Presentation on theme: "This presentation is meant to generate discussion on what is: 1. The Hare Kåñëa Movement 2. ISKCON 3. A member of ISKCON My emphasis will be in Points."— Presentation transcript:
This presentation is meant to generate discussion on what is: 1. The Hare Kåñëa Movement 2. ISKCON 3. A member of ISKCON My emphasis will be in Points 2 & 3
What is the difference between the Hare Kåñëa Movement and ISKCON? The Hare Kåñëa Movement is the religion of those who worship Kåñëaor try toaccording to the teachings of Çréla Prabhupäda. ISKCON is the society of devotees within the HKM who live by the rights and obligations accorded to a member.
The Hare Kåñëa Movement – believers ISKCON – members
I will answer the 2 questions posed in the title by; Studying the key word Society Then integrating the terms, International and Kåñëa consciousness.
Dictionary: A community of people living in a particular country or region and having shared customs, laws and organizations. (Oxford)
Based on this definition lets define ISKCON: A global community of people having shared customs, laws and organizations that are based upon the principles of Kåñëa consciousness. Here the key word is: shared which means common Here the key word is: shared which means common
A society is comprised of people who have shared or common values.
Take the country of France as an example of a society with members.
What do French people have in common? A constitution Laws Language Education Taxation
IOW: French people have in common: primary rights and obligations.
What do French people have that is not common to all, but is individual? Faith Ethnicity Dress Profession Opinions
IOW: What French people do not have to have in common are individual rights and obligations.
Summarizing that which is common and not common: France is made of people with individual rights and obligations that do not conflict with the common rights and obligations. A French citizen is an individual who accepts the obligatory common rights and obligations of the French Republic.
The key words in establishing a Society and its members are: rights and obligations
Applying the above principles (France/Frenchmen) in the context of ISKCON: ISKCON is a global community of devotees with individual rights and obligations, which do not conflict with the obligatory rights and obligations common to all its members A member of ISKCON is a devotee who accepts the rights and obligations common to all other members.
How are rights and obligations of ISKCON's members determined? By the GBC in the form of: Constitution and Laws
Those who fulfill the obligations established by ISKCONs constitution and laws enjoy the rights bestowed by the Society. These are members.
Those who do not fulfill the obligations in ISKCONs constitution and laws do not enjoy the rights bestowed by the Society. They are not members.
GBC is their ultimate managerial and spiritual authority They must be connected to ISKCONs line of authority They accept initiation only from member of ISKCON (Chant 16 rds and follow 4 regs) They do not divorce
They give 10% of income to the Society Subject to the disciplinary and judicial system of ISKCON Summary: The laws and bylaws of ISKCON determine devotees values and conduct in all aspects of their lives: work (varëa), social status (äçrama), spiritual practice and spiritual aspiration.
Officially accepted as connected to Çréla Prabhupäda, in the parämparä and Gauòéya Sampradäya. Reside, serve or be employed in temples, farms etc and also engage in leadership positions from Nama- hatta leader to GBC secretary. Can perform ceremonies and worship for members and in temples (give class, worship deities, become dékñä/çikñä guru, do saàskäras etc)
Enjoy saàskäras offered by Society (birth, marriage, initiation, sannyäsa etc) Be part of ISKCON initiatives eg: Chamber of commerce, Mäyäpura residence, gurukula/education, co-operatives etc. Summary: Members enjoy benefits of membership only on the basis of having accepted the obligations that comes along it, membership.
An ISKCON and a membership into ISKCON that are easily and clearly identified by objective criteria based on Çréla Prabhupädas teachings and our scriptures, Çrémad-Bhägavatam, Bhagavad-gétä etc.
Devotees who follow Prabhupäda and Kåñëa but not laws of ISKCON? What about patron members, life members and so on? What about new devotees who have not fully embraced our principles, dont chant 16 or follow 4? What about watching TV, playing football, going to movies, breaking principles etc … What about devotees gave youth, did saëkértana, think themselves membersbut dont accept obligations?
They are: Devotees who cannot or will not accept the obligations required of ISKCON membership cannot expect the rights of a member But they are members of the Hare Kåñëa Movement.
The Hare Kåñëa Movement – believers ISKCON – members
Since the definition membership standardizes devotees lives according to spiritual principles the society thus formed is the most basic and practical embodiment of the Varëäçrama Çréla Prabhupäda envisaged.
Some Questions Is ISKCON a Faith or a Religious Society? How do we clarify the different kinds of members of ISKCON Do we expect our members to accept our laws or to follow them? How seriously do we take and enforce our own beliefs among the Societys members?