I'm 18, currently living in Australia. When I was five my parents got really into the Krishna thing, and I was innitiated by a guru (given a new name, told I have to chant every day etcetera.)

When I was 9 we moved from a rented place to a tiny commune in the middle of the bush. My mother remarried a guy that was really into the culture, so they took me out of school to homeschool me and basically just taught me Krishna stuff and some English.

They also arranged a marriage for me when I was about 12 to a guy the family knew.

Proof:

It's kindof a difficult thing to prove, (that's why I did the Casual Christmas thing) but here's Me as a kid on a rickshaw in India. Plus I can recite a bunch of prayers and know a lot about the culture.

Comments: 327 • Responses: 89  • Date: 

emmi6567 karma

Could you explain what a Hare Krishna community is like? What was the status of women in the community?

Hairdresseronfire129 karma

The Hare Krishna community actually had some really lovely elements. The food is delicious and the clothes they wear are so colourful and cheery. There's also a sense of community that comes from it, everyone is thought of as either your brother, sister, auntie or uncle (because we're all 'children' of the guru.) They also have really beautiful songs, and meeting up with people once a week is nice.

But it's also really patriachal. Women and children are thought of as the property of the husband, and wives address their husband as 'Prabhu' which translates as 'master.' So women are taught to be submissive and do what they're told, and not really think too much. They also want women to always cover everything up as to not encourage lustful thoughts of men. And there's a lot of shame around menstruation, it's thought of as dirty and when you're on your period you aren't allowed to touch anyone else, cook food or do worship.

kshadeslayer61 karma

Women and children are thought of as the property of the husband, and wives address their husband as 'Prabhu' which translates as 'master

I'm not entirely sure if 'Prabhu' would literally translate to master, since it's also sometimes used to refer to gods. But in essence you're correct, I'd even argue that most of Hinduism is patriachal.

Source: I'm Indian.

Hairdresseronfire40 karma

Ah, makes sense. I just relayed what I was told as a kid.

kshadeslayer25 karma

BTW is that a packet of Parley-G in that picture :3

Hairdresseronfire32 karma

Yes! I loved Parley-G, I was always bugging Mum for them when I was there. I think we even snuck some back into Australia.

pazdispensers16 karma

[deleted]

Hairdresseronfire54 karma

It was completely vegetarian, yes. But dairy was a pretty big part of the diet, especially because cows are thought of as being holy (there are even special days when we worship cows.) But there are other restriction on certain foods because they're in the wrong 'mode.' (There are three modes food fall into, passion, ignorance and goodness. You can only eat things in the 'goodness' mode.) So carrots, mushrooms, lentils, chocolate, coffee, onion and garlic were all banned.

I can eat whatever I like now that I don't associate with them, but I guess the idea that eating dead animals is gross stuck with me, so I'm still vegetarian. I've looked into it more, and the whole meat industry seems pretty unethical anyway.

__Shadynasty_13 karma

Do you like chocolate now? (serious question, I imagine it would taste strange if you didn't grow up eating it)

Hairdresseronfire24 karma

I still went to stay with my Dad every now and then, and he did easter, so I grew up with some chocolate. But yeah, I do.

Although I never had egg all throughout my childhood, and I've wanted to try it but the texture just weirds me out too much. I'm going to try a few more ways to cook it though.

__Shadynasty_18 karma

I've eaten egg my entire life and I still find the texture odd. Try frying it hard, or whipping it like you would to scramble it, but then pouring it in a muffin tin with chipped up meat and veggies of your choice and baking it in the oven!!

Hairdresseronfire11 karma

Next time I'm around some eggs I will.

ThreeLZ1 karma

I feel like a solid block of egg would be the pinnacle of strange texture. And op is a vegetarian.

Hairdresseronfire2 karma

Yeah, minus the meat of course.

Techre6 karma

[deleted]

Hairdresseronfire14 karma

We did have our own cow we got milk from, but we also knew a farmer who had his own cows that we'd buy milk from. And if we didn't know anyone at the time who had a cow that was in calf, we'd travel into town and buy some.

Techre16 karma

[deleted]

Hairdresseronfire26 karma

Both my mum and my stepdad got money from centrelink, plus extra for my brother who has autism. She didn't really spend it on the kids very much, though.

My parents were hippies before they were Krishna's, so I never really ate meat. I accidentally ate cat biscuits when I was a toddler once, though.

Ooh, music. I listen to a lot of indie/alt/folk/rock. Also some pop. The Smiths are my favourite band.

And thanks!

XCygon4 karma

No coffee? wow. What about tea?

Hairdresseronfire8 karma

Only herbal tea.

keygrip78 karma

Did all of this happen I Australia? When did you go to India?

Hairdresseronfire11 karma

Yep, all in Australia. I went to India about 5 times between 2002 and 2009.

im_always_fapping3 karma

[deleted]

Hairdresseronfire31 karma

I'm not sure if they'd do it just so they can abuse their wife, but there are quite a few guys that are on a bit of a power trip with it.

Toledojoe32 karma

Did you have to marry the guy when you were 12?

Hairdresseronfire41 karma

I didn't lucklily. I think they were planning for it to be once I got out of high school.

keygrip721 karma

Who was your marriage arranged with? Did you know anything about him? and why so young?

Hairdresseronfire32 karma

He was a son off one of her friends who was about 3 years older. And I knew him, he was kind of a dickhead.

They just like to marry girls off young. For year 6 they sent me to a Krishna school, and in my class three of the boys had mothers who were married before they were 18.

keygrip79 karma

Can you legally marry at 12 years old in Australia?

Hairdresseronfire17 karma

No, I'm pretty sure they were going to wait 'till I was out of highschool.

thescatman127 karma

So are you still a part of it?

Hairdresseronfire55 karma

Nope, I got kicked out when I was thirteen.

Toledojoe28 karma

Why were you kicked out?

Hairdresseronfire96 karma

I just started to question a lot of their beliefs. They told me that the sun was closer than the moon, which I could see with my own eyes wasn't true. They also sat on the floor to eat and wouldn't use cutlery, which I just thought was stupid. It was a lot of little things, I think they just wanted an obedient little krishna girl and I wasn't really that.

space_monster26 karma

They told me that the sun was closer than the moon

do all HK believe that? or was it just particular to your commune?

Hairdresseronfire41 karma

I think it depends on how much they buy into the whole religion as a whole. But they did have some kind of explanation that I never really understood that involved the earth floating on a sea and being in the centre of a lotus. They just got myths and taught them to us as fact.

Mentalpopcorn31 karma

I have a degree in biology and an uncle who is an HK (was head of the Kolkata temple for many years until a bunch of political shit involving stolen cows came about). The last time I was in Mumbai we got in an argument about evolution, which is not something he has to deal with on a regular basis living in India, and it very quickly strained our relationship. It went on for a while and he became visibly upset, and the last question he asked me—in a tone that suggested he believed it was a slam dunk—was "did Darwin say it was the truth?", referring to Origin of Species. As in, did he actually write the phrase "this is true" in the book...because apparently if he didn't then it shouldn't be taken seriously?

I really didn't understand the point behind the question, as it's not like scientific papers/books/etc are prefaced with "by the way, this is the truth." He stopped the conversation after that, and we haven't really spoken since, which is too bad because growing up he was one of my favorite uncles.

But yeah, I learned a lot about HK teachings growing up and there was a lot of really weird shit besides just rejecting modern biology. Spot on with the obedient Krishna girl shit. That same uncle has two brilliant daughters whom he disowned because they dared to want to study in the west, and his wife ended up leaving him so now he's got no one really close to him besides his brothers.

He explained the cutlery thing by claiming that spoons and forks can never be truly clean, same reason you eat with your left hand. Grown man who actually went to a university, insane.

The only part I really enjoyed was the descriptions of the hellish planets in the Srimad Bhagavatam. That was scary as shit and makes the Christian hell seem like a walk in the park!

Hairdresseronfire18 karma

The explanation I got for the cutlery thing was that because all prasadam is actually Krishna, eating with a fork would be like stabbing Krishna. Makes perfect sense.

Also yes, the hellish planets are scary as. We got told, as children, that any elicit sex would be punished by having to embrace a sexy molten metal sculpture. And that's pretty much the only sex-ed I got.

SJ_RED8 karma

And yet, grabbing Krishna with your hands, shoving him into your mouth, chomping down hard and swallowing him down is perfectly acceptable.

Kind of odd.

Hairdresseronfire2 karma

No, no. That's 'honoring the remenents of Maha Prasad.'

Mentalpopcorn7 karma

The explanation I got for the cutlery thing was that because all prasadam is actually Krishna, eating with a fork would be like stabbing Krishna. Makes perfect sense.

Wow, that's one I have not heard before! I have to wonder how much these explanations change from group to group. I only have experience with the people in Kolkata and Denver and I've found them to be really similar, but I'm guessing these things change a lot.

Also yes, the hellish planets are scary as. We got told, as children, that any elicit sex would be punished by having to embrace a sexy molten metal sculpture. And that's pretty much the only sex-ed I got.

That is fucked!

How about the one where for every drop of alcohol you drink, Yamadutas will pour an ounce (or a bucket or something) of molten lava down your throat, and you would suffer the pain but your body would stay intact the entire time? And I remember something else about crows plucking out your eyes, but I don't remember what you had to do to get there.

EDIT: I bet you recognize this.

Hairdresseronfire5 karma

I found a translation of the actual verse!

"A householder who receives guests or visitors with cruel glances, as if to burn them to ashes, is put into the hell called Paryāvartana, where he is gazed at by hard-eyed vultures, herons, crows and similar birds, which suddenly swoop down and pluck out his eyes with great force."

Hairdresseronfire5 karma

I'm pretty sure the crows plucking out your eyes was to do with just looking hatefully at someone?

kairisika2 karma

I am certain you mean illicit.

Hairdresseronfire1 karma

I did!

Fambida10 karma

How much of their beliefs do you believe were just metaphor misinterpreted as fact, much as biblical literalists do, and how much were actually batshit from the getgo?

Hairdresseronfire19 karma

I'm pretty sure it was all just meant to be taken literally off the bat.

Fambida14 karma

Huh, I actually find that pretty interesting. I was raised pretty hardcore Catholic, and even my parents acknowledged that parts of their bible were metaphor and parts were (supposedly) literal. And they acknowledged that other people didn't always agree on which parts were which.

I really can't comprehend how someone could deal with the cognitive dissonance of reality so blatantly disagreeing with their beliefs.

Hairdresseronfire7 karma

I know! I don't understand it either. They take EVERYTHING literally.

sidrkrulz8 karma

That's pretty strange since it was Indian scholars who found out many different things of astronomy.Lot of what I've read of your experience seems to be a strange interpretation of hinduism. Being Indian and reading the gita many of the ideas in Hindu cosmology are similar in idea to modern science. Even evelution was accepted by the faith. Could you explain what exactly was the ideals of the hare Krishna faith?

Hairdresseronfire13 karma

I think it is just a weird interpretation of Hinduism. They rely more on what Gurus say than the scriptures. I was also pretty young when they tried to explain it to me, I didn't really get most of it. Sorry.

This image was posted on the wall and they used it to answer my questions, though. I still don't understand it at all.

Hairdresseronfire6 karma

Also this is it zoomed out a bit.

keygrip77 karma

Have you been on your own since?

Hairdresseronfire11 karma

Kindof, I stayed with relatives mostly.

president_of_derp4 karma

Technically that's impossible to see with your own eyes from the surface of the earth.

Hairdresseronfire28 karma

I had a telescope when I was young, so I could see all the craters on the moon and everything, so I figured that was much closer than they said. Plus I read a lot of books that explained how the universe was set out. But yes, you're right, I couldn't really compare the distance by looking alone.

ThatJanitor9 karma

You tried to look for craters on the sun, but they were kind of hard to spot.

And then everything became spotty.

Hairdresseronfire8 karma

Indeed.

omnomcookiez22 karma

Until there's an eclipse.

Hairdresseronfire27 karma

We weren't allowed to look at eclipses...

omnomcookiez25 karma

Ah Faith, the denial of observation that belief may be maintained.

Hairdresseronfire35 karma

I never thought about why until now... they said it was because I giant immortal demon head was eating the moon and all our good karma would go away if we looked at it, but that does make much more sense.

Observerwwtdd23 karma

How aware were you (if at all) of being "different"?

Hairdresseronfire33 karma

While I was a part of it, I felt kind of special. I was taught that I was going to go to the spiritual world and be with Krishna, and we'd be happy all the time. We kindof looked down on 'Karmis' (non-Hare Krishnas) and thought of them as pretty ignorant. So there was a bit of smugness going on.

ashu_ri19 karma

What was the worst thing you've seen while you were there?

Hairdresseronfire51 karma

We had a cow that died in childbirth because they wouldn't call the vet, that was pretty bad. Also seeing the little kids with rashes/boils/lice/bad teeth because the parents were too afraid of doctors and modern medicine.

Don_Dakota18 karma

How did your parents react to you leaving? Are they still part of the community?

Hairdresseronfire53 karma

My Dad left the community when I was about 7, so he was really supportive and encouraging and let me stay with him for a while.

Mum's still pretty heavily involved, though. She tried to bribe me to come back with things she knew I wanted for a while until she just gave up. I haven't talked to her since I left.

drnknangry13 karma

Why don't you live with your Dad anymore?

Hairdresseronfire39 karma

He liked to live 'rustically' (aka in the middle of the forest without mains power) and I wanted to live in town.

drnknangry22 karma

That's understandable. How does your Dad make a living?

Hairdresseronfire34 karma

He does a bit of everything. Farming, singing. Nothing steady, though.

drnknangry32 karma

You have an interesting life. Thanks for answering questions.

Hairdresseronfire31 karma

Hm, I'm glad. You're welcome, it's been fun.

SublimeCozen17 karma

Do you believe in any religion today if so which one? Has your upbringing changed your perspective on religion altogether in a negative way?

Hairdresseronfire58 karma

No, I'm an atheist, but not very fussed about it. I did go through a Richard Dawkins faze where I argued with all my religious friends whenever religion was brought up, though.

I think it did show me a darker side to religion, the way it can be used to control people. So yeah, I'm a bit more wary.

crystallrose16 karma

Again, being brought up in a cult has made me very wary of religious people, though my best friend for the last 20 years is somewhat religious and her father is a retired minister. I am fully atheist, though there are times when I wish I did believe just to make it easier to deal with life. I even catch myself "praying" sometimes, just in case, it's not a belief just a habit.

Hairdresseronfire19 karma

Same! Sometimes when I'm about to fall asleep I find myself thanking God or asking him to help me fall asleep. I guess it's nice to be thankful, anyway.

seakor17 karma

How large was this community you grew up in? And what was their response to facts (such as the distance with the sun and moon) as presented by books, the interest, etc.?

Hairdresseronfire22 karma

People were always coming and going, but there were usually between 15-30 living at the place at the time. There's also a much bigger community of people (probably around 150) who don't live on a community and have normal jobs and everything.

They thought scientists were just making it up, ignored the facts or came up with confusing explanations.

00b5d317 karma

Do you feel like your schooling during that time was sufficient? What have you done since you were kicked out of the community?

Hairdresseronfire33 karma

It wasn't really at all, no. But I hated maths and couldn't understand it, and if I didn't get it straight away my mother would get frustrated and get me to do something else (like English, which I was already good at.) I struggled with maths all through highschool and dropped it as soon as I could.

Since I was kicked out of the community I've just been attending highschool and living with my Grandmother.

brokentelescope17 karma

A Hare Krishna community near me had a measles outbreak last year. What kind of medical care do you get in a commune?

Hairdresseronfire26 karma

My family in particular didn't like any 'mainstream' medicine, and was really into homeopathy/letting it run it's course. I got a chest infection in India and they gave me special Ayurvedic jam and herbs, and waited about two weeks to take me to an actual hospital. (This was after I started hallucinating, had vertigo and lost heaps of weight.) My siblings don't ever get checkups or anything. I think most fundemental Krishnas are like that.

SUITED_POCKET_ACES16 karma

By reading all your answers, it seems to me that the Hare Krishna community is trying to replicate the Indian scene or atmosphere in your community.

Like all aspects of it - vegetarianism, situation of women, "conservativeness" etc.

How do you feel about living exactly like a hindu brahmin girl in the 80's for the first 13 years of your life?

Hairdresseronfire30 karma

It really is. A lot of the time when I'd ask for something 'can't we eat with forks?' they'd tell me 'people in India don't eat with forks.' I felt like telling them that yes, true. But WE'RE NOT IN INDIA.

allhailcats45 karma

I'm indian and i use forks and spoons to eat lol

Hairdresseronfire27 karma

I wish thirteen year old me knew this.

MintChocChipIceCream14 karma

How has it been detrimental to your life? Do you do any cult-save type work now? Why are you doing this AMA?

Hairdresseronfire35 karma

Well, I think it caused me to be really really shy as a young teenager. I didn't really date for ages because I felt really terrible about myself and was quite depressed. I'm much better now, though.

I don't do any cult-save type work because I'm still in highschool, but it's something I'd be interested in.

And I'm doing this AMA because I thought you guys might find it interesting. Also I'm in the middle of holidays and really bored.

planet_j61214 karma

How was a normal day in your life back then? What things did you like the most?

Hairdresseronfire48 karma

Mum would wake up before 5, go to the temple (sometimes I'd go with her.) Then she'd get back and wake everyone up around 6, we'd eat breakfast, have a wash out in the bath outside, get dressed, put tilak (clay) on our faces, then I'd do some schoolwork. In the afternoons we'd do more creative things like drawing or learning music. Then dinner and to bed when the sun goes down.

My favourite thing was reading, I used to go to the town library and get 20 books out a time, then take them all back and get more. Whenever things got hectic I'd just escape to my loft and read, and always carried a book around with me.

I also liked swimming in the creek, climbing trees, building cubbyhouses and eating bush-food.

VITALY_CHERN0BYL3 karma

Tell us about "bush-food."

Hairdresseronfire18 karma

No, there's nothing weird about it. We ate things like lily-pillies (little native pink berries,) rose-apples (these foamy crunchy rose-water flavoured fruits) and native ginger. Plus what was growing on the farm.. mulberries, paw-paw, mangoes. For all the shit things he did, my stepdad did teach me about native plants.

CharredHam11 karma

Can you tell us a funny story from your childhood?

Hairdresseronfire58 karma

One time my half brother and I were annoyed at my mother so we should get revenge on her.

We first decided we were going to dig a really deep hole and trap her, but after about 10 minutes of digging we realised that wasn't going to work. We already had a hole, though, so we dug a little bit deeper and then tried to do a shit in it, so she'd step in it. We tried, but we just couldn't go.

Then we realised we had a compost toilet, filled with suitable turds, just nearby. So we got a pair of long sticks lifted some out, then put it in in the hole. We covered it over with sticks and leaves so it just looked like a normal piece of ground.

We then called Mum over 'to show her something,' but she didn't step on it at first and just walked by. So we (super subtly) said 'you should step there!' And then she did, but our covering skills were too good and the sticks held her up above the hole. Then she gave us a weird look and walked away.

I don't know if that's funny, or just a bit fucked up....

Banananananananana133 karma

Wow hahaha. That's crazy. Crazy cool! What other kinds of pranks were carried out ?

Hairdresseronfire22 karma

Oh gosh... one time I was annoyed at my friend, so I decided to put peanut butter in her shoe. But I didn't want to wreck it permenantly, so I got toilet paper and spread peanut butter on it, then put in the shoe.

I felt so guilty I confessed to her straight away, though.

TakeASmile11 karma

During your homeschooling, did they not teach you any other subjects? What is the community's view on educating children in subjects like sciences, history, math, etc?

Hairdresseronfire16 karma

My mother half-heartedly tried to teach some other subjects. But 'science' was often learning to cook something, and 'history' was reading the Baghavad-Gita and learning about the different incarnations of god. She pretty much just gave up on maths, although we did some reciting of the times-tables every now and then.

The community seems to be very cynical of 'karmi' education, so they're not too keen on teaching things like science or history (especially because basically everything in science disagrees with what they teach.)

thafezz10 karma

Can you have contact with you mother or do you choose not to? Do they allow outside "visitors"?

Hairdresseronfire13 karma

I chose not to have contact with her. And yeah, people are allowed to come in, they encourage it. They make out it's really great there, show them the beautiful surroundings and gardens and temple.

Trailmagic9 karma

What do you think about Hare Krishna being permitted to solicit students at universities? At UMD they give out free vegetarian food every week, and while I happily accepted it I questioned how they could afford so much food and what they were actually doing there.

Hairdresseronfire13 karma

I don't know, I guess they're doing a nice thing, giving out free food. They probably afford it because if you're a part of the temple you're meant to give pretty sizable donations. I saved up over $1000 when I was younger and gave it all to the guru, then his 'people' supposedly give it back to the temples to do things like maintain temples/start schools/cook free food.

Trailmagic10 karma

Thanks for the response. The food was great and welcome as a fellow vegetarian, but I couldn't shake the feeling that they were trying to sell me something...they were just too happy and nice, if that makes sense. Maybe I'm too cynical.

Btw I read one of your other comments and would encourage you to, perhaps sometime in the future, keep your mind open to your own sense of spirituality (nondenominational and agnostic-leaning, perhaps). It can be an invaluable support in our darkest times, and when we look at the fringes of scientific understanding it becomes clear how little we know. Spirituality is unpopular on reddit and I have very little of it myself, but it gave me the hope to keep living at one point, so it would be a pitty to let your experience sour your personal relationship with the universe. Feel free to completely ignore this, as I am out of line.

Hairdresseronfire17 karma

No, I get that with them a lot. It always seems like they want something from you. But hey, free food.

About spirituality... I just find it hard to believe in something I can't have explained to me/understand. I kind of wish I did believe in a God sometimes, it'd be nice to think you have someone looking out for you all the time. I just don't.

ElectricAcid9 karma

  1. Do you still have any interest in the religion or still hold any of the beliefs? If not, what do you believe in now?

  2. Did you have any spiritual experiences during the time you were doing the meditations and mantras?

  3. What happened when you were kicked out? Was your mother upset and did she stay?

Hairdresseronfire25 karma

  1. I'm interested in learning about/studying religion, but I'm not spiritual at all.

  2. I remember one time I woke up at about 4:30 and walked over to the temple, and we did some bhajans and chanting for about half an hour. Then, walking back, I could see these little sparks of light floating in front of me that I thought were Radha and Krishna, and I was convinced I'd been shown them because I was such a good devotee. I don't know what that was.

Also, apparently when I was younger I could remember my past life, and always used to tell Mum about it. I don't remember that too well though.

  1. It was pretty rough, my stepfather grabbed all my belongings and threw them down the stairs and told me 'you're not welcome here anymore.' He also said something about 'sometimes you have to sacrifice a rotten fruit in a bag to save the rest' in regards to me. Mum was apparently upset, but not enough to leave him, so. I don't really care about her anymore.

keygrip79 karma

What are your feelings towards your mom now? towards do you resent her? Do you want to see her? Do you miss her?

Hairdresseronfire17 karma

I don't really care about her at all anymore. I don't want to see her, but do miss who she used to be sometimes. She's changed quite a bit, though.

Romiress4 karma

Then, walking back, I could see these little sparks of light floating in front of me that I thought were Radha and Krishna, and I was convinced I'd been shown them because I was such a good devotee.

Fireflies? That was my first thought from your description. Very early morning, sparks of light floating around.

Hairdresseronfire10 karma

No, they kind of focused after a bit (once I was back at the house) and I saw actual figures that I recognised as Radha and Krishna (two of the gods.) I think it was just my imagination, though.

sidneylopsides8 karma

That's interesting, sounds like something that could be used as an example of a "real" spiritual experience, but doesn't affect your ideas of belief now.

Hairdresseronfire9 karma

I felt a great sense of achievement about it, too. Like all the chanting had finally paid off. I don't know what it was, it's weird.

sidneylopsides3 karma

Could it be a trick of the mind because you wanted to see something?

Hairdresseronfire7 karma

Yeah, I think so.

drretardo2 karma

The physician in me would speculate some kind of abnormal brain function like a premigraine or preseizure aura. Childhood hallucinations are also not uncommon. Do any of those things add up for you?

The human being in me hopes that it was legit. Very interesting, and even though I'm late getting here, I really enjoyed hearing your story.

Hairdresseronfire3 karma

I'm not sure. I used to see fairies and stuff when I was a little kid, I always figured I just had a great imagination. Could be something like that, though. I very much doubt it was legit, though.

furyextralarge8 karma

what was the commune like, as far as living conditions go? What were the houses made of and how many people were there? Was it crowded?

Hairdresseronfire11 karma

The commune had one fully-functioning, normal house, and everyone else lived in little shacks or shipping containers.

Pretty crowded, yeah. For a while I was living in a 3 X 4 metre room with 5 other people.

is-this-kosher8 karma

I know nothing about the Hare Krishnas, thank you for doing this AMA.

What is the connection with Hare Krishna and India? Do they believe in Hindu Gods/philosophies?

Hairdresseronfire6 karma

Hare Krishna is a sect of Hinduism, kindof. They share a lot of the same gods/festivals/traditions.

is-this-kosher4 karma

Do they revere Hinduism, or is Hinduism the "wrong" path? How does Hare Krishna differentiate themselves from Hinduism?

Hairdresseronfire4 karma

I think they're pretty indiferent towards Hinduism. Sometimes Hindus come to the temple and they're usually welcomed. It's just that Hindus have many gods, while Hare Krishna think that Krishna is the most 'pure' and best incarnation of God.

Mentalpopcorn2 karma

To be fair, a lot of Hindus believe this about their particular deity.

Hairdresseronfire2 karma

That is true.

kshadeslayer7 karma

Did you spend time with the ISKCON group?

Hairdresseronfire4 karma

Yeah, we lived on one of their farms for a bit.

president_of_derp7 karma

How much weed did your parents smoke?

Hairdresseronfire10 karma

It's not allowed, and they were quite strict (didn't even drink coffee because of the caffeine) so I think none at all. There were a lot of hippies coming and going, so it was around. I also remember finding marijuana plants a few times walking through the forest, so..

Taylor6457 karma

What were your parents religious backgrounds before joining? I've always been somewhat interested in Hinduism and the Krishna stuff.

Hairdresseronfire8 karma

They were hippies, into a lot of the Eastern religions, but didn't really commit to anything.

bikeridingchutebuddy7 karma

What are you up to now days? Your family moved to India or you were already there? What lead them there in the first place? Do you know your real father and still communicate?

Hairdresseronfire9 karma

I'm just finishing high school right now.

And although my mum does want to move there, so far she only travels there almost every year. She goes because her Guru is there, and because all of the myths that she believes in supposedly happened in a specific town she goes to.

I do see Dad, most weekends.

ytrezazerty4 karma

how does your mum actually affords the plane tickets?

Hairdresseronfire6 karma

She uses benefit money that she gets for the kids, I think.

GriffGriffin6 karma

I live in Los Angeles and there is a pretty large group here. They show up at street fairs and other community events and just sing and dance. I think they were handing out homemade cookies one time too. I, errr, passed on the cookie. Is this part of a recruitment strategy?

Hairdresseronfire15 karma

Yeah, they like to hand out food to get people interested.

They also do a thing where they give you a 'free' book, then pester you for a donation.

PhatController5 karma

Are you still a vegetarian?

Hairdresseronfire12 karma

Yep!

The_Sammich5 karma

What's your favourite George Harrison song?

Hairdresseronfire9 karma

I actually really like My Sweet Lord...

nrith4 karma

How'd you get into Morrissey?

Hairdresseronfire10 karma

...I think it was from reading The Perks of Being A Wallflower. Very uncool, I know.

Franco_DeMayo9 karma

I love that book! Can we be uncool together?

Hairdresseronfire5 karma

Let's!

Jonesoda4 karma

What's you're favorite breakfast food?

Hairdresseronfire7 karma

Muesli with fruit and yoghurt.

elf273 karma

It sounds like there are many Hare Krishna communities. Are they affiliated somehow, or do they function independently?

Hairdresseronfire4 karma

They usually all stem from ISKON, but don't really interact.

elf274 karma

How different is it from one community to another? Do they function from the same script, or all they all basically doing their own thing? Also, how did the community you were in support itself?

btw, many years ago I used to visit the ashram in Chicago on Sundays for the free food. If you were willing to put up with the proselytizing, that food was delicious!!

Hairdresseronfire3 karma

The main difference between them is who their guru is, because the guru kind of dictates what the people believe. But different communities attract different kind of people, anyway. They do all function from the same script, we went over to the other ones every now and then and were able to use the same song books most of the time.

The community ran mostly off donations, and the individuals were mostly all on benefits. A few people had jobs.. my crazy uncle always had schemes of ways to make money. He made metal sculptures and sold trees and stuff. Also they sell books.

soulslicer02 karma

Did you learn Hindi?

Hairdresseronfire2 karma

A little bit, I've forgotten almost all of it though.

Pray2bigbong1 karma

Do you have difficulties in quantitative stuff like math?

Hairdresseronfire1 karma

Yes.