Erasing the Gray Areas: Who are the Hare Krishna’s and What Do They Believe

The origin of the Hare Krishnas (International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON) dates back to the fifteenth century (1486), when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu first taught that Krishna was the supreme Lord above every other god. Mahaprabhu advocated a devotional method of faith where adherents to Krishna entered into a relationship with Krishna expressing adoration to Krishna through dancing and chanting. His public displays of adoration earned a large following, in part, due to its sharp contrast with dispassionate and ascetic expressions which is common to Hinduism. This Hindu sect, however distinct it is in its unique adherence to Krishna, is still quite Hindu since even Krishna is but a manifestation (or “Avatar”) of Vishnu—one of the classic deities of Hinduism. Moreover, Hare Krishnas retain the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu Scripture, as well as the doctrines of reincarnation and karma.

The ultimate goal for Hare Krishnas is a transcendental, loving relationship with Lord Krishna. “Hare” itself refers to “the pleasure potency of Krishna,” similar to the Christian idea of man’s highest goal being to worship God and enjoy Him forever. Some Christian overtones should be obvious at this point, even though ISKCON is a distinctly Hindu cult. Due to the mystical “devotion” expressed in chanting and dancing, the Hare Krishnas can be compared to Sufi Muslims (“Whirling Dervishes”) and some mystical expressions of Christianity which emphasize ecstatic experiences and mystical transcendence.

In 1965, the Hare Krishna movement came to America by means of Abhay Charan De Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, an aged Indian exponent of the worship of Krishna. The Swami forsook the world in 1959 at the age of 63 to be a guru in total devotion to Krishna. At the age of 70 he traveled to New York to popularize his views. The Hare Krishna movement sprouted quickly in the ready soil of the 1960s. Western values were being questioned, and Eastern thought was becoming fashionable. The larger culture of the United States was shifting to a new religious paradigm of which ISKCON was another player. A tireless evangelist, the Swami founded ISKCON and remained its leader until his death in 1977. ISKCON is a wealthy organization today, having gained its wealth largely through soliciting funds and distributing its lavishly illustrated literature, including the Bhagavad Gita and its periodical Back to Godhead. During the 1960s and 1970s, Hare Krishnas were so prevalent in public places such as airports that laws had to be passed to prevent them from accosting people with their often aggressive and intimidating demands for money.

ISKCON is quite demanding of its adherents. Becoming a member involves choosing a guru and becoming his disciple. This guru is so critical that it is said, “Without [the guru] the cultivation of Krishna consciousness is impossible.” From the devotee’s side, “initiation means that he accepts the guru as his spiritual master and agrees to worship him as God.” (Ron Rhodes, The Challenge of the Cults and New Religions 2001, p. 176). And the whole of one’s life is to be encompassed by Krishna-centered practice and devotion. To attain this goal, ISKCON pulls its members into communal settings where all discussion and life is deliberately centered around Krishna. Very intricate rules are established in these communities to make sure that all activity is Krishna-centered. Much of Indian/Hindu culture is imported into these communes. It must be noted that these communities have been questioned by ex-members and outsiders alike who allege illegal and immoral practices within the safety of their relative isolation. ISKCON has been accused of great evils in this regard, even though such allegations, were they true, should not be hastily attributed to ISKCON doctrine specifically but rather to the practices of some Hare Krishnas. A similar example could be made, for Christians, with the moral downfall of certain Christian leaders and televangelists.

The beliefs of the Krishnas are typically Hindu and are largely incompatible with biblical Christianity. First, the view of God is basically pantheistic, meaning that they believe God is all and in all. For Hare Krishnas, God is everything and everything is God. For the Christian, God is transcendent—He is above all that He created. One of the tenets of ISKCON thought is that we actually achieve relational unity with God ourselves. Christians can relate somewhat to this idea since Bhakti Hinduism, to which ISKCON subscribes, is nearly theistic in its view of God and admittedly teaches that man can enter into a loving relationship with God. The Hare Krishna, however, is a little blurry on how relational this ultimate goal actually is. The goal of the Hare Krishna is to reach a “Krishna consciousness,” a kind of enlightenment. This is the deepest identification with Krishna. Insofar as ISKCON is truly Hindu, it can ascribe to a pantheistic view of God and therefore teach that man is ultimately identical to God. The Christian may recognize in these words a faint and deceptive whisper dating back to the Garden of Eden, “you will be as God” (Genesis 3:5).

Like all false religions, salvation for the Hare Krishna is reduced to a series of works. Yes, devotion and relationship are packed into their belief system. But these are built up from works. And, in practice, there remains a push to chant more, dance more, and always work harder lest one retain some bit of karmic debt and fail to enter into Krishna consciousness. Self-denial and sacrifice are also crucial for salvation in ISKCON. Salvation for the Hare Krishna is thoroughly entwined with the Hindu concept of karma, or retributive justice. This teaching requires belief in reincarnation and/or transmigration of the soul. One’s works, good and bad, are measured and judged either for or against him. He continues to be reincarnated into higher life forms if his deeds are good, or lower life forms if his deeds are bad. It is only when his good deeds have counterbalanced his bad deeds that he can cease the cycles of rebirth and realize his oneness with Krishna.

How different this is from the compassionate and merciful God of the Bible who “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The Bible is clear that salvation is by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). No amount of good deeds can ever achieve salvation for anyone. And even where Hare Krishnas rightly assert that a loving relationship is necessary for salvation, Krishna is still the wrong object of devotion. Hare Krishnas, like all humanity, have only one hope for eternal life: Jesus Christ, crucified, resurrected and exalted forever. All other paths, sad to say, lead to destruction. Jesus Himself said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6)

 

for “there is salvation in no other one; for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”
Acts 4:12

 

Trust JESUS

A Woman Rides the Beast – The Holy Bible compared to the Catholic Catechism

A Woman Rides the Beast

The Holy Bible compared to the Catholic Catechism
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5Ke7Tn3uOU

 

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding

being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Ephesians 1:15-23

 †

 

Risk Analysis for Any Belief

Idea’s and information are presented to us every day in a number of ways.

We hear them on the radio as a radio MC voice their opinions
(e.g this thing is great – this thing is not)

We see it daily in television in advertisments and programming
(e.g newest product or latest version and the benefits of having it!)

We also hear it in our conversations
(E.g “This thing is horrible/That thing is awesome/Trust me, it will help you!”)

 

 

But the question we should always be asking ourselves is
“How do we know if what we’re being told is actually true?”

 

 

Please consider this example for demonstration purposes:

Say you wanted to go on a trip directly from Toronto to Montreal.

I would tell you that you would definitely have to catch a bus heading east-north-east and it’s roughly a four hour trip.

Now we can easily test these things and know whether or not this is infact true.

But what if someone else came along and told you that you could also get there by taking a bus going south?

Is it possible that you would still end up in the Montreal?

 

 

The Mexican’s down south would indeed be the first to advise you that you have been greatly misdirected, and travelled further away from your goal instead than you may have intended.

 

You would have to agree that you have in fact been “mis”-led

 

 

This proves in a rather simplistic way that we can observably consider whether the information given to us represent the objective truth regarding the facts of a matter by it’s ability to bring us closer to our destination.

 

 

So why then, when it comes to our belief in God are we determined to believe that “all ways lead us to the same destination” without ever objectively investigating this belief?

Is it that we might have to admit that at the end of our travels we have indeed erred and followed a path that – although it may have purported to take us to the place in which we intended to reach – it has instead actually deceived us and led us astray?

 

This is where risk analysis gains much ground:

Untitled

As we can see, we can err in our logic in one of two ways, and depending on the particular issue we apply this to the consequences can be devastating.

Either by:
1. by rejecting the truth as false
or
2. by accepting the false as true

 

Much of our religious identities are usually things passed down from our ancestors through tradition and may give us a sense of comfort since we’ve long practiced and therefore accepted these things as true.

But I propose to you that God in His Majesty and Sovereignty has created a way to Himself that has remained the same since the beginning of creation; a way to which all things in heaven and on earth testify as objective truth! A way that can only and exclusively be found in the face of Jesus Christ!

I urge you,

Consider what you believe to be true

Seek, and you will find…

 

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it
Matthew 7:13-14

Trust JESUS

 

Ravi Zacharias – Jesus Among Other gods
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmUuhhErWjc

“All of these religions cannot be right because they fundamentally contradict one another. You’ll often hear somebody say religions are fundamentally the same and superficially different – that’s false. They may be superficially the same, they are fundamentally different – Ravi Zacharias

 

 

 

Psalm for a Rainy Day

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.

He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.

He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.
The trees of the Lord are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the junipers.
The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

He made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.
You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.
The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.
Then people go out to their work,
to their labor until evening.

How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
There the ships go to and fro,
and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

All creatures look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.
When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.

When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
 
he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.
But may sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.
Psalm 104

 

Monkey Business

There once was a man who was out of work and looking for a job.

He was a body builder in stature but walked into the zoo to apply because he saw a sign that said:

“Wanted – Man to work in zoo”

When he went there, to his utter horror he found out that the only job they had open for him was someone to play the part of a monkey.

A lot of children were going to be visiting in the next few days and they had ran out of monkey’s so they needed someone to impersonate one.

Since money was tight, he decided that he would take the job.

He had to arrive before sunrise, get into the outfit of a monkey, and just before the break of the sunlight, he’d slip into his cage.

Finally, the day dawned and the children were coming and all he had to do was pensively pace the floor, look rather adept at swinging between trees, and eat the peanuts and banana’s whenever they were fed to him.

Now he did that for about 8-10 hours, but after that he became thoroughly exhausted; the banana’s were getting the better of him.

As he was swinging from one tree to the other rather nauseated, he slipped and fell into the lions den next door.

He shouted “help help”

And the lion leaned over and said:

“If you don’t shut up, we’ll both lose our jobs”

Now, this is only a fictional and humorous story,

but the fact of the matter is that man has carried over this game of pretense into many many arena’s of his life.

 

He is attempting to build civilizations when he doesn’t know what it means to be civilized.

He is attempting to be a philosopher when he does not know who the Master Philosopher is.

He portrays his artistic perceptions yet he does not know the Master Artist.

He moralizes on life, but he does not know the Moral Lawgiver.

 

 

 

 

This same man tries to build his utopia’s and tries to bring about his dreams and his optimism only to find that time and time again they come crashing down in disaster as once again he is making a havoc of all of his ambitions.

And at that moment when he starts to shout “help! help!”

Only to find out that the man he is shouting to….

….is playing the same game that he is.

Ravi Zacharias

 

 

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”

Romans 1:18-2:8

 

 

 

We sinned
He suffered
A free gift

Trust JESUS!

 

 

11 Things God Cannot Do

Most people have heard the notion “my God can do ANYTHING!” and in a way, that is true, except there is one stipulation that we disregard or simply forget when we make that statement:

God can do anything in keeping with His character.

Since there are many things that do not coincide with the character of God, here are 11 things God cannot do:

 

 

1. God can’t get tired.


Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.
Isaiah 40:28

2. God can’t take on a job he can’t handle.

Ah, Lord God! Behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for you.
Jeremiah 32:17

3. God can’t be unholy.

And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
Isaiah 6:3

For it is written “be holy for I am holy
1 Peter 1:16

4. God can’t be prejudiced.

In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears him and works righteousness is accepted by him.
Acts 10:34-35

5. God can’t break a promise.

My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips.
Psalm 89:34

6. God can’t remember sins he’s chosen to forget.

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; and I will not remember your sins.
Isaiah 43:25

7. God can’t make a loser.

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.
—2 Corinthians 2:14

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ
Philippians 3:8

8. God can’t abandon you.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, he is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

9. God can’t stop thinking about you.

How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with you.
—Psalm 139:17-18

10. God can’t stop loving you.

Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Jeremiah 31:3

11. God cannot deny Himself.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself
—2 Timothy 2:13

 

Aren’t you glad to know that there’s some things that God cannot do?

 

Trust Jesus!