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Should aspiring devotees seek psychiatric couseling for their mental

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problems? /images/graemlins/confused.gif /images/graemlins/confused.gif /images/graemlins/confused.gif

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That is a tricky one. One one hand they may have insight into past experiences in your life that are causing you to hang on to destruction patterns that maybe interfering with you sadhana.


On the other hand they will usually consider your ideas of spirituality as so much mental fantasy stemming from a need to find something to help you cope with "reality." Like God for instance.


Mostly they can help one climb from ignorance into passion or some "transpersonal pyschologists" may be able to help you develop some into sattva-guna, but they are then mostly some variety of impersonalists or Buddhists.


But in the area of helping remove some of the grosser mental emotional blocks many of us face they can be somewhat helpfull. Pray to Supersoul for protective discretion first if you choose to go this route.


Hare Krsna

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I don't think seeing a counselor could necessarily hurt you. If you have a strong desire to do so, then maybe you should. Do you have a guru that you can talk with? Guru is the best counselor we have! Trust your intuition.


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As long as the counselor is not inimical to Krishna consciousness, and even understands they must support your belief in this path and never go against it, then yes, devotees should get counseling for mental problems cuz they dont go away by ignoring them. They will get bigger however, by ignoring them.


There is also another method, tho it takes some sincere effort. Its been proven that one can heal themselves from reading GOOD (and not just any) self-help books about emotional problems.


The advantage is that one doesn't have to submit themselves to a counselor they fear will contradict their beliefs. (Tho not all of them do that, but must be looked into.)


The difficulty for some, tho not all, is that you really must make a study of it, sereriously put a time slot into your schedule to read regulary, preferably daily, and usually with a notepad nearby or a highligher pen, something, to mark out the points you need to focus on, or others that will literally jump out of the page at you and a light bulb goes off ("Oh! THAT was what was going on!")


Its worth it and it works, but you must work. And usually one book is not enough. You WILL feel a drastic improvement sometimes after only one book and think thats all you require. Though in most cases its just an initial lift, and there are still deeper levels that need to be addressed, as well as the mind just needs to develop new habits and ways of thinking, which it tends to argue with. /images/graemlins/smile.gif Just as most accept a few weeks or months of therapy is not enough when going to someone outside themselves who will also remind them of this, neither is one book enough. Therefore, as a person would understand the importance of putting in a good amount of time visiting a counselor, you need to remind yourself that just cuz you do it at home and independently, it still needs to be given time. If you dont have that kind of strength or willpower, best to go to a professional.


With that said however, I do not feel its something one has to do for life. Usually a year or a year and a half will resolve most problems.


Then to touch back with it every once in a while will usually be needed, because life problems arise. Their higher pruprose is to show us areas our minds need to become purified on the next level. (Yes, it works that way too.)


But touching back is not the same as doing it all over again. At that point a devotee all ready has the basic knowledge but issues may gradually arise that need to be looked at which they did not require in the past, or in this age of kali we become forgetful. Never underestminate our ability to become forgetful and therefore think we do not need something, anything. Thats our false ego talking! /images/graemlins/smile.gif


One more helpful tool to add: once the book aspect has been taken care of, consider journaling. I once read scientific studies have proven that journaling brought about significant success resolving emotional issues or various problems of the mind. But the journaling should come later in the process, after about 3-6 months, because the initial new way of thinking needs to take root. Unless you find a workbook that gives directions on how to journal. They are out there too.


Ok, getting off my soap box now. /images/graemlins/smile.gif Simply, I use to live at a temple where many devotees did this. Now, a few went overboard (tho often that is initially needed just to get going, or maintain, yet one should come out of that phase). However most benefited, and I saw the drastic difference it made in their lives. For example, one godsister/friend told me it saved her marriage. And there are other positive results from various devotees. So yes, do your own counseling. It works! Again, if you do.


Hope that helps.



Prtha dd

P.S. If a list of good books are needed, I know a few. Tho maybe others could also post some. I haven't done this for years and there may be some new ones out there that are specific for our times.

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modern psychiatry or psychology has become

fixated on drugging patients with anti depressents

and mood altering agents, they speak as authorities

on the mind/personality but in fact they are clueless

and generally are a waste of time and money and cause

more harm then good.


depending on your problem most problems can be solved

through herbal remedies and hatha yoga,along with changing

diet and environmental factors that may be causing

distress, also associations with certain people can cause

distress,it depends on your situation.


reading the advertisement for Dhira though he seems to be

acclaimed like a vaisnava Tony Robbins, although if i were you i would avoid paying someone who promises to solve

all the problems of life and tells you they are the truth

the light and the way, a real healer makes no such claims.

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this is a tony robbins quotes site




this kind of hypno-psycho therapy has had great success,

scientology the most successfull along with robbins,

i call it hypno because essentially like hypnosis

only some people are affected by it.


these kind of 'therapists' make grandiose claims,

offer many "respectable" people praisng them,

but never actually tell you anything unless you

give them a large amount of money, then you get from them

some kind of mental chicanery trying to pass itself off as

scientific, buyer beware.

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It is best to discuss your problems with devotees / they have the right insight. A psychiatrist has to ´lay on the couch´ himself + he has to become a certified loony, before he can treat other loonies. You cannot expect good results form that kind of treatment. It takes years, convenient for the therapist, but not for your wallet.

On the other hand, homoeopathy / which principles come from the Bhagavatam / has a proven track/record of solving the mental and emotional problems first. So if you feel like it, you can e/mail me at similicure hotmail.com. )sorry, this keyboard is somewhat crazy. The keys don´t hold what they indicate)

I will tell you what to get and where and you can take that and solve your problems quicksmart.

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BTW my name is Vaikunthanath das Kaviraj and I am a certified homoeopath. I learned this in Vrindavan of all places and worked there for 6 years. In total I have 25 years experience now and a success-rate of 96%. It will cost you no more than the price of the medicine - i.e. $10 at most.

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there is a good reason these "gurus" of therapy and motivational speaking never give their advice

for free, the fact is the same advice is available

for free in the self-help section of your library,

or internet.


self help gurus



while at first glance to the unsuspecting credulous person

these self help techniques may seem beneficial,in truth

they foist an unnatural dependence to an artifically

created mental process that ultimately fails

to create a healthy mind,instead creating a zombie like

approach to situations and relationships,

here is a great article on this,although the links

he gives at the end lead to some bogus groups,

his article is insightfull.


the truth

self help books


make money being a "guru"

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if you want drug free psychotherapy try primal therapy, bioenergetics and gestalt therapy.

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primal therapy = Screaming

gestalt therapy = yelling at a chair.

bioenergetics - I dont know this one, but I hope it is different from the others and not so violent. Some may need such a realse, but not that everyone does.


Moving on, I agree that going to seminars by devotees (or anyone really) that guarantee instant cure is questionable at best. But I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater but instead, look for something middle ground.


(I still think my book idea is best. Its private, its safe, etc. But thats up to you.)


I also do not think it is wise in most cases to go to devotees in the first place. You can discuss with them casually, but to have them therapize you, well, its a small world for ISCKON devotees and gossip travels. I have actually seen this happen, devotees who said they were going to do therapy on someone and help them, phone someone up with private matters that person revealed to them in confidence. So beware.


I also tend to trust more someone who has a certificate on their wall than those who read a few self help books and now think they can help more than just theirself.


Prabhupada's temples should not be used for all this seminar stuff either. I have no problem with them in general (if licensed, like Dr. Phil), but some devotees are starting to make therapy our religion. Our temples and communities, our entire movement should be for Krishna consciousness only. This is what Prabhupada started and desired. I can't imagine Prabhuapda being pleased we use his communities for seminars and therapy, or even authorizing it in the first place. If someone needs a medical or psychology type of doctor, they should go to a licensed one outside the community.


Thats my two cents worth. /images/graemlins/smile.gif

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Priita:" Our temples and communities, our entire movement should be for Krishna consciousness only. This is what Prabhupada started and desired. I can't imagine Prabhuapda being pleased we use his communities for seminars and therapy, or even authorizing it in the first place. If someone needs a medical or psychology type of doctor, they should go to a licensed one outside the community. "


A devotee can't make progress into KC unless he gets rid of his "mental disorder" then why isn't getting rid of that mental disease krishna consciousness work or related work?Why would prabhupada object to this?

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Right on Priitaa about misusing temples. I knew this was going to become a bigger and bigger thing a few years ago when they started advertising some seminar at the Berkeley temple.


So much $(required) to get in the door and attend. That may be fine somewhere else, but not at a temple.


The temples should be strict about their main purpose, Radha/Krsna worship. Specific Krsna katha.


We must beware of other issues coming in even though they may be related.


There is one letter where Prabhupada said he didn't want the ghastly pictures showing slaughter practices in the Back to Godhead magazines.


I actually post such pictures of how cows are slaughtered around campus here and elsewhere in Berkeley. Trying to shock some people awake to the issue. But I would never consider putting one up at the temple.


Temples should never be allowed to morph into community action centers or holistic health centers etc. These are good things but not on temple property.


Even Govinda resteraunts, Prabhupada wanted them to have a separtate entrance.


Keep temples, temples.

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"A devotee can't make progress into KC unless he gets rid of his "mental disorder" then why isn't getting rid of that mental disease krishna consciousness work or related work?Why would prabhupada object to this? "





Haribol. Actually, the answer to this question is simialr to one you asked not so long ago about medical doctors. Anyway, yes, it is true that if one has a mental disorder they need a doctor of the mind. And by so doing, they will be able to progress better in their Krishna consciousness. However, there are plenty of other places to get that. A temple is for the highest. Pure Krishna katha and pure devotional service only. If I am not explaining this clearly enough, as I feel I am not, maybe somene could elaborate. But Prabhuapda temples were not about the body, but the soul. The body was to be taken care of elsewhere. When you get hurt you go to the hospital, when your soul hurts you go to church, or the temple.

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Haribol Theist,


You hit the nail right on the head. And it is a relief to see that someone out there remembers the 'real' missoin Prabhuapda started, the real standared, and so on. Much has been altered since that time, which should never have been touched.


I had such beliefs on this anyway, but lucky me, I even got first hand experience! /images/graemlins/smile.gif


Long story as short as possible, but to share this so no one will fall prey to it, I once moved into a devotee community too attracted to therapy. It was probably similar to your Berkeley experience, but money was not the price you had to pay. It was worse. You darn near had to give your soul.


That is, the devotees started following some bogus new age guru therapist ('Sterling' is his last name), and they required everyone to join their club/group and get "therapized." If you didn't, they treated you like you were mud. Actually, they treated you like you were a "karmi!"


I am sure you remember or have seen, back in the day, what it was like when someone did not move in a temple, how the devotees would nag at them until they surrendered to moving in. At least with this you knew if was for your spiriutal advancement toward Krishna. But these devotees took that same propensity and harassed myeslf and any of the other women who did not want to join their "women's group" to get 'therapized' by them. As I am not the only one who had a problem with their bogus woman's group. A couple of godsisters confided in me the same exact feelings about them. One even was harshly judged, they stuck their nose in her personal life, gossip was spread, all because she refused to join them. She had to relocate.


Oh yes, not to be left out - they had a mens group too. That group also preached nonsense contradictory to what Prabhupada wanted his disciples engaged in. I know some crude details told to my husband by men who joined, only to later find out what it was 'really' all about. And this is one of the reasons all club members are sworn to secrecy. No one wants what they propagate inside it to get out. In this case, its good the secrecy did not hold. Devotees have a right to know what's being propagated within those groups becaue they have a right to know what they are joining.


Upon my complaint to the women's group ('Where is Krishna?'), they threw in a little Bhagavag-gita and changed their name to a more Kirshna conscious one. Correction: Only to a less therapeutic name. Anyhow, they even came to my door to 'let me know.' But I also knew they were cheating. Yes, its nice they added some Gita, but I felt it was more of a cover up, as they were still doing therapy.


It gets better. /images/graemlins/smile.gif


Within the group, which you 'had' to join, it became a requirement to tell them something very confidential during the second half of the meeting, and you were pressued until you did. (I know this from those who caved from the pressure to join and later told me what went on inside.) Such devotees in charge had become "self appointed" therapists from a few seminars and books.


While I suspect most other devotees that want to help other devotees aren't as far in left field as these were, they still need to go to college and get an offical degree, put some genuine effort & time into studying the subject before they should be promsing anything to anyone.


And gossip? The two in charge of the group would phone each other after a meeting (therapy session) and make a 'pact' that if they told the other what the devotees had reveled to them in confidence, that it would go no further. But you know it did. And it did. Without a doubt! If nothing else, her teeenager told my teenager "I heard my mother say over the phone that yada yada." Even the kids were being contaminated. But I do not believe this was the only way it got out. And so they began to thrive off the gossip they obtained and shared each week!


Since I knew that even qualified therapy, what to speak of this weak excuse disguised as 'therapy,' was not what Prabhupada wanted for his communities and temples, I refused to join them. And they made sure I suffered for it. They even took my children aside, spoke to them without my permsision and against me, telling them their mother should attend their group. Just like decades ago when some use to say "You're mothers in maya for not moving in the temple!" At least we were young and foolish then. There's no excuse now. Its highly immature at best.


I still didn't cave, but not to think this was easy. It was worse than any experience I had in any ISCKON temple. And we know Iskcon doesn't exactly have a clean slate. :-) Yet, at least there is some authority you can go to when someone jerks you around. Or another authority, or another, etc., until you get helped when being picked on.


Yet many ISKCON temples have taken to following much of their procedure, tho watered down by the person/s who started it in order to hide some garbage they propagate in thier 'special' little club. How do I know for certain ISKCON devotees are doing this? Not only have temple devotees told me, even 'invited' me to some of these 'women's groups,' but when I lived at that community the women told me brochures and packages were being mailed out regularly and all over ISKCON (plus some airplane trips, including to India). These packages contain the "therapeutic how to's," accompanied with word jugglery of how wonderful it will make all godsiblings relationsihps. Yeah right. Its all hype.


Whlie this started around 1992, not to think it has stopped. I have relocated since that time, and a few years ago I attended one local woman's group. I attended only because I needed to look into something, but figured they must have changed by now. Then they started playing some 'therapy games.' It seems to continue, maybe to various degrees, but I doubt it has ended even as I speak/type. And remmeber, there are some mens groups too. But devotees are so desparate, having fallen so far away from from Prabhupada's pure teachings and energy that existed when he was here, that they fall for it out of neediness. Which is not a put down at all, simply we should recognize it and take correct, spiriutal action.


I wish to clarify, I am not against therapy. If someone needs a therapist, go to a licensed practitioner. Of course, we need to make sure they are not inimical, but also should not use that as a fear to avoid them and turn to under-educated devotees playing therapist.


I have told my story. Not for pity, but so the devotees will stop thinking they can do therapy based on attending a few seminars, or reading a few books, or else think its safe to receive therapy from somone unliscensed because they are a devotee. Danger Will Robinson, Danger! lol


We need to stop making therapy our religion. I see where some are darn near addicted to it. It has its place, but that's in the office (etc) of a professoinal!


Let us keep Prabuapda's temples for what he intended them to be for: Worship of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna! Deovtional serivce/ preaching, and chanting! Sravanam kirtanam vishno


With that said, I had forgotten about Prabhuapda instructing that even Govinda's needed a separate door. I wonder if they all still do.


The cow story was good too. I am glad no more man with a cows face and cow with a mans face while the cow is going to be slaughtered, are in BTG. Yet I do find them good for the nondevotee or meat eater. Sometimes they are unaware, as many are meat eaters out of ignorance. Hanging pics around campus is fine, and yes, not at temples.

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Thank you dear theist for this wonderfully succinct slogan for ISKCON temples everywhere.


Keep temples, temples.


Keep temples, temples.


Keep temples, temples. !!!

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I'm not sure how you mean it, but dis-ease is real and related to mental or emotional problems; whereas disease is just as real, is very physical, and the mind plays a minor role or no role. This is the problem, that dis-ease has been used for both, when it only applies to psycohlogical disorders. Hope this clears it.

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what a story, the real agenda of these groups isn't

therapy,it's control, becoming the guru, controlling

through diefication of therapy and therapist.


i would not be suprised to learn that there is a concerted

effort on some peoples part to use this "therapy"

as a way of gaining legitimacy as an authority

figure within the Vaishnava community, this seems like

it is going on, with that earlier attempt entitled

"the prominent link" and combined with this

therapy scam ,one can only wonder at the motivation

of these types, presenting themselves as "mediators"

and "therapists",essentially saying "i am the guru's

guru,what to speak of the rest of you".


this process has been labled "the occult technology

of power", the use of "secret" knowledge or

"higher knowingness" to gain power over the

those who seek such things.

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Lets not change the topic to the prominent link but stick with the original thread please. Yes indeed, they were trying to control many a person. It was a cult. It was sickening, and while they lived in comfort, they kept so many others in much anxiety. But what saddens me is that to various degrees, ISKCON is accepting literature or brochures from this very same person and maybe persons who started it all, and there were merely following this Sterling guy! Geesh. Time for ISKCON to wake up and just follow the all ready established program.

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