December 12, 1971, Delhi
Prabhupada: Hear and narrate. So, whatever you have heard, you can speak. [break] So, in your country also they do not like this organized Christian religion (indistinct). The difficulty is that either Hindu religion or Christian religion, religion is one. So what is that one religion nobody knows perfectly, and it was not presented because they did not know what is religion. They are simply sticking to a particular kind of faith. Faith can be changed, faith can be given up but real religion, that cannot be given up. It may be perverted. Real religion is to render service to the Supreme Lord. That cannot be changed. We are serving, if not to the Lord, we are serving maya. But my, that characteristic to serve is continued. So religion is presented simply on formulas and stereo-typed ideas, but actual religion is this surrender. Yato bhaktir adhoksaje. Bhakti means serving. Bhaja sevaya. Sevaya means serving. So, religion means to serve the Supreme Lord, that is religion. Anything which has no such idea, that is not religion. Then again (you) have different types of religion, how far they are making progress with, on that ultimate goal, serving Krsna. The more we advance, the more you become perfect, our real religious life becomes manifested, that is Krsna consciousness. We say this is real religion. So what others have to say on this point? We say this is real religion. Bhagavata says dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra [SB 1.1.2], "All cheating type of religion is thrown away." The cheating type of religion means which does not teach people how to serve the Lord, that is cheating. They take advantage of the religious feeling. They say, "I am God" or "I am everything, you serve me, you give your money unto me, I shall give you some material benefit, atonement. You have made your confess, you are sinful, give me some money and you are excused." In this way religion is being perverted. Therefore, people (who) are educated, (they) say "What is this, religion?" They are becoming disgusted. But real religion is this Krsna consciousness-surrender to Krsna and you will become happy. So if we say that this is the real religion, is there anything wrong there? What possible protest they can offer when I say that this is the religion?
Syamasundara: Sometimes the Christians they say that, "According to our scriptures that Christ is the only way. And unless one is worshiping God through Christ, that is heathenism."
Prabhupada: So what Christ teaches? Let us see what Christ teaches, then we can understand whether only through Christ we can... What is his teaching?
Devotee (1) (lady): His first teaching is that, "Love the Lord thy God with all they heart, with all thy might, with all thy (indistinct)."
Prabhupada: That's nice.
Nara-Narayana: He is also saying that, "I have no will but to do the will of my father who has sent me, and that everything I am saying are not my words but are the words of Him (indistinct).
Prabhupada: Complete surrender.
Prabhupada: That's nice. But they do not follow and still they say they are Christians. They do not follow. Christ is all right. According to the time, according to the country, according to the atmosphere, he's all right, but the followers, they reject.
Devotee (1): The followers try to make everyone fear God. Their whole aim is to make everyone so much afraid. They always try to instill fear in everyone they speak to. "You are going to hell."
Tamala Krsna: That is the principle of eternal hell that is used to make people surrender, fear of eternal hell.
Devotee (1): Fear of God.
Prabhupada: According to time... Desa-kala-patra. That kind of forceful, does not act very nicely. One should know the science, but the class of men to whom Jesus Christ said, they are not very much advanced. Under the circumstances, the fearfulness of hell is quite appropriate for them. Actually, one who does not go back to home, back to Godhead, he is put into the hellish condition of life. That is fearfulness, but we are so blunt that we do not take care. It is fearful. Just like Prahlada Maharaja said that "Nrsimhadeva, I am not afraid of your this fierce feature of Narasimha, but I am very much afraid of this materialistic way of life." Samsara. Samsara means this material world. So, it is actually very fearful. The whole atmosphere is fearful. Padam padam yad vipadam [SB 10.14.58]. To make adjustment, you have to accept something fearful. Just like this fight, "In future there may be some adjustment so that people may live peacefully. Therefore, we have to fight." This is also, the method is itself fearful. To gain a position where there will be no fear, we have to accept a fearful method. So, in the material world whatever we think, they are not very happy proposition, that's everything is fear. Karma-kandiya, they have to undergo so many hardship, then they get something profit. People are working so hard to get some profit. In the material world everything is fearful, hard-working. So, in the Bible it is said that hell or...?
Devotee: Hell or...?
Prabhupada: Hm? What is it? Hell, you were speaking something of hell?
Devotee: Eternal hell.
Devotee: Eternal hell.
Prabhupada: Eternal hell. Huh? What is that?
Devotee: Everlasting hell.
Tamala Krsna: It means that, so far as I remember, Prabhupada, in the Bible it says that at the time of judgement...
Tamala Krsna: Yes, all of the souls then rise for judgement and accordingly they either go to heaven or to hell.
Nara-Narayana: Or into an intermediate stage where they can gradually go up to heaven. Limbo, I think.
Devotee (2) (lady): The ultimate desire of a Christian is to be with Jesus, is to go to be with him. That is their ultimate desire. Not necessarily to be with the Father, but to be with Jesus.
Devotee (3): What do they do with him?
Devotee (2): By leading the Christian life.
Devotee (3): I mean when they go to him, what do they do?
Devotee (2): (indistinct)
Devotee (3): See the idea is that you could not remember perfectly 'cause the taste is gone, the lila is death mostly. But it isn't death, the basics are there, but they're teaching death. And so any intelligent person says, "I want to go to Jesus, but then what do I do? If it is everlasting hell, then heaven must be also everlasting, but what do we do?" And if it's void, then it will not keep the people interested, therefore people are leaving religion.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is very good reason. There is no hope, better go to hell. (laughter) At least there is something. Never mind. Yes, hopelessness is not good.
Nara-Narayana: Actually, that is their philosophy, Srila Prabhupada. I've heard people say exactly that, "All the things I want to do are for the people that are going to hell, therefore I want to go to hell. Why should I go anywhere else?" (indistinct) drinking, smoking, etc... And so they will.
Prabhupada: There was a story that the priest was describing about the hell, so they did not respond. But when he said, "There is no newspaper," then, "Oh, it is horrible." (laughter) Other conditions—that it is dark, it is very moist, and so many things described. But they were miners, they know that these things are happening daily, so what is the wrong in the hell? Then he stressed, "There is no newspaper." Then they will, "Oh, it is horrible." (laughter) So, according to one's taste the hellish conditions should described.
Devotee (3): And according to one's taste the heavenly conditions can be described also because Krsna is all-attractive.
Tamala Krsna: It seems that just like a mother when she is training her young child, because the child is very young and not yet very advanced in intelligence, sometimes the mother uses the method of fear to train her child. So similarly, according to the consciousness of the people the doctrine of love of God has to sometimes be preached with a little element of fear so that they'll accept it.
Prabhupada: That creation of fearfulness may be sometimes not fact but fearfulness is there according to our actions. That everyone has got experience. Just like if you steal, then you go to jail. It is a fact. It is not a creation of fearfulness. It is a fact. If you contaminate some disease, then the typhoid or any other disease, you contaminate. So there is suffering and that is really fearfulness, that is not a false creation. So sometimes there are false creation, but actually for our misdeeds we have to suffer, that's a fact.
Devotee (4): I think if there is so much fear being preached in Christianity originally the Old Testament was the testament of the vengeful God and the New Testament was supposed to be the love of Christ. So if there is so much fear being preached it seems to be a reflection of individual consciousness more than the religion. They are preaching so much fear, it would seem to stem from their own activities, that maybe they do have this fear rather than the true reflection of the religion that Christ was teaching. He was supposedly (indistinct) to take up the sins of his disciples and to help them lead the nice life and lead them back. He said, he referred to them as his flock. So he was taking the role of a protector and yet the Christians you speak to, they talk about hanging you over hell by a thin thread that can be burnt away at any second. (laughter)
Prabhupada: What is that?
Devotee: He said the Christians... [break]
Prabhupada: But generally the Christians they are very much confident that all of our sinful actions they have been absorbed by Lord Jesus Christ so we can do anything.
Prabhupada: Therefore they say the Christian religion is very good. Very good means that Lord Jesus Christ has taken contract for absorbing all their sins and they go on committing. Is that not idea in the Christian religion?
Devotee (1): They say all our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus.
Tamala Krsna: I know, Prabhupada, that in Seattle you had me lecture on a newspaper clipping that in New Jersey they had opened up one home for alcoholic priests. (laughter)
Prabhupada: Five thousand, five thousand priests, they are suffering from alcoholism. (indistinct)
Prabhupada: Ganja, yes. Not sadhus, rogues. Sadhu's description is there—bhajate mam ananya-bhak. Fully surrendered to Krsna, he is sadhu. Sadhur eva sa mantavyah [Bg. 9.30]. He is sadhu. Api cet suduracaro. Even one is found that his habits are not to the standard, but if he has unflinching faith in Krsna and engaged in His service, then he is sadhu. These sadhus with long hairs and ganja smoking, they have no idea what is the ultimate goal. And those who come from Western countries, naturally they find out these are the sadhus and they imitate. Hippies, they do like that, imitation. They do not know what is the philosophy, what is religion, what is sadhu.
Nara-Narayana: The American hippies actually are following these sadhus. Certain persons, like Allen Ginsberg, have brought back impression that this is what the sadhus...
Prabhupada: But they do not know that they are not sadhus, they are rogues.
Devotee (3): We are also opening up homes for habituated japa-mala users, who are also intoxicated, but in a spiritual way.
Prabhupada: Huh? [break] That is required. (laughter)
Devotee (5): Srila Prabhupada?
Devotee (5): The spiritual master, his duty is to take all of his disciples back to home, back to Godhead, and I've heard it said that he doesn't leave until he has taken all his disciples back. What is the position of Lord Jesus when so many people are following but not doing, not in a position to go back to home, back to Godhead? Is he responsible for all of these people, who are attempting to serve him?
Prabhupada: That is nice question. What is that? Repeat it again.
Devotee (5): Because the guru is responsible for taking all of his disciples back to home, back to Godhead, I was wondering what was the position of Lord Jesus Christ because so many people for so many years have been attempting to follow his teachings, many of them sincere but not getting proper instructions. I was wondering if he is responsible for all of these people who are attempting to serve him.
Prabhupada: But one thing is we sing daily, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado **. You have to please your spiritual master. But yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto 'pi, if you displease your spiritual master then you are nowhere. How do you adjust these things? It does not mean that because you have made somebody spiritual master, you displease him, at the same time he takes responsibility. Is it very nice?
Devotee (5): Many times...
Prabhupada: If you please him, then he is responsible. Yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto 'pi. If you displease him then you are nowhere. So, if you take it in this way, that my spiritual master has taken responsibility so whatever nonsense I do, it doesn't matter. The Christians are thinking like that. Jesus Christ has taken contract for all our sinful activities, so we can do anything, whatever we like. But that is not the fact. If one takes responsibility for you, you must abide by his order. Otherwise how is that, that he simply takes responsibility and you don't abide by his order? It is reciprocal. But the Christians are thinking, "Because we have taken to Christian religion, now we are safe. We can do anything we like and Lord Jesus Christ will compensate. He'll be every time crucified and we can go on doing all nonsense." Is it not? Then? That's not a very good idea. This is, as Visvanatha Cakravarti said, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado **. If you please your spiritual master, then God will be pleased. If you don't please him, then you are nowhere. So first of all you please Jesus Christ, that is reasonable, then he takes the responsibility. If you disobey Jesus Christ in every step, what is his responsibility? That is a misconception.
Devotee (5): There are some Christians who are actually sincere and they feel as though they are doing the proper thing, but they are just misled by the fact that there is no parampara system coming from Lord Jesus. The churches are teaching the wrong thing, but they are sincere. (indistinct) Krsna will direct them (indistinct) the proper authority?
Prabhupada: Yes. If they are actually following strictly the principles of Jesus Christ, then sometimes when he meets some pure devotee, he will accept. The groundwork will be nice for accepting farther advancement. Just like Jesus Christ says, "Thou shall not kill." So if anyone follows this principle, "No, I shall not kill," then he becomes purified. But who is that Christian who is not killing? So where is follow? Amongst the Christians the more killing process is going on very strongly. So who is a Christian? In that, if you disobey the first principle of Christianity, then where is your Christianity? Why you falsely claim that you are a Christian? "Thou shalt not covet." What is that next?
Devotee: "Thou shalt not kill."
Devotee: Honor thy mother and father?
Devotee: There is one about no adulteration.
Prabhupada: Yes. So adulteration is going on, killing is going on. So many disobedience to Christian principles. So where is the possibility of becoming a Christian?
Devotee: "Honor thy mother and father" is not being respected.
Prabhupada: Not... So many things. So, if you do not follow the principles of Christianity, simply by stamping yourself as Christian, will that do? So why Jesus Christ will be responsible for you? Simply by stamping yourself that "I am Christian." Is that very reasonable proposal?
Nara-Narayana: Lord Jesus himself never claimed that he would be responsible. As a matter of fact, he would heal certain persons who by their karma were blind, or lame deaf, or some disease, even dead, he would bring them back to life, so many things. And then when he healed them, he invariably said after, he said, "Now go thou and sin no more lest the worst thing befall you." And he has been saved by Jesus personally, yet Jesus is saying, "lest the worst thing befall you." How can the worst thing befall you if everything he does then is all right? So that means Jesus does not take that responsibility.
Prabhupada: Yes. Why he should be responsible? If you are not a Christian, why he should be responsible? Now, here he says that "Now you have sinned, full reaction I have washed, don't do it again."
Prabhupada: But they are going to church, confessing every week, and doing the same thing. Who is a Christian, first of all find out, then Jesus Christ will take responsibility.
Devotee: They are gambling and eating flesh right in the churches, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: That's all right, I mean to say, if you don't follow the Christian principles, how you can claim yourself to become a Christian and how you can ask Jesus Christ to take responsibility for you? These are misleading, therefore people are coming disgusted. Otherwise Christian religion is all right. It teaches love of Godhead, teaches to become moral, it teaches to love people, that's nice. These are good principles.
Visala: So, Srila Prabhupada, in the Bible it says, "Thou shalt not kill", and the Christians say, "Yes, thou shalt not kill but you can kill animals." (indistinct)
Prabhupada: That is rascaldom. Where it is written that thou shalt not kill animals? "Thou shalt not kill." "Thou shalt not kill," means you shall not kill anything. [break]
Devotee: ...because Jesus ate fish. (laughter)
Devotee (6): He said, "The fish can say, 'Its not what goes in your mouth, its what comes out of your mouth that's important.' "
Devotee: Because Jesus ate fish.
Prabhupada: Jesus said?
Devotee (6): He said that the... [break]
Prabhupada: (indistinct) allowed.
Devotee (6): But if there's no vegetables you have to eat something.
Syamasundara: I read an article once that said...
Prabhupada: No, no, the thing is that one has to eat. And whatever you eat that is coming out of some living entity, even if you eat vegetables. The vegetable has also life, the tree, the plant. So, the real explanation is that you take which is offered to Krsna. That is nice philosophy. Killing you have to do, either you kill vegetable or animal, killing you have to do. Therefore our proposition is that you take the prasadam of Krsna, so if killing is bad then the responsibility goes to Krsna. We take Krsna's prasadam. This is the method. And Bhagavad-gita says, yajna-sistasinah mucyante sarva kilbisaih. Suppose you don't kill animal, but you kill vegetables, but still you are responsible. Bhunjate te tv agham papa ye pacanty atma-karanat [Bg. 3.13]. Anyone who is preparing food for his personal eating, he's eating all sinful activities. It may be vegetables or animals, it doesn't matter. Bhunjate te tv agham papa. So this is the best formula. But therefore, for crude people, those who are accustomed to killing, for them this is best advice, "Thou shalt not kill". Next stage-prasadam. First of all let them stop. Generally, what is meant by killing... Actually vegetarians, they do not kill, because if you take fruit from the tree, the tree is not killed. Is it not?
Prabhupada: You take grains, just like paddy or wheat. These plants, after producing the fruit, the grain, automatically they die. You are not killing. So, those who are taking fruits, vegetable, grains, they are not actually killing. You take the milk... What is milk? Milk is transformation of the blood. So, cow's milk means cow's blood, but still the cow is not killed. Cow's blood is nutritious, accepting this theory. Karnish (?), karnish it is called? Cow's blood? What is the meaning of karnish (?)? But by nature's way she is delivering you the blood which is nutritious—according to your science—but why you should kill her? So any circumstances, the direct killing is not approved by any sastra, any religion. Jiva himsa. Caitanya Mahaprabhu also says, nisiddhacara jiva-himsa. So, jiva himsa, violence upon other animals, that is against Vaisnava principle. You cannot be violent, you cannot kill.
Devotee (2): "Thou shalt not kill" is one of the ten commandments which is much older than Jesus' teachings. Moses delivered the ten commandments to the people of Israel thousands of years before Jesus appeared. So they knew all this before Jesus.
Devotee (2): They lived by the ten commandments, or were expected to, way before Jesus appeared. The ten commandments are Moses, Moses' teachings.
Nara-Narayana: They were all very much meat-eaters, though. In the time of Moses all the laws of kashruth, how to sanitary slaughter, which is supposedly given by God, these were all for meat-eating.
Devotee: That came after the Book of Misrad. Misrad recommends vegetarian.
Devotee: And also Lord Jesus says that if there is unnecessary killing of animal that "By my hand you shall be slain.". In Genesis. He is stating, "Yes, one may kill, but if there is unnecessary killing, by my hand you shall be slain." In Genesis.
Devotee (1): Also, in Genesis is says that the fruits and herbs of the land shall be your meat. It's describing how man should live and it says that fruits and herbs of the land shall be your meat.
Prabhupada: Yes, they were meat-eaters, so Jesus Christ replies that fruit should be your meat.
Devotee: The whole key is that (indistinct) disregard everything that has been taught in the past and listen to me. He speaks so many things and he does not lay out so many basic principles about the eating of flesh, having illicit sex connections and so many things. He speaks just slightly touching the subject. He doesn't really give any basic principles. So they always say, "Well, its okay to do this, its okay to do that, because Jesus said forget everything that was said in the past. That's their basic principle.
Devotee (1): And he also said, "I've not come to change the law." He did not come to change the law.
Devotee: That's just their standpoint. (indistinct) I don't mean to argue.
Syamasundara: The knowledge that we have of Jesus was not direct, but it was written down up to a 100 or 200 years later in another language called Aramaic, and scholars recently have discovered that wherever Jesus refers to fish, distributing fish, that that word actually refers to a type of sea plant that grows in the Sea of Galilee which they make a type of bread out of. And it's not really fish but a type of vegetarian bread. This is what I read in an article. So, we don't have... (laughter)
Devotee (7) (lady): Srila Prabhupada, there was a fish on Laksmi's hand yesterday. The Deity in the temple, where Laksmi had her hand up like this, there was a fish here across her hand. What is this?
Prabhupada: That is a mark, mark.
Devotee (7): Its not a fish.
Prabhupada: Not actual fish.
Devotee (7): (indistinct)
Prabhupada: Not that Laksmiji eats fish. (laughter) There are many other marks also.
Devotee (7): So, it's an auspicious mark. Would it be better if we gave up the eating of vegetables then?
Devotee (7): Would it be better if we gave up eating vegetables?
Prabhupada: You cannot eat anything accept Krsna prasadam. Even if we eat vegetables, that is also sin. Bhagavad-gita clearly says, bhunjate te tv agham papa, ye pacanty atma-karanat [Bg. 3.13]. If you prepare very nice pure foodstuff for eating yourself, then still you are eating sins. You have to prepare anything very nicely, offer it to Krsna, then you take, then you will be free from all sin. Yajna-sistasinah santo. Even there is sin... Sin there must be. Just like you are cooking, you are taking water from the jug, there are so many germs you are killing. The killing responsibility is there. In the higher sense, "Thou shalt not kill", means you have to take the prasadam of Krsna.
Prabhupada: Otherwise, even you do ordinary killing, vegetable killing, you are killing so many germs. So in higher sense if you take this principle of Bible, "Thou shalt not kill," that means you must eat Krsna prasadam, otherwise you will be killing. And whichever you do, it will be killing. So our process is perfect, take Krsna prasadam. Hm?
Prabhupada: Yes, there is jiva also. I say that even vegetable you are killing, but that killing responsibility goes to Krsna. We are killing for Krsna. Suppose in the vegetable there is life, but we are preparing food for Krsna.
Nara-Narayana: I think she wants to know what happens to the soul. Supposing that a plant, we are killing the plant and offering in prasadam to Krsna. The jiva soul who is living in the plant, what happens to him?
Prabhupada: Because he is killed for Krsna's purpose so he gets immediately liberation.
Devotee (lady): This is a very sinful life they're living unless we offer everything to Krsna.
Prabhupada: Not anything. Krsna, whatever says (indistinct). Krsna says, patram puspam phalam toyam [Bg. 9.26]. You can offer these things which is asked by Krsna.
Devotee: Do they just get liberation or do they go directly to Krsna?
Devotee: What kind of liberation?
Prabhupada: Well, liberation not always means that he goes directly. In the lower stage liberation means to come out of the lower stage to the human form of body. Then he gets chance for directly serving Krsna, then real liberation takes place. [break] (indistinct) All right. (end)
Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/conversations/1971/nov/delhi/december/12/1971
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