Srila Prabhupada re. Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ a great Vaisnava
My Dear Amogha das:
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated July 16, 1974 with enclosed clippings and the Christian paper Southern Cross. The articles are very nice, and I am very pleased how the Christian community are appreciating our movement. Actually we have no quarrel with them. We accept Lord Jesus Christ as the son of God and he was a great Vaisnava. Because he appeared in another country does not mean that we should not offer him respect. If we stick to our principles as I have given you, more and more these priestly class they will come to respect us and appreciate something of our philosophy. Therefore I stress so much the devotional rules and regulations. I very much liked the report of the prasadam distribution at the club for businessmen. So I thank you very much for kindly sending me this report. I understand that you are preparing to go to Jakarta for preaching. So just go on as a sincere servant of Krsna, and you will be blessed by Krsna.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well wisher, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
1975 Correspondence : February : Letter to: Jayatirtha — Mexico City 16 February, 1975 : 75-02-16
Jesus Christ a saktyavesa avatara
Your next question, “Is a pure devotee eternally liberated and if so is he at any time a conditioned soul? We are eternally conditioned, but as soon as we surrender to Krishna do we then become eternally liberated? When Lord Christ appeared he seemed to be conditioned in his growth. Was he a specific incarnation or a conditioned soul who became liberated?” You are not eternally conditioned. You are eternally liberated but since we have become conditioned on account of our desire to enjoy materialistic way of life, from time immemorial, therefore it appears that we are eternally conditioned. Otherwise the living entity is not actually conditioned. A living entity is always pure. But he is prone to be attracted by material enjoyment and as soon as he agrees to place himself in material enjoyment, he becomes conditioned, but that is not permanent. Therefore a living entity is called on the marginal state, sometimes this side, sometimes that side. These are very intelligent questions. And I am very glad that you are putting such intelligent questions and trying to understand it. It is very good. But best thing is that one should know he is in conditioned life and try to cure it. When a man is in diseased condition he should try to get out of diseased condition without harassing his brain when the disease has begun. But it is to be understood that the disease is not our constant companion, it is temporary. So the best thing is to cure the disease, and not waste our time to find out the date when it began. Forgetfulness of Krishna is the disease, so let us keep ourselves always in Krishna Consciousness, and get out of the disease, that is healthy life. Yes, Lord Jesus was jivatattva. He is not Visnu tattva. When a jiva tattva becomes specifically empowered by the Lord, he is called saktyavesa avatara. Lord Buddha and Lord Jesus Christ were in this group of saktyavesa avatara.. But they were not in conditioned state when they appeared; they came to teach here.
Letters : 1968 Correspondence : November : Letter to: Aniruddha — Los Angeles 14 November, 1968 : 68-11-14
Jesus Christ our guru
“Jesus Christ was such a great personality–the son of God, the representative of God. He had no fault. Still, he was crucified. He wanted to deliver God consciousness, but in return they crucified him–they were so thankless. They could not appreciate his preaching. But we appreciate him and give him all honor as the representative of God.
Of course, the message that Christ preached was just according to his particular time, place, and country, and just suited for a particular group of people. But certainly he is the representative of God. Therefore we adore Lord Jesus Christ and offer our obeisances to him.
Once, in Melbourne, a group of Christian ministers came to visit me. They asked, “What is your idea of Jesus Christ?” I told them, “He is our guru. He is preaching God consciousness, so he is our spiritual master.” The ministers very much appreciated that.
Actually, anyone who is preaching God’s glories must be accepted as a guru. Jesus Christ is one such great personality. We should not think of him as an ordinary human being. The scriptures say that anyone who considers the spiritual master to be an ordinary man has a hellish mentality. If Jesus Christ were an ordinary man, then he could not have delivered God consciousness.”
The Science of Self Realization : SSR 4: Understanding Krsna and Christ : Jesus Christ Was a Guru
His audience not very enlightened
As for the second question I do not know what you mean by this statement, but we accept Jesus Christ as a very good son of God. So far His preaching is concerned, that was with reference to the people amongst whom He preached. Just like “Thou shalt not kill.” That means they were accustomed to killing. So you can just imagine what class of men they were. It is simply a difference of mode of teaching, that is all. But we accept Him as the son of God, and He talked about God consciousness. That much we accept. So far the audience is concerned, it is a proof they are not very elevated, otherwise how they could kill Jesus Christ? That means they are not very enlightened
Letters : 1972 Correspondence : September : Letter to: Krsna dasa — Dallas 9 September, 1972 : 72-09-09
Christianism means Vaiṣṇavism
Dr. Patel: These Christians, during the Christmas, they buy a turkey one month before…
Prabhupāda: But that is not the injunction of Christ. They have made it.
Dr. Patel: No, no. That cannot be injunction of a saint like that.
Prabhupāda: No. He says, “Thou shall not kill,” general order.
Dr. Patel: Christ was a great bhāgavata-bhakta.
Prabhupāda: Hm? Dr. Patel: He was a bhakta.
Srila Prabhupāda: Yes. I said in many lectures that Christianism means Vaiṣṇavism. Where is the Christian?
Dr. Patel: Vaiṣṇavism. Totally Vaiṣṇavism.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.
Dr. Patel: Christianity it is really Vaiṣṇavism, but they, unfortunately… The church…
Prabhupāda: Mohamedanism… Mohammedanism…
Dr. Patel: The church has spoiled it.
Dr. Patel: Church has defaced it.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Everywhere.
Dr. Patel: It is the church, Christian church, which has defaced Christism. Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Everywhere the followers make the whole thing bungled. Hm. Go on. [break]
Conversations : 1974 Conversations : May, 1974 : Morning Walk Excerpts — May 1, 1974, Bombay : 740501mw.bom
Jesus Christ did not like animal killing – so who is Christian today?
“So, there is a process how to appreciate, how to become qualified to appreciate, and that system is called varṇāśrama-dharma, to divide the whole human society into four classes of men: the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra. And those who are not regulated, they are pañcamas, below the śūdras. So the, our subject matter was unlawful meat-eaters. So even the śūdras, who are meat-eaters, they’re lawful meat-eaters. What is that lawful meat-eating? Lawful meat-eating is… In any religion, formerly, even the Muhammadans or Hindus or the Jews, they used to kill one animal as sacrifice. They used to kill. Not in the slaughterhouse. Even up to date, those who are strictly religious followers… Suppose the Muhammadans. There in the Koran, the injunction is that “You should sacrifice one animal in the mosque.” The Jews also, they sacrifice animal in the synagogue. I have read one book, Lord Jesus Christ, when he was a young boy he was very much shocked when he saw that animal-killing is going on in the synagogue. Therefore he differentiated from the Jews and he started his own religion, Christian religion. Is it not a fact? Am I right? Why… He was also a Jew. Why he deviated? Why he deviated from the Jews? Because when he saw in his young age that animals are being killed in the synagogue, he differed, “No, no, this is horrible. This should be stopped.” Therefore, his first commandment is “Thou shall not kill.” Am I wrong or right? Eh? That was his first impression, that people should stop killing. So who is Christian? Everyone is violating this first commandment, what to speak of other commandments. Everyone. So it is very difficult to find a real Christian. But if you violate the commandments of Christ, then what kind of Christian you are? This is our question. Who will answer this?”
Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures : Canto 1: Lectures : SB 1.16: Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.21 — Hawaii, January 17, 1974 : 740117SB.HAW
Defect of Western civilization – vox populi crucified Jesus Christ
“People may take or not take, but a God’s servant must speak the truth. Just like Jesus Christ. He was crucified. Nobody took his words. But he did it. If people would have accepted his philosophy, then why he was crucified by the judges? It was done by the judges, Roman judges. So this is the position of the world. Socrates was killed because he said that there is soul. This is the defect of Western civilization. They want vox populi. What is that vox populi? Huh?”
Conversations : 1975 Conversations : May, 1975 : Morning Walk — May 16, 1975, Perth : 750516mw.per
Sankirtan movement in the Bible
“I wish that at least four centers may be established in the Western countries including one in London and then a company of twelve at least of all your brothers and myself may have an extensive tour all over the world for preaching this unique cult of Hare Krishna. And because it is approved by Lord Christ at least the Christian world will accept our Kirtana procedure. I have seen in the bible that Lord Jesus Christ recommended this Kirtana performances in the Bible. You know better than me and I would request you to write a small book on SANKIRTAN MOVEMENT IN THE BIBLE. it will be a great stride for our mission and I hope it will help us financially a great deal. Just you encourage Hayagriva to write this Drama very nicely in Poetry so that they can be sung in western tone all over America and Europe and staged everywhere to cover our expenses.”
Letter to: Kirtanananda — San Francisco 7 April, 1967 : 67-04-07
Nothing in the world that can compare with our Movement
My Dear Bhakta Dasa,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 29 July, 1973 and I have noted the contents very carefully.
From your report I can understand that you are very enthusiastic. I like also your idea of celebrating Govardhana puja. This should be our programme to attract the general mass of people. If we go on preaching vigorously as we have been for another 25 year then all these other so called religions will disappear. After all what do they have to offer. In the Christian religion all we see is Christ’s picture as he was crucified, so how people can be attracted to such thing? There is no science, philosophy, music, art, Prasadam, it is no wonder that the people are rejecting this nonsense. Not that Christ himself was nonsense, but those who are preaching in his name they are nonsense because they do not follow even the simplest of his orders. “Thou shalt not Kill.” I have met with so many Christians and when I ask them why Christians are killing they cannot answer. The first principle of spiritual life is non violence. They will say Killing in this matter means actually Murder, but accepting even this argument, it means that the society in which Christ was preaching were composed of Murderers, so what kind of men they were, and practically we see it is a fact that because they murdered Lord Jesus Christ. At any rate there is nothing in the world that can compare with our Movement of Chanting and dancing. So Chant dance and when you get tired take Prasadam, this is our actual solid preaching work all over the world.
1973 Correspondence : August : Letter to: Bhakta dasa — Bhaktivedanta Manor 3 August, 1973 : 73-08-03