Ramblings of an ex-monk

ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada

Rethinking ISKCON


When I woke up this dawn, I was thinking about my life.
I was pondering on the emptiness within my heart.
This year hasn’t been quite good for me. And I think the main reason for my depression has been my departure from ISKCON.
After 23 years in ISKCON, I can’t fit in anywhere else.

I don’t have any friends outside of ISKCON.
I haven’t spoken much to anyone in ISKCON since my departure.

It hurts.

I don’t think I wanna be friends with anyone outside of ISKCON either.
I’ve witnessed too many betrayals and broken friendships and I don’t have the heart for it.

I don’t really know what to do with my life anymore.
ISKCON gave me a purpose. I served a purpose in ISKCON. And when I closed that door, I left my purpose behind.
There was no plan b or plan c or d.
I’d never really thought it through. Probably because I never thought I’d actually leave ISKCON.

I wanna be hugged and held for a few minutes.
I want to let go of this sadness and embrace some happiness.
But I don’t want a man to do it ’cause I’m not gay!

Sometimes in a state of sadness, I ponder going back to ISKCON.
But then my brain fires up and I can think of all the logical reasons why I should never go back to ISKCON.

Always use your head.
I think we humans often get caught in emotional moments where we make awful decisions.

ISKCON, like every other religion, does not like it’s members using their own heads. That’s bad for business.
ISKCON appreciates questions, but not arguments.
They often want to give you a headstart on what they want you to think about and how they want you to think about it.

For example, an ISKCON member will ask you to consider the origin of the universe, and the existence of the universe, and how science does not offer a solid explanation on the subject matter.
But they’ll never ask you to consider child marriages, and the cases of incest mentioned in the scriptures.
What they’ll specifically forbid you to think about, is the descriptions of the rasa lila mentioned in the 10th Canto, because that’s for advanced devotees only!
And by advanced, they mean completely subservient brainwashed bot-heads.

I never considered child marriages to be pedophilia until recently.
Even with all these years of reading the stories over and over again, I used to think that was just the way things were back in the day.

But there were a lot of things going on back in the day that are now forbidden in ISKCON.
Ksatriyas killed animals left and right and consumed huge quantities of meat and liquor.
Those are forbidden now.
Men used to marry multiple wives, and some women, had multiple husbands!
That’s also forbidden now.
Extramarital affairs seemed to be Lord Krsna’s best quality.
That’s overlooked because he’s God.
So he can dance around with people’s wives in the jungle in the middle of the night, kissing them and so on.
But you can’t question that or it’s an offense.

So what really changed between the Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga?
Humans still exist!
So what made incestual relationships and pedophilia and meat-eating and promiscuous extramarital affairs and gambling okay in the Dwapara Yuga that is now forbidden in the Kali Yuga?

Did you know one of the main characters in the Dwapara Yuga, King Yudhisthira, gambled his wife away?
That’s right.
Normally, when you go to a casino in Las Vegas, when your money runs out, you’ll probably be kicked out. Or do they accept personal assets as well? Cars, houses etc? I don’t know. I’ve never been to a casino myself.
Nevertheless, has any casino in Las Vegas accepted staking the wives of gamblers on bets?
It’s probably happened, but I’m not aware of it.
What I am aware of, is that King Yudhisthira gambled his wife away, because gambling was that damn important in the Dwapara Yuga!

So why does ISKCON forbid gambling?
King Yudhisthira did it. He was the jewel of the Mahabharata.

It’s quite hypocritical that drinking and meat-eating and gambling and promiscuous incestuous pedophilia was normal in the Dwapara Yuga yet highly condemned in the Kali Yuga.
What was the logic behind this decision?

Most people never question the logic behind religious disparity.
Especially children who grow up within religious cults – they’re very innocent and don’t question the things that they are taught.
When I was a child, religion was perfect. Everything that I was taught was perfect. It had to be!
This is the problem with faith.
Faith has no logic.
And when you don’t think logically, you’ll believe anything.

Queen Kunti was Vasudeva’s sister.
Arjuna was Kunti’s son.
Subhadra was Vasudeva’s daughter.
So Arjuna and Subhadra were cousins, and they got married.

Mitravinda is the daughter of Kunti’s sister, therefore she was Krsna’s cousin. Yet they got married.

Why are these relations not condemned?
If they aren’t condemned, are they normal?
Is it normal to marry you cousin in the Vedas? Is this what ISKCON supports?

I think this puts the issue of morality into perspective.
What is moral and what’s immoral?
Is it subjective?

I guess this all comes down to what I’m willing to accept and reject.
And I guess that’s how it’s always been, even in the Dwapara Yuga.
Except people weren’t condemning anything back then, and now they’re vehemently condemning everything in Kali Yuga.

If you want to be told how to live your life, then pick a religion.
If you want to define your own lifestyle, then be an atheist.
But at the end of the day, both sides are pretty much the same.

As far as sexual activity is concerned, I don’t think ISKCON has the right to tell anyone when or how often or whom to have sex with.

I don’t think that a man who married an 11 year old child when he was 21 has the right to lecture anyone on their sex life.
That pretty much sums up my feelings on Srila Prabhupada.
This man married an 11 year old child, and impregnated her when she was 13/14.
Srila Prabhupada said his wife gave birth when she was 14.
And he thought it was normal.

S.P. Room Conversation, August 15, 1971, London

Syamasundara: Children should be allowed to have sex life at fourteen years old.

Prabhupada: Yes. That is psychological. They develop… Sex life, sex urge is there as soon as twelve years, thirteen years old, especially women. So therefore early marriage was sanctioned in India. Early marriage. Boy fifteen years, sixteen years, and girl twelve years. Not twelve years, ten years. I was married, my wife was eleven years. I was 22 years. She did not know what is sex, eleven years’ girl. Because Indian girls, they have no such opportunity of mixing with others. But after the first menstruation, the husband is ready. This is the system, Indian system.

Imagine this.
This is the fundamental philosophy in ISKCON.
Srila Prabhupada is ISKCON.
So ISKCON believes that children should be allowed to have sex life at fourteen years old!
And ISKCON believes that after the first menstruation, the husband is ready. This is the system, Indian system!

How can I go back to this?
How can I go back to an organization that preaches this kind of philosophy?
How can I worship a man who has these kinds of beliefs?

Oh yeah.
Outsiders might not be aware, but Srila Prabhupada is worshipped every morning in every ISKCON temple worldwide.
Pujaris are performing arati to this man – the man who married an 11 year old child, had 5 children and abandoned his wife because he never really liked her!

He asked me, “Swamiji, how many children you have got?” I told him I have got at home three boys and two girls. And he told me that “I understood that you have got fifteen children.” Anyway, if you want to know about me, then you must know from me. That is authentic. That is authentic. Or from a confidential person who is in confidence of me. Similarly, if you want to know Krsna, then here is Bhagavad-gita, spoken by Krsna Himself.

From Srila Prabhupada’s lecture on Bhagavad-gita 3.17-20 — New York, May 27, 1966

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lecture, 1.3.17, Los Angeles, September 22, 1972

So I think I have spoken about my own life. You know that I was a married man. So after being married, I did not like my wife. (laughter) Somehow or other, I did not like. I must say she is very faithful, very everything… Everyone praised. But I did not like, somehow or other. So I was preparing for next marriage. Next marriage. Because in India, at that time it was allowed, a man can marry more than one wife.

He never really liked his wife.
But he liked the sex.
That’s how you get 5 children. You have sex, and more sex, and lots of sex.
5 children.

Srila Prabhupada said that sex was only meant for begetting children.
So if you wanted sex, you’d be burdened with a child.
Was the concept of swallowing foreign to him?
And I mean no disrespect. I’m not here to discuss sex.
But if he can discuss child marriages and talk about pedophilia like it’s normal, then I think I can discuss the concept of dick-sucking, swallowing and pulling out without feeling embarrassed.
Or is it just me?

Was he oblivious to his wife’s menstrual cycle?
I think he needed an education on family planning.

This man brought 5 kids into this world, and none of them is mentioned anywhere in his lectures, books or conversations.
Why? Because he’s a sannyasi! He abandoned them like a real father would. Then he went off to the US and started accepting worship from a bunch of brainwashed hippies.

This man instructed his disciples to build gurukulas.
What about his own children? Did they go to the gurukula?
Did he marry off his two daughters when they were 12?
What about his 3 sons? Did he get them married to 12 year old girls when they were 21?
I am curious. Very curious, actually.
Because ISKCON has treated Srila Prabhupada like the muslims treat Prophet Muhammad.

And I understand that child marriages were very common back in the day, not just in India, but in Africa and the Middle East as well.
But child marriages are now banned in many countries.

On the other hand, incest seemed to be quite prevalent back in the day.
Yet incest is pretty much taboo and illegal in many countries today.

So what’s going on?
Is the world really eroding in terms of standards and culture?
Or is it progressing?

Many religious folks frown upon the freedom the modern generations have today. They don’t like the freedom of speech or dressing or thinking or sexual life that people have today.
Yet the people from the ancient times, as far as the historical scriptures are concerned, weren’t of superior moral intellect either. Instead, they promoted pedophilia, slavery and incest.

It’s hard to see these issues or think about them when you’re deeply embedded inside the ISKCON cult.

ISKCON likes to keep people busy. They say the idle mind is Maya’s workshop.
But I think an idle mind is an open mind. An idle mind is a thoughtful mind. An idle mind, is an inquisitive mind. An idle mind is a retrospective mind.
If you’re always ISKCON’s busy mule, you will not have the time to notice all these fallacies.

Looking back, it’s no wonder that ISKCON’s leaders always want to keep the devotees engaged in various services.
Because if devotees were idle, they might start thinking, and thinking is not allowed in ISKCON. Because if you think too much, you might discover all these problems, and then leave the organization. They need you to remain stupid and meek. So they can utilize you as they deem fit.
Don’t think too much! Chant your rounds! Do your service! Sell some books!

ISKCON is an organization with one-track minds. Devotees are only concerned with the services they’re good at – doing kirtana, selling books, cooking etc.

ISKCON’s motto is that the guru is always perfect. That’s what they embed into everyone’s minds. Because if the guru were considered not to be perfect for a single moment, people would notice thousands of flaws, errors, mistakes, discrepancies, coverups and scandals. And that’s NOT good for religious business.

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