Hare Krishna 

By Reeves

Brief Introduction

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a major Hindu sect. ISKCON is a modern school of Vishnu Hinduism that developed from the fifteeth-century teachings of a man named Chaitanya, who instituted worship of Vishnu as God, opposed to the local worship of Shiva.

Chaitanya taught that Krishna was the supreme personality of the Godhead. Chaitanya Mahaprabu (1486-1534) was the key figure in the revival of devotional religion which took place in Bengal.

He got his inspiration from the Bhagavad Gita, the most influential of Hindu scriptures. Chaitanya emphasized liberation (mukti) through devotional love and service to Krishna as the ultimate and personal god. This is known as bhakti yoga. He had his own method when it comes to devotional called sankirtana dancing which is still pretty much praticed today among devotees of Krishna.

Hare Krishna Scripture:

ISKCON movement was established in the West since 1966, yet its roots can be traced all the way back into India’s history. The lifestyle and philosophical beliefs are based on ancient scriptures known as the Vedas. ISKCON’s sacred texts is the Hindu poem The Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita is one of the ancient books that contains the Vedas in which one can read in it the conversation between Lord Krishna and a soldier Arjuna.

Hare Krishna Beliefs:

Many ISKCON beliefs are the same as those of conventional Hinduism. They believe that we are all spirit souls who are temporarily trapped in a material body and its cares and woes.

In ISKCON chanting the name of Krishna (sankirtana) is the only way to attain freedom from samsara (endless repetitive rebirth) and return to the kingdom of god. You probably already seen Krishna devotees in our public places with shaved heads, sporting longrobes, playing drums, and singing the 16-word chant, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare. (Krishna means “The All-Attractive” and Rama means “The Greatest Pleasure.”).

Hare Krishna Practices:

I Mantra Meditation

Devotees of Krishna practice mantra meditation. A chant, or mantra, is a vibration of sound that purifies the mind, liberating it from worries and illusion. This can only be performed by chanting or mantra by repeating Hare Krishna’s name.

II Krishna Consciousness

ISKCON teaches that, that these who place themselves in harmony with Krishna and Krishna’s energy return to their natural, pure state of consciousness that is, to “Krishna Consciousness.” Krishna consciousness is suppossedly inside each person, waiting to explode. There are four simple pratices in Krishna consciousness;

1. Reading (Shravanarn)

2. Chanting (Kirtanam)

3. Friendship (Sat-sangam)

4. Remembering (Smaranam)

The Tilaka Mark:

Devotees of Hare Krishna have the Tilaka mark on their foreheads. It is a U-shaped marking made of clay and placed on their forehead with yellow colored clay from the sacred bank rivers of India.

a. The two stripes symbolizes the lotus feet of Krishna

b. The leaf in the center represents holy basil, or Tulasi, which traditionally adorns his feet.

Monks:

ISKCON have their distinctive monks: an order of monks and priests, and congregation members. Male monks shave their heads, except for a sikna, a central patch of unshaven hair. They vow not to smoke, drink alcohol, or take any king of drugs. Gambling is prohibited and are strictly vegetarian. They chant Krishna’s name everyday.

ISCKON and Christianity

ISKCON is one of the few non-Christian cult movements that worships a god who is both personal and infinite. However, it assumes traditional monism (essential pantheism). To ISKCON, Jesus Christ is Krishna’s Son, but in a position no more unique to God than any other man could strive to attain.

Hare Krishna’s devotees does not believe Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God; God manifest in the flesh. According to the Scripture, Jesus Christ is God Almighty who became a human flesh (incarnate) in order to die for the sins of the ungodly world.

He has been God, Jehovah from all eternity (John 1:1). In addition, Christ is not inferior to Krishna, who is the original Personality of the Godhead Himself. The Christian belief has a higherview of Christ.

Salvation in ISKCON is obtained by removing one’s karmic debt through devotion to Krishna, and right actions through handful incarnations. According to Hare Krishna, Salvation then, must be earned by performing a series of works. This is contrary to what the Scripture teaches Christians namely, we cannot earn salvation by performing good deeds by filling his or her bank account!

Since ISKCON has different God, a different Jesus, and a different way of salvation from what the Bible reveals, it is therefore impossible for there to have a common ground between Hare Krishna and Jesus Christ.

Source_________________

AMG’s Encyclopedia of World Religions, Cults and the Occult; Compiled By Mark Water

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Did you know that centuries before Christ, the pagan Romans celebrated February 15 and the evening of February 14 as an idolatrous and sensuous festival in honor of Lupercus, the “hunter of wolves”? 

The Romans called the festival the “Lupercalia.” The custom of exchanging valentines and all the other traditions in honor of Lupercus – the deified hero-hunter of Rome- was also linked anciently with the pagan practice of teenagers “going steady.” It usually led to fornication. 

Today, the custom of “going steady” is thought very modern. It isn’t. It is merely a rebirth of an old custom “handed down from the Roman festival of the Lupercalia, celebrated in the month of February, when names of young women were put into a box and drawn out by men as chance directed.” That’s the admission of the Encyclopedia Americana, article, “St. Valentine’s Day.”

When Constantine (who lived as a pagan mostly of his life and died as an Arian sympathizer) made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire there was some talk in church circles of discarding this pagan free-for-all. But the Roman citizens wouldn’t hear of it! So it was agreed that the holiday would continue as it was, except for the more grossly sensual observances. 

It was not until the reign of Pope Gelasius that the holiday became a “Christian” custom. ” As far back as 496, Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia on February 15 to St. Valentine’s Day on February 14.” (p. 172 of Customs and Holidays Around the World by Lavinia Dobler). 

But how did this pagan festival acquire the name of “St. Valentine’s Day”? And why is the little naked Cupid of the pagan Roman so often associated today with February 14? And why do little children and young people still cut out hearts and send them on a day in honor of Lupercus the hunter of wolves? Why have we supposed these pagan customs in honor of a false god are Christians?

Why February 14? 

But why should the Romans have chosen February 15 and the evening of February 14 to honor Lupercus – the Nimrod of the Bible? (Remember that day in ancient times began at sunset the evening before.) 

Nimrod – Baal or sun god of the ancient pagans – was said to have been born at the winter solstice. In ancient time the solstice occurred on January 6 and his birthday therefore was celebrated on December 25 and now called Christmas. 

It was the custom of antiquity for, the mother of a male child to present herself for purification on the fortieth day after January 6 – Nimrod’s original birthdate – takes us to February 15, the celebration of which began on the evening of February 14 – the Lupercalia or St. Valentine’s Day. On this day in February, Semiramis, the mother of Nimrod, was said to have been purified and to have appeared for the first time in public with her son as the original “mother and child.” 

The Roman month February, in fact, derives its name from the februa which the Roman priests used in the rites celebrated on St. Valentine’s Day. 

The febru were thongs from the skins of sacrificial animals used in rites of purification on the evening of February 14. 

Cupid Makes His Appearance 

Another name for the child Nimrod was “Cupid” – meaning “desire” (Encyclopedia Britannica, article “Cupid”). It is said that when Nimrod’s mother saw him, she lusted after him – she desired him. Nimrod became her Cupid – her desired one – and later her Valentine! So evil was Nimrod’s mother that it is said she married her own son! Inscribed on the monuments of ancient Egypt are inscriptions that Nimrod (the Egyptians called him Osiris) was “the husband of his mother.” 

As Nimrod grew up, he became the child-hero of many women who desired him. He was their Cupid! In the Book of Daniel he is called the “desire of women” ( Dan. 11:37). Moffatt translates the word as Tammuz – a Babylonian name of Nimrod. He provoked so many women to jealousy that an idol of him was often called the “image of jealousy” ( Ezekiel 8:5). 

Nimrod, the hunter, was also their Valentine –  their strong or mighty hero! No wonder the pagans commemorated their hero-hunter Nimrod, or Baal, by sending heart-shaped love tokens to one another on the evening of February 14 as a symbol of him. Nimrod, the son of Cush the Ethiopian, was later a source of embarrassment to the pagans of Europe. 

They didn’t want an African to worship. Consequently, they substituted a supposed son of Nimrod, a white child named Horus, born after the death of Nimrod. This white child then became a “fair Cupid” of European tradition. It is about time we examined these customs of the pagans now falsely labeled Christian. 

It is time we quit this Roman and Babylonian foolishness – this idolatry – and get back to the faith of Christ delivered once for all time. Let’s stop teaching our children these pagan customs in memory of Baal the sun god – the original St. Valentine – and teach them instead what the Bible really says!

By Reeves

JACK-O-LANTERNThe Origin of Halloween

Most of us when we see pumpkin (or otherwise known as Jack-o-Lantern) we think of Halloween. Little kids find it very fascinating and awesome as some adults do. But few of us know how or where the celebration of Halloween originated and what it means for us as Christians.

When I was a satanist, Halloween was somehow “sacred” and mystical in a lot of ways. I’m sure that October 31st is a special day for satanists, witches, occultists, and even for the ordinary people. Now that I’m cleansed and was bought a price with the holy blood of Christ, I no longer toy with it.

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (SOW-IN) AND is a pagan holiday that is celebrated on October 31. It marks the end of Summer and the beginning of Winter. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

It was a pagan belief that on one night of the year the souls of the dead return to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells and cause havoc toward those failing to fulfill their requests.Sacrifices were offered on this night to the dead spirits because it was thought they visited their earthly dwellings and former friends.

Going from a Celtic Celebration to Christianity

By the 800’s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. Some experts believe that he was attempting to replace the pagan holiday with a Christian celebration. Pope Gregory III later changed the date of remembrance to November 1 when he dedicated a chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica to “all saints.” November 1 became All Saints Day, otherwise known as All Hallow’s Day.

By Reeves

suicideGood question! Although this question misunderstands the entire concept of the Christian faith it must nevertheless be properly responded. Assuming for a moment that the questioner is a skeptic therefore the very nature of this inquiry doubts the reality of heaven and the truthfulness of Christianity.

For instance, “If heaven exist,” the skeptics ask, “why don’t you Christians commit suicide, after all isn’t heaven a better place?” and “But heaven is not real therefore you do not commit suicide.” There are lots of ways to approach this question though I decided to only chose a few. Let us analyze this question more closely.

1. If heaven exists as Christians believe,

2. They should commit suicide (since heaven is a better place).

3. But no Christian commits suicide,

4. Therefore, heaven must not exist.

Premise 1 is true that Christians indeed believe that heaven exists but premises 2, 3, and 4 are false, and should not be taken as a valid conclusion. Premise 3 is false because there are Christians, sad enough, who commits suicide, though I believe that it has more to do with brain chemical imbalance, but not for the sake of getting to heaven pronto. There are those who died, indeed for the Christian faith (martyrs) but not by solely taking one’s own life.

Breath of Life

But what about the other premise such as 2 and 4? Are these valid? I do not think so for a moment. First of all, God intended for us to live as he has given us “the breath of life,” not the breath of death. God created human beings to live and “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen. 1:28).

The command to “be fruitful, and replenish” implies having great responsibility, thus committing suicide will make Christians notoriously irresponsible!

Sanctity of Life

Second, God commanded us to fully respect the sanctity of life, and He even forbade murder (Ex. 19:13). So if one commits suicide by which taking his or her own life is tantamount to 1st degree murder! Besides murder, suicide is also selfish, cowardice, and irresponsible.

Death Is Not Heaven

Thirdly, Death is not a synonym for heaven. Likewise, death does not equal heaven as if these two concepts were the same. These two words have totally different meaning and different concepts. In fact, to even think, therefore that death = heaven is oxymoron or contradiction in terms. Death means losing life, heaven in the other spectrum means gaining life!

Furthermore, one does not have to die in order for a Christian to be and or experience heaven i.e. prophet Elijah (2 King 2:11) did not went through death but went to God. The Apostle John “saw” heaven several occasions before his natural death.

Death as Curse

Fourth, death wasn’t suppose to coexist with the living. Death “entered” when Adam and Eve rebelled and sinned against their God. Dying has become a curse and part of our existence. However, just because death has become part of life, it simply doesn’t mean intertwined with life. As a matter of fact Jesus would have not said to be “the resurrection and life,” if death and life were one. Thus there is a great gulf between life and death.

Jesus Values Life

Life is better than death, and no doubt Jesus Christ apparently valued life over death. This is illustrated in Jesus’ life by, for instance, raising his friend Lazarus (John 11:44), others, and himself from the dead. So, if dying means a ticket to heaven, Jesus and Lazarus would have remained in their graves. Thus, choosing death over life just to be in heaven will devalue life and would be in grave opposition to Jesus who is life himself.

Not All Are Going To Heaven

Finally, not all are going to heaven (according to the Bible). Those who are going to be with God are those who are born again and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. So, if you are to die today without Christ in your life, your are going to be condemned to eternal punishment which is hell. If you are living Christless then I beseech you to reconsider your life in Christ and ask for forgiveness.

Conclusion

The key word in this subject is life. God created and breath “the breath of life” not death. God gives us life and responsibility. Choosing death over life means irresponsibility. Death is not to be identified with heaven because this two has different meaning and significance. We also learned that death means losing life, while heaven means gaining eternal life. Jesus preferred life over death by raising others including himself to life. One does not have to die in order for him or her to get to heaven. Finally, Only those who are in Christ are going to heaven. And those without Christ and are living in sin are going to be in hell for eternity.