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Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Swami Jesus

December 22, 2016

 

With Christmas upon us, we take a look at what our Founder, Srila Prabhupada said about Jesus. The title is from a letter Prabhupada wrote in 1965 to a Mrs. Sally Agarwal. Prabhupada stayed with Sally and her husband Gopal in Butler, Pennsylvania when he first arrived in America. Sally told the background story of the name:

 

"One time something happened with our little girl, Kamala, who was only three years old. I used to take her to Sunday school, and she learned about Jesus in Sunday school. Then when she would see Swamiji with his robes on and everything, she called him Swami Jesus. And this one time when it first dawned on us what she was saying, she called him Swami Jesus, and Swami smiled and said, 'And a little child shall lead them.'" Sally Agarwal

Later, when Prabhupada was in New York he wrote to Sally:

 

"I am obliged to your good daughter for awarding me a good degree as SWAMI JESUS which is actually a great honour for me. Some time the Lord speaks through innocent child and I take this honour as sent by Lord Jesus through an innocent child free from all formalities of the current society. Lord Jesus preached the message of God and I have taken up the same mission, and it would be a good luck for me if I can follow the footprints of Lord Jesus who preached the message of God in spite of all persecution. Lord Jesus is a living example how one has to suffer in this material world simply for the matter of preaching the message of God." Srila Prabhupada, 1965

 

Throughout his teaching years, Prabhupada would often be asked about Christianity and Jesus. He had great respect for Jesus, and also challenged his followers to be better. Here are a selections of quotes from over the years:

 

Sādhu does not become disturbed. At the same time, kāruṇikāḥ. He is himself disturbed, but he is merciful to others. Just like Jesus Christ. He is being crucified, and still he is merciful: "God, these people do not know what they are doing. Please excuse them." This is sādhu. 1973

 

Titikṣavaḥ means very tolerant, very tolerant, very much tolerant. Titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ. At the same time very kind-hearted. We find these two characters in the life of Lord Jesus. He was very much tolerant, at the same time kind to the people in general. You see? So titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ suhṛdaḥ sarva-dehinām. And he is friend. A sādhu is friend of all living entities. He is not only friend of the human kind. He is friend of the animals. He is friend of the trees. He is friend of the ants, worms, reptiles, serpents—everyone. 1966

 

Vaiṣṇava is meant for all the fallen souls. Just like a very good example: Lord Jesus Christ. According to the Christian idea, he took all the sins of all people and he sacrificed his life. Very good example. Similarly, Haridāsa Ṭhākura also. There... Nityānanda Prabhu. The Vaiṣṇava is always eager how to deliver all these fallen souls rotting in the hell of māyā. Therefore it is recommended, syān mahat-sevayā. You have to take shelter of a mahat.  1972

 

So Lord Jesus Christ said, "My Lord, hallowed be Thy name." He wants to glorify the name of the Lord. And some people says that there is no name of God. How? If Lord Jesus Christ says "Hallowed by Thy name," there must be name. The name is there, but he did not pronounce it because the people at that time will not be able to understand or maybe some reason, but he says there is name. So we are making this propaganda, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, the "Hallowed by Thy name. My Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, let Your holy name be glorified." This is our movement. It is not a sectarian... 1974

 

But main teaching, so far we read Bible, Jesus Christ said, "Thou shalt not kill." But they are, you are, everyone is killing. That's all. The first commandment is violated. It is clearly said, "Thou shalt not kill." But when I ask any Christian, "Why you are killing?" He cannot give me any satisfactory answer. 1973

 

We offer our all respect to Jesus Christ. Yes. We call "Lord." We offer our sincere respects to him. That is all right. His teaching is all right. He gives you the message of God. We are doing the same thing. So therefore he is bona fide. Anyone who is spreading the knowledge of God, he is bona fide representative of God. That we admit. But unfortunately, his instructions are not being followed. That is our lamentation. Otherwise it is very nice. 1973

 

We do not say that don't read Bible. Read something, but learn something. Jesus Christ said, "Thou shall not kill." You learn this art. But you read Bible and kill animals, then what is your benefit? 1975


Just like Lord Jesus Christ said that "You hate the sin, not the sinner." Not the sinner. This is very nice. Because sinner is illusioned. He's mad. If you hate him, then how you can deliver him? Therefore those who are devotees, those who are really servant of God, they have no hate for anyone. 1966

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