What do Hare Krishna devotees believe about Christ? Do they believe in Jesus at all? What is Christ's connection to Krishna, if any? ....You may be able to add many more questions to the list. I have created this web page to answer just that. I hope it helps. Thanks. ~ Prtha devi dasi
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaishnava devotees of the Lord. They are just like desire trees who can fulfill the desires of everyone, and they are full of compassion for the conditioned souls.' He takes responsibility for all the conditioned souls. That is the idea is also in the Bible. Jesus Christ took all the reactions of the people and sacrifice his life. That is the responsibility of the spiritual master." Perfect Answers, Perfect Questions, Ch. 6
"A Vaishnava should follow the example of such Vaishnava's as Haridas Thakura, Nityananda Prabhu and also Lord Jesus Christ." SB 4:6:47"
"The Sanskrit word avatara literally means "he who descends." One who descends from the spiritual universe into the material universe through his own will is called an avatara. Sometimes Sri Krsna descends Himself, and sometimes He sends His representative. The major religions of the world--Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Moslem -- believe in some supreme authority or personality coming down from the kingdom of God. In the Christian religion, Jesus Christ claimed to be the son of God and to be coming from the kingdom of God to reclaim conditioned souls. As followers of Bhagavad-gita, we admit this claim to be true." Raja Vidya, Ch. 6, Knowledge of Krishna's Appearance and Activities
"Lord Jesus Christ, for instance, was God Conscious, Krishna Conscious but he was not satisfied in keeping his knowledge within himself." Path Of Perfection, Ch. 5
"Lord Jesus Christ, he is saktyavesa-avatara, God's son. And he tolerated so much. These are the examples of mahatma. Don't misunderstand that we are preaching mahatma's are only in India. No." S.B. 5.5.3, Vrindavana India, October 25, 1976
"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. ~ SSR/Science of Self Realization
I wish I had a scanner. (sigh) The pictures above do not adequately show what the ones I have at home reveals. These are just the closest thing to it I could find on the net. However, they do reveal a degree of what I am about to describe. That's why I included them here. Anyway, with no scanner, all I can do is describe the pictures I myself have.
There are two noteworthy ones, starting with the above Byzantine style of painting. What's so important about them? Read on.
A Byzantine painting is a mosaic of Jesus "based" on the Holy Shroud of Turin. I obtained a brochure which contained within it such a painting (not shown here). It had been circulated by devotees at the time. Now, if you don't believe the Shroud was Christ, that is your right but it is also another topic. Simply, it is not the subject matter of this web site.
While Byzantine are paintings and not the Shroud itself, we need to remember the artists copied details of the Shroud very carefully, making sure not concocted any markings. After all, the artists were devout Christians!
In the pictures I own (not shown on this site), a Byzantine painting of the Holy shroud, there is a very clear "V" mark down the center of the forehead. (Much more obvious than the ones above.) It took me by surprise. I did a double take. Yes, it WAS there!
Some may argue the point that since it's smaller on the above paintings maybe I am exaggerating. But small does not mean nonexistent. Or one may argue that they themselves do not 'really' see it, so they at least find it doubtful. However, lets look to the experts. Not I, or the devotees who gave me the brochure, are the only persons to have noticed it. See what research scientists have to say about this:
Referring to the Byzantine paintings ~
"Researcher Paul Vignon, noticed "on the forehead between the eyebrows of this work a starkly geometrical |_| shape....When he turned to the equivalent point the Shroud face, there was the same feature, equally as geometric, and equally as unnatural because it appeared to have noting to do with the image itself.......... Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ? (1978)
"Artists have copied certain characteristic details, technically known as Vignon markings, after the scientist who analyzed fifteen of them, such as a transverse steak across the forehead of the Shroud image, a V-shape at the bridge of the nose, two curling stands of hair in the middle of the forehead, a hairless area between the lower lip and the beard, and so forth. In some of the earliest copies...as many as thirteen of the fifteen details are discernible." ~ Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern Quest for the True Grail (1987)
Modern Christians have been unable to figure out what this geometric "V" is down Christ's nose and forehead. As a result, they have come up with a few idea's, though these idea's, probably innocently, do not take Vaisnavism (Krishna religion) into account.
The devotees of Lord Sri Krishna know what that mark is. For those who are unfamiliar, all Vaishnava's wear a clay marking down the center of the forehead which extends onto the bridge of the nose. We anoint our bodies as temples of God. Therefore we can understand why it was described as "unnatural." It is a Holy clay that is applied daily. Interesting that Christ was known as the "Anointed one."
While the transverse streak across Christ's forehead is not as deep, (not on Shroud or paintings), from the description we get here, it should be known there is a Sampradaya (lineage) called "Sri" (Shri). They are also devotees of Krishna but instead, wear one single line of tilaka across their forehead. Now, I am not claiming this is exactly what is on his forehead for certain, only another possibility many don't know about.
In addition, some claim the single line might be part of a "cross" marking. As a devotee of Krishna, some readers may be surprised that I have no problem with this. Currently, when we think of anything Christian, we tend to think of 'modern' Christianity, as that has been our life experience. With examination of Christ's original teachings we can see that what is now presented as his religion, and what he taught at the time, are often different. Jesus broke away from the old synagogues because they were not properly following, and were twisting scripture. Thus Christ started his 'new' religion called 'Christianity,' which was really the old religion improved upon. First, by emphasizing following rules and regulations correctly; then of course, he added many other elements that were of a much higher, more spiritual nature. Matter of fact, it is quite likely that original Christianity taught by Jesus, was one of the closest things for his people at that time to Vaisnavism. Remember, he appeared as the Messiah with a specified mission from God to save his people, the Jews. (Though he would save anyone, as we now know.) Therefore, if Christ should happen to have markings of the "cross" as a type of tilaka on his forehead, I have no problem with it. It represented the beginnings of Bhakti, or love and devotion to God/Krishna.
Next, there are others who claim the lines across the forehead are merely cloth markings, as any cloth would do, such as a bed sheet. Especially the single, more faint line going across, though maybe the others. Trying to remain unbiased and scientific, I took this into consideration. It's a possibility though seems very slim. And even if it is just a 'wrinkle' from cloth, in all my life I have never gotten a wrinkle from a bed sheet or any cloth that took the form of tilaka. Most haven't. All these various mystical images are not material ones like they would on our material body. Christ's body is forever transcendental. Thus, even from their point of view that it could be an indentation from cloth, I find it to be a spiritual one.
With that said, the geometric or "V" shape appears to be given most importance, showing up more strongly on the Shroud itself as well as the forehead marking the Byzantine artists more often picked of the two they would include on their paintings. Interesting how this correlates with the type of tilaka more widely used by Krishna devotees. Again, though admittedly this is my personal belief, I merely wish it to be taken into consideration since Christians who examine the Shroud usually don't know about it, or some, if fundamentalist, would do their best to deny or hide it.
In my humble opinion, Christ had a tilaka mark on his forehead. While I am inclined to believe that if he wore it than, he wore it always, even if sometimes hidden by use of 'water' tilaka, at least we have evidence that when Jesus thought he was about to be crucified to the death he made sure to have spiritual anointing tilaka markings on his forehead! Probably Holy clay.
We always do what we believe in the most when on our deathbed. Although I personally feel Jesus survived the crucifixion, (which is proven on my third web page), he still ran a close second to death. Therefore he took no risk, as well as set a good example.
(UPDATE: Additional info on the Shroud in my third site, Christ & Krishna Part III If you still don't believe it's Jesus, or simply want more, read this.)
The second picture I have is very clearly a carving of Christ with a child next to him, and we all know that Jesus loved the children! What's so different about this one? Here, the child (boy) has a tuft of hair at the back of his shaven head. This too is the marking of a devotee of Krishna by most male devotees, as this tuft of hair is called a sikha. It distinguishing us from impersonalists, who shave their entire head; whereas Vaishanva's leave this tuft indicating our difference, that we believe in a Personal God. Incidentally, the Shroud also shows a streak of hair much longer than the rest. Though this was an accepted Christian tradition as well. However, one can't help but wonder the various places it may have had it's (various) beginnings. Could there be some connection to the Essene's - a group Christ was significantly affiliated with for a period of time? Keep reading to learn about them.
UPDATE - I found it on the net!! The same picture I have had for .... 20 years or more! I wish it were a bit larger thus clearer, but still, the long tuft of hair in the back can clearly be seen.
Ancient scrolls reveal that Jesus spent seventeen years in the Orient. From age thirteen to age twenty-nine, he was both student and teacher.
The story of his pilgrimage from Jerusalem to Benares was recorded by Brahmanistic historians.
Today they still know him and love him as St. Issa. Their 'buddha'.
[NOTE: Issa (also spelled Isa) is Sanskrit for "God," and in Sanskirt it is explained that Krishna is the one Supreme God, the cause of all causes and all that is. Some also claim it could be "Isavara" or the "Supreme Controller." I'm not a Sanskrit scholar so I can't say, one way or the other. Anyhow, Christ always had the humble servant mentality, thus Issa-messiah or Issa das = servant of the Supreme Being/God or Krishna.]
Sixty three-references to the life of St. Issa are said to be locked up in the Vatican library.
Who knows about the lost manuscripts and why aren't they telling?
Who lifted from the gospels the missing part about the teenager who trekked to the Himalayas and became the Savior of the world?
"I'm sure the Orthodox Church thought they had that book buried a long time ago," Richard Bock told me as he handed over a copy of The Unknown Life of Christ. His interest in the lost years of Jesus began with this travel diary recorded in 1887 by Nicolas Notovitch, a Russian doctor who journeyed extensively throughout Afghanistan, India, and Tibet.
Dick Bock took the same tour in 1975 and produced a documentary film on the lost years. It includes impressive testimony by John C. Trevor, director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project, and a nuclear physicist named Ralph Graeber. But the most convincing evidence comes from a little Buddhist monk who appears halfway through the film.
"Lord Jesus..." The old man shows one particularly shiny tooth as he speaks. His voice is high, like a tiny child.
I remember the impact of seeing a character like that on camera. I looked at his dark face, his saffron robe, and all those grimacing gods with too many heads and arms and legs. And I wondered how such a man could whisper with so much reverence the holy name of Jesus.
"... Lord Jesus was in India during what are known as the lost years of Jesus," he reports.
Lost years? I called to mind the mimeographed chronology of my Sunday-school coloring book and marginal notes in a New Testament college text. He's right, I thought. The Bible records Jesus age twelve in the temple. Then age thirty at the river Jordan. That leaves eighteen years unaccounted for.
But in India? It was hard to imagine my carpenter-of-Nazareth Jesus bathing in the Ganges, for instance.
Sitting in the lotus posture. I pictured a country where over six hundred million people are still struggling to enter the twentieth century. (They ride painted elephants, don't they?) How can this strange little man possibly know whether Jesus Christ ever set foot in India?
"Lhasa." The monk describes inhospitable territory that is traversed by a solitary road leading to a Tibetan monastery. Here, he says, there are records originally written in the Pali language-"ancient scrolls," he explains, curling his blunt fingers as if to open the rigid parchment before my eyes.
"Near Srinigar in the Happy Valley of Kashmir we find the legend of an extraordinary saint known to the Buddhists as St. Issa," says the monk. "Events in the life of Issa closely resemble that of Jesus Christ, revealing what are thought to be the lost years of our Lord."
It was a surprise to me that Jesus could have spent half his life in the Orient. It was a surprise that I had never wondered where the Master was all that time. To me he was simply "about my Father's business," as Luke wrote.
But what surprised me most was that this Buddhist acted like he knew Jesus. Not so much historically or theologically. But personally. To hear him speak of "Lord Jesus"-it felt just like Christmas when it suddenly seems appropriate to think of the Mighty God in an intimate and deeply loving sort of way.
I'll never forget Richard Bock's documentary starring the little Buddhist Christian. It changed my image of Jesus-and it began to change my image of myself.
That's what I told Mr. Bock when I went to him for research. He said that he had shared the same experience.
Isn't it true, we agreed, that our outer search for the lost years of Jesus is reflective of something going on within each one of us. When we look to find truth in ourselves, we are encouraged "by coincidence or fate or God," as Bock put it, to search for the truth of Jesus' life.
When I began to read Dick's dog-eared copy of The Unknown Life of Christ, I realized that Notovitch had followed nothing more than a childhood hunch that there was something "majestically colossal" about India. His book tells of the startling discovery of the Issa legend-very much by coincidence, no doubt by fate, and most certainly by the hand of God.
It's a great story. The aristocratic Dr. Notovitch and his coolies. "Sahib, take the gun!"
It reads like an old Geographic, rich in the delightful minutiae of bungalows and centipedes, tinned goods, portly lamas, silence and wonder.
Notovitch wandered through the picturesque passes of Bolan, over the Punjab, down into the arid rocks of Ladak, and, "as curiosity led me," beyond the celebrated Vale of Kashmir into that inviolable secrecy of the Himalayas. Land of the Eternal Snows.
During his investigation of this "marvelous country," Notovitch learned that there existed in the library at Lhasa ancient records of the life of Jesus Christ. In the course of a visit to the great convent Himis, he located a Tibetan translation of the legend and carefully noted in his carnet de voyage over two hundred verses from the curious document known as "The Life of St. Issa."
The legend recorded by Dr. Notovitch appears to be a collection of eyewitness accounts, a book of tales told by indigenous merchants arriving from Palestine where they had happened to be on business during the controversial execution of a man known as the "king of the Jews." This type of word-of-mouth news service is still popular in the fantastic bazaars of Calcutta and Bombay.
One of the narratives tells of an Israelite by the name of Issa, "blessed by God and the best of all," who was put to death by Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea. Another detailed account traces the lineage of Issa and closely parallels Matthew's scrupulous chapter-one genealogy of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Notovitch never doubted the authenticity of these chronicles, diligently recorded in the Pali tongue by the Brahmanic and Buddhistic historians of India and Nepal. He determined to publish a translation of the Issa legend in at least one of the European languages and addressed himself enthusiastically to a number of respected ecclesiastics, "begging them to revise my notes" and give him an honest opinion.
Cardinal Rotelli opposed the publication of the legend for the ostensible reason that it would be premature. Meeting in Paris, Rotelli told Notovitch that "the Church suffers already too much from the new wave of atheistical thought." In Rome, Notovitch showed the Himis manuscript to a cardinal who was au mieux with the pope. "What would be the good of publishing this?" said the prelate. "You will make yourself a crowd of enemies. If it be a question of money which interests you..."
The cardinal did not succeed in bribing Dr. Notovitch. But to this day nobody has ever heard of St. Issa. I wondered why. (I would have loved to color Jesus riding a painted elephant.)
There was, as Notovitch put it, a "picturesque situation" at the Himis gonpa the day his caravan arrived. "The doors of the convent opened wide, giving access to some twenty persons disguised as animals, birds, devils, and monsters of every kind." It was a religious mystery play. Culture shock for a Russian orthodox.
"My head was in a whirl," Notovitch confessed. "Young men, dressed as warriors, came out from the temple. They wore monstrous green masks. Making an infernal din with their tambourines and bells, they gyrated round the gods seated on the ground…." The prolonged spectacle was rewarded by an invitation from the chief lama for a drink of "tchang" in honor of the festival.
Notovitch seated himself on a bench opposite the venerable lama. "What signification have all these masks, costumes, bells, and dances-?" he asked diplomatically.
The lama outlined for Notovitch a short history of Tibetan Buddhism, ending with a keen indictment of the priest class, so-called Brahmans, who had made the holy doctrine a matter of commerce. "Our first holy prophets, to whom we give the title of Buddhas, established themselves of old in various countries of the globe," he said. "Their preachings aimed before all at the tyranny of the Brahmans..." Here Notovitch seized an opportunity to broach the subject so near at heart.
During a recent visit that I made to a gonpa," he began, "one of the lamas told me about a certain prophet, or, as you would say, a Buddha of the name of Issa. Can you tell me anything relative to his existence?"
"The name of Issa is held in great respect by the Buddhists," replied the lama. "But little is known about him save by the chief lamas who have read the scrolls relative to his life.
"The documents concerning his existence-brought from India to Nepal and from Nepal to Thibet--are written in the Pali language and are now in Lassa. But a copy in our language-that is, the Thibetan--exists in this convent."
"Would you be committing a sin to recite these copies to a stranger?" Notovitch ventured.
"That which belongs to God belongs also to man," said the lama. "I am doubtful where the papers are to be found. But if ever you visit our gonpa again, I shall be pleased to show them to you."
Dr. Notovitch was doubtful when he would consider returning to the wilderness of Hindustan. He remembered the "carnivorous inhabitants" of Kangra. And Zodgi-La, where his caravan tiptoed across projectures in the rock no more than a meter wide. "My heart stood still more than once during my perilous journey."
But, as fortune would have it, a violent fall from his horse furnished Notovitch with an unexpected excuse for an immediate return to the monastery. His fractured leg was bound in an extemporized splint -"one coolie supporting my leg while another led my horse by the bridle."
The caravan arrived back at Himis late that evening.
"Hearing of my accident, everyone came out to meet me," Notovitch recalled. "I was carried with great care to the best of their chambers under the immediate surveillance of the superior, who affectionately pressed the hand which I offered him in gratitude."
The affable lama kept Notovitch entertained throughout the following day with endless stories. At last, "acceding to my earnest entreaties," he brought out two large yellowed volumes and read to him the biography of St. Issa. Notovitch enlisted a member of his party to translate the Tibetan while he carefully noted each verse in the back pages of his journal.
The legend begins with the crucifixion.
The earth has trembled and the heavens have wept because of a great crime which has been committed in the land of Israel.
For they have tortured and there put to death the great and just Issa, in whom dwelt the soul of the universe,
Which was incarnate in a simple mortal in order to do good to men and to exterminate their evil thoughts
And in order to bring back man degraded by his sins to a life of peace, love, and happiness and to recall to him the one and indivisible Creator, whose mercy is infinite and without bounds....
At this time came the moment when the all-merciful Judge elected to become incarnate in a human being.
And the Eternal Spirit, dwelling in a state of complete inaction and of supreme beatitude, awoke and detached itself for an indefinite period from the Eternal Being,
So as to show forth in the guise of humanity the means of self-identification with Divinity and of attaining to eternal felicity,
And to demonstrate by example how man may attain moral purity and, by separating his soul from its mortal coil, the degree of perfection necessary to enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is unchangeable and where happiness reigns eternal.
Soon after, a marvelous child was born in the land of Israel, God himself speaking by the mouth of this infant of the frailty of the body and the grandeur of the soul.
The parents of the newborn child were poor people, belonging by birth to a family of noted piety, who, forgetting their ancient grandeur on earth, praised the name of the Creator and thanked him for the ills with which he saw fit to prove them.
To reward them for not turning aside from the way of truth, God blessed the firstborn of this family. He chose him for his elect and sent him to help those who had fallen into evil and to cure those who suffered.
The divine child, to whom was given the name of Issa, began from his earliest years to speak of the one and indivisible God, exhorting the souls of those gone astray to repentance and the purification of the sins of which they were culpable.
People came from all parts to hear him, and they marveled at the discourses proceeding from his childish mouth. All the Israelites were of one accord in saying that the Eternal Spirit dwelt in this child.
When Issa had attained the age of thirteen years, the epoch when an Israelite should take a wife,
The house where his parents earned their living by carrying on a modest trade began to be a place of meeting for rich and noble people, desirous of having for son-in-law the young Issa, already famous for his edifying discourses in the name of the Almighty.
Then it was that Issa left the parental house in secret, departed from Jerusalem, and with the merchants set out towards Sind,
With the object of perfecting himself in the Divine Word and of studying the laws of the great Buddhas.
According to the legend, Issa left his father's house secretly at age thirteen. He joined a merchant caravan and arrived in India "this side of the Sind" sometime during his fourteenth year.
Young Issa, the Blessed One, traveled south to Gujarat, through the country of the five streams and Rajputana, then on to the holy cities of Jagannath and Benares where Brahman priests taught him Vedic scripture.
Issa continued north into the Himalayas and settled in the country of the Gautamides, followers of the Buddha Gautama, where for six years he applied himself to the study of the sacred sutras. He left India in his twenty-sixth year, traveling to Persepolis, to Athens, to Alexandria.
Issa was twenty-nine when he returned to Israel--and reentered the familiar gospel of St. Luke, chapter three. His baptism by John in the river Jordan.
Criticism of "The Life of St. Issa" recorded by Nicolas Notovitch began soon after its original publication.
A trenchant note from the author "To the Publishers" in the later English translation counters allegations that he never entered Tibet, "that I am an impostor," and that the Himis manuscript never existed at all.
Notovitch argues that the Vatican library contains sixty-three manuscripts in various Oriental languages which refer to the Issa legend-documents brought to Rome by Christian missionaries from India, China, Egypt, and Arabia. He even suggests that one of the missioners may have been the apostle Thomas-yes, "doubting Thomas," the empiricist.
That is possible. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Thomas evangelized India and the territory between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. The apocryphal Acts of Thomas describe him as a carpenter who preached the gospel and performed miracles. He could not have preached in his native Greek to men who spoke only Pali or Sanskrit. So it is possible, even probable that he wrote or edited the historical narratives we now know as "The Life of St. Issa."
Notovitch says that he believes in the authenticity of the Buddhist narrative "because I see nothing that can contradict or invalidate it from a historical or theological point of view."
"Before criticizing my' communication." He suggests, "any learned society can equip a scientific expedition having for its mission the investigation of these manuscripts on the spot."
In 1922, a punditic disciple of Ramakrishna named Swami Abhedananda took Notovitch up on his offer.
Abhedananda lived in North America for a quarter of a century, traveled extensively, and was acquainted with Thomas Edison, William James, and Dr. Max Muller. He was fascinated by Jesus and skeptical of Notovitch.
Abhedananda journeyed into the arctic region of the Himalayas, determined to find a copy of the Himis manuscript or to expose the fraud. His book of travels, entitled Kashmir 0 Tibetti, tells of a visit to the Himis gonpa and includes a Bengali translation of two hundred twenty-four verses essentially the same as the Notovitch text. Abhedananda was thereby convinced of the authenticity of the Issa legend.
In 1925, another Russian named Nicholas Roerich arrived at Himis. Roerich, the towering artist, was also a profound philosopher and a distinguished scientist. He apparently saw the same documents as Notovitch and Abhedananda. And he recorded in his own travel diary the same legend of St. Issa.
Nicholas Roerich was a man of strong and definite personality. His writing is characteristically intimate and eloquent.
Speaking of Issa, Roerich quotes legends which have the estimated antiquity of many centuries.
... He passed his time in several ancient cities of India such as Benares. All loved him because Issa dwelt in peace with Vaishas and Shudras whom he instructed and helped. But the Brahmins and Kshatriyas told him that Brahma forbade those to approach who were created out of his womb and feet. The Vaishas were allowed to listen to the Vedas only on holidays and the Shudras were forbidden not only to be present at the reading of the Vedas, but could not even look at them.
[NOTE: What is being discussed above is the caste system. Briefly, it consists of 1) brahmana as the priestly or first class persons, 2) Kshatriya's or warriors as second class, 3) Vaishya's or farmers and mercantile workers (including businessmen), and lastly 4) Shurdra's or the laborers. While it can be noticed that even if such names are removed, these different natured persons exist in all societies, the kali yuga caste system is about rubber stamp everyone according to birth and not giving credit according to qualification. Thus, no one was allowed to learn how to elevate themselves. Prabhupada has spoken out strongly against this. He has always taught that anyone can elevate themselves who has the desire to do so.
Now, Jesus was not against all brahmana's, only those under the bodily concept of life. For that matter, Jesus himself studied under (qualified) brahmanas. Here is an excerpt from "The Life of St. Issa," a book almost identical to this excerpt "The Lost Years." Many translations are exactly the same, only that there are more details:
"But he (Jesus) left the misguided admirers of Djaine and visited Juggernaut, in the province of Orsis, where the remains of Vyasa-Krishna rest, and where he received a joyous welcome from the white priests of Brahma. (Chapter 5,3).
They taught him to read and understand the Vedas, to heal by prayer, to teach and explain the Holy Scripture, to cast out evil spirits from the body of man and give him back human semblance (Chapter 5,4). "
--- Djaine is in reference to the Buddhists. Next, it's interesting that, Jesus accepted the name "Issa" or "Issa das," which translates as "servant of the One Supreme God or Lord Krishna."]
Issa said that man had filled the temples with his abominations. In order to pay homage to metals and stones, man sacrificed his fellows in whom dwells a spark of the Supreme Spirit. Man demeans those who labor by the sweat of their brows, in order to gain the good will of the sluggard who sits at the lavishly set board. But they who deprive their brothers of the common blessing shall be themselves stripped of it.
[NOTE: Jesus was not against Deity worship. What is being criticized here are the hypocrites. Prabhupada has explained that if we do not follow the regulative principles and take nice care of the Deity, and if we see the Deity as stone, then eventually the God will leave. If those in the temples where Jesus visited were only putting on a show of religiosity but within only viewed the Deity as metal or stone, then Jesus saw through this. And if they did not respect, what to speak of honor, the other devotees of Krishna merely because they were laborers, etc., then they were not religious but committing an offense called vaisnava aparadha.]
Vaishas and Shudras were struck with astonishment and asked what they could perform. Issa bade them "Worship not the idols. Do not consider yourself first. Do not humiliate your neighbor. Help the poor. Sustain the feeble. Do evil to no one. Do not covet that which you do not possess and which is possessed by others."
[NOTE: Last note, I promise! :-) Just wanted to reiterate that Jesus was not against Deity worship, but he was against idol worship. There is a difference, though it would require an entire web page for that. Maybe someday. :-) For now we can sum up that when the Deity is in accordance to eternal, transcendental scripture and not a man-made concoction, this is nondifferent from God. As touched on above, Jesus lived in and preferred the temples in Jagannatha Puri, India, or "Juggurnaut." Very well known Krishna Deities are there, which makes me wonder if some of the temples Christ previously lectured in were demi-god temples. Additionally, it is also stated in "The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ" that he was a student in Jagannatha Puri!]
Many, learning of such words, decided to kill Issa. But Issa, forewarned, departed from this place by night.
Afterward, Issa went into Nepal and into the Himalayan mountains ....
"Well, perform for us a miracle," demanded the servitors of the Temple. Then Issa replied to them: "Miracles made their appearance from the very day when the world was created. He who cannot behold them is deprived of the greatest gift of life. But woe to you, enemies of men, woe unto you, if you await that He should attest his power by miracle."
Issa taught that men should not strive to behold the Eternal Spirit with one's own eyes but to feel it with the heart, and to become a pure and worthy soul....
"Not only shall you not make human offerings, but you must not slaughter animals, because all is given for the use of man. Do not steal the goods of others, because that would be usurpation from your near one. Do not cheat, that you may in turn not be cheated ....
"Beware, ye, who divert men from the true path and who fill the people with superstitions and prejudices, who blind the vision of the seeing ones, and who preach subservience to material things. "...
Then Pilate, ruler of Jerusalem, gave orders to lay hands upon the preacher Issa and to deliver him to the judges, without however, arousing the displeasure of the people.
But Issa taught: "Do not seek straight paths in darkness, possessed by fear. But gather force and support each other. He who supports his neighbor strengthens himself
"I tried to revive the laws of Moses in the hearts of the people. And I say unto you that you do not understand their true meaning because they do not teach revenge but forgiveness. But the meaning of these laws is distorted."
Then the ruler sent to Issa his disguised servants that they should watch his actions and report to him about his words to the people.
"Thou just man, "said the disguised servant of the ruler of Jerusalem approaching Issa, "Teach us, should we fulfill the will of Caesar or await the approaching deliverance?"
But Issa, recognizing the disguised servants, said, "I did not foretell unto you that you would be delivered from Caesar; but I said that the soul which was immersed in sin would be delivered from sin."
At this time, an old woman approached the crowd, but was pushed back. Then Issa said, "Reverence Woman, mother of the universe,' in her lies the truth of creation. She is the foundation of all that is good and beautiful. She is the source of life and death. Upon her depends the existence of man, because she is the sustenance of his labors. She gives birth to you in travail, she watches over your growth. Bless her. Honor her. Defend her. Love your wives and honor them, because tomorrow they shall be mothers, and later-progenitors of a whole race. Their love ennobles man, soothes the embittered heart and tames the beast. Wife and mother-they are the adornments of the universe."
"As light divides itself from darkness, so does woman possess the gift to divide in man good intent from the thought of evil. Your best thoughts must belong to woman. Gather from them your moral strength, which you must possess to sustain your near ones. Do not humiliate her, for therein you will humiliate yourselves. And all which you will do to mother, to wife, to widow or to another woman in sorrow-that shall you also do for the Spirit."
So taught Issa; but the ruler Pilate ordered one of his servants to make accusation against him.
Said Issa: "Not far hence is the time when by the Highest Will the people will become purified and united into one family."
And then turning to the ruler, he said, "Why demean thy dignity and teach thy subordinates to live in deceit when even without this thou couldst also have had the means of accusing an innocent one?"
From another version of the legend, Roerich quotes fragments of thought and evidence of the miraculous.
Near Lhasa was a temple of teaching with a wealth of manuscripts. Jesus was to acquaint himself with them. Meng-ste, a great sage of all the East, was in this temple.
Finally Jesus reached a mountain pass and in the chief city of Ladak, Leh, he was joyously accepted by monks and people of the lower class .... And Jesus taught in the monasteries and in the bazaars (the market places); wherever the simple people gathered--there he taught.
Not far from this place lived a woman whose son had died and she brought him to Jesus. And in the presence of a multitude, Jesus laid his hand on the child, and the child rose healed. And many brought their children and Jesus laid his hands upon them, healing them.
Among the Ladakis, Jesus passed many days, teaching them. And they loved him and when the time of his departure came they sorrowed as children.
Nicholas Roerich's Central Asiatic Expedition lasted four and a half years. In that time he traveled from Sikkim through the Punjab and into Kashmir, Ladak, Karakorum, Khotan, and Irtysh, then over the Altai Mountains and through the Oyrot region into Mongolia, Central Gobi, Kansu, and Tibet. "We learned how widespread are the legends about Issa," he writes. "The sermons related in them, of unity, of the significance of woman and all the indications about Buddhism, are so remarkably timely for us."
Although Roerich was familiar with "The Life of St. Issa" recorded by Nicolas Notovitch thirty-five years before, "the local people know nothing of any published book," he says. Yet "they know the legend and with deep reverence they speak of Issa....
"It is significant to hear a local inhabitant, a Hindu, relate how Issa preached beside a small pool near the bazaar under a great tree, which now no longer exists. In such purely physical indications you may see how seriously this subject is regarded."
I agree with a sensitive Hindu who told Nicholas Roerich that "it is difficult to understand why the wandering of Issa by caravan path into India and into the region now occupied by Tibet should be so vehemently denied."
What's wrong with my children knowing that Jesus went to school, too? What's wrong with explaining to me that my Exemplar pursued a tough inner discipline? That he studied the Upanishads, perhaps even Plato and Pythagoras. He was born without purse or pedigree. He worked hard within the free enterprise of individual integrity.
Jesus Christ earned his grace and truth in the sense that he, like all of us, had to choose to externalize the Within so that the son of man might be the transparency for the Son of God. More than ever before I now know that because he lived I can overcome.
I know him in his holy innocent, bright and obedient boyhood. I know him in his strong, searching youth engaged in the Quest-finding and becoming the Teacher and the teaching as a young adult. I know him in the one fully Self-realized as the Word incarnate, the Healer, the Fiery Baptizer and the One Sent to sacrifice for the many.
Because in all of these Jesus is my example, I, too, will freely work the works of Him that sent me.
The legend of St. Issa persists to this day among street people and scholars in holy cities and remote villages throughout India and Tibet. But few have ever seen the Himis manuscript. Perhaps no one ever will.
Chinese Communists invaded Tibet in 1947 and what remains of the Buddhist gonyas and their ancient archives is unknown. But even before the Communist occupation, the written "Life of St. Issa" seems to have disappeared.
Richard Bock describes a visit to a monastery in Calcutta where a man named Prajnananda testifies that he had heard from Abhedananda--"from his own lips"--that the manuscripts did exist at Himis in 1922. A few years later, however, those scrolls were no longer there.
"They have been removed," Prajnananda told Bock, "by whom we do not know."
"Dick," I said, "are they in the Vatican?"
"Notovitch thought so."
"Then why doesn't the Church..."
"You have to go back to the early days of Christianity," Bock interrupted. "They wanted a strong church. They thought they had to control the people. So they treated them like children who don't have the capacity to understand a deeper significance. They created a religion for 'commonplace minds', as Notovitch put it."
"Where is the Jesus they know in the East?" I asked. "Where is the striving, the sense of a personal Christhood, so to speak?"
"Jesus lives in the hearts of the Hindus and the Buddhists," Bock said.
That's where Jesus really lives--in the hearts of us all.
In His name I demand to see those manuscripts. Whatever the Vatican thinks is too much for my mentality-let me decide. Let me know all there is to know. Don't let me lose faith because I've been spoon-fed a diluted doctrine that cannot satisfy the hunger of my soul to know that man, that Master Jesus-my Lord.
Anyone interested in reading some excerpts from "The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ," please see Part II .
Though I never found out who it previously belonged to. I wish I did so I could include their name for credit. Please note I did not compose this, except for touching up a few rough spots or adding a few verses. Thank you to whoever it is out there that did all this research and put it together! :)
Before starting, I would like to clarify that vegetarianism is not automatically the same as vegan. While I respect those who have chosen to go vegan, that is not the topic. For all intents and purposes, lacto-vegetarianism is the topic.
With that said, I share some of it here.
[Translations for specific words given are all from the Greek.]
Mathew 3:4 “And the same John (the Baptist) had his raiment of camels hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey."
The word used here for meat is ‘broma,’ which more accurately translates as 'food.' Also note that the word locusts refers to locust bean or carob, known as St Johns bread.
Luke 8.55 “And her spirit came again (referring to a woman Jesus raised from the dead), and she arose straightaway: and he (Jesus) commanded to give her meat."
The word that has been translated as meat is "phago" which really means “to eat.” Jesus gave her something to eat, that’s all.
Luke 24:41-43 “And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he (Jesus) said unto this (his disciples), ‘Have yet here any meat?’ And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And he took IT, and did eat before them."
The word used here for meat is "brosimos," which more accurately translates as “eatable.” So they simply gave him something that was eatable. Notice also the use of the word “it” (my emphasis), which is used as singular. Jesus was offered fish and honeycomb, but took only one.
John 4:8 “For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat."
The word used here is "trophe," which actually means "nourishment."
Acts 9:19 “And when he had received meat, he was strengthened."
Again, the word is trophe, nourishment.
Acts 27:33-36 “And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, this is the fourteenth day ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat."
All three words used here are trophe/nourishment. Note (my emphasis) that even though they say meat, they show clearly that what he was referring to was bread, which they all took.
Acts 15:34 “And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house."
The word used here is "trapeza" which translates as table. It says he set a table before them.
Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
The word used here is "brosis," the act of eating. This is a reference to the fact that the kingdom of God is not material.
Romans 14:20 “For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence."
The word for meat used here is broma/ food. It shows that it is not the eating of food that is wrong, rather it is not eating prasadam or spiritual food.
I Corinthians 8:13 “Wherefore, if meat makes my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”
The word for meat used here is broma, food, while the word for flesh used here is "krea" - flesh. This verse can even refer to the fact that if one eats meat he is making the cattlemen, the butcher, the packer, etc., commit offense, as are we not all brothers?! (Or sisters.)
I Timothy 4:1-3 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the later times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”
This verses is used by (some) Christians to say that people who say to not eat meat are departed from the faith and are even seduced by spirits. But word used here? Broma/food. If anyone is speaking hypocrisy, is is such (and not all) Christians.
Luke 11:37 “And as he (Jesus) spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.”
The word used here is "anepesem" or "recline." It says he went in and sat down.
14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
15 "Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.”
Christians tend to quote the first verse as proof that Jesus is the savior, and that's fine, but they rarely quote the verse next, which shows he will be a vegetarian.
Now, the question arises, what does the eating of butter and honey have to do with knowing how to choose between good and evil? It may surprise some to learn that throughout history there has been many Jews who followed vegetarianism. Their belief was that meat corrupted the soul of a persons. The Bible teaches that meat makes you "stumble," on a similar level to alcohol, thus corrupting the your heart. Thus, notice the use of the word “it” (my emphasis), is used as singular. Jesus was offered fish and honeycomb, but took only one. He would eat butter and honey, instead of meat, so that his heart would not be corrupted.
"It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or made weak."
And so here is the verse I referred to above, stating that meat, like alcohol, makes one stumble. Be it from causing the conscious to go fuzzy or through hardening of the heart, or may effect us in some other way (mental, emotional, spiritual, etc.). -- The word flesh used here is krea, flesh. So it is clear that meat eating is wrong.
21 "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
22 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in they name? And in they name have cast out devils? And in they name done many wonderful works? "
23 "And then I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
To those who say that it is by God’s grace alone that you are saved, and not by works, here it is explained that one attains grace by doing the work/will of God only. "I never knew you; you depart from me..." indicates the fakes who do not wish to follow the rules of their guru do not have to be accepted by him if he chooses not to.
Matthew 5:48 “Be ye perfect therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
Those who claim one cannot stop from sinning, therefore just accept Jesus, do whatever you want because you are automatically saved, are mistaken. Here Jesus is commanding them to become perfect. That is -- to not commit any more sin.
John 15:10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
Jesus says also that love of God comes from following the rules of God.
Prabhupada says similar: “By fulfilling the regulative principles you come to the platform of spontaneous love for Krsna. Spontaneous love for Krsna is there already but is covered by the influence of Maya. The regulative principles are a device how to overcome the influence of maya and come to the platform of spontaneous love of Krsna.” ~ Srila Prabhupada letter to Rupanuga, April 28, 1974, Washington DC
John 21:25 “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written."
Here it is shown that not all of Jesus’ activities are known. In fact, it is intimated that only a small fraction of them are known.
I Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
This explains that bona fide scripture should be accepted, at least on the basis of instruction, even if it does not describe Jesus.
John 16:12 “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.”
This states that there is more knowledge to be had, but the disciples were not purified enough to receive it or understand it.
John 16:25 “These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs; but the time cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you of the Father.”
Here also Jesus is saying that there is more to come, and that the disciples have not yet learned much of God Himself, but that more teachings were to come that would describe God himself clearly.
Isaiah 66:3 “He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man.
Shows that cow killing is equated with murder.
Gen 1:29 “And God said, behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."
Thus, Gods true diet for human being is vegetarian.
Genesis 9:3 "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."
Here we see that initially people were vegetarian. However, this verses and other similar ones are often cited as proof that God changed the divine diet and sanctioned meat eating. But did He really? Even from this point of view, a strong possibility would be that at that time, all the vegetation had been wiped out by the flood. Under such conditions, exceptions can be made. But it was a temporary instruction. Nor is it flooding anymore. Similarly, Vedic literatures offer allowances for meat eating by those who refuse to give it up. If they won't renounce it, then they must do this and they must do that, etc., until they 'get it' that its wrong. Therefore, while God is facilitating those who insist on eating flesh, it is to help them to take little steps toward discontinuance. As the following two verses are evidence that He is not pleased with this meat diet.
Genesis 9:4-5 “But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it.”
Heavy stuff, but it is about the karmic law. So basically we see that God does not want humans to eat meat, but if they misuse their freewill to do it anyway, the reactions will be steep.
Duet. 12:20 "When the Lord they God shall enlarge thy border, as He hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, or whatsoever thy soul lusteth after."
For people who are stubborn about eating meat, as the Bible says here, for those who 'lust' after it, God put down some rules for them because what follows this verse are many instructions for the eating of certain kinds of flesh. In this way at least meat eating was reduced and kept under control, but in no way did God say it is good as He did in Genesis 1:29 - 31.
Matter of fact, in Numbers verse 20 God tells them "to eat flesh until it comes out of your nostrils, and it becomes loathsome to you..." Thus showing that God wanted them to get sick of it and renounce it. Verse 33 states, "before the flesh was even between their teeth, a great plague struck them down," their graves were know as "the graves of lust" for lusting after the flesh foods that they did not need to keep body and soul together. Thus we see meat eating can have dire reactions.
Isaiah 1:11-16 "What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?" saith the LORD: I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs and he-goats. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations-- I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Remove the evil of your doings from my eyes; cease to do evil."
Lev 3:17 “It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.”
You cannot eat meat and avoid eating blood. This is the origin of the idea of Kosher food (meant with the blood drained out of it). However, all the blood cannot be removed. That is impossible.
Leviticus 17:10 “And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of strangers who sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that should that eateth blood.”
The term “any manner of blood,” all flesh has blood.
Leviticus 7: 26 "Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings."
Some point out that man was given "dominion" over animals. This is sorely misunderstood. Dominion does not mean to harm but to protect. Of course, it does show that we have power over them, but how we use that power is up to us and is not sanction of animal abuse, etc. A good example of how spiritually important it is to use our dominion as protection over animals can be found in Numbers 22:21-34. You can look it up, as it is a bit long. The summary is, Balaam saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab, but God did not want him to go. An angel came and tried to block his path. Balaam donkey saw the angel and refused to cooperate with Balaam, so he beat her. This happened three times. While there were other reasons God was displeased with him, that does not negate this. So God granted the donkey a voice, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?" Balaam answered the donkey, "You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now." The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?" "No," he said. The Bible shows that animals do indeed feel pain, and that the position of dominion is not acceptable to be used for abuse. Add to that the final discussion where the angel tells Balaam that, had they kept walking, Balaam's life would have been taken but the donkey would have been spared.
I do not put all this here to cause anyone who consumes meat to feel bad. We do what we know, and when we know better, we do better. Thus I connect you to a free online veggie cookbook, for those who would like to give up meat and learn some wonderful India/n recipes! And yes, you can do them! There are all types in there, from simple to gourmet. I've added the link at the end of this site. Look for "Higher Taste."
But what about suffering for any past eating of meat? Both Vedic literature and the Bible teach that one can be forgiven if they sincerely chant the Lords names.
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2:21
"Simply by chanting one holy name of Hari, a sinful man can counteract the reactions to more sins than he is able to commit. (Brhad-visnu Purana)" -- S.B. 6.2.7 (purport)
"Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy Name, and deliver us and purge away our sins, for Thy Names sake." Psalms 79.9
"Simply by chanting the holy name of Krsna, one is relieved from all the reactions of a sinful life. One can complete the nine processes of devotional service simply by chanting the holy name." -- Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya 15.107
"O God, my heart is fixed. I will sing and chant Your praise." Psalms 108:1
"The chanting of the holy name of Lord Visnu is the best process of atonement for a thief of gold or other valuables, for a drunkard, for one who betrays a friend or relative, for one who kills a brahmana, or for one who indulges in sex with the wife of his guru or another superior. It is also the best method of atonement for one who murders women, the king or his father, for one who slaughters cows, and for all other sinful men. Simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Visnu, such sinful persons may attract the attention of the Supreme Lord, who therefore considers, "Because this man has chanted My holy name, My duty is to give him protection." -- S.B. 6.2.9-10
Of course, one must not continue to sin (or as some put it, create more bad karma) and use the Holy Name to become free of reactions. It doesn't work that way and actually, backfires, thus increasing bad karma. One may accidentally fall down, but to do so with intent has serious karmic backlash. For example, thinking, "I will go out and get drunk, etc., and then just chant or pray the consequences away" is rascaldom and therefore an offense. This is not to indicate everyone must not endeavor unless they are pure or perfect. That's impossible and defeats the purpose. Start wherever you are, simply take responsibility for your personal choices and then based in such honesty, true spiritual advancement can be had.
With that said, and with a sincere heart, please chant Hare Krishna and your life will become sublime! :)
A talk between Srila Prabhupada and Father Emmanuel.
Srila Prabhupada: What is the meaning of the word, “Christ?” .
Father Emmanuel: Christ comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning "the anointed one."
Srila Prabhupada: Christos is the Greek version of the word Krishna.
Father Emmanuel: This is very interesting.
Srila Prabhupada: When an Indian person calls on Krishna, he often says, "Krsta". Krsta is a Sanskrit word meaning "attraction". So when we address God as "Christ", "Krsta", or "Krishna" we indicate the same all-attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Jesus said, " Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be Thy name," the name of God was Krsta or Krishna. Do you agree?
Father Emmanuel: I think Jesus, as the son of God, has revealed to us the actual name of God: Christ. We can call God "Father", but if we want to address Him by His actual name, we have to say "Christ".
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. "Christ" is another way of saying Krsta and Krsta is another way of pronouncing Krishna, the name of God. Jesus said that one should glorify the name of God, but yesterday I heard one theologian say that God has no name -- that we can call Him only "Father". A son may call his father "Father", but the father also has a specific name. Similarly, God is the general name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose specific name is Krishna. Therefore whether you call God "Christ", "Krsta", or "Krishna", ultimately you are addressing the same Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Father Emmanuel: Yes, if we speak of God's actual name, then we must say, "Christos". In our religion we have the Trinity: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe we can know the name of God only by revelation from the son of God. Jesus Christ revealed the name of the Father, and therefore we take the name "Christ" as the revealed name of God.
Srila Prabhupada: Actually, it doesn't matter -- Krishna or Christ -- the name is the same. The main point is to follow the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures that recommend chanting the name of God in this age. The easiest way is to chant the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. Rama and Krishna are names of God and Hare is the energy of God. So when we chant the maha-mantra we address God along with His energy. This energy is of two kinds, the spiritual and the material. At present we are in the clutches of the material energy. Therefore we pray to Krishna that He may kindly deliver us from the service of the material energy and accept us into the service of the spiritual energy. This is our whole philosophy. Hare Krishna means, "O energy of God, O God (Krishna), please engage me in Your service." It is our nature to render service. Somehow or other we have come to the service of material things, but when this service is transformed into the service of the spiritual energy, then our life is perfect. To practice bhakti-yoga [loving service to God] means to become free from designations like Hindu, Muslim, Christian, this or that, and simply to serve God. We have created Christian, Hindu and Mohammedan religions, but when we come to a religion without designations, in which we don't think we are Hindus or Christians or Mohammedans, then we can speak of pure religion, or bhakti.
Father Emmanuel: Mukti? [liberation from material miseries]
Srila Prabhupada: No, bhakti. When we speak of bhakti, mukti is included. Without bhakti, there is no mukti, but if we act on the platform of bhakti, then mukti is included. We learn this from the Bhagavad-gita (14.26):
mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena"One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down under any circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman."
sa gunan samatityaitan
Father Emmanuel: Is Brahman Krishna?
Srila Prabhupada: Krishna is Parabrahman. Brahman is realised in three aspects: as impersonal Brahman, as localised Paramatma and as personal Brahman. Krishna is personal and He is the Supreme Brahman, for God is ultimately a person. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.11), this is confirmed:
vadanti tat tattva-vidas"Learned transcendentalists, who know the Absolute Truth, call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan." The feature of the Supreme Personality is the ultimate realisation of God. He has all six opulences in full: He is the strongest, the richest, the most beautiful, the most famous, the wisest and the most renounced.
tattvam yaj-jnanam advayam
bhagavan iti sabdyate
Father Emmanuel: Yes, I agree.
Srila Prabhupada: Because God is absolute, His name, His form and His qualities are all absolute and they are nondifferent from Him. Therefore to chant God's holy name means to associate directly with Him. When one associates with God one acquires Godly qualities and when one is completely purified he becomes an associate of the Supreme Lord.
Father Emmanuel: But our understanding of the name of God is limited.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, we are limited, but God is unlimited. And because He is unlimited, or absolute, he has unlimited names, each if which is God. We can understand His names as much as our spiritual understanding is developed.
What is the difference between Krishna consciousness and Christianity?
Father Emmanuel: May I ask a question? We Christians also preach love of God, and we try to realise love of God and render service to Him with all our heart and all our soul. Now, what is the difference between your movement and ours? Why do you send your disciples to the Western countries to preach love of God when the gospel of Jesus Christ is propounding the same message?
Srila Prabhupada: The problem is that the Christians do not follow the commandments of God. Do you agree?
Father Emmanuel: Yes, to a large extent you're right.
Srila Prabhupada: Then what is the meaning of the Christians' love for God? If you do not follow the orders of God, then where is your love? Therefore we have come to teach what it means to love God. If you love Him you cannot be disobedient to His orders. And if you are disobedient your love is not real.
Srila Prabhupada: All over the world people don't love God. They love their dogs. The Krishna consciousness movement is therefore necessary to teach people how to revive their forgotten love for God. Not only the Christians, but also the Hindus, the Mohammedans and all others are guilty. They have rubber-stamped themselves as Christian, Hindu or Mohammedan, but they do not obey God. This is the problem
Visitor: Can we say in what way the Christians are disobedient?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. The first point is they violate the commandment "Thou shall not kill" by maintaining slaughterhouses. Do you agree that this commandment is being violated?
Father Emmanuel: Personally, I agree.
Srila Prabhupada: Good. So if the Christians want to love God, they must stop killing animals.
Father Emmanuel: But isn't the most important point...
Srila Prabhupada: If you miss one point there is a mistake in your calculation. Regardless of what you add or subtract after that the mistake is already in the calculation and everything that follows will also be faulty. We cannot simply accept the part of the scripture we like and reject what we don't like and still expect to get the result. For example, a hen lays eggs with it's back part and eats with it's beak. A farmer may consider, "The front part of the hen is very expensive because I have to feed it. Better to cut it off." But if the head is missing there will be no eggs any more because the body is dead. Similarly, if we reject the difficult part of the scriptures and obey the part we like, such an interpretation will not help us. We have to accept all the injunctions of the scriptures as they are given , not just those that suit us. If you do not follow the first order, "Thou shall not kill," then where is the question of love of God?
Visitor: Christians take this commandment to be applicable to human beings, not to animals.
Srila Prabhupada: That would mean Christ was not intelligent enough to use the right word: murder. There is killing, and there is murder, Murder refers to human beings. Do you think Jesus was not intelligent enough to use the right word. Killing means any kind of killing and especially animal killing. If Jesus had meant simply the killing of humans he would have used the word murder.
Father Emmanuel: But in the Old Testament the commandment "Thou shall not kill" does refer to murder. And when Jesus said, "Thou shall not kill," he extended the commandment to mean a human being should not only refrain from killing another human being, but should also treat him with love. He never spoke about man's relationship with other living entities but only about his relationship with other human beings. When he said, "thou shall not kill," he also meant in the mental and emotional sense -- that you should not insult anyone or hurt him, treat him badly and so on.
Srila Prabhupada: We are not concerned with this or that testament but only with the words used in the commandments. If you want to interpret these words, that is something else. We understand the direct meaning. "Thou shall not kill" means, "The Christians should not kill." You may put forward interpretations in order to continue the present way of action but we understand very clearly there is no need for interpretation. Interpretation is necessary if things are not clear. "Thou shall not kill" is a clear instruction. Why should we interpret it?
Father Emmanuel: Isn't the eating of plants also killing?
Srila Prabhupada: The Vaisnava philosophy teaches that we should not even kill plants unnecessarily. In the Bhagavad-gita (9.26) Krishna says:
patram puspam phalam toyam. "If someone offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a little water, I will accept it." We offer Krishna only the kind of food He demands, and then we eat the remnants. If offering vegetarian food to Krishna were sinful, then it would be Krishna's sin, not ours. But God is apapa-vijna -- sinful reactions are not applicable to Him. He is like the sun, which is so powerful that it can purify even urine -- something impossible for us to do. Krishna is also like a king, who may order a murderer to be hanged, but who himself is not subject to punishment because he is very powerful. Eating food first offered to the Lord is also something like a soldier's killing during wartime. In a war, when the commander orders a man to attack, the obedient soldier who kills the enemy will get a medal. But if the same soldier kills someone on his own he will be punished. Similarly when we eat only prasada [the remnants of food offered to Krishna], we do not commit any sin. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (3.13):
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
yajna-sistasinah santo"The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food that is first offered for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin."
bhunjate te tu agham papa
ye pacanty atma-karanat
Father Emmanuel: Krishna cannot give permission to eat animals?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes -- in the animal kingdom. But the civilized human being, the religious human being is not meant to kill and eat animals. If you stop killing animals and chant the holy name Christ, everything will be perfect. I have not come to teach you, but only to request you to please chant the name of God. The Bible also demands this of you. So let's kindly cooperate and chant, and if you have a prejudice about chanting the name Krishna then chant "Christos" or "Krsta" -- there is no difference. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said: namnam akari bahu-dha nija-sarva-saktis. "God has millions and millions of names, and because there is no difference between God's name and Himself, each one of these names has the same potency as God." Therefore even if you accept designations like Hindu, Christian or Mohammedan, if you simply chant the name of God found in your own scriptures, you will attain the spiritual platform. Human life is meant for self-realisation -- to learn how to love God. That is the actual beauty of man. Whether you discharge this duty as a Hindu, a Christian or a Mohammedan, it doesn't matter -- but do it?
Father Emmanuel: I agree.
Srila Prabhupada: [pointing to a string of 108 meditation beads] We always have these beads, just as you have your rosary. You are chanting, but why don't the other Christians also chant? Why should they miss this opportunity as human beings? Cats and dogs cannot chant, but we can because we have a human tongue. If we chant the holy names of God, we cannot loose anything; on the contrary, we gain greatly. My disciples practice chanting Hare Krishna constantly. They could also go to the cinema, or do so many other things, but they have given everything up. They eat neither fish nor meat nor eggs, they don't take intoxicants, they don't drink, they don't smoke, they don't partake in gambling, they don't speculate and they don't maintain illicit sexual connections. But they do chant the holy name of God. If you would like to cooperate with us then go to the other churches and chant, "Christ", "Krishna" or "Krsta". What could be the objection? Instead of keeping the churches closed, why not give them to us?
Father Emmanuel: There is none. For my part I would be glad to join you.
Srila Prabhupada: No. We are speaking with you as a representative of the Christian church. Instead of keeping the churches closed why not give them to us? We would chant the holy name of God there twenty-four hours a day. In many places we have bought churches that were practically closed because no one was going there. In London I saw hundreds of churches that were closed or used for mundane purposes. We bought one such church in Los Angeles. It was sold because no one came there, but if you visit the same church today, you will see thousands of people. Any intelligent person can understand what God is in five minutes; it doesn't require five hours.
Father Emmanuel: I understand.
Srila Prabhupada: But the people do not. Their disease is that they don't want to understand.
Visitor: I think understanding God is not a question of intelligence but a question of humility.
Srila Prabhupada: Humility means intelligence. "The humble and meek own the kingdom of God." This is stated in the Bible, is it not? But the philosophy of the rascals is that everyone is God and today this idea has become popular. Therefore no one is humble and meek. If everybody thinks he is God, why should he be humble and meek? Therefore I teach my disciples how to become humble and meek. They always offer their respectful obeisances in the temple and to the spiritual master, and in this way they make advancement. The qualities of humbleness and meekness lead very quickly to spiritual realisation. In the Vedic scriptures it is said, "To those who have firm faith in God and the spiritual master, who is His representative, the meaning of the Vedic scriptures is revealed."
Father Emmanuel: But shouldn't this humility be offered to everyone else also?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, but there are two kinds of respect: special and ordinary. Sri Krishna Caitanya taught that we shouldn't expect honour for ourselves, but should always respect everyone else, even if he is disrespectful to us. But special respect should be given to God and His pure devotee.
Father Emmanuel: Yes, I agree.
Srila Prabhupada: I think the Christian priests should cooperate with the Krishna consciousness movement. They should chant the name of Christ or Christos and should stop condoning the slaughter of animals. This program follows the teachings of the Bible; it is not my philosophy. Please act accordingly and you will see how the world situation will change.
Father Emmanuel: Thank you very much
Srila Prabhupada: Hare Krishna
[Here are a few things I have discovered over the years.]
Often we are told that Jesus instructs you can only reach God through him, and in no other way. The verse used for this is John 16:23 "Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask my Father in my name, He will give it to you."
Now, the original Aramic word used here, Christ's mother-tongue, is BESHEMI. The Church has mistranslated this as "In my name." However, it actually means "according to my technique, or my system of dong things." Jesus encouraged his disciples in the manner in which he taught them. So according to the original Aramic which Jesus actually spoke, this verse should more properly read, "Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask my Father in the same manner in which I ask Him, He will give it to you." Certainly Christ would accept praying in Krishna's name, as our technique has so much in common!
What about the story of the loafs of bread and fish that Jesus utilized to feed the multitudes? It's an innocent enough question.
First, let's look at Christ's character. He was not an advocate of violence of any sort. He was a preacher of peace and love. He had an aversion to cruelty. This was an integral part of his psyche. Therefore it does not make sense that he would want any of God's creatures, big or small, to be killed. So what really happened?
In the East there are little rolls that are made from a plant called the "Fish" plant or fish-weed. Matter of fact, there are some scholars who state that the Greek word for "fish- weed" has been mistranslated in this Biblical story as the word "fish". Actually, the fish-weed bread is still made to this day. For the Babylonians it was their chief food. For the natives of Japan, who try to abstain from meat, these soft submarine plants are considered a great dainty. The wives of the fishermen would dive into the water for these specialties. They are sun dried, mortar-ground, and baked into bread. It was considered to be a great delicacy in Christ's time. Unlike stinky fish :-), this fish-weed bread is what everyone ate.
Take into consideration that at the start of the story, (Matthew 14:13) it tells us that Jesus arrived at this place by boat. So there they were, right by the sea, and did not go for a quick fishing expedition? Surely with 5,000 men there it would have been a simple thing to do.
Matter of fact, his disciples did not even think about trying to catch some fish, which helps explain Matthew 4:18-20 where Christ accepts his very first disciples by instructing some fishermen to renounce their profession and follow him.
All Biblical students are familiar with the use of bread as a symbol of Christ's body or the Divine Substance. We also know that in the early Church the fish was a mystery term. The Greek word for fish, I-CH-TH-U-S, is an acronym for Iesous Christos Theou Uios Soter, or Jesus Christ, Son of God Saviour. It is found as a Christian symbol in the catacombs and was a kind of password or mystery term. Therefore we must consider that term "fish" is used in the Gospels in a mystical sense; especially when we take Jesus' peace loving mentality is into consideration.
Athanaasius warns that "were we to always understand sacred write according to the letter, we should fall into the most enormous blasphemies as by ascribing cruelty and falsehood to the Deity." Yet this is what the church has done, for it asks us to believe that he who came to preach a gospel of love, was so inconsistent in his own life that he ate helpless creatures and encouraged others to do the same.
However, even if we were to believe that Jesus did indeed eat fish, does this make it acceptable for us? One may wonder, why not? First, we need to remember that Jesus was preaching to illiterate fishermen. He had to relate to them for the sake of pushing on his preaching movement. When preaching, one must take into consideration time, place, circumstances, audience. To take this further, a great soul like this gets privileges that we do not. It is stated in the Vedas that one should not think they can imitate what the pure devotee can do, and Jesus most certainly is a pure devotee. One can follow his instructions, but not imitate.
And Jesus did instructed his disciples to become "fishers of men," meaning they should go out and preach God consciousness.
While referring to an activity of Christ's that strikes our fancy -- such as eating of fish or meat - it's quite ironic that we tend to point out: "Well, Jesus did it, so why can't I?" Yet when we realize the other things he did, such as giving up his life to preach the glories of the Lord, we are not interested in doing that. Thus, let us not accept the parts we like and reject the parts we dislike. Instead let's follow the instructions of the spiritual master, rather than try to imitate him.
"Eli, Eli, lamah shavahhtani."
I always found it disturbing that when Christ was on the cross, in the midst of this horrendous situation when he needed God the most, he lost his faith! Lost his connection too! And this is who we are suppose to count on saving US upon death? But time and research reveals the translation of this 'cry on the cross' to be inaccurate (thank goodness!).
Jesus spoke Aramaic. The Aramaic verb "shavahh," translates as, "to bring peace to," or "to glorify," or "to sooth." Whereas the verb "azav" means "to abandon," or "to forsake."
This makes much more sense, that such a great soul, pure devotee son of God, would be speaking out in glory of the Lord or the bringing of peace, etc., and not the loss of God! His faith never wavered.
So now you have seen some of the alterations that have found their way into the Bible. How did this happen? Why did this happen? While Christianity and the Bible have survived, have they done so in their original form?
At the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.), the pagan Roman priests who gathered there (who were later knows as the Church Fathers), extremely altered and changed the original Christian documents through omission and interpolation. Why? They wanted to make them acceptable to Emperor Constantine. At that time Emperor Constantine was bitterly opposed the scriptures. Through modifications and significant changes, those of the Council at Nicea had hopes of converting Constantine to Christianity. Why? To to make this religion the Imperial creed of the Roman Empire.
In this connection, Archdecon Wilderforce wrote: “Some are not aware that, after the Council of Nicea, the manuscripts of the New Testament were considerably tampered with. Professor Nestle, in his introduction to the Textural Criticism of the Greek Testament, tells us that certain scholars, called correctores, were appointed by ecclesiastical authorities, and were actually commissioned to “correct” the text of the “Scriptures” in the interest of what was considered orthodox.”
Rev. G. J. Oasley, in his Gospel of the Holy Twelve, comments further stating: “What these ‘correctores’ did was to cut out of the Gospels, with minute care, certain teachings of our Lord which they (or Constantine) did not propose to follow – namely, those against the eating of flesh and the taking of strong drink…”
Can't help but wonder just how much of the Bible has been changed since the original days of the prophets.
If a person were to study the writings of the early Church historians as well as the sects that were predominantly existing in the Christian Era, they would discover that the eating of meat had not become “ordained” or rampant, until the reign of Constantine (4th century, A.D.), who wanted to make his conception of Christianity “the” conception of Christianity. Since he was a dedicated meat-eater, he caused the vegetarian Christians to practice underground. Had they not gone underground, they would haven been killed for heresy.
Now, a close study of the Jewish-Christian sects previous to this reveal a great deal too. Many scholars are now claiming that many (and possibly all) of the original twelve Apostles were vegetarians, as well as Judas and later his replacement, Matthias. After becoming a Christian, St. Paul was an abstainer from meat foods. Acts 24:5 speaks of Paul as being from the Nazarene sect which upheld Essene principles, which in turn was vegetarian. To find out such things a person simply needs to place the focus of their study or research on secular as well as archaeological evidence.
Some may be surprised to learn that St. Thomas Aquinas did not believe women had souls. In addition, he assured Christians of the medieval period that killing animals was sanctioned by divine providence. It's highly probably that since he partook of flesh-eating it affected his opinion. By the sixth century A.D. the church officials had already drifted so far from the essential message of the prophets, that the question of whether or not women have souls had been raised by “prominent” authorities within the Church, as well as questioning vegetarianism. Regardless of the fact that within St. Thomas’ time (twelfth century) the Church had officially decided that women "do" indeed have souls, he (St Thomas Aquinas) stubbornly maintained that women were only a step above the beasts – who certainly have no souls. If you deny the soul, than you, or associates, can do whatever you want to a person or animal, or else close your eyes to any abuse.
Writings of early Church fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria, a vegetarian, can be located in any public library. A sincere person can investigate and observe how the present or popular understanding of Scriptures may differ from the points of view held by the scholars, theologians, and historians of Biblical times.
St. John Chrysostom, one of the most outstanding and eloquent Christian literary advocates of his time, wrote: “We, the Christian leaders, practice abstinence from the flesh of animals to subdue or bodies…. The unnatural eating of flesh-meat is polluting.” (c.347-407 A.D.)
Clement of Alexandria wrote: "But those who bend around inflammatory tables, nourishing their own diseases, are ruled by a most lickerish demon, whom I shall not blush to call belly-demon, and the worst of all demons. It is far better to be happy than to have our bodies act as graveyards for animals."
While there were several upstarts from those who wanted to alter and change the original peaceful, vegetarian doctrine as taught by Christ, there have been a majority of great souls who highly supported vegetarianism as more than just beneficial for health but as part of their Christian religion. Jerome, Tertullian, Origen, Chrysostom, Benedict, Clement, Eusebius, Pliny, Papias, Cypian, Pantaenus, Socrates, Plato, Pythagoras, just to know a few. And let us not forget the more recent St. Francis of Assisi! :-)
But didn't Jesus eat meat at the Last Supper?
Good question. Let's take a closer look.
From the Nazerine Essene Scripture: Lections Of Compassion, The Last Supper - LXXV
6. And Iscariot said unto him, Master, behold the unleaven bread, the mingled wine and the oil and the herbs, but where is the lamb that Moses commanded? (for Judas had bought the lamb, but Iesus had forbidden that it should be killed).
7. And John spake in the Spirit, saying, Behold the Lamb of God, the good Shepherd which giveth his life for the sheep. And Judas was troubled at these words, for he knew that he should betray him. But again Judas said, Master, is it not written in the law that a lamb must be slain for the passover within the gates?
8. And Iesus answered, If I am lifted up on the cross then indeed shall the lamb be slain; but woe unto him by whom it is delivered into the hands of the slayers; it were better of him had he not been born.
9. Verily I say unto you, for this end have I come into the world, that I may put away all blood offerings and the eating of the flesh of the beasts and the birds that are slain by men.
10. In the beginning, God gave to all, the fruits of the trees, and the seeds, and the herbs, for food; but those who loved themselves more than God, or their fellows, corrupted their ways, and brought diseases into their bodies, and filled the earth with lust and violence.
11. Not by shedding innocent blood, therefore, but by living a righteous life, shall ye find the peace of God. Ye call me the Christ of God and ye say well, for I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
12. Walk ye in the Way, and ye shall find God. Seek ye the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free. Live in the Life, and ye shall see no death. All things are alive in God, and the Spirit of God filleth all things.
13. Keep ye the commandments. Love thy God with all thy heart, and love thy neighbour as thyself. On these hang all the law and the prophets. And the sum of the law is this—Do not ye unto others as ye would not that others should do unto you. Do ye unto others, as ye would that others should do unto you.
14. Blessed are they who keep this law, for God is manifested in all creatures. All creatures live in God, and God is hid in them.
15. After these things, Iesus dipped the sop and gave it to Judas Iscariot, saying, What thou doest, do quickly. He then, having received the sop, went out immediately, and it was light.
16. And when Judas Iscariot had gone out, Iesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified among his twelve, and God is glorified in him. And verily I say unto you, they who receive you receive me, and they who receive me receive the Father-Mother Who sent me, and ye who have been faithful unto the truth shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
17. And one said unto him, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom unto Israel? And Iesus said, My kingdom is not of this world, neither are all Israel which are called Israel.
18. They in every nation who defile not themselves with cruelty, who do righteousness, love mercy, and reverence all the works of God, who give succour to all that are weak and oppressed—the same are the Israel of God."
Seems pretty clear to me, but decide for yourself.
Discussions between Peace Corps Worker Bob Cohen and His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
These excerpts deal with the personality of Lord Jesus Christ
Bob: Prabhupada, people that engage in religions, like these "Jesus freaks" and other people, claim that Jesus is guiding them. Can this be so?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, but they are not taking the guidance. Just like the Christians. Jesus is guiding them, "Thou shalt not kill," but they are killing. Where is the Jesus guidance? Simply saying, "I am guided by Jesus Christ"-will that do? "But I don't care for his words." Is that guidance? Nobody is being guided by Jesus Christ. Their claim is false. It is very hard to find a man who is actually being guided by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ's guidance is available, but nobody is caring for him. They have taken Jesus Christ as contractor to take up their sins. That is their philosophy. They commit all kinds of sins, and poor Jesus Christ will be responsible. That is their religion. Therefore they say, "We have a very good religion. For all our sinful activities, Jesus Christ will die." So is that good religion? They have no sympathy for Jesus Christ. He died for our sins. Why should we commit sins again? Such a great life has been sacrificed for our sins, so we should be guided by Jesus Christ. But if you take it otherwise-"Ah, we shall go on committing all sins, and Jesus Christ will make a contract to nullify all my sins; I'll simply go to the church and confess and come back and again do all nonsense"-do you think that shows very good intelligence?
Srila Prabhupada: Actually, one who is guided by Jesus Christ will certainly get liberation. But it is very hard to find a man who is actually being guided by Jesus Christ.
Bob: What about the "Jesus freaks," the young people that have joined the Jesus movement? They read the Bible very often, and they try to-
Srila Prabhupada: But violence is against the Bible's injunctions. How can they kill if they are following the Bible?
Bob: I asked one this, and he claimed that Jesus was also eating meat in the Bible.
Srila Prabhupada: That's all right. He may eat anything. He is powerful. But he has ordered, "Thou shalt not kill. You must stop killing." He is powerful. He can eat the whole world. But you cannot compare to Jesus Christ. You cannot imitate Jesus Christ; you have to abide by his order. Then you are guided by Jesus Christ. That is actually obedience. That is explained in the Bhagavata. One who is isvara, who is empowered, can do anything, but we cannot imitate. We have to abide by his order: "What he says to me, that I will do." You cannot imitate. You say that Jesus Christ ate meat. Admitting that, you do not know in what condition he ate meat. He is himself eating meat, but he is advising others not to kill. Do you think that Jesus Christ was contradicting himself?
Srila Prabhupada: He cannot do that. That is real faith in him-that he cannot do that. So why has he eaten meat? He knows, but he has asked me not to kill. I have to follow. That is the real system. You are not Jesus Christ; you cannot imitate him. He has sacrificed his life for God. Can you do that? So why shall you imitate Jesus Christ? You are imitating Jesus Christ by eating meat. Why not imitate Jesus Christ and sacrifice your life for spreading God consciousness? What do you think? Yes, when you preach you can say what you think. They are so-called Christians-but what are they doing for God? Just consider the sun. The sun is absorbing urine. Can you drink urine? If you want to imitate the sun-"Oh, here is the sun absorbing urine. Let me drink urine"-can you? Jesus Christ is powerful; he can do everything. But we cannot imitate; we have to simply abide by his order. That is real Christianity. We cannot imitate a powerful man. That is wrong. In our Vedic literature, there was a poison ocean, so people could not find out what to do with it. Then Lord Siva said, "All right, I'll drink it." So he drank the whole poison ocean and kept it in his throat. Can you drink poison? Not the ocean-just one cup? So how can we imitate Lord Siva? Lord Siva never advised that we drink poison. So you have to abide by the advice, not imitate. These LSD and marijuana people say that Lord Siva used to smoke ganja. But Lord Siva drank the whole poisoned ocean. Can you do that? Lord Siva's instructions should be taken. He says that the best worship is worship of Visnu. Visnor aradhanam param. When he was asked by Parvati what method of worship is best, then he said, "The best worship is worship of Lord Visnu [Krsna]." There are many demigods, but he recommended Visnu worship as the best. And better than Visnu worship is worship of a Vaisnava. Tadiyanam-His servants, or those who are in relation to Him.
"Thou Shalt Not Kill" or "Thou Shalt Not Murder"?
At a monastic retreat near Paris, in July of 1973, Srila Prabhupada talked with Cardinal Jean Danielou: "... the Bible does not simply say, `Do not kill the human being.' It says broadly, `Thou shalt not kill.'... why do you interpret this to suit your own convenience?"
Srila Prabhupada: Jesus Christ said, "Thou shalt not kill." So why is it that the Christian people are engaged in animal killing?
Cardinal Danielou: Certainly in Christianity it is forbidden to kill, but we believe that there is a difference between the life of a human being and the life of the beasts. The life of a human being is sacred because man is made in the image of God; therefore, to kill a human being is forbidden.
Srila Prabhupada: But the Bible does not simply say, "Do not kill the human being." It says broadly, "Thou shalt not kill."
Cardinal Danielou: We believe that only human life is sacred.
Srila Prabhupada: That is your interpretation. The commandment is "Thou shalt not kill."
Cardinal Danielou: It is necessary for man to kill animals in order to have food to eat.
Srila Prabhupada: No. Man can eat grains, vegetables, fruits, and milk.
Cardinal Danielou: No flesh?
Srila Prabhupada: No. Human beings are meant to eat vegetarian food. The tiger does not come to eat your fruits. His prescribed food is animal flesh. But man's food is vegetables, fruits, grains, and milk products. So how can you say that animal killing is not a sin?
Cardinal Danielou: We believe it is a question of motivation. If the killing of an animal is for giving food to the hungry, then it is justified.
Srila Prabhupada: But consider the cow: we drink her milk; therefore, she is our mother. Do you agree?
Cardinal Danielou: Yes, surely.
Srila Prabhupada: So if the cow is your mother, how can you support killing her? You take the milk from her, and when she's old and cannot give you milk, you cut her throat. Is that a very humane proposal? In India those who are meat-eaters are advised to kill some lower animals like goats, pigs, or even buffalo. But cow killing is the greatest sin. In preaching Krsna consciousness we ask people not to eat any kind of meat, and my disciples strictly follow this principle. But if, under certain circumstances, others are obliged to eat meat, then they should eat the flesh of some lower animal. Don't kill cows. It is the greatest sin. And as long as a man is sinful, he cannot understand God. The human being's main business is to understand God and to love Him. But if you remain sinful, you will never be able to understand God-what to speak of loving Him.
Cardinal Danielou: I think that perhaps this is not an essential point. The important thing is to love God. The practical commandments can vary from one religion to the next.
Srila Prabhupada: So, in the Bible God's practical commandment is that you cannot kill; therefore killing cows is a sin for you.
Cardinal Danielou: God says to the Indians that killing is not good, and he says to the Jews that...
Srila Prabhupada: No, no. Jesus Christ taught, "Thou shalt not kill." Why do you interpret this to suit your own convenience?
Cardinal Danielou: But Jesus allowed the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb.
Srila Prabhupada: But he never maintained a slaughterhouse.
Cardinal Danielou: [Laughs.] No, but he did eat meat.
Srila Prabhupada: When there is no other food, someone may eat meat in order to keep from starving. That is another thing. But it is most sinful to regularly maintain slaughterhouses just to satisfy your tongue. Actually, you will not even have a human society until this cruel practice of maintaining slaughterhouses is stopped. And although animal killing may sometimes be necessary for survival, at least the mother animal, the cow, should not be killed. That is simply human decency. In the Krsna consciousness movement our practice is that we don't allow the killing of any animals. Krsna says, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati: "Vegetables, fruits, milk, and grains should be offered to Me in devotion." (Bhagavad-gita 9.26) We take only the remnants of Krsna's food (prasadam). The trees offer us many varieties of fruits, but the trees are not killed. Of course, one living entity is food for another living entity, but that does not mean you can kill your mother for food. Cows are innocent; they give us milk. You take their milk-and then kill them in the slaughterhouse. This is sinful.
Student: Srila Prabhupada, Christianity's sanction of meat-eating is based on the view that lower species of life do not have a soul like the human being's.
Srila Prabhupada: That is foolishness. First of all, we have to understand the evidence of the soul's presence within the body. Then we can see whether the human being has a soul and the cow does not. What are the different characteristics of the cow and the man? If we find a difference in characteristics, then we can say that in the animal there is no soul. But if we see that the animal and the human being have the same characteristics, then how can you say that the animal has no soul? The general symptoms are that the animal eats, you eat; the animal sleeps, you sleep; the animal mates, you mate; the animal defends, and you defend. Where is the difference?
Cardinal Danielou: We admit that in the animal there may be the same type of biological existence as in men, but there is no soul. We believe that the soul is a human soul.
Srila Prabhupada: Our Bhagavad-gita says sarva-yonisu, "In all species of life the soul exists." The body is like a suit of clothes. You have black clothes; I am dressed in saffron clothes. But within the dress you are a human being, and I am also a human being. Similarly, the bodies of the different species are just like different types of dress. There are soul, a part and parcel of God. Suppose a man has two sons, not equally meritorious. One may be a Supreme Court judge and the other may be a common laborer, but the father claims both as his sons. He does not make the distinction that the son who is a judge is very important and the worker-son is not important. And if the judge-son says, "My dear father, your other son is useless; let me cut him up and eat him," will the father allow this?
Cardinal Danielou: Certainly not, but the idea that all life is part of the life of God is difficult for us to admit. There is a great difference between human life and animal life.
Srila Prabhupada: That difference is due to the development of consciousness. In the human body there is developed consciousness. Even a tree has a soul, but a tree's consciousness is not very developed. If you cut a tree it does not resist. Actually, it does resist, but only to a very small degree. There is a scientist named Jagadish Chandra Bose who has made a machine which shows that trees and plants are able to feel pain when they are cut. And we can see directly that when someone comes to kill an animal, it resists, it cries, it makes a horrible sound. So it is a matter of the development of consciousness. But the soul is there within all living beings.
Cardinal Danielou: But metaphysically, the life of man is sacred. Human beings think on a higher platform than the animals do.
Srila Prabhupada: What is that higher platform? The animal eats to maintain his body, and you also eat in order to maintain your body. The cow eats grass in the field, and the human being eats meat from a huge slaughterhouse full of modern machines. But just because you have big machines and a ghastly scene, while the animal simply eats grass, this does not mean that you are so advanced that only within your body is there a soul and that there is not a soul within the body of the animal. That is illogical. We can see that the basic characteristics are the same in the animal and the human being.
Cardinal Danielou: But only in human beings do we find a metaphysical search for the meaning of life.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. So metaphysically search out why you believe that there is no soul within the animal-that is metaphysics. If you are thinking metaphysically, that's all right. But if you are thinking like an animal, then what is the use of your metaphysical study? Metaphysical means "above the physical" or, in other words, "spiritual." In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna says, sarva-yonisu kaunteya: "In every living being there is a spirit soul." That is metaphysical understanding. Now either you accept Krsna's teachings as metaphysical, or you'll have to take a third-class fool's opinion as metaphysical. Which do you accept?
Cardinal Danielou: But why does God create some animals who eat other animals? There is a fault in the creation, it seems.
Srila Prabhupada: It is not a fault. God is very kind. If you want to eat animals, then He'll give you full facility. God will give you the body of a tiger in your next life so that you can eat flesh very freely. "Why are you maintaining slaughterhouses? I'll give you fangs and claws. Now eat." So the meat-eaters are awaiting such punishment. The animal-eaters become tigers, wolves, cats, and dogs in their next life-to get more facility.
Shroud info, the 'real' Promised Lands, Christ mentioned in various religious scriptures of the world, Proof that Jesus survived the crucifixion, Jesus lived in India, Christ mentioned in the Bhavisya Purana (part of Vedic literature's Maha Purana - Sanskrit verses included), More quotes from Srila Prabhupada about Jesus in Part III.
SENIOR DEVOTEE GODSISTERS who joined the Hare Krishna Movement prior to Nov 77 (including congregational) ... please come together & join this e-group. Why? Because it's sane, helpful, warm & fuzzy :-) so a soft place to fall for those of us who have been thru a lot, yet hold the belief that Prabhupada's real teachings hold different / better ways of living. Tired of no association or something else similar? Put an end to it! Reach out & we'll reach back. No politics, just friends & fun. Read our front page & see if we're for you. (We hope you feel you are!) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SeniorDevoteeGodsisters.
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