Hare Krishna Life in Hindsight: Gurus and Love. May contain emotion.

In this podcast continue my tales of the weird world of a Hare Krishna, and how it felt to get out of there.

Links (good luck with that)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirtanananda_Swami

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hansadutta_Swami

H. D. Goswami’s noble fight against having to wear weird clothes and eat weird food krishnawest.com/people/hdgoswami

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jayatirtha_Dasa

The Indian industrialist who is also a patron of ISKCON newint.org/blog/2015/08/04/glo…ining-exploitation/

My ex guru on taking sannyas bhaktivedantacollege.com/bhaktivedant…th-r-valpey/

That poem theanke.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/we-…y-former-guru/

Oh, fun fact if you read this far: While you may think that the Hare Krishnas are just a little weird cult, they do run your ‘Hindu’ faith schools in the UK. We should talk about that next.

Hare Krishna Life in Hindsight: Episode 3

Part 3 of my ‘I was a Hare Krishna’ series. When I should have left, but you don’t just leave something that you’ve devoted your entire life to.

If the philosophy bit interests you, I recorded a more detailed lecture on the philosophy of the Hare Krishnas and why it is bad for your mental health: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EUQhaCHMHc

Hare Krishna Life in Hindsight: Episode 2

The theme of this podcast is realising mistakes in adopting easy answers and recovering from them. But before I can talk about my own recovery, I have to tell the story of how I got into a very strange and destructive cult.

Made with bossjock jr

Audio clips used:
1. Bhajan with Krsna Ksetra Prabhu (now Swami)

Source for all quotes:

Morning Walk, Los Angeles 5 January 1974

How I joined a Cult: Podcast Episode 1

The theme of this podcast is realising mistakes in adopting easy answers and recovering from them. But before I can talk about my own recovery, I have to tell the story of how I got into a very strange and destructive cult.

Made with bossjock jr

Audio clips used:
1. Bhajan with Krsna Ksetra Prabhu (now Swami)

2. Lecture by Bhaktivedanta Swami 12.01.73

‘Mahābhārata was given by Vyāsadeva for the less intelligent class of men = strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā [SB 1.4.25]. Śruti means Vedas. Vyāsadeva considered that stri, woman; śūdra, the fourth-class men…’

3.Same lecture. ‘Māyāvādī philosophers’ is a concept the swami used to call everyone who didn’t have the exact same ideas about Krishna as him ‘rascals’.

‘Not that, as the Māyāvādī philosophers say, that because we are now under the illusion, therefore we are thinking as different; otherwise, God and we are the same.’

4. Nrsimha Darshan. This is a prayer to a specific form of Krishna (Half-man half-lion) which I shall no doubt talk about more in a future episode.

5. Lecture by Bhaktivedanta Swami 12.01.73

‘neither the woman has got the facility to go to the gurukula and become a brahmacārī and remain there and learn the Vedic literature. Because women were not allowed, neither could follow. It is not discrimination; it is actual fact by nature.’

I went ahead and did a Podcast

I used to have a strong desire to say something, to be heard. I thought I had the answer. I thought I could help people live better. Many of us do, when we are young and idealistic and enthusiastic about something. Maybe we have the privilege to work on what we are passionate about, maybe we keep whatever we like to do as a hobby or a side project.

The world of work has changed to where we are expected to feel passionate about what we get paid for – and to never switch off. There is the example of the French workers who won the right to disconnect after work hours. This law comes into force this January, and the reaction from outside France tends to be nothing more than a tired shrug.

I find it interesting that the solution to today’s work life woes is very often advertised as something bordering on the spiritual. Mindfulness, purpose. The idea being that you do what you do because you really believe in it, and then, you are told, it won’t feel like work any more, you will do it, and you will do it well, because you are 100 per cent there, with everything you have. Even the problem of procrastination is solved because you will want to do what you have to do.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Maybe it is.

I’ve been there, and I worry. I’ve worked for years without pay for something I believed in. The result is still there, visible, if you want to go to Cologne and see a Hare Krishna temple. I know how long it takes to recover once you realise you were young and stupid when you decided to give your life to this thing.

There is everything at stake here. Even more than our mental health.

My goal with this site is to open a space to talk about these things. To begin with, I’ve done a podcast of my experience of getting into, and out of, a cult.