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Bhag Gita As It Is from non ISKCON
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 23, 2017 02:54AM


--Three Star review


0 out of 5 starsScholarly, well-presented, but very biased
(name removed for privacy - Corboy) June 21, 2009
As has been said before, most of the 5-star reviews of this version of the Gita are from Hare Krsna devotees. Make no mistake: this IS a well-translated, scholarly edition with an exhaustive commentary. But it's also very biased and for all its expansiveness, it is posited upon a very narrow viewpoint.

I admire A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami for producing this commentary. It should be marketed, however, as a Gita in the light of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Both the title ("As it Is") and the Swami's introduction mislead the reader. In the intro, the Swami assures the reader that he is providing the reader with a Gita commentary that is free of bias, true to the "original" meaning, and unlike other authors, he is not trying to push his own philosophy. But he's doing exactly that. Anyone who interprets ANYTHING does so from how they perceive it. This book is written by a man brought up in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition - a philosophy built upon a very literal view of the scriptures and bhakti as the truest way to realize God...devotion through ecstatic love.

There's nothing wrong with this. But it's wrong to market this work as "the best" or "unbiased." So any potential readers would do well to keep in mind what they are buying.

Two Star reviews on Amazon of Prabhupada's ISKCON Bhagavad Gita As It Is



2.0 out of 5 starsFrom an atheist
ByJESon December 24, 2011

I began reading this book - I am still in the process - with the desire to understand Hinduism better. The purports, while helpful in some cases, I am finding to be incredibly obnoxious. Not only from an atheist's point of view, but from any person of differing opinion, the repeated sentences of "those too ignorant to understand," or "less intelligent," are starting to really taint this book. If I had wanted to understand how condescending this guy was, I could've figured it out some other way besides reading this book. It's a shame, because he is trying to convey the essence of Hinduism and the Krishna consciousness movement, and through his actions, making me wonder if this condescension is not an isolated occurrence...
2 comments| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?

Dr. Duck5 years ago
JES- No, it's not an isolated occurrence - you've pretty much nailed it. People don't know or understand just how obnoxious this little creep really was. From his general stupidity and ignorance of the very science he tore down, to his chauvinistic attitude towards women and support of Hitler, this man was neither special or ethical. And it doesn't take an Atheist to recognise this.
Raghuram Krishnaswamy5 years ago
Try Winthorp Sargent's Bhagavad Gita. Its a very superior text
Leave a repl

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/23/2017 03:13AM by corboy.

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Re: Bhag Gita As It Is from non ISKCON
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 23, 2017 03:24AM

For more comments from former ISKCON devotees, go to Amazon and
read the reviews of the book, Monkey on a Stick: Murder, Madness and the Hare Krishnas.


The book is well worth reading. Early in the book, there is a telling episode
in which a low ranking devotee, totally ignored by Prabhupada, finally gets the old
coot's praise and attention.

Prabhupada was in his robes, surrounded by devotees in his robes, striding through
an airport to catch a plane flight to India.

A huge number of gawkers gathered.

On the spot, this lowly disciple was inspired to by spontaneously passing out baskets for a collection. He then brought that basket, knelt down before
Prabhupada and held up that basket full of loot.

Prabhupada praised this.

As the author put it, this disciple, ignored for so long by Prabhupada, had in that moment, learned a lesson he would never forget.

Bringing in money was the sure way to get the gurus attention.

Prabhupada was peddling a lie. He should have been teaching bhakti devotion
not to Krishhna, but to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.



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Re: Hare Krishna Cult Recruiting in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 23, 2017 09:21AM

Excerpted from Agehananda Bharati's survey of mysticism entitled 'The Light at the Center: Pretext and Context of Modern Mysticism 1976

'(footnote on page 236) 'Sri Caitanya (1485-1533) was a Bengali Brahmin, and the foremost devotional reformer of the late Bengali Middle Ages. His influence, although localized in Bengal and Orissa generated a powerful millennial type movement which peaked in the 17th Century all over Northern India and declined thereafter. There is no doubt that Swami AC Bhaktvedanta (Prabhupada) 'the Lord's Food) silver bullion broker of Calcutta turned saint, founder of the Hare Krishna movement in the western world, created a genuine duplication of the Caitanya movement in an expatriate setting.'

(Bharati wrote this before the Swami died and ISKCON became corrupted by power struggles among his successors)

( Note: Bharati does not say so, but one wonders whether the period in which Caitanya's movement peaked would correspond to the worst period of Moghul persecution of Hindus. Aurangzeb was an Islamic bigot who created a social wasteland by persecuting his Hindu subjects and driving his best Hindu supporters from court. Aurengzeb's long reign ended early in the 18th century--which correponds to the peak period of Caitanya's movement in India)

Bharati's observations on Prabhupada's theology.

'(page 186 of Light at the Center published in 1976)

'It is much more difficult to find a troupe of 'Hare Krishna' singing and dancing devotees in the streets of Calcutta (Note: Bharati wrote this in the early to mid 1970s) than in the US...Except for Bengalis abroad, Hindus have hardly heard about 'Hare Krishna' singing in India(Corboy italics) only now do they witness in the West what some saint, unknown to them, created a few centuries ago in rural northeastern India.

'Krishna Consciousness' in the mind and in the words of Swami Bhaktivedanta and his roughly 4,000 followers (1976) in North America is a term referring to an interpreted mystical state.

Since the Vaishnava does not want to "merge" (that is does not want to merge with the Deity but remain separate while ecstatically adoring the Deity--Corboy note, not Bharati's) being different from KRSNA in playful eternity, a zero experience (Bharati's term for merger of human consciousness with the Absolute) occurring to the Vaishnava is interpreted about as negatively as a Christian orthodox mystic's experience.

Bharati writes:

I asked Swami Bhaktivedanta about this--and he got quite irritated, rejecting monistic Vedanta in the same irate style in which Vaishnavas have been rejecting it as heresy for 800 years.' (Unquote)

In other words, one adores God while remaining separate from God, vs the monistic Vedantin's goal of merging with God.

One guru said it is the difference between tasting sugar (conscious adoration)
vs becoming sugar (merger with the Absolute)

Further Reading For Non Devotee History Lovers

An intricate theology undergirds the Gaudiya Vasihnavas and, by extension ISKCON.

The term "rasa" is important in Gaudiaya Vaishnava theology.


Encyclopedia Britannica

rasa, ( Sanskrit: “essence,” “taste,” or “flavour,” literally “sap” or “juice”) Indian concept of aesthetic flavour, an essential element of any work of visual, literary, or performing art that can only be suggested, not described.

"Rasa" was first discussed by early Hindu philosophers interested in
understanding and describing self transcendence and its role in performing
drama and in writing poetry. Later, discussions of rasa shifted to
how persons witnessing drama, ritual and hearing poetry experience self transcendence. Later, 'rasa' was applied to discussions of worship and adoration.

A summary of how rasa theory was developed and later utilized by Vaishnava bhakti theologians.

Narasinha Mehta of Gujarat: A Legacy of Bhakti in Songs and Stories

[]; "gaudiya vaishnava"&f=false

Rasa Theology/Gerald Carney in Vaishnavism page 297

Excerpts from "An Intellectual History of Rasa, in A Rasa Reader: Classical Indian Aesthetics




The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word 'rasa' is 'taste'

In medieval India, theories of rhetoric and aesthetics using the term 'rasa' developed in the context of discussions by Hindu philosophers who developed theories of rhetoric and aesthetics in relation to drama, and then poetry.


Chaitanyas disciples utilized this literature when developing texts to define
and stabilize Gaudiya Vaishnava theology -- and identity.

When a charismatic leader such as Chaitanya dies, his or her sect may scatter
and be lost to history unless ways are found to stablize and "routinize" the leader's charisma so that a way can be found to preserve its message and make it attractive and teachable to future generations.

Written texts, a terminology, a core of stories and a dogma must be created.

To do this, material from the surrounding culture must be studied, discussed, selected and modified.

The Gaudiya Vaishnavas did this using rasa theory, existing texts from Sanskrit literture, interpreted in such a way as to validate their doctrine, along with composition of songs, music, distinctive badges of identity and rituals.

Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2017 06:50AM by corboy.

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Why For Devotees Only Adoration is the Acceptable Response
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 24, 2017 12:18AM

To to the devotee, only utter adoration is the acceptable response.

The devotee is in a world where there are no limitations, no history, eternal time for the devotee believes in and has surrendered to a person who is a Person beyond time, beyond history, beyond good beyond evil, beyond catagories, beyond morality.

There's no outside to this. None. Not for the devotee.

Evidence as we outsiders value it and evaluate it? Irrelevant, delusional.

History? Ditto. What an insult.

Sudhir Kakar, an Indian Hindu psychiatrist, sympathetically described followers ('Satsangis') of Charan Singh, a guru and leader of the Radhasaomi Beas sect. (Shamans, Mystics and Doctors, 1982 pp 125 -126)

Dr. Kakar's observations appear to describe devotees of Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON.

After describing features of Radhasoami doctrine, practice and the complex sectarian rivalries within Radhasaomi, Kakar wrote:

"It is important to note here that for the Satangis (of whatever persuasion) as indeed members of all mystical (groups), a historical account of the group's origin that does not read like the unfolding of a divine plan and biographical sketches of their gurus that are not exercises in hagiography are essentially false.

"(Disciples) feel that historical accounts are misleading since they reduce the eternal temporal and limit what is universal to the confines of a particular geographical region.

"The spiritual base and mystical regimen of the Radhasoami faith (or ISKCON - Corboy), they claim, are not the products of individuals or of historical movements, nor can they be explained by recourse to any psychological or sociological constructs. To its adherants, the Radhasoami faith is the real teaching of every saint at all times of history. Christ and Buddha, Krishna and Kabir, the Sufi saints and the Sikh gurus, have all talked of and taught exactly the same journey on the road to self transformation. When the original core of major religious writing is uncovered,
the misunderstandings introduced due to later interpolations are removed and the missing links restored, then the mystical kernal of all religions, the Satsangis say, stands revealed as being identical with the teachings of Santmat.

(Corboy note: change the nouns and you will see that Prabhupada and his devotees make the identical claim for their sect and would consider the Radhasoamis to be deluded if not evil.

"...The attempt at universalization and eternalization and hence at achieving permanance of the sect's theory and practice is also extended to the personage of its gurus. Instead of being individuals with distinctive names and personal histories, the gurus become "the embodiment of the Supreme Spirit"
and in a sense flow into each other."

(Corboy note: which is why devotees feel vitalized by reading this kind of literature, and non devotees usually feel puzzled or downright bored.)

It is possible to look at a group from two perspectives: in -group and out-group.


A non cultic group encourages or at least permits its members to regard
it from both an insider and outsider perspective.

For example, you can be an avid fan of Star Trek, yet at the same time be able to see yourself as non Trekkies see you,even laugh at an joke that satirizes Star Trek.

As a Trekkie, you can accept the existence of outsider perspectives on Star Trek. You do not mind if people do not share your liking for Star Trek.

Not ISKON. For the ISKCON devotee, the only acceptable, sane perspective
is that of the insider, the devotee. Period.

This is why anyone who respects Prabhupada's scholarship (as the Amazon 3 Star reviewer did) yet points out that Prabhupada's stance was sectarian and therefore limited, incurred wrath from Prabhupada devotees.

For the devotee. Mere respect for Prahbupada's scholarship is not enough. Mere respect is short of adoration and is therefore, to the Prabhupada devotee, an insult.

Why? Because, to the devotee Prabhupada exists
beyond history and therefore has no biases and no limitations!

Whatever the name of the sect, its devotees regard only the hagiographic, devotional stance as accurate. This corresponds to what anthropologists term
the in-group, emic perspective.

To the devotee, the out-group, 'etic' perspective is at best inaccurate, at worst, is regarded as deluded, demonic, evil.

Anyone who insists on viewing the sect in terms of history, social categories, is automatically an outsider -- a potential convert or an enemy.

It may be considered permissible, even necessary to lie to the outsider, either to convert that outsider to an insider/devotee -- or keep the outsider at a safe distance and conceal the group's actual sources of social power -- and often its wealth, weapons and any crime records)

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Re: Hare Krishna Cult Recruiting in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Posted by: Paul T Harrison ()
Date: April 30, 2019 04:38PM

They say "blooped" which means you are like a rock thrown in a pond going down down down bloop....

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Re: Hare Krishna Cult Recruiting in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 30, 2019 08:04PM

The Hare Krishnas are still recruiting on Haight Street, btw.

The approach is more subtle today.

On Haight Street, the Hare Krishna recruiters are good looking, well spoken. They have not yet lost their health or sanity.

The guy who approached me wore a dark blue hoodie and dark blue watch cap. Hehad a rather intense monkish look.

Claimed to be from a Scandinavian country, English seemed slightly halting. So I engaged. But...then I glanced down and sure enough, he had copies of Bhagavad Gita As It Is -- that is the starter book that Hare Krishna recruiters hand out.

So I smiled and said I was a karmi and very happy to be a karmi, and told him that Prabhupanda was a greedy old man who only cared about money.

Great fun to see a Krishna go into a rage.

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Re: Hare Krishna Cult Recruiting in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Posted by: Paul T Harrison ()
Date: May 03, 2019 03:00AM

Yeah, unfortunately Iskcon misuses words on purpose and uses words to bind people's minds along with free their minds through meditation....

I rarely hear them admit that they are in a faith based belief system with myths and regular knowledge references that everyone already knows to make it all seem true to uneducated or spiritually hyped up people.

They just come out and brag... "We have perfect truth and a perfect Guru and science is bogus, even though we like to call our faith a science... la dee da.....

Humans are cultish and it is a drag that Iskcon has gone from a more intellectual group to conspiracy theory back crazy claims group.

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The Hare Krishna Recruiters Have Updated Their Clothing
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 20, 2019 08:25AM

Another observation about Hare Krishna recruiters:

These days recruiters wear dark blue pullovers and dark blue caps. They are nearly always male, look healthy and are usually lean and intense, smiley and charming.

They hand out free copies of Baghavad Gita As It Is -- which not the BG as it is, but the BG as filtered through Srila Prabhupada's personal biases.

It is easy to send a Hare Krishna recruiter into a rage. Just tell the guy that Prabhupada cared only for money and power.

The persons selected to recruit for ISKON have not yet lost their health.

After years of living on the sect's protein deficient high carbohydrate diet, many ISKON devotees become pasty faced. They remain thin but become potbellied, a predicament that is associated with enhanced risk of developing insulin resistance which brings high blood pressure, early onset aggressive coronary artery disease - and Type II diabetes.

Go to a Hare Krishna temple or to the yearly Festival of the Chariots and you will see plenty of long time devotees who have followed the diet to their detriment.

They will not be selected to be recruiters.

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ISKON'S New Recruitment Tactics - Hare Krishna Yoga
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 12, 2020 12:41AM




Why is the Hare Krishna (ISKCON) sect so hell-bent on convincing the Indian public that they are genuine Hindus while spending millions convincing non-Hindus that they are simply “peace and love” yoga enthusiasts?

Could it be that the cult is back to its old tricks?

ISKCON spares no expense in catering to wealthy Hindus as it strives to build its reputation as a genuine branch of mainstream Hinduism. All of these efforts have one thing in common: they are nothing more than self-serving propaganda. Money, as usual, talks. If the cult builds another massive temple and continues its well-publicized food relief programs in India, it expects the Hindu public to follow its lead like a pack of blinkered horses.

Corboy note: Indian Hindus living abroad are vulnerable to this chicanery. When abroad, and especially raising a family outside of India, people want access to events that tie in with traditional Indian values.

Remember, Prahupada does not represent an ancient Vedic tradition. His Adi Guru was Sri Chaitanya, who created a Krishna Bhakti sect in Bengal, during the Moghual period, just four (4) centuries ago.

The different Gaudiya sects all venerate Mahaprahu Chaitanya

There are other Bhakti sects that venerate Krishna which come from guru different from Chaitanya.

Thus ISKON is NOT all of Hinduism and does not represent all of Hinduism. It is one of very many Bhakti sects that developed in India, and the different Bhakti sects venerate different deities, not only Krishna. There are Siva Bhaktis, for example.

The beliefs of the Chaitanya sect are different from other Hindu traditions.
There are Hindu traditions that are not bhakti traditions.

Contrary to Srila Prahupada, there are very many different paths to God, not just through bhakti, and not just trough the Chaitanya sect of which ISKON is just one splinter sect.

Here is a discussion of how the different Chaitanya Krishna bhakti sects developed.



One of the main features that differentiates the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sect from the other vaishnava sects is accepting Sri Chaitanya alongwith Radha-Krishna as the Principal deity to be worshipped.In fact there are few temples of Gaudiya Vaishnavas where only idols of Mahaprabhu and Nityananda are worshipped. In fact it wont make much difference if instead of Gaudiya we use Gauriya as adjective of Vaishnava as Sri Chaitanya is also referred to as Sri Gaura or Sri Gaura-Hari.

The 'Gaudiya Vaishnava Darshan by Principal Radhagovinda Nath, D.Lit. reads

The path and tattvas advised by Mahaprabhu are the basis of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Darshana (vol 1 page 193).

The early biographies of Mahaprabhu that are held very highly by and are of the same glory as Srimad-Bhagavatam to the Gaudiya Vaishnavas are

1.Sri Chaitanya-Bhagavata by Vrindavan Das Thakur, who is considered as the Vyasa of Chaitanyalila.

Murari Gupta's Karcha

Chaitanya-Chandrodaya and Mahakavya by Kavi Karmnapur

Sri Sri Chaitanya-Charitamrita by Krishnadas Kaviraj.

All the above biographies describe Mahaprabhu as the Supreme Godhead Himself (ie not merely an incarnation) who appeared on earth to taste the sweetness of Radha-bhaava and to preach the yuga-dharma (Naama-Sankirtana).

There are the following subsects in the Gaudiya Vaishnavas:

The lineage of Prabhupaad Bijaykrishna Goswami , who was from the family of Advaita Acharya.

1. The different Goswamis who are from the family of Nityananda Mahaprabhu.

2. The lineage of Sripada Radha-Ramana Charanadas Babaji

3.The lineage of Sri Sri Jagadbandhusundara

5.The lineage of Sri Sri Baya Baba of Orissa

6.The lineage of Premananda Bharati

7.The lineage of Siddha Sri Jagannath Das Maharaj, Sri Chaitanya Das Maharaj, Sri Gaurkishore Das Maharaj etc

The lineage of Sri Kedarnath Dutta,Ex- Deputy Magistrate, whose disciples latter formed different Gaudiya Maths.

All of the above accept Mahaprabhu as God.So Mahaprabhu's sayings must be equivalent to 'Sri Bhagavan Ubacha' of Gita for all of them.So Mahaprabu's sayings have the highest importance.Also, the Vyasa of Mahaprabhu's leela is Vrindavan Das according to Sri Chaitanya-Charitamrita and so sayings and leelas of Mahaprabhu quoted in that book seems to be the most authentic. Almost all the temples established by the above-mentioned lineages compulsorily have idol or image of Mahapeabhu being worshipped with equal respect as Sri Radha-Krishna.


Corboy note: This source (academic notes in passing that Prahupada's relationship to Gaudiya Math is "difficult to untangle" The author goes on to
identify some debatable features of Prabhupada's lineage, namely questions about the nature of his own guru's claim to lineage.




In a desperate attempt to replenish its dwindling numbers among non-Hindus in western countries, ISKCON has revamped its old policy of withholding information about its real beliefs and practices. Now the cult uses social media sites to ensnare new members by positioning itself as another of the meditation and yoga groups offering therapeutic emotional and health benefits. This watered-down appropriation of Hindu religious practices reduces an ancient faith to another “feel-good” experience much like meditation and hatha yoga have been served up to non-Hindus everywhere.


Recently I discovered the latest recruitment efforts by the Hare Krishna cult in the offerings of, a website that hosts software by a multitude of personal and professional groups and caters to adults seeking new friends with common interests. Nothing about the tactics ISKCON uses to attract new members surprises me, but the sheer nonsense in the groups I found was both sad and laughable. History does indeed repeat itself, as anyone familiar with the hippie movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s can see in the descriptions listed below:

Enchant Mantra Meditation/Vancover
Sacred Sounds Outside OM/Las Vegas “Tribe Kin”
Living Well, Being Well/El Paso, TX
Vedic Astrology, Karma, Dharma/North York, ON

In each case (and there are many more of these ISKCON sponsored groups all over North America and Europe), it’s clear that participants generally have no idea that the meetings they attend are organized by the Hare Krishna cult, nor do they know anything about its beliefs and history. Rather, as anyone who looks at the photographs included in each meeting can see, ISKCON has cleverly disguised itself as one of the multitude of yoga and meditation practitioners familiar to the general public.

For the full article, go here:


ISKON Sin of Greed - Part One


Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2020 01:19AM by corboy.

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Lying As Performance Art Hare Krishna! Hare Krishna!
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 28, 2020 01:51AM


We should start with the time John “Bloodclot” Joseph dressed up as a retarded, wheelchair-bound Santa Claus and scammed horrified Staten Island shopping-mall patrons on behalf of the Hare Krishnas.

In his memoir, The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon, Joseph claims to have made $3,000 in just one week this way, mortified mothers flinging $10 bills at him if he’d just go away, while distraught, teary-eyed children demanded to know what was wrong with Santa.....


“Even better, what if this particular Santa was not only crippled, but retarded as well? This would be FUCKIN’ HUUUUGE!!!” And it was. But for three years or so, Joseph now laments that he was in thrall to what he condemns as the cultish underbelly of the Hare Krishna movement, rogue con men who perverted the benevolent religion exemplified in the West by Indian guru Srila Prabhupada, whom John still reveres and follows. John says every dime of retard-Santa’s $3,000 bounty was turned over to his superiors, who insisted that they’d use it help people, win converts, feed the poor, etc. Evidently they didn’t. And amid widespread rumors of financial malfeasance and sexual assault, Joseph eventually broke with the group, but not before surrendering a great deal of his own time and a great deal of other people’s money.

This, more than 20 years later, is what Joseph regrets.

“I regret I got the wool pulled over my eyes,” he says. “It’s like I said in the book—I forgot the first rule of punk rock: Question authority. I believed everything these dudes were tellin’ me. And I didn’t question a lot of the stuff I saw goin’ on—this, that, people bein’ accused of molestation, you just block it out. They always had an excuse, you know? They’re fuckin’ master manipulators, dude. You know?”

The Bloodclot Diaries
by Rob Harvilla
April 29, 2008


Corboy note:

Some remain faithful to Prabhupada and contend that ISKON was corrupted by a few bad apples.

Others contend that Prabhupada himself was greedy for money, which would have fostered a toxic climate in which worse excesses later became possible.

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