Violence against devotees in Serbia

Vamsidhari Dasa - July 22, 2006 4:51 am

In the course of some research I am doing for my own purposes I came accross this information and I wanted to share iit with you if nothing else just to makes us feel fortunate to be living where we are. I certainly feel blessed to be here in the shade of Guru Maharaja's feet.


Vamsidhari d. :P


[i]"Concern continues among human rights activists and members of religious minorities in Serbia at ongoing verbal and physical attacks on religious minority communities. In Forum 18 News Service’s listing of attacks between May and early September 2005, the most alarming incident is the serious wounding of painter and Hare Krishna devotee Zivota Milanovic in the town of Jagodina 150 kms (95 miles) south of Belgrade. He was stabbed in the chest while walking on the street late at night on 11/12 July. His three unknown attackers told him he should be burnt at the stake. “This happened because of his faith – it was because he is Serbian but not Orthodox,” one Hare Krishna devotee told Forum 18. Four years ago Milanovic was severely beaten and later the same year also stabbed for being a Hare Krishna devotee."[/i] (Forum 18: Serbia, 9 September 2005

Igor - July 22, 2006 6:34 am

Dear Vamsidhari Prabhu,

spiritual name of devotee who is attacked is Jaiva-Dharma Prabhu and he is disciple of Srilla Krsna Ksetra Prabhu. Such and simmilar incidents happened here in past. Vaisnavism is here consider to be sect and ortodox church is very intolerant toward any other spiritual practice. In few last years sittuation is much better because goverment wants to join EU so they must accept europian laws etc. That is officialy policy, but in streets everything is possiable. For all theese years I must say it is not easy to chant Hare Krsna and trying to be devotee in this country. :P

Syamasundara - July 22, 2006 7:46 am

That is just disgusting if you think that 40 years ago the same Orthodox doctrine was banned in those countries. I doubt it's the actual church that fosters these attacks, but most likely it doesn't condemn them either.

How sad and ignorant.

Incidentally I thought a lot about the Eastern Europe devotees; whenever I felt miserable I would think of them, in concentration camps, some of them so saintly.

After all what are my miseries? Before I lived at my sister's while looking for a job; I am not saying I was persona non grata, but almost, and she said she's going on vacation on the 22nd and wants to be free of worries with the house empty and locked up. When my father heard I was going to live in his two-room house next (where he practically never lives, as he spends a lot of time at his girlfriend's) he wanted to pay for my visa and flight back rather than having me over.

So I have a place to stay, but I am not welcome, I have people maintaining me, but that just increases my debts, I have a lover, but on the other side of the ocean and full of doubts, I have a job, but way underpaid considering I work on average 11 hours and it's hell of boring (there is really no other expression).

Still, I've had plenty of occasions to chant and meditate on a few interesting points, see them in perspective.

One night my mouth cried loud: "NITAI, NITAI, NITAI, NITAI, NITAI!" but my ears heard him echo back: "Tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny."

So I started to laugh out loud. Sridhara Maharaja says that our material conditionings, and relative problems and complication, are really like mushrooms.

It's a wonderful analogy; mushrooms look so plump, some of them threatening, some poisonous, but if you flick them off, you realize they are really light and fragile, with roots that are very thin filaments that spread just under the surface. So our anarthas may look and feel so insurmountable, but we should really look from the vantage point of reality, transcendence.

An ant may have a hard time uprooting a light and spongy mushroom, but we can flick it off very easily. Similarly, although matter is made by atoms that are mostly empty and inconsistent, to us it feels very concrete, and so do the problems relating to that world, but Nityananda Prabhu is the source and maintainer of unlimited universes, and he does so through a partial expansion of himself, and Sri Guru is a manifestation of that same Nityananda Prabhu. What to speak of clearing material consciousness from our experience, nitaier karuna habe vraje radha krsna pabe.

OK sorry for rambling. That was a very nice and cheap talk, but I am not risking my life for chanting. Still, like I said, I'd be chanting up and down my sister's balcony in the evenings, and an old lady would look at me puzzled from a building across the street. I remember being grateful for living in a country where that was not an issue, but even without persecutions, we should be grateful and honored to have been given the name of Hari, such an intimate thing, with such potential.

Other people may rejoice if you whisper the name of a winning horse in their ear, or a powerful lawyer. We should be jumping and rolling on the ground all the time. Personally I'd like to be so ecstatic that I feel like roaring, like you read in the Caritamrita, I've always wondered what that may feel, sound or look like. :P

Bhrigu - July 22, 2006 7:53 am
In few last years sittuation is much better because goverment wants to join EU so they must accept europian laws etc.


So Berlusconi et al. have actually reaped some ajñata-sukriti! Who would have thought? But seriously, such news makes living in a secularised country like Finland seem like heaven. I did a griha-pravesha homa for some Indians yesterday and went out in my full "pandita"-gear, padukas and all, without having to fear anything else than some rather wondering glances.

Igor - July 22, 2006 4:21 pm
Finland seem like heaven.


In comparation to Serbia almost every country on the world is like heaven. :P

Vamsidhari Dasa - July 22, 2006 6:15 pm

Syama, I had a gret respect and reverence for the Orthodox Church but things have changed. It is hard to believe but true the Orthodox Church des support and incourage these attacks by its "anti-everything-not Serbia" doctreene. As the Croats think that the Holy Virgin is Croatian the Serbs think that God is Serbian! Here are some other quotes:

"The longstanding crisis, destroyed value system, resistance to transition and reforms, and massive war crimes opened the door to the forces that inherently oppose any change. As Serbia’s traditional institution, the Serbian Orthodox Church managed to conquer the public scene. It imposed itself as an arch arbiter in all social and political issues, particularly after October 5, 2000. However, with its conservative position on the character of the society, the Serbian Orthodox Church stands in the way of a clearly shaped pro-European policy. This particularly affects younger generations prone to quick and simple solutions. The Church opposes European and Western values, free market and the concept of human rights, individual rights in particular.


The Church’s attitude towards the recent past is also problematic – not only because of its ample support to Milosevic’s warring policy, but also because of the fact that it still actively sides with anti-Hague lobby and thus with war criminals indicted by the Tribunal.


The Serbian Orthodox Church hugely influences the shaping of a new cultural model. Its strong politicization and meddling in state affairs seriously questioned the secular character of the state." (Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia: Human Security in an Unfinished State, Belgrade 2005, p 14)


Of course that things are changing but I am not sure if it is in a better or worse direction. When prejudice and hateret is given power it reign distruction and bloodshed. That is what the Balkans showed us. Yes, I agree with Igor that compared to Serbia any country seems like heaven. I hope that you can reach the peace and tranquillity somewhere else soon.

Doing this research left me even more horrified then before and made me think that things are worse then how they appear. Forgive me if I overstepped the purpose of this forum to share personal struggles. I hope it is helpful if nothing else but for reflection. Thank you.

[but most of all forgive me the lack of spell cheking]


Vamsi d. :P