No Hindus in Vaikuntha


I’d like to thank Bhakta Eric – whose writings I enjoy – for his submission of Srila Prabhupada’s conversation with Harikesh. But before everybody sends me their favourite “We are not Hindus…” quote, and we begin what might easily become a downward spiral, may I just say a few things?

First is that there are no Hindus in Vaikuntha. Neither will you find any Christians there, and neither Jews nor Muslims. And certainly no Buddhists. Only those souls who have become free from all designations can go there.

Second, designations means any identity, name, or title given either by others or myself to describe my function or position in relation to others. That means my bodily, mental, social, political and socio-religious function and position in relation to others. OK so far?

Third, is that all these are temporary. That means they are continually subject to change. They may change abruptly or gradually during my life according to my changing perspective of reality, my changing convictions, circumstances, needs, and the social and political environment I’m working in. When I die, which in my case is in just a few years time if I’m lucky, every designation will no longer apply. I shall certainly stop being a white-skinned British male and everything that was previously designated by myself or others will become reduced to ash.

Fourth, because these designations are obstacles to my spiritual progress I have been requested to meditate on my spiritual identity as a infinitesimally small soul which is, by its very constitution, an eternal servant of the infinitely large Supreme personality of Godhead. Practising that identity, I pray to God that at the very least it will survive the death experience.

Fifth, although my designations are not, in fact, my very self; although they are temporary; although they tend to make me focus on an identity that is temporary and therefore, although real, part of an illusion, those designations refer to the instruments that I currently use in this somewhat painful reincarnation, to survive and serve.

Sixth, I have many such designations, some of which are subsets of other designations. Here are just a few: son, brother, father, husband, grihasta, tax-payer, licensed driver, white, male, Welsh, English, British, employee, resident, priest, Judo license-holder, teacher, UK passport-holder, brahmana, loyal subject of Queen Elizabeth II, and…Hindu.

Seventh, those designations are used by me, rather than me being a helpless victim of those designations. I certainly find that the UK passport-holder designation helps me, in this current body, to come and go through the borders of the country in which this body resides. I have not yet tried declaring myself to be an eternal resident of Vaikuntha at Immigration Control.

Eighth, those designations – or the materially perceivable phenomena they designate – help me to serve Srila Prabhupada this time round. My service at the moment is to help to bring about a cultural, social, philosophical and spiritual revolution within contemporary English society. Part of that revolution is to provide educational opportunities. And part of that is to support and endorse schools.

Finally, this blog is read by many more than those who subscribe to, and practise, ISKCON’s teachings. Thank you for listening!



Filed under Hinduism, Religion

7 responses to “No Hindus in Vaikuntha

  1. Nice post prabhuji. I support any designation that is engaged to further your ability to fulfill the instruction of your spiritual master. I do not support any designation that is used to avoid fulfilling the instructions of the spiritual master.

    We are a dynamic society full of dynamic individuals. Everyone must understand for him or herself what is most prudent and useful in promoting Krishna consciousness. For some the Hindu designation is critical for promoting Vaishnavism and for others, Hinduism (specifically its downsides and weaknesses) is a shield to avoid doing the needful.

  2. Hare Krishna!
    A very interesting article.

    I happen to be reading a book called “A History – India” by John Keay. He says in the book that the Persians called the river Sindhu and regions around it as – “Hindu”, which the Greeks called as “Ind”. And the Arabic and related languages retained the “H” and called the region “Hindusthan”.

    On Page 58, he says, “the word also passed on to Europe to give ‘Hindu’ as the name of the country’s indigenous people and of what, by Muslims and Christians alike, was regarded as their infidel religion”.

    But you are right. We must go beyond all these historical designations, which today in most cases are emotional attachments.

  3. mark

    Hare Hare,
    everyone has their own experiences whether following a path or not. Identification and classification immediately traps one and others, to reach is one thing, to maintain is another, to show- instruct or demonstrate has yes, …merits of karma to certain degrees. Beyond all this is still the lord’s objective that we can only sometimes begin to contemplate. But enlightenemnt in different shades in different places in various realms does help, not all souls can fast track the path and vaikuntha is hard to realize. But Narayana is splendid in all excellence and Majesty.
    Hare Hare

  4. I can’t quite understand what you’re trying to say here Mark, but thanks for your comment anyway!

  5. Sita

    Pranams Guruji,
    A well written blog on one’s Identity.Thanks for the same.It helped me when I did a similar exercise. It sort of helped me put things in perspective.Shri. Mark’s comments is also true, but Vaikunta is here in the ‘now’,if only we are able to surrender our Identity to Hari.We are but His instruments whether we acknowledge it or not.Thanks for the beautiful picture of the SriChakra.
    Hari Om.

  6. Did you also read the ‘Hinduism?’ article I wrote. That was longer and more detailed.

  7. Anonymous

    Respected Sir
    You have written widely on various aspects of Hinduism-which particular article are you referring to?Please let me know,if possible.

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