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What actually happens at ISKCON - the Temple Of God?
ISKCON devotees are strict followers of Lord Krishna and devote time towards chanting and well being of their own souls and those of others. At least that is what the outside world knows, but since I choose ISKCON guest house to stay at while I am in Bombay (now Mumbai), I got to know the real story. Read on.

DEVOTEES OF ISKCON will swear by Lord Krishna, preach and make sermons with talks of Godliness and how our body is perishable and the only thing that remains is the name of God and hence they insist that you chant a minimum of 16 rounds of the mala ( 16 x 108 times of Hare Krishna mantra). Certainly not an easy task, which even devotees and those who have donned the robes and taken an initiation, do not follow.

This is not the only thing they do not follow; there are strict rules for others to follow, which can easily be broken by flashing a few notes! If you are in their good books (a person who feeds them money), you are their god, not the presiding deity of the temple! Mind you!

Practise what you preach, is something that the people living and working in the temple do not believe in. For them, nothing but money and materialistic things matter. The body and soul, (especially those belonging to others who are not initiated in their clan) don't matter.

On lower levels, from the receptionists to workers, no one will lift a finger till you do not bribe them or give them something substantial to deserve respect. This became burdensome for me after sometime. Every person there, from the security guard to a menial worker will look at you with expectations that they will get something from you (we can't generalise but most of them are like that only).

If you do not give them money, your work will never be done, your room will never be cleaned on time and you will be treated like an alien from outer space with all those working there either laughing and smirking at you when you walk past them. Earlier, while I was staying at the Bombay ISKCON, one receptionist called me 'a dhandha waali' since I work from there and have people coming and meeting me on a regular basis! This again, because I put my foot down and refused to distribute money and gifts randomly.

I do not mind giving a worker something that they have worked for, but in this institution, that is not the case. You give money to someone for running an errand for you and news travels like a wild fire and people with expecting looks bog you down till eternity and make you feel miserable for being a jerk, who has not paid them something!

Such is the state of affairs in India, where making money in the name of God is common!

COMMENTS (13)
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Kiran
Hi Nisha, This is the post in reply to the previous comment reply made by you. I was not able to post with the reply button for some reason. 1. If that is the case, why not reflect in the title without any ambiguity? If your intention is to stay and work there and so to save yourself you want to blame the whole organization, it is not fair. Any unbiased reader will find the title inappropriate (its the editors part to ensure it and should have been dealt with more care esp in such sensitive topics). The misnomer title: "What actually happens at ISKCON - the Temple Of God?" translates as: 'This is what actually happens in iskcon (in all branches) and in the temple (not the guest house).' 2. I think you might not have read the terms and conditions of iskcon life memberships. Refer to point 3. If some one has misinformed you (or was understood incorrectly), then now is the time to clarify it with the higher management personnel at the temple. 3. I am glad that you are broad-minded, but what makes me think so is the inappropriate title that can mislead people. 4. To claim the people of India as lazy is over-generalization. I do agree that the majority could be corrupt, but your statement degrades the image of the nation in the view of others (you seem to care only for your viewpoint as you stated). By making such statements, you fail to see the other side - Anna Hazare, the people who lay down lives at the border, distinguished incorrupt officers like Raju Narayana Swamy etc. Though it is a digression from the current topic, I feel that there should be a change in the mind set of the writer so as to reflect the facts more accurately. Thanks for your time!
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