Krishna West

Hridayananda das goswami’s new Krishna West program is interesting in that it will not only create interest and criticism within Gaudiya Vaishnavism but within academic circles of which Professor Resnick aka HDG is no stranger to a he has obtained the PhD in Indology. Bir Krishna Goswami is also a supporter. His narrative focuses some concepts that many devotees are familiar with or will be with some simple inquiry.

HDG’s methodology is hermeneutics. The culture he is inculcating reflects Merton’s Rebellion, Innovation, and Ritualist analysis.

One may surmise that a subculture group, the LGBTi members share the same goals as all Gaudiya Vaishnavas but do not have access to the same means as marriage to obtain these goals.

There are an infinite or continuous number of variables between 0 and 1. If we are dealing with per se 1o intervals of 1/10 we have a discreet number of events to argue. Considering this the continuous approach is often used to create doubts while the discreet approach may be used to close role and texture in a debate. 

2.4 Hermeneutic approaches to history

Another important strand of continental philosophy of history proposes to apply hermeneutics to problems of historical interpretation. This approach focuses on the meaning of the actions and intentions of historical individuals rather than historical wholes. This tradition derives from the tradition of scholarly Biblical interpretation. Hermeneutic scholars emphasized the linguistic and symbolic core of human interactions and maintained that the techniques that had been developed for the purpose of interpreting texts could also be employed to interpret symbolic human actions and products. Wilhelm Dilthey maintained that the human sciences were inherently distinct from the natural sciences in that the former depend on the understanding of meaningful human actions, while the latter depend on causal explanation of non-intentional events (1883, 1860-1903, 1910). Human life is structured and carried out through meaningful action and symbolic expressions. Dilthey maintains that the intellectual tools of hermeneutics—the interpretation of meaningful texts—are suited to the interpretation of human action and history. The method of verstehen (understanding) makes a methodology of this approach; it invites the thinker to engage in an active construction of the meanings and intentions of the actors from their point of view (Outhwaite 1975). This line of interpretation of human history found expression in the twentieth-century philosophical writings of Heidegger, Gadamer, Ricoeur, and Foucault. This tradition approaches the philosophy of history from the perspective of meaning and language. It argues that historical knowledge depends upon interpretation of meaningful human actions and practices. Historians should probe historical events and actions in order to discover the interconnections of meaning and symbolic interaction that human actions have created (Sherratt 2006).

Little, Daniel, “Philosophy of History”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>.



Merton suggests that individuals who find themselves blocked in goal attainment may simply decide to give up on conventional goals as well as legitimate means. These people, whom he terms retreatists, reject both the goals and means and withdraw from the situation. Vagrancy, drug addiction, alcoholism, and even suicide represent forms of this deviant response.


Merton also believed that people not only may reject goals but also may rebel against the social order and even attempt to introduce new goals and means into the society. This rebellious form of deviant response is typical of various radical or
revolutionary groups, or rebels, who desire sweeping change in the society.


Some individuals who encounter limited access to the use of legitimate means frequently adopt a deviant or anomic response that Merton called innovation. The innovator is one who rejects only the legitimate means, not the ends or goals. He or she then substitutes illegitimate or criminal means to achieve the goals.


Ritualism, in Merton’s view, occurs when a person fails to achieve the goals and inwardly gives up in his or her efforts to achieve them. The individual nevertheless publicly and strictly conforms to the use of legitimate means that are socially defined as necessary for goal attainment. The ritualist, by reducing or ignoring the importance of goals, thereby finds a solution to his or her frustrations and failures. Outwardly, the person manifests a compulsive conformity to legitimate means. For most people, the ritualist’s behavior would suggest anything but deviance; however, Merton considers ritualists deviant because they
have inwardly withdrawn from the struggle for goal attainment.

Source: R. K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure, New York: Free Press, 1965,
pp. 132–57.

This entry was posted in Hare Krishna, history, human-rights, philosophy, prabhupada, Singularity, social-science. Bookmark the permalink.

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