Iskcon – what’s cooking at the multinational temple chain?

Categories Opinion

I have always been against organised religion, which is similar to organised crime in both modus operandi and effect on society.

They both claim to protect the followers, both incite fear in those who don’t subscribe and both thrive on donations. They both have same brutal standards of service when it comes to their paying customers.

I have written about religious places occupying the most beautiful places in nature, being ironically demanding of money before. But all I got to do is walk into a place of worship and I have another essay ready.

The latest instance was my visit to the East of Kailash outlet of the Iskcon chain. I have had good food at a few of their other restaurants, accommodation is cheap for the club members, and they also offer exclusive benefits that all global brands have learnt to do.

But I was disappointed with this particular outlet. Unlike other hotels and restaurants, there were no managers to talk to, no grievance cells and no customer service email ids. How the hell does a business survive by striking out every basic standard of service?

Iskcon temple delhi

Oh wait, they are a temple. So, the key is faith. Apple backs up their customer’s faith by providing great service. But god was not on their team. Yes, it may beak your heart but Steve Jobs was not god. Almost, but no.

Iskcon is not selling computers. They are the biggest global stockists and merchandisers of iKrishna. Customers don’t dare complain. Hell, who minds a little hardship in the name of god! Especially, when they earn you reward points in the afterlife. Hardship, you will have a lot of it at Iskcon.

However, there is one thing that will leave you impressed. They probably have the best retail training module in the whole world. The staff never smiles, don’t show the slightest inclination to help you, but they never forget to say ‘hare Krishna’. It is the hello, the bye and every fifth word they say.

Book sales seem to be an important revenue driver. You may have come across the saffron robed book sellers at railway stations, below your office and many more public places. It’s always a foreigner or an Indian accompanied by a foreigner. That’s an awesome sales strategy all by itself. At the temple exit in East of Kailash, there are sellers guarding the exit, pitching the books to every person that steps out, without a miss.

iskcon temple

All payments at the premises are made by cash. The restaurant is expensive and accepts debits cards. But the accommodation is made by cash only, no matter what’s the amount. You get a donation receipt that tells you that your recent payment is tax exempted. And, it was a donation.

All those cribbing about multinationals siphoning off Indian rupees, please do a dharna outside these temples. Tax benefits, cash payments, subsidised hotel stay for members and properties at the choicest locations – something must be cooking.

That reminds me of their restaurant. I would have forgiven all ill-treatment if the food was good. The lentil and sweet corn soups had a strong smell, which was definitely not wood fire. The rices and pulaos were nice but the curries had the same strong smell. When asked, they responded that the food was prepared without onion and garlic. That’s not even a lame excuse.

Iskcon temple india


I have been shouting my throat dry about bringing BCCI under RTI, but this one just jumped the queue. What are you hiding, you evil cousin of Scientology? But why single out Iskcon, should not all temples be considered as a part of the service industry and follow the same rules and regulations?

  • Romit Mathur

    Well , a good write up. It is a pity .

  • Only five crore English has thoroughly converted 129 crore strong India into their most obedient poodle. Note the strategy they use- they effectively control factors that manipulate human thought process and convert them into their subservient. These factors are- Schooling, media, corporate business, and land ownership (next to Indian Government their agents-the church- are the biggest landowner in India) have made it possible to exert overwhelming influence over 129 crore Indians.They are now reinforcing their influence through ISKON over the psyche of Hindus. Result is- Dominance of Angrezi and Angreziat in India is for all to see. It is said- India is one of the most brilliant nations on earth. But what can one say about 5 crore English who has domesticated 129 crore “Most Brilliant” and made their poodles???

  • vishnu priyansh

    Today I came to Iskon temple Bangalore. Since I was wearing a Capri, they asked me to submit refundable deposit 500 rs and wear a dhoti. They will cut 20 rs and return the rest after we give it back. I don’t know what the hell is going on. I chose not to visit the temple. I will better go to a nearby temple. Truly speaking its not a temple. It’s a pure business and people are being looted on the name of lord Krishna

  • keyur shah

    my friend always remember god is seeing everything any wrong thing you you have to pay for it u know one law ( An action is equal to an opposie reaction )(what u said is right to some extent ) but brother lord is always seeing everything he will reply to all devils because god himself says help people do something good for them try to make childresn laugh u think on it if i am wrong do reply me on facebook mail id

    MY FACT story : about me I was an hardcore drinker at age of 21 now 24 i did left drinkig after joining

  • unknown

    I agree with you I am a true and faithful to krishna but I cant let any outsider come and take advantage of my emotions and my faith to lord krishna. Its nothing but just business and they are using our religious faiths.

    We dont need you.krishna never teach us to pay or create temple. He teaches us to do our karma and love each creature. But they are earning by this faith. Hindus be aware why are you being fooled by them. Never support iscon its just a chain of Five star hotel which will ruin mathura original temples and you will be in a line near counter of Bread pakoda not for worshiping krishna. Try to understand the truth of that Iscon its just a loot nothing else. Updating a pic in iscon is not the true love to krishna and eating chaat in iscon what is it.
    Shame on you

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  • Let God be of direct use to few 😀 Fools are we who in the name of God pay money everywhere .. entire south and west India maintains money system .. for queuing up legally while north India and East the system is illegally done ..
    The bigger the corrupt you are the closer you can reach God’s idol .. Incredible India !!

    • True, faith beats love when it comes to blindness. And, if I am going to pay to beat the queue, I will also demand a receipt that my prayers have been delivered.

      • unknown

        The young bigmouth: I respect the article and all individual views but I also say Iscon is just using our faiths for earning. if Iskcon is real krishna lover why it is opening new five stars in Mathura instead of paying money to original temples.There are lot of old mothers(whose life has passed in worshiping krishna and now only one relation they have its Krishna) who need to be cared cant it support them instead of a VIP five star where some foreigner ladies wearing saris are calling themselves JOGIN of Krishna. Real GOPIS of krishna are there in original temple go and touch their feets. krishna never said to pay Him. and Dan(Charity) is not for five star hotels it should be use in that original temple for maintaining the history and real devotee of krishna. Jai shree krishna

  • Easwar Arumugam

    That’s nice read. Like the pictures.

  • Indrani

    Quite a strong message there. The question demands an answer!

    • Yes, it is time we saw temples as social institutions, not sacred places from some other world.

  • Indeed you have hit the nail on the head..The Similar situations I see in Bangalore Iskcon Temple..In the name of religion they are just doing Business and Nothing Else…I bet god is all ashamed of such act of Humans

    • It’s not a problem if they pay the taxes and are taken as any other social/commercial entity.

      • unknown

        : god dont want money but are they using that money to somewhere it is needed. True love to krishna is sacrifice yourself if needed in helping the humankind so why increasing bank balance. Are they special kind of krishna friends,Will they carry some dollars after death. Krishna friends just in deep love in HIM and not in this fake world.why dont u tell Iskcon to spend something in original mathura instead of selling hitech pedas of mathura help some of the residents of there.

        Harsha Bhuyan: like your quotes. We really need ppls of this thinking.and thanks. Jai shri krishna.