It is important to realise that the vast majority of people who are religious are sincere, although these pages on other religions are criticisms. My intention is to invite people to think about their faith as everybody cannot be right. There are some self-seekers in every religion too so anybody joining a faith must be aware of the flaws to see where they are vulnerable. I cannot point out every inconsistency, only show some and describe some of my experiences. The rest you have to figure out but I believe personally, though I do not expect people to also believe this as it is from personal experience, that there are souls who are out here who will try to help you, quiet guardians of peace, love and reason.If I have any ambition it is to be one of those guardians myself, to protect the gentle caring unambitious souls who often lead lives of such suffering.
The books available from the Hare Krishna people detail a God who has descended to earth for the first time in five thousand years. last time he came he won some famous victory allegedly. In one of the books it claims he engages in “casting into hell all who disagree”. That is not democracy. India is a fledgling democracy and for this God to show up after 5000 years, including millenia when the caste system was in place, just at this point in history, indicates that he could be trying to find ways of swinging India back against liberal democratic values. He could want to dictate values and laws and obviously the easiest way to do this is through a hierarchy with priests at the top, just as Catholicism and Islam did for centuries.
I went for a free meal at a Krishna temple in London in 1977 as i was by then losing any sense of purpose in my life after the incident at the Rebecca Ř Fest in Copenhagen that year. While talking with one of the young men there I was invited to have a glass of water. Shortly after this I fell asleep in a chair. I awoke a feeling I had been a little rude to drop off like that but my mind was in turmoil and I was exhausted. I walked back down the stairs and when I got to the exit hall I looked to my right and in the place where the meal had been given I noticed the young man I had spoken too on his knees with his head touching the ground before an Indian man. Was this a high priest or was I interrupting something? I decided to leave without saying goodbye. Later as the New Year came around and on into 1978 I was back in Stockport, the town where I grew up. I bought three volumes of Krishna books off a vender in the street and then a few days later the same Indian man who had been at the temple in London walked towards me along Merseyway, the shopping precinct. he looked like he was being impish and carried a plastic bag for the whisky label “black and white” which featured two Scottie dogs. I have been followed a lot in my life since my enlightenment in 1977 or there have been an awful lot of coincidences. Often this has simply confused me more because it was as though they knew my mind was going round in circles as a result of the events in Denmark in 1977. I, to this day have no idea why people did those things, but this is why I ask the question above “What is Krishna doing back here now?” Is he being good for the majority or trying to start another caste system? I am saying that perhaps this Indian man was either Krishna, (appearing to the young man and thus explaining why he was on his knees) or he was one of the many spiritual world aware people there are about, who are trying to defend their positions in the spirit world much as autocrats have refused to surrender their positions in the material world until democracy has raged against them sufficiently or they have been replaced by another more powerful autocrat.
Just as people have become sexually liberated by Western medicine in the form of the pill, his priests are saying you can only have sex for procreation and should sing however many Hare Krishna chants first. So Krishna what did you design the clitoris for? The clitoris is a sex organ to assist in ensuring pleasure is experienced and that sex is not felt thus to be about suffering. As I have said in other parts of this site, my beliefs are in Buddha and Darwin, two humans. Buddha said “all life is suffering” and on a level I can believe that. Darwin pointed out that if we adapt to our changing environment we genetically survive. Krishna’s spin on this is that he will allow his followers to survive, through occasional sex purely for procreation, in the environment that has changed, (through his return to earth), if and only if they deny there is any recreational pleasure in sex. To accept this rather facile argument is to curse one’s ancestors and I reject that. It is patently possible to label Krishna as a lazy bully or bully friendly individual who allowed a culture of bullying by a caste system to exist in India for centuries without making any attempt to inspire compassionate sharing toward one’s fellows. This is probably what Buddha noticed. On the positive side the Hindu religion appears to have passed through a number of fashions including sexual freedom as illustrated by the depicting of various forms of sexual activity on some temples and Hinduism is also noted for practicing vegetarianism which illustrates instruction in compassion.
India has had many positives, such as the openness of sexuality on a few temples. However good is crushed by oppression and a vegetarian Hinduism is a wonderful thing except when the accompaniment, instead of being a shared Nan bread, is oppression of large sections of the population by an elite. My hope is that the emerging Indian middle classes will accept their responsibilities and not encourage Islam in Pakistan, Kashmir and Bengal by simply defaulting on moral obligations to the poor of their own country.
Looking at Hinduism from the perspective of the thesis of this site, Buddho-Darwinism, combining the teachings of Buddha and Darwin, one can see that there is something not quite right about concepts in Hinduism like the elephant headed god Ganesh. Our science, via Darwin shows us that the elephant evolved as we did from more primitive species. This evolution came about by chance genetic mutations and the stability of environments suitable for the elephant, the opposite of its cousin the wooly mammoth, which died out when the ice-ages ended because to a large degree it no longer had the environment it needed, especially when predators came north to its home one could assume and perhaps diseases. So why would it occur to a God to believe having the head of an elephant would be an appropriate recompense for a child who had been crushed. This illustrates that Buddha was probably correct when he said “There are Gods but there are no Gods”, in that the concepts can be held in affection but the reality is disturbing in many respects. It is a paradoxical statement which predates Darwins theory by centuries but which neatly without the knowledge of science, prepares the human consciousness for the shock that what it believes in may not in fact be there, or at least not in the expected form nor with the expected characteristics.
If the new age that Krishna worshippers talk of is truly the age of Kali then we must hope this is interpreted as an opportunity to practice a more feminine, genteel approach to family, work, citizenship and the environment, rather than interpreted as an age of destruction overseen by a mad four armed sword wielding goddess.