’t understand why anyone would think that he has got a monopoly over the truth. It’s for the courts to decide what’s the truth and what’s not, and we have a due legal process for that.

      3.You say, “ISKCON has had a history of surpressing the facts and pushing everything under the rag.
      The organization has managed to cover up decades of child abuse, corruption, rape and even murder.
      Even the sannyasis, who are supposed to be the top leaders, men equal to God, without a taint in character, have been found to be involved in such henious activities.”

      Counter – You claimed that you are an ISKCON follower for two decades and a scholar of its literature. Now, I have reasonable facts to doubt your claims. In the late ’80s, when ISKCON was going through its worst phase with these allegations and the people involved were convicted, its GBC not only acknowledged the wrongdoing on the part of the convicts but also promptly took initiatives and established subcommittees like the ISKCON Resolve and ISKCON Child Protection Office. It’s all mentioned on their websites, have a look! To me, you come across as a self-proclaimed ISKCON scholar who’s oblivious to a lot of facts about its history. FYI – Sannyasis are never supposed to be “men equal to God,” they will always remain servants of God according to the teachings of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the philosophical foundation of ISKCON. I don’t know what books you are reading, but I, for one, can assure you that they are certainly not in correspondence with ISKCON’s teachings.

      4. You say, “Therefore, I have certain rules regarding religion. The first one being that I do not preach to others. This actually goes against the philosophy of every religion. They want their followers to preach to the non-believers. They want their numbers to increase. But I don’t want to preach. I don’t care about followers. I want to practice my devotional service in peace.” Has anyone listened to Srila Prabhupada’s conversations where he clearly said devotees aren’t supposed to engage in mundane welfare activities? That’s right. Srila Prabhupada never authorised any program to feed school children all across the country. He never wanted ISKCON to be recognized as some NGO engaged in feeding the poor and helping the needy. I think Mother Teresa was pretty good at that.”

      Counter – The one thing that Srila Prabhupada and everyone in the Gaudiya Vaishnavism lineage emphasized before leaving this material world was to propagate the philosophy of the Hare Krishna movement and share this eternal love of God with others through the distribution of books, Sunday feasts, and Sankirtan. On the one hand, you totally disregard that core concept of this religious congregation; on the other hand, you quote Srila Prabhupada on how he asked his disciples not to engage in any mundane activities. At this point, I really need to doubt your credibility as a Hare Krishna.

      Furthermore, he might not have authorized any mid-day meal program himself for the school-going children, but he surely did instruct his disciples that no child or, for that matter, no one within 10 miles of the temple’s vicinity should remain hungry. And the philosophical understanding is that prasadam helps in restoring one’s love for God. What better way to share and reinstate this eternal bliss with the conditioned souls than to offer them sanctified food, free from karma, during a very impressionable age? Of course, he did not want ISKCON to be an NGO; after all, it’s a religious congregation. FYI: Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity is not an NGO. It’s a globally recognized Catholic religious congregation.

      5. You say “Now I believe in freedom of speech and stating the facts.
      I also happen to know several ISKCON leaders who were caught watching porn and/or have admitted to doing so. The information is out on the internet. Before trying to massacre a standup comedian for some lousy joke, perhaps you could do a little research on the subject.”

      Counter – You premised your entire argument insinuating that because some leaders of ISKCON were caught and have admitted to watching porn, therefore, the entire ISKCON community shall not get offended by the misrepresentation and stigmatization of its congregation by these so-called veracious, unerring, and infallible comedians. Your argument is essentially based on a hasty generalization, and therefore, it is an informal logical fallacy because it has got a reasoning error and lacks logical consistency.

      Just think, why can’t those devoted members, who do not engage themselves in such profane acts, who duly follow the regulative principles as prescribed in the Vedas and Upanishads, have the right to be offended with these outrageous statements made in the guise of being witty? If the freedom of speech is what that matters to these comedians, then why make jokes disproportionately targeting a particular sect or religion?

      I don’t care personally what these ignorants have to say in their capacity as long as it’s a private conversation. However, I strongly object to them using social platforms to stigmatize a sect in the public domain. It leads to intolerance and disruptive behavior of the masses towards the denomination in a subtle way. By the way, Internet sources does not contain first-hand information. Therefore, they should be treated with a certain degree of scrutiny and distrust. It might look credible on the face of it but it could be misleading and spurious too.

      Nonetheless, there are bad apples in every organization, may it be religious or non-religious. Therefore, the question is whether or not it is fair to generalize it and defame the organization as a whole because of the actions of a few shams? In the West, Catholic churches have had incidents of the same sorts. Later, Vatican took cognizance of it and established policies to avoid such disgraceful acts. You have a biased viewpoint which only addresses the right of freedom of speech and expression of a comedian. However, you seem to turn a blind eye towards a religious person’s right to get offended under Article 25 of the constitution and Section 295 (a) of the IPC. Blasphemy is a criminal offense in India punishable either with imprisonment for a term that may extend to three years or with a fine or both.

      6. You ask, “What happens if someone reads the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, and finds the part where Srila Prabhupada writes that the materialistic men are living just like cats and dogs? Should or shouldn’t people be offended by that?
      Should anyone sue ISKCON for having scriptures that state the facts? Or do those cease to be facts the moment people are offended? Should it be called blasphemy?”

      Counter – Well, you may argue that Srila Prabhupada’s words are offensive to the atheistic class of men. However, any reasonable lawyer cannot establish those statements as offensive under Section 153 (a) of the IPC on the grounds of promoting hatred, ill-will, and hostility between different religious, racial, language, or regional groups or castes or communities. That’s because Srila Prabhupada made a broad statement, and he did not specifically label any atheistic organization like FIRA as men living just like cats and dogs. One has to lay out a rationale for establishing its offensiveness. While the comedian, Surleen Kaur, specifically mentions ISKCON and slanders it with faulty generalization. I hope you will do a better research next time before putting forward arguments full of fallacies.

  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 5:43 am on July 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: geography, history, , religion   

    The Origin Of Systemic Racism 

    Systemic racism began when mankind divided the earth into territories. It embedded a false sense of belonging and ownership to whatever territory they were associated with, when in reality, none of it mattered at all.

    Systemic racism can be very easy to understand for people who paid attention in high school geography and history classes. While that was the norm during my days in school, the current generation of kids at school are a bunch of idiots who spend more time on social media and trending on the internet than paying attention in class.

    The first man who drew up the atlas was one of the pioneers of systemic racism, along with his mentors, friends, colleagues and associates who believed in drawing up maps and dividing the earth into continents and countries.

    Systemic racism began with dividing the land amongst a bunch of selfish morons and the idiots who backed them up.

    The maps were drawn up by classifying groups of people by their cultures, skin color, lifestyle and religion.

    Right after drawing the maps and dividing the world into countries, the politicians decided to undo their hard work of dividing people by creating visas and allowing dissidents of various countries to cross over to foreign countries and establish a life there.

    Why would the governments have an immigration department in the first place? Why would the leaders allow people from different countries to travel in the first place?

    If you were born in a certain country, that’s your home. Live there, stay there, and die there. If you don’t like it, too bad! That would’ve solved the problem for everyone right now.

    What the world is experiencing today – racism in schools, colleges, neighborhoods, at work, in transit, and everywhere you can imagine – is because of immigration.

    Whenever two people of different skin colors, religions, ethnic groups, views and opinions meet, there will always be an inherent grudge and hatred on both sides. And that’s exactly what’s happening all over the world at the moment.

    When I look at how mankind divided themselves according to their similarities and differences, and then decided to interact with each other again, it’s an ironical situation. The politicians and governments worked so hard to divide and segregate people, and then decided to integrate them again. How does that even work? And why would it work? Why are there so many international organizations formed by the world leaders of various countries? What’s the purpose of the United Nations? Are the nations really united? Then why were they geographically divided in the first place? What’s the purpose of dividing countries and then forming alliances?

    I hold no allegiance to any country. I don’t have a hint of patriotism in me for any country whatsoever. I’ve completely disregarded my nationality – it’s irrelevant. I view myself an an individual on earth. The earth will always be here. It’s a free planet. Nobody owns anything on this earth. That’s the reality. We were all born naked with zero belongings, and we’ll all died naked, with absolutely no ownership on anything on this planet. We don’t own this planet; the planet owns us. The planet was here long before we were born, and it will remain long after we’re gone. Why are we fighting over land and neighborhoods and countries and territories? Mother earth isn’t our property. We’re temporary guests on this planet – came here to pay our dues, and will be on our merry ways when the time comes.

    Why are people fighting over their differences? Just live your life and die when your time comes. Nobody cares who you are, what your beliefs are, and what your political affiliations are. It doesn’t matter whether you’re right-wing or left-wing because at the end of a few years, you’ll be dead anyway.

    But the world has failed to realize this. People have failed to understand how insignificant they are. And they’ve gotten so engaged and involved in the politics and beliefs indoctrinated into them, that they can’t see just how pathetic they really are.

     
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