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"Jesus in the Vedas"

"A recent flurry of articles and website postings have been made to indicate that the fable of Jesus is mentioned in the Vedas [Bhavisya Purana]. Many Vaisnavas have been enthused [confused] by these Vedic findings, confirming Jesus as a messenger of God [Krsna] and a pure devotee. However, a closer look at the prediction of Jesus found in the Bhavisya Purana strongly suggests foul play or interpolation on the part of Christian Missionaries in India during the late 18th century." Read full article.

Replies: 56 Comments

Posted by Bhakta Ray @ 01/28/2006 03:02 AM PST

We have to tread very carefully here. There are a significant number of statements by Prabhupada on Jesus that honor Him as a pure devotee,a Vaisnava and a saktyavesha avatara. There are even statements that support his 'virgin birth'. On the other hand there are a few statements where Prabhupada discounts the accuracy and authority of the Bible. How do we resolve this apparent contradiction?
Where Prabhpada is discounting the Bible, he is comparing it to the Vedas. Certainly in that context the Bible is like water to the milk of the Vedas. BUT ,if meat eating is the main obstacle in accepting Biblical authority, may I point out that the Vedic ritual sacrifices allowed meat eating also. As to the so-called canabalistic 'transubstantiation', Jesus had clearly compared himself to such a sacrifice, being the final sacrifice for sin. So the 'inaccuracies' are not completely invalidating. Scholars do not question Jesus existence uniformly, nor do they throw all historical details into question. The gospel of Mark being the main historical document has been corroborated for the most part. But since when do Vaisnavas make appeal to mundane scholars and scientists as substantiating anything? These 'experts' would certainly toss out the creation accounts of the purusa avataras as splendid poetic myths.

Posted by Alex @ 01/27/2006 07:23 PM PST

Dear Anon Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Prabhupada's response to Tamal Krishna Goswami can also be seen as unambiguous, and not requiring interpretation.

Perhaps the historical statements that you mention are just as ‘verifiable’ as some other statements by scholars that you might not agree with.

Hare Krsna. Your servant, Alex

Posted by Bhakta Sunil @ 01/27/2006 11:52 AM PST

A further note in reply to the latest posting of Tara devi:

Deism is a naturalistic, quasi-
religious philosophy which is based
on human reason and which decries divine revelation (to be consistent
that includes Vedic revelation). So
any would-be follower of the Vedic
tradition who tries to employ Deism
to attack Biblical religion is very
naive and shortsighted.
This goes back to the point raised by Alex that I commented upon earlier. If the would-be Vedic follower picks up a snake to thrust
its head toward Christianity, then the snake's head will surely wheel around and bite him.

Posted by anon @ 01/27/2006 02:50 AM PST

Although modern scholars are 99.9 percent atheists and have no faith in the Vedic literature, I don't think we should "throw the baby out with the bath water either". Now and again, when scholars make valid points that make sense then devotees look like fools and worse than Christian fanatics when they stubbornly refuse to accept anything that they may bring up.

In this case what they say about dating and the tribes that Shalivahana supposed to have defeated is a good point and is verifiable.

I doubt that Srila Prabhuapada ever read the Bhavisya Purana (since it isn't really an important scripture in the Gaudiya Vaisnava line), and I doubt that he was aware of some of the controversial sections found in there.

I think what TKG said to Prabhupada was taken on face value by him. I don't think that this means that Srila Prabhupada was endorsing this section on the Bhavisya Purana.

It's a bit like the Aquarian Gospel and the New Testament - Prabhupada said that "we cannot accept them as authorities" and "I have taken some stray extracts just to support our views, but we don't give any importance to that book."

He used these books for preaching Krsna Consciousness but didn't take them too seriously.

Posted by Alex @ 01/27/2006 12:15 AM PST

Dear Anon Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I've read that according to at least some modern scholars, most of the Puranas were put into writing after the beginning of the Christian Era, typically in the Middle Ages.

This appears to be a different view of their history than that which I see presented in Srila Prabhupada’s teachings.

It looks like I’m encountering at least two different paradigms.

While remaining open to read and consider what academics have written, I am willing to take Srila Prabhupada at his word.

I haven’t learned to read the devanagari alphabet, nor am I a trained expert in ancient Indian history. So it seems to me that there is an element of faith in my acceptance of either one paradigm or the other.

Hare Krsna. Your servant, Alex

Posted by Anon @ 01/26/2006 08:20 PM PST

"Prabhupada: Everything is accurate there."

But its shown that everything isn't accurate there (all the people the king supposedly defeated is all rubbish, the date etc).

So what are we supposed to make of this?

Posted by Alex @ 01/26/2006 06:37 PM PST

Dear Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The original article mentions the Bhavisya Purana. In this connection, I wanted to share what is apparently an excerpt from a room conversation with Srila Prabhupada. I believe it is from April 2, 1977 (Bombay):


Tamala Krsna: "What is the difference between a pure Christian, or at least a sincere one, and a sincere devotee of Krsna?"

Prabhupada: No difference.

Tamala Krsna: He says he read a passage of the Bhavisya Maha-Purana written by Vyasadeva three thousand years before Christ foretelling Jesus Christ’s presence in the Himalayas in 78 of the Christian era, and his meeting with King Shalivahan. Are there any other prophecies in the Bhavisya Maha-Purana or in any other scriptures telling more accurately Jesus Christ’s birthday?

Prabhupada: Everything is accurate there.


Hare Krsna. Your servant, Alex

Posted by Bhakta Sunil @ 01/26/2006 04:56 PM PST

To Tara devi:
If "Christianity is the biggest single cause of the spread of atheism in the world today", then why do the atheists persecute Christians, obstruct their preach-
ing, and labor to destroy the Church? The biggest single cause of
the spread of atheism in the world today is the organized forces of militant atheism, of course. Where's your common sense?
Since when are "intelligent people"
authoritative arbiters of divine truth? You complain about Christian
dogma, but by so doing you have merely become a dupe for the false dogma of freemasonry.
You say that I am quoting Vaisnava acaryas, and then you turn around and quote Thomas Paine? Who's he?
A supporter of Deism? Do you know what Deism is? It's the idea that God created the world and then sits
back letting it run free of His control and without His interven-
tion or incarnation. Does that sound like the Vedic version? What about: aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate; vasudeva sarvam iti; everything rests upon Me as pearls are strung on a thread; what about all Krsna's incarnations; etc. Paine is a fool
from the Vedic point of view, what to speak of Christianity. Why quote
him? Paine is his own guru, and so he has a fool for a disciple.
Prabhavi, get real. You haven't gone to work for Mr. Sharma now, have you?

Posted by Tara devi @ 01/26/2006 03:53 PM PST

Sunil, You are quoting Vaishnava acharyas but you are actually simply sticking to the same dogma that Christians have stuck to for centuries.What's new in Christianity except their inability to accept the truth.

Just to mention, Christianity is the single biggest cause of the spread of atheism in the world today. Intelligent people have always rejected the Bible myths and understood that the so-called teachings of Jesus are a hoax. Not to mention that they are the root cause of the environmental holocaust that has been taking place over the last several centuries.

Here, read this:
[Editors note: Thomas Paine (January 29, 1737 – June 8, 1809), intellectual, scholar, revolutionary, and idealist, is widely recognized as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A radical pamphleteer, Paine anticipated and helped foment the American Revolution through his powerful writings, most notably Common Sense, an incendiary tract advocating independence from Great Britain. An advocate for political liberalism and constitutional republican government, he outlined his political philosophy in The Rights of Man, written both as a reply to Edmund Burke's view of the French Revolution and as a general political philosophy treatise. Paine was also noteworthy for his support of Deism, taking its form in his treatise on religion The Age of Reason, as well as for his eye witness accounts of both the French and American Revolutions.

In the following letter Thomas Paine replies to a friend who recently tried to oblige Paine to accept Christianity and the Bible as the “word of God.” Paine in no uncertain terms makes it clear to his friend that no discerning gentleman will accept the Bible as the word of God. In Paine’s opinion, “the Bible is a gross libel against the justice and goodness of God, in almost every part of it.” Paine makes it quite clear to his friend that he is not an atheist but that he does not accept the Bible as anymore than a book from which man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man. Paine’s letter is certainly and interesting and worthwhile read.]

Paine’s letter
PARIS, May 12, 1797. In your letter of the 20th of March, you give me several quotations from the Bible, which you call the 'word of God,' to show me that my opinions on religion are wrong, and I could give you as many, from the same book to show that yours are not right; consequently, then, the Bible decides nothing, because it decides any way, and every way, one chooses to make it. But by what authority do you call the Bible the 'word of God?' for this is the first point to be settled. It is not your calling it so that makes it so, any more than the Mohammedans calling the Koran the 'word of God' makes the Koran to be so. The Popish Councils of Nice and Laodicea, about 350 years after the time the person called Jesus Christ is said to have lived, voted the books that now compose what is called the New Testament to be the 'word of God.' This was done by yeas and nays, as we now vote a law. The Pharisees of the second Temple, after the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon, did the same by the books that now compose the Old Testament, and this is all the authority there is, which to me is no authority at all. I am as capable of judging for myself as they were, and I think more so, because, as they made a living by their religion, they had a self-interest in the vote they gave. You may have an opinion that a man is inspired, but you cannot prove it, nor can you have any proof of it yourself, because you cannot see into his mind in order to know how he comes by his thoughts; and the same is the case with the word 'revelation.' There can be no evidence of such a thing, for you can no more prove revelation than you can prove what another man dreams of, neither can he prove it himself.

It is often said in the Bible that God spoke unto Moses, but how do you know that God spoke unto Moses? Because, you will say, the Bible says so. The Koran says, that God spoke unto Mohamed, do you believe that too? No. Why not? Because, you will say, you do not believe it; and so because you do, and because you don't is all the reason you can give for believing or disbelieving, except that you will say that Mohamed was an impostor. And how do you know Moses was not an imposter? For my own part, I believe that all are impostors who pretend to hold verbal communication with the Deity. It is the way by which the world has been imposed upon; but if you think otherwise you have the same right to your opinion that I have to mine, and must answer for it in the same manner. But all this does not settle the point, whether the Bible be the 'word of God,' or not. It is therefore necessary to go a step further. The case then is: You form your opinion of God from the account given of him in the Bible; and I form my opinion of the Bible from the wisdom and goodness of God manifested in the structure of the universe, and in all works of Creation. The result in these two cases will be, that you, by taking the Bible for your standard, will have a bad opinion of God; and I, by taking God for my standard, shall have a bad opinion of the Bible.

The Bible represents God to be a changeable, passionate, vindictive Being; making a world and then drowning it, afterwards repenting of what he had done, and promising not to do so again. Setting one nation to cut the throats of another, and stopping the course of the sun till the butchery should be done. But the works of God in the Creation preach to us another doctrine. In that vast volume we see nothing to give us the idea of a changeable, passionate, vindictive God; everything we there behold impresses us with a contrary idea — that of unchangeableness and of eternal order, harmony, and goodness. The sun and the seasons return at their appointed time, and everything in the Creation proclaims that God is unchangeable. Now, which am I to believe, a book that any impostor might make and call the 'word of God,' or the Creation itself which none but an Almighty Power could make? For the Bible says one thing, and the Creation says the contrary. The Bible represents God with all the passions of a mortal, and the Creation proclaims him with all the attributes of a God.It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man. That bloodthirsty man, called the prophet Samuel, makes God to say, (i Sam. xv. 3,) "Now go and smite Amaleck, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."That Samuel or some other impostor might say this, is what, at this distance of time, can neither be proved nor disproved, but in my opinion it is blasphemy to say, or to believe, that God said it. All our ideas of the justice and goodness of God revolt at the impious cruelty of the Bible. It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes.What makes this pretended order to destroy the Amalekites appear the worse, is the reason given for it.

The Amalekites, four hundred years before, according to the account in Exodus xvii. (but which has the appearance of fable from the magical account it gives of Moses holding up his hands,) had opposed the Israelites coming into their country, and this the Amalckites had a right to do, because the Israelites were the invaders, as the Spaniards were the invaders of Mexico; and this opposition by the Amalekites, at that time, is given as a reason, that the men, women, infants and sucklings, sheep and oxen, camels and asses, that were born four hundred years afterwards, should be put to death; and to complete the horror, Samuel hewed Agag, the chief of the Amalekites, in pieces, as you would hew a stick of wood. I will bestow a few observations on this case.In the first place, nobody knows who the author, or writer, of the book of Samuel was, and, therefore, the fact itself has no other proof than anonymous or hearsay evidence, which is no evidence at all. In the second place, this anonymous book says, that this slaughter was done by 'the express command of God:' but all our ideas of the justice and goodness of God give the lie to the book, and as I never will believe any book that ascribes cruelty and injustice to God, I therefore reject the Bible as unworthy of credit.As I have now given you my reasons for believing that the Bible is not the word of God, that it is a falsehood, I have a right to ask you your reasons for believing the contrary; but I know you can give me none, except that you were educated to believe the Bible; and as the Turks give the same reason for believing the Koran, it is evident that education makes all the difference, and that reason and truth have nothing to do in the case. You believe in the Bible from the accident of birth, and the Turks believe in the Koran from the same accident, and each calls the other 'infidel.'

But leaving the prejudice of education out of the case, the unprejudiced truth is, that all are infidels who believe falsely of God, whether they draw their creed from the Bible, or from the Koran, from the Old Testament, or from the New.When you have examined the Bible with the attention that I have done, (for I do not think you know much about it,) and permit yourself to have just ideas of God, you will most probably believe as I do. But I wish you to know that this answer to your letter is not written for the purpose of changing your opinion. It is written to satisfy you, and some other friends whom I esteem, that my disbelief of the Bible is founded on a pure and religious belief in God; for in my opinion the Bible is a gross libel against the justice and goodness of God, in almost every part of it.


Posted by Bhakta Sunil @ 01/26/2006 09:54 AM PST

I would like now to respond to the questions of Kesavananda Prabhu. Later on, if I get time, perhaps to Tara devi. Having viewed this entire thread, the ideas closest to
the highest truth, in my opinion, have been coming via the postings of Alex.

Well, I thought it would pass but now I see that Lord Sri Krsna or Srimati Radharani, acting via Their
devotee, are deciding otherwise. The spiritual authority that I follow is His Divine Grace A.C.
Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada because I am one of his diksa-
initiated disciples. Bhakta Sunil is my pen-name (it's the best I could think of: nil(a) means dark blue, and su means high quality, so
sunil refers to the transcendental complexion of Lord Krsna). Some people think that the use of a pen-name is somehow devious, but it is not necessarily so. There are at least two advantages to such use.
The pen-name allows one to say things that might otherwise be inhibited because it allows one to be less psychologically implicated in what one writes. And if any recognition or prestige accrues from one's writing one cannot enjoy it, because no-one knows who
to attach such recognition to.
I don't feel that the time is right
to reveal my spiritual name now, nor is it necessary, for various reasons. Things are not right in ISKCON, in the world and in the existential Church. But I promise that I will do so in the future.

I know that Srila Prabhupada lives,
as many other of his disciples know. He has never, directly or indirectly, indicated to me to walk
on the path of Catholic Christian-
ity, but neither has he forbidden it. It is helpful to me, that's all. You may do what is helpful to you. It is not a question of a sort
of synchretistic "hybrid", as you imply. Krsna Consciousness is always the overarching main focus, and Catholicism for me helps attain
this goal. As I pointed out, this accords with the teaching of Srila Rupa Gosvami. It is not a question of "conglomeration", but that of spiritual reality. Krsna instructs Arjuna in Bhagavad-gita to know Him
in truth (tattvatah) and by way of tattva-vicara, God is One.

I was received into the Catholic Church in 1999, so I am a convert.
So far it has been a "don't ask--don't tell" situation, in other words no-one has asked me about a Krsna Consciousness affiliation and I have not volunteered the
information. But I can tell you this. In the library of the church where I was initiated and where I often attend Mass, on the second shelf from the top on the lefthand side is, yes, KRSNA, THE SUPREME

As far as Deity worship is concerned, the Catholic clergy cannot be against it because they themselves are engaged in Deity worship. If some oppose Krsna Deity
worship, it is only because they do
not understand that Krsna's Deity is not an idol (the Bible condemns idol worship). That would need to be explained to any gainsayer. I am confident that if I were to sit down with the Pope and explain everything to him, he would agree with me. But even if he did not, papal infallibility, so greatly misunderstood, does not mean that the pope cannot err in his private thoughts, words or deeds. The hierarchy exists for the truth, not the truth for the hierarchy.

Thankyou and Hare Krsna

Posted by Alex @ 01/26/2006 06:28 AM PST

Dear Shiva Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, there are differences. The essence seems to be to serve God.

I like this excerpt from a 1968 lecture by Srila Prabhupada:

"Therefore this Krsna consciousness movement is postgraduate position of all religions. It is not any sectarian religion. You accept Christianity--very good. You accept Muhammadanism, Islamism--very good. You accept Hinduism--that's all right. We have no quarrel with Hindus and Muslims or Christians or Buddhists. But our objective is that religion means there is connection, relationship with God. Take, for example, Christian religion. They accept God: "God created this," the beginning of Bible. That's a fact. So the God consciousness is there. "God is great," the God consciousness there."

I appreciate where Bir Krishna Goswami tells Brother Paul:

"Your becoming Krishna conscious doesn't require giving up your present religious practices."

This seems to me to relate to Sunil Prabhu's situation.

Krsna says: "All of them--as they surrender unto Me--I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha."

I am open to the possibility that this might not only refer to quantitative differences in surrender, but perhaps to qualitative ones as well.

Hare Krsna. Your servant, Alex

Posted by shiva das @ 01/26/2006 05:57 AM PST

Alex; regarding what Bir Krishna said about there being no contradictions between Gaudiya vaisnavism and "Christianity":

1) Original sin
2) Karma
3) Reincarnation
4) Redemption of humanity from original sin through the suffering of Jesus.
5) Christianity is earth centric i.e in all of the billions of galaxies the first human was born on earth a few thousand years ago and Jesus redeemed humanity on earth. What about the rest of the universe?
6) Satan or Lucifer

While there are many similarities between the two religions there are also many differences. Ultimately we should understand that Krishna is the supreme controller, everything is under the supervision and control of the Lord.

"Both the living entity and the demigods are subordinate to the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; therefore the living entity cannot worship the demigod by his own desire, nor can the demigod bestow any benediction without the supreme will. As it is said, not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead." (purport B.G 7.21)

Christianity and all other religions and philosophies are all manifested by the will of the Lord for various reasons having to do with fulfilling different peoples individual karma. Krishna says:

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.

Whether Jesus existed or not is besides the point. Christianity exists due to the plan of the Lord regardless of it's historicity or authenticity or lack of it. People who follow Christianity of whatever flavor do so due to the guidance of Sri Paramatma based on their karmic journey through samsara. When their journey is at the end stage then they will awaken to Krishna Bhakti.

bahunam janmanam ante
jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti
sa mahatma su-durlabhah

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.

Posted by Alex @ 01/26/2006 04:53 AM PST

Dear Kesavananda Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

You wrote:

"Please don't take any offence Sunil, but you previously asked Mr. Sharma to come 'out of the closet' and reveal his guru, but who is the spiritual authority that you follow? Has he instructed you to create a hybrid of KC and Catholicism?"

This is what first triggered my memory of that nun...and her apparent relationship with Jayapataka Swami.

I would also like to share an excerpt from Bir Krishna Goswami's book 'Encounters'. He is talking with Brother Paul, a Benedictine monk:

"Brother Paul: Krishna consciousness certainly adds a new dimension to my life, which I'm very pleased and excited about. Two truths can not conflict; if they do, then one of them is not true. I do feel free to seek the truth. I am not afraid of what I may find. God is truth!

If the Christian faith can accept a trinity-God then who can rule out that God may choose to reveal Himself in other forms and yet be but one God? I have come to realize that there is so much about Krishna consciousness I don't know. It is a lifetime of learning, and that is not long enough. When Krishna entered my life, my first thought was, "Who is He?" He was strange and foreign, yet, I admit, attractive. I later came to accept Him as God.

Bir Krishna Goswami: Your becoming Krishna conscious doesn't require giving up your present religious practices. There is no contradiction between the Christian philosophy and the philosophy of Krishna consciousness. As you pointed out, your order was originally vegetarian, but with the passage of time meat-eating was allowed.

Your involvement in Krishna consciousness should enable you to deepen your level of appreciation of the liturgy. It should increase your devotion to the saints. The more we understand about God, the more service we can render. There is no need to feel that Krishna consciousness and your present worship are at odds."

Hare Krsna. Your servant, Alex

Posted by Anon @ 01/26/2006 03:52 AM PST

Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta is hard enough to understand as it is - why complicate things even more by throwing in Christianity???

Posted by Kesavananda @ 01/25/2006 10:31 PM PST

Alex wrote - "Sometime in the mid to late nineties, I saw an elderly Catholic nun at the Ottawa ISKCON temple. She supposedly had her hari-nama ceremony performed by Jayapataka Swami."

I'm not talking about one nun out of thousands - i'm talking about the guys on top that run the show - bishops, cardinals and popes. What do THEY think about KC and Deity worship?

Posted by Alex @ 01/25/2006 07:27 PM PST

Dear Kesavananda Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Sometime in the mid to late nineties, I saw an elderly Catholic nun at the Ottawa ISKCON temple. She supposedly had her hari-nama ceremony performed by Jayapataka Swami. I remember that she spoke Spanish and barely any English. I also recall hearing that there was even a story about her in ISKCON World Review around that time. . . including a photo of her in her habit, holding her bead bag.

I had read and appreciated Bir Krishna Goswami’s book ‘Encounters’, at least a year before that.

Hare Krsna. Your servant, Alex

Posted by Alex @ 01/25/2006 07:21 PM PST

Dear Mother Tara,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The following story from one of the 'Prabhupada Memories' videos really sticks in my mind. I think it was told by Mother Manjari devi:

"Prabhupada was in Iran for Lord Balaram's Appearance Day in the summer of 1976. It was a nice atmosphere. All the flowers were blooming in the summer heat. At one point, Prabhupada called Iran heaven on earth. At night he would sit on the balcony with the devotees and guests. Iran is a Muslim country, so three times a day, at gayatri times, over the loudspeakers they have a chant calling everybody to pray. It's beautiful. Prabhupada listened to these prayers going on and then turned to Atreya and asked, "What is this?" Atreya said, "This is the Muslim call to pray to God. They're saying the names of God." Prabhupada said, "That is very good. They're calling everyone to prayer." Atreya said, "But, Prabhupada, isn't it better to say the name of Krishna rather than Allah?" Prabhupada said, "You're asking me to be sectarian?" "

Hare Krsna. Your servant, Alex

Posted by Kesavananda @ 01/25/2006 06:33 PM PST

Tara's point is valid - Please don't take any offence Sunil, but you previously asked Mr. Sharma to come 'out of the closet' and reveal his guru, but who is the spiritual authority that you follow? Has he instructed you to create a hybrid of KC and Catholicism?
To my knowledge, no bona-fide acarya has ever told their disciple to follow a conglomeration of Vaisnavism and Christianity.
If you have no spiritual authority who has told you to do that, then its sounds like you are'winging it'?

As far as Deity worship goes, ask any Catholic about worshipping a Deity of Krsna - be it a priest, bishop, cardinal or even the Pope - and you can be sure of the same negative reply.

Why don't you try writing to the Pope and see what his reply is!

Have you ever asked a Catholic priest what he thinks about you worshiping a Deity of Krsna?

Posted by Tara devi @ 01/25/2006 04:36 PM PST

So who should we accept as an authority on Christianity? Sunil, Ray, etc, or Bhaktisiddhanta?


Vrtha jiva-himsaya anumodana-hetu ei samasta punthiri adi pauya jaya. Kehi veda-vakyera nyaya anadi nahe. Sutaram sei sakala sastre ye vicara acche, tahara mula drta na huyaya sandehapravana.

"Senselessly killing living beings simply for the purpose of pleasure is fundamental to all these religions[Christianity, Islam, and Judaism]. Unlike the transcendental words of the Vedas, none of these paths are eternal. Therefore, one who deliberates upon these scriptures will naturally develop doubt about them since they lack a solid foundation.

But Sunil seems to have 'deliberated' already on the Bible but he still thinks the Bible is substantial.

Some devotees have said that Christianity is for less intelligent people, but even being a woman I cannot bring myself to accept such a non-sense book as the Bible as the word of God. It makes no sense and has no authority.

I would like to ask what Sunil's own guru may have said about Christianity.If 'Prabhupada' is Sunil's guru then Bhaktisiddhanta is Sunil's paramguru and to go against the conculsions of one's paramguru is certainly not our Vedic tradition. In fact that would be apasampradaya.

If Sunil's guru is outside the Gaudiya-sampradaya then it is not possible for Sunil to understand either Prabhupada or Bhaktisiddhanta.

If Sunil has not received diksa [initiation] in any bona fide Vaishnava-sampradaya then it is no wonder that he has Hindu infected ideas of accepting everything and anything as spiritual without any proper authority.

In my opinion Sunil's way of thinking is more like a Hindu than a Christian because he accepts false scripture and false Gods just like the Hindus who worship Ayappa and Santoshi Ma here in India. Unpon deliberation an intelligent person will reject both the Hindu and Christian concoction.

This blog began discussing the 'virgin birth of Jesus'. Sunil uses the Bible to support such a birth but all historical knnowledge points to the fact that the New Testament is hersay and not an eyewitness account of the life of Jesus.

Still Sunil clings to the Bible rather than accept the opinions of someone like Bhaktisiddhanta. Unfortunate.

Posted by Bhakta Sunil @ 01/25/2006 04:35 PM PST

In my opinion, Alex has made some very good points.
Vaisnavas should be cautious. If they want to use modernist historical textual criticism to try
to discredit the Bible, then they shouldn't be surprised when the same methods are used against the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam
later on. After all, what goes around comes around.
Let us recall that such methods were developed by men partly motivated by antipathy towards God during and after the period of the French Revolution, and that they depend on the exaltation of mere mundane scholarship at the expense of spiritual teaching authority and
religious tradition.

Posted by Alex @ 01/25/2006 01:25 PM PST

Dear Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I read with interest the wonderful quotes from Srila Prabhupada that were presented on this thread. I would like to share one that I feel may be just as relevant and instructive, and no less valid than those which have been posted so far:

"The first offense is to decry the scriptures, Vedas. To accept authority of Vedas. Not to accept or decrying scriptures. Vedas means the book of transcendental knowledge. Not only Bhagavad-gita, even Bible or Koran, they are also, although Bhagavad-gita... Higher or secondary or primary, that is different. But whenever there is information of God, that is scripture, recognized. So we are concerned with the Vedas. So anyway, other scripture which is giving information of God scientifically or accepted by persons, that is also Vedas. One should not blaspheme the Vedas. This is first offense, to blaspheme. And sadhu ninda, those who are preaching the message of God, they should not be blasphemed."

I don't recall the exact date for this excerpt. I originally heard it years ago on a tape of a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada. I believe it was given in the mid to late 60s. It may have been an initiation lecture. I don't have the Vedabase, otherwise I would check for the full details of the reference.

Hare Krsna. Your servant, Alex

Posted by Bhakta Sunil @ 01/25/2006 11:36 AM PST

This is in reply to the interesting
and important posting of Acaryadas.

Thankyou, Prabhu. Glories to Prabhupada. I would like to respond
carefully to the points you raise.
I am essentially a devotee of Lord Sri Krsna. In the spirit of our line, as Srila Prabhupada states,
"somehow or other" attain the lotus
feet of Krsna. I have found Catholic Christianity to be very helpful to me on my journey towards
that final destination. If this is not your "somehow or other", then let it pass.

You did not quite get the point about transubstantiation. The Catholic priest has been empowered by God (Christ) through His Church to transform the bread (or wine) into the body, blood, SOUL and DIVINITY of Jesus Christ who is then really present as Deity Form. This Deity can be validly related to in two ways: by ingestion in Holy Communion or by worship in Eucharistic Adoration. With rever-
ence both yield great spiritual benefit, as authorized by Christian
tradition. The first way (by ingestion) is NOT authorized for the Deities of Krsna and His expansions in any Vaisnava tradi-
tion. So there is a difference here
between the two traditions. The opinion of the Vaisnavas you men-
tioned is not correct. The Eucharist is a Deity (God/Christ) Himself, not that Deity's prasadam.
Although Krsna-prasadam is non-dif-
ferent from Krsna, it is Krsna-
sakti, not Krsna Himself. If you want to make prasadam, you can't offer bhoga to a mound of prasadam;
you have to offer to Krsna Himself in His Deity Form. So devotees of the two traditions are ingesting (authorizedly) different kinds of entities.

It is regrettable if you have been partly misinstructed in your youth.
As Srila Prabhupada said many times, we have to cultivate a scientific attitude in religion (to separate the wheat from the chaff). It is not true that all the
doctrines and dogmas of Catholic Church were created at the Council of Nicea. The dogmas are all eternal and have been in the world since when Jesus spoke to His disciples. What happened at the Council of Nicea, among other things, was that due to rampant misunderstanding and opposition it was necessary to formally define the Dogma of the Divinity of Christ
and make the acceptance of that divine truth necessary for anyone who wants to remain a Catholic. But
the truth itself was in the Church from the beginning.

It is impossible that the transub-
stantiation characteristic of the Sacrament of the Eucharist was practised by the Mithraites or the Essenes because no-one outside the Church has the authority or the power from Jesus Christ to invoke His Real Presence (His Deity) via any concocted ritual. The followers
of Mithras were certainly pagan and
they played with their ritualistic imitations and ate whatever they ate, but there was no substance to it (Christ was not there). It is not very important what they did.
The postal metaphor mentioned by Srila Prabhupada is applicable in this case. You must use a box and procedures authorized by the post office to get the work done.

The Bible has never condemned Deity
worship. It condemned idol worship.
Idols are just man-made carvings not authorized by God. The idiot bishop that you mention is not a member of the Catholic Church and does not represent true Christian teaching. But if any ignorant soul apparently in the Catholic Church says likewise, he is also in error.

It is true that the Catholic Church
has infallibly defined on three occasions that "outside the Church there is no salvation", but let us look at this in perspective. In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krsna calls
moksa/mukti, "nihsreya" and the four great Kumaras teach to Prthu Maharaja that of the four purusa-
arthas, liberation must be taken especially seriously. According to the above defined dogma of the Holy
Catholic Church, a striving for liberation will not be successful outside Her boundaries. Jesus came to save/liberate all men and in the Christian perspective salvation
is the goal. BUT Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu teaches that there is a higher goal for man: prema pum-
artho mahan. In Lord Caitanya's movement, love of Godhead is the goal aimed at. And if one attains love of Godhead, he will not lack liberation. In other words, he has transcended the domain of Catholic Dogma by aiming at the higher goal.

The two traditions do have differences which may be difficult to comprehend, but that does not imply that either of them is not valid or genuine.

Hare Krsna

Posted by Alex @ 01/25/2006 10:12 AM PST

Dear Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

There are apparently also historical-critical studies of the Bhagavad Gita, like the book 'Bhagavad Gita As It Was'. The book's title seems to be a reference to Srila Prabhupada's 'Bhagavad Gita As It Is'.

The book claims to isolate the original text of the Gita from supposed later additions by various parties who had something to gain.

It seems to me that many serious modern scholars would see someone who accepts the Gita as an eternal text, revealed in its entirety, and unchanged from the beginning of time, as being quaint...or even as backward, deluded and ignorant.

If I don't blindly accept how some modern scholars view the Gita, why should I automatically accept their methodology when it's applied to other texts?

Hare Krsna. Your servant, Alex

Posted by Bhakta Sunil @ 01/25/2006 10:02 AM PST

It seems that I have been called back.
To Tara devi: Please read the Aquarian Gospel article again. The intention of Mr. Sharma was to discredit that book.

Posted by Tara devi @ 01/25/2006 03:21 AM PST

Bhakta Ray

The point is that if you discredit a dozen Vedic literatures [as some are discredited due to interpolation] you still have a hundred bona fide Vedic literature left over. But when it comes to light that the Bible is interpolated [fabricated/bogus]then there is nothing left over for the Christians to base their authority on. So I suspect that most Christians will go to the grave with their poor fund of knowledge rather than accept defeat.

Posted by Bhakta Ray @ 01/25/2006 02:23 AM PST

Tara Devi prabhu,
The point of the Bible being unreliable is no more significant than the point of the sastras having wide discrepancies in translations. It also implies that Prabhupada was just 'talking through his hat' when he said Jesus was a shaktyavesha-avatara. One cannot consistently discredit the Bible on the one hand, and accept Prabhupada's statements about Jesus on the other.
In the same breath that one dismisses the Bible, one also dismisses Prabhupada as a speculator.

Posted by Acharyadas @ 01/25/2006 01:43 AM PST

Reply to Sunil:

Glories to Prabhupada.

Respects. Please forgive my shortcomings. I regret that I offended you.

What you are saying is the Catholic priest has been empowered by God to transform ordinary bread and wine into flesh and blood which becomes the deity and then you eat the deity?

I have heard the idea entertained by some Vaisnavas that this body and blood is prasadam. But I do not find evidence of any such practice in any of our sastra. Do you have such sastric evidence to validate the practice?

Being raised a Catholic and attending Catholic Parochial school, grammer and high school I was taught practices and rituals outside of Catholicism were 'pagan', practiced by those who are in 'Satans Fold'. I was taught the Last Supper from whence the transubstantiation sacrament is derived, was the first time this act came into practice. It was something new and unusual and never given before the time of Jesus. It was Christ's special gift and represented his sacrifice. That is what the good nuns and priests taught me.

Certainly at the time of the Councel of Nicea circa 324 A.C.E., when all the doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic Church were created, they were aware of the sect of Mithras and the Essenes and the fact this practice was already taking place. But it seems this memory has been wiped clean by the Church. I am sure it took centuries to eradicate the remembrance of transubstantiation being practiced in other sects besides the Roman Church.

Now that we have become educated, outside the Church, we know this practice was indeed performed by both the cult of Mithras and the Essenes and other sects long before Christ. This is becoming 'common knowledge' in this 'information age'. Does this mean that the Catholic Church now has declared it to be 'pagan' or are those who practiced it prior to the Christians no longer considered 'pagan' by the Church. It must be one or the other.

Also how do you harmonize the fact all Catholics believe they have the only 'true religion' and all other worship of God, especially, deity worship to be pagan? How do you harmonize the condemnation of deity worship described in the Bible as 'idol' worship? Recently a Bishop in Moscow condemned the worship of Krishna as 'idol' worship and this condemnation has been going on for centuries, 20 to be exact.

Krishna is clear what he accepts in Bhagavad-gita, a flower, a fruit, water or a leaf, all vegetarian foodstuffs. I have never heard of any acarya in our line engage in the practice of transubstantiation eating flesh and blood and calling it the deity or prasadam.

Posted by Tara devi @ 01/24/2006 09:46 PM PST

I forgot to mention that I wanted to say that its a shame that the Sun editors have not put up a blog for Pradeep's article about Prabhupada and the Aquarian Gospel. If what Pradeep has to say in that article is correct then Jesus could be cast in the light of a demon rather than a saint or son of God. But then that too could be the fault of Christians and the Church who seem to have portrayed Jesus in a light much like themselves, unable to understand the smiling face of the beautiful Lord of the universe, Sri jagannatha Swami.

Any comments on that article? Is Sunil still here?

Posted by Tara devi @ 01/24/2006 09:34 PM PST

I think Keshavananda's point brings about an obvious conclusion. Since the Church and the New Testament are the only sources to know what Jesus was like and what he taught it Then seems safe to say that nobody in this 21st century has any real knowledge of Jesus, only sentiments and a fear of admitting that they have been deceived. This sounds like a typical Kali Yuga senerio.

Posted by Kesavananda @ 01/24/2006 05:23 PM PST

Forgive my stupidity prabhus, but something doesn't make sense here.

Some devotees are saying that Jesus is fine, but the Church and the Christian Scriptures are suspect.

Then what do we mould our ideas of Jesus on if the Christan scriptures are corrupted (as Prabhupada says they are)?

How do we know which things Jesus said and which things were attributed to him later by the church?

Posted by Bhakta Sunil @ 01/24/2006 12:12 PM PST

This thread is interesting.
I would first like to commend the sane and gentle Gadadhara dasa and the genuinely faithful Bhakta Ray.
I will respond very briefly to some
The only reason I posted on this thread was to counteract what I perceived to be blasphemy from a Swami Giri and a Mr. Sharma. I did not come to preach. I saw my duty and I did it to the best of my ability.
Now Mr. Sharma is departing and so there is no need for me to go on and on. The quotation from Srila Prabhupada he has posted is fine, but since when do "modern people advanced in science and philosophy"
have the means or the authority to
definitively decide what is truth?
They require a guru just like anyone else. One final comment to Mr. Sharma. The problem with these places is not papal "dung", to use your unnecessarily scatological
mal mot. No. The problem is PUPAL DUNG, such as that flowing from the state of your chronic pupation from which you are unwilling to break free to fly in the light.
To Tara devi, I say that this quotation from Bhaktivinoda Thakura
is fine, but let us recall who the Thakura is and what is his mission.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura is an eternal resident of Goloka Vrndavana who was sent to this world by Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu to preach primarily to souls destined to go to where he came from. The eternal rasa relation with God of each soul
is fixed eternally. The teaching authority of the Thakura applies to those (I daresay that means all of us) headed for Vraja, and for them such paths as Christianity
are, as he says, temporary (obvi-
ously). HOWEVER, for a soul whose eternal relationship is with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in His empyrean Heaven, Christianity is not temporary. As for meat-eating, it is not an essential part of real Christianity and, in my opinion, Christians should not do
To Acaryadas and Kesavananda, I
say: What's your problem? Am I twisting your arm? I never try to kid anyone. You seem to be unaware of the teaching of our Paramguru, Srila Rupa Gosvami, who wrote that
ANY legitimate means which assists
one's Krsna Consciousness may be accepted. Your misunderstanding of transubstantiation is scanty and perverted. If you want to under-
stand it, then wipe off the froth and study John 6, which refers to some who had the same misunder-
standing as you. Contarary to what you wrote, when the priest conse-
crates the host, it is the body, blood, SOUL and DIVINITY of Jesus Christ, in other words, a special kind of Deity Form. As you know, there are Deities standing on the altars of ISKCON. But how did the Thakuraji get there? If He did not self-manifest, then Srila Prabhu-
pada or one of his priests CONSE-
CRATED a stone which then ceased to be a stone and became KRSNA Him-
self. I hope that you are intelli-
gent enough to see the analogous relation, but if you are not, then I am not going to explain it to
And so, goodbye and happy posting.

Posted by Bhakta Ray @ 01/24/2006 11:41 AM PST

"First of all Ray, do you think Prabhupada was a Christian theologian? He was taught in a Christian school in Calcutta and that was his only exposure to Christianity. "
What does Christian theology have to do with it? Christian theology was devised by Jesus's so-called disciples and followers, not Jesus.
The term shaktyavesha-avatara does not show up in Christian theology. Although the concept of a pure devotee approximates the idea of a saint.

Posted by Bhakta Ray @ 01/24/2006 11:37 AM PST

"The Christians get away with murder (really!) in India. And then the Church in Russia calls Lord Krsna a demon and successfully closes down the ISKCON temple in Moscow. "
Now I see the root of the problem. Politics rather than scripture.

Yes I hear the news. So much of it is one-sided. The same can be said of history.

Posted by Gadadhar Dasa @ 01/24/2006 10:08 AM PST

Dear Prabhus:

PAMHO, AGTSP, and Hare Krishna.

I want to make few more points.

(1) What Srila Prabhupada spoke (about other religions and leaders and Swamis, Yogis, Avataras, and Bhagavans) was spoken privately among his deidicated followers. Now in the internet age we should not be stirring up these issues trying to prove who is right and who is wrong. We rather focus on innocent.

(2) What Srila Prabhupada wrote in his books about other religions and leaders is also to be considered confidential for the devotees and hidden from the masses. This is in the sense unless you read his books you do not find out about the contoversial points. So all these topics needs to be discussed among devotees.

(3) Now in this age of internet so many WEB sites have come out with all good intentions and best efforts but it may promote so much discussion and take away every one's time so much so that no time will be left for personal sadhana and preaching. I wonder how many devotees read "Prabhupada Padma Vakya" on Sun WEB site before they read other stuff. I am a culprit my self that I jump to other articles first and then read "Prabhupada Padma Vakya" articles.

(4) We need to consider our own position in reference to Srila Prabhupada's purports to BG 12.2 and BG 4.19 through 4.22 and find out how short we come out compared to these purports. I am no where in this regard. A lost fool. In light of BG 12.2 Purport how many devotees can claim to meet that standard? I do not. These are very short purports but they describe status and qualities of very elevated devotees.

(5) We must follow in mood of Srila Prabhupada in dealing with other religions and leaders. I must say that is not done in the current discussion. We can not go on disturbing other people just to make the point that they are wrong and we are right.

(6) Srila Prabhupada offered aspiring devotees following:

(a) Place to stay
(b) Prasadam
(c) Morning Program and all day engagement in spiritual activities.
(d) Spiritual Atmosphere - uplifting association.
(e) Personal Guidance and Books.

In light of above most of us have nothing to offer but we are ready to start controversies without understanding Srila Prabhupada's mood and how he acted.

Why not focus on offering some of the facilities Srila Prabhupada offered to aspiring devotees.

Please forgive me for my sharp words.

Wishing You All Well,
YS- Gadadhar Dasa

Posted by Tara devi @ 01/24/2006 07:49 AM PST


You may find these quotes on Christianity, Islam, and Judaism interesting.


Yavana-sastra tin prakara arthat 'jew' (yahudi) digera puratana punthi koran
u bible.

"The Yavana sastras are of three types - Jewish (which is the oldest), the Koran and the Bible."


Vrtha jiva-himsaya anumodana-hetu ei samasta punthiri adi pauya jaya. Kehi veda-vakyera nyaya anadi nahe. Sutaram sei sakala sastre ye vicara acche, tahara mula drta na huyaya sandehapravana.

"Senselessly killing living beings simply for the purpose of pleasure is fundamental to all these religions. Unlike the transcendental words of the Vedas, none of these paths are eternal. Therefore, one who deliberates upon these scriptures will naturally develop doubt about them since they lack a solid foundation.

Posted by Gadadhar Dasa @ 01/24/2006 07:12 AM PST

Dear Prabhus:

PAMHO, AGTSP, and Hare Krishna.

As I said previously, this discussion needs to be handled properly. Otherwise, those claiming to be preaching may be destroying the preaching field itself.

Once again, I will try to make my points in best possible manner and please try to understand them sincerely:

(1) Quote:

"Regarding your question about Lord Jesus Christ, we accept him as saktyavesa avatara. Lord Buddha is in the same category also. Lord Buddha is mentioned specifically in Srimad-Bhagavatam as incarnation of Godhead, and yet Vaishnavas do not accept his philosophy, which is classified as atheism. Similarly, even if we accept Lord Jesus Christ as saktyavesa avatara, it doesn't mean that we have to accept his philosophy. But we have all respects for him without fail. Regarding books like Aquarian Gospel or even the Testaments, we cannot accept them as authorities because sometimes it is learnt that the words are not actually spoken by Christ, but they are so set up by the devotees." (Letter to Hamsaduta, Nov.2, 1969)
My Comments:

This makes clear where Srila Parbhupada stands in regard to Jesus Christ and Buddha and in regard to their teachings. Both are accepted but their teachings are not to be accepted. Same is true in regard to Sankar and his teachings.

All these personalities were sent to play their historical but temporary role. Buddha played his role by denying Vedas and stopping animal sacrifices. Sankar played his role by rejecting Buddhism, re-establishing Vedic Authority, and teaching impersonalism. Then came all Vaishnava Acharyas who rejected impersonalism and established “Pure Krishna Bhakti”.

We may not like how Lord Krishna arranged all these things. But then we may want to dictate to Lord Krishna how to do things and what to do and what not to do.

(2) Quote:

Satsvarupa: When Darwin's theory was first being taught in America, there was opposition from the Christians, and there was a famous court trial called the Scopes case, and the Bible was used to, against this so-called scientific theory. But the Bible is so inadequate that they lost.

Prabhupada: Yeah, Bible cannot be because it is itself unscientific.

Satsvarupa: The lawyer proved that the Bible could not disprove the Darwin's theory.

Prabhupada: Then why do they not reject Bible altogether?

Nitai: Sentiment.

Prabhupada: (laughs) Why do they not reject? Why still? Of course, it is sentiment. They do not accept Bible. The so-called Christians, they do not accept Bible.

Bali Mardana: What they say, they say that everything has, it has a hidden meaning. So the literal meaning is not true literally; it has a hidden meaning which is true.

Prabhupada: That's all right, but nobody has disclosed that hidden meaning.
My Comments:

Again, it is clear what is Srila Prabhupada’s stand on Bible.

I urge all devotees not to attack other devotees but try to make their points in best possible manner.

Please do not destroy the preaching field.

Wishing You All Well,
YS- Gadadhar Dasa

Posted by Kesavananada @ 01/24/2006 03:34 AM PST

First of all Ray, do you think Prabhupada was a Christian theologian? He was taught in a Christian school in Calcutta and that was his only exposure to Christianity.

Besides, if you were going to preach KC in Saudi Arabia, would you go in there and blaspheme Mohammad? No! Prabhupada obviously saw that even some of his followers still had sentimental attachments to Jesus(some postings on this thread is proof of that!) and treated the topic very carefully. However, in his books (the law-books for all the devotees) he was very clear about what all these 'isms' meant.

Even if we accept that jesus did exist (and he may have - I'm not 100% convinced that he didn't), his teachings are mundane compared to what Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His followers taught.

That's why he said in Cc that no intelligent person accepts these books.

As for Indians/Hindus being upset with the Christians - who can blame them? Don't you read the news? The Christians get away with murder (really!) in India. And then the Church in Russia calls Lord Krsna a demon and successfully closes down the ISKCON temple in Moscow.

What would Srila Prabhupada say about that?

Posted by Pradeep Sharma @ 01/24/2006 03:34 AM PST

This is my parting comment on this blog my dear friends.

I still think the bottom line on Christianity is summed up nicely by Sreela Prabhupada,

"“…modern people advanced in science and philosophy deem these scriptures [Christian scriptures] unacceptable.”

Posted by Kesavananda @ 01/24/2006 03:17 AM PST

"As a Catholic you must believe the Catholic priest has the power to change ordinary bread and wine into actual flesh and blood"


I was raised a Catholic and I didn't know that.That's basically cannibalism....

...that's disgusting!!!

Posted by Bhakta Ray @ 01/24/2006 03:13 AM PST

I wasn't aware that Indians/Hindus were filled with such anti-Christian venom.
Prabhupada's preaching strategy? To his own disciples? I think not.

Here is a small sample

"Jesus Christ was born without contact of any material father. He was divinely placed in the womb of Mary."

---Morning Walk, Los Angeles
June 8, 1976

"Fools thought that Lord Jesus Christ was dead by crucifixion, but he resurrected..."

---Letter to Mr. Dambergs
April 12, 1967

"Lord Jesus Christ, he is shaktyavesha-avatara, God’s son..."

---Srimad Bhagavatam lecture, 1976

"Jesus Christ is accepted as the son of God. He presented himself as the son of God. And here Krishna says that ‘I am the Father.’"

---Chaitanya Charitamrita lecture, 1968

"...is no difference between God and His servant. Yes. That we say...Because a devotee, like Lord Jesus Christ, means confidential servant of God, there is no difference..."

---Room conversation, London
July 12, 1973

"Yes. A real Vaishnava, a real devotee, is even more merciful than Krishna. Take Lord Jesus Christ, for example. It is said that Lord Jesus took everyone’s sins upon himself, yet..."

---Morning Walk, December 12, 1973


So His Divine Grace said Jesus was a shaktyavesha-avatara. So his teachings are bogus? Let's not confuse what his followers have done with his teachings over the centuries. Transubstantiation is a theological construct. Does not the guru sacrifice all of himself, body, blood and mind. Does he not take on his disciples karma? There is a possibility that the so-called 'wine' at the Last Supper was really just grape juice. I'm not aware that Passover uses alcohol in any case.
So he was giving his disciples his remnants.

One must approach these matters according to sadhu, sastra and guru and not be moved by sectarian hostilities in the heart.

Posted by Acharyadas @ 01/24/2006 02:16 AM PST

In Response to:
Bhakta Sunil @ 01/23/2006 06:16 PM PST

Sunil, I was raised a Catholic before taking to Gaudiya Vaishnavism. I am sorry but it is not possible to be members of both the Catholic Church and the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya. Who are you trying to kid? Do you really think Mahaprabhu or any other Acharya would accept eating the flesh and blood of a sadhu?

The Roman Catholic Church teaches their flocks that the bread and the wine used in the Mass actually, physically, turn into the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ after the priest blesses them during the liturgy ceremony. That's exactly what "transubstantiation" means. As stated in the Catholic Credo of the People of God.

This ritual of transubstantiation is of pagan origins. It is disgusting to think you would engage in such a heinous ritual.

As a Catholic you must believe the Catholic priest has the power to change ordinary bread and wine into actual flesh and blood. This is not symbolic according to your own doctrine but it is actually changed by the priest. In other words it is actual flesh and blood according to Catholic dogma and doctrine. If you are a good Catholic you must believe this as well as the Dogma the Pope is infallible. The Pope eats tortured baby cows and is infallible? Did you ever hear of the regulative principles? Get real will you?

Posted by Kesavananda @ 01/23/2006 07:57 PM PST

Mixing up Christianity and KC is a real hodge-podge!!! It's full-on Hinduism and besides that, Prabhupada never told us to do this.

When Prabhupada said things like "Jesus is our Guru" he was mostly speaking to Christians and he was also in a Christian country - in other words, it was a preaching strategy. Otherwise how you account for him saying all the negative stuff about the the BIble?

Gadadhar's point is right on! Prabhupada came here to teach the pure teachings of God (Krsna) - not water it down with some 'ism' like Christianity.

If someone wants to rant about Jesus being God and quote from the Yavana scriptures (as Prabhupada calls them in Cc) then that is there own business.But they shouldn't try and mix it in with Lord Caitanya's mission!

The Christians have changed their philosophy so many times. Prabhupada says in Cc Adi.17.168 -

"In our practical preaching work we meet many Christians who talk about statements of the Bible. When we question whether God is limited or unlimited, Christian priests say that God is unlimited. But when we question why the unlimited God should have only one son and not unlimited sons, they are unable to answer. Similarly, from a scientific point of view, the answers of the Old Testament, New Testament and Koran to many questions have changed. But a sastra cannot change at a person’s whim. All sastras must be free from the four defects of human nature. The statements of sastras must be correct for all time."

And as Prabhupada said about Vasudeva Datta, if he was "millions of times better than Jesus", why bother going for second best? Better to stick to one religion than mix up a bunch of them!

Posted by Bhakta Sunil @ 01/23/2006 06:16 PM PST

This posting is in response to that
of Pradeep Sharma on late Saturday night. Sorry for the delay.
To begin, let me say, Mr. Sharma,
that I have never been accustomed to go into or come out of closets.
Unlike you, I am a Christian (and
original, non-modal Christianity means Catholicism) and I am also a
Vaisnava follower of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada, His current Sampradaya Acarya. I practice in both lines of
dharma (but by way of tattva-vicara
God is One) daily and I have little
difficulty in accepting all the truth that both impart. The result-
ant synergy has yielded results that are in my opinion progressive-
ly felicitous.
In your posting you ask me for proof that Jesus ever existed, but do you have the adhikara to accept such proof? In your article on the
Aquarian Gospel, you quote Srila Prabhupada calling Jesus Christ a
saktyavesa-avatara. That certainly implies that He existed, don't you think? So I must ask what kind of game you are playing here, Mr. Sharma. Is the name 'Prabhupada' meaningful to you? Or is it just another name of another person you may quote when it is expedient to push your anti-Christian agenda? Perhaps it is time for you to come
"out of the closet" to reveal the name of your guru, your spiritual orientation and your situation vis-
a-vis Srila Prabhupada. I have visited your website and what I found there gives me some cause to believe that your request is disin-genuous. You do not really want proof that Jesus existed. What you desire is proof that Jesus did not exist. As for evidence for Jesus, there is plenty. In fact, there is more evidence for the existence of Jesus than there is for almost all other ancients whose existence is never questioned. However, with an analogue to the 9th offence to the Holy Name of the Lord before me, if
you ask me for proof, I think that you should first convince me that the effort is worthwhile. As for myself, I have such proof almost every day after receiving Holy Communion.
You state that not everyone believes that Jesus did exist. I'm sorry to hear that. But I would like point out that there are millions more who KNOW that Jesus
EXISTS, and hence existed. One of basic reasons for this is that they
are benefitting from initiation into the Holy Catholic Church, the mystical body of Christ. Acaryavan puruso veda. You cannot be a stranger to the importance of initiation in Vedic/Aryan tradition
so why should you imagine that Christian initiation is unimportant
in the search for the real truth about Jesus Christ? Of course, for an adult, some faith is required to receive such (adau sraddha). At one point, Srila Prabhupada called Jesus "our guru" in a conversation.
This clearly implies that He exists
and that He leads His disciples to God consciousness. You need to explain why you disagree with Srila
Prabhupada on this point.
This brings us to one of your major errors. Since you have almost certainly read Bhagavad-gita
As It Is, you must know that Srila Prabhupada stressed in a number of places that (mundane/independent) scholarship is not the way to know God, but as Lord Sri Krsna states several times ONLY BHAKTI is the way. But your methodology relative to Jesus Christ and His Church is just scholarship. You do not care to take shelter of Him, neither do you associate with His devotees (in
spite of your awareness that in Vaisnavism sastra, guru and sadhu are all required). Consequently, you are an outsider to the Catholic
Church (and a willful one). There-
fore when it comes to Christianity you do not know what you are talking about, because no-one can properly understand a spiritual tradition from the outside. You imagine that your writings against Christianity are symptomatic of intelligence, but they are more akin to gnostical conceit.
The quality of your scholarship is also not that great. Your attitude reminds me of a webcrawl-
ing engine prowling the web seeking
anything that might suggest that Jesus: 1.did not exist (go for rhino and hope against hope), 2.is not God (next best), 3.made mistakes (don't we all?) or 4.his followers made mistakes and did wrong (get that at least). If the Gospels state that Jesus both existed and was God (John 1:1-51--In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...; John 8:58--...
before Abraham came to be, I AM.),
well then there must be something wrong with the Gospels (it's all a conspiracy, you see). You then seek
out all the fanciful historical revisionism that's printed to fit
(or fitted to print). Then you scour the cyberworld for more dis-
comments of the faithless to shore up this rising ediface built on the
shifting sands of Maya (but cer-
tainly not on the rock of Peter, Matthew 16:16-20)--until it all washes or blows away (Matthew 7:24-
27). Heeding the absolute word of Lord Sri Krsna in Bg 17.28, I believe that an attitude of faith and adherence to absolute truth
(sat) is a better epistemological strategy. In addition, a firstrate scholar strives to free himself from all preconceived notions and examines all the evidence on all sides before making his judgement. Your works evince your neglect of or opposition to authentic Catholic
sources. Not to consult such sources is scholarship in the mode of ignorance. To consult them but only with an intent to find fault with anything that gainsays one's
a priori ideas is scholarship in the mode of passion. Wise saintly scholars conclude that neither of these two lower forms of scholar-
ship is sattvika and neither leads to an understanding of the truth.
You have what some scientifically minded disciples of Srila Prabhupada have styled a "knowledge
You are also somewhat unconscious
of the difference between facts and
interpretations. You fail to com-
prehend the auto-appreciated role of your own interpretations of some
facts and neglect to consider alternative interpretations which could just as well be true. Here are two examples from your posting.
You state that Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not even acknowledge the exist-ence of Christianity when He toured
South India although the Christians
were there, with the subtle implied
interpretation that Christianity is
of no account. Apart from the fact that absence proves nothing, another interpretation is possible.
Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu met with and defeated the errors of most every group other than the
(Catholic) Christians. The reason for this is that the Christians have the truth and bhakti, and are
disciples of another Personality of
Godhead. But this you are loath to consider. You also state the fact that the idea of gods/saints being born of a virgin was common/popular
before the time of Jesus, and you supply your interpretation that the
idea of the virgin birth of Christ originated from this pagan milieu via error in the Septuagint (imply-
ing that the idea is bogus). But another interpretation is just as possible and more probable. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is of divine origin and is a transcend-
ental fact which is pervertedly reflected into the material energy,
thus generating this near-universal
mythology among the pagans. Now both of these views cannot be correct. In the 14th chapter of His
Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krsna explains that sattvaguna and tamoguna are near opposites of each other. One of the above views is mediated by tamoguna and the other is mediated by sattvaguna. I leave it to faith-
ful personalities endowed with divine intelligence unencumbered by
a priori agendas to decide which is
To conclude this sequence, Mr. Sharma, do you not find it somewhat
strange or ironic that you talk so much about someone that you think or hope didn't exist? No-one can build a fruitful life upon protest.
Wouldn't it be better just to study
and preach Bhagavad-gita and Srimad
Bhagavatam, than to waste so much time on such a futile delusion? Your're certainly not gaining any ground with those of us who know better than that.
Passing on to issues of a more technical nature, I couldn't help but notice that you have entitled your website as THE BURNING CROSS
(well, how enlightening can you
get?). Now, the only people I know of who like to burn crosses are those who belong to the Ku Klux
Klan. These human specimens have been known to torture and murder their fellow human beings on the basis of notions of quasi-caste social superiority based on race. This organization originated as an organ of Scottish Rite Freemasonry.
The hidden goal of all illuminized
Masonry is to overthrow the altar
(of Catholicism) and the throne (of
monarchy) by way of secret anticon-
secrated worship of Satan (the existence of whom they don't doubt)
and so it appears that you have some common interest with those people. I guess that if nothing in the universe happens by accident, then the rubric of your website is also no accident. Lingua lapsa verum dicit. You imagine that you are thinking freely, but by denying
Christ you have become (I'll be charitable) the unwitting dupe of the organized forces of militant atheism, because you are both striving to do the same thing. While struggling to swallow your glee, you refer to the opinion of some that the Internet is a sign from God that will lead to the demise of Christianity by allowing the masses to learn much more about
its doctrine and history. If learn-
ing more about Christianity would lead to its decline, then why did Jesus order His disciples (end of Matthew) to go into all the world
(that includes India) and make disciples of all nations (yes, the
imperative to proselytize is of
DIVINE ORIGIN)? But in my opinion the consciousness-enhancing Inter-
net is a boon for religions of all kinds (witness the Godcast pheno-
menon, the explosion in the number of just Catholic websites, the enlightenment of Hare Krsna devotees about so many issues, and so on). So I'm forced to conclude that your vicarious prognostication
is just a wish-fulfilling confabu-
lation. I must also remark, Mr. Sharma, that it is evident that you
don't know what you're asking for.
Because you're against Christ, you have no way to understand how this world is set up. Do you think that you will be happy at the removal of
existential Christianity from before your face? What if many other connected things would go with it? I can tell you that when that happens, you will not be con-
tinuing to post smilies on the Internet. The reason is that, at such a time, a lot more than a cross would be burning. That's a
prediction--you may write it in your notebook.
Your posting is so chock full of errors and speculations that it it hard to know where to begin. I don't have the time (and maybe the readership doesn't have the patience) to deal with them all. But it can be said that concordant with your incomplete methodology, you overemphasize the importance of Paul relative to Peter in the Church. In regard to what Paul did
not say, once again absence proves
nothing. Your supposition that there is no transcendental content to Christianity is an enormous mistake. In Isaiah 7:14, if there is no virgin birth there is no sign
because a married woman giving birth to a child is not especially noteworthy. Your ad hoc indroduc-
tion of the idea that if the child born to such a married woman was named Immanuel, that would be a sign to Ahaz, is both confabulatory
and problematic. What evidence do you have that such an event really happened? Furthermore, given the fatal seriousness of blasphemy in ancient Israel, no mother would give her son a name that suggested he was divine or anything more than
human. Unless he WAS divine, of course, but if he was divine then he might as well be Jesus, and that
brings us back to the virgin birth.
Don't you think that you're being a little hard on the Jewish trans-
lators of the Septuagint by ascrib-
ing to them an erroneous rendition of ha-almah? Let's give them some credit. They belonged to the tradi-
tion and you do not; they were there and you are not. Will you not
consider for a moment that maybe, just maybe, it is you that are wrong and it is they that are right
as rain, especially since you state
that the first Christians trans-
lated the Torah as the Septuagint,
when actually the Septuagint was done in the mid-third century B.C.?
Do you know what B.C. means? Before
Christ. Hmm? All of these points and many more manifest evidence of intelligence influenced by the mode
of passion. That's no bull.
In conclusion, your position seems to me to be irrational. According to the papal encyclical
FIDES ET RATIO, faith and reason are inseparable because they both originate from God (janmady asya yatah). If one doesn't have faith, then he doesn't really have reason either. This is applicable to you, Mr. Sharma, because Christianity is
an issue for you. You are not neutral (nirdosam hi samam brahma) because you are always on the attack, and so Christianity is seldom far from you. That being the
case, would it not be more rational
to just surrender to Jesus Christ and accept His infallible guidence,
while also always advancing to the
lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna?
After all, if you can't get Jesus and His Church out of your mind, then, like Srila Prabhupada said, Jesus is our guru. Or is the example of Kamsa the standard for some of your bhavana? It would be better to serve Jesus than the god you serve now, because when you attack Jesus and His Church it is not Lord Krsna that you serve. Rather, it is the god, set up like an idol in the recesses of your mind, of your own animosity towards
the truth of Christianity.

Posted by Tara Devi @ 01/23/2006 04:48 PM PST

I think the idea of Jesus is nice - some good teachings, a life of dedication and sacrifice to God etc. But as Pradeepji has pointed out, where is the proof of his existence?
The church doesn't exactly have a very clean record and for them to create a non-existent person is very plausible. It's happened in India! We have so many gods and goddesses that don't really exist (Santoshi Ma, Ayyappa, Bharat Mata).

Personally I don't see what there is to debate about. Compared to the high teachings about Radha-Krsna and Gouranga Mahaprabhu, Jesus and his teachings don't even come into the equation.

Posted by Gadadhar Dasa @ 01/23/2006 01:05 PM PST

Dear Prabhus:

PAMHO, AGTSP, and Hare Krishna.

This kind of discussion can be very destructive if not handled properly.

I will try my best to make my points in a best posible manner. Please consider them sincerely:

One time Srila Prabhupada asked the reporter to anwer the question "Who has accepted the message of Jesus Christ in last 2000 years" in reference to "Thou shall not kill" and history of meat eating in the western world.

Srila Prabhupada cornered/confronted this reporter again and again to anwser this question and did not allow him to raise any other question or topic.

Srila Prabhupada's point was that people neither understand nor follow the message of their own respective scriptures but claim to know every thing and try to judge every thing and every one from their limited angle.

Another point one can raise is that why did Srila Prabhupada come to America, write all books, and preach so bravely all over the world?

Only honest answer is that he wanted to replace the current religious atmosphere with his own teaching of Pure Krishna Bhakti all over the world.

Towards this end, he criticized short commings of all differnet "isms" and their leaders and so called self proclaimed "avataras", "bhagwans", "yogis" etc.

In one letter he says that if we keep on pushing like we are doing now then in 30 years all other "isms" will disappear. From this it is very clear that he wanted to replace all religious books and practises with "Parampara Teachings of Krishna Bhakti".

While the Western Christian world declares that Jesus Christ is the only Savior and only Son of God, Srila Prabhupada himeself declared that he is the savior of the Western World (nirvishesh shunyavadi pascat desh tarine).

So why does Srila Prabhupada call the Western World filled with voidism and impersonalism? Is it a fact or false accusation?

How is it that the Judeo/Christian world has become filled with voidism and impersonalism if every one is a good Christian or Jew?

Srila Prabhupada's answer is that hardly any one understands or follows any thing of substance and hence he wants to replace it.

Why does Srila Prabhupada declare himself as savior of the Western World?

In introduction of Bhagavad Gita Srila Prabhupad says "Let there be one God - Krsna, Let there be one scripture - Gita, and let there be one mantra - Hare Krishna Mahamantra.

Then Lord Chaitanya's own statement that glories of His Name will be broadcasted in every town and village.

So this makes it very clear that His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada came to implement/execute the desire of Lord Gauranga and he accomplished it in a big way.

Now it is upto us to nourish this tree of devotion.

All above points make it clear that Srila Prabhupada came to implement age old teachings of "Krishna Bhakti" given in Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and Chaitanya Charitamrata.

Yes, it is meant to free up people from prevailing religious books and practises and make them sure footed in "Pure Krishna Bhakti".

Let us rejoice - param drstva nivartate - and be eager to get the higher taste.

Wishing You All Well,
YS- Gadadhar Dasa

Posted by Pradeep Sharma @ 01/23/2006 06:36 AM PST

Hi Ray,
Here in India the Vaishnava community is ready to admit that the Bhavisya Purana has been interpolated (tampered with] by deceitful persons and is therefore a questionable pramana [evidence]. The problem seems to lie in the inability of Christians to admit the same about the New Testament that has either been tampered with [to dupe the innocent people into believing that Jesus was 'special'] or that the New Testament is actually totally unverifiable [bogus]. See article at: http://burningcross.net/crusades/origins-new-testament.html

The Christian rhetoric continues but the fact is that they have no verifiable authority when it comes to the life of Jesus. What they do have however is a track record of deceit, lies, torture and murder of innocent people who didn't want to believe in the Jesus fable. The reality is that believing in the fable of Jesus in no more bona fide than believing in the 'tooth fairy'. Simply a belief and a mundane sentiment does not make it real.

In Vaishnavism there are no such embarrassing records like the Christians have of torture and cold blooded murder. So who will you believe — the 'Bible Bangers' who would put a Hare Krishna to death in a moment if they had the chance or the preachers of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, whose very doctrine is based on equality of all living entities? The choice seems obvious to me.

As Kesavananda says, "The God of the Old Testament is certainly NOT Lord Krsna! He demands blood sacrifices, he's always wiping out whole races for the smallest reason."

And Jesus is supposed to be the same God or son of God as in the Old Testament but this time He doesn't wipe out whole races — He just kills his own son! He doesn't just kill him but according to St. Mel [Gibson], God scourges His son with such veracity that it makes the Texas Chain-saw Massacre look like a Sunday school picnic! And according to Church edicts if you don't believe in this God and the fable of Jesus, then He will burn you in Hell forever! Ouch!:)

PS: Anon — Some questions are better off unanswered [just to avoid tribal hatred].

Posted by Kesavananda @ 01/23/2006 05:26 AM PST

I think that what Pradip Sharma says makes sense. Has anyone read the Bible - especially the Old testament? The god of the Old Testament is certainly NOT Krsna! He demands blood sacrifices, he's always wiping out whole races for the smallest reason - in short, he seems like he's really grouchy and has really got it in for mankind!

Since the Bible (yavana literature) has been written by ordinary humans, how can any devotee take it seriously (or at least put it on par with the Vedic literature)?

And the point remains - where IS the proof that Jesus really did exist? What evidence is there? What did he teach that was so special compared to what any of the great acaryas have preached in India? OK, he did a few miracles - so many sadhus in India walk on water etc. His life of sacrifice? Prabhupada says that Vasudeva Datta and Haridas Thakura were thousands of times greater than Jesus. So what makes jesus so special? What distinguishes him from the other countless sadhus in Indian history?

I think most of us westerners have still got some attachment to Christianity and we drag that baggage with us when we come to KC.

Posted by Pradeep Sharma @ 01/23/2006 05:14 AM PST

Hi Yesu,

Yes, there are many accounts of miracles births mentioned in Vedic scripture. These however are from verifiable and authoritative sources whereas the Christian scriptures, also known as the Mleccha scriptures, are not verifiable or authoritative. In fact they are dubious and fraudulent. This is historical fact and denial of this has been a part of Christian dogma for almost twenty centuries.

One should certainly avoid becoming a mundane scholar but really Yesu you might try doing a little more homework before you just launch a campaign of Catholic rhetoric and Papal-dung and expect that intelligent people with transcendental knowledge will accept it.

Remember in the words of Shreela Prabhupada, “…modern people advanced in science and philosophy deem these scriptures [Christian scriptures] unacceptable.”

Also in the words of Shreela Bhaktivinode Thakura when writing about Christianity had the following to say in Tattva-vivek, text 25 as follows:

adi-jivaparadhad vai
sarvesam bandhanam dhruvam
vibhor dandena niskrtih

“Some philosophers say that because of the first living entity's sin all the other living entities are imprisoned in the material world. Later, punishing Himself for their sins, God delivers the living entities.”

Commentary by Shreela Bhaktivinode Thakura

Deliberating on the virtues and faults of this world, some moralistic monotheists concluded that the material world is not a place of pure happiness. Indeed, the sufferings outweigh the pleasures. They claim that the material world is a prison to punish the living entities. If there is punishment, then there must be a crime. If there were no crime, then why would there be any punishment? What crime did the living entities commit? Unable to properly answer this question, some men of small intelligence gave birth to a very wild idea. God created the first man and placed him in a pleasant garden with his wife. Then God forbade the man to taste the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Following the evil counsel of a wicked being, the first man and woman tasted the fruit of the tree of knowledge, thus disobeying God's command. In this way they fell from that garden into the material world filled with sufferings. Because of their offense, all other living entities are offenders from the moment of their birth. Not seeing any other way to remove this offense, God Himself took birth in a humanlike form, took on His own shoulders the sins of His followers, and then died. All who follow Him easily attain liberation, and all who do not follow Him fall into an eternal hell. In this way God assumes a humanlike form, punishes Himself, and thus liberates the living entities. An intelligent person cannot make sense of any of this.

Posted by Bhakta Ray @ 01/23/2006 03:16 AM PST

One does not have to go to Isaiah
to justify the virgin birth. Mary's response to the angel is sufficient. "How can it be since I have no relations with a man".
It makes sense since she was a young girl betrothed to Joseph. Her pregnancy was cause for scandal, especially with Joseph who had to be apprised in a dream not to worry, that she was bearing the son of God, the Messiah. The virgin birth is an item of Nicean orthodoxy and is not controversial among Christians. If the Purana is in error, it is not for that reason. The translation may not be credible. One only has to find an accurate one.

Posted by Anon @ 01/23/2006 02:15 AM PST

Pradeep: May I ask who your guruji is?

Posted by Yesu Bhaktan @ 01/22/2006 11:49 PM PST

How surprising that a Shakya-vesa Avatar taking a virgin birth would be a point of contention among those that accept the account of Krishna's birth, what to speak of all the other interesting tales of births in the Vedic literature.

How was Maharaja Prithu's birth in this world again?

One must ask what if any value there is in such purely MENTAL speculative excercise. And what motive may inspire such an undertaking.

If ones really want to know the nature of Lord Jesus Christ then he should simply ask the Lord in the heart to reveal the truth of the matter.

Or he could just read what Sila Prabhupada had to say about Lord Jesus Christ and be satisfied.

But whatever you do please don't trust the path of the mundane scholars. It is simply too dry and dusty a path to spend time on.

Yesu Bhaktan

Posted by Pradeep Sharma @ 01/22/2006 08:07 PM PST

Who is Pradeep Sharma? Well, I am Pradeep Sharma. There are also at least another 50,000 men in India with that same name but I am probably the only one with the initiated name, Sanjay dasa. My guruji is a great sadhu in South India who has instructed me to read Shreela Prabhupada's books.

Posted by Anon @ 01/22/2006 12:42 AM PST

Who is Pradeep Sharma???

Posted by Pradeep Sharma @ 01/21/2006 11:54 PM PST

I would like to highlight a few of Sunil’s remarks and give my comments.

Sunil says, “…the idea of the virgin birth of Jesus originated only several centuries after Jesus'
birth and was not part of early Christianity is so manifestly and egregiously absurd that one can only comment that Swamis should not write obvious lies. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ has always been taught by the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church from day one, and the Gospel of Matthew, even if it is late-dated, was certainly not written "several centuries after Jesus".

COMMENT: First of all let us make clear that prior to the first Council of Nicea in 325 CE [several centuries after Jesus] there are no complete records to tell us what the various beliefs of Christianity were. What we do know however is that Emperor Constantine had called the Council of Nicea to get the Christian church fathers to agree on a fixed doctrine. This suggests that there were differences of opinion regarding Jesus and his teachings etc. Indeed, the divinity of Jesus as man or God was foremost in the debates at Nicea. To suspect that a controversy over the doctrine of ‘virgin birth’ may have also been a contention among Christians at the time is certainly not absurd, but the fact is we may never know because after the Council of Nicea all the gospels that were not admitted into the ‘New Testament’ were destroyed.

We do know that the first followers of Jesus were his twelve apostles [who coincidentally never wrote any gospels]. These twelve apostles argued with Paul who had never met Jesus [except in his dreams] and ultimately the apostles distanced themselves from Paul. Paul in turn preached his own speculative doctrine of Christianity to the gentiles.

Sunil wants us to believe that the virgin birth of Jesus has always been a part of Christian faith. Surely this would be a prima-facie case for the said divinity of Jesus but this raises the question of why Paul, the father of Christianity [Pauline Christianity], has not mentioned this miracle of birth in any of his writings [letters].

There are explicit references to the virgin birth however in only two places in the New Testament: the Gospel of Matthew [written in approximately 70 CE] and the Gospel of Luke, [written in approximately 80 CE] which are believed to be amongst the latest written parts of the New Testament [not compiled as a single book until 325 CE]. The apparently older Gospel of Mark [written approximately between 65-80 CE], on which the gospels of Matthew and Luke are universally said to have been based, does not at all mention the virgin birth of Jesus. Some Biblical scholars are even of the opinion that the first two chapters of Luke, describing the virgin birth, were a later interpolation to that gospel. Scholars make this judgment based on the inconsistent linguistics found in Luke.

The point where Sunil says, ‘from day one’ should be made clear that Sunil is talking about the year 325 CE [that is three hundred and twenty-five years after Jesus] when the Council of Nicea decided by vote which gospels would be included in the ‘New Testament’ and which ones would not. Subsequently, the unified doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church began.

Biblical scholars are positive that all the gospels of the New Testament are written much after the time of both Jesus and Paul. It is a commonly known fact that the New Testament was not compiled until after the Council of Nicea and all the gospels that it was derived from were written in Greek. So exactly in what year Christianity began to believe in the virgin birth of Jesus is not clear. But that there is no mention of such by Paul the founder, it is certain.

Then Sunil says, “As for his erroneous interpretation of Isaiah 7:14, please refer to an excellent commentary: answering-islam.org.uk/ BibleCom/ (case-sensitive; there are many others refuting his view).”

COMMENT: We have read the commentary as suggested by Sunil but it is only a Christian’s view, not universal or a Biblical scholars view. The Christian idea of the ‘messiah’ actually originates from Jewish literature [Torah] but according to Jewish commentary the verses from Isaiah do not represent any type of ‘messianic’ prophecy. Please see Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel

Next Sunil says, “... If ha-almah does not refer to a virgin, then where is the issue of a sign from God?

COMMENT: In the book of Isaiah ‘God’ tells King Ahaz that, “Behold, a child will be born of a young woman [ha-almah] in Bethlehem and will be called Immanuel.” The Jewish commentators on this passage from the Torah say that the young woman [ha-almah] refers to the wife of Isaiah and not to a virgin.

It so happens that when the first Christians translated the Torah into Greek as the Septuagint they mistranslated the Hebrew word ‘ha-almah’ meaning young woman as the Greek word ‘parthanos’ meaning virgin. It is from this mistake or interpolation that the whole idea of Jesus being born of a virgin begins. However, the idea of gods and saints being born of a virgin were quite common, or popular even before the time of Jesus. Thus the Greek translators seemed to have injected into Isaiah something of their previous pagan tradition. Actually Catholicism is read by many to be a return to paganism as opposed to the pure monotheistic beliefs of much earlier Christians, pre-Roman Catholic. This view is particularly held by Protestant Christians.

So when God predicts the birth of a child called Immanuel and King Ahaz sees it happen then he takes this as a ‘sign’ from God. What’s the problem? It does not necessitate a ‘virgin birth’ before King Ahaz will accept the prediction as a sign of God’s presence.

Does Sunil think that the only sign from God could be a ‘virgin birth’ and if so why do Christians accept the ‘burning bush’ seen by Moses on Mt. Sinai as a ‘sign from God’? God may show us many signs. In fact many people have said that with the coming of the information age [internet] thus giving people more facts about Christian doctrine and history, that it is a sure sign from God that Christianity’s days are numbered! ☺

Then Sunil says, “…this article on this site are more examples of a tendency and tenor which can only be characterized as anti-Christian. Are you, as well as some contributors, peradventure laboring under the delusion that one must remove Christianity to make way for Vaisnavism…?”

COMMENT: No Sunil, we are not under the idea that ‘one must remove Christianity to make way for Vaishnavism’. Vaishnavism has been around a lot longer than Christianity but in fact it is Christianity that has been trying to remove Vaishnavism for at least 400 years but has so far failed.

Christianity and particularly Catholicism is already in sharp decline and the rest of Christianity will surely vanish proportionately to the extent that intelligent people come to know about the falsity of Christian doctrine and the lies, deceptions, and murders the Christians have performed in the name of Jesus. So let Christendom accept its own fate.

Then Sunil says: “Do you think that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is going to underwrite promotion
of blasphemy against another Personality of Godhead?

COMMENT: First let Sunil prove Jesus ever existed because not everyone believes he did, especially an ex-seminarian named Luigi Cascioli who has authored the book, ‘The Fable of Christ’ and followed it up with a court case in Millan, Italy requesting Father Enrico Righi of the Roman Catholic Church to prove the historical existence of Jesus before a judge and jury.

If one can prove Jesus existed then what is the proof that Jesus was or is a ‘Personality of Godhead’? In fact this was the most controversial issue at the first council of Nicea chaired by Roman Emperor Constantine wherein Christian clergy led by Bishop Arian proclaimed that Jesus was indeed a ‘man’ and not God. In the end Arian and his ‘Christian’ followers were over powered, banished and even murdered under Constantine’s order. [Since when do good guys win?]

Is Sunil a follower of the Roman Catholic Church patronized by the sword of Emperor Constantine, or should we look at Sunil in a more contemporary light, such as being a follower of Mel Gibson? [Please see article ‘Jesus H. Christ’ at http://www.burningcross.net/crusades/jesus-h-christ.html

As for Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu he did not even acknowledge the existence of Christianity when he toured South India in 1510 CE, even though the Christians did have a presence in India at that time. What Mahaprabhu did do however is make it quite clear that one certainly goes to Hell for accepting a man to be the Personality of Godhead. So first let Sunil prove that Jesus is God.

Now Sunil says: “Realize this: every single part of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church of
Jesus Christ is universally true.”

COMMENT: Wow, Sunil is out of the closet now! His last statement reads like Catholic rhetoric personified!

From an educated view the ‘Magisterium of the Catholic Church’ as Sunil calls it, based on the alleged ‘infallibility of the Pope,’ is more like ‘Papal-bull’ than universal truth. The fact is that the Church changes its opinions whenever it suits their strategy or when they are finally taken to the rug and made to yell ‘uncle!’— as in the case of the age of the world, the world being flat, dead children in limbo, the universe being geocentric, dinosaurs, etc.

As for Christian belief in general the Protestants do not accept the Catholics [and vice-versa], Catholics do not accept the Orthodox Church [and vice-versa], and the Orthodox Church does not accept the Jews who don’t accept any of the above and nobody accepts the Mormons or the Moonies. This is the parampara of Christianity — a system of disbeliefs and disbelievers!

Posted by Bhakta Sunil @ 01/21/2006 10:24 AM PST

While the main conclusion of this article by Swami Giri may be valid,
some of his argumentation is gravely deficient. His statement that the idea of the virgin birth of Jesus originated only several centuries after Jesus' birth and was not part of early Christianity is so manifestly and egregiously absurd that one can only comment that Swamis should not write obvious lies. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ has always been taught
by the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church from day one, and the Gospel of Matthew, even if it is late-dated, was certainly not written "several centuries after Jesus". It should also be pointed out that if the Swami is malicious in his bigotry (for his bigoty is not a "fable"), then he is not eligible for liberation. As for his
erroneous interpretation of Isaiah
7:14, please refer to an excellent
commentary: answering-islam.org.uk/
BibleCom/ (case-sensitive; there are many others refuting his view).
In the Bible, betulah sometimes refers to a non-virgin whereas the
word used in 7:14, almah, always in the Bible refers to a virgin. Furthermore, the context of this passage is Isaiah importuning Ahaz to ask for a sign from God. If ha-
almah does not refer to a virgin, then where is the issue of a sign
from God?
The above features of this article
on this site are more examples of a tendency and tenor which can only be characterized as anti-Christian.
Are you, as well as some contribu-
tors, peradventure laboring under
the delusion that one must remove Christianity to make way for Vaisnavism, a sort of down with Jesus Christ and His Church--up with Krsna-Caitanya and His
Movement kind of idea? If so, then
know that such an idea is anti-
thetical to the brahma-bhuta state
which underlies pure devotional service. Do you think that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is going to underwrite promotion of blasphemy against another Personality of Godhead?
Realize this: every single
part of the Magisterium of the
Catholic Church of Jesus Christ is universally true. And pick up this
clue: you should be more cautious if you do not want to live in the world that will surely soon result
from the near-total deconstruction
of authentic Christianity, a full-
fledged disintegrative disaster consequent upon inauspicious ongoing efforts that you and others
in the Krsna-consciousness movement
appear to have some sympathy with.
It is good that you are trying to promote Krsna-consciousness--we're
all going to need it.

Posted by Anon @ 01/20/2006 02:45 PM PST

Hm, quite an interesting analysis. I would just like to add that Srila Prabhupada turned to one of his disciples once in India (would have to look up the source quote but I was stunned to actuallt read it) and said that "Jesus was in Jagganatha Puri." So, one can take it from there.

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