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Comments Posted By simonkitty

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Relating to Devotees with Due Respect

Very nice.
Thank You.

Comment Posted By simonkitty On 02.09.2006 @ 00:17

A "TOUCHY" SUBJECT…

Dear Braja Sevaki Mataji,

You seem to be requesting that I reply,
so I will be brief and to the point.

The above comment was due to what I thought was a little bit of an
offensive exchange - on both sides. It is a real big turn-off
for newcomers. I well remember a farm retreat that I witnessed my
siksha-guru & the TP having a 120 decibel exchange.
It was not nice.

I don’t make any claim to be a devotee of Krishna & I certainly
disclaim any consistency or logic in anything I say or do.

I didn’t mean to comment that any part of the exchange was good or bad,
I just made a general observation that it seemed offensive.
( no, it did not come across as a joke - more like an insult hurled )

Maybe it is beyond my realisation to be posting comments & I should
just observe the discussions without putting my foot in my mouth.

Yours Simon Kitty

Comment Posted By simonkitty On 02.09.2006 @ 00:31

nrdasa: “Will your next article be about the virtues of wearing a Burqa or maybe ISKCON starting up a vice & virtue squad?”

Braj Sevak: No, but I’d like to see them perhaps start a “philosophy and Vedic culture for dummys” to deal with responses like yours :)

Not encouraging language.
Devotees do practice at different levels, fact.
One should be very grateful for every soul that visits the temple,
and not be so overly concerned with what level they choose
to practice KC - either strictly or liberally.
What about - becoming such an incredibly likeable person that
devotees will naturally WANT to do what you do …
you won’t need to bewilder them with an overload of input.

I think certainly that yes - the author is correct in her view that physical
contact between the sexs is something special that is only amongst family.
This is actual civilization. It is a good diea.
Not that we want impersonalism or bad marriages, but displays of affection
are something sacred & special - for family & in a little privacy.
In these evil times - nothing is sacred & there are no rules.

As for the head covering - amongst muslims, hindus & catholic nuns
it is a long-standing tradition. It does not lessen any woman, it actually
elevates women. A woman who dresses like this is sending out a signal
that she has strong moral values & she demands to be treated with great respect.
A woman who dresses in a revealing & attention-getting way - should not be
surprised when she attracts the attention of the very lowest men.

Comment Posted By simonkitty On 01.09.2006 @ 07:42

Violence and Religion

The Five Pillars of Islam ( in english terms )
1. Testimony of Faith
( a - there is only one GOD who is Allah,
b - Muhammad (pbuh) is his final prophet )
2. To observe the 5 daily prayers as a minimum
3. To give in charity
4. To perform pilgrimage to Mecca at least once
5. To fast during Ramadhan
… Where is the mention of Jihad ????????

From the very little I know, I say that Muhammad only allowed fighting for times
of persecution or oppression. It is a misrepresentation of Islam to think that
Muslims want to conquer & convert everyone. Muslims just want to be left the hell
alone to do their own thing. They are a peace-loving people, but if you push them into a corner - they will come out fighting. This is not intolerance - this is just intelligence.
Persons of all religious persuasion - would probably agree that under times of
persecution, violence is acceptable as a last resort.

If you want to see an example of a stable, tolerant Muslim country -
Look at Turkey. There are night clubs within eyesight of the primary
Mosques. The leadership of that country has done the impossible …
allowed some western influence while still retaining Islamic identity.
Under Islam, Jews & Christians are to be protected - I think with some negotiations
Vaisnavas & various Hindus would probably find a place as well.

I’d also like to add, that Hare Krishnas can also suffer from the same kind of
superior attitude over outsiders. We label them as ‘KARMIS’ - and at the same time
wear our saffron robes and try to make moves to marry our favourite brahmacarini.
Actually, to be completely without material desire is a rare platform.
We should be careful not to critisize other faiths for elitism, and at the same time
we got the same problem even with thinking ourselves superior over devotees
who are practising in a differenmt way.
Prabhupada said that those who chant Hare Krishna are the best in the room
and other similar comments. But he also praised Jesus as the son of God,
and everywhere he went he tried to encourage Christians to at least be vegetarian.
So I think it is helpful to be true to ones own beliefs, but at the same time having
an appreciation for the good qualities in other faiths. We should be open-minded that
there are good people in other faiths too. This way we can all get along.

Otherwise, we can end up like Iraq & just bomb the hell out of each other,
until we finally end up with a clear winner. And amongst the smoking ruins
of the world we can pat ourselves on the back for finally proving that God
is only on our side. No - I’d prefer positive appreciation of other faiths.

Comment Posted By simonkitty On 23.08.2006 @ 01:52

Thank you for a beautifully written & broad-minded article, which gives me some fresh faith in the collective consciousness of iskcon leadership.

I’d just like to add a few more little points.

The Taliban - who I am not a supporter of - were not completely bad.
( as shocking a concept as that may sound, bear with me )
They destroyed alcohol & vice everywhere they went, they repressed the horrific practice of selling children for the gratification of evil men.
Amongst the unfortunate excesses, there were some things that were desirable.

At the moment it is quite a mantra, that Hezbollah
( which I am also not a supporter of ) started the war. This isn’t quite the truth.
Israel has many, many prisoners which it is holding without any charges,
let alone a fair trial. Israel was firing rockets upon Palestine, well before the current disarster in Lebanon / Nth Israel. It is the simply truth - that the begining of the state of Israel, was a catastrophe for the arabic people who possessed the land at the time.
Where else were they meant to go ?

So even amongst the organizations, the media has painted as the most evil -
there are actually factors of good & bad. There are factors which have caused the hatred & anger & pain in their hearts. And as you have said - there are gigantic faults in western policy, which have caused these long-term conflicts.

I do think it is completely possible for persons of all different faiths to live together in peace. But a part of that process will be that soceity must have a far better understanding of other faiths, and the reasons behind regional conflicts.
I think that even the most orthodox Muslim country, would eventually overcome all of its new problems … if just given enough time to do that. The battle, as you have said is internal as well as external - and Islamic leadership has a struggle against ancient cultural customs & beliefs … which are wrongly considered as part of their faith, but are in fact nothing to do with Islam. And Christians / those of other faiths, also have their own issues to address ( such as ridding themselves of the deeply rooted suspicion & fear of Muslims ).

OK - thats enough time on the soap box for me !

Comment Posted By simonkitty On 19.08.2006 @ 22:38

Further News On Manipur Attack

This incredible act of cowardice appears to arise from regional politics.
I wish to humbly inform everyone that this act is NOT sanctioned within Islam.
The Koran quite specifically forbids harm to any civilian, especially chidren.
Also, a just war - is in the defence of one’s faith & the innocent,
Violence is not sanctioned for mere nationalism alone.
Please do not allow this & similar acts of barbaric insanity,
to give you a bad impression of Islam & Muslims.

Comment Posted By simonkitty On 18.08.2006 @ 22:19

“Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians”

Thank you Prabhu for an intelligent & moral presentation.
It is not a case of double jeopardy … it is more like a case that the
approval process was deeply flawed the first time around.
It is true to say that many other personalities made mistakes /
covered up / failed to act upon abuse. But at this moment in time we
have an opportunity to correct a serious corporate error - if we don’t then
my prediction is that this problem will snowball into worse errors.
Speaking for myself - I am prepared to be independant from iskcon
if this farce is not corrected soon.

Comment Posted By simonkitty On 26.07.2006 @ 13:31

Interim decision from the GBC executive commitee concerning Dhanurdhara Swami

This is good news to hear,
but deeper issues need to be considered by the GBC for the long term
of iskcon’s wellbeing, otherwise we will go through this same sad saga
again & again & again.
1) Decisions / rulings of the CPO must have the same authority as the whole GBC,
an iskcon leader who disregards the instructions of the CPO must immediately
lose all leadership status & can only remain in iskcon as a 1st initiate.
2) Any Guru / Swami / GBC / TP,TC who abuses children or fails to act when he is in
knowledge of abuse happening - is permanently unqualified to be a swami / leader.
NO - I do not think that there is no hope left for iskcon …
The leadership just needs to be very, very proactive in making iskcon a legitimate,
ethical, moral, responsible organization - and to be totally ruthless in removing any senior devotee who interferes in this program.

Comment Posted By simonkitty On 09.07.2006 @ 00:49

CPO Response to Zero Tolerance Petition

“First, the CPO decision of 1999 restricted him for life from any position of leadership within ISKCON.”

Yes, the CPO should be allowed to make individual judgements according to what the truth really is & what the severity was.
But the above definition should include permanent removal of status as diksha-guru & sannyasi!

[Edited]

Comment Posted By simonkitty On 22.06.2006 @ 23:19

GBC Statement Concerning Dhanurdhara Swami

Response to Mikael Prabhu,

Of course it is human nature that there will always be a rotten apple in any religion or organization. That is human nature.
But in a fully developed religious organization, there are standard organizational responses towards anybody who is accused / suspected of child abuse.
We, I believe, are currently lacking this. The best we got, is a rule which says that an individual is innocent until proved guilty in a civil trial. Which is absurd … it is actually very difficult & a lengthy process to even get someone into a civil trial & even then it is a big challenge to get a conviction.
It was also pointed out in the article “Sacrifiial Lambs”, that iskcon has a long-standing taboo against challenging authority. So under the present system, it is difficult to remove or even speak against an iskcon authority who is abusing his position.

Personally, I don’t think the petition has a hope of passing. The GBC will continue to ignore it, knowing that time will eventually make people forget.
If it was passed, it would start a ‘Witch-Hunt’ which could target existing leaders.
The only way it could possibly pass, is if we add 2 new clauses.
(1) An amnesty ( forgive & forget ) for all current iskcon leaders.
(2) Immunity from any further investigation for all current iskcon leaders.
( this I think, would also save Jayapataka Swami from becoming a target !!! )
It could take many more decades until iskcon evolves the procedures to properly deal with child abuse … and I predict we will see many more abuses of power like Kirtananda Swami before iskcon leaders finally wake up & smell the coffee.

So, we just need to be tolerant.

Yours Simon Kitty

[Edited]

Comment Posted By simonkitty On 22.06.2006 @ 23:11


 


 


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