750401 - Conversation - Mayapur
(Redirected from Conversation with Devotees on Theology -- April 1, 1975, Mayapur)
(Conversation with Devotees on Theology)
Prabhupāda: Is it possible for a man or for anyone that he can . . . he should be according to the life of his different friends or servants or sons? That is theology. Next time when I go to your country, why not hold a meeting of all the theologicians to discuss publicly what should be the nature of God? What do they describe, the nature of God?
Prajāpati: They describe the nature of God simply in terms of how religious men have understood themselves. They talk about God is simply men understanding men.
Prabhupāda: That means nobody has approached real God.
Acyutānanda: No one.
Prabhupāda: That is speculation. If you want to study me, so you can do so either by approaching me or through one of my confidential servant. How one can understand me from outside by speculating? Why do they come to see me? Let them remain far away and speculate. But that is not possible in ordinary common sense also. So how they speculate about God? If you cannot understand even a common man, maybe very big in the society . . . you cannot understand a common by, by hearsay, by speculation . . .
Prajāpati: Practically all the theologians are aligned with one denomination or another, and they're like company men to the big churches, and they're afraid of admitting they do not know about God because they're afraid somebody will leave their camp and come to ours. We say we know about God.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We say frankly that we know God, His father's name, His address, everything. Let anyone come and challenge. He cannot say that, "No, this is not God," because he has not approached God. He does not know what is God. How he can challenge us that, "This is not God"? Suppose we are presenting Kṛṣṇa as God, so how anyone can challenge? Because he has not approached God. He is simply speculating.
Prajāpati: And not even on his own. He's simply approaching other speculators.
Prajāpati: One speculator simply approaches other speculators.
Prabhupāda: So how they can say: "This is not God"? Is it possible to say? We say: "Here is Kṛṣṇa, God." Why not discuss this point for our preaching work. Call all the sannyāsīs.
Śrutakīrti: Call the sannyāsīs?
Prabhupāda: Hmm. (break) Theologician. You know?
Śrutakīrti: He's theologian?
Prabhupāda: You know?
Acyutānanda: No, I didn't know.
Prabhupāda: He's theologician. Now you discuss with him whether by theological arguments one can approach or understand what is God.
Jayapatāka: Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Sit down straight. Otherwise feel sleepy.
Jayapatāka: Myself and Gopāla Kṛṣṇa were just going to Krishnanagara to see that attorney for that . . .
Prabhupāda: Oh, all right.
Śrutakīrti: Others will be coming.
Jayapatāka: Tamāla Kṛṣṇa and . . .
Acyutānanda: Theosophy or theology?
Prabhupāda: No, theology.
Śrutakīrti: Theology. Theologian.
Prabhupāda: Theosophy and theology is practically the same.
Prajāpati: No, theosophy is nonsense Buddhist . . .
Prabhupāda: But according to academic order, logic is the preliminary study of philosophy. Our, our professor, Dr. Watt, he defined like that. In 1917 . . . (aside) Come on . . . there was the governor in Bengal, Lord Ronaldsay, Marquess of Zetland. He was a Scottish man. And our college was Scottish Churches College (aside) Get the light. So . . . don't lean. You'll feel sleep. Just like sit my Guru Mahārāja. Show the picture. Be . . . become my Guru Mahārāja. Yes. That sitting is the yogāsana. I am gone to hell. (laughter) You are young men. You learn from my Guru Mahārāja.
Pañcadraviḍa: No leaning.
Pañcadraviḍa: No leaning.
Prabhupāda: No. You'll never see any picture he was leaning. So that Lord Ronaldsay was very good scholar. So we were . . . when he was invited, he was taken to all the classes. So I was, at that time, in the second year. So I took permission to sit down in the first benches. The . . . our college was very big. So in each class there were 150 students. (break) Where is . . .
Brahmānanda: Tamāla Kṛṣṇa is taking a bath.
Prabhupāda: So they were giving role number according to admission. So I did not know that. So my role number was 105. So I thought it very incon . . . "I have to sit down after one hundred students?" So I took one certificate from Dr. Kartik Chandra Bose, who became, later on, my boss. Because he was our father's friend, so "Give me one certificate in this way, that I am hard of hearing; I must be given first-row seat." So he gave immediately certificate. What is that?
Śrutakīrti: Some juice.
Jagajīvana: Some juice and some watermelon, Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Oh, all right. Give it.
Acyutānanda: What does theology say?
Acyutānanda: What does theology mean?
Prabhupāda: Just explain.
Prajāpati: This is the study of faithful men understanding themselves through the medium of the church.
Prabhupāda: Now you discuss whether this point is very nice.
Acyutānanda: So what is the authority?
Prajāpati: The authority is the Christian tradition.
Acyutānanda: The Bible.
Prajāpati: Bible is part.
Prabhupāda: Yes. When he says Church, that means authority, Bible.
Acyutānanda: The Bible.
Prajāpati: No, part. The Bible is part.
Acyutānanda: Only part, one part.
Acyutānanda: He says the Bible is not . . . the Bible is not the complete authority?
Prajāpati: No, it's the tradition of the church through the great founding fathers, the great theologians up until the present day.
Viṣṇujana: Sādhu, śāstra, guru.
Prabhupāda: No . . . vāk . . .
Prajāpati: Yes, unfortunately no guru.
Prabhupāda: Church . . . church is following Bible.
Prabhupāda: So ultimately Bible becomes authority.
Prajāpati: In certain segments of Christianity; not all.
Acyutānanda: So what is their conclusion?
Pañcadraviḍa: Excuse me one minute before we go on. What is this in relation to, this discussion? I just walked in.
Prabhupāda: This . . . the subject matter is whether by theological arguments one can understand God.
Pañcadraviḍa: Well, according to dictionary, theology, theo, the Latin word theo, it means . . . that means God. Theo means God. And as far as I know, theology means the science or the study of God.
Pañcadraviḍa: So by definition . . .
Prajāpati: Not precisely. The word theology comes from the word logos. Theologos. And logos, in this sense, means the word of God. Yes.
Prabhupāda: Now, the words of God, that means one must know what is God. Otherwise how he can know this is the word of God? What is the answer by the theologian?
Prajāpati: The word of God is that a man is known by his works, his fruits. If he is a godly man . . .
Prabhupāda: No, no. Unless you know what is God, how you can accept this is the word of God? Just like you say: "Prabhupāda says." You take it, accept it, "Oh, Prabhupāda said." But you know what is Prabhupāda.
Prajāpati: So in . . .
Prabhupāda: It is not a fiction.
Prajāpati: In theological circles, yes, they are accepting great authorities like Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, as well as the śāstra, the Bible itself.
Acyutānanda: But Martin Luther and St. Augustine are opposed.
Prajāpati: Yes, there're many opposed, in many different ways.
Acyutānanda: Then the authority is . . .
Prajāpati: So that's why the goal is not so much a . . .
Acyutānanda: Who invented theology?
Prajāpati: St. Paul.
Acyutānanda: The first St. Paul?
Prajāpati: First St. Paul.
Acyutānanda: And he was before Martin Luther.
Prajāpati: Yes, he's before Martin Luther.
Pañcadraviḍa: In the . . . also this word logos, in the Bible it says: "In the beginning there was the word." That's logos, right? In the beginning there was the word. So what word was that?
Prajāpati: In the beginning . . .?
Pañcadraviḍa: He says: "In the beginning, there was the word."
Prajāpati: According to that same verse, that word was God.
Acyutānanda: And what was that?
Prabhupāda: But they . . . they must explain. Just like in Vedic literature the same idea is there. (aside) Don't lean. I am begging excuse. I am old man. But you should sit down like Guru Mahārāja. So we know what was the word, oṁkāra. Praṇavaḥ sarva-vedeṣu. (break) So oṁkāra is the word. So what is the Christian word?
Prajāpati: Again, there's no absolute authority. In the vast Christian tradition we have Origen saying one thing and St. Francis saying another. Widespread . . . that's why it is not a science that we can go to like we can to Śrīla Prabhupāda for an exact answer, Bhagavad-gītā, exact absolute authority. In the Christian tradition it is simply defined as faithful men understanding themselves in the light of the scripture, in the light of the tradition.
Prabhupāda: No, that is because you are our student. Suppose our preachers meet the theologicians. How to prove that theology is not the means? Theology . . . generally, you say it is speculation. So our point is that nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo na medhayā na bahunā śrutena (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.23). The ātmā, Kṛṣṇa, cannot be understood or approached, pravacanena, simply by logical arguments.
Prajāpati: The theologian would agree, Śrīla Prabhupāda. It's a question of what's called apologetics. Theology has a specific function for the Christian Church, to bring people within the fold. Simply to convince them through any means, logical or whatever, to then to come within the Church community, and then once they are within that group, then they can participate in what's called the Christian life. You have taking sacraments, engage in Christian fellowship, taking communion, so many things.
Acyutānanda: But their authorities disagree.
Prajāpati: Yes. That is . . . they will agree with that.
Acyutānanda: But our disciplic succession from thousands of years, there's no big disagreement.
Pañcadraviḍa: I met one . . . I was traveling about three months ago in India. I met one Christian on the train. So we began to discuss the śāstra. So I mentioned some of the arguments in reference to the Bible, that Christ was speaking . . .
Prabhupāda: (aside:) No, no. Where that covering? Where is it?
Pañcadraviḍa: I said that Christ was speaking basically to an uneducated public, the fishermen, etc . . . so then this man, he stopped me. He said, "That's all right. But," he said, "you're. . ."
Prabhupāda: Who? Who? Who said?
Pañcadraviḍa: I was discussing with one Christian in India. So I attacked . . . politely I attacked his scriptural reference, the Bible. I was saying that it was not meant that an educated community. So then he stopped me. He said: "That's all right." He said: "You can speak about fishermen. But," he said: "the prime exponent of Christianity was Paul. And Paul was previously Saul. He was not a fisherman. And he was traveling to a town on a particular . . . Damascus. And there he received direct revelation from God." And he said: "Then this one man, single-handedly, he converted most of the known world to Christianity."
Prabhupāda: That means he got direct revelation from God.
Prabhupāda: That is wanted.
Pañcadraviḍa: So he said just to talk about the Bible as evidence is not enough. He said: "You're overlooking direct revelation," which is what we are also dealing with, that the man who lives according to the word of God, he receives the word of God directly.
Prabhupāda: It is said there?
Prabhupāda: It is said there?
Pañcadraviḍa: He said to that effect, yes. He said: "Your argument about a fisherman community is not completely valid."
Prajāpati: There's always a differentiation we must make between a Christian, who we might meet and engage in argument, and the theologian himself. The theologian is a very oily character, very hard to pin down. The Christian, he may have specific beliefs, dogmatic, tenaciously holding to dogma, but the theologian, he . . .
Acyutānanda: Well, what does that . . .? What do they say?
Prajāpati: The theologians?
Prajāpati: They are simply word-jugglers. They are not held nearly so tight to . . .
Acyutānanda: Well, then, what's some of the things they invent?
Prajāpati: Well, one we were bringing up is simply that theology is a means that faithful men are coming to understand themselves, not that are approaching God. One approaches God within a community and within . . .
Prabhupāda: That a faithful man understands God, that we say. Then what is the basic principle of theology? Why this separate science has been established as "theology"? "Logy" means science.
Prajāpati: Yes. From the Christian point of view, the science is there simply that man does not accept simply by sentiment or by faith, but he can have his mind convinced as well.
Acyutānanda: But that has to be there. So what is the self, according to theology?
Prajāpati: Again, a Christian . . . Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we can ask such a question, "What does the Bhagavad-gītā or Kṛṣṇa consciousness say about the self or about Kṛṣṇa?" But in theology it's not so cut and dried. There's so many different authorities, each one saying a different thing.
Acyutānanda: Well, that's why I said . . .
Prajāpati: You must say, "So-and-so says . . ."
Pañcadraviḍa: Or they say: "At the time of judgment, a man must stand before the ever-living God, and he will be held . . . called, held accountable for his actions during this life."
Prajāpati: That's only a very small group. Those who are fundamentalists, who take strict interpretation of the Bible, and they're a very small group. And even that group doesn't have very many thoughtful or theological men backing it.
Pañcadraviḍa: Well, all Christians, they believe that there are, in one way or another, they're going to be held accountable to the word of God. Isn't that?
Pañcadraviḍa: Well, how they can have any . . .? How they can have any tenets or principles if they don't believe they're accountable to God?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Because they believe they can use Jesus like a doormat to clean their sinful activities of themselves.
Prabhupāda: Now, one thing is that why theology should be in reference with Bible? If it is a science, then why should it refer only to the Bible?
Prajāpati: Yes. The biggest school of theology, Harvard School of Theology . . . the study of the Bible is there, but only on the side. Instead, they study Freud, Karl Marx, everybody else . . .
Acyutānanda: Well, they should study Gītā.
Prajāpati: Yes, that's our point. How to get them to realize that? That's a question.
Acyutānanda: So we'll ask them, "We have a most scientific and detailed description of the self and God and the means to join to Him. That cannot be avoided in your study. And we claim the highest standard of renunciation and worship and godly society."
Prajāpati: And their answer . . .
Acyutānanda: "You can't avoid us."
Prajāpati: Their answer to such a challenge will be, "You please go across the street to the study of Hinduism."
Acyutānanda: No, you said theology. God is not a Christian God.
Prajāpati: But they're not interested. They only want to hear the Christian point of view. And for them, "Christian" doesn't mean Bible; it means their own . . .
Acyutānanda: That's Prabhupāda's first thing—what is God? Is it the Christian God? What is God? What is your definition of God? Is He a Christian God or pure?
Prabhupāda: No, the . . . the . . . first of all, this should be established, whether God can be Christian God or Hindu God or Muslim God. Is God to be designated like that? God is one, so how there is one God? If Christian has got separate God, a Hindu has got separate God, Muslim has got separate God, then how God is one?
Prajāpati: Their answer would be, "We cannot talk about God. We can simply talk about the Christian tradition of God, or the . . ."
Prabhupāda: Now, again you come to the Christian God.
Acyutānanda: Then your knowledge is limited.
Prabhupāda: Then . . . either Christian tradition . . . then it becomes bound up by the Christian ideas.
Prajāpati: And that is exactly the situation today.
Prabhupāda: But that is not God. Just like gold. Gold is everywhere gold. Because it is in Christian country, you cannot say: "It is Christian gold." And because it is in Muslim country, you cannot say: "It is Muslim gold." Gold is the world standard of money. The same gold, dispatched from America, can be accepted in India, dispatched from India, it can be accepted in Palestine, because it is gold. Everyone who knows what is gold, he'll accept it. So God should be like that. And therefore in the name Kṛṣṇa, "all-attractive." When there is gold, either you be Christian, Muslim, Hindu—"Oh, here is a lump of gold. Can I possess it?" That is attraction. So as gold is all-attractive, similarly, God must be all-attractive. And that word is used as Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. One who knows gold, he'll be attracted. Doesn't matter whether he's Hindu or Muslim, Christian, poor, rich man, black, white. It doesn't matter. Here is gold, and everyone . . . just like in your country there was gold rush. Eh? In California? From all different parts of the world they came. So gold is gold for everyone. So now one should try to understand or check what is gold. That is required.
Prajāpati: These men, Śrīla Prabhupāda, are very, very puffed up. They think that even such discussions of who God is and what God is, that . . . they feel they're way past that, and that's for lower class men to discuss.
Acyutānanda: Why do we give anything to them?
Pañcadraviḍa: But when you came to France, Śrīla Prabhupāda, you spoke at the Theology Club. About four years ago you came for a conference. They arranged a big meeting at the Theology Society in France. It's a worldwide society. And one thing I was . . . one thing I was considering: they must be interested because the Christians say that there is soul, and they say that there is God, so then wouldn't our question be, "What is the relationship of the soul to God?" They admit there is a soul. Every human being, they say, has a soul.
Prabhupāda: No. That, that is also beginning of understanding. But first, preliminary understanding should be that God is one. There cannot be Christian God. There cannot be Hindu God. There cannot be Muslim God. That is not complete idea of God. That is imperfect. Just like in Vedic literature, brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti (SB 1.2.11): three phases of understanding of the Absolute. First, beginning, is Brahman, then further advanced, Paramātmā; then, final advancement, Bhagavān. Similarly, the final realization of God is the Supreme Person. And then we should seek who is that person. That is real theology.
Pañcadraviḍa: What if they say: "We agree there's one God, but we do not agree that His name is Kṛṣṇa" or "We do not agree . . ."?
Prabhupāda: Then you suggest what is His name. My next challenge will be . . . you suggest.
Pañcadraviḍa: Well, they . . .
Ravīndra-svarūpa: In the Bible they give twelve names for God.
Prabhupāda: No, let me finish this. If you do not accept Kṛṣṇa is the name of God . . . I have explained what is the idea of Kṛṣṇa. The Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. The example is given, just like gold. Gold is attractive to everyone—to the educated, the uneducated, to the black, to the white, man, woman, everyone. One who knows God, er, one who knows gold, gold is attractive. Similarly, God is all-attractive. There cannot be that, "It is black gold," "It is white gold," "It is Christian gold," "It is Hindu gold." No. Gold is gold. So we present Kṛṣṇa that, "Here is God, all-attractive." That you say: "No, He's not God." Then you present your God.
Pañcadraviḍa: Well, I know just the . . .
Prabhupāda: You cannot say reject. They cannot reject Kṛṣṇa unless you present an alternative.
Pañcadraviḍa: Well, here's the argument. Part of the thing I remember in the Judeo tradition, Judeo-Christian tradition, in the . . . whenever we used to go to service and all that, they used to have in the prayer books . . . they would never write out the name of God because they say . . .
Prabhupāda: Oh, that means you do not know.
Pañcadraviḍa: No, they say God's name should never be spoken out loud.
Pañcadraviḍa: I don't know.
Prabhupāda: This is nonsense. If you know somebody, why should you say: "His name should not be explained"?
Brahmānanda: They say that God's name is so pure and we are so impure that to utter His name is to make it impure.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Is blasphemy.
Acyutānanda: No, I heard the explanation that a nonbeliever should not know it.
Prabhupāda: That is all right.
Acyutānanda: So they don't say it out loud.
Prabhupāda: No, when we come to argument that . . . we are supposed to be all believers in God. We are not nonbelievers. We simply want to ascertain who is that God. We are not nonbelievers. Then some persons who believe in God come together, so to ascertain who is God. So just like when we come to a meeting to elect a president, so they are not nonbelievers. They are not nonbelievers. As there are so many personalities, candidate for president, now who is the right person to become the president? That is wanted. To the nonbelievers, he has no access. About discussion in God he has no access. When we discuss about God, it is supposed they are all believers. So if you say . . . just like we are holding meeting to ascertain . . . there are so many names of God. Now we ascertain who is real God. "God" means there should be no more above Him. Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat (BG 7.7). That is God.
Viṣṇujana: Christians have such a name. They call Him Yahweh.
Viṣṇujana: Yahweh means "I am that I am. No one is beyond Me."
Viṣṇujana: They will say Yahweh is God.
Prabhupāda: No, Yahweh, what is . . .? That is the name?
Viṣṇujana: Name. "I am that . . ." It means in English, "I am that I am."
Prajāpati: Some people translate that as Jehovah.
Prajāpati: But it's the same word. In fact, everyone agrees they do not know what the real name is. Some say Yahweh; some say Jehovah. The Jewish tradition replaces completely and says Adonai, instead.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. He may not say. But we have to take from the meaning. What is the meaning?
Viṣṇujana: "No one is beyond Me."
Prabhupāda: That's all right. "No one is beyond Me." Then he comes to our conclusion, "all-attractive." They come to our conclusion, "all-attractive." Because if somebody is beyond Him, then he should be attractive. But if He's final attractive, then all-attractive, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. What do you think?
Prajāpati: It would be very nice to engage them in this way, Śrīla Prabhupāda. But they're not interested. They're interested in . . .
Acyutānanda: Self. "Then my idea is that . . ." They're interested in people, then, how they understand self.
Acyutānanda: So we have the highest standard of renunciation, highest standard of piety, highest standard of all religious qualities. So they cannot deny it. They cannot be noninterested.
Prajāpati: But in that sense, they would see us as a threat.
Acyutānanda: Yeah. So then you're only interested in keeping your Harvard chair.
Prajāpati: That's right.
Acyutānanda: Then they're not sincere.
Prajāpati: Harvard chair, bishop's salary . . . Bishops get 25,000 dollars a year.
Acyutānanda: Then if you can't discuss openly with people, then what's the point?
Prajāpati: The point is they have big, big buildings, big, big salaries, big, big positions . . .
Prabhupāda: That is . . . that is all right. If you want to keep one man in a very high position, you should give all comforts. That is good. Just like if you want to keep a king, he must have a palace. He must have his officers, secretaries . . .
Acyutānanda: So he means to say that if we present that we are better theologists, then their position will be in jeopardy.
Pañcadraviḍa: Then the question is, "Then why . . .?" Now we are . . . hypothetically, in this situation, we are approaching these theologists. Then why we are approaching if they are not open to discussion? I mean, what is the purpose in going to them?
Acyutānanda: No. Prajāpati here studied theology and brought it up to Prabhupāda.
Prajāpati: The purpose is because they are purporting to be . . .
Prajāpati: . . . what Śrīla Prabhupāda really is. Śrīla Prabhupāda is the real theologian, but they are using that name. And they . . . in that sense, they are the biggest cheaters. They're going by the name theologian, and they're not actually theologians. They're simply scholars, dry academicians.
Prabhupāda: What is that scholarship? Simply. . .
Prajāpati: The scholarship . . . they have degrees by their names, and they've gone through listening to other mental speculators, and now their students listen to them.
Prabhupāda: You said there are twelve names?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Yes. I have a list of them.
Prabhupāda: In the Bible?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Yes. One of them means "the Lord who sees me." One of them means "the supreme friend," "the supreme father." One of them means "the Lord of the mountain." One of them means "the King, the greatest King." "Brother" is another meaning. So . . . and these are all in the Old Testament, all these different names. So one of their arguments is that we're presenting a different name, therefore they think it is a different God. We can refer that there are twelve names. Does that mean that there are twelve Gods?
Acyutānanda: We have names which apply to those also.
Acyutānanda: "Supreme friend."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Dīna-bandhu.
Prabhupāda: He kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho dīna-bandho jagat-pate. We have got these names.
Acyutānanda: What's another one?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Lord of the mountain.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: The Lord of the mountain.
Prabhupāda: He kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho dīna-bandho jagat-pate. Then?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: "The brother."
Prabhupāda: Gopīka . . .? What is that, next line?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: "The brother."
Prabhupāda: He kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho dīna-bandho . . .
Devotees: Gopīka-kānta rādhā-kānta . . .
Prabhupāda: The so many names in one verse, and we have got thousands of names.
Prajāpati: Lord Caitanya would hear from Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita "The Thousand Names of Viṣṇu."
Prabhupāda: Yes. And thousand names, they are recorded, but He has got millions of names.
Pañcadraviḍa: In one tape, you said actually God has no name. You said God has no name, but because He . . .
Prabhupāda: No, that is other party's argument, "God has no name."
Pañcadraviḍa: No, no. In the tape, you said . . . in this tape, bhajana, explanation of bhajana, you said: "God . . . actually God has no name, but because He does so many things, then He has names for . . ."
Prabhupāda: Yes, according to His activities there are names.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: But all these twelve names, they still make that personality whom they are describing all-attractive. So that means . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. And not only that. When you have names, that means God is person. That must be admitted. God cannot be imperson. You may have twelve names or twelve thousand names, but when He has got name, He's a person. Now, our point is: "Who is that person?"
Trivikrama: Their point is . . . well, one of their points is that if Christ was actually the son of God, why didn't he talk about Kṛṣṇa?
Trivikrama: If Christ was the son of God, the good son, how is that he didn't . . . he never mentioned Kṛṣṇa by name? Sometimes they criticize us like that, "Why is there no mention of Kṛṣṇa in the Christian Bible?"
Prabhupāda: He might not have mentioned, but why there are twelve names in the Bible?
Pañcadraviḍa: That's Old Testament. That's not Christ . . .
Prabhupāda: The name is there.
Acyutānanda: And Christ, Prabhupāda has . . .
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The point is that just like when you're . . .
Prabhupāda: No, first of all, his point should be answered.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I'm going to answer his point.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The answer to his point is that just as there's a president of the United States, so when someone is talking about the president, according to how intimate that person is, you discuss different subject matters. For example, if the person is just a common person, a regular person, you may discuss about the president's powers in the government. But when you meet someone who actually is intimately connected with the president, then you describe the president's family, how the president's family is doing, what is the president doing in his time of relaxation, etc. So similarly, Jesus was speaking to persons who were not very intimate with God. They were not so much spiritually advanced. Therefore, for those persons, simply the power and glory of God is mentioned in the Bible. But Kṛṣṇa, the description of Kṛṣṇa in the Bhāgavatam, is meant for the pure devotees. And for them the very detailed, intimate description of Kṛṣṇa is given there.
Prajāpati: A very major thing happened to the Christian tradition in about 400 A.D. Up until that time, as best our records are, Christianity was very much like Kṛṣṇa consciousness, very much like our movement. But at that time it became the official religion of the Roman Empire under Constantine, and it took on many of the paraphernalia of the old Roman demigod worship, and at that time it became a whole . . .
Prabhupāda: Just to make it favorable for your government, for the government.
Prabhupāda: Then deterioration began.
Pañcadraviḍa: Well, they don't . . . again, mentioning this Saul. Saul was converted on the way to Damascus, and he became a believer in God. Then, by himself, he traveled all over the known world and convinced everyone in the Roman Empire to accept . . . to accept Christianity. So it may have taken on those formal signs, but actually there was no process . . . according to them, there was no process done to dilute the religion or to weaken it or to change it, but it was only accepted by the masses. That's all.
Prajāpati: Actually, a very interesting thing, in terms of this point, is that this Paul, Saul, was in conflict with the direct disciplic succession from Jesus in many points. Those who were his, Jesus's, direct disciples, Paul disagreed with them and cut out many of their teachings or the teachings that were coming down in direct disciplic succession to make it more palatable to the outlying areas.
Pañcadraviḍa: The government.
Prajāpati: Yes. So at that moment there, the disciplic succession was broken.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: What is the time difference between Paul and Jesus' disciples?
Prajāpati: He was here at the same time. Peter, James . . . he was a contemporary, but he had never had any personal contact with Jesus while Jesus was in . . . (indistinct)
Pañcadraviḍa: In fact, he lived . . . he . . . in the beginning, he was against Christianity. He was antithetical to it. And then he experienced . . .
Acyutānanda: He was a professional religionist who made it popular to the public.
Pañcadraviḍa: And then he experienced a so-called conversion, isn't it?
Acyutānanda: He fell off his horse and saw . . .
Prajāpati: He heard a voice, fell off his horse, and he was blinded, and his eyesight would only be restored when he would approach a certain man in Jerusalem who was part of the Christian fold, and when he approached that man then his sight would be returned.
Acyutānanda: This story . . .
Prabhupāda: Now, another question, that we say that God's name and God—all-powerful. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis tatrārpitā (Śikṣāṣṭaka 2): "In the name of God, all God's potencies are there." So have you got any name like that? That means if you chant that name, you get immediately contact with God.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: That idea is put forth in the Psalms repeatedly. It says: "Sing the names of the Lord with high-sounding cymbals, with drums." It says in one place that, "The name of the Lord is exalted even beyond heaven."
Trivikrama: "Hallowed by Thy name." There's a prayer.
Prabhupāda: That . . . What is that name?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: They don't . . . the Christians . . . it says: "Sing the name of God," but they don't do that.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. But if you have to chant name . . . just like we prescribe, "Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa," so what is the name they recommend to chant?
Acyutānanda: "Adonai" is a . . . it's an apostrophe.
Prajāpati: But that's the name that was chanted. Adonai (Hebrew).
Pañcadraviḍa: No, by the Christians.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: What about Christians?
Viṣṇujana: Jesus, Jehovah. They say Jesus is the name.
Prabhupāda: Adonai, whose name it is?
Acyutānanda: In India Christians say that Jesus Christ is God.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: They're trying to substitute . . . in the beginning of the Bible it says that, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was God." And modern-day translations, they have substituted the word "Christ" for "the word." So it says: "In the beginning was Christ, and Christ was God." So they're trying to make . . . they're trying in that way to make Jesus God. And that is the name, because they don't know what is that word.
Prajāpati: We can understand this . . .
Prabhupāda: That is again another adulteration.
Prajāpati: It is adulteration, but the tendency is there because Kṛṣṇa is a person. Because God is a person, they . . . everyone wants to worship God as a person. It's the only way God can be worshiped. So because they do not know Kṛṣṇa, they make Jesus God so they can worship him as a person.
Prabhupāda: That is also good. But do they do?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: To worship means to follow the instructions, and they . . .
Prabhupāda: Do they follow?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: . . . do not follow the instructions.
Prabhupāda: Yes. The . . . do they follow the Ten Commandments?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No.
Trivikrama: They say: "You cannot. It is not possible. Only you have to accept Christ. Then you will be saved."
Acyutānanda: Ask Lord Zetland.
Acyutānanda: Lord Zetland said: "It is not possible . . ."
Trivikrama: It is not possible.
Acyutānanda: ". . . to give up meat and illicit . . ."
Prabhupāda: Then? Where is Christian?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We are. We are the Christians.
Pañcadraviḍa: Well, they say then, "You can't do any of these things, so you have to accept Christ in your heart."
Acyutānanda: That was my challenge that: "We are doing them better than all of you, so you . . . that's . . ."
Prabhupāda: No, if you keep God or Christ within your heart, then your heart will be purified. That means you are cheating.
Pañcadraviḍa: Yeah, that's what it boils down to.
Prabhupāda: You are all cheaters. Not Christians, but cheaters. You do not keep in the heart Christ's name or God's name, but you keep your own ideas. Therefore you think it is impossible. Otherwise, your heart would have been cleansed. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12).
- śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
- hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi
- vidhunoti . . .
- (SB 1.2.17)
Anyone who is keeping Kṛṣṇa within his heart, he becomes cleansed of all dirty things. And because the dirty things are there, that means he is not keeping.
Acyutānanda: You know the Cardinal that you spoke with in Paris?
Acyutānanda: You know how he died?
Brahmānanda: It has happenned again.
Brahmānanda: Just when I was in Germany, a big bishop in France, he was also found in a similar . . . he had died in a similar circumstance.
Pañcadraviḍa: Worse state.
Brahmānanda: Worse, yes.
Prabhupāda: Yes, these things are . . . and in Vṛndāvana, one big gosvāmī, he died at the house of her (his) one woman disciple, lying there, sleeping with her. There are so many.
Pañcadraviḍa: That's how this bishop died also. He died unclothed.
Prabhupāda: Just see.
Trivikrama: And he was saying that animals have no soul.
Prabhupāda: You were present that time?
Trivikrama: I heard the tape. So now he is an animal, he knows.
Prabhupāda: (chuckles) So I am just interested, but people will . . . many people will come and many theories. So you discuss among yourself how to get the strength to defend yourself and to convince them.
Acyutānanda: But unless their theology is practical . . . if it is not practical, then it is useless to study theology, if it has no practical application.
Prajāpati: They make that point. "Therefore," they say: "such talk about God is impractical. So therefore we don't bother talking about God."
Prabhupāda: "Then why you put theology?" That is our point. "Then why you have put this theology?" "There's no use talking of God"—that is another thing. But when you make "logy," you must come to logic. "Logy" means discussion. Is it not? "Logy" means science?
Prabhupāda: What is the meaning of "logy"?
Prabhupāda: Hmm? Find out this dictionary meaning.
Prajāpati: Logic is the rational ordering of thoughts in words.
Pañcadraviḍa: When I was in San Francisco six or seven years ago, some new school of theology, theologians, they were having things like they were opening up churches to the hippies to have parties for LSD and things like that. I remember a couple at the Glide Memorial Church. They had that. And a number of the other new theologians, they were starting to talk about "free sex," and drugs, and . . .
Acyutānanda: They put on stunts to attract people to accept Christianity.
Trivikrama: Like bingo.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: And they have opened special churches for homosexuals in Australia.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Special churches for homosexuals in Australia.
Devotee: Oh, all over.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: All over.
Pañcadraviḍa: So see: Churches for illicit sex, churches for intoxication, churches for gambling, and churches for meat-eating.
Acyutānanda: Every Sunday they all have.
Trivikrama: Once I was driving a taxi, and a woman got in the cab, and she said: "I hope my goddamn luck is better tonight." She was going to a church. (laughter) She was going to a church to play bingo, and she was speaking like that.
Śrutakīrti: There's the word logos, logo. Logos is here. It means "word, or second person of a trinity."
Prabhupāda: No, no, "logy."
Śrutakīrti: "Logy" is not here.
Śrutakīrti: Logic is here. "Scheme of or trustees(?) on, science of reasoning . . ."
Prabhupāda: That . . . that . . .
Śrutakīrti: ". . . chain of reasoning, arguments, logical . . ."
Śrutakīrti: ". . . of logic, in conformity with principles of logic."
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Science of reasoning.
Prajāpati: In words.
Prabhupāda: So "logy" means logic.
Acyutānanda: If you say what you are . . . your own theory cannot be done, that's illogical.
Acyutānanda: If you propose a theory and say: "It cannot exist," then that's an illogical presentation. A rabbit's horn. (break) It can't exist. Sky-flower. Doesn't . . .
Prajāpati: Each of these big theologians has a specific area of specialization. For example, I took a course, when I was a student in the School of Theology, in the New Testament, hoping to learn scriptures, but instead, the entire semester was spent trying to decide which of the books of the Bible came first—the Book of Matthew or the Book of Mark. And they had very detailed ways of what they called "form criticism," taking a particular passage and checking it, seeing . . .
Acyutānanda: Right. What is their method?
Pañcadraviḍa: Why did you say you joined? What was it? I mean what was it you were trying to study? You said . . .
Prajāpati: I went three years to a school of theology.
Pañcadraviḍa: But that particular course?
Prajāpati: This was a course in the New Testament.
Pañcadraviḍa: So why . . . why did you say you took it?
Prajāpati: To study the śāstra, to study the scriptures, what was being said. Instead . . .
Acyutānanda: No, what was their method for examining their material, research?
Prajāpati: The material research is taking . . . finding certain forms, certain sentence construction, grammar, and comparing it with other passages in the scriptures as opposed to that grammar, to see if the form is the same, to see . . . to determine by different criteria which came first, which is earlier.
Acyutānanda: So after . . .
Prabhupāda: No, their . . .
Acyutānanda: Since St. Paul did they find out . . .
Prabhupāda: That is academic. That is not theology.
Acyutānanda: I think that, Prabhupāda, the theologians invented these questions like "Can God make a yardstick with no end on it?" "How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?" "Can God make a mountain that He can't pick up?" "Can God commit suicide?" All these questions, they. . .
Prajāpati: Not so much . . .
Acyutānanda: . . . talk about.
Prajāpati: This is what's called philosophy of religion. This is different than theology. Philosophy of religion, they're all atheists, all taking pokes at the other people's idea of God.
Acyutānanda: People like . . . (indistinct)
Prajāpati: A great . . . a conference of philosophers of religion met in London about ten years ago on the topic "Talk of God." Each man presented a paper, his idea of talk of God. No one had any inkling of God. Simply they were speculating on why people talk of God.
Pañcadraviḍa: Then what is the use of all this? I'd rather just sit home and read Caitanya-caritāmṛta (laughter) than get into this.
Prajāpati: The use, the reason for it, is because these people, though they are great rascals, are influencing millions of other people. They're influencing them to hell rather than those same people hearing from Śrīla Prabhupāda or hearing from you gentlemen can be elevated to the point of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Acyutānanda: There's a single serious way. You can say: "Look, you've been sitting here since St. Paul, and you haven't arrived at anything except discussion, and you're bluffing the whole public that you're doing some advanced research, and taking salaries and . . ."
Ravīndra-svarūpa: But, but we have to convince them.
Pañcadraviḍa: But how can you convince them . . .?
Acyutānanda: We'll convince them that they haven't come to any conclusion?
Pañcadraviḍa: Yeah, how can you convince them if they can't even, they cannot define who is God, they cannot define what is the soul, they cannot define what is the principles of religion?
Acyutānanda: And their leader is breaking all of them.
Pañcadraviḍa: They cannot . . . they can't . . . they don't even have any disciplic succession. Their śāstra is . . . they can't agree among them what is the concise śāstra, nor can they agree on what is the importance of accepting śāstra in the first place. They're doing all sinful activities. So then . . . then what is there to convince?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: So why not start an authoritative group of Christians who chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, who study the Bible and read the Bhagavad-gītā?
Acyutānanda: We are.
Prabhupāda: We are all Christians.
Acyutānanda: Here we are.
Pañcadraviḍa: We already are Christians.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: But they are seeing us . . . they don't accept that, though. If somebody was calling themselves Christians . . .
Prabhupāda: That . . . it is not possible that everyone will accept you. That is not . . . (indistinct)
Pañcadraviḍa: They . . . the Christians on the street, they don't accept because they say: "You have not accepted Christ." I say: "I am following all Christ's teachings." They say: "Well, you haven't been baptized. If you're following all the principles, why not be baptized?"
Ravīndra-svarūpa: I was baptized.
Prajāpati: But this is a . . . this group of Christians you meet on the street that are fundamentalists following the Bible are very different group from the big Harvard scholars. The theologians that we're concerned with are those that are actually influencing millions of people by their rascaldom.
Acyutānanda: Do they come up with any big decisions every year and change people's . . .?
Pañcadraviḍa: I never met anyone who was influenced by any of these theologians. I never even heard of 'em. I never even heard of them till you just started discussing today. (laughter) I don't know anybody in the Western world who's influenced by any theologians from Harvard.
Acyutānanda: No, maybe they set the policies for churches. Maybe they influence them.
Prajāpati: Yes, right.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: They do.
Prajāpati: The main people who listen to the theologians are the pulpit preachers, the shepherds of individual flocks of Christians around the world. They are the ones who are most influenced by the theologians.
Acyutānanda: They stay in . . .
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Government leaders all over the world are influenced by these. And they run their . . . they base their policies on the ethics of the Christian Church.
Acyutānanda: What I say is that . . .
Ravīndra-svarūpa: And if you try to present something different, then they're opposed to that based on their conditioning, based on the influence . . .
Pañcadraviḍa: But is the Christian Church, is that being determined by the theologians at Harvard? They, they have some say in this?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Yes. They set the . . . they write the books, though. They interpret the Bible. They are the so-called gurus because they interpret the scripture whatever way they want to.
Trivikrama: So you know some of these people?
Prajāpati: Yes, we've had some contact. We arranged a very nice meeting with Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja with one of the foremost theologians at Harvard. His name is Harvey Cox. Perhaps you're familiar with his book The Secular City. And we came and brought devotees into the class and chanted. The people thought it was . . .
Acyutānanda: So what was his suggestions?
Pañcadraviḍa: Now, what was his reaction, first of all? What was his reaction to Kṛṣṇa consciousness? What did he say?
Prajāpati: They don't take us seriously. They still look upon us as just singing and dancing in the street, and that's it.
Pañcadraviḍa: Well, that's . . .
Acyutānanda: They have to realize that . . .
Pañcadraviḍa: That's also there in the Hindu community. Most of the Hindus, they don't take us seriously either.
Trivikrama: Even when they see all these books?
Acyutānanda: No, when they see that we've given up our drugs and our everything, we've taken a religious life, they invited us. I think they just see that we have something to beat them, and they usher us out, knowing that their position is in jeopardy.
Prajāpati: The reason we're here right this afternoon is the fact that though these men are preaching this rascaldom, our preaching can undermine it, at least to the point where they can be influenced and that the people that they are . . . are being influenced by them will take some notice, "Yes, this is a viable alternative" to the rascaldom that they're being presented, this . . .
Pañcadraviḍa: I had the feeling that it is just like when I was approaching people in Calcutta. They said: "We'll help you, but we cannot help you in a big way because we're already giving so much help to the Ramakrishna Society." So then after hearing this a few times, I concluded that people respected the Ramakrishna Society because they have a lot of money and a lot of popular support and everybody was giving to them, so they just, just like everybody else, they wanted to be part of the whole show. So the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, we have books, we have teaching, and we can present the principles very purely. But in terms of a world movement, we don't have a lot of money or a lot of power or a lot of tanks or a lot of guns or a lot of churches or a lot of popular support.
Acyutānanda: What is the idea . . .?
Pañcadraviḍa: So maybe the theologians won't accept us on that basis, that we're not powerful.
Acyutānanda: Who is the ideal Christian according to the theologists? What do they say is the best, let's say, flock of Christians? What do they do?
Pañcadraviḍa: Who's the biggest?
Acyutānanda: Bishop Sheen?
Prajāpati: There is no, I would say, among theologians, no consensus.
Acyutānanda: So when are they satisfied that you are a real Christian or not?
Pañcadraviḍa: When do you become a theologian? Who is the biggest theologians? How are they accepted? On the basis of degree?
Prajāpati: Yes, scholarship, books published.
Acyutānanda: Well, then it could probably be possible to be a theologian without even really believing in Christianity.
Prajāpati: Oh, definitely. Most of them don't.
Pañcadraviḍa: Then Prabhupāda's the biggest theologian, because we have twenty-two books right here on the shelf. (break) And we have the credentials. And they cannot dismiss the books either, because we have the credentials that they are being used in major universities all over the world. So if universities are accepting, and they get their power from the degrees obtained from the universities, they cannot dismiss any longer. Isn't it?
Acyutānanda: We have broken the disciplic succession now. We become by degree, by qualification.
Prajāpati: In all their scholarly journals—and they publish quite a few—very few . . . little is written about God. The subject matter of God is . . .
Pañcadraviḍa: They talk of man's relation, the benefit of man . . .
Prajāpati: The Church, different aspect of scholarship, different aspects in biblical research.
Acyutānanda: No, say some things specific.
Pañcadraviḍa: Yeah, I can't understand all that.
Trivikrama: I know what you mean. I read some of their . . .
Prajāpati: I have tried to attack them by just taking a specific article, and I am lost immediately myself. It's all mish-mosh. There's nothing there to fight. It's like a . . . but the use is that we must . . .
Acyutānanda: There must be something to attract them. So they're giving arguments for Christians who are, you know, intellectual.
Pañcadraviḍa: The thing is . . . the thing that makes it hard to understand what the use is—because we say, then, in all these . . . we try to define, and they can't be defined. And then you say that they don't take us seriously. They don't accept what we're saying. They don't accept these teachings. They would dismiss us in a minute. What is the use?
Acyutānanda: They must say something concrete.
Prajāpati: Well, the most concrete they get is their dissatisfaction with the present status quo. So in that we're in agreement with them. "Yes, we're dissatisfied with the status quo also, but we are offering alternatives that are . . ."
Acyutānanda: They're dissatisfied with the people who are sinful.
Paramahaṁsa: Where is their method for changing the status quo?
Acyutānanda: They're not dissatisfied . . .
Prabhupāda: Method is there, the Ten Commandments, but they won't follow.
Prajāpati: Well, instead of being dissatisfied with the fact that people are sinful . . .
Prabhupāda: Method is already there in the Bible.
Prajāpati: They're dissatisfied with the fact that the . . .
Prabhupāda: But they don't follow it.
Prajāpati: . . . that the air is polluted, that people are. . .
Pañcadraviḍa: So the hippies are dissatisfied that the air is polluted also. So what? Who cares for the hippies?
Prajāpati: That, exactly, is the point. They're looking to Freud, they're looking to Marx, they're looking to everyone as an authority.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: I'll give you an example. In Zambia, the president, his name is Dr. Kenneth Kaunda . . . (break) He's exactly one of these persons. I met with him a couple weeks ago. He's John, John . . . what's his name? John Patrick? Śrīla Prabhupāda, you met him in London. And he's one of these philosophers. And his argument against our work and our preaching was that we shouldn't fly on jet planes because it pollutes the air. That was his argument
Acyutānanda: How did he get to Africa from London?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: He said he walked. (laughter)
Acyutānanda: And you killed so many insects under your feet.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: No, he goes on jets. But that's his argument to defeat our philosophy. This is how they argue. What he's saying is true. They actually argue like this, that we are . . . we are . . . our philosophy is not correct because we fly on jet planes. They have a completely materialistic . . . yes.
Pañcadraviḍa: Well, then how's he travel?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Well, for him, it's all right. He doesn't care. But for someone who's preaching a nonmaterialistic philosophy . . . so this is . . . these are the kind of people that are influencing people like Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, who's the president of a country, of Zambia, that has something like twelve million people.
Acyutānanda: Well, we say: "What is the difference between matter and spirit?"
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Yes, we argued all these points with him, but still, his ultimate. . .
Acyutānanda: So actually all these people are just word-jugglers who want to keep their position with the government.
Prajāpati: They have government.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Yes, and that's what they do.
Prajāpati: They have grants. They write books.
Acyutānanda: Just to keep their, their . . .
Prajāpati: But the books are being read.
Pañcadraviḍa: There's a saying that . . .
Acyutānanda: Cinmayananda Swami. He's a professional swami, and he confuses all the people very talentedly so that they all clap. If you ask them after . . . Prabhupāda has asked them, "What did he say?" "He said very nicely." But they can't say anything.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: So . . . these men are influencing. One of the things we did, we invited him to the temple, and we gave him a big plate of nice prasādam, and he liked it very much. He said: "If my wife could learn to cook like this, I'd give up meat." So we thought that was very significant.
Pañcadraviḍa: Send his wife over to the temple. We'll train her up.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: So why don't you write a book? Why don't you become a theologian from their point of view and write a book about Christianity? If they, if they can do it, if they can do it, write books and get people to read them, then why can't you do the same thing, write books on Christianity?
Acyutānanda: Did you pass the course in . . .?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: If you want to get into their world.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Rūpānuga . . . Rūpānuga is already getting one book together, so you can write a chapter in it. There's a book, and he's going to comment . . . it's a scientific book on different aspects, and he's commenting on, I think, social, various social applications. So you can comment on the theosophical points. I mean it can be included in this book. Actually, if you have the qualifications, I'm sure he would want a chapter from you. Prabhupāda, you know that book Rūpānuga's putting together?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That'd be appreciated, 'cause it's going to reach many intelligent people.
Acyutānanda: More than the theologians, people listen to psychiatrists.
Prajāpati: Yes, the theologians listen to the psychiatrists.
Acyutānanda: They have another mish-mosh to delude the people into paying them money. They're simply tricksters. Tricksters.
Prajāpati: Many of the theologians today are influenced by a book called I'm OK—you're OK, which . . .
Acyutānanda: We're okay.
Śrutakīrti: (to Prabhupāda) You want to keep this here?
Prajāpati: . . . Dr. Harris. And this book's central tenet is that we can be happy in life simply by patting each other on the back and approving of what each other does.
Acyutānanda: No one's saying stabbing . . . (indistinct)
Trivikrama: Actually material nature's kicking them on the head and shoulders at every minute. And they're thinking everything is okay. That is māyā.
Pañcadraviḍa: One of the principles, I'm told, of psychology's is whether a person can pass semina or not. If he can pass semina, then he's considered normal, and if he can't, he's subnormal. This is the standard.
Acyutānanda: So he has said to pass . . .
Prabhupāda: Now our next point is that we say that God the person is identical with His name. Now if by meeting God, by seeing God, you become purified, then by chanting His name also, you'll become purified, because we say God and His name, identical. But if by meeting God you become immediately purified of material contamination, similarly, by chanting God's name you immediately become purified. So what is that name of God that acts immediately, exactly like God? So far Kṛṣṇa name is concerned, it is practically that so many thousands of men, they are chanting "Kṛṣṇa," and they are becoming purified. So find out any other name which can act equally. Then that is accepted as God's name, not by imagination.
Pañcadraviḍa: How do you find out, Prabhupāda?
Pañcadraviḍa: How . . .? If a person says: "How do you find out? How can we find out other names?"
Prabhupāda: Here we are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa and we are becoming purified. That is the name.
Pañcadraviḍa: Dhruva chanted oṁ . . .
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇeti na . . . varṇa-dvayam. Kṛṣṇeti. Kṛṣ-ṇa, varṇa, alphabets two. Jīva Gosvāmī said, kṛṣṇeti varṇa-dvayam. This is the name. Rāma. Rāmeti varṇa-dvayam. You chant Rāma, Rāma, you chant Kṛṣṇa, and it is . . . it will act. And there is proof. So find out any other name. If he acts . . . if it acts like that, then it is God's name. Phalena paricīyate: "By the action, we have to understand the substance." Just like quinine is understood to subsidize . . . subside fever. Then if you take something as quinine and if your fever is gone, then it is quinine. Similarly, God name, it acting as God, purifying . . . so Kṛṣṇa is purifying. Therefore it's God's name. Yes?
Śrutakīrti: It's almost time for lunch, Prabhupāda.
Śrutakīrti: Shall we go?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (devotees offer obeisances) (break) It will take some time. But our line of action. . .
Devotee (2): Generally these type of people are . . . they're so mentally puffed-up that a process like chanting doesn't appeal to them. They want something for their minds to speculate on.
Prabhupāda: Why not process? Eh? Eh?
Devotee (2): The books are what actually attracts them. It attracts their minds.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We have got two process. One process is chanting. Another process: read books. That is also chanting.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: One argument that the Christians have . . . when we tell them that we accept Lord Jesus, so they say that, "You haven't accepted Jesus into your heart." We say: "We're following the teachings of Jesus." And they say: "But you haven't accepted Jesus into your heart," that, "You're not a follower of Jesus. And that's the lacking qualification."
Prabhupāda: It is very difficult to convince them. (break) We may not keep Christ in heart, but even you do not keep Christ by your dealing. You are simply disobeying the orders. Then how you can be a Christian?
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Jesus says that in Matthew. He says that "Many will come to me and say: 'Lord, Lord,' that, 'We cured the sick in your name, and we cast out demons in your name,' " and Jesus said that "When they come I will say: 'Get away from me. I know you not, for you failed to do the will of my Father,' " even though they're claiming to be Christians.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Many times, Śrīla Prabhupāda, I've heard you say, when speaking to people that, "You don't have to give up your faith. You can remain a Christian or you can remain a Muhammadan. Simply chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and you'll become purified." So the main point . . .
Prabhupāda: No, we say not only Hare Kṛṣṇa. "You chant the name of God. But if you have no name of God, then here is the name of God."
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Yeah. So that if we can get Christians to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, then . . .
Prabhupāda: That is all right. Anyone who chants Hare Kṛṣṇa, he becomes purified. It doesn't matter what he is.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Many of them are afraid to accept our movement or our philosophy because they feel that their personal religion is threatened, that they'll have to stop being a Christian. So when I earlier mentioned that to start some Christian group, the idea was to have some people who are professing to be Christians, but they are taking the word of Jesus to the deepest point where he says that, "There are many things I have not revealed to you, and you will understand them by the grace of the Holy Spirit." So they could have a Christian group where people worshiped Lord Jesus as their spiritual master and simultaneously worshiped Kṛṣṇa. And they could introduce that to develop more knowledge of God one can read the Bhagavad-gītā, one can follow the instruction in the Bible by chanting the names of God, and they would have better access to Christians than those of us who are wearing robes or shaving our heads.
Prajāpati: Better the same people to understand that Śrīla Prabhupāda meets all the qualifications that Jesus Christ met, plus more in he is here, and he is the Christ. Christ is the anointed one of God.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: Yes. So we have to bring them to that understanding, but we have to understand also that they're afraid, that their own faith will be shaken. So if you can give them more knowledge, then they can come to understand that. So if they . . . you have said that we accept Jesus as our guru. So if someone was practically worshiping, so they could see. Then they could not deny. When a devotee says to them, "Yes, I'm accepting Jesus in my heart," they could not deny. If they are, for instance in a person, householder's home—he's worshiping Kṛṣṇa, and he's having a picture of you and a picture of Jesus—then there's no way they can deny that they are not Christians. And they could have access to a lot of the young Christian groups. (break)
Prajāpati: This life . . .
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Wanna check it out? (break) (end)