You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if ...

My wife, my neighbor Ajita and I are gradually coming up with a list of symptoms that could serve as a guide for fanatics to self-diagnose. Here's what we have so far:

You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if ...

... you are perfectly comfortable with "That's prajapla!" as the end of a conversation.

... have ever demanded a list of ingredients when invited around for prasad at a devotee's house.

... ever gone so far as to seriously consider the legal consequences of cutting out someone's tongue for blasphemy.

... you opt to sleep on the floor next to the bed when staying at a relative's house.

... when a stranded driver asks if you can jump start her car, you reply, "No. That would be a waste of Krishna's energy."

... you cooked your own dinner at the vegetarian party Mum put on for you.

The reason I'm posting these here is so that we can collaborate. If you think of some additions to this list then please leave them as comments to this post.

The possibilities are endless and so many of us have tons of experience to draw upon. We'd like to keep them general enough not to offend anyone in particular, although we completely admit that most of what we've come up with so far have been inspired by real life events (cringe).

We called our friend Urjesvari who has the perfect sense of humor for this sort of thing. We're going to call back tomorrow and see what she comes up with, so stay tuned.

... you gave another devotee

... you gave another devotee an Achaman cup for thier birthday. (feel odd posting this as this is something I actually did)

A fanatic's commentary...

With all due respect I think a couple of these things may be employed in attempts to follow the orders of one's Guru Maharaj.

For example prior to initiation my Guru Maharaj instructed me to "eat only Krishna prasad" and to not eat food cooked by non-devotees when at all possible so...

... you cooked your own dinner at the vegetarian party Mum put on for you.

Personally I would not only cook for myself but, for everyone else as well, as my Spiritual Master often says pigeons are vegetarians too, but that doesn't make them devotees. Devotees opt to eat only Krishna prasad. Personally speaking I know my mom would not read labels (hence unofferable ingredients would probably be there) and would also taste the preps while cooking (hence making the food unofferable beside's just unsanitary).

..have ever demanded a list of ingredients when invited around for prasad at a devotee's house

Similarly, at devotees house I've had to ask questions as some devotees think its okay to use karmi grains, cheese with animal rennet and chocolate in various prepartions which I do not feel is bona fide. Personally, I do not wish to ingest fluid coming from calves stomachs even at the risk of being called a fanatic. Similary for health/consciousness purposes I do not wish to ingest chocolate or karmi grains.

And yes I've totally done this: ... you opt to sleep on the floor next to the bed when staying at a relative's house. (also in an ISKCON ashram) I used to opt to sleep on the laundry room floor in the Boston Mataji's ashram so I didn't disturb devotees when I would come in late at night (after the 8:30 arati bhajans were through). The devotees used to joke with me when I'd come to stay saying, "Your room is free" (referring to the laundry room).

I guess my worry with some "devotional" humor is that it sometimes discourages new devotees in their attempts to strictly follow that which Prabhupada has outlined for us. Of course, some things are going too far but, I think intentionality makes a big difference. Sometimes as neophytes we don't understand the context or deeper meaning of an instruction and in attempts to practice what we have heard or read we may appear to be fanatical yet, our intention was to strictly follow so...

not sure where I'm going with that but...just some intellectual fodder.

from Madhava

You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if ...

... you often find yourself attempting to replicate Srila Prabhupada's accent, especially when you're in an argument.

... you think that any preaching method that wasn't used in the 70s is "maya."

... you refer to the general public as "karmis" all the time, "mayavadis" occasionally, and "demons" when you're annoyed at them.

from Dhanvantari and Radha-Govardhandhari

You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if….

... you think your guru is the only candidate in the parampara after Srila Prabhupada.

... you pick the chocolate chips out of a cookie.

... you've ever seriously considered having tilaka tattooed on your forehead.

... you've ever covered yourself in cow urine before entering the temple because you ran out of water.

more from Ekendra and co.

You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if ...

... while in a western country, you've ever swam in a public beach wearing a sari.

... while in a western country, you've ever swam in a public beach wearing just a kaupin.

Radhapriya devi dasi, _o/\__

Radhapriya devi dasi,

_o/\__ ... _o___ ... _o/\__
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thanks for your insights. By compiling these quips I don't want to discourage anyone's genuine attempt to follow Srila Prabhupada's instructions. The mere desire to do this is certainly commendable.

The humor is found in the 'way' many of us (including myself) have attempted to follow these instructions. I've only been practicing devotional life for a wee bit over a decade, but I can say with some certainty that to be Krishna Conscious in today's world does not require that we always create socially awkward situations that could easily be avoided by due consideration of kala, desha and patra (time, place and circumstance).

At least one aspect of Srila Prabhupada's genius is that he took circumstances into account and proceeded accordingly. That didn't require that he deviated an inch from the disciplic line. Similarly, by good association I hope we can all reach a level of maturity that simultaneously honors tradition and is effective at sharing our gift with others.

I also firmly believe that it is good for our mental health to have the occasional laugh at ourselves. This is one way I'm attempting to serve the devotees.

Your servant,
Ekendra Dasa
(Managing Editor: (Personal blog:
Creating great tidal waves in the ocean of mercy, splendidly dressed in wonderful saffron garments as glorious as the sunrise, and glowing with the nectar of pure love of Krsna, may the wonderful and handsome moon of Lord Caitanya, which has risen from the milk ocean of Saci's womb, enter the sky of your heart.

- From the Sri Caitanya Candramrita by Srila Prabhodananda Sarasvati (available here: )

Very Funny

I can't think of any that aren't mentioned but I am sure some will come to mind. Thanks for the enjoyment and the insight. Vedic culture is not devoid of humour. Hare Krishna, mates.

and as I personally saw and

and as I personally saw and admit was in the line-up back in the early 1980s not only went into the sea in just kaupins along with about a dozen other devotee men, BUT we all paid our obeisences to the sea before entering it. God only knows what all those behind us on the beach thought.

--you would rather hold it

--you would rather hold it than poop somewhere where you can't shower (guilty as charged).

--you think it is better to eat sour cream and bananas on a road trip than buy a loaf of bread or a bag of pretzels.

--you think waking up at 4:30 am is sleeping in.

--you won't shake hands with someone you just met.

--you're children are afraid of "karmi meat-eaters."

--you won't eat ice cream that isn't homemade.

--when invited to prasadam at a devotee's house and served tofu you ask,"did you make the tofu yourself." when the answer is "no" you eat around it.

--you conjugate the word "nectar."

i speak from experience

oops...that was me who holds her poop.

here's some more.

--you attend ratha yatra in a major city bare foot.

--you would rather your children starve than feed them store bought snacks.

--you refer to schools as "the slaughterhouse".

--you don't know who won the u.s. presidential election (happened to me in 2001...actually, i didn't know it was disputed and when i asked my mom...thinking i was being all slick and interested in "the world" she responded..."what are you living in a cave!!!".

--you address large crowds as "devotees and matajis."

--you have no sense of humor.

for real

you may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if you:

..... drive with one hand in your bead bag.

..... answer telephones, anywhere, even in other people's homes or out in someone's office with "Hare Krishna"

..... still think that ONLY brahmacharis and sannyasis go back home back to Godhead.

..... still think that ONLY devotees living in the temple are real devotees

..... think the above mentioned are offensive

but wait. there's more.

--you shower in a gamcha.

--you think a side part is for prostitutes.

--you are a 23 year old young woman who dresses like a 60 year old indian widow.

--you examine photos of prabhupada to try to determine whether he tied or rolled his dhoti. and get into arguments with your friends about it.

--you think anything other than the swami step is disco dancing.

--you will only eat pizza if it is made from a chapati, paneer and tomato chutney.

and more....

--you think the biggest entertainer in the world is michael jackson.

--when people refer to varnashram you think that only refers to cows and agriculture.

--you stockpiled grain for y2k.

--you treat all illnesses with turmeric and ghee.

--when informed of a major catastrophic world event such as the destruction of the world trade center or the tsunami in southeast asia your response to the carnage is, "it's because they all ate meat." actually, this is your theme for the sunday feast lecture you enthusiastically give in the temple room after the events.

--you refuse to eat yeasted bread, even when it is maha prasad.

--you would rather live with a plantar wart or foot infection than let a karmi podiatrist touch your lotus feet.

--you keep track of other devotee's sadhana, making mental notes of who is good association and who is bad association.

--you name your kids venumadhava das and madhumati devidasi.

--you make a distinction between potato chips and tortilla chips. the former being bona fide because they are not grains, the latter total maya because infused with karmi consciousness.

--when buying shoes your decision is based on which ones require absolutely no touching by your hands to put on.

--you think devotees who eat gluten/seitan really want to eat meat.

--your son's sikha is larger than his waistband.

--your daughter isn't allowed to wear pants, even in the snow.

--you have a tiny japa bag custom sewn for your newborn.

--you find yourself offering entire fruit trees and flower bushes so that non-devotees don't incur the sin of enjoying bhoga.

and ...

--you would rather sleep in a van than get a hotel room, even when the temperature is below freezing.

--your idea of dinner and a movie is hot milk and popcorn and a vcd of govardhana parikrama.

--your favorite meal is kichari.

--you bring gifts of milk and cow dung when you visit other temples.

--you give the new camera your relative gave you as a gift to a devotee who can better use it for his service.

--if your parents have stipulations in their will that you cannot inherit any money if you are still associated with the devotees.


--you think it is perfectly acceptable for a four year old girl to wear a full face of makeup but lip gloss on a 16 year old girl is slutty.

oh i can't stop

--you have to shower immediately because it's the middle of the day and you just brushed your teeth and now you are contaminated from all the micro muci spray from your mouth and it is grossing you out and you cannot handle it.

You may be a Hare Krishan fanatic if break the toilet seat by squatting on it. call the postman, the grocer, the mechanic and the plumber "Prabhu"

...You call a 55Lb, 7 year old girl named Lori:"Mother Lori" haven't called your parents for 10 years watch the airplane movies, but you think it's maya to use the headphones refer to your relatives as:"Those meat eating karmi demons". throw away anything that touches your foot, except for socks and shoes.

...when staying at people's houses you ask what way is East before saying hello

You may be a Hare Krishan fanatic if think it's perfectly fine for women to have their full torso exposed as long as their head is covered... understand that the snapping of someone's fingers as an answer to your question behind a close door means that they are saying their Gayatri Mantra

You may be a Hare Krishan fanatic if don't eat at a devotee restaurant unless you know that the cook is chanting 16 rounds (guilty as charged...)

From Mandira and Sri G.

You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if: pepper conversations with the words "ecstatic", "far-out", "fried", "nectar" and "fired-up". have offered and unoffered salt won't eat yoghurt after 4pm think all exercise is maya except for swimming and wrestling which are vaisnava sports consider the occupation of sticker-salesperson to be more devotional than, say, pumping petrol or being a lawyer think women are less intelligent and should therefore remain at home, preferably pregnant and barefoot avoid wearing warm clothes in winter because it indicates you're attached to your body

You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if... aren't afraid to tell a male acquaintance you are "off the altar" when he asks you to do a service. don't think you can do anything when you are "off the altar," including leaving your room or washing you hair. own two sets of khaki's and blue button up shirts for sankirtan, but no other western clothes. And you are a girl. married a man you only talked to on the phone four times. (oops, I did that) think that a female devotee wearing shorts on sankirtan on a 98 degree day is in maya. have muchi and suchi spray bottles. listen to those listen to those devotional covers of Beatles songs rather than just admitting to yourself that, yes, you are attached to the Beatles and maybe you ought to just listen to the iconic originals.

ROFL. These are good.

ROFL. These are good.

... if you fanatically

... if you fanatically preach to others about the early-70's versions of Srila Prabhupada's books because they are the 'original' and 'real' ones, even though later editions are closer to Prabhupada's actual transliterated tapes

You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if... call all drinks "nectar."

you may be a HK fanatic if you...

you won't say anything unless you know of a Srila Prabhupada quote to back it up

you consider everything in the material world false except conspiracy theories

you feel it is your duty to instruct and advise every single living entity you come in contact with.

you feel perfectly comfortable using 1960s and 70s hippie slang in the 21st century

you suffer sleep deprivation every night but catch up during Bhagavatam class

you shake someones hand on sankirtan and then touch a book to purify your contaminated hand -- or pull on your earlobe three times

Finally ... from Urjjesvari

You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if ...

... you've ever thrown out all your knives and forks to guarantee you eat the 'Vedic' way.

... after 10 years in the ashram you still write 10 page letters to your parents about how they are in maya.

... whilst cooking, a guest comments on how good it smells and you blow the roof at them for being so lusty.

... you'd go to a family reunion, cook your own meal and eat it with your hands.

... you have cold showers in the middle of winter.

... you'd feel self conscious about having a side part in your hair.

... you'd swim in the Pacific Ocean in a sari.

... you are careful not to make eye contact when speaking to a devotee of the opposite sex.

... you've ever gone through the produce section of the supermarket and offered everything on the shelf.

... you refuse to get in a bus, taxi or family car until they turn off the radio.

These are by my friend Bhavasindhu

All the water faucets, etc in your apartment or house have had the hot water knob removed.

You are frequently questioned as to why you wobble your head in agreement during conversations with nondevotees.

You invariably answer both in the affirmative and the negative with "Haribol, Prabhu!"

Your response to every question is "Haribol, Prabhu!" [I actually knew a fella like this; very difficult to communicate with...]

You consider the movie "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" to be a gateway drug.

You sleep in a closet.

You sleep in a cowshed.

You sleep in a hallway.

no one can understand what you are saying due to your thick, Bengali accent, despite the fact that you are a native-born US citizen and English is the only language you've ever known.

You croon like a 40-year old, Bengali Farmer, again, despite the fact that you are a native-born US or EU citizen of European descent.

You measure the success of a kirtan by how poor your hearing becomes afterward.

Your personal wompers are bigger than hubcabs

You brush your teeth with cow dung.


...if you are a mataji and your legs are whiter than the light of the brahmajyoti, in lieu of having never been exposed to the sun

From Mandira again

Ekendra Prabhu,

This was such a fun game. Thanks for thinking to start this and sharing it with all of us, and thanks to everyone who's contributed. You made us laugh all weekend :)


... you have only metal plates and cups in your kitchen cupboards are incompetent with a knife and fork, and your kids don't even know what they are praise your kids when they pick food up off the dirty floor and eat it. Because it's prasadam.

... you say 'sarira' prayers at an informal dinner, even if everyone else forgot and has already started eating have a large selection of plates in your car

... you have an elaborate yet dusty altar on your dashboard in your car write "In the Care of..." in the covers of all your books refuse to be nice to animals except if they're cows think that eating puris and sweetrice every day is a healthy diet

You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic...

... if you chant on top of your voice in a public space like an airport, train station, or a devotee house in the suburbs.
... you think other people are happy to hear your loud public chanting,
--- and you are happy because you know you are "liberating" them from "the clutches of maya."
---you refuse to take prasada sitting on a chair at a table and will rather sit on the floor next to the table.
... you refuse to get out of the car at the Grand Canyon (your first time there) because it is all maya. don't listen to devotional bhajans sung by lady devotees.
--- you have to take bath after touching a baby because they may be "muci."
... you have to take bath after touching a dog or a cat because such creatures are low and sinful.

HK fanatic

you have no problem expanding on concepts such as timingula fish and interplanetary birds while giving an introductory lecture on KC

you don't wear fake leather shoes incase someone thinks you're wearing the real thing

you wear flip-flops while trekking the Himalayas

you've been wearing visible western-style underwear (including white y-fronts and checkered boxer shorts) under your thin dhoti for years

you let someone use a shaving-foam cap to create a round sikha while shaving your head

you get alcoholic cirrhosis from eating sweets

no prob. my pleasure. I'm

no prob. my pleasure. I'm havin' a ball.

WAS such a fun game? Nah. This could go on forever - and I think it's a proper healthy thing to do.

Only the strong can laugh at themselves.

from Satya

Awesome. This morning I met my old friend Chandra's mum, named Satya, at the temple. It was early as I was there to do Giriraja's puja. She was involved with the devotees in the 70's and 80's but hasn't been around so much since then. She mentioned to me how brutal the movement was back then if you made public any personal struggles you had with following the program. So she really appreciated the few one's of these I could remember. She added a few of her own:

You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if ...

... you have separate fridges for prasadam and bhoga in your home.

... you have separate sinks for cooking and eating dishes at your house. (me until I had kids)

... when in a disagreement, you shake your finger at face level in imitation of Srila Prabhupada.

shocker this one ...

You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if ...

... you pull the drowned rat out of the milk bucket and serve it out without telling anyone 'cause hey, it's prasadam!

(they keep rolling in ... everyone I meet has at least one good one they can draw from personal experience. Not that this one is from my personal experience - no way. But someone told me that this really happened once. I wonder if I was attending this feast?)

You might be a HK fanatic if you

....think that the sound made when scraping yer tongue and reaching to clear out the mucus that we tend to do in unision in the early morning hours by the patriotic, is actually the Indian National anthem.

Two funny ones on that note; once when working in the UK an ex-British army walla who served with the British Raj in India asked me if seeing I was a devotee of the Hindu Hare Krishna cult if I knew the Indian National athem that everyone sings daily. I thought for a moment and remembered the first few words Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he, Bharata.....and concluded na not really.

The fellow then made that all familiar sound we all love so dearly (all together now eeerrrrrrrerrerererrrr...spit)

I wasn't there at the time, but was told about it later by Gaura Keshava prabhu ACBSP. In the early days of the Melbourne temple the police were called a number of times to stop the group of young men in the toilet block in the corner of the property, by local neighboroughs, it was regarding a number of the young men making duck impersonations at 04:00am disturbing the morning tranquility of the area.

You might be a Hare Krishna fanatic.....

...if you think that sprinkling an item with water removed all known contamination.

...if you only wear camel or maroon coloured jumpers, or beenie hats or scarfs or sox.

...if when asked for your parents names you put Radharani and Krishna, or just Krishna -as in - krsna mata krsna pita krsna prana dhan - yeah I admit I did it.....

from Seva

You may be a Hare Krishna fanatic if ...

... you have covered all the mirrors in your home with sheets to avoid the illusion of thinking you're the body.

... you refuse to let out your braids when at the hairdressers for a trim.

... you refuse to respond when you parents call you by your birth name.

You may be a fanatic if would rather pour your drink on your face than touch the cup to your lips snap your fingers in front of other devotees mouths if you catch them yawning to save them from possession by ghosts never whistle for fear of damaging the ether element never tire of arguing about which spices/foods are bonafide for Ekadasi

...your response to a devotees sharing that they've recently found out that they have cancer is either, "you're not the body," or "that's purification Prabhu."


...if you drink hot soup by holding the bowl a foot above your head and pouring it directly unto your mouth
...if you carry your wallet, keys, cell phone, tissues, a flashlight and throat pills inside your bead bag
...if the walls in your living room and bedroom are decorated with unframed BBT posters and harinama cadars
...if your furniture consists of Indian metal trunks, worn out coffee tables and old bookshelves, and when your relatives come visit, you borrow plastic lawn chairs from your "karmi" neighbors


...if instead of eating you say "honoring", instead of sleeping you say "resting", instead of taking a dump you say "taking care of my body"...

from Gokula

... when you have family stay over, instead of buying toilet paper, you try to teach them to use a lota.

oh yeah, plenty more...

...If you serve prasadam to your first time guests on the floor, in single,micro-thin paper plates, merging every dish, whereas sweet, salty, spicy hot, dry, wet, while dragging your dhoti's tail on the previous guest's plates and smiling with remnants of lunch such as spinach and corn still attached to your teeth and corners of your mouth respectively.

...If when questioned by someone about your age you respond: "My body is 37 years dead"

one more: you know you are...

..You offer dandavat obeisances to an empty room after answering the phone when a devotee friend calls or if in public touch first the ground, then your head with your right hand.

You people make me laugh

a lot! : ) This is really fun. I wish I was a fanatic so I could think of some to add.

More please


Love the one about

Love the one about "devotional" jobs.

We actually do have separate salt for cooking and for the table, but I don't think anyone would call me a fanatic.

Oh, no, no, no! It's too

Oh, no, no, no! It's too horrible! I heard of that here in NV, but it was a bucket of dahl. I do have to specify that I'm not confident of its validity, due to the source.
But I have seen this one:

-if you spill prasadam on the floor while serving out, you just scoop it up with your hand and throw it back in the bucket.

(Really gross and vile! In the gurukula if we spilled we had to put it on our own plate, not someone else's. But I think really at that point, it should just be given to the animals.)

a couple more

-you interrupt someone's japa to tell them that since their beads are out of the bag, they're not getting any benefit from chanting.

-in the middle of winter you wear dyed to match waffle long johns under your dhoti instead of just wearing pants, even while doing the bhoga run.

-you freak out that someone brought their 5 year old brother into the brahmacarini ashram.

-you ask a guest to not feed their toddler a cookie at the temple because it's ekadasi. (I have to admit, that was me.)

-you push everyone to fast on holy days, even if their diabetic.

-as a "brahmacari" you insist that a "mataji" wait for the next train and ride alone, because it would be improper to ride the same train.

-you get on an ego trip for the rest of the day if someone brings you the ghee lamp first, or you're really upset for the rest of the day if they don't.

-you think that on someone's first visit to a temple the most important thing you can impress upon them is why we don't eat onions and garlic.

-you've ever used the term "senior bhaktin"

These are all taken from real life experiences, but I hope they're general enough that no one gets offended.

Lol! These are great!

Lol! These are great!