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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: bonnie ()
Date: May 24, 2005 07:08AM

Since none of the devotees seem to be replying to my last post asking them to inform us about themselves, I'll give a very brief answer to Mallika's request;
This is what I was told:
Chris Butler was an enlightened Guru in the Impersonalist tradition at one point. (70's ?)
He had initiated devotees of his own when he was overcome by the desire to take Bhaktivedanta Swami as his teacher.
He wanted to bring his followers into ISCON for whatever reasons, and told them(?) to come with him, or asked them, I don't know which.
At any rate, many of them joined ISCON along with Butler.
It's easy enough to find out what happened to all the other 'Gurus" when Bhakitivedanta died. ISCON calls them splinter sects.

Oahu is the main place where those in the know live.
They are hard to find, and even harder to get to know.
I would go to the Gatherings and listen to the stories and lectures.
I heard a lot about the ISCON days at gatherings. But maybe they quit talking about all that recently. I don't know.
I hung around for 10 years or so and never caught sight of the Big Guy.
I was given an adress to write to him at one point but never did so.
They told me he would write back. That was a long time ago.
I think the adress was the Chaitanya meditation Center in Honolulu.
Is it even still there? That would be one place to start. Or at the Health Food Store referred to in this forum.

[b:90a8f00099]I know a lot of devotees, but after the reaction I got to my postings I'd be condemned to burn in the fires of Hades before I would divulge any personal info like phone numbers or adresses about them.[/b:90a8f00099]

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: yoursister ()
Date: May 26, 2005 01:01AM

Just reading this topic I find it interesting to say the least. If there are so many enquiries why no direct and informative responses from this group's members? Why all the secrecy? Why is it so difficult to access this leader, Butler aka Prapad? Something unsavory here? Since devotees seem to slave away at various money-making enterprises one would wonder where all the money ends up. This seems a benevolent bunch of folks on surface but from my experience they grow paranoid and defensive when questioned. Further investigation seems appropriate. We all know by now to beware of any "group" proclaiming they have the only answer and that their "leader" is God Almighty in whatever form.

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: gigi_c ()
Date: May 26, 2005 07:34AM

I believe the original question asked if anyone knew anything about the Krishna group in Hawaii, followers of Jagad Guru, any devotees out there care to tell us what you really are about”

I am a student of Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda. This is just my humble view and I don’t know how other students of Jagad Guru would respond.

“What we are about” is allowing each individual to “be about” whatever it is they choose to be about. I think this is why people are having such a hard time understanding the situation. The unique aspect of Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupanda’s teachings is that each individual is responsible for himself and should not become dependant upon a temple, church, organization or group. In fact, it is this central teaching of Jagad Guru’s which made so many Krishna devotees in ISKON (the Hare Krishna’s) hate him so much.

Unlike the Hare Krishna’s or ISKON, Jagad Guru taught that people can become devotees of Krishna without having to cut their hair, wear robes and live in a temple or commune.

His teachings also discourage people from giving over all of their money or material possessions to an organization or temple. He teaches the essence of the Bagavad-Gita, that individuals need to take personal responsibility for themselves. An individual needs to decide for themselves if they want to give their heart to God.

In other words, instead of telling people that they need to give up the world and go live in isolation in a temple as a monk wearing robes and shaved heads, he has taught the individual’s need to be in the world but not of the world. Each person has to look at what their own tendencies are and then apply those tendencies in the world in a way which will be pleasing to God.

Some people have the tendency to do business, other people have the tendency to teach or to farm or to work as mechanics or to raise children or to be involved in the community, i.e. politics, policemen, firemen, etc.

The result of these teachings is that Siddhaswarupananda has students throughout the world who are engaged in all kinds of different activities in life. So it is not surprising that some of his students are involved in business or in politics or in other things which other people in the world are normally involved in.

In this sense Siddhaswarupananda’s students are like those Christians or Mormons or Muslims or Buddhists who live in the world and try to apply their spiritual values in their daily life and occupation.

I’m just wondering why some people consider this philosophy of life so sinister?

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: May 26, 2005 09:58PM

"I’m just wondering why some people consider this philosophy of life so sinister?"

In my experience with this group, it was not about individuality. Oh, well, at first it was, but then it was suggested I become vegetarian, and then the homophobic teachings were slipped in. Then advice was given regarding changing my line of work (retail to teaching vegetarian cooking). And then strong recommendations were made to move to Hawaii, my husband would just have to figure things out for himself! No - nothing sinister about all that.

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: bonnie ()
Date: May 27, 2005 07:46AM

If it's all so innocent, why is Jagad Guru Hiding?

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: barabara ()
Date: May 27, 2005 06:08PM

The Guru, according to one of his follewers, encourages his people to do what they have a tendency to do, like be a policeman, firefighter, or businessman?
How many of his followers are policemen , in the United states, for example?
How many firefighters are there?
How many soldiers, sailors, marines?
Did this american guru or any of his followers serve in Vietnam?
How many politicians are there among his following?
Does the orgamization do any charitable work?
Do they collect money for the poor?
Does your religious practice include good works?
Do many of the gurus followers do work for him?
Are they paid?
Do they donate their time to help his mission?
Do they accept donations for the same cause?
Do they run their own lives, or do they follow the instructions of their guru on where to live, whether or not to get a divorce, whether or not to leave there birth family? Does he suggest who they should marry?
How many businessmen are there?
Are their businesses related to the guru's interest or are they totally independent of them?
Are they asked to give a percentage of their profits to the organization, as in tithing to a church? How much?
Are they in charge of the raising of their children, or is it suggested that they put the children in special schools?
Are they instructed to limit the exposure of their children to certain types of education, science, art, culture? Are they instructed to limit their children's exposure to other children whose parents do not share their faith?

These are legitimate questions, ones that should be asked when you are investigating a religious leader to follow. There is no reason a follower of any religious leader to be threatened by questions of this nature. They are questions, not accusations.

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: rdecarla ()
Date: May 28, 2005 02:25PM

I've noticed many posters on this forum seem to be having a hard time getting a grasp on “Chris Butler’s Group.” The reason is, there is no “Group.”

What you really have is lots of different individuals who are trying to apply the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita in their personal lives. These individuals, being of like mind and following a similar philosophy in life, get together and chant or meditate together, etc. as is the traditional method of bhakti yoga. However they have their own bank accounts, finances, houses, families, etc., etc. they also have their own opinions and attitudes about different things, as is natural since we’re all individuals.

From the things I’ve read that Bonnie has written, I suspect she’s one of those people who tried to “join” Butler’s group, but the “group” was not something she could join. Basically joiners don’t like Jagad Guru’s teachings. They want to be able to go to a temple or commune and have somebody fix all their problems for them, financially, emotionally and spiritually. That may or may not be the case with Bonnie and if it’s not I apologize for saying I suspect it is. But in any case, it does hold true for many people, that they are really looking for a cult to join and Jagad Guru refuses to provide it for them.

I remember a quote from Jagad Guru which basically went, “If you want to join a team, go join a baseball team or the boy scouts or some cult. If however, you want to learn the science of identity, then you are welcome to listen, learn and apply.”

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: May 29, 2005 02:55AM

I didn't go looking to "join a cult" as the last poster write. I wanted to learn how to meditate. WHen calling for information, the leader of this group did not answer my questions truthfully. There indeed was a group with Science of Identity literature distributed only after I had attended several sessions, which is about the time the meditation practice became more of a class where a doctrine was taught. Because I was also taking an intro to eastern philosophy class, I continued a few more weeks to hear more about the bhag. gita. The leader was looking for a life-long committment, and was very much under the control of Butler and had been for years. The videotapes of Butler's talks showed my group leader at a much younger age. The idea that I could pick up and move to Hawaii to work in a health food store made me laugh, but my leader was quite serious. Even though there would have been a next to nothing in pay, the "others" that were already in Hawaii would help me out, I was told. Sorry to disagree, but there definitely is a group with most members nearly living like ascetics. No thanks.

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: bonnie ()
Date: May 29, 2005 05:30AM

Nope, Bonnie is not a "joiner" of anything. As a matter of fact, she is pretty reclusive, as her work keeps her too busy to do much of anything else.
She was sought out by one or two devotees who professed to be her friends. She was called by others to inform her of functions. She was invited to group events, birthday parties, kirtans, and lectures. On occassion she went.
She was steered towards contacts in other parts of the country, as her work involves travel. If there isn't a "group", you sure could have fooled her. It was suggested to her to go to the Chaitanya Center on Oahu by several devotees. When she attempted to do so, the devotees gave her inadequate information preventing her from doing so. There was a definite withholding of necessary information, but [b:b2fc0c60f0]the suggestion that she approach the guru was made by the devotees, not Bonnie[/b:b2fc0c60f0].
This non-group prints posters and pamphlets, makes movies, owns businesses, teaches yoga, meditation, vegetarian cooking. This non-group spreads the work of their Guru.
As to her so-called connection to ISCON when she was younger; she met ISCON devotees in one town and ate at their temple on 2 occasions.
Why don't the devotees answer questions that are adressed to them?
Why was information about the guru removed from the internet?

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: yoursister ()
Date: May 29, 2005 06:12AM

I am astounded by the defenses of this "teacher's" advocates. From my own experience I find their blatant invasion of the rights of "individuals" to be outright arrogant and presumptuous. Believe me they have no compunctions about delivering the goods to vulnerable, seeking and innocent people. Just when and how the invasive techniques begin I have yet to comprehend. There is something sinister here. Something unsavory perhaps?
Factual is that they discourage independent study, exploration and the dignity to interact in the wide wide world. Such limited and insular behavior signals insecurity, fear, dependence and smallness of spirit. When these qualities are passed on to children and/or vulnerable sensitive people one could use terms such as abuse, violation of personal freedom and interference with the course of spiritual growth. Grave offenses if you ask me. Power moves on innocent minds is rape in my book.

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