Difficult Questions

Below are a select list of challenging topics we are planning to publish in a forthcoming book:

Varṇāśrama Dharma

  • What is the place of varṇāśrama in Bhakti?
  • Is the gṛhastha āśrama the lowest and slowest of the four?
  • Is there any room for romance in the gṛhastha āśrama?
  • Are Gauḍīya Vaishnavas truly Vedic?
  • How does one find his or her own svadharma?
  • Is democracy “demon-cracy”?
  • What is the purpose of the varṇas?
  • How do we raise children in Krishna Bhakti?

Four Regulative Principles

  • Are there ethics beyond the four regulative principles?
  • What is the place of sex and sexuality in Krishna Bhakti practice?
  • Is homosexuality demoniac?
  • How does veganism fit into Krishna Bhakti?
  • Is there absolute morality? Does it lead to fanaticism?


  • Are women less intelligent?
  • What is the significance of chastity in Bhakti?
  • Should women be given independence?
  • Are women, first and foremost, mothers?


  • How is guru “as good as God?”
  • What does it mean that “guru is one?”
  • What is Guru Bhakti?
  • Who is a pure devotee?
  • What about when a guru falls?
  • Who decides who goes back to Godhead?


  • Is there any love in the material world?
  • Can our love be eternal?
  • How does loving Krishna mean loving everyone?


  • What is the key to Vaishnava relationships?
  • What is the anatomy of an offense: aparādha?
  • What is higher, deity seva or devotee seva?
  • Is criticizing devotees free speech?
  • When does etiquette become artificial?
  • Can we pray and fast for others?
  • How do impersonalism and depersonalism creep in to Bhakti?
  • How should we understand the passing away of a Vaishnava?


  • How do we reconcile science & Vaishnava spirituality?
  • How do we share Bhakti with the scientifically-minded?
  • Are the Vedas history or mythology?
  • Is love a chemical reaction?


  • What should be Śrīla Prabhupāda’s role in the life of the new generation of devotees?
  • Is there a precedent for “translating Prabhupāda’s translations?”
  • How do we show our love for Śrīla Prabhupāda?


  • What’s in a number? Why 16 rounds?
  • Are there any kirtan “standards?”
  • Is “chant and be happy” a spiritual formula or a marketing mantra?

Big Questions 

  • How can terrorism be born out of religion?
  • Do you believe in God?
  • What is the place of religion in a secular age?
  • How can God be a person? 
  • Can someone be spiritual but not religious?
  • Is there such a thing as destiny?
  • What is surrender?
  • What is humility?
  • Why is Krishna blue?
  • How do we “control” the mind?

Fears & Fall-Downs

  • What constitutes a fall-down?
  • What is the place of guilt in Krishna Bhakti?
  • Is life a test and death a final exam?
  • Are devotees who aren’t fluent in Sanskrit missing out?
  • How do we deal with the fear of being left behind in the material world?
  • How do we face our “fall-downs?”
  • What if one falls short of gopīhood?


  • Are spiritual institutions a curse or benediction?
  • What if Arjuna came to ISKCON?
  • Are there too many Indians in ISKCON?
  • Is the Hare Krishna Movement Hindu?
  • How and why is there child abuse in ISKCON, a “spiritual” society?
  • How should we understand the seven purposes of ISKCON?
  • Who is qualified to lead the global Hare Krishna Movement?
  • What gives devotees real authority?


  • Are we in the “business” of “making” devotees?
  • How do we present Krishna Bhakti to the 21st century West?
  • How do we lecture on Krishna Bhakti?

Perennial Doubts

  • Do we fall from the spiritual world?
  • Do Gauḍīya Vaishnavas have all the answers?
  • Should we avoid reading the Rāsa Līlā?
  • Is there a spiritual planet for Christians?

Deeper Dimensions

  • Is it true that the more severe our austerities, the more mercy we receive?
  • Is money lakṣmī or māyā?
  • When does thinking turn into “mental speculation?”
  • What is the role of miracles in Krishna Bhakti?
  • Do devotees have any debts to society?
  • What is the role of prophecies and predictions in Krishna Bhakti?