Hare Krishnas try to work off their bad deeds, saying, "If you act nicely and perform pious activities then you get good fortune, and if you act sinfully then you have to suffer. Q. What is the duty of a person who does not believe the scriptures? A. His duty is to go to hell. Q. How can it be changed for him? A. By coming here and chanting Hare Krishna." (Back to Godhood, No. 35).
Hare Krishnas carry a row of 108 rosary beads, chanting a "round" per bead 16 times a day. They show devotion to Krishna by wearing East Indian dress, often painting their faces. Males shave their heads except for a hair-tuft. Sexual attention given to one's mate is held in check to once a month. What bondage!
ISKCON publications (the Bhagavad-Gita, As It Is, and Back to Godhead), are sold while chanting on city streets. Hare Krishnas are to avoid newspapers and other publications (a mind control technique). The public often reacts to the transcendental trickery, fraudulent con games! The Hare Krishnas consider non-members to be demons! Misleading a demon is acceptable; so they try to liberate people's money which is considered to be Krishna's. Christianity renounces dishonesty (2 Cor. 4:2). . Hare Krishnas (like New Age religion) is just repackaged Hinduism. Hinduism teaches that many gods exist (polytheism), that god is all and all is god. One supreme personality of the universe contains all of the gods and goddesses within himself. The sect teaches that Krishna is the supreme god. Followers hope to attain god-consciousness, giving up the illusion of individuality, merging with the all-encompassing person of Krishna.
What a breath-taking leap of logic! Clearly, if I am striving for this god-consciousness, I can never say, "I have reached god-consciousness." As soon as I say "I", I have disproved my claim, for I am still an individual personality. If I even think "I" (or think at all), I perform an individual act of personality. Logically followed, the experience of Nirvana becomes a nonexperience experienced by a nonentity. This is impossible.
Are the Hare Krishnas compatible with Christianity as they claim? No one can fall for their belief system and still have a modicum of sense when it comes to the Bible. There is nothing Christian about their belief system. The one God of the Bible (Isaiah 43:10) is distinct from His creation (Romans 1:20-23) and condemns idol worship (Isaiah 44:6-20). We will never become a part of God or God -- the job is already taken! (See Gen. 3:1-5; Ez. 28:2-9; Isaiah 47:8-11). The Hare Krishnas believe in the existence of Jesus but only as one person who had religious truth. He was just one son of god and did not die for our sins. How wrong!
Anyone who comes to know Jesus Christ as God the Son (John 20:28,31), knows God is not a mere cosmic force or an impersonal spiritual entity! How does one attain salvation? Hare Krishnas imagine salvation is gained by working hard to erase the debts of ones karmic existence. They strive to meet Krishna's approval, serving and worshipping him. When good deeds atone for bad deeds, then a person becomes one with Krishna and ceases the cycle of rebirths.
This karma idea is neither logical nor Biblical. Is it just or reasonable for one to suffer in this life for sins committed in a previous life that a person does not even remember? How can suffering for an unknown sin reform the sinner so he no longer performs that sin? That would be cruelty, not justice! Children, for example, supposedly starve because of their bad karma in a previous life.
Is salvation from many lives of ignorant slavery? You don't have to chant to please God. God wants to free you from the bondage of your past (John 8:34-36). He offers you salvation immediately (Heb. 7:25), through His grace and not our good works (Eph. 2:8-10), and by God's work not ours (John 6:29). You are not bound by bad karma. God knows that you could never do enough to reach Him on your own. That is why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for your sin-debt at the cross. You can have peace with God right now and know that He loves you! Accepting Jesus, God promises you can know you are accepted by Him (1 John 5:13). God offers you forgiveness now for all of your sins and for all time.
Can you trust a self-authenticating message? Everything from demonism, Eastern mysticism, Roman Catholicism -- the isms, the cisms, the asims and spasms claim mystical experiences. Hare Krishna interpretations come from Hindu philosophy. Even the Charismatic lunatic fringe has wild experiences that resemble demonism. Everyone who carries on like a bonzo in public places is going to be considered a bit crazy (1 Cor. 14:23). Clearly, if you want to know what is going on, subjective religious experiences cannot be self-interpreting. Hindu groups generally disapprove of alcohol and drugs, but they produce the same kind of a dependency as the chanting and meditation. Such vain efforts to attain god-consciousness really hinder getting to know the true God. Is "inner harmony" a test of truth? Many claim peace when there is no inner peace. Nothing appears to be more at rest than a corpse!
Relief from stress does not prove someone is close to God. Those who study human nature know the dangers of getting rid of rationality, grasping a pseudo-peace. Eastern Mysticism implies there is no significance in human reason. Our minds and responsibility become enemies one must transcend to find peace. Yet, the only lasting peace and fulfillment does make sense and is consistent with rationality. Is a subjective human experience sufficient grounds upon which to build our knowledge of God? The Christian life does include wonderful experiences; but trusting the God who spoke in history is not just subjective. Objectively, Jesus Christ came as God's personal, revelation. Jesus called men into a personal relationship with God through knowing Him (John 1:18; 14:7).
Is meditation and chanting desirable to reach out to God? Bhakti-Yoka is not of God! Jesus never encouraged this kind of meditation. Instead He taught His disciples to pray. The prayer He taught was simple, rational and short. Bible characters experienced God's blessings through their daily experiences and devotion to Him. Jesus warned that ecstatic experiences are not the criteria to discern a person's relationship with God (Mat. 7:22). Love for God is defined in practical terms (John 14:23-24). If there were any value in mind-emptying or mantra-rehearsing, Jesus would have said so.
Can we ignore the possibilities of spiritual deception? (Mat. 7:15; 24:11; 2 Pet. 2:1; 1 John 4:1-3). Besides God, there is another spiritual power, a deceiver and a liar (John 8:44). Satan gives experiences to religious people all over the world. Meditation and mantra-chanting result in a loss of personality and psychological disorder. Satan busily exploits the Eastern meditative techniques! Just opening up gives him access to the mind. In human terms, psychiatrists note a similarity between what they call a manic-depressive psychosis and those who practice mystical experiences. The Bible always interprets such personality disorders in terms of direct action from the devil who devours human personality (Luke 8:30). Unlike the Hindu philosophical presuppositions, your human individuality is very important to God (Mat. 13:43; 20:23; 25:23; 1 Cor. 15:35-55; 1 Thes. 5:23; 2 Tim. 4:18).
How can we know the true God? We must come to God as a Person we need to know (John 14:7). Such knowledge is not mystical; it is personal. This knowledge bridges the gap between the objective and the subjective. God reveals Himself to us both objectively, through the Bible (1 Pet. 1:23), and subjectively, through His Spirit (John 3:5). An intellectual understanding of the Bible is important but not enough. God's Word appears puzzling and sterile without His Spirit. Knowing about God is not knowing God Himself. If you treat anyone as only an object, you will never come to really know that person. You merely know how they look or act. Subjectively, we must come to God, knowing Him and being known (John 10:14-15; Gal. 4:9). Applying these truths by the Spirit, we enter into a personal relationship with God (Mat. 11:25-30; 1 Cor. 2:6-16; 2 Cor. 4:6).
God is not just a fact to be believed or a feeling to be experienced. He is a Person to be known, trusted and loved. What is the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1) that saves (vs. 2)? We must understand, objectively, that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again from the dead (vs. 3,4). Subjectively, the Holy Spirit must apply the truth to our hearts. There must be repentance and faith (a change of mind and a change of heart) before becoming a Christian. Neglecting either produces many decisions and many experiences, but not real life in God. Spiritual experiences without God's Word lead to an incoherent mysticism resembling the work of evil spirits.
Therefore, if God is to be known, it will be through a union and cooperation of external revealed truth and internal spiritual illumination Illusions or delusions? The Hare Krishnas refuse to eat eggs, meat, or fish (Acts 10:9-16; 1 Cor. 10:25-31; 1 Tim. 4:1-5). Their food is considered a spiritual offering to Krishna. They are deceived into thinking that our material atmosphere is just an illusion. Yet they ceremoniously bath, dress, feed, and worship statues in their temple. Regardless of anyone's religious perspective of life after death, what happens will not just follow the views of some religious group. Your destiny depends upon reality!
Is the Koran a divine book? Hare Krishnas regard both the Bible and the Koran as distorted scripture. Relating to prophecy, the Koran contains only one and that was self-fulfilling by Mohammed (not too impressive). We might score the Koran a .001 on that basis.
What about the Bible? Hundreds of prophecies given hundreds of years in advance have been fulfilled (no failures)! In baseball terms, the Bible bats a thousand!
Poof or Proof? When it's all said and done, facts still count. You can chant yourself right into hell or you can investigate objectively! Read the greatest Book ever written! It will touch your heart and stimulate your intellect! If your religion is wrong, you are wrong for all eternity! It would be well to take time now and hear from God! Consider Science for example --
- Says, "In the beginning God created..." (Gen. 1:1). A termite chews and swallows wood; but cannot digest it! Flagellates (parasites living in the stomach of the termite) digest cellulose fibers if someone chews it up first. The termite is totally dependent on the flagellate and the flagellates are totally dependent on the termite! One cannot exist without the other. Explain that without creation!
- Says the life of flesh is in the blood (Lev. 17:11).
- Describes the fixed orbit of the earth (Job 22:14).
- Says the earth is suspended on nothing. Atlas, a huge turtle or elephants do not hold it up. In the Northern sky within millions of stars is a vast expanse of blackness. Only God could describe it before telescopes (Job 26:7).
- Noted that the air has weight (the result of gravity). Science confirms air is about 50 miles thick, exactly right to support life and perfect for our lungs. Air filters deadly rays. If the earth was 10% larger or smaller we would all die. We are in a fragile balance before the sun between frying and freezing (Job 28:25).
- Explains the hydraulic cycle. Condensation and hydrology maintain life, provide evaporation, trans-portation, precipitation and run-off. The never-ending cycle is described with fine accuracy (Job 36:27-28; Ec. 1:6,7; Isaiah 40:12; 55:10).
- Shows the earth rotates (Job 38:12-17).
- Tells of the treasures of the snow. Snow provides nitrogen for fertilizer. Each flake is perfect and different, (Job 38:22).
- Describes ice. Uniquely, frozen water expands and rises; to sink would kill the waterlife (Job 38:30).
- Explains the solar system. The Hebrew language speaks of a pivot or hinge. In the south-southwest is the Pleiades, 7 stars making up the center of the solar system (Job 38:31).
- Describes man near a dinosaur (Job 40:15-24).
- Mentions the paths of the sea (Psalm 8:8).
- Reveals that the earth is wearing down. Now mankind affirms the speed of light is decaying, the magnetic field is collapsing, the earth is slowly beginning to wobble on its axis, and the protective ozone layer is thinning. Could nothing plus nobody result in everything, bringing man from a frog? The 2nd law of thermo-dynamics says everything tends to disintegrate, not move to a higher complexity (Psalm 102:25,26).
- Describes poetically the DNA molecule in the formation of the unborn child (Psalm 139:13-16).
- Mentions the dust particles in the air. Without reflection on dust there could be no light (Proverbs 8:26).
- Explains psychotherapy (Proverbs 16:24; 17:22).
- Tells us the wind has currents. Science discovered that the circulation of winds move by fixed laws. Scripture is not human supposition (Ec. 1:6; Isaiah 40:12).
- Explains the ocean as the origin of rain (Ec. 1:7).
- Tells us the earth is not flat but a round sphere. The atmosphere is a terrestrial blanket making the earth inhabitable -- retaining heat, spreading light, and providing air (Isaiah 40:22).
- Explains that the stars are beyond numbering. Hipparchus numbered the stars in 150 B.C. at exactly 1026. Ptolemy, 150 years later, counted 1056 . There are at least 10 million, billion, billion stars according to Dr. Henry Morris. Scientists estimate by modern telescope that there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone. Note that there are not millions but billions of such galaxies. Biblical insights were far in advance of our modern day science (Gen. 15:5; Jeremiah 33:32; Job 22:12; Isaiah 55:9; 1 Corinthians 15:41 and 2 Peter 3:10).
Sources: Answers to the Cultist at Your Door, (Harvest House); God and the Gurus, (InterVarsity Press).
Suggestions for reading: Knowing God, by J.I. Packer, for a head and heart knowledge of God. Evidence That Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell, for great archaeological, historical, and prophetic proof of the Bible.