CHRISTMAS SPECIAL : JESUS CHRIST – GLORIES AND SOME SIMILARITIES WITH THE PREACHING OF KRISHNA!
In Bhagavad Gita 17.3, Krishna says that according to one’s mode of Nature one evolves a particular type of faith. The wise who understand this, pursue their paths to God consciousness, in accordance with His original instructions, without any motivated interpretations.
Thus, there are many paths, faiths and religions in this world according to the modes of nature.
In this article, we are going to read about Krishna and Jesus Christ.
Let us see a few similarities in the preaching of Jesus Christ with that of Krishna, just for an interesting and blissful reading! Krishna is the Paramathma, ie, Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself;
Jesus says that he has his father, ie, higher authrority! Therefore, we can understand that Jesus has followed the footsteps of his father to much extent.
This shows that Jesus Christ is the son of God.
The preaching of Jesus Christ has some similarities with those preaching given by Krishna 5000 years ago. This is not an attempt to upgrade or downgrade various paths! But, to show that Krishna’s preaching are the ultimate source that have been respected by all religious leaders.
This has been written by the devotees from the platform of Krishna Consciousness only that is the highest mode of attaining Lord!
Some Similarities between the Preaching of Krishna and Christ
(1) SURRENDER TO GOD:
The entire contents of the Bhagavad Gita (BG) are summarized in the verse ‘Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me; I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.’ (BG 18.66).
Similarly, when Jesus Christ was questioned by the Pharisees as to which was the greatest of all the commandments, He clearly replied (Matt 22.37-22.38): ‘Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. This is the first and greatest commandment’.
(2) ETERNAL ADOBE:
Sri Krishna says in BG 15.6 : ‘That abode of mine is not illuminated by the Sun or Moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to the material world’.
In the Book of Revelations (Rev 22.5) it is said that ‘And there shall be no night there: and they need no candle, neither light of the Sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever’.
(3) CHANTING THE HOLY NAME:
God and His name are non-different.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is said that ‘Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Krsna, which is feared by fear personified.’ (SB 1.1.14).
In the Bible it is said ‘At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under earth’ (Phil 2.10-11).
Or, ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’ (Romans 10.13).
(4) DEVOTIONAL SERVICE:
In BG 18.65 Sri Krishna says: ‘Always think of me, become my devotee, offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are my dear friend’.
St. Paul (Romans 12.1): ‘I beseech you therefore brethren…that ye present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service’.
(5) GOD AND LIVING ENTITY:
In BG 15.7 Sri Krishna says that the ‘the living entities in this material world are my eternal fragmental parts”.
John (14.28): ‘I go unto the Father, for my Father is greater than I’
So in both philosophies there is a clear distinction made between God and the living entity.
(6) KARMIC REACTIONS:
The Bhagavad Gita is based on the reincarnation and karmic reaction stating that while the body is impermanent, the soul never dies (2.12) and everyone is suffering or enjoying the results of past and present karmic reactions.
In Gal. 6.7 it is said: ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap’.
In Exodus 20.5 it is said that ‘For I the Lord, thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me’.
In Numbers 32.23, it is said ‘Be sure your sins will find you out’.
In Genesis 3.19 it is said ‘Dust thou art and unto dust thou shall return’.
The meaning of forgiveness is that that once forgiven, the offensive activity is stopped.
In BG 9.30-31 Sri Krishna says ‘Even if one commits the most abominable acts, if he is engaged in devotional service, he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination. He quickly becomes righteous and acquires lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that my devotees never perish’.
For instance Jesus Christ forgave an adulteress with the injunction ‘Go and sin no more’ (John 8.11).
In Isaiah 1.18 God said ‘Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow’.
(8) DIKSHA – INITIATION:
In Krishna Conssciousness and in general, in the Hindu culture, taking diksha, ie, initiation is the system of cleaning process for a devotee/ aspirant.
In Christianity, they perform “Gnanasnana” with holy water to cleanse the devotees that means he has been initiated. Even Jesus Christ received Gnanasnana before starting his preaching activities.
(9) ATHMA AND BODY:
In Krishna Consciousness, we call it the cultivation of athma if we work for Krishna and cultivation of body if we work for us with attachments.
In Christianity, if one is called functioning on athma if he aims to go to the kingdom of God, whereas he is functioning on MAMSA (body) if he functions for his pleasure with attachments.
SRILA PRABHUPADA ON JESUS CHRIST
(i) Srila Prabhupada was once asked by a group of Christian ministers in Melbourne about his position regarding Jesus Christ.
Srila Prabhupada responded, ‘He is our Guru, He is preaching God consciousness, so he is our spiritual master’.
Describing Jesus Christ as a representative of God, Srila Prabhupada said: ‘we adore Lord Jesus Christ and offer our obeisances to him’.
(ii) In Krishna consciousness Lord Jesus is considered as the Perfect son of God because he perfectly executes the will of his Father. He descended as an empowered incarnation (shaktivesha avatar).
SRILA PRABHUPADA’s VIEWS ON JESUS CHRIST
(i) Conversation with Allen Ginsberg, May 12, 1969 / Columbus – Ohio:
“If one loves Krishna, he must love Lord Jesus also. And if one perfectly loves Jesus he must love Krishna too. If he says, “Why shall I love Krishna? I shall love Jesus,” then he has no knowledge. And if one says, “Why shall I love Jesus? I shall love Krishna”, then he has no knowledge either. If one understands Krishna, then he will understand Jesus. If one understands Jesus, you’ll understand Krishna too”
(ii) Path of Perfection Chapter 3: Learning How to See God:
As Lord Jesus Christ said, we should hate the sin, not the sinner. That is a very nice statement, because the sinner is under illusion. He is mad. If we hate him, how can we deliver him? Therefore, those who are advanced devotees, who are really servants of God, do not hate anyone. When Lord Jesus Christ was being crucified, he said, “My God, forgive them. They know not what they do.” This is the proper attitude of an advanced devotee. He understands that the conditioned souls cannot be hated, because they have become mad due to their materialistic way of thinking. In this Krsna consciousness movement, there is no question of hating anyone. Everyone is welcomed to come and chant Hare Krsna, take krsna-prasada, listen to the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita, and try to rectify material, conditioned life. This is the essential program of Krsna consciousness.
(iii) Science of Self Realization Chapter 2: Choosing a Spiritual Master:
Christian, Muhammadan, Hindu-it doesn’t matter. If he is simply speaking on behalf of God, he is a guru. Lord Jesus Christ, for instance. He canvassed people, saying, “Just try to love God.” Anyone-it doesn’t matter who-be he Hindu, Muslim, or Christian, is a guru if he convinces people to love God. That is the test. The guru never says, “I am God,” or “I will make you God.” The real guru says, “I am a servant of God, and I will make you a servant of God also.” It doesn’t matter how the guru is dressed. As Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Whoever can impart knowledge about Krsna is a spiritual master.” A genuine spiritual master simply tries to get people to become devotees of Krsna, or God. He has no other business.
(iv) Lecture: Bhagavad Gita 3.27 Melbourne June 27, 1974:
So Lord Jesus Christ said, “My Lord, hallowed be Thy name.” He wants to glorify the name of the Lord. And some people says that there is no name of God. How? If Lord Jesus Christ says “Hallowed by Thy name,” there must be name. The name is there, but he did not pronounce it because the people at that time will not be able to understand or maybe some reason, but he says there is name. So we are making this propaganda, Krsna consciousness movement, the “Hallowed by Thy name. My Lord Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, let Your holy name be glorified.” This is our movement. It is not a sectarian
(v) Raja Vidya Chapter 6 :Knowledge of Krsna’s Appearance and Activities:
Sometimes Sri Krsna descends Himself, and sometimes He sends His representative. The major religions of the world-Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Moslem-believe in some supreme authority or personality coming down from the kingdom of God. In the Christian religion, Jesus Christ claimed to be the son of God and to be coming from the kingdom of God to reclaim conditioned souls. As followers of Bhagavad-gita, we admit this claim to be true. So basically there is no difference of opinion. In details there may be differences due to differences in culture, climate and people, but the basic principle remains the same-that is, God or His representatives come to reclaim conditioned souls.
(vi) Srimad Bhagavatam 5.5.3 –vrndavana Oct 25, 1976:
Just like Lord Jesus Christ. He was so badly treated and still he was thinking, “Father, they do not know what they are doing. Please excuse.” This is suhrdah. He is praying to God This is sadhu, mahatma. Suhrdah prasanta. Not that… In India there are examples like Haridasa Thakura, Prahlada Maharaja. And the Western countries also, Lord Jesus Christ, he is saktyavesa-avatara, God’s son. And he tolerated so much. These are the examples of mahatma. Don’t misunderstand that we are preaching that mahatmas are only in India. No. By the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead there are mahatmas even amongst the birds, even amongst the beasts, even amongst the lower than animals. Because this Krsna consciousness movement is going on in different places, in different circumstances
(vii) Bhagavad gita, Chapter 11, text 55 purport:
A devotee of Krsna is friendly to everyone. Therefore it is said here that he has no enemy (nirvairah). How is this? A devotee situated in Krsna consciousness knows that only devotional service to Krsna can relieve a person from all the problems of life. He has personal experience of this, and therefore he wants to introduce this system, Krsna consciousness, into human society. There are many examples in history of devotees of the Lord who risked their lives for the spreading of God consciousness. The favorite example is Lord Jesus Christ. He was crucified by the nondevotees, but he sacrificed his life for spreading God consciousness. Of course, it would be superficial to understand that he was killed. Similarly, in India also there are many examples, such as Thakura Haridasa and Prahlada Maharaja. Why such risk? Because they wanted to spread Krsna consciousness, and it is difficult. A Krsna conscious person knows that if a man is suffering it is due to his forgetfulness of his eternal relationship with Krsna. Therefore, the highest benefit one can render to human society is relieving one’s neighbor from all material problems. In such a way, a pure devotee is engaged in the service of the Lord. Now, we can imagine how merciful Krsna is to those engaged in His service, risking everything for Him. Therefore it is certain that such persons must reach the supreme planet after leaving the body.
So we see there are many similarities in the two philosophies. Religion means the laws of God. There may be difference in practices – in fact there will be differences in practices based on time, place and circumstances.
But the essence of all bonafide religions has to be the same – God consciousness.