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Bhagavata-Bhakta Christ

Saturday, 22 December 2012 / Published in Articles / 4,232 views

Dear Devotee,
 
Since Christmas is just a few days away, I thought it would be appropriate and enlightening to look at Prabhupada’s views on Christmas and Christ.
 
May you always think of Krsna,
 
Mahatma Das

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Prabhupada didn’t see Christianity, or any bona fide religion, as different from Vaisnavism.
 
“This awakening of pure love of God is the ultimate perfection of all bona fide religious principles including Christian, Judaic, Mohammedan, Hindu, etc. Just as it is recorded that Lord Jesus Christ said that the first commandment is that one should love God with all his heart, and soul and mind. Similarly Krsna instructs that everyone should surrender unto Him in love. Lord Jesus says that the first thing is to develop your love for God. Krsna is God. Krsna says to love Him only. So what is the difference between the original teachings of Lord Jesus Christ and Krsna?”
 
Dr. Patel : Christ was a great bhagavata-bhakta.
 
Prabhupada: Yes. I said in many lectures that Christianism means Vaisnavism.
 
When Prabhupada was asked about Christ, he typically said, “He is our guru.”
 
“Certainly he is the representative of God. Therefore we adore Lord Jesus Christ and offer our obeisances to him. Not only do we adore him, but he is our guru, our spiritual master.”
 
“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.”
 
Prabhupada often wrote of the exalted qualities of Jesus.
 
“There are many examples in history of devotees of the Lord who risked their lives for the spreading of God consciousness. The favorite example is Lord Jesus Christ. He was crucified by the non-devotees, but he sacrificed his life for spreading God consciousness.”
 
When Srila Prabhupda spoke about tolerance and compassion, he often used the example of Jesus Christ.
 
“The Srimad-Bhagavatam states that any bona fide preacher of God consciousness must have the qualities of titiksa (tolerance) and karuna (compassion). In the character of Lord Jesus Christ we find both these qualities. He was so tolerant that even while he was being crucified he didn’t condemn anyone. And he was so compassionate that he prayed to God to forgive the very persons who were trying to kill him.”
 
It is the custom of Christians to celebrate Christmas with a turkey dinner. Prabhupada comments as follows.
 
Dr. Patel: These Christians, during the Christmas, they buy a turkey one month before…
 
Prabhupada: But that is not the injunction of Christ. They have made it.
 
Dr. Patel: No, no. That cannot be injunction of a saint like that.
 
Prabhupada: No. He says, “Thou shall not kill,” general order. Jesus Christ. He said, “Thou shalt not kill.” But his birthday is observed by killing, killing, killing, killing, killing.
 
When speaking to Christians, Prabhupada often only spoke about how meat-eating was against the teachings of Christ – and against any spiritual teaching.
 
“Lord Jesus Christ exemplified this by teaching, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ But the Christians like to misinterpret this instruction. They think the animals have no soul, and therefore they think they can freely kill billions of innocent animals in the slaughterhouses. So although there are many persons who profess to be Christians, it would be very difficult to find one who strictly follows the instructions of Lord Jesus Christ.”
 
Most Christians object to this direct understanding of Christ’s commandment, preferring instead to interpret “kill” as “murder.” We should refrain, they say, from killing humans.
 
“If you want to interpret these words, that is something else,” Srila Prabhupada replies. “We understand the direct meaning. ‘Thou shalt not kill’ means ‘the Christians should not kill.’ You may put forth interpretations in order to continue the present way of action [animal slaughter], but we understand very clearly that there is no need for interpretation. Interpretation is necessary if things are not clear. But here the meaning is clear. ‘Thou shalt not kill’ is a clear instruction. Why should we interpret it?”
 
Christians do not fully understand the Bible verse, “As you sow so shall you reap.” Prabhupada explains, “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 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.”
 
Srila Prabhupada was once asked by a disciple how a Christian should behave. Prabhupada said he should act just like we do. He should follow the four regulative principles and chant the name of Christ. So we see that Prabhupada didn’t say that religious principles vary for different religions.
 
“There cannot be impious Christian or pious Christian. Christian must be pious. If somebody’s impious, then he’s not Christian….impious thief cannot be. Thief is always impious.”
 
One of the ten offences to the holy name is to commit sin on the strength of chanting (to commit sin thinking, “I will become free from the bad reaction by chanting the holy name.”). Since Christians believe Christ will continuously free them from the reactions to all sins they commit, Prabhupada spoke strongly against this offensive mentality.
 
“According to Christian doctrine, Christians are free from the reactions to their sins because they have surrendered to Lord Jesus Christ and he has washed their sins away. In the Gita too, Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, says that those who surrender to Him will be freed from sins.”
 
But what is surrender? If the spiritual master, Lord Jesus Christ, has suffered to free us from our sins, is it surrender to continue freely sinning?
 
Transgressions due to weakness may be understandable, but our weakness – Srila Prabhupada taught -should not become our vocation.
 
“Jesus Christ taught, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ but his followers have now decided, ‘Let us kill anyway,’ and they open big, modern, scientific slaughterhouses. ‘If there is any sin, Christ will suffer for us.’ This is the most abominable conclusion.”
 
“A Vaisnava is unhappy to see the suffering of others. Therefore, Lord Jesus Christ agreed to be crucified—to free others from their suffering. But his followers are so unfaithful that they have decided, ‘Let Christ suffer for us and we’ll go on committing sin.’ They love Christ so much that they think, ‘My dear Christ, we are very weak. We cannot give up our sinful activities. So you please suffer for us.’”

This article is taken from a monthly newsletter by Mahatma Das called Illuminations. If you would like to read previous issues, or get on his mailing list, please go to www.mahatmadas.com.
You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel and watch lectures and kirtan at http://www.youtube.com/user/Mahatmadasa?feature=g-high-u

14 Responses to “Bhagavata-Bhakta Christ”

  1. Paramananda das says :

    By the way I think these quotes from Bhavisya Purana will make devotees very happy:

    “Ruling over the Aryans was a king called Salivahana, the grandson of Vikramaditya, who occupied the throne of his father. He defeated the Shakas who were very difficult to subdue, the Cinas, the people from Tittiri and Bahikaus who could assume any form at will. He also defeated the people from Rome and the descendants of Khuru, who were deceitful and wicked. He punished them severely and took their wealth. Salivahana thus established the boundaries dividing the separate countries of the Mlecchas and the Aryans. In this way Sindusthan came to be known as the greatest country. That personality appointed the abode of the Mlecchas beyond the Sindhu River and to the west.”

    Once upon a time the subduer of the Sakas went towards Himatunga and in the middle of the Huna country (Hunadesh – the area near Manasa Sarovara or Kailash mountain in Western Tibet), the powerful king saw an auspicious man who was living on a mountain. The man’s complexion was golden and his clothes were white.

    ko bharam iti tam praaha
    su hovacha mudanvitah
    iishaa purtagm maam viddhi
    kumaarigarbha sambhavam
    “The king asked, ‘Who are you sir?’ ‘You should know that I am Isha Putra, the Son of God’. he replied blissfully, and ‘am born of a virgin.’ ”

    ” ‘I am the expounder of the religion of the Mlecchas and I strictly adhere to the Absolute Truth.’ Hearing this the king enquired, ‘What are religious principles according to you opinion?’

    “Hearing this questions of Salivahara, Isha putra said, ‘O king, when the destruction of the truth occurred, I, Masiha the prophet, came to this country of degraded people where there are no rules and regulations. Finding that fearful irreligious condition of the barbarians spreading from Mleccha-Desha, I have taken to prophethood’.”

    “Please hear Oh king which religious principles I have established among the mlecchas. The living entity is subject to good and bad contaminations. The mind should be purified by taking recourse of proper conduct and performance of japa. By chanting the holy names one attains the highest purity. Just as the immovable sun attracts, from all directions, the elements of all living beings, the Lord of the solar region, who is fixed and all-attractive, attracts the hearts of all living creatures.

  2. Happy Christmas (that how they say in UK) happy new year.
    it is good time to think a bit about the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ.

    Matthew 5
    1: And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
    2: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
    3: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
    5: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
    6: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
    7: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
    8: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
    9: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
    10: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    11: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
    12: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
    13: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
    14: Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
    15: Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
    16: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
    17: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
    18: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    19: Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
    20: For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    21: Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.
    22: But I say un

  3. Paramananda das says :

    Thus by following rules, speaking truthful words, by mental harmony and by meditation, Oh descendant of Manu, one should worship that immovable Lord’.”
    Text 30
    isha muurtirt-dradi praptaa
    nityashuddha sivamkari
    ishamasihah iti ca
    mama nama pratishthitam
    “Having placed the eternally pure and auspicious form of the Supreme Lord in my heart, O protector of the earth planet, I preached these principles through the Mlecchas’ own faith and thus my name became ‘isha-masiha’ (Jesus the Messiah).”
    Text 31
    iti shrutra sa bhuupale
    natraa tam mlecchapujaam
    sthaapayaamaasa tam tutra
    mlecchasthaane hi daarune
    “After hearing these words and paying obeisances to that person who is worshipped by the wicked, the king humbly requested him to stay there in the dreadful land of Mlecchas.”
    Text 32
    svaraajyam praaptavaan raajaa
    hayamedhan ciikirat
    raajyam kriitvaa sa shashthyabdam
    svarga lokamu paayayau
    “King Salivahara, after leaving his kingdom performed an asvamedha yajna and after ruling for sixty years, went to heaven. Now please hear what happened when the king went to svargaloka.”
    Thus ends the second chapter entitled, “the age of Salivahara” of the story of Kali Yuga of the Caturyuga Khanda also called pratisarga-parva of the wonderful Bhavishya Maha Purana.

  4. Paramananda das says :

    I think it is very nice to see Kavicandra Swami give respect to the holy Bible:

    Here is some other important teachings of Jesus Christ:

    Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
    ——————————————————————————–
    Mark 10:15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
    ——————————————————————————–
    Luke 18:17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
    ——————————————————————————–
    1 Corinthians 14:20 Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.

    Matthew 5:32
    And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery–unless his wife has been unfaithful.”

  5. Sitalatma Das says :

    Is that story from Bhavishya Purana fully legitimate? There are suspicions that it was inserted or modified by British who at that time had full control of the company that published the only existing critical edition and left us with no original manuscripts.

    It happened around the time when Rammohan Roy published a blatant fabrication passing as a legitimate Vedic text so it was not unheard of, and it wasn’t beneath the British either – to try and add legitimacy to their religion by questionable means.

    As far as I know, Six Goswamis never quoted anything from Bhavishya Purana and there are no extant manuscripts pre-dating that British produced publication.

    Has anyone actually vetted it?

  6. Paramananda das says :

    Actually Bhavisya Purana is one of the 10 Mahapuranas…

    SB 12.13.4-9: The Brahmā Purāṇa consists of ten thousand verses, the Padma Purāṇa of fifty-five thousand, Śrī Viṣṇu Purāṇa of twenty-three thousand, the Śiva Purāṇa of twenty-four thousand and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam of eighteen thousand. The Nārada Purāṇa has twenty-five thousand verses, the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa nine thousand, the Agni Purāṇa fifteen thousand four hundred, the Bhaviṣya Purāṇa fourteen thousand five hundred, the Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa eighteen thousand and the Lińga Purāṇa eleven thousand. The Varāha Purāṇa contains twenty-four thousand verses, the Skanda Purāṇa eighty-one thousand one hundred, the Vāmana Purāṇa ten thousand, the Kūrma Purāṇa seventeen thousand, the Matsya Purāṇa fourteen thousand, the Garuḍa Purāṇa nineteen thousand and the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa twelve thousand. Thus the total number of verses in all the Purāṇas is four hundred thousand. Eighteen thousand of these, once again, belong to the beautiful Bhāgavatam.

    Bhavisya Purana also talks about Mohammed and many other things ,it is certainly not fabricated ….it is sastra ..Sitalatma Prabhu you think the british also promote Islam? Bhavisya Purana is also compiled by Srila Vyasadeva

  7. Paramananda das says :

    The Hemis Manuscripts are a set of ancient documents hidden away in a remote monastery high in the mountains along the Tibet India border. The documents states Jesus of Nazareth visited India between the ages 12 to 30, his so called missing years of the Bible
    http://www.kashmirfirst.com/articles/other/hemis_manuscriptl.htm

    The indian Goverment has released a very important movie about Jesus Christ in India:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9w-xJfSOyc&feature=player_embed

    The BBC also has released a series of documentaries of Jesus Christ in India.\\

    The Bhavisya Purana quotes are authentic and shows the same as the Hemis Manuscripts that Jesus was indeed in India

  8. I do not think Sitalatma’s point was that there was never any authentic Bhavisya Purana, but that we have to be careful about interpolations, whether by British or by well-meaning Brahmanas who believed they were doing something beneficial by adding or subtracting from the received text.

    Gopiparanadhana Prabhu emailed me once that there are many interpolations in Bhavisya Purana. I had quoted a story about “Adhama and Havyevati” which sounded remarkably like Adam and Eve from the Biblical book of Genesis, and he warned me to be cautious about that Purana in particular.

    In many Vedic texts there are inauthentic interpolations. There are so many rescensions of Mahabharata, and I have heard that even Madhvacarya remarked (that long ago) that there were unauthorized interpolations.

    Fortunately we have Srimad Bhagavatam with commentaries on many verses going back to Sridhar Swami, very long ago, so we know the text is well-preserved in its authentic form. I have read somewhere (I think in Caitanya Caritamrta), that Lord Caitanya accepted the entire Bhagavatam in the current form we have it, but that He raised some objection to the mausala-lila. Can anyone find that for me? At present I have no access to VedaBase.)

    That is not to say that the story of Isa-putra is inauthentic. However, devotee-scholars have cautioned us to be aware of the issue of interpolations.

  9. Paramananda das says :

    Interpolations can happen it is certainly there in the Mahabharat, HH Hrdayananda Maharaja send me a nice email about interpolationes in Mahabharata . However I see no prove of the interpolationes in Bhavisya Purana ,though many talk of them. If there is any prove of it I am interested to hear about it but we have to be careful otherwise to doubt sastra.
    But I think it is a subject that should be looked into futher .Nandananda Prabhu has written soemthing very detailed on this subject:
    http://www.stephen-knapp.com/jesus_predicted_in_the_vedic_literature.htm

  10. Paramananda das says :

    Some scholars doubt the mention of Adam and Eve ,Noahs ark etc, however the part about Jesus Christ in India is not in doubt by any major scholar and it is musch in line with the Hemis Manuscripts from the same time period tell the same story of Jesus Christ

  11. Sitalatma Das says :

    Actually, my suspicions come from that article by Nandananda Prabhu, from the section entitled:

    WAS JESUS REALLY PREDICTED IN THE BHAVISHYA PURANA?

    I have really nothing more to add, I hope my interpretation of that argument was correct.

    the part about Jesus Christ in India is not in doubt by any major scholar

    And yet there’s this quote on Wikipedia:

    “Modern scholarship has roundly rejected the travels of Jesus outside Galilee, Judea and closely neighboring areas, with Robert Van Voorst specifically stating that modern scholars have “almost unanimously agreed” that claims of the travels of Jesus to areas such as Tibet or India contain “nothing of value”.

    I think as devotees we shouldn’t take sides in this battle and stick to the scriptures given to us by our acharyas. Current version of Bhavishya Purana isn’t one of them, that much we know, and now Gopiparanadhana Prabhu is also said to be suspicious about some parts of it, too.

  12. Paramananda das says :

    you doubt as you please I have no problems with any statements in Bhavisya Purana ,I see no prove of any tampering, only hearsay

  13. Kavicandra Swami:

    Interesting that the only reference to obtaining heaven was through spreading the word.

  14. Paramananda das says :

    Mahatma Prabhu what reference is that ? The Bhavisya Purana states that Jesus encouraged chanting of the holy name , the sermon on the mount he stated about so many persons that was blessed :

    5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

    The Beatitudes

    He said:

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    5 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    7 Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
    10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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