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Many participants onboard share a history as members of ISKCON or Gaudiya Matha, and therefore may need to discuss related issues. Please do not use this section as a battleground, there are other forums for that purpose.

Mind If I inquire? - a poll to get to know you better

Srijiva - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 05:03:18 +0530
I am just curious about who I am talking with. I judge not. I should think this will be anonymous results, but if you want to comment, feel free.
My answer is "Yes, I go to ISKCON, and would go to others"
Tapati - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 05:33:11 +0530
The "have no excuse" option sounds like a judgment is implied. There is a temple nearby and I don't go because I am not a Vaisnava and this is the same community of people (with some new people also) that froze me out for being queer. I would not mind visiting a temple of tolerant and congenial people, even an ISKCON temple, as long as there is no pressure to join as a member, even congregational.

I would like to see my beloved Sri-Sri Kishora Kishori in Chicago, Whom I served in the 70s. I just don't want to be hassled in any way. In my day we were high pressure to get people to rejoin, or tell them they were in maya for not doing so. If that's changed, wonderful!

I am not likely to ever be a regular visitor.

You can also find out a lot by looking at our profiles.
Srijiva - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 05:44:10 +0530
Srimati Tapati ji,

Thank you.
The "No, I have no excuse" answer was for those (like I have done) that have stopped going to the temple and really had no good excuse as to why, when your conscious is telling you you should know? It is a feeling I have had. I have certainly been there...smothered in Maya and all...thinking perhaps "I like going, I always feel better when I do, but still I don't go!?!"... Others may relate to this. There is nothing wrong with feeling that way...

Being only 10 lines allowed, I wasn't able to put more answers up. I am sure I could have done better with this, but oh well.

I beg everyones pardon. Thanks for voting.... I think this will be interesting.
Tapati - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 06:29:00 +0530
I didn't think you were trying to sound that way, that is just how it struck my tired mind. Now that you have clarified how you meant it, that makes it easier for people to answer if they choose.

All glories to the assembled Vaisnavas!
babu - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 08:22:46 +0530
No, I don't attend an Iskcon temple. There are some Indian spiritual satsangs in my area and I don't attend those as well. I feel most comfortable at the Woodstock Church of Jesus Christ, LSD and Barbie Dolls. Contrary to the name of our church, very very few of the members take lsd although I will say its lingering effects from over 30 years ago for most has inspired a community celebrating the God/Goddess in their many incarnations of Jesus, Barbie, Krishna and Kali Ma among many others.

Our motto: "All boxes will take your mail to its destination if its sent with love."
Openmind - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 10:29:48 +0530
I have not entered any Iskcon temple since I left them 10 years before, and I would not go because of the general attitude there towards other spiritual practitioners, included other groups of Vaisnavas. I occasionally meet some old acquaintances from Iskcon, and these short conversations convince me that the main policy has not changed a bit, so I do not miss anything by not visiting them. And I never ever felt like "I am in maya for not going there."

As for other sanghas, yes, for years I have been attending different groups for practising together with others. In the last few years for several reasons I simply could not go to any group regularly, but it was a great teaching to me to understand that no matter how much time we spend with other sadhakas, ultimately it is only you and your realizations that count. Going to a sangha is nice, but often it serves as a kind of false security-feeling, "I go to the Sunday Feast every week, so I am okay, I am on the path, I am a spiritual practitioner." We were born all alone and we will have to depart all alone.
Madhava - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 10:31:20 +0530
I voted, "No, Because the only Temple here is ISKCON." And I would like to add that the main reason why that is so is that I do not seem to be awfully welcome. I should send them written applications explaining my purposes and crawl in from under the doormat to be allowed in by the local administration, the temple president in particular. Now, I do not find their programs that interesting. I have my sweet thakurjis, and attend all varieties of programs with them without having to go out the door even.

I should add that that applies to the situation in Finland, and that here in Vraja the situation is obviously much different. We go to wherever our journey leads us to, there is no scarcity of temples here.
Rasaraja dasa - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 11:05:56 +0530
Dandavats. All glories to the Vaisnavas.

I will go to any temple where my family and I are treated with respect and warmth. For that reason I no longer visit the Berkley Temple as it is just so damn messed up. Sad really... My family and I do venture to the Sri Caitanya Gaudiya Matha in San Jose/Santa Cruz when we can. the devotees are extremely genuine, sweet and affectionate. We also have visited Srila Tripurari's place on many occasions. They are always very sweet and welcoming.

Aspiring to serve the Vaisnavas,
Rasaraja dasa
Keshava - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 12:45:54 +0530
I answered "I go to any and every temple." Of course on Maui there are several groups of devotees and Turiya das has a temple but there is no ISKCON. So we hang out with whoever wants to chant or do other spiritual things. I have quite big deities in my home but since it's an apartment at the moment I can't really have programs there. There are many new age groups that like to chant and then devotees who are disciples of several GM gurus as well as other Prabhupada disciples. No Indians to speak of, though when we lived in Honolulu we used to do pujas with the local Hindu group Lotus (Lord Of The Universe Society).

In India it's another story we visit all the temples. Mainly Vaisnava ones but anya devata temples too. Though we do not go to the anya devata temples to pray but only to see them as some of them are really interesting. One of our Sri Vaisnava teachers once questioned us about whether we went to anya devata temples. I said that we had just been to Chidambaram (a famous Siva temple). We just went to see the great architecture and for sightseeing I said. And of course the temple of Govindaraj is inside the Chidambaram temple also. So he was happy with that answer.

I do also visit ISKCON temples when I am near them which is pretty infrequently. But occasionally I am in Vrndavan or I have to do a puja in an ISKCON temple. When I was last in LA I stayed at the ISKCON temple and also with my friend Sukavak at the Laksmi Narayana temple in Riverside. Some of my favorite temples are Sri Rangam (of course), Tirupati, Kanchi, Melkote, Udipi, Tanjore, Ramesvaram, Rangaji in Vrndavan, KB mandir, Badrinath, Temples in Kumbhakonam, Ananta Padmanabha, Radha Raman, Minakshi, Karmaksi, Parthasarati, Kapilesvara, Asta Laksmi, Chidambaram, Ramesvaram, Alwar Tirunagari, Nanguneri, Sucindram, Muktinath. I think that my wife and I have visited more than 30 of the 108 divya deshams.
Babhru - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 13:52:03 +0530
I voted "Sort of" because we have a couple of temples here, neither of which is associated with ISKCON. My most local temple is one put together by my friends Mulaprakriti and Gopavrindapal to serve the Gaudiya vaishnavas on this side of the island. About 50 minutes from Hilo, disciples of a GM guru maintain another temple, and we all happily attend programs there, too. And we also have friends nearby who are disciples of an old friend who's independent of any other groups, and who have lively kirtans regularly. Then we have our Thakurajis in our home, so we have programs here, too, though not often with many other devotees. That's largely due to work schedules. And when we visit a city with an ISKCON temple, we will attend there, at least as long as we're welcome. I guess that, like most others here, I'm a little hard to fit into a box.
Indranila - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 13:59:36 +0530
I go regularly to the ISKCON temple and gatherings in devotees' homes because of the Deities, the kirtans and because I like to associate with the devotees. I don't talk about politics or philosophical controversies and I skip the classes, but I have no problem talking about KC or just about life in general with devoteets who still live in the temple and have gurus in good standing. I think that all those who have spent some years in an ISKCON temple have some kind of karmic bond. Despite the external differences (affiliations with other groups or leaving spiritual life altogether), we are still very similar.

I am pretty much on my own, but I don't consider myself "left," nor do I see any need to disown my ISKCON experience. But I have to add that I see my leaving temple life very much as Krishna's mercy, as important (or maybe even more important) as my joining.
Srijiva - Sun, 12 Dec 2004 05:25:36 +0530
QUOTE(babu @ Dec 10 2004, 07:52 PM)
No, I don't attend an Iskcon temple.  There are some Indian spiritual satsangs in my area and I don't attend those as well.  I feel most comfortable at the Woodstock Church of Jesus Christ, LSD and Barbie Dolls.  Contrary to the name of our church, very very few of the members take lsd although I will say its lingering effects from over 30 years ago for most has inspired a community celebrating the God/Goddess in their many incarnations of Jesus, Barbie, Krishna and Kali Ma among many others.

This was going to be the 11th answer, infact... but I ran outta room. smile.gif

Wow, how interesting. Last night I was second guessing my making this poll. I am really happy I did now. I especially like hearing about the qualities and drawbacks to the temples and/or satsangas.

If there were more temples here I would have chosen I would go to any and every temple. I like Indranila's mentioning that he doesn't talk about contraversy or politics.

Someday I would love to see all the wonderfull temples in Vrndavan, Mayapur, and the other Holy dhams.

It is funny, but when I am associating with devotees, being somewhat new, I really don't know what to strike up in a conversation, and I feel awkward. I can't quote scripture yet, I have no experience really to speak of, and mundane topics seem like such the Taboo" I am very carefull to avoid them...I don't like to gossip, and I don't like to ask too many questions in a casual setting for fear I will unleash someone's inner preacher and get taken so I get lost for words and hope my associates have plenty to say. But it seems I have yet to feel these devotees out, for time and again Krsna seems to put me in a situation where it's either I say something or experience the lull of uncomfortable silence. I am much more expressive through writing. I could go on & on writing (as some here may be noticing blush.gif )
Srijiva - Sun, 12 Dec 2004 06:59:09 +0530
Hari bol!

My obeisances to all!

I have updated my profile and replaced my silly DL photo with another, incase anyone is interested....