Buddhism and Hinduism in America Essay

Decent Essays
Buddhism and Hinduism in America

The Unites States is home to the most diverse spectrum of religions in the world. There are representations of nearly every religion in the world. There are three basic ways religions arrive in the US: import, export, and baggage. Buddhism and Hinduism are two Asian religions that have made it across the Pacific Ocean and now exist along side many others in America. ISKCON, a form of Hinduism, and Zen, a form of Buddhism, are two such groups.
All Indian movements have always had a charismatic leader associated with them. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was no different. Born Abhay Charan De 1896-1977 was the founder and spiritual master of ISKCON, International Society of Krishna Consciousness.
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Temples have altars and many statues or depictions of Krishna in which one can perform puja to Krishna. Mantras are also performed several times daily. These mantras are usually very simple like, “Hare Krishna, Hare Rama.” Like other forms of Hinduism, ISKCON holds the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita historically true, but does not follow traditional Indian ways. Devotees of Krishna believe that he lives in a paradisal world and with enough love and devotion for Krishna they can break free from the karmic cycle and enter into this paradise.
ISKCON beliefs are derived from the Chaitanya Krishnaite sect, which was started by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He is believed to have been an incarnation of Radha and Krishna. He taught that with enough love for Krishna, one could burn away from karma to achieve moksha. ISKCON and Chaitanya Krishnaitism differs from other Vishnuite groups, because they do not hold Vishnu as there God, but just one of his incarnations.
Moundsville, West Virginia is home to many ISKCON members. These people live and work on communal farms. The spiritual master leads ISKCON members through every detail of their lives. They have definitive schedules in which they follow daily. These schedules are either divided into time spent working on the farms or missionizing, and performing puja or chanting a mantra to Krishna. Although dating is not allowed members may be married, but the master always arranges them. Sex is for procreation
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