While I can’t really remember why I did this, I’m glad I did.
While I can’t really remember why I did this, I’m glad I did.
Once upon a time I was bored at work. And then this fellow came in, noticed the Krishna Art book on the coffee table and some of Prabhupada’s books on a shelf and told me that he used to go to Gita Nagari a lot. He also used to know a fellow named Steve.
Steve used to live at the State College temple. Now he’s a post master in some small town around State College. Anyway, Steve went to India and while he was there, he stayed with a large Indian family. The family was entertaining a large group of Americans (nondevotees). The family performed some traditional Indian dances and songs and then they asked the Americans sing or dance something from American culture. The Americans sang the national anthem and then couldn’t figure out what else to do.
So they did the hokey pokey.
Put your right foot in, take your right foot out, put your right foot in and you shake it all about…
While the hokey was pokeying, it was being translated from English to Hindi. Curious, Steve asked the translator to translate it back to English so that he could hear it as the Indians were hearing it.
At the end of the song, you put your whole self in and take your whole self out, put your whole self in and shake it all about.
Here’s how that part went:
“You place your entire being inside
You place your entire being outside
You place your entire being inside and vibrate your entire being everywhere
You do the hokey pokey and revolve your being in a circle
That is the complete essence of everything.”
Kind of deep when you think about it, eh?
[...Tomorrow... Bhakta Pee Wee's Playhouse.]
The first time I showed up at New Vrndavana, they still had a few “New Vrndavana Inmate” tshirts. Loved it. Wish I would have bought one. But maybe this is the next best things…
Last year I spent a lot of time at NV and I was feeling rather snarky, so I made some tshirt ideas. These aren’t real shirts, but I supposed they *could* be if I was poked enough to do them.
New Vrndavana Accordion Ensemble – This is a real picture of the famous New Vrndavana Accordion Ensemble! They really existed. Too bad they never made tshirts. I love the heavy metal lettering. I wish I would have put umlauts over one of the vowels. Party on.
Best. Dham. Ever. – I think the “Best. _________. Ever.” thing is from Comic Book Store Guy on the Simpons. At any rate, Jayalila, Radhanama and I coined the phrase. Well, one of us did. I can’t remember which. It’s true though. New Vrndavana really is the Best. Dham. Ever.
Olivia wants me to make this on a green shirt with yellow lettering. That’s possible. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few of these around.
If you like lunch…. – Last summer, while I was there, New Vrndavana had this weird habit of serving for breakfast whatever was for lunch the prior day. Meaning if you had that weird beige/yellowish stuff for lunch on Wednesday, you’d be graced with it again for breakfast on Thursday! It’s a find tradition and I hope that it continues evermore! Just another endearing quality of New Vrndavana.
And while the first three tshirts were tributes to the quirkiness of New Vrndavana, pure silly fun with the place that I love most, the last one is a bit more serious.
Upon the walls of many ISKCON temples there are menus. On these menus, you can order different ceremonies. You pay a certain amount and you get a car puja or a grain ceremony or any other number of Hindu ceremonies that Srila Prabhupada didn’t introduce to us.
Or, you can get your thread…
And Srila Prabhupada was right! $251 is not cheap!
In this segment of Random Stuff I’ve Posted on Live Journal, I’m showcasing a few pictures of “Hare Krishna Things” that I’ve found around the internet (and one in Jersey).
Let’s begin. (And remember, to make the pics bigger, click on them, ok?)
Real men love Krishna! It’s true, they do… but what the crap is going on in this picture? Krishna is slaying a King Arthur type dragon! I’m not saying He didn’t do this, but I bet it’s not in Bhagavatam!
I originally saw this on Ebay, but it’s available at Cafe Press. Who is buying this stuff?
Most of you know that I love random. And this just tickles me. I’m tempted to buy it. It’s at Cafe Press. This one is pretty well in the vein of Busted Tees. Fun!
And speaking of fun… just look how much fun THESE guys are having!
Halloween is a great time for a harinam! You really blend right in. When I was in Columbus, we did this. But we didn’t dress up like these guys. We should have though. It’s tempting to wear this get up to mangal, complete with skullcap. HA!
I was in Iseln, NJ (like a Little India type town). I was looking for a nice stainless steel plate in a shop, but found this instead…
They had these displayed in the window. At first I thought, Panca-tattva!! COOL!!! But then a closer inspection… … well here ya go…
What the HELL is going on with their nipples????? And why is the orange (?) one a Shivite?
They sort of look like zombies. Their nipples peer into your soul. It’s creepy.
And speaking of zombies…
The Dawn of the Dead Hare Krishna Zombie has been released – my friend Al saw it at a recent horror convention. It was $40, but will be coming down in price once they flood the markets with them.
Here’s what it looks like if you are enough of a nonsense to open the packaging!
I’m totally getting one. I can’t wait. I want japa beads like his… with TEETH! YEAH!
And lastly, a year or so ago, someone made a crochet version of the Hare Krishna zombie. It’s really cute.
Well, I guess that’s it for now.
Haribol, folks! Have fun!
ISKCONglish is the unofficial name for the way many devotees speak. Sure, it’s English, but nobody outside of Krishna Consciousness talks like that. We say certain things in certain ways and that make most folks scratch their heads, wondering why we’re talking like throw-back hippies who spent way too much time in India. Many of these expressions come from India, many from Srila Prabhupada himself. But what most ISKCONglish-speaking devotees don’t understand is that they’re not *actually* Indians.
See, that’s what ISKCONglish actually is. It’s a mix of English, Hippie slang and things only Indians who have learned English as a second language say. Mix it all together, usually spoken by a white fellow, and you’ve got ISKCONglish.
I first heard the term “ISKCONglish” from either Malati prabhu or Jayadvaita Swami. Jayadvaita Swami did a five part class trying to get devotees to use proper diction. Some of these examples come from that series.
When I first posted this list on LJ in 2005, it was very short. I have since revised and expanded it.
Much of my time around devotees has been at New Vrndavana. It would stand to reason that much of these words, their definitions and their usage come from that experience.
I will give the word, then the definition and then attempt to use the word in an intelligible sentence. The last bit might, at times, be difficult. Here they are, clearly in no particular order:
do like that – This is an odd expression, solely based upon Indians speaking English when they don’t really, fully have it down. It can be used in place of the much less awkward “do it this way.” “Are you seeing how I am cleaning in circular motion? Do like that.”
rascal mind – I know that Radhapriya prabhu uses this a lot. Nothing wrong with it. It’s grammatically correct. But it still falls under “ISKCONglish” since nobody else in the whole universe uses it. I giggle every time she says it. But in a good way. “Don’t trust what Prajalpapada is saying anymore. He has rascal mind.”
fried out – This is 100% hippie. It means to be spent. Over-tired with a huge emphasis on being really cranky. “Leave Gopa alone for a bit, she’s very much fried out after the Christmas marathon.”
spaced out – Sometimes it is “spaced it out.” This is basically a “get out of jail free” card. I’ve seen some real magic worked with this one. The conversation usually goes: First devotee: “Prabhu! I asked you to take out the garbage, why didn’t you do it?” Second devotee: “Oh.. wow… I’m really sorry. I totally spaced it out.” And he or she gets off scott-free! Why? It goes back to the hippie thing. You figure it out.
so – Our “so” is much different from the regular so. We often use it in place of silence. Many believe that it makes others thing that they know what they’re talking about, after all, “so” leads to an obvious conclusion. But when you say “so” the way Srila Prabhupada would say it, hopefully, it leads other to believe that we’re REALLY concluding something important. “So…” [and then say whatever you were going to say.]
actually – Actually is a lot like “so.” Actually, they can be interchangeable. “Actually” is usually used to clarify a conclusion that was lead up to by “so.” “Actually…” [and then say whatever you were going to say.]
take rest – Simply means to sleep. But “take rest” has a spiritual connotation. Basically, if you “sleep” you will be reincarnated as a bear. But if you take rest, it’s because you have to in order to more properly execute devotional service. “Don’t disturb her, she is taking rest and has to drive to Pittsburgh to pick up some devotees at the airport.”
suci kit – “Suci” (pronounced su-chee) means clean. A Suci Kit is the bag you carry into the bathroom that contains your toothbrush, toothpaste, razors, etc. This is pretty much only used by devotees living in the temple, sharing a common bathroom. “Someone stole Prabhupada’s Toothpaste out of my suci kit!”
stool room – Stool room means “bathroom.” Makes sense, ok. But that’s sort of a nasty way of putting it. There doesn’t seem to be a spiritual benefit to calling them “stool rooms,” but it sure does bring about some awesome visuals, eh? “Prabhu, you left your suci kit in the stool room.”
pass stool/urine – Unless you’re a doctor or in the Krishna consciousness movement, you wouldn’t say this. The definition is obvious, but even before we take initiation, we’re passing stool and urine almost everyday and are often fairly vocal about it. The clinical sound of “pass urine” makes it less harsh on the ears of others who are obviously very interested in knowing that you’ve passed stool twice today. My friend, Olivia, brought up an interesting point. She said, “I don’t get it! We can’t even talk about grains on Ekadasi, yet here are a bunch of devotees talking all the time about passing stool! WHY?!” Indeed. Oh, and I refuse to use this in a sentence.
very nice or nice – This is usually said with a Bengali accent, no matter where you learned to speak English. It’s pronounced “veddy nice.” You can also just say “veddy.” As in “He is veddy big nonsense!” This one is pretty diverse.
laxmi – Money. I honestly really like this one and think that every devotee should use it (though maybe not in the public forum). Laxmi, the goddess, is the goddess of fortune. She is Narayana’s (Krishna’s) consort. When we call money “laxmi,” it is to remind us that this money is not ours, but it is, like Laxmi Devi, Krishna’s. Therefore we should return it to Him by using it in His service. “The temple doesn’t have enough laxmi to finish painting the front, so we’ll just leave it like it is and nobody will notice, right?”
very much – Again with the “veddy”! It can be used, and often is, as “thank you veddy much.” My favorite use, however, is when I get the chance to hear someone who was born and raised in America say something like: “Bhaktin Jennifer is veddy much fried out.”
like that – Though “like that” makes up 2/3 of the previously mentioned “do like that” they have fairly different meanings. “Like that” can be used pretty much anywhere, but is often needlessly tagged on to the end of whatever you’re saying. If you’re new to ISKCONglish and aren’t sure exactly how to properly utilize it, just throw in a “like that” after you say something. Anything. This is great if you’re a new devotee and are trying to make a good impression. “And he was chanting veddy nicely. Like that.”
bhoga run – Almost always refers to a devotee in a crappy van driving into the city to pick up bulk food. “Hey, prabhu, make sure to pick up an extra 50 pounds of basmati for the feast tomorrow.”
bona fide – Maybe not technically ISKCONglish, but we do say it a lot. In ISKCON what is and isn’t bona fide can change rapidly, so hang on! Bona fide technically means that which is in line with guru/sastra/sadhu. Though sometimes that’s fudged a bit. “Is chocolate bona fide?… How about 7up?”
literatures – This one isn’t used so much anymore, but I still here it once in a while. It is meant to be the plural of literature. However, the plural of literature is literature. This, again, probably comes form Srila Prabhupada. English was not his first language, but it is ours (most of us, anyway). When he says it, it’s endearing. When we say, we just sound unintelligent and awkward. “This is bona fide way of thinking, it is in the Vedic literatures.”
fired up – Describes a devotee who is doing a lot of service, often with being asked. Usually results in getting fried out quickly. “It’s a shame about bhakta Steve. He was really fired up, doing pots, pulling weeds, washing the floor, but now he’s totally fried.”
fringie – Sometimes “fringe devotee.” Usually a devotee who used to be really fired up, but has mellowed out a bit, moved near the temple and only comes on festivals. I’ve recently heard it used to mean “deviant philosophy,” but that is a misuse of the word.“Yes, down that lane is where the fringies live. You might see them at Janmastami.”
bloop – This one is a perfect hybrid between Prabhupada and the hippie movement. Prabhupada said that “bloop” was the sound that a jiva soul makes when it falls into the material world. “Bloop” is also a very nice hippie word. It, like Srila Prabhupada, came at the right time. We use it to mean when someone leaves the movement. “Yeah, Bhakta John took his clothes, left his books [or, if at New Vrndavana, his boots] and just blooped!”
puffed up – I’m not sure of its origin, as it would fit in well with both Indian English and hippie slang. It means “proud.” And not in the good way. “Bhakta Rupert has become veddy much puffed up since he distributes the most books.”
associating – Basically “dating.” Though there is no dating in Krishna consciousness. It’s whatever you are with your perspective mate before getting formally engaged. “Did you see Vrnda and Rupa walking together? Are they associating now?”
chastise – This is also used exactly as it’s supposed to be used. Srila Prabhupada said it, so we do too. It just sounds strange since nobody else in the western world uses it anymore. “Malati prabhu totally chastised Olivia for always talking on the phone to boys!”
bogus – Often used to describe someone’s philosophy. “The Ritvik philosophy is bogus philosophy!”
nonsense – Similar in use and definition to bogus. But it’s also got an added benefit of being a noun. “This devotee selling stickers is veddy much a nonsense.”
contaminated – This is used with its proper definition, it’s just rare to hear anyone outside of ISKCON using it for anything but a chemical spill. It usually refers to our minds being contaminated by bogus philosophy or nonsense. Don’t go to that website, prabhu. It is nonsense and you will be contaminated.
modes – Usually as “in the modes.” Technically means being in one of the modes of material nature (either goodness, passion or ignorance). But it almost always means that the devotee is not being the least bit spiritual. “I don’t think bhakta Phil has been chanting is rounds lately, he’s really been in the modes.”
mercy – Anytime an advanced devotee corrects you, it is mercy. You are learning and growing and that’s a really good thing. But “mercy” has become another word for “having your arse handed to you.” “She’s been yelling at Sunanda for a half-hour… he’s really gettin’ the mercy, huh?”
the sauce – Similar to “mercy.” Kind of exactly the same thing. See? “She’s been yelling at Sunanda for a half-hour… he’s really gettin’ the sauce, huh?”
Oh I’m sure there are tons more!
Right after I originally posted this list, a few devotees chimed in and helped out. Their work has been added. These devotees were Praveen, Ekendra, Nedra and “heartonfire” (sorry, I don’t remember your actual name!). There is also a website put up by gurukulis that is similar and a bit more saucy then my list.
And let me reiterate that everything I said here is in loving jest. Many devotees emulate Srila Prabhupada out of love and admiration. It’s not purposely done and it’s not done to look puffed up or more advanced. But it is nearly always funny.
Also, the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Except for Olivia’s. So there.
A few years ago, I kept a blog on Live Journal. In fact, I still cross post many of my entries there. During that time, I posted many things I wrote for sitproperly.com, daily happenings and other realizations. I also posted a whole MESS of random weirdness. From Chant Hare Krishna reminders to messed up little comic strips. From recipes to wacky Ebay finds.
And in a pointless attempt to consolidate my online life, I present for you a new six(ish) part series: Random Stuff I Posted on LJ! During 2004 -2006, the ISKCON & Beyond on LJ was pretty big. It was a nice community where everyone generally got along. These folks were solely responsible for keeping me in practice. They were encouraging, supportive, helpful and just wonderful people.
In turn, I graced them with one of my only good qualities: Randomness.
I have a love for the surreal.
And so my first installment of RSIPLJ gives you… Chant Hare Krishna!
We all need to be reminded sometimes to chant. Our mind wanders, our life ebbs and flows like the tidal waters of tiny inlets near an ocean and generally we’re human (or mostly).
So when I came across this patch on Ebay, I was tickled to near leaving the body.
This came out of the punk scene in the waning years of the Krishnacore period. Isn’t is marvelous?
Now, some folks don’t get it. And that’s ok. We are all different, unique parts and parcels. However, it inspired me. A lot. I followed suit. I walked in the footsteps, so to speak. I did what I do best… I took it too far. But the key is – I did it randomly!
My first exercise into this fold was not a Chant Hare Krishna parody. It was a parody of “Andre the Giant Has a Posse.”
I’m not exactly sure where it came from. Again, it’s random. But I felt that while Andre the Giant may indeed have a posse, Srila Prabhupada’s was better.
And then I got to thinking of other parodies that I could do. But then I stopped thinking about that and started working on a short “comic strip” parody of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, aptly titled “Bhakta Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” (that’s coming soon, don’t you worry).
My parody of that involved Bhakta Cowboy Curtis, in the end… well, I don’t want to give away the exciting conclusion… but in the end, Bhakta Cowboy Curtis strikes a memorable pose from which anyone at all could derive “Chant Hare Krishna.”
But for those who couldn’t…
I wanted to do a bigger version, but I think I used this for my LJ Icon. Other icons followed…
The right one is from the famous Lost TV show. The left one is from the famous Christian Chick Tracts that feature God as a faceless dude in a robe sitting on a rather expensive toilet.
Then it hit me. We are fallen jivas. We fell down from the spiritual sky because we wanted to be Krishna. We wanted to be the meanest, the prettiest, the baddest mofo low downs around this town. In short… we wanted to be “da mastah.” And what better embodiment of that original sin than Shonuff the Shogun of Harlem?
Shonuff thought he was the meanest, the prettiest, the baddest mofo low down around this town. He thought *he* was Da Mastah! But, actually, it was not the famous Shonuff, the Shogun of Harlem who was Da Master. Oh no. Da Master is the Holy Name! So, dear Shonuff, please take this Holy Name and chant! Your life will be sublime!
Now, there was no way to really out do my Shonuff parody. And I’ll admit, my final few forays into this genre are weak and predictable. I thought I’d use a tried and true symbol of true randomness. Next up… the famous “Indian dude on a motorcycle.” Let’s give it up for him!
It didn’t go over as well as I had hoped. Too predictably random? I mean, who hasn’t used the old “Indian dude on a motorcycle” before?
And like everything that went on for far too long, there was a Christmas Special. I had reservations about doing it. I mean, a parody of my own parody? This could signal the end of the world. You know, real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling. Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from their graves. Cats and dog living together… mass hysteria!
But I digress to bring you the famous It’s a Very Chant Hare Krishna Christmas:
That is when I knew it was over. At that moment, I knew that parody had become parody. That random had become predictable.
And so with one final blow, one final kick in the crotch to all things keeping us from chanting the Holy Names of the Lord, I squeaked out one more… and “forever” hung up my sandals.
That’s right, I finished with an icon. Weren’t expecting that, huh? Didn’t think so.
And thank you for somehow making it to the end of the first installment of Random Stuff I Posted On LJ Part One. Stay in school, say “no” to drugs, Chant Hare Krishna and Staaaaaaaaaaaay Demented!