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Krishna Prema`s Food for Thought 2018 # 37 - „Jesus Christ? He is Our Guru!“

For many, Christmas has become much more a cultural and social event with rather little spiritual meaning. While celebrating Christmas with my mother and my brothers family I was reflecting about Jesus and how we, as Vaishnavas, see him.

Srila Prabhupada once was asked by a group of Christian ministers in Melbourne: „What is your idea of Jesus Christ?“ He told them: „He is our guru. He is preaching God consciousness, so he is our spiritual master.“ Srila Prabhupada later referred to that incident and added: “Actually, anyone who is preaching God`s glories must be accepted as guru. Jesus Christ is such a great personality. We should not think of him as an ordinary human being (..) If Jesus Christ were an ordinary man, he could not have delivered God consciousness.” 1

Christians often make the point that we just need to believe in Jesus Christ and that this faith in him will be enough to be delivered. The Srimad Bhagavatam confirms that if one develops strong attachments to a pure devotee of the Lord then the doors for liberation will be opened. At the same time, Prabhupada always emphasized that to love also means to follow. Something that Jesus also expected from his followers: „ If you love me, you will keep my commandments.“ 2 True surrender to God will be manifested not only with words but also in the way we think, feel and act. A powerful description of true symptoms of surrender can be found in Srila Bhaktivinoda's Saranagati. Comparing his words with the teachings of Jesus Christ clearly shows how close Christianity and Vaishnavism actually are. Here is a small comparison of the two great teachers’ words:

Jesus speaks on humility: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” 3

Bhaktivinoda offers prayers in his section dedicated to humility: „Oh Lord, I offer this humble prayer at Your feet (..) I find no strength to rise again… There has never been a soul more fallen than me.“ 4

Jesus emphasizes surrender to the will of God: "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” 5

Bhaktivinoda surrenders to the Lord with the words: „All there is that may be indicated by the words "I" and "mine", I offer at Your lotus feet, O merciful Lord! I no longer consider even myself to be "mine", O Lord! Now I have become exclusively Yours. My will has become merged with Your will. From this day forward Bhaktivinoda has completely forgotten himself.“ 6

Jesus talks about faith in the Lord: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” 7

Bhaktivinoda Thakur expresses his conviction in the Lord's maintenance: „Within my mind, I have always been anxious for the maintenance of my wife and children, my own body and relatives. Now, through self-surrender, I have been relieved of all anxiety. O Lord, surely You will provide for the maintenance of Your own household. / I will never think for my own nourishment and will remain absorbed in ever cherishing love for my Master. Bhaktivinoda now accepts You as his only maintainer.” 8

Hearing these statements it is not surprising when Srila Prabhupada pointed out: „We don't disagree with the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ because he`s speaking the same thing which we are also speaking, about the science of God.“ 9 In this spirit: „ Merry Christmas!“


1 - Science of Self-Realization , Ch. 4

2 - Joh. 14:15

3 - Matthew 18:3-4

4 - Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Saranagati, Dainya - Song 6 5 - John 6:38

6 - Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Saranagati, Atma-nivedana - Song 3/4

7 - Matthew 6:25-34

8 - Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Saranagati, Goptrtve-varana - Song 2/3

9 - Srila Prabhupada Interview, San Francisco, 12.3.1968


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