Bleach the “Indian” out of “Krishna”?
There is a trend these days to westernize Krishna consciousness. I disagree 100% with the idea that Indian culture is a detriment to “preaching sales” (so-to-speak), a detriment to the allure of Krishna consciousness. In my opinion it is ISKCON-culture, which has so far been only a fanatical-neophyte-oddity-version of bits and pieces of Indian culture, which is off-putting to the general population. I think Indian culture is quite attractive and alluring, especially to those with interest in spirituality, meditation, yoga, etc. (who, according the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, should be the “prime target market” for Krishna consciousness).
I am all about making things accessible and relevant by highlighting the essentials and downplaying peripherals, but we Gauḍiya’s hail from the Theistic Vedānta of the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam which is a treatise produced on Indian soil, the comprehension of which was cultivated by Indians through Indian culture. Therefore I am proactively against trying to remove the Indian elements from our presentation of Gauḍiya Vedānta to Westerners. Rather, I am in favor of so deeply and thoroughly understanding those elements that we can present them without the fanatic neophicity that makes any culture look culty, weird, and unrelatable.