Devotees on Theology
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
April 1, 1975, Mayapur
Prabhupada: Is it possible for a man or for anyone that he can, he should be according to the life of his different friends or servants or sons? That is theology. Next time, when I go to your country, why not hold a meeting of all the theologicians to discuss publicly what should be the nature of God? What do they describe, the nature of God?
Prajapati: They describe the nature of God simply in terms of how religious men have understood themselves. They talk about, “God is simply men understanding men.”
Prabhupada: That means nobody has approached real God.
Acyutananda: No one.
Prabhupada: That is speculation. If you want to study me, so you can do so either by approaching me or through one of my confidential servant. How one can understand me from outside by speculating? Why do they come to see me? Let them remain far away and speculate. But that is not possible in ordinary common sense also. So how they speculate about God? If you cannot understand even a common man, maybe very big in the society, you cannot understand a common man by hearsay, by speculation…
Prajapati: Practically all the theologians are aligned with one denomination or another, and they’re like company men to the big churches, and they’re afraid of admitting they do not know about God because they’re afraid somebody will leave their camp and come to ours. We say we know about God.
Prabhupada: Yes. We say frankly that we know God, His father’s name, His address, everything. Let anyone come and challenge. He cannot say that “No, this is not God,” because he has not approached God. He does not know what is God. How he can challenge us that “This is not God”? Suppose we are presenting Krsna as God, so how anyone can challenge? Because he has not approached God. He is simply speculating.
Prajapati: And not even on his own. He’s simply approaching other speculators.
Prajapati: One speculator simply approaches other speculators.
Prabhupada: So how they can say, “This is not God”? Is it possible to say? We say, “Here is Krsna, God.” Why not discuss this point for our preaching work. Call all the sannyasis.
Srutakirti: Call the sannyasis?
Prabhupada: Hm. [break] Theologician. You know?
Srutakirti: He’s theologian?
Prabhupada: You know?
Acyutananda: No, I didn’t know.
Prabhupada: He’s theologician. Now you discuss with him whether by theological arguments one can approach or understand what is God.
Jayapataka: Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Sit down straight. Otherwise feel sleepy.
Jayapataka: Myself and Gopala Krsna were just going to Krishnanagara to see that attorney for that…
Prabhupada: Oh, all right.
Srutakirti: Others will be coming.
Jayapataka: Tamala Krsna and…
Acyutananda: Theology or Theosophy?
Prabhupada: No, theology.
Srutakirti: Theology. Theologian.
Prabhupada: Theosophy and theology is practically the same.
Prajapati: No, theosophy is nonsense Buddhist…
Prabhupada: But according to academic order, logic is the preliminary study of philosophy. Our, our professor, Dr. Watt (?), he defined like that. In 1917…—(Aside:) Come on.—There was the governor in Bengal, Lord Ronaldsey (?), Marquis of Zetland. He was a Scottish man. And our college was Scottish Churches College— (aside:) Get the light. So… don’t lean. You’ll feel sleep. Just like sit my Guru Maharaja. Show the picture. Be… Become my Guru Maharaja. Yes. That sitting is the yogasana. I am gone to hell. (laughter) You are young men. You learn from my Guru Maharaja.
Pancadravida: No leaning.
Pancadravida: No leaning.
Prabhupada: No. You’ll never see any picture, he was leaning. So that Lord Ronaldsey (?) was very good scholar. So we were… When he was invited, he was taken to all the classes. So I was, at that time, in the second year. So I took permission to sit down in the first benches. The… Our college was very big. So in each class there were 150 students. [break] Where is…
Brahmananda: Tamala Krsna is taking a bath.
Prabhupada: So they were giving role number according to admission. So I did not know that. So my role number was 105. So I thought it very incon… “I have to sit down after one hundred students?” So I took one certificate from Dr. Karttika Chandra Bose, who became, later on, my boss. Because he was our father’s friend, so “Give me one certificate in this way, that I am hard of hearing. I must be given first row seat.” So he gave immediately certificate. What is that?
Srutakirti: Some juice.
Jagajivana: Some juice and some watermelon, Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Oh, all right. Give it.
Acyutananda: What does theology say?
Acyutananda: What does theology mean.
Prabhupada: Just explain.
Prajapati: This is the study of faithful men understanding themselves through the medium of the church.
Prabhupada: Now you discuss whether this point is very nice.
Acyutananda: So what is the authority?
Prajapati: The authority is the Christian tradition.
Acyutananda: The Bible.
Prabhupada: Yes. When he says church, that means authority, Bible.
Acyutananda: The Bible.
Prajapati: No, part. The Bible is part.
Acyutananda: Only part, one part.
Acyutananda: He says the Bible is not… The Bible is not the complete authority?
Prajapati: No, it’s the tradition of the church through the great founding fathers, the great theologians up until the present day.
Visnujana: Sadhu, sastra, guru.
Prabhupada: No… Vak…
Prajapati: Yes, unfortunately no guru.
Prabhupada: Church… Church is following Bible.
Prabhupada: So ultimately Bible becomes authority.
Prajapati: In certain segments of Christianity, not all.
Acyutananda: So what is their conclusion?
Pancadravida: Excuse me one minute before we go on. What is this in relation to, this discussion? I just walked in.
Prabhupada: This… The subject matter is whether by theological arguments one can understand God.
Pancadravida: Well, according to dictionary, theology, theo, the Latin word theo, it means, that means God. Theo means God. And as far as I know, theology means the science or the study of God.
Pancadravida: So by definition…
Prajapati: Not precisely. The word theology comes from the word logos. Theologos. And logos, in this sense, means the word of God. Yes.
Prabhupada: Now, the words of God, that means one must know what is God. Otherwise how he can know this is the word of God? What is the answer by the theologian?
Prajapati: The word of God is that a man is known by his works, his fruits. If he is a godly man…
Prabhupada: No, no. Unless you know what is God, how you can accept this is the word of God? Just like you say, “Prabhupada says.” You take it, accept it: “Oh, Prabhupada said.” But you know what is Prabhupada.
Prajapati: So in…
Prabhupada: It is not a fiction.
Prajapati: In theological circles, yes, they are accepting great authorities like Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, as well as the sastra, the Bible itself.
Acyutananda: But Martin Luther and St. Augustine are opposed.
Prajapati: Yes, there’re many opposed in many different ways.
Acyutananda: Then the authority is…
Prajapati: So that’s why the goal is not so much a…
Acyutananda: Who invented theology?
Prajapati: Saint Paul.
Acyutananda: The first Saint Paul?
Prajapati: First Saint Paul.
Acyutananda: And he was before Martin Luther.
Prajapati: Yes, he’s before Martin Luther.
Pancadravida: In the… Also this word logos, in the Bible it says, “In the beginning there was the word.” That’s logos, right? In the beginning there was the word. So what word was that?
Prajapati: In the beginning…?
Pancadravida: When it says, “In the beginning, there was the word.”
Prajapati: According to that same verse, that word was God.
Acyutananda: And what was that?
Prabhupada: But they… They must explain. Just like in Vedic literature the same idea is there. (aside:) Don’t lean. I am begging excuse. I am old man. But you should sit down like that Guru Maharaja. So we know what was the word, omkara. Pranavah sarva-vedesu. [break] So omkara is the word. So what is the Christian word?
Prajapati: Again there’s no absolute authority. In the vast Christian tradition we have Origen saying one thing and Saint Francis saying another. Widespread… That’s why it is not a science that we can go to like we can to Srila Prabhupada for an exact answer, Bhagavad-gita, exact absolute authority. In the Christian tradition it is simply defined as faithful men understanding themselves in the light of the scripture, in the light of the tradition.
Prabhupada: No, that is because you are our student. Suppose our preachers meet the theologicians. How to prove that theology is not the means? Theology… Generally, you say it is speculation. So our point is that nayam atma pravacanena labhyo na medhaya na bahuna srutena. The atma, Krsna, cannot be understood or approached, pravacanena, simply by logical arguments.
Prajapati: The theologian would agree, Srila Prabhupada. It’s a question of what’s called apologetics. Theology has a specific function for the Christian church, to bring people within the fold. Simply to convince them through any means, logical or whatever, to them to come within the church community, and then once they are within that group, then they can participate in what’s called the Christian life. You have taking sacraments, engage in Christian fellowship, taking communion, so many things.
Acyutananda: But their authorities disagree.
Prajapati: Yes. That is… They will agree with that.
Acyutananda: But our disciplic succession from thousands of years, there’s no big disagreement.
Pancadravida: I met one… I was traveling about three months ago in India. I met one Christian on the train. So we began to discuss the sastra. So I mentioned some of the arguments in reference to the Bible, that Christ was speaking…
Prabhupada: (aside:) No, no. Where that covering? Where is it?
Pancadravida: I said that Christ was speaking basically to an uneducated public, the fishermen, etc… So then this man, he stopped me. He said, “That’s all right. But,” he said, “You’re…”
Prabhupada: Who? Who? Who said?
Pancadravida: I was discussing with one Christian in India. So I attacked… Politely I attacked his scriptural reference, the Bible. I was saying that it was not meant that an educated community. So then he stopped me. He said, “That’s all right. You can speak about fishermen. But,” he said, “the prime exponent of Christianity was Paul. And Paul was previously Saul. He was not a fisherman. And he was traveling to a town on a particular… Damascus. And there he received direct revelation from God.” And he said, “Then this one man, single-handedly, he converted most of the known world to Christianity.”
Prabhupada: That means he got direct revelation from God.
Prabhupada: That is wanted.
Pancadravida: So he said just to talk about the Bible as evidence is not enough. He said, “You’re overlooking direct revelation,” which is what we are also dealing with, that the man who lives according to the word of God, he receives the word of God directly.
Prabhupada: It is said there?
Prabhupada: It is said there?
Pancadravida: He said to that effect, yes. He said, “Your argument about a fisherman community is not completely valid.”
Prajapati: There’s always a differentiation we must make between a Christian, who we might meet and engage in argument, and the theologian himself. The theologian is a very oily character, very hard to pin down. The Christian, he may have specific beliefs, dogmatic, tenaciously holding to dogma, but the theologian, he—
Acyutananda: Well what does that…? What do they say?
Prajapati: The theologians?
Prajapati: They are simply word-jugglers. They are not held nearly so tight to…
Acyutananda: Well, then, what’s some of the things they invent?
Prajapati: Well, one we were bringing up is that theology is a means that faithful men are coming to understand themselves, not that are approaching God. One approaches God within a community and within…
Prabhupada: That a faithful man understands God, that we say. Then what is the basic principle of theology? Why this separate science has been established as “theology”? Logy means science.
Prajapati: Yes. From the Christian point of view, the science is there simply that man does not accept simply by sentiment or by faith, but he can have his mind convinced as well.
Acyutananda: But that has to be there. So what is the self according to theology?
Prajapati: Again, Christian… In Krsna consciousness, we can ask such a question. “What does the Bhagavad-gita or Krsna consciousness say about the self or about Krsna?” But in theology it’s not so cut and dried. There’s so many different authorities, each one saying a different thing.
Acyutananda: Well, that’s why I said…
Prajapati: You must say, “So and so says…”
Pancadravida: Or they say, “At the time of judgement, a man must stand before the ever-living God and he will be held, called, held accountable for his actions during this life.”
Prajapati: That’s only a very small group. Those who are fundamentalists, who take strict interpretation of the Bible, and they’re a very small group. And even that group doesn’t have very many thoughtful or theological men backing it.
Pancadravida: Well, all Christians, they believe that there are, in one way or another, they’re going to be held accountable to the word of God. Isn’t that?
Pancadravida: Well, how they can have any…? How they can have any tenets or principles if they don’t believe they’re accountable to God?
Ravindra-svarupa: Because they believe they can use Jesus like a doormat to clean their sinful activities of themselves.
Prabhupada: Now, one thing is that why theology should be in reference with Bible? If it is a science, then why should it refer only to the Bible?
Prajapati: Yes. The biggest school of theology, Harvard School of Theology… The study of the Bible is there, but only on the side. Instead, they study Freud, Karl Marx, everybody else…
Acyutananda: Well, they should study Gita.
Prajapati: Yes, that’s our point. How to get them to realize that? That’s a question.
Acyutananda: So we’ll ask them, “We have a most scientific and detailed description of the self and God and the means to join to Him. That cannot be avoided in your study. And we claim the highest standard of renunciation, and worship and godly society.”
Prajapati: And their answer…
Acyutananda: “You can’t avoid us.”
Prajapati: Their answer to such a challenge will be: “You please go across the street to the study of Hinduism.”
Acyutananda: “No, you said theology. God is not a Christian God.”
Prajapati: But they’re not interested. They only want to hear the Christian point of view. And for them, “Christian” doesn’t mean Bible; it means their own…
Acyutananda: That’s Prabhupada’s first thing—what is God? Is it the Christian God? What is God? What is your definition of God? Is He a Christian God or pure?
Prabhupada: No, the… The… First of all, this should be established, whether God can be Christian God or Hindu God or Muslim God? Is God to be designated like that? God is one, so how there is one God? If Christian has got separate God, a Hindu has got separate god, Muslim has got separate God, then how God is one?
Prajapati: Their answer would be: “We cannot talk about God. We can simply talk about the Christian tradition of God, or the…”
Prabhupada: Now, again you come to the Christian God.
Acyutananda: Then your knowledge is limited.
Prabhupada: Then… Either Christian tradition… Then it becomes bound up by the Christian ideas.
Prajapati: And that is exactly the situation today.
Prabhupada: But that is not God. Just like gold. Gold is everywhere gold. Because it is in Christian country, you cannot say, “It is Christian gold.” And because it is in Muslim country, you cannot say, “It is Muslim gold.” Gold is the world standard of money. The same gold, dispatched from America, can be accepted in India. Dispatched from India, it can be accepted in Palestine because it is gold. Everyone who knows what is gold, he’ll accept it. So God should be like that. And therefore the name Krsna, “all-attractive”… When there is gold, either you be Christian, Muslim, Hindu—“Oh, here is a lump of gold. Can I possess it?” That is attraction. So as gold is all- attractive, similarly, God must be all-attractive. And that word is used as Krsna. Krsna means all-attractive. One who knows gold, he’ll be attracted. Doesn’t matter whether he’s Hindu or Muslim, Christian, poor, rich man, black, white. It doesn’t matter. Here is gold, and everyone… Just like in your country there was gold rush. Eh? In California? From all different parts of the world they came. So gold is gold for everyone. So now one should try to understand or check what is gold. That is required.
Prajapati: These men, Srila Prabhupada, are very, very puffed up. They think that even such discussions of who God is and what God is, that… They feel they’re way past that, and that’s for lower class men to discuss.
Acyutananda: Why do we give anything to them? (?)
Pancadravida: But when you came to France, Srila Prabhupada, you spoke at the Theology Club. About four years ago you came for a conference. They arranged a big meeting at the Theology Society in France, a world-wide society. And one thing I was… One thing I was considering. They must be interested because the Christians say that there is soul, and they say that there is God, so then wouldn’t our question be: “What is the relationship of the soul to God?” They admit there is a soul. Every human being, they say, has a soul.
Prabhupada: No. That, that is also beginning of understanding. But first, preliminary understanding should be that God is one. There cannot be Christian God. There cannot be Hindu God. There cannot be Muslim God. That is not complete idea of God. That is imperfect. Just like in Vedic literature, brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti: three phases of understanding of the Absolute. First, beginning, is Brahman, then, further advanced, Paramatma, then, final advancement, Bhagavan. Similarly, the final realization of God is the Supreme Person. And then we should seek (see?) who is that person. That is real theology.
Pancadravida: What if they say, “We agree there’s one God, but we do not agree that His name is Krsna” or “We do not agree…”
Prabhupada: Then you suggest what is His name. My next challenge will be… You suggest.
Pancadravida: Well, they…
Ravindra-svarupa: In the Bible they give twelve names for God.
Prabhupada: No, let me finish this. If you do not accept Krsna is the name of God,… I have explained what is the idea of Krsna. The Krsna means all-attractive. The example is given: Just like gold. Gold is attractive to everyone—to the educated, the uneducated, to the black, to the white, man, woman, everyone. One who knows God, er, one who knows gold—gold is attractive. Similarly, God is all- attractive. There cannot be that “It is black gold,” “It is white gold,” “It is Christian gold,” “It is Hindu gold.” No. Gold is gold. So we present Krsna that “Here is God, all-attractive.” Now you say, “No, He’s not God.” Then you present your God.
Pancadravida: Well, I know just the…
Prabhupada: You cannot say, reject. They cannot reject Krsna unless you present an alternative.
Pancadravida: Well, here’s the argument. Part of the thing I remember in the Judeo tradition, Judeo-Christian tradition, in the… Whenever we used to go to service and all that, they used to have in the prayer books… They would never write out the name of God because they say…
Prabhupada: Oh, that means you do not know.
Pancadravida: No, they say God’s name should never be spoken out loud.
Pancadravida: I don’t know.
Prabhupada: This is nonsense. If you know somebody, why should you say, “His name should not be explained”?
Brahmananda: They say that God’s name is so pure and we are so impure that to utter His name is to make it impure.
Ravindra-svarupa: Is blasphemy.
Acyutananda: No, I heard the explanation that a nonbeliever should not know it.
Prabhupada: That is all right.
Acyutananda: So they don’t say it out loud.
Prabhupada: No, when we come to argument that… We are supposed to be all believers in God. We are not nonbelievers. We simply want to ascertain who is that God. We are not nonbelievers. Then some persons who believe in God come together so to ascertain who is God. So just like when we come to a meeting to elect a president, so they are not nonbelievers. They are not nonbelievers. As there are so many personalities, candidate for president, now who is the right person to become the president? That is wanted. To the nonbelievers, he has no access. About discussion in God he has no access. When we discuss about God, it is supposed they are all believers. So if you say… Just like we are holding meeting to ascertain… There are so many names of God. Now we ascertain who is real God. God means there should be no more above Him. Mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 7.7]. That is God.
Visnujana: Christians have such a name. They call Him Yahweh.
Visnujana: Yahweh means “I am that I am. No one is beyond Me.”
Visnujana: They will say Yahweh is God.
Prabhupada: No, Yahweh, what is…? That is the name?
Visnujana: Name. “I am that…” It means in English, “I am that I am.”
Prajapati: Some people translate that as jehovah.
Prajapati: But it’s the same word. In fact, everyone agrees they do not know what the real name is. Some say Yahweh; some say jehovah. The Jewish tradition replaces completely and says Adonai, instead.
Prabhupada: That’s all right. He may not say. But we have to take from the meaning. What is the meaning?
Visnujana: “No one is beyond Me.”
Prabhupada: That’s all right. “No one is beyond Me.” Then he comes to our conclusion, all-attractive. This is… They come to our conclusion, all-attractive. Because if somebody is beyond Him, then he should be attractive. But if He’s final attractive, then all- attractive, Krsna. Krsna means all-attractive. What do you think?
Prajapati: It would be very nice to engage them in this way, Srila Prabhupada. But they’re not interested. They’re interested in…
Acyutananda: Self. “Then my aim is that…” They’re interested in people, then. How they understand self.
Acyutananda: So we have the highest standard of renunciation, highest standard of piety, highest standard of all religious qualities. So they cannot deny it. They cannot be noninterested.
Prajapati: But in that sense, they would see us as a threat.
Acyutananda: Yeah. So then you’re only interested in keeping your Harvard chair.
Prajapati: That’s right.
Acyutananda: Then they’re not sincere.
Prajapati: Harvard chair, bishop’s salary… Bishops get 25,000 dollars a year.
Acyutananda: Then if you can’t discuss openly with people, then what’s the point?
Prajapati: The point is they have big, big buildings, big, big salaries, big, big positions…
Prabhupada: That is… That is all right. If you want to keep one man in a very high position, you should give all comforts. That is good. Just like if you want to keep a king, he must have a palace. He must have his officers, secretaries…
Acyutananda: So he means to say that if we present that we are better theologists, then their position will be in jeopardy.
Pancadravida: Then the question is “Then why…?” Now we are… Hypothetically, in this situation, we are approaching these theologists. Then why we are approaching if they are not open to discussion? I mean, what is the purpose in going to them?
Acyutananda: No. Prajapati here studied theology and brought it up to Prabhupada.
Prajapati: The purpose is because they are purporting to be…
Prajapati: …what Srila Prabhupada really is. Srila Prabhupada is the real theologian, but they are using that name. And they… In that sense, they are the biggest cheaters. They’re going by the name theologians, and they’re not actually theologians. They’re simply scholars, dry academicians.
Prabhupada: What is that scholarship? Simply…
Prajapati: The scholarship… They have degrees by their names, and they’ve gone through listening to other mental speculators, and now their students listen to them.
Prabhupada: You said there are twelve names?
Ravindra-svarupa: Yes. I have a list of them.
Prabhupada: In the Bible?
Ravindra-svarupa: Yes. One of them means “the Lord who sees me.” One of them means “the supreme friend,” “the supreme father.” One of them means “the Lord of the mountain.” One of them means “the King, the greatest King.” “Brother” is another meaning. So… And these are all in the Old Testament, all these different names. So one of their arguments is that we’re presenting a different name. Therefore they think it is a different God. We can refer that there are twelve names. Does that mean that there are twelve Gods?
Acyutananda: We have names which apply to those also.
Acyutananda: “Supreme friend.”
Prabhupada: Yes. Dina-bandhu.
Prabhupada: He krsna karuna-sindho dina-bandho jagat-pate. We have got these names.
Acyutananda: What’s another one?
Ravindra-svarupa: Lord of the mountain.
Ravindra-svarupa: The Lord of the Mountain.
Prabhupada: He krsna karuna-sindho dina-bandho jagat-pate. Then?
Ravindra-svarupa: “The brother.”
Prabhupada: Gopika…? What is that, next line?
Ravindra-svarupa: “The brother.”
Prabhupada: He krsna karuna-sindho dina-bandho…
Devotees: Gopika-kanta radha-kanta…
Prabhupada: The so many names in one verse, and we have got thousands of names.
Prajapati: Lord Caitanya would hear from Srivasa Pandita “The Thousand Names of Visnu.”
Prabhupada: Yes. And thousand names, they are recorded, but He has got millions of names.
Pancadravida: In one tape, you said actually God has no name. You said God has no name, but because He…
Prabhupada: No, that is other party’s argument, “God has no name.”
Pancadravida: No, no. In the tape, you said… In this tape, bhajana, explanation of bhajana, you said, “God… Actually God has no name, but because He does so many things, then He has names for…”
Prabhupada: Yes, according to His activities, there are names.
Ravindra-svarupa: But all these twelve names, they still make that personality whom they are describing all-attractive. So that means…
Prabhupada: Yes. And not only that. When you have names, that means God is person. That must be admitted. God cannot be imperson. You may have twelve names or twelve thousand names, but when He has got name, He’s a person. Now, our point is: “Who is that person?”
Trivikrama: Their point is… Well, one of their points is that if Christ was actually the son of God, why didn’t he talk about Krsna?
Trivikrama: If Christ was the son of God, the good son, how is that he didn’t, he never mentioned Krsna by name? Sometimes they criticize us like that: “Why is there no mention of Krsna in the Christian Bible?”
Prabhupada: He might not have mentioned, but why there are twelve names in the Bible?
Pancadravida: That’s Old Testament. That’s not Christ…
Prabhupada: The name is there.
Acyutananda: And Christ, Prabhupada has…
Tamala Krsna: The point is that just like when you’re…
Prabhupada: No, first of all, one should be answered.
Tamala Krsna: I’m going to answer his point.
Tamala Krsna: The answer to his point is that just as there’s a president of the United States, so when someone is talking about the president, according to how intimate that person is, you discuss different subject matters. For example, if the person is just a common person, a regular person, you may discuss about the president’s powers in the government. But when you meet someone who actually is intimately connected with the president, then you describe the president’s family, how the president’s family is doing, what is the president doing in his time of relaxation, etc. So similarly, Jesus was speaking to persons who were not very intimate with God. They were not so much spiritually advanced. Therefore, for those persons, simply the power and glory of God is mentioned in the Bible. But Krsna, the description of Krsna in the Bhagavatam, is meant for the pure devotees. And for them the very detailed, intimate description of Krsna is given there.
Prajapati: A very major thing happenned to the Christian tradition in about 400 A.D. Up until that time, as best our records are, Christianity was very much like Krsna consciousness, very much like our movement. But at that time it became the official religion of the Roman Empire under Constantine, and it took on many of the paraphernalia of the old Roman demigod worship, and at that time it became a whole…
Prabhupada: Just to make it favorable for your government, for the government.
Prabhupada: Then deterioration began.
Pancadravida: Well, they don’t… Again, mentioning this Saul. Saul was converted on the way to Damascus, and he became a believer in God. Then, by himself, he traveled all over the known world and convinced everyone in the Roman Empire to accept, to accept Christianity. So it may have taken on those formal signs, but actually there was no process… According to them, there was no process done to dilute the religion or to weaken it or to change it, but it was only accepted by the masses. That’s all.
Prajapati: Actually a very interesting thing, in terms of this point, is that this Paul, Saul, was in confiict with the direct disciplic succession from Jesus in many points. Those who were his, Jesus’s, direct disciples, Paul disagreed with them and cut out many of their teachings or the teachings that were coming down in direct disciplic succession to make it more palatable to the outlying areas.
Pancadravida: The government.
Prajapati: Yes. So at that moment there, the disciplic succession was broken.
Ravindra-svarupa: What is the time difference between Paul and Jesus’ (?) disciples?
Prajapati: He was here at the same time. Peter, James… He was a contemporary, but he had never had any personal contact with Jesus while Jesus was in Gospel. (?)
Pancadravida: In fact, he lived… He… In the beginning, he was against Christianity. He was antithetical to it. And then he experienced…
Acyutananda: He was a professional religionist who made it popular to the…
Pancadravida: And then he experienced a so-called conversion, isn’t it?
Acyutananda: He fell off his horse and saw…
Prajapati: He heard a voice, fell off his horse, and he was blinded, and his eyesight would only be restored when he would approach a certain man in Jerusalem who was part of the Christian fold, and when he approached that man then his sight would be returned.
Acyutananda: This story…
Prabhupada: Now, another question, that we say that God’s name and God—all-powerful. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis tatrarpita: “In the name of God, all God’s potencies are there.” So have you got any name like that? That means if you chant that name, you get immediately contact with God.
Ravindra-svarupa: That idea is put forth in the Psalms repeatedly. It says, “Sing the names of the Lord with high-sounding cymbals, with drums.” It says in one place that “The name of the Lord is exalted even beyond heaven.”
Trivikrama: “Hallowed by Thy name.” There’s a prayer.
Prabhupada: That… What is that name?
Ravindra-svarupa: They don’t… The Christians… It says, “Sing the name of God,” but they don’t do that.
Prabhupada: That’s all right. But if you have to chant name… Just like we prescribe, “Chant Hare Krsna,” so what is the name they recommend to chant?
Acyutananda: “Adonai” is a… It’s an apostrophe.
Prajapati: But that’s the name that was chanted. Adonai (Hebrew).
Pancadravida: No, by the Christians.
Ravindra-svarupa: What about Christians?
Visnujana: Jesus, jehovah. They say Jesus is the name.
Prabhupada: Adonai, whose name it is?
Acyutananda: In India Christians say that Jesus Christ is God.
Ravindra-svarupa: They’re trying to substitute… In the beginning of the Bible it says that “In the beginning was the word, and the word was God.” And modern-day translations, they have substituted the word “Christ” for “the word.” So it says, “In the beginning was Christ, and Christ was God.” So they’re trying to make, they’re trying in that way to make Jesus God. And that is the name, because they don’t know what is that word.
Prajapati: We can understand this…
Prabhupada: That is again another adulteration.
Prajapati: It is adulteration, but the tendency is there because Krsna is a person. Because God is a person, they, everyone, wants to worship God as a person. It’s the only way God can be worshiped. So because they do not know Krsna, they make Jesus God so they can worship him as a person.
Prabhupada: That is also good. But do they do?
Tamala Krsna: No.
Tamala Krsna: To worship means to follow the instructions, and they…
Prabhupada: Do they follow?
Tamala Krsna: …do not follow the instructions.
Prabhupada: Yes. The… Do they follow the Ten Commandments?
Tamala Krsna: No.
Trivikrama: They say, “You cannot. It is not possible. Only you have to accept Christ. Then you will be saved.”
Acyutananda: As Lord Zetland.
Acyutananda: Lord Zetland said, “It is not possible…”
Trivikrama: It is not possible.
Acyutananda: …to give up meat and illicit…”
Prabhupada: Then? Where is Christian?
Tamala Krsna: We are. We are the Christians.
Pancadravida: Well, they say then, “You can’t do any of these things, so you have to accept Christ in your heart.”
Acyutananda: That was my challenge, that “We are doing them better than all of you, so you… That’s…”
Prabhupada: No, if you keep God or Christ within your heart, then your heart will be purified. That means you are cheating.
Pancadravida: Yeah, that’s what it boils down to.
Prabhupada: You are all cheaters, not Christians, but cheaters. You do not keep in the heart Christ’s name or God’s name, but you keep your own ideas. Therefore you think it is impossible. Otherwise, your heart would have been cleansed. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12].
srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah hrdy antah stho hy abhadrani vidhunoti (suhrt satam) [Bhag. 1.2.17]
Anyone who is keeping Krsna within his heart, he becomes cleansed of all dirty things. And because the dirty things are there, that means he is not keeping.
Acyutananda: You know the Cardinal that you spoke with in Paris?
Acyutananda: You know how he died?
Brahmananda: It has happenned again.
Brahmananda: Just when I was in Germany, a big Bishop in France, he was also found in a similar… He had died in a similar circumstance.
Pancadravida: Worse state.
Brahmananda: Worse, yes.
Prabhupada: Yes, these things are… And in Vrndavana, one big Gosvami, he died at the house of her (his) one woman disciple, lying there, sleeping with her. There are so many.
Pancadravida: That’s how this Bishop died also. He died unclothed.
Prabhupada: Just see.
Trivikrama: And he was saying that animals have no soul.
Prabhupada: You were present that time?
Trivikrama: I heard the tape. So now he is an animal. He knows.
Prabhupada: (Chuckles) So I am just interested, but people will, many people will come and many theories. So you discuss among yourself how to get the strength to defend yourself and to convince them.
Acyutananda: But unless their theology is practical, if it is not practical, then it is useless to study theology, if it has no practical application.
Prajapati: They make that point. “Therefore,” they say, “such talk about God is impractical. So therefore we don’t bother talking about God.”
Prabhupada: “Then why you put theology?” That is our point. “Then why you have put this theology?” “There’s no use talking of God”— that is another thing. But when you make “logy,” you must come to logic. “Logy” means discussion. Is it not? “Logy” means science?
Prabhupada: What is the meaning of “logy”?
Prabhupada: Hmmm? Find out this dictionary meaning.
Prajapati: Logic is the rational ordering of thoughts in words.
Pancadravida: When I was in San Francisco six or seven years ago, some new school of theology, theologians, they were having things, like they were opening up churches to the hippies to have parties for LSD and things like that. I remember a couple at the Glide Memorial Church. They had that. And a number of the other new theologians, they were starting to talk about “free sex,” and drugs, and…
Acyutananda: They put on stunts to attract people to accept Christianity.
Trivikrama: Like Bingo.
Ravindra-svarupa: And they have opened special churches for homosexuals in Australia.
Ravindra-svarupa: Special churches for homosexuals in Australia.
Devotee: Oh, all over.
Tamala Krsna: All over.
Pancadravida: So see: Churches for illicit sex, churches for intoxication, churches for gambling, and churches for meat-eating.
Acyutananda: Every (?) Sunday they all have.
Trivikrama: Once I was driving a taxi, and a woman got in the cab, and she said, “I hope my goddamn luck is better tonight.” She was going to a church. (laughter) She was going to a church to play bingo, and she was speaking like that.
Srutakirti: There’s the word “logos,” “logo.” “Logos” is here. It means “word, or second person of a trinity.”
Prabhupada: No, no. “Logy.”
Srutakirti: “Logy” is not here.
Srutakirti: Logic is here. “Scheme of or trustees (?) on, science of reasoning…”
Prabhupada: That… That…
Srutakirti: “…chain of reasoning, arguments, logical…”
Srutakirti: “…of logic, in conformity with principles of logic.”
Tamala Krsna: Science of reasoning.
Prajapati: In words.
Prabhupada: So “logy” means logic.
Acyutananda: If you say what you are…, your own theory, cannot be done, that’s illogical.
Acyutananda: If you propose a theory and say, “It can exist,” then that’s an illogical presentation. A rabbit’s horn. [break] It can’t exist. Sky-flower. Doesn’t…
Prajapati: Each of these big theologians has a specific area of specialization. For example, I took a course, when I was a student in the School of Theology, in the New Testament, hoping to learn scriptures, but instead, the entire semester was spent trying to decide which of the books of the Bible came first—the Book of Matthew or the Book of Mark? And they had very detailed ways of what they called “form criticism,” taking a particular passage and checking it, seeing…
Acyutananda: Right. What is their method?
Pancadravida: Why did you say you joined? What was it? I mean what was it you were trying to study? You said…
Prajapati: I went three years to a school of theology.
Pancadravida: But that particular course?
Prajapati: This was a course in the New Testament.
Pancadravida: So why, why did you say you took it?
Prajapati: To study the sastra, to study the scriptures. What was being said. Instead…
Acyutananda: No, what was their method for examining their material, research?
Prajapati: The material research is taking, finding certain forms, certain sentence construction, grammar, and comparing it with other passages in the scriptures as opposed to that grammar, to see if the form is the same, to see, to determine by different criteria which came first, which is earlier.
Acyutananda: So after…
Prabhupada: No, their…
Acyutananda: Since St. Paul did they find out…
Prabhupada: That is academic. That is not theology.
Acyutananda: I think that, Prabhupada, the theologians invented these questions like “Can God make a yardstick with no end on it? How many angels can fit on the head of a pin? Can God make a mountain that He can’t pick up? Can God commit suicide?” All these questions, they…
Prajapati: Not so much…
Acyutananda: …talk about.
Prajapati: This is what’s called philosophy of religion. This is different than theology. Philosophy of religion, they’re all atheists, all taking pokes at the other people’s idea of God.
Acyutananda: People like (indistinct)
Prajapati: A great, a conference of philosophers of religion met in London about ten years ago on the topic “Talk of God.” Each man presented a paper, his idea of talk of God. No one had any inkling of God. Simply they were speculating on why people talk of God.
Pancadravida: Then what is the use of all this? I’d rather just sit home and read Caitanya-caritamrta (laughter) than get into this.
Prajapati: The use, the reason for it, is because these people, though they are great rascals, are influencing millions of other people. They’re influencing them to hell rather than those same people hearing from Srila Prabhupada or hearing from you gentlemen can be elevated to the point of Krsna consciousness.
Acyutananda: There’s a single serious way. You can say, “Look, you’ve been sitting here since St. Paul, and you haven’t arrived at anything except discussion, and you’re bluffing the whole public that you’re doing some advanced research and taking salaries and…”
Ravindra-svarupa: But, but we have to convince them.
Pancadravida: But how can you convince them…?
Acyutananda: We’ll convince them that they haven’t come to any conclusion.
Pancadravida: Yeah, how can you convince them if they can’t even, they cannot define who is God, they cannot define what is the soul, they cannot define what is the principles of religion?
Acyutananda: And their leader is breaking all of them.
Pancadravida: They cannot… They can’t… They don’t even have any disciplic succession. Their sastra is… They can’t agree among them what is the concise sastra, nor can they agree on what is the importance of accepting sastra in the first place. They’re doing all sinful activities. So then… Then what is there to convince?
Ravindra-svarupa: So why not start an authoritative group of Christians who chant Hare Krsna, who study the Bible and read the Bhagavad-gita?
Acyutananda: We are.
Prabhupada: We are all Christians.
Acyutananda: Here we are.
Pancadravida: We already are Christians.
Ravindra-svarupa: But they are seeing us… They don’t accept that, though. If somebody was calling themselves Christians…
Prabhupada: That… It is not possible that everyone will accept you. That is not possible.
Pancadravida: They… The Christians on the street, they don’t accept because they say, “You have not accepted Christ.” I say, “I am following all Christ’s teachings.” They say, “Well, you haven’t been baptized. If you’re following all the principles, why not be baptized?”
Ravindra-svarupa: I was baptized.
Prajapati: But this is a… This group of Christians you meet on the street that are fundamentalists following the Bible are very different group from the big Harvard scholars. The theologians that we’re concerned with are those that are actually influencing millions of people by their rascaldom.
Acyutananda: Do they come up with any big decisions every year and change people’s…?
Pancadravida: I never met anyone who was influenced by any of these theologians. I never even heard of ’em. I never even heard of them till you just started discussing today. (laughter) I don’t know anybody in the Western world who’s influenced by any theologians.
Acyutananda: No, maybe they set the policies for churches. Maybe they influence them.
Prajapati: Yes, right.
Ravindra-svarupa: They do.
Prajapati: The main people who listen to the theologians are the pulpit preachers, the shepherds of individual flocks of Christians around the world. They are the ones who are most influenced by the theologians.
Acyutananda: They stay in…
Ravindra-svarupa: Government leaders all over the world are influenced by these… And they run their… They base their policies on the ethics of the Christian Church.
Acyutananda: What I say is that…
Ravindra-svarupa: And if you try to present something different, then they’re opposed to that based on their conditioning, based on the influence…
Pancadravida: But is the Christian Church, is that being determined by the theologians at Harvard? They, they have some say in this?
Ravindra-svarupa: Yes. They set the… They write the books, though. They interpret the Bible. They are the so-called gurus because they interpret the scripture whatever way they want to.
Trivikrama: So you know some of these people?
Prajapati: Yes, we’ve had some contact. We arranged a very nice meeting with Kirtanananda Maharaja with one of the foremost theologians at Harvard. His name is Harvey Cox. Perhaps you’re familiar with his book The Secular City. And we came and brought devotees into the class and chanted. The people thought it was…
Acyutananda: So what was his suggestions?
Pancadravida: Now, what was his reaction, first of all? What was his reaction to Krsna consciousness? What did he say?
Prajapati: They don’t take us seriously. They still look upon us as just singing and dancing in the street, and that’s it.
Pancadravida: Well, that’s…
Acyutananda: They have to realize that…
Pancadravida: That’s also there in the Hindu community. Most of the Hindus they don’t take us seriously either.
Trivikrama: Even when they see all these books?
Acyutananda: No, when they see that we’ve given up our drugs and our everything, we’ve taken a religious life, they invited us. I think they just see that we have something to beat them, and they usher us out, knowing that their position is in jeopardy.
Prajapati: The reason we’re here right this afternoon is the fact that though these men are preaching this rascaldom, our preaching can undermine it, at least to the point where they can be influenced and that the people that they are, are being influenced by them will take some notice, “Yes, this is a viable alternative” to the rascaldom that they’re being presented, this…
Pancadravida: I had the feeling that it is just like when I was approaching people in Calcutta. They said, “We’ll help you, but we cannot help you in a big way because we’re already giving so much help to the Ramakrishna Society.” So then after hearing this a few times, I concluded that people respected the Ramakrishna Society because they have a lot of money and a lot of popular support and everybody was giving to them, so they just, just like everybody else, they wanted to be part of the whole show. So the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, we have books, we have teaching, and we can present the principles very purely. But in terms of a world movement, we don’t have a lot of money or a lot of power or a lot of tanks or a lot of guns or a lot of churches or a lot of popular support.
Acyutananda: What is the idea…?
Pancadravida: So maybe the theologians won’t accept us on that basis, that we’re not powerful.
Acyutananda: Who is the ideal Christian according to the theologists? What do they say is the best, let’s say, flock of Christians? What do they do?
Pancadravida: Who’s the biggest?
Acyutananda: Bishop Sheen?
Prajapati: There is no, I would say, among theologians, no consensus.
Acyutananda: So when are they satisfied that you are a real Christian or not?
Pancadravida: When do you become a theologian? Who is the biggest theologians? How are they accepted? On the basis of degree?
Prajapati: Yes, scholarship, books published.
Acyutananda: Well, then it could probably be possible to be a theologian without even really believing in Christianity.
Prajapati: Oh, definitely. Most of them don’t.
Pancadravida: Then Prabhupada’s the biggest theologian because we have twenty-two books right here on the shelf. And we have the credentials. And they cannot dismiss the books either because we have the credentials that they are being used in major universities in, all over the world. So if universities are accepting, and they get their power from the degrees obtained from the universities, they cannot dismiss any longer. Isn’t it?
Acyutananda: We have broken the disciplic succession now. We become by degree, by qualification.
Prajapati: In all their scholarly journals—and they publish quite a few—very few, little is written about God. The subject matter of God is…
Pancadravida: They talk of man’s relation, the benefit of man…
Prajapati: The Church, different aspect of scholarship, different aspects in biblical research.
Acyutananda: No, say some things specific.
Pancadravida: Yeah, I can’t understand all that.
Trivikrama: I know what you mean. I read some of their…
Prajapati: I have tried to attack them by just taking a specific article, and I am lost immediately myself. It’s all mish-mosh. There’s nothing there to fight. It’s like a… But the use is that we must…
Acyutananda: There must be something to attract them. So they’re giving arguments for Christians who are, you know… intellectual.
Pancadravida: The thing is… The thing that makes it hard to understand what the use is—because we say, then, in all these… We try to define and they can’t be defined. And then you say that they don’t take us seriously. They don’t accept what we’re saying. They don’t accept these teachings. They would dismiss us in a minute. What is the use?
Acyutananda: They must say something concrete.
Prajapati: Well, the most concrete they get is their dissatisfaction with the present status quo. So in that we’re in agreement with them. “Yes, we’re dissatisfied with the status quo also, but we are offering alternatives that are…”
Acyutananda: They’re dissatisfied with the people who are sinful.
Paramahamsa: Where is their method for changing the status quo?
Acyutananda: They’re not dissatisfied…
Prabhupada: Method is there, the Ten Commandments, but they won’t follow.
Prajapati: Well, instead of being dissatisfied with the fact that people are sinful…
Prabhupada: Method is already there in the Bible.
Prajapati: They’re dissatisfied with the fact that the…
Prabhupada: But they don’t follow it.
Prajapati: …that the air is polluted, that people are…
Pancadravida: So the hippies are dissatisfied that the air is polluted also. So what?
Pancadravida: Yes, who cares for the hippies?
Prajapati: That, exactly, is the point. They’re looking to Freud, they’re looking to Marx, they’re looking to everyone as an authority.
Ravindra-svarupa: I’ll give you an example, In Zambia, the president, his name is Dr. Kenneth Kaunda. [break] He’s exactly one of these persons. I met with him a couple weeks ago. He’s John, John… What’s his name? John Patrick? Srila Prabhupada, you met him in London. And he’s one of these philosophers. And his argument against our work and our preaching was that we shouldn’t fly on jet planes because it pollutes the air. That was his argument
Acyutananda: How did he get to Africa from London?
Ravindra-svarupa: He said he walked. (Laughter)
Acyutananda: And you killed so many insects under your feet.
Ravindra-svarupa: No, he goes on jets. But that’s his argument to defeat our philosophy. This is how they argue. What he’s saying is true. They actually argue like this, that we are, we are, our philosophy is not correct because we fly on jet planes. They have a completely materialistic… Yes.
Pancadravida: Well, then how’s he travel?
Ravindra-svarupa: Well, for him, it’s all right. He doesn’t care. But for someone who’s preaching a nonmaterialistic philosophy. So this is… These are the kind of people that are influencing people like Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, who’s the president of a country, of Zambia, that has something like twelve million people.
Acyutananda: Well, we say, “What is the difference between matter and spirit?”
Ravindra-svarupa: Yes, we argued all these points with him, but still, his ultimate…
Acyutananda: So actually all these people are just word-jugglers who want to keep their position with the government.
Prajapati: They have government.
Ravindra-svarupa: Yes, and that’s what they do.
Prajapati: They have grants. They write books.
Acyutananda: Just to keep their, their…
Prajapati: But the books are being read.
Pancadravida: There’s a saying that.
Acyutananda: Cinmayananda Swami. He’s a professional swami, and he confuses all the people very talentedly so that they all clap. If you ask them after… Prabhupada has asked them, “What did he say?” “He said very nicely.” But they can’t say anything.
Ravindra-svarupa: So… These men are influencing. One of the things we did. We invited him to the temple, and we gave him a big plate of nice prasadam, and he liked it very much. He said, “If my wife could learn to cook like this, I’d give up meat.” So we thought that was very significant.
Pancadravida: Send his wife over to the temple. We’ll train her up.
Ravindra-svarupa: So why don’t you write a book? Why don’t you become a theologian from their point of view and write a book about Christianity? If they, if they can do it, if they can do it, write books and get people to read them, then why can’t you do the same thing, write books on Christianity?
Acyutananda: Did you pass the course in…?
Devotee (2): If you want to get into their world.
Tamala Krsna: Rupanuga… Rupanuga is already getting one book together, so you can write a chapter in it. There’s a book, and he’s going to comment… It’s a scientific book on different aspects and he’s commenting on, I think, social, various social applications. So you can comment on the theosophical points. I mean it can be included in this book. Actually if you have the qualifications, I’m sure he would want a chapter from you. Prabhupada, you know that book Rupanuga’s putting together?
Tamala Krsna: That’d be appreciated cause it’s going to reach many intelligent people.
Acyutananda: More than the theologians people listen to psychiatrists.
Prajapati: Yes, the theologians listen to the psychiatrists.
Acyutananda: They have another mish-mosh to delude the people into paying the money. They’re simply tricksters. Tricksters.
Prajapati: Many of the theologians today are influenced by a book called I’m OK, You’re OK, which…
Acyutananda: We’re O.K.
Srutakirti: (To Prabhupada) You want to keep this here?
Prajapati: …Dr. Harris. And this book’s central tenet is that we can be happy in life simply by patting each other on the back and approving of what each other does.
Acyutananda: No one’s saying stabbing… (?)
Trivikrama: Actually material nature’s kicking them on the head and shoulders every minute. And they’re thinking everything is OK. That is maya.
Pancadravida: One of the principles, I’m told, of psychology’s is whether a person can pass semmina or not. If he can pass semina, then he’s considered normal, and if he can’t, he’s subnormal. This is the standard.
Acyutananda: So he has said to…
Prabhupada: Now our next point is that we say that God, the person, is identical with His name. Now, if, by meeting God, by seeing God, you become purified, then by chanting His name also, you’ll become purified, because we say God and His name, identical. But if, by meeting God, you become immediately purified of material contamination, similarly, by chanting God’s name you immediately become purified. So what is that name of God that acts immediately, exactly like God? So far Krsna name is concerned, it is practically that so many thousands of men, they are chanting “Krsna,” and they are becoming purified. So find out any other name which can act equally. Then that is accepted as God’s name, not by imagination.
Pancadravida: How do you find out, Prabhupada?
Pancadravida: How…? If a person says, “How do you find out? How we can find out other names?”
Prabhupada: Here we are chanting Hare Krsna and we are becoming purified. That is the name.
Pancadravida: Dhruva chanted Om…
Prabhupada: Krsneti na…, varna-dvayam. Krsneti. Krs-na, varna, alphabets two. Jiva Gosvami said, krsneti varna-dvayam. This is the name. Rama. Rameti varna-dvayam. You chant Rama, Rama, you chant Krsna, and it is… It will act. And there is proof. So find out any other name. If he acts… If it acts like that, then it is God’s name. Phalena pariciyate: “By the action, we have to understand the substance.” Just like quinine is understood to subsidize, subside fever. Then if you take something as quinine and if your fever is gone, then it is quinine. Similarly, God-name, it acting as God, purifying… So Krsna is purifying. Therefore it’s God’s name. Yes?
Devotee (3): It’s almost time for lunch, Prabhupada.
Devotee (3): Shall we go?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Hare Krsna. [break] It will take some time. But our line of action…
Devotee (2): Generally these type of people are… They’re so mentally puffed-up that a process like chanting doesn’t appeal to them. They want something for their minds to speculate on.
Prabhupada: Why not process? Eh? Eh?
Devotee (2): The books are what actually attracts them. It attracts their minds.
Prabhupada: Yes. We have got two process. One process is chanting. Another process: read books. That is also chanting.
Ravindra-svarupa: One argument that the Christians have… When we tell them that we accept Lord Jesus, so they say that “You haven’t accepted Jesus into your heart.” We say, “We’re following the teachings of Jesus.” And they say, “But you haven’t accepted Jesus into your heart,” that “You’re not a follower of Jesus. And that’s the lacking qualification.”
Prabhupada: It is very difficult to convince them. [break] We may not keep the Christ in heart, but even you do not keep Christ by your dealings. You are simply disobeying the orders. Then how you can be a Christian?
Ravindra-svarupa: Jesus says that in Matthew. He says that “Many will come to me and say, ‘Lord, Lord,’ that ‘We cured the sick in your name, and we cast out demons in your name,’ ” and Jesus said that “When they come I will say, ‘Get away from me. I know you not, for you failed to do the will of my Father.’ ” Even though they’re claiming to be Christians.
Prajapati: Many times, Srila Prabhupada, I’ve heard you say, when speaking to people, that “You don’t have to give up your faith. You can remain a Christian or you can remain a Mohammedan. Simply chant the Hare Krsna mantra, and you’ll become purified.” So the main point…
Prabhupada: No, we say not only Hare Krsna. “You chant the name of God. But if you have no name of God, then here is the name of God.”
Ravindra-svarupa: Yeah. So that if we can get Christians to chant Hare Krsna, then…
Prabhupada: That is all right. Anyone who chants Hare Krsna, he becomes purified. It doesn’t matter what he is.
Ravindra-svarupa: Many of them are afraid to accept our movement or our philosophy because they feel that their personal religion is threatened, that they’ll have to stop being a Christian. So when I earlier mentioned that to start some Christian group, the idea was to have some people who are professing to be Christians, but they are taking the word of Jesus to the deepest point where he says that “There are many things I have not revealed to you, and you will understand them by the grace of the Holy Spirit.” So they could have a Christian group where people worshiped Lord Jesus as their spiritual master and simultaneously worshiped Krsna. And they could introduce that to develop more knowledge of God one can read the Bhagavad-gita, one can follow the instruction in the Bible by chanting the names of God, and they would have better access to Christians than those of us who are wearing robes or shaving our heads.
Prajapati: Better the same people to understand that Srila Prabhupada meets all the qualifications that Jesus Christ met, plus more in he is here, and he is the Christ. Christ is the anointed one of God.
Ravindra-svarupa: Yes. So we have to bring them to that understanding, but we have to understand also that they’re afraid, that their own faith will be shaken. So if you can give them more knowledge, then they can come to understand that. So if they… You have said that we accept Jesus as our guru. So if someone was practically worshiping, so then they could see. They could not deny. When a devotee says to them, “Yes, I’m accepting Jesus in my heart,” They could not deny. If they are, for instance in a person, householder’s home—he’s worshiping Krsna, and he’s having a picture of you and a picture of Jesus—then there’s no way they can deny that they are not Christians. And they could have access to a lot of the young Christian groups. [break]
Prajapati: This life… [break] (end)