Is abandoning Sampradhaya by birth to join ISKCON sinful?

Is abandoning Sampradhaya by birth to join ISKCON sinful?

A male devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:

“Hare Krishna Prabhuji, I born in ……………………..sect family.. This religion has similar teachings ISKCON . I feel greatful that Lord Krishna bless me by my birth. But recently few days ago I made few (female) friends who resides in temple from their childhood and who are going to be Nun (female monk) and the temple female and male monks takes care of them just like their parents but that girls whom I made friends by thinking that they have good spiritual knowledge and will help me to arise in spiritual life.
But now I found that they have relationship with many boys near about (4-6) at a time. And as they shared this this is the similar case with another temple girls and boys also. It disturbed me by the thought which religion I should follow as both has similar teachings but I feel if I will go for ISKCON it will be disobey of Haris order and my all family members initiated at that…………………..sect.

My second question is: I m wearing Tulsi mala from long time and it was not rule in ………………. sect that need to stop garlic and onion.. I m wearing it from long time and I don’t wish to remove it and I m a hostel student that’s why I can’t stop onion and garlic now what should I do? . .. I request u plz hide name of the sect/religion.”


Such things happen in some sathsanghas where there are no sufficient controls.

Srila Prabhupada was very serious in insisting the four regulative principles as the compulsory condition even when he was running a forum of devotees in the 1950s.


He replies a devotee who wanted to stay as a full time member in that forum of devotees on 01.01.1955:

“Dear Brothers,

I am very much glad that you are willing to live with us. As already informed we have no restriction for admitting inner members, so far nationality, caste and creed are concerned. But the inner members will have to abide by the following rules, which are necessary as basic principles for spiritual upliftment. The inner members will not have

(1) illegitimate connection with women.

(2) He shall not be addicted to intoxicating habit. No member shall be allowed to smoke, chewing betel, drink tea etc. inside the house.

(3) He must be satisfied with “Prasadam” which will be served to him & must be strictly vegetarian. No inner member shall be allowed to eat fish, meat, eggs, onions, etc.

(4) the inner member shall not indulge in unnecessary indoor or outdoor games, sporting or gambling habit. The nominal boarding charges is Rs 25/-. No charges for lodging.”

Thus, even 10 years before starting ISKCON in the USA, Srila Prabhupada had such strict rules for the devotees who like to follow Bhagavatha dharma.


Because, that Pure devotee knew well that Puirity is the Force in devotional services.

Of course, in every sathsangha, in some centers where there are no strict implementation of rules, such violations may happen.

The sect that you mention may be weak in implementing the disciplinary rules. Your parents may not be aware of such things.

As per the procedure of diksha in general, that diksha guru can be abandoned if he is not disciplined.

You have not mentioned whether that diksha guru is a violator or not. But, his sathsangha is not good in discipline.

In case that guru is good and disciplined, but only his sathsangha devotees are violating, you need not abandon him if you had been initiated by him.

If he is also not good, do not hesitate to abandon him. It is allowed.

In case you are not yet initiated and if their liberal violative atmosphere disturbs you, just leave that forum and get the association of the devotees of ISKCON.

(What sin we acquire if we do not follow 4 regulative principles and Ekadasi fasts? READ HERE!)

Wherever you go, you may have to find some kind of issues or politics. But, if you just take the association, hear lectures, do kirtans, take prasadam and do some service and come back, no issues will be there in any sathsangha.

Only where there is expectation, there will be disappointments.

However, disciplinary issues and insecurity for dignity can not be tolerated.

So, in your case, abandoning your sampradhaya by birth and switching to ISKCON that is permitted.

I too had my Kula Guru by birth (Late) Kanchi Sankaracharya Sri Chandrasekarendra swami) in Advaita Sampradhaya, but, I joined ISKCON and got the Hari nam diksha from a Guru in ISKCON.  See, my kula guru was worldwide well known for his Perfect sanyasa life, great knowledge, humbleness, purity and divya dhrishti.  By joining ISKCON, I have adopted Krishna as my Supreme Lord and I am targeting the mercy of Krishna through my diksha guru in ISKCON.  That’s all. My respects and honors to my Kula guru are always there.

This does not mean that I have violated my Kula guru.  Harinam diksha guru from ISKCON can be accepted by anyone from any sampradhaya if he is fully convinced with the principles and rules of ISKCON.

(Should an initiated devotee of other sampradhaya chant Hare Krishna too? READ HERE!)

I know a few temple presidents also who came from another sampradhaya and took diksha in ISKCON.

However, it seems, your sect is not one of the bonafide Vaishnava sampradhayas. So, you can feel free for abandoning sampradhaya by birth and getting diksha from an ISKCON Guru.

In fact, there is no need for abandoning sampradhaya by birth because Krishna is beyond all sampradhayas, sects, religions, etc., because He is the Universal Lord for every athma.

See, in some discussions and speeches, Srila Prabhupada has said that even the persons from other religions need not change their religion to follow Krishna Consciousness.  Just accept Krishna as the supreme Personality of Godhead and follow the recommended sadhanas.  Enough.

Then, why should you fear for punishments by abandoning sampradhaya by birth and following Srila Prabhupada recommended way of devotion?  It is baseless and unnecessary.

Had anyone got diksha from a bonafide guru from any of the four bonafide vaishnava sampradhayas, he need not take diksha in ISKCON because bonafide diksha guru can be only one. Devotees from other forums/ sects/non-bonafide sampradhayas can take.

And, you need not bother as if you will be violating Krishna’s order. You are getting a better place. That’s all.

About Tulasi mala. Please do not wear tulasi mala if you take onion and garlic. Please spare tulasi to be worn by those who follow the rules strictly.

Just because your existing liberal sathsangha do not impose strict rules for wearing tulasi mala, you should not wear it. Let them commit offenses. If you like to follow the highest standard, follow what Srila Prabhupada said in his four regulative principles.

Either stop onion-garlic or remove tulasi mala.

Hope you are now clear about abandoning Sampradhaya by birth to join ISKCON.


Author: RAJAN

RAJAN from Tamil Nadu, India, a Life Patron and an Initiated Devotee being in ISKCON for nearly three decades, serves anonymously to avoid Prominence and crowd as an insignificant, Humble and Neutral Servant for all the devotees of Krishna! He promotes Social media forums and this blog-website as e-satsangha (e-forums) blessed with Lakhs of followers, to give Spiritual Solutions for all the Material Problems of the devotees since 2011! He writes friendly and practical tips to practice devotion (i) without hurting the followers of other paths, (ii) without affecting the personal and career life, and (iii) without the blind, superstitious and ritualistic approach! He dedicates all the glories and credits to his Guru and Krishna.