Hare Krishna Inc.

The London School of Economics is considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in the world where a tremendous amount of “international” students flock in to receive the benediction of the neo-liberal priests, from the capitalist-technological temple otherwise known as western academia. They then go back to their countries to preach the new religion. They enter a symbolic economy that directly throw them in the sphere of the elite simply because they know the jargon. It does not mean they understand ‘reality’ in a better way, it is just that they speak of it with particular words, a particular syntax, a style, they ‘name’ things in a way, they diagnose the ‘symptoms’ which permits them to act accordingly in the economy.

In any case, this is not the subject of this post (if this topic interests you, you can read this illuminating case study, or simply that). In front of the main building of LSE, there is a little carriage held by a guy who give away free vegetarian food to the random passerby. Tapestry of hare krishna slogans with facts about how pacifist and enlightened it is to eat vegetarian food, how it inspires a spirit of giving to the to other, of caring for animals, etc.

I seriously wonder, why are these guys giving food to those whose thirst is quenched? Why aren’t they taking their carriage to where the hungry is and to where the poor resides? No doubt that the poor would rather have eggs and bacon at the average coffee place held by a mix of poles, turks and other pariah of the London economy.

Watching the queue of very fancily dressed students coming from the economic and social elite of all over the world, waiting for their karma food, was really something disturbing. Except for Islamic movements I have yet to see emerge social action performed by movements deriving from traditions and specific readings of history preaching to other people than the rich. It may be that the particularities of the European nation-state system does not let emerge interesting social action outside the official party system in place with its affiliated syndicates and pressure groups.

Actually, it is the idea of nation that has been stolen from what is today referred to as ‘religion’, and its sanctioned claim to write history. But more on this later…

11 Replies to “Hare Krishna Inc.”

  1. That food is called prasadam which translates easiest to spiritual mercy. We do give out to the homeless down and outs too, but one should bear in mind that within the body lies the heart and within the vicinity of the heart lies the eternal soul, and therein lies the essence of our activities. Purify the heart (soul) and the activities are purified too. Everyone is in need of spiritual sustenance so our aim is to provide that in the most palatable way possible. Our aim is to gradually purify the whole world by the chanting of Hare Krishna, the distribution of books and the free giving out of prasadam. I hope that helps to understand why Hare Krishna’s do what they do.

  2. Oh you guys must have a very efficient organization so that you could spot my post in such a quick way! Do you have special people just browsing the net to see if anything is written? If only this efficiency was put to productive use.

    Sorry to say but I really never saw you in front of anywhere except LSE (or probably Covent Garden, where other ‘social activists’ of all sorts try to convert anorexic rich girls to similar slogans). Surely not more popular or ‘working class’ areas of London.

    And I did not need to understand any spirituality content of what the food means etc. that was not at all what this post was addressing. Although it seems that ‘spiritual sustenance’ is more felt by the rich.

  3. What can I say to such Profundity?
    I live in Staincliffe near Dewsbury and haven’t lived in a Temple for many years. I don’t represent ISKCON officially.
    I have Google Alerts set to HARE KRISHNA.
    Apart from that I prefer to look for the good rather than find faults and make fun/crude jokes, which any intelligent person can do, if they so wish.
    Everyone in this world is equal spiritually and only the spiritually blind see material differences.
    The person you see is acting in his personal capacity. If you were anywhere near as smart as you make out you’d have a chat with him or her just to check the level of your illusioned smart arsed-ness. I never make fun or prejudge that which I don’t understand. Rather makes your wee article somewhat unbalanced and devoid of reality.

  4. Look haridasa you seem to contradict yourself, and that is without mentioning how you misunderstood what I am talking about. I should probably not even bother answering you, but I’ll do one last time.

    1- you say i am being judgmental when at no point have I actually questioned the very act of giving food. I just questioned the fact that it is done to an elite and not to actual poor people. And you still could not prove me wrong on that one. I never made any joke, I am actually being sad and serious here.

    2- It is you being judgmental when you assume that I don’t understand some spirituality I have never even talked about or hinted at in the first place.

    3- It seems that you get quickly irritated for someone who has found the true pacifist ‘essence’ in his heart (that lies in the body as you eloquently tried to explain to us mortals).

    And now I am going to really be judgmental watch out: I suggest that you still have a long road to take before you actually understand any of the ‘spiritual’ stuff you raised. Before you bark again think about this point.

    Also, I will leave you with an opening note so that you can ponder further on the question: materiality is spirituality. Now go think about that statement!

  5. “Irritated? not in the least”

    well, bech, i think you have your answer to why this guy addresses only the elites. he pretends not to be irritated, but fails to answer your post in any substance other than what comes as “apparences” matters and about how he presents himself: the formidable self explanatory qualities of his points, and how he is a guy who is not irritated (at least we know he is down to earth enough to judge when a situation requires irritation or not). Those are traits of saloonish concerns of bourgeois or petty-bourgeois sectors of society, who are not really different from any other bourgeois vogue but in the “originality” of appearance, a bourgeois prerequisite also.

  6. All I did was try to explain something (you weren’t aware of) in a most polite manner, but what do you do? criticise and find fault with what you don’t understand. The external dress is not how we judge people, so even people like yourself who try not to be nice (from what I see) can benefit by appreciating the good side to all things rather than pulling it apart in the manner that you do. As for being irritated I repeat, not in the least.
    What is this talk of bourgeois this and bourgeois that? Addressing the elites? The problem with your statements is that you believe yourself to have a broad mind but in reality you appear to be narrow minded because you only think on one track and it’s called tunnel vision. Obviously you are envious of so called elites or you wouldn’t speak that way. Envy is for the poor in spirit.
    Forget the past that sleeps and ne’er the future dream at all, but act in times that are with thee and progress thee shall call.
    Mr. Alhaqid, you seem to be reasonably intelligent, judging by your comments, so this is for you. The reason I don’t answer the points posted by Mr. Bech is quite simply that he would neither accept nor understand what I have to say. You think you know me because you have judged me according to your own limitations. I say limitations because everyone is limited by their own area of knowledge. I am not within your area but that doesn’t mean I consider myself superior or elite. Not at all, in fact we are all equal spiritually, oh, and by the way, spirit and matter are opposites and one is temporary while the other is eternal. The soul, the true ego, is utilising the body just as a driver sits in a car. The difference being that you think you are the body and that this world is real. You are not the body and this world is only as real as it is temporary.
    As for the person or devotee giving out foodstuffs I don’t know who it is and I don’t even know where you refer to, but one thing I do know is that bees go to honey and flies go to stools. A learned person sees a cow, a dog, an elephant, an ant and a brahmin (priest) as being the same. So, for your information we don’t judge a person by his dress, but if we have a family we might have to sell goods where people have money.
    If you two are really intelligent (I know that you are) you’ll first take a look at these websites before you make your final judgement. Peace be upon you.

  7. Hi Bech,

    I didn’t happen to browse your post, I’m an actual RSS subscriber, and I have a hunch that if we start respecting animals, we could probably start respecting humans.

    Animals are not put here to be our staff and then decide to eat them.

    Worse yet, instead of giving back to nature what we took all our lives, what we do is lock ourselves in a box and burry it so animals won’t eat us to continue its cycle of life.

    Yeah, starts with you and me. Hari Hari Khrishna! whoever that is!

  8. Jester, I don’t think I have ever condemned the practice of not eating meat. Nor have I judged the person distributing food, and nor have I judged anyone.

    I don’t know if this information can help in the argument, although I don’t think it is relevant, but I personally don’t eat meat.

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