Why this blog? Because I wish someone had told me these things before I joined the group, instead of framing it as a Love Feast about a Love God. I do this as a service to you, the searcher, who may be wanting a more rounded view.
I’m a former, long-time Gaudiya Vaishnava. I started breaking away from the group in the 2000’s, when I came across some of the more harmful teachings of rape, racism, oppression, human rights violations and violence, by ACBS Prabhupada. I previously had no access to the majority of these teachings. In addition to that, I learned some of the history and roots of both Gaudiya Vaishnavism and Vaishnavism. These things combined help me gain liberty from the thought control, and now I hope to provide some information to help you on your quest. I leave it to you to sort through some facts that wouldn’t normally be revealed, and use your own power of discretion.
The four Vedas, Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva, consists of rituals, ceremonies, mantras and sacrifices, primarily to Indra and Agni, with no mention of Gaudiya Vaishnavism or Vaishnavism. Not until much later, ranging from 1st century B.C.E. to 4th century C.E., did Vaishnavism first appear in the Harivamsa, a supplement to the Mahabharata, which is generally accepted to be the basis for Bhagavata Purana. Please follow the link to read a more detailed account from Willem Vandenberg’s excellent research into the origin of Vaishnavism and Gaudiya Vaishnavism in; “Its place in history”
All quotes from ACBS Prabhupada are verified with date, location, book or letter reference, and may also be found in the official ISKCON VedaBase.
Don’t be afraid to think for yourself. I wish you well on your journey.
Thank you, Liberty