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IF THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD WHY ARE THERE SO MANY RELIGIONS?

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada!!

There is only one Supreme Personality of Godhead and only one true nature of every spirit soul- loving devotional service unto Him, but mankind wants different religions for so many reasons, so He provides them to us according to our various desires. In most of them, information about God’s Supreme Personality, Forms and Pastimes are very minimal. Here, He makes His highest and final recommendation for our benefit:

Srimad Bhagavad Gita Ch 18 Tx 66:
sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah

“Give up all varieties of religiousness, and just surrender unto Me; and in return I shall protect you from all sinful reactions. Therefore, you have nothing to fear.” (Bg. 18.66) Thus the Lord takes all responsibility for one who surrenders unto Him, and He indemnifies all the reactions of sin.

“In this present day, man is very eager to have one scripture, one God, one religion, and one occupation. So let there be one common scripture for the whole world–Bhagavad-gita. And let there be one God only for the whole world–Sri Krsna. And one mantra only–Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And let there be one work only–the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

…from introduction to Bhagavad Gita As It Is by Srila Prabhupada

from Krishna or Christ-The Name is the Same…

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
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami prayatatmanah

“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):

yajna-sistasinah santo
mucyante sarva-kilbisaih
bhunjate te tu agham papa
ye pacanty atma-karanat

“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.”

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 discharge it!

Father Emmanuel: I agree.

Comment Posted By lowly servant On 04.07.2007 @ 15:32

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