Angel of Vrindavana, oil on canvas, by Nori, 1996. This painting is abstracted from the map of Vrindavana, India, the sacred site of Krishna's childhood. ISKCON's child abuse (1976 - ?) defiled this ancient pilgrimage place.
The Krishna Kids' Story
The original children of ISKCON, born in the late sixties and seventies, grew up in ISKCON's boarding schools. They never went to public elementary schools and were most often completely sheltered from mainstream culture. They learned to read from the Vedic scriptures published by their guru, Founder-Acharya (spiritual leader) Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Many attended public high schools, but lived their childhoods exclusively within the confines of ISKCON.
The ISKCON abuse perpetrators told the children it was their own karma they were abused, but the scriptures describe the real karmic implications of child abuse.
To provide insight into the ISKCON children's world, I selected relevant stories from their scriptures. These stories, adapted from the organization's scriptures, Srimad Bhagavatam and Krishna Book, provide a vocabulary to discuss the ISKCON children's experience.
Lord Sri Krishna's Life Story
A relative in Krishna's family abused children, killing all of Krishna's older siblings when they were born. Krishna escaped any child abuse whatsoever, because he was raised by a loving extended family in the pastoral setting of Vrindavana.
Lord Nrsimha the Man-Lion God
In the story of Lord Nrsimha, King Hiranyakashipu tortured and tried to kill his own son. The king enrolled his son in the School of the Demons and ordered the teachers to torture the boy.
Stories of Soul Loss
Dr. Sigmund Freud said that child abuse is soul murder, because abusing a child can kill the child's spirit. These stories, drawn from the scriptures, are metaphors for soul murder.
This section explains how the ISKCON leadership distorted its own scriptures to suit corrupt institutional goals.
Stories matter, although many scholars lament that society has become disconnected from its stories. As this observer points out:
"In the modern Western cosmology, stories have no real impact on the world. They are, after all, only in our minds, while the world is "out there," existing independently in the reality of physical space. . . . Perhaps we need not just a different story, but one where the narrative itself tells us that our cosmologies and ontologies do, very significantly, impact the world - a story which says that our stories matter. . . . Our stories about the nature of reality dramatically shape the way we know and interact with the world." - Christian de Quincey
Click here for more ISKCON gurukula information.
Click here for an index of all child abuse information available through this site.
Editor's note: Sometimes people find these pages because they searched for "Krishna Childrens Stories," or similar keywords. The purpose of this section is to point out parts of the scriptures that address the subject of child abuse.