Narahari Dasa – Australia: The interfaith movement philosophy is pluralistic in orientation with the agenda to homogenize all world religions. Our process is to teach by example and not to become part of the system that the non devotee world has fabricated in order to control the masses.
ISKCON’s move to integrate rather than educate is against the teaching of Srila Prabhupada and is playing into the hands of the non devotee secular world as opposed to developing our own individual mark on human society as an independently intelligent and practically based spiritual society who understands the real meaning of religion.
Interfaith or Religious Homogenization?
The interfaith process within ISKCON seeks to find common ground between various religious faiths. At one angle of vision seeking to find harmony, relevance and commonality amongst the various religious faiths makes sense. But what commonality is there, really?
- How similar are we in actual fact?
- When did things change that we now find ourselves bothering about common ground with other faiths?
- What is the real purpose behind the interfaith dialogue that is presently insinuating itself into the daily life of an ISKCON devotee?
The fundamental and defining difference between all other faiths and the faith of a Vaisnava is the fact that we are personalists.
- We know unequivocally that Lord Krishna is God. God is knowable, definable and possessing form.
- He possesses not only human form but also personality. Hence the term: Supreme Personality of Godhead.
- Godhead interacts with humans not only via his teachings but also personally manifests Himself
- We believe in the infallibility of Srila Prabhupada, the teachings of the past Acharya’s and the supremacy of the Vedic knowledge.
- That the final destination of the soul or individual is to have an intimate personal relationship with God in His divine realm.
No other religious belief system believes in a Supreme Personality of Godhead who is transcendent to His material manifestation and resides in His own spiritual abode with multi variegated relationships and pastimes.
You will find that most if not all other religious faiths on earth today are impersonal. None of them believe in a knowable Godhead.
Christians, Islamists, Jews, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Hindus, Freemasons, Humanists, Scientologists, etc. are all coming from an impersonal or voidist understanding of the absolute truth. To them God or Godhead is:
- Unknowable, formless and indefinable
- His presence is experienced as force / light / knowledge, etc.
- He interacts with humans only by ‘channelled’ information (spirit descended onto)
- The Gurus, Messiahs and Prophets only receive channelled instruction (revelation) from a spirit God.
- That the final destination of the soul or individual is to merge into the formless unknowable God (Merge with Brahman) or to be reconstructed or resurrected by God in a heaven on earth scenario. (Messianic time)
Srila Prabhupada has explained to us in minute detail the difference between the personal and impersonal understanding of God. He has also given us how we must see the differences between our differing faiths not to seek compromise by seeing the similarities.
namaste sarasvate deve gaura-vani- pracarine
Every single day we pray not to seek compromise, but to seek to defeat the impersonalist understanding of God in not only ourselves, but in others as well. This is the solemn promise that we repeatedly make to our Srila Prabhupada daily. Why have we forgotten this? Why are our leaders trying to seek compromise with the impersonalist Religions? What is there to gain for us by having nice diplomatic relationships with non-ISKCON religionists who Srila Prabhupada states are members of Cheating Religions?
These are very important questions that we must ask ourselves and our leaders and gurus. A Gopal Krishna Maharaja disciple, Radhikakrpa dd recently published her struggle with her mixed loyalties as if it was fact that the Sikh tradition has common ground with our Vaisnava tradition. The Sikhs under the philosophy of Guru Nanak are clearly and boldly impersonalist.
“Sikhs do not view God as a man in the clouds or any other form of human being, male or female. The concept of God in Sikhism is of oneness with the entire universe and its spirit. God is found not by searching in remote places, but by eliminating ego, which is said to allow a deeper, more accurate perspective on the nature of reality. Sikhs believe that upon death one merges back into the universal nature, just as a drop of rain merges back into the ocean. Individuality is lost. Sikhs do not believe in heaven or hell. Heaven can be experienced by being in tune with God while still alive. Conversely, the suffering and pain caused by ego is seen as hell on earth.”
It is clear that Sikhs and Vaisnavas have entirely different agendas, so what is the point she is trying to make? That we must accept the impersonalist as a valid view that correlates with our Vaisnava personal understanding of God?
Let me explain this more… Say if we looked at the similarities between a meat eater and a Vegetarian. They both eat vegetables. To seek compromise with a meat eater is superfluous to our Krishna Consciousness agenda, as we must attempt to move people away from the consumption of meat, not reach a point of acceptance. Seeking compromise and liaison with meat eaters or meat eater groups such as MacDonalds is crazy and a waste of our valuable time and energy.
Radhikakrpa dd’s real struggle is not to reconcile her mixed faith, as she is still attached to her Sikh cultural and familial background, but to let go of her attachment to family and tradition, as compromise and reconciliation is impossible. This is her personal struggle, not a philosophical treatise. Yet we find it in the pages of Dandavats that is replete with apologist propaganda. Oops, I see that the Sampradaya Sun has also published her article…
There is no difference between her and other devotees who are attached to their backgrounds. Some of them, like Satyaraj das (Steven Rosen), even write books on the commonality between their ethnic background and Vaisnavism. When we all know that the Jewish people and the Druze are impersonalists. Not only are they impersonalist, but they are Iconoclasts like the Islamic and Christian faiths. Iconoclasts believe that it is extremely offensive to worship, make or possess statues or idols, and seek to destroy them. Abraham of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic faith was an Iconoclast, and he smashed his father’s (Terah) Murtis or Deities. This is history. The Christians also do not accept false Gods in idol form. The Noahide Law clearly states the Abrahamic Religions stand on Icons and Deities.
So what are we doing, sitting at the table with these Iconoclastic and Impersonal people as if we have common ground? Neither of us will compromise on our Scriptural injunctions. The Jew, Christian or Islamist will never be comfortable with our worship of the Deity and if given the chance, they would have us prosecuted by law and killed. Our Deities will be destroyed and our temples made to become rooms with no representation of the Deity, and the mention of a personal God will be stricken from our Scriptures.
Of course, the people seated at these tables or attending these nice corporate seminars will smile and say how beautiful our Deities (dolls) are, but these are not the decision makers. The Priests, Rabbis and Gurus make the decisions based, as we are supposed to do, on their Scriptural injunctions.
The most striking example of how the ‘Interfaith’ process has changed our practice of Krishna Consciousness is how we are now identifying ourselves as Hindus. This Hindu identification has insidiously crept into ISKCON via the ‘Interfaith’ process. Hindus are impersonalists. To think that they are all Vaisnavas because they worship Krishna or Visnu only shows our ignorance of our philosophy and the Smarta (Advaita Vedanta) belief system that most Hindus adhere to, even though they are not aware of it or readily admit to seeing themselves as impersonalists.
ISKCON promotes Interfaith by:
- Instructing ISKCON devotees to attend Interfaith dialogue under the auspices of impersonalist faiths
- Writing, publishing and distributing books and other literature on the “Interfaith Compromise”
- Allowing GBCs, Gurus and senior ISKCON devotees to accept as valid and encourage the Interfaith process in their lecture circuits, books and preaching
- Encouraging and spearheading the move to have our devotees obtain mundane training and qualification in Humanistic and Interfaith Academic Universities
There is nothing to gain by aligning ourselves with the ‘Interfaith’ agenda, which is ultimately aimed at the homogenization of all the major religious faiths. The fact that our leaders are aligning themselves with the ‘Interfaith’ doctrine displays yet another rejection of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and purpose, in favour of modernity, pluralism, liberalism, and the watering down of our religious tradition.
The mistaken belief that we will be able to ‘preach’ to these religionists and academics is farcical, as the exact opposite is occurring. Our devotees are being made into Diacritical Theologians by the Academic world or apologists by the ‘Interfaith’ religious world.
Note: I must say that I’m shocked that my previous article on the Noahide Laws drew no response from what can only be described as the anesthetized ISKCON devotees. No one has a comment to make on this matter? Do you realize that if they make these Noahide laws a crime (as they intend to do), then we will all be killed unless we give up our Religion and Deities? Hello is anybody awake out there???
(Article forwarded by author, sourced from Sampradaya Sun)