May 18, 2014 CANADA (SUN) We have appreciated the recent articles on the Hinduization of ISKCON and its perennial chasing of the Hindu dollar, but I would like to comment on one more aspect of the problem that has not yet been emphasized.
In years past in my preaching, I've encountered many Hindus who have become Hare Krishnas, in every sense of the word. It's not that people of Indian birth who happen to be Hindus can't become completely converted over to becoming Hare Krishnas, obviously -- just count the many Indian Sannyasis and Gurus, leaders and followers there are in ISKCON who were previously Hindus.
But today we find that non-Indians, who were born in the Western countries and who became Hare Krishnas, now want to convert over to becoming Hindus. And they are the ones who are not preaching to the Hindus to make them to Hare Krishnas. Instead, these Westerners joined a Hindu community, and are now catering to all sorts of Hindu nonsense that they know is nonsense, because they've done enough reading from Srila Prabhupada's books to know it. Their inclinations can only come from their own desires to become Hindus.
Of course, Indians/Hindus are known throughout the world, and especially in the West, for being successful Westerners. They get university degrees and make lots of money. And because of their pious birth it's easy for them to become accomplished in the Western world and accumulate a lot of material gain. Materialistic Hare Krishnas will look upon these successful materialistic Hindus with an obvious degree of envy. They want to have the money that these Hindus have. They want to have the nice family unit the Hindus have -- a close community that is very conducive for getting material gain. So these materialistic Westerners just take advantage of a Hindu community: ISKCON.
Sadly, many Hindus are coming to ISKCON temples to become Hare Krishnas, but they're not being preached to by real Vaisnavas, so they revert to being Hindus again. Meanwhile, many so-called Hare Krishna Vaisnavas are also becoming Hindus.
It may be a fact that some of these Hindus, if you preach to them in the way that Srila Prabhupada preached to them, would decide not to support the Hare Krishna temples at all, or would not become disciples of some of those posing as Gurus in ISKCON. But that's a risk that must be taken. That's the position Srila Prabhupada took, and it's the position all the Sampradaya Acaryas took: they weren't after money, name, fame or followers. Their preaching missions actually weren't as materially successful as many other Indian preaching missions, like the Ramakrishnas or Sai Baba. Even the Swami Narayanas have bigger temples and in some respects are more strict than the Hare Krishnas. But they all miss out on the mercy of Lord Chaitanya. Due to their attachment to the Hindu culture and traditions, they have cheated themselves out of the opportunity to get Mahaprabhu's benediction. Just like the Hindus who don't become Hare Krishnas, and the Hare Krishnas who become Hindus.