(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Mayapur, November 2010)

It is very interesting that Iskcon as a society has a most exalted philosophy – but that culture, we are still developing very much and that we are very under developed in some ways. The culture that we have is really an interim culture…it is a mixture.
It’s a mixture of few funny things. It’s a mixture of hippy culture – because it is interesting how this movement was a movement that started in the sixties and everyone was influenced by the hippy movement and some hippy language has survived in our movement which has died out in the world.
In the world outside of our society it is not there anymore:
Spaced Out.
‘Hey Man, totally spaced out!’
It’s typically from the hippy days but somehow or other it has survived in our movement, it’s not only language but there are also other aspects of the hippy culture that continue to live as part of the culture…


Then of course there is the Indian element that is coming into our movement – the inclination toward ritual, too ritualistic, more ritualistic than Prabhupada.
Prabhupada was very transcendental and was different from the culture where he came from, who didn’t care about so many rituals, was often quite pragmatic and lenient – whereas in India due to centuries of being terrorised by smarta brahamanism people have been terrorised with ritual and had to be more strict than strict – and this is so engrained in Indian culture and that is also added into our culture.
Well, like that we can try and analyse Iskcon culture today as being a mix of various cultures but it is certainly not pure Vaishnava culture what we are having today. That is something that we have to understand. Culturally there is lot that needs to be developed, a lot that we need to grow and mature….
In our days when you were a brahmacari.. basically it was like this: When you join the movement they ask you:
“Are you married?”
“No”
“Ok then you are a brahmacari”
“uhh? ..ok”
“Then you have to wear saffron”
“ok”
“and don’t let us catch you talking to the women, ok?! …only for important business and service”
“uhh, ok”
-and that was it, that was really it and that was what the brahmacari ashram was and there wasn’t much more to it. Now we begin to realise there is a need for more culture in all the ashrams.

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Mayapur, November 2010)

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