Converting to a different religion

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by SmilePretty, Jul 2, 2010.

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  1. SmilePretty

    SmilePretty Staff Alumni

    Okay, so i am going to set out ground rules, right off the bat.
    1)if you are going to post just to tell me god isnt real, i dont care. I believe in god, and if you dont that's fine just dont talk about it here.
    2)dont judge lol
    3)be nice?

    So, I grew up christian, pretty strict but not as strict as some. I just completed my first year of college, and one of my professors took my religion class to a ISKCON temple. ISKCON stands for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Some people know it as the Hare Krishna movement. (okay take a deep breath and remember this is my choice lol) After the first time I went to the temple I kept going back on most sunday evenings. I am now facing the challenge of telling my family. It is so scary. I dont want to be a disappointment.
     
  2. Perfect Melancholy

    Perfect Melancholy SF Friend

    it is your life and your choice do what makes you feel happy, if that is what you believe in then have faith and do not worry what other people may think or say about it..

    ..on another note I thought religious debates where meant to be kept to the soap box sub-forum?
     
  3. SmilePretty

    SmilePretty Staff Alumni

    i dont want this to be a debate, which is why i posted it here. i need advice, there is no debate or arguments wanted. and i know if i posted it in the soap box there would be.
     
  4. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    I totally agree with Rich, that it is your life and you should do what makes you happy. I only want to ask, do you know enough about this religion to make this decision? I am not suggesting that you are making this choice on a whim, it's just that I have heard many stories of people joining a religion expecting a specific thing, or not knowing everything the religion entails.

    Can I ask how long you have been going to the temple? Also, have you researched ISKCON, their history, their beliefs and teachings? I only ask because pastors (may not be the right word in relation to the Krishna) tend to be very good at 'selling' the good parts of their religion without providing the full scope.

    If that's no one's business but your own, just say so. Good luck with telling your family by the way, if you have already made your decision that is.
     
  5. SmilePretty

    SmilePretty Staff Alumni

    I have been going since last october. every day i am reading more and more about ISKCON, i am reading their religious text: the bhagavad gita, as it is and I am talking to other devotees and friends who are part of this religion. I am 90% sure this is what I am do, the other 10% worries that I am just going to hurt my family and then change my mind.
     
  6. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    Well, you obviously know what you are doing and what this change will mean to you. And considering that your 10% is not doubt, but worry of hurting your family, it sounds like you are making the right choice. You are obviously a smart person, so it's not likely you will be making a mistake by converting, considering you have already been involved for 10 months.

    I can totally understand not wanting to hurt your family (which is admirable by the way), but the way I see it, either it is necessary for your own sake, or they would understand and be happy for you whatever route you decide to take.

    Whichever one it is, if you have a proper conversation with them and tell them how serious and commited you are to this, then I doubt they would try and stop you. Even if they don't like the idea, and you go ahead with it, they will most likely see how much better off you are later on and change their minds.

    When it comes down to it, what's right for you is the most important thing.
     
  7. SmilePretty

    SmilePretty Staff Alumni

    :hug: thanks tobes, i am just so scared of disappointing them. I guess I just need to find the right time.
     
  8. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    You're welcome SP. Also, I know little about Krishna belief, and I expect it would be the same for quite a few here, so if you ever decide to make a thread some time and share a bit about the Krishna religion, I'm sure it would be quite interesting (If you feel like it of course). Hopefully, it wouldn't be mistaken for preaching, but I think the folks here at SF are smart enough to know the difference.

    Again, good luck to you following this route.
     
  9. SmilePretty

    SmilePretty Staff Alumni

    It would be interesting to explain it to people, but you're right it may sound preachy instead of informational
     
  10. Dave_N

    Dave_N Banned Member

    I am a Catholic-Hindu and I enjoy being a member of both religions. The Bhagavad Gita is a hindu text that describes the discussion that Arjun and Lord Krishna had before Arjun and his brothers the Pandavas were to fight the great Mahabharat war. The Gita is filled with many spiritual messages about how one should live his/her life through Dharma (making the right choices). I think if you are happy with the ISKCON philosophy, you should join them. :hug:
     
  11. nagisa

    nagisa Chat & Forum Buddy Staff Alumni

    If you rely on them for anything major like money for whatever, shelter, food etc. and you think they will react badly, I think it's best to wait until you don't rely on them as much. If you don't rely on them like that and still think they might react badly to it, then I'd suggest doing as much research about it as possible before telling them, in case they have any questions that you aren't sure how you might answer atm. If they're more open minded and you think there wont be a problem, then it would be ok to tell them. Obviously, only you know your family and how they might react to it. But, when you said "I am 90% sure this is what I am do, the other 10% worries that I am just going to hurt my family and then change my mind." it sort of struck me because if you think you might change your mind about it and you know it would upset them greatly if they found out, then telling them now isn't the best choice imo. You should be 100% sure before you tell them, especially if they might react badly to it, then again, if they are the understanding type, it'd be cool to talk about it with them and maybe they could help you figure it out, but from how you speak of it, it doesn't really sound like that's the case. Either way, I wish you luck and I do hope it works out for you. Be safe.
     
  12. SmilePretty

    SmilePretty Staff Alumni

    Yeah, I know the story behind the Bg. Its not a bad thing, its just that my family isn't as open minded as I am. They think it is a cult.
     
  13. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    What does joining the Hare Krishnas mean exactly?

    Does it mean that you will continue as you have done for the last several months to turn up to 'services' on Sundays or is it something more than that?

    What will you be doing differently? Will you be living there, permanently - working for the movement, as it were?

    I agree with the person who said do as much research as you can. What is the position of 'women' in this religion? Will you be considered as equal or not? If you join the movement wholeheartedly and go and live there, will you be asked to give up your wealth to them or any salary or anything like that? Will you be asked to cut ties with your family (because if you are, i think that IS a potentially worrying sign).

    What is it that you think you will benefit by joining them. Is it the religion or the community that attracts you most - or is it both?

    I think 'communities' can be attractive on first encounter but then you will find - as at any other place, there will be petty jealousies, inter-rivalries, politicking, injustices and all the rest. It won't be as 'utopic' as it may seem from the outside. Life is life and people don't change particularly - no matter where they are or what they do. There will be nice people there and nasty, back-biting, jealous, insincere and insecure people there too and the whole range in between.

    Perhaps you should talk to some people who have been in the movement, who have also left and get their point of view as to why they left or what they found lacking for them.

    This all only applies if you are planning on living there, within the community. I think that is a step that really needs to be considered fully! If you just are in sync with the Hindu religion and the Krishna way of expounding the sacred texts, the Upanishads or the Gita or the Vedas then I am delighted you have had this opportunity to come into contact with a religion that deeply inspires you --- just be sure as to WHAT your reasons are for joining this community. I think there is every possibility to be entirely religious within the world/lay community but if you need the extra support of a semi-monastic community, then for sure try it but be equally sure that you CAN leave at any time. Anyone can leave at any time from any religious institution, whether they have been there 6 days, 6 months or 6 years --- don't ever think you can't leave.
     
  14. 1izombie

    1izombie Well-Known Member

    I think being truthful is the best route personally, I dont know ur family (it would be odd tho if i did lol) and I dont know how they would react but I think if this is something thats important in your life your family will understand in time (who knows maybe they will accept it right away) Why carry the burden of hiding it from your family, you will just be putting undo stress on your self. Besides I would imagine it would be pretty hard to keep it hidden for long, and if they find out from another source than you, they may resent the fact you hide it form them. I say tell them but you know your family best.
     
  15. Dave_N

    Dave_N Banned Member

    Chjones raises some very good points here. I have heard that the Hare Krishna group is a cult, which may or may not be true. They are based on Hindu philosophy, which in itself is good, just like Christian philosophy. If they ask you to give up your money, cut ties with your family or to go and live with them permanently, DO NOT join them. My sister spent FOUR years in a cult and reintegrating back into society was very hard for her. Tread carefully.
     
  16. Sa Palomera

    Sa Palomera Well-Known Member

    Sure your family might be shocked if/when they find out you want to convert to ISKCON, but don't you think that once they get over the initial shock they will want you to choose whichever religion you feel suits you best?
    They might try to change your mind, but as long as you stick with your argument and tell them that you respect their beliefs and wish for them to respect yours too, i think in the end you will be fine.

    After all, it's your life and you need to pursuit that which makes you happiest. Surely they'll realise that in the end they can't stop you anyway.

    Go for what YOU want, because it's YOUR life. Your family will eventually come round and respect your decision.

    :hug:
     
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