What do the Hare Krishnas think about Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is an exemplary Hare Krishna Devotee. His teachings about the supreme Father, our relationship with him, and how to about our daily lives in a humble and God-consciousness manner is soemthing that we should all aspire to. Srila Prabhupada discusses in various incidences his exalted position and relationship to the Krishna consciousness movement. Please click on the images for links to the full audio conversations. (This only works on images related to the conversations)
PREDICTION IN THE BHAVISYA PURANAM
The following prediction of Jesus Christ is found in the ancient Vedic scripture known as Bhavishya Purana. Bhavishya means “future”, and Purana means “history”, so the name means the “history of the future”. The Bhavishya Purana was originally written 5,000 years ago by the sage Vyasa, who was the compiler of the Vedic scriptures. Usually Puranas are historical narrations of universal events that happened in ancient times, but in the case of the Bhavishya Purana, Vyasa is providing a narration of events that will happen in the future, beginning with the arrival of the age of kali yuga. The following is an excerpt from the Bhavishya Purana: Pratisarga Parva, Chaturyuga Khanda Dvitiyadhyayah, 19th Chapter, Texts 17 to 32.
“Ruling over the Aryans was a king called Salivahana, the grandson of Vikramaditya, who occupied the throne of his father. He defeated the Shakas who were very difficult to subdue, the Cinas, the people from Tittiri and Bahikaus who could assume any form at will. He also defeated the people from Rome and the descendants of Khuru, who were deceitful and wicked. He punished them severely and took their wealth. Salivahana thus established the boundaries dividing the separate countries of the Mlecchas and the Aryans. In this way Sindusthan came to be known as the greatest country. That personality appointed the abode of the Mlecchas beyond the Sindhu River and to the west.”
Once upon a time the subduer of the Sakas went towards Himatunga and in the middle of the Huna country (Hunadesh – the area near Manasa Sarovara or Kailash mountain in Western Tibet), the powerful king saw an auspicious man who was living on a mountain. The man’s complexion was golden and his clothes were white.
“The king asked, ‘Who are you sir?’ ‘You should know that I am Isha Putra, the Son of God’. he replied blissfully, and ‘am born of a virgin.’ ”
” ‘I am the expounder of the religion of the Mlecchas and I strictly adhere to the Absolute Truth.’ Hearing this the king enquired, ‘What are religious principles according to you opinion?’
“Hearing this questions of Salivahara, Isha putra said, ‘O king, when the destruction of the truth occurred, I, Masiha the prophet, came to this country of degraded people where there are no rules and regulations. Finding that fearful irreligious condition of the barbarians spreading from Mleccha-Desha, I have taken to prophethood’.”
“Please hear Oh king which religious principles I have established among the mlecchas. The living entity is subject to good and bad contaminations. The mind should be purified by taking recourse of proper conduct and performance of japa. By chanting the holy names one attains the highest purity. Just as the immovable sun attracts, from all directions, the elements of all living beings, the Lord of the solar region, who is fixed and all-attractive, attracts the hearts of all living creatures. Thus by following rules, speaking truthful words, by mental harmony and by meditation, Oh descendant of Manu, one should worship that immovable Lord’.”
“Having placed the eternally pure and auspicious form of the Supreme Lord in my heart, O protector of the earth planet, I preached these principles through the Mlecchas’ own faith and thus my name became ‘isha-masiha’ (Jesus the Messiah).”
“After hearing these words and paying obeisances to that person who is worshipped by the wicked, the king humbly requested him to stay there in the dreadful land of Mlecchas.”
“King Salivahara, after leaving his kingdom performed an asvamedha yajna and after ruling for sixty years, went to heaven. Now please hear what happened when the king went to svargaloka.”
Thus ends the second chapter entitled, “the age of Salivahara” of the story of Kali Yuga of the Caturyuga Khanda also called pratisarga-parva of the wonderful Bhavishya Maha Purana.
PRABHUPADA CONFIRMS THE STATEMENT OF BHAVISYA PURANA
Tamala Krsna: "What is the difference between a pure Christian, or at least a sincere one, and a sincere devotee of Krsna?"
Prabhupada: No difference.
Tamala Krsna: He says he read a passage of the Bhavisya Maha-Purana written by Vyasadeva three thousand years before Christ foretelling Jesus Christ's presence in the Himalayas in 78 of the Christian era, and his meeting with King Shalamoyi.(?) Are there any other prophecies in the Bhavisya Maha-Purana or in any other scriptures telling more accurately Jesus Christ's birthday?
Prabhupada: Everything is accurate there.
There are three planetary systems, namely the lower worlds, the intermediate worlds and the upper worlds. The human beings on earth are situated at the beginning of the intermediate worlds, but living beings like Brahma and his contemporaries live in the upper worlds, of which the topmost is Satyaloka. In Satyaloka the inhabitants are fully cognizant of Vedic wisdom, and thus the mystic cloud of material energy is cleared. Therefore they are known as the Vedas personified. Such persons, being fully aware of knowledge both mundane and transcendental, have no interest in either the mundane or transcendental worlds. They are practically desireless devotees. In the mundane world they have nothing to achieve, and in the transcendental world they are full in themselves. Then why do they come to the mundane world? They descend on different planets as messiahs by the order of the Lord to deliver the fallen souls. On the earth they come down and do good to the people of the world in different circumstances under different climatic influences. They have nothing to do in this world save and except reclaim the fallen souls rotting in material existence, deluded by material energy.
IS JESUS GOD?
Acyutananda: In India Christians say that Jesus Christ is God.
Ravindra-svarupa: They're trying to substitute... In the beginning of the Bible it says that "In the beginning was the word, and the word was God." And modern-day translations, they have substituted the word "Christ" for "the word." So it says, "In the beginning was Christ, and Christ was God." So they're trying to make, they're trying in that way to make Jesus God. And that is the name, because they don't know what is that word.
Prajapati: We can understand this...
Prabhupada: That is again another adulteration.
Prajapati: It is adulteration, but the tendency is there because Krsna is a person. Because God is a person, they, everyone, wants to worship God as a person. It's the only way God can be worshiped. So because they do not know Krsna, they make Jesus God so they can worship him as a person.
Prabhupada: That is also good. But do they do?
Tamala Krsna: No.
Tamala Krsna: To worship means to follow the instructions, and they...
Prabhupada: Do they follow?
Tamala Krsna: ...do not follow the instructions.
Prabhupada: Yes. The... Do they follow the Ten Commandments?
Tamala Krsna: No.
Trivikrama: They say, "You cannot. It is not possible. Only you have to accept Christ. Then you will be saved."
Acyutananda: As Lord Zetland.
Acyutananda: Lord Zetland said, "It is not possible..."
Trivikrama: It is not possible.
Acyutananda: ...to give up meat and illicit..."
Prabhupada: Then? Where is Christian?
Tamala Krsna: We are. We are the Christians.
Pancadravida: Well, they say then, "You can't do any of these things, so you have to accept Christ in your heart."
Acyutananda: That was my challenge, that "We are doing them better than all of you, so you... That's..."
Prabhupada: No, if you keep God or Christ within your heart, then your heart will be purified. That means you are cheating.
Pancadravida: Yeah, that's what it boils down to.
Prabhupada: You are all cheaters, not Christians, but cheaters. You do not keep in the heart Christ's name or God's name, but you keep your own ideas. Therefore you think it is impossible. Otherwise, your heart would have been cleansed. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12].
srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
hrdy antah stho hy abhadrani
vidhunoti (suhrt satam)
Anyone who is keeping Krsna within his heart, he becomes cleansed of all dirty things. And because the dirty things are there, that means he is not keeping.
ONLY THROUGH ME
Madhudvisa: She's asking how can we explain that Jesus said he is the only way?
Prabhupada: Yes, he is the only way. We also admit. Because he is the representative of God, so if you want to approach God, you must approach through His representative. That is His version. "I am the only representative of God," then you have to reach God through him, that is fact.
Prabhupada: Now, in the Bible, Lord Jesus Christ is described as the son of God. Now, so far I have heard, that it is claimed that he is the only one son of God. Now according to Bhagavad-gita, every living entity is son of God. Now how to adjust? If the Bible says that Lord Jesus Christ is the only one son, then how these so many innumerable sons can be adjusted? There is adjustment. There is very nice adjustment. One should know it. He is the only one son means one who can sacrifice his life for God, he is real son. And one who is simply taking from father, "Oh, God, give us our daily bread," and He is supplying and eating and enjoying sense enjoyement, he is not real son. The real son is he who sacrifices his life for glorifying his father. Similarly, anyone who will sacrifice his life... Of course, it is not required that everyone shall be crucified like Lord Jesus Christ, but he should sacrifice his energy for the Supreme Lord. And that person who has devoted his energy for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, he is called Krsna conscious person.
Prabhupada: Every one of us messiah. Anyone Krsna conscious, he's the messiah. Every one. Why one? All of us. Gaurangera bhakta-gane, jane jane sakti dhari, brahmanda tari saksi(?): "The devotee of Lord Caitanya, every one has so immense power that every one, they can deliver the whole universe." Gaurangera bhakta-jane, jane jane sakti..., brahmanda tari... That is Gauranga's men.
Tamala Krsna: Only you are that powerful, Srila Prabhupada. We're like...
Prabhupada: Why you are not? You are my disciples.
Tamala Krsna: We're like the bugs.
Prabhupada: "Like father, like son." You should be. Gaurangera bhakta..., jane. Everyone. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. He asked everyone, "Just become guru." Follow His instruction. You become guru. Amara ajnaya. Don't manufacture ideas. Amara ajnaya. "What I say, you do. You become a guru." Where is the difficulty? "And what is Your ajna?" Yare dekha tare kaha krsna-upadesa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. Bas. Everything is there in the Bhagavad-gita. You simply repeat. That's all. You become guru. To become a guru is not difficult job. Follow Caitanya Mahaprabhu and speak what Krsna has said. Bas. You become guru.
VAISHNAVAS ALWAYS PERSECUTED
I am obliged to your good daughter for awarding me a good degree as SWAMI JESUS which is actually a great honour for me. Some time the Lord speaks through innocent child and I take this honour as sent by Lord Jesus through an innocent child free from all formalities of the current society. Lord Jesus preached the message of God and I have taken up the same mission, and it would be a good luck for me if I can follow the foot prints of Lord Jesus who preached the message of God in spite of all persecution. Lord Jesus is a living example how one has to suffer in this material world simply for the matter of preaching the message of God.
Letter to: Sally -- New York 19 November, 1965
So Vaisnava, Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us that how we shall preach this Krsna consciousness. Don't be disheartened because the police is obstructing, because the people are complaining. They will do that. Just like... Why this police and public? This poor, innocent boy, five years old, because he was chanting, his father became his enemy. His father, what to speak of others. So it is such a thing. In any... You try to trace out the history of the world, you'll find always persons who are for Krsna or God, they have been persecuted. Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, Haridasa Thakura was caned in twenty-two market places, Prahlada Maharaja was tortured by his father. So there may be such things.
Prabhupada: Very good. You know Greek language?
Pater Emmanuel: Yes, I know.
Prabhupada: So you know the word Christo.
Pater Emmanuel: Yes, Christ.
Prabhupada: Christo means Christ.
Pater Emmanuel: Yes, Christ, Kriza (?), Kristos, who is Christ by oil. Anointed. Christos, Christ, means anointed. It's the same word. It's the same form. Christo and Kristos in Greek is the same word, anointed.
Prabhupada: Oh, I see. So this Christo is the broken version of Krsna.
Pater Emmanuel: Ah, yes, I see. Very good, very interesting.
Prabhupada: Yes. Because in India still, when calling for Krsna, one says Krsta. And Krsta means the attractor, the Sanskrit meaning, attractor, one who draws, draws everyone nearer. That is the meaning of Krsna. And that all-attractive drawer is God.
Pater Emmanuel: Yes, I think so too.
Prabhupada: Yes. Therefore God's name is Krsta. So when Christ said that "My father, the Lord, hallowed be Thy name," that name is Krsta or Krsna. How do you think of it?
Pater Emmanuel: Yes, I think that Christ, (German)
German devotee: He says that Jesus as the son of God has revealed the name of God, yes, and his opinion is that we call name of God... The name of God is Christ.
Prabhupada: The name of God is Christ. That Christ is another form of pronouncing Krsta. And Krsta is another form of pronouncing Krsna. Therefore God's name is Krsna.
JESUS MADE A NEW RELIGION BECAUSE THE JEWS WERE KILLING
Prabhupada: No, from the First Commandment it appears that they were not very enlightened because why does he say "Thou shall not kill"? That means they were killers.
Dr. Patel: They were killing. (laughs)
Prabhupada: They were killers.
Dr. Patel: Otherwise, they would not have said, "Thou shall not kill."
Prabhupada: Why the first commandment is there, "Thou shall not kill"? They were fighting and killing amongst themselves. Not very advanced nation. And he was horrified when he saw that the Jews were killing animals.
Dr. Patel: In the temple.
Prabhupada: In the temple.
Prabhupada: You were... Two thousand years ago, Christ, he was born in Jewish family, he was horrified by seeing animal sacrifices in the synagogue. Therefore his first commandment is, "Thou shall not kill." He was so horrified. Why he has given this commandment? He was so much horrified. What is this? Therefore he gave up the Jewish religion. He started his own. This is the history. And he first commanded, "Thou shall not kill."
Dr. Patel: And the Jews were killing the pigeons in the temple.
Prabhupada: They are very expert in killing.
Dr. Patel: I don't know how the religiosity could even...
Prabhupada: So where is religion?
HEAVEN THAT'S ALL
Regarding the end of devotees of Lord Jesus Christ, they can go to heaven, that is all. That is a planet in the material world. A devotee of Lord Jesus Christ is one who is strictly following the ten commandments. Now just like in the commandment "Thou shalt not kill'' this is a moral instruction for the sinful man. Similarly Lord Buddha also emphasized ahimsa paramadharma "the highest religion is nonviolence.'' So these instructions are for the sinful men. When one is pious, instead of being sinful, he is promoted to the higher planetary systems like Janaloka, Mahaloka, or Tapaloka and they are above the planet Svargaloka. So persons who are cleansed of sinful life become eligible for spiritual life. From the instructions of Lord Jesus Christ we find that the stress is given to make men free from sinful life -- such as "Thou shalt not kill'' "Thou shalt not covet'' -- like that. Therefore the conclusion is that the devotees of Lord Jesus Christ are promoted to the heavenly planets which are within this material world.
Lord Jesus Christ certainly finished the sinful reactions of his followers by his mercy, but that does not mean that he completely delivered them from the pangs of material existence. A person may be relieved from sins once, but it is a practice among Christians to confess sins and yet commit them again. By getting freed from sins and again engaging in them, one cannot attain freedom from the pangs of material existence. A diseased person may go to a physician for relief, but after he leaves the hospital he may again be infected due to his unclean habits. Thus material existence continues.