Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.10.9 P The Battle Between the Demigods and Vrtrasura
etavan avyayo dharmah
atma socati hrsyati
etavan--this much; avyayah--imperishable; dharmah--religious principle; punya-slokaih--by famous persons who are celebrated as pious; upasitah--recognized; yah--which; bhuta--of the living beings; soka--by the distress; harsabhyam--and by the happiness; atma--the mind; socati--laments; hrsyati--feels happiness.
If one is unhappy to see the distress of other living beings and happy to see their happiness, his religious principles are appreciated as imperishable by exalted persons who are considered pious and benevolent.
One generally follows different types of religious principles or performs various occupational duties according to the body given to him by the modes of material nature. In this verse, however, real religious principles are explained. Everyone should be unhappy to see others in distress and happy to see others happy. Atmavat sarva-bhutesu: one should feel the happiness and distress of others as his own. It is on this basis that the Buddhist religious principle of nonviolence--ahimsah parama-dharmah--is established. We feel pain when someone disturbs us, and therefore we should not inflict pain upon other living beings. Lord Buddha's mission was to stop unnecessary animal killing, and therefore he preached that the greatest religious principle is nonviolence.
One cannot continue killing animals and at the same time be a religious man. That is the greatest hypocrisy. Jesus Christ said, "Do not kill," but hypocrites nevertheless maintain thousands of slaughterhouses while posing as Christians. Such hypocrisy is condemned in this verse. One should be happy to see others happy, and one should be unhappy to see others unhappy. This is the principle to be followed. Unfortunately, at the present moment so-called philanthropists and humanitarians advocate the happiness of humanity at the cost of the lives of poor animals. That is not recommended herein. This verse clearly says that one should be compassionate to all living entities. Regardless of whether human. animal, tree or plant, all living entities are sons of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (14.4):
murtayah sambhavanti yah
tasam brahma mahad yonir
aham bija-pradah pita
"It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father." The different forms of these living entities are only their external dresses. Every living being is actually a spirit soul, a part and parcel of God. Therefore one should not favor only one kind of living being. A Vaisnava sees all living entities as part and parcel of God. As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (5.18 and 18.54):
brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva svapake ca
"The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste]."
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param
"One who is transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me." A Vaisnava, therefore, is truly a perfect person because he laments to see others unhappy and feels joy at seeing others happy. A Vaisnava is para-duhkha-duhkhi; he is always unhappy to see the conditioned souls in an unhappy state of materialism. Therefore a Vaisnava is always busy preaching Krsna consciousness throughout the world.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.15.10 P Instructions for Civilized Human Beings
drstva bhutani bibhyati
esa makaruno hanyad
ataj-jno hy asu-trp dhruvam
dravya-yajnaih--with animals and other eatable things; yaksyamanam--the person engaged in such sacrifices; drstva--by seeing; bhutani--the living entities (animals); bibhyati--become afraid; esah--this person (the performer of sacrifice); ma--us; akarunah--who is inhumane and merciless; hanyat--will kill; a-tat-jnah--most ignorant; hi--indeed; asu-trp--who is most satisfied by killing others; dhruvam--certainly.
Upon seeing the person engaged in performing the sacrifice, animals meant to be sacrificed are extremely afraid, thinking, "This merciless performer of sacrifices, being ignorant of the purpose of sacrifice and being most satisfied by killing others, will surely kill us."
Animal sacrifice in the name of religion is current practically all over the world in every established religion. It is said that Lord Jesus Christ, when twelve years old, was shocked to see the Jews sacrificing birds and animals in the synagogues and that he therefore rejected the Jewish system of religion and started the religious system of Christianity, adhering to the Old Testament commandment "Thou shalt not kill." At the present day, however, not only are animals killed in the name of sacrifice, but the killing of animals has increased enormously because of the increasing number of slaughterhouses. Slaughtering animals, either for religion or for food, is most abominable and is condemned herein. Unless one is merciless, one cannot sacrifice animals, either in the name of religion or for food.
Perfect Questions Perfect Answers 6 The Perfect Devotee
Srila Prabhupada: They should have been ashamed: "Lord Jesus Christ suffered for us, but we are continuing the sinful activities." He told everyone, "Thou shalt not kill," but they are indulging in killing, thinking, "Lord Jesus Christ will excuse us and take all the sinful reactions." This is going on. We should be very much cautious: "For my sinful actions my spiritual master will suffer, so I'll not commit even a pinch of sinful activities." That is the duty of the disciple. After initiation, all sinful reaction is finished. Now if he again commits sinful activities, his spiritual master has to suffer. A disciple should be sympathetic and consider this. "For my sinful activities, my spiritual master will suffer." If the spiritual master is attacked by some disease, it is due to the sinful activities of others. "Don't make many disciples." But we do it because we are preaching. Never mind--let us suffer--still we shall accept them. Therefore your question was--when I suffer is it due to my past misdeeds? Was it not? That is my misdeed--that I accepted some disciples who are nonsense. That is my misdeed.
PQPA 9 Deciding for the Future
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, but they are not taking the guidance. Just like the Christians. Jesus is guiding them, "Thou shalt not kill," but they are killing. Where is the Jesus guidance? Simply saying, "I am guided by Jesus Christ"--will that do? "But I don't care for his words." Is that guidance? Nobody is being guided by Jesus Christ. Their claim is false. It is very hard to find a man who is actually being guided by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ's guidance is available, but nobody is caring for him. They have taken Jesus Christ as contractor to take up their sins. That is their philosophy. They commit all kinds of sins, and poor Jesus Christ will be responsible. That is their religion. Therefore they say, "We have a very good religion. For all our sinful activities, Jesus Christ will die." So is that good religion? They have no sympathy for Jesus Christ. He died for our sins. Why should we commit sins again? Such a great life has been sacrificed for our sins, so we should be guided by Jesus Christ. But if you take it otherwise--"Ah, we shall go on committing all sins, and Jesus Christ will make a contract to nullify all my sins; I'll simply go to the church and confess and come back and again do all nonsense"--do you think that shows very good intelligence?
PQPA 9 Deciding for the Future
Srila Prabhupada: That's all right. He may eat anything. He is powerful. But he has ordered, "Thou shalt not kill. You must stop killing." He is powerful. He can eat the whole world. But you cannot compare to Jesus Christ. You cannot imitate Jesus Christ; you have to abide by his order. Then you are guided by Jesus Christ. That is actually obedience. That is explained in the Bhagavata. One who is isvara, who is empowered, can do anything, but we cannot imitate. We have to abide by his order: "What he says to me, that I will do." You cannot imitate. You say that Jesus Christ ate meat. Admitting that, you do not know in what condition he ate meat. He is himself eating meat, but he is advising others not to kill. Do you think that Jesus Christ was contradicting himself?
PQPA 9 Deciding for the Future
So why shall you imitate Jesus Christ? You are imitating Jesus Christ by eating meat. Why not imitate Jesus Christ and sacrifice your life for spreading God consciousness? What do you think? Yes, when you preach you can say what you think. They are so-called Christians--but what are they doing for God? Just consider the sun. The sun is absorbing urine. Can you drink urine? If you want to imitate the sun--"Oh, here is the sun absorbing urine. Let me drink urine"--can you? Jesus Christ is powerful; he can do everything. But we cannot imitate; we have to simply abide by his order. That is real Christianity. We cannot imitate a powerful man. That is wrong. In our Vedic literature, there was a poison ocean, so people could not find out what to do with it. Then Lord Siva said, "All right, I'll drink it." So he drank the whole poison ocean and kept it in his throat. Can you drink poison? Not the ocean--just one cup? So how can we imitate Lord Siva? Lord Siva never advised that we drink poison. So you have to abide by the advice, not imitate.
Science of Self Realization 1 Learning the Science of the Self
Srila Prabhupada: Primarily, religion means to know God and to love Him. That is religion. Nowadays, because of a lack of training, nobody knows God, what to speak of loving Him. People are satisfied simply going to church and praying, "O God, give us our daily bread." In the Srimad-Bhagavatam this is called a cheating religion, because the aim is not to know and love God but to gain some personal profit. In other words, if I profess to follow some religion but I do not know who God is or how to love Him, I am practicing a cheating religion. As far as the Christian religion is concerned, ample opportunity is given to understand God, but no one is taking it. For example, the Bible contains the commandment "Thou shall not kill," but Christians have built the world's best slaughterhouses. How can they become God conscious if they disobey the commandments of Lord Jesus Christ? And this is going on not just in the Christian religion, but in every religion. The title "Hindu," "Muslim," or "Christian" is simply a rubber stamp. None of them knows who God is and how to love Him.
SSR 4 Understanding Krsna and Christ
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. The first point is that they violate the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" by maintaining slaughterhouses. Do you agree that this commandment is being violated?
Father Emmanuel: Personally, I agree.
Srila Prabhupada: Good. So if the Christians want to love God, they must stop killing animals.
Father Emmanuel: But isn't the most important point--
Srila Prabhupada: If you miss one point, there is a mistake in your calculation. Regardless of what you add or subtract after that, the mistake is already in the calculation, and everything that follows will also be faulty. We cannot simply accept that part of the scripture we like, and reject what we don't like, and still expect to get the result. For example, a hen lays eggs with its back part and eats with its beak. A farmer may consider, "The front part of the hen is very expensive because I have to feed it. Better to cut it off." But if the head is missing there will be no eggs anymore, because the body is dead. Similarly, if we reject the difficult part of the scriptures and obey the part we like, such an interpretation will not help us. We have to accept all the injunctions of the scripture as they are given, not only those that suit us. If you do not follow the first order, "Thou shalt not kill," then where is the question of love of God?
Visitor: Christians take this commandment to be applicable to human beings, not to animals.
Srila Prabhupada: That would mean that Christ was not intelligent enough to use the right word: murder. There is killing, and there is murder. Murder refers to human beings. Do you think Jesus was not intelligent enough to use the right word--murder--instead of the word killing? Killing means any kind of killing, and especially animal killing. If Jesus had meant simply the killing of humans, he would have used the word murder.
Father Emmanuel: But in the Old Testament the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" does refer to murder. And when Jesus said, "Thou shalt not kill," he extended this commandment to mean that a human being should not only refrain from killing another human being, but should also treat him with love. He never spoke about man's relationship with other living entities, but only about his relationship with other human beings. When he said, "Thou shalt not kill," he also meant in the mental and emotional sense--that you should not insult anyone or hurt him, treat him badly, and so on.
Srila Prabhupada: We are not concerned with this or that testament but only with the words used in the commandments. If you want to interpret these words, that is something else. We understand the direct meaning. "Thou shalt not kill" means, "The Christians should not kill." You may put forth interpretations in order to continue the present way of action, but we understand very clearly that there is no need for interpretation. Interpretation is necessary if things are not clear. But here the meaning is clear. "Thou shalt not kill" is a clear instruction. Why should we interpret it?
SSR 4 Understanding Krsna and Christ Jesus Christ Was a Guru
The spiritual leader of the Hare Krsna movement here recognizes Lord Jesus Christ as "the son of God, the representative of God... our guru... our spiritual master," yet he has some sharp words for those who currently claim to be Christ's followers...
The Srimad-Bhagavatam states that any bona fide preacher of God consciousness must have the qualities of titiksa (tolerance) and karuna (compassion). In the character of Lord Jesus Christ we find both these qualities. He was so tolerant that even while he was being crucified, he didn't condemn anyone. And he was so compassionate that he prayed to God to forgive the very persons who were trying to kill him. (Of course, they could not actually kill him. But they were thinking that he could be killed, so they were committing a great offense.) As Christ was being crucified he prayed, "Father, forgive them. They know not what they are doing."
A preacher of God consciousness is a friend to all living beings. Lord Jesus Christ exemplified this by teaching, "Thou shalt not kill." But the Christians like to misinterpret this instruction. They think the animals have no soul, and therefore they think they can freely kill billions of innocent animals in the slaughterhouses. So although there are many persons who profess to be Christians, it would be very difficult to find one who strictly follows the instructions of Lord Jesus Christ.
A Vaisnava is unhappy to see the suffering of others. Therefore, Lord Jesus Christ agreed to be crucified--to free others from their suffering. But his followers are so unfaithful that they have decided, "Let Christ suffer for us, and we'll go on committing sin." They love Christ so much that they think, "My dear Christ, we are very weak. We cannot give up our sinful activities. So you please suffer for us."
Jesus Christ taught, "Thou shalt not kill." But his followers have now decided, "Let us kill anyway," and they open big, modern, scientific slaughterhouses. "If there is any sin, Christ will suffer for us." This is a most abominable conclusion.
Christ can take the sufferings for the previous sins of his devotees. But first they have to be sane: "Why should I put Jesus Christ into suffering for my sins? Let me stop my sinful activities."
Suppose a man--the favorite son of his father--commits a murder. And suppose he thinks, "If there is any punishment coming, my father can suffer for me." Will the law allow it? When the murderer is arrested and says, "No, no. You can release me and arrest my father; I am his pet son," will the police officials comply with that fool's request? He committed the murder, but he thinks his father should suffer the punishment! Is that a sane proposal? "No. You have committed the murder; you must be hanged." Similarly, when you commit sinful activities, you must suffer--not Jesus Christ. This is God's law.
Jesus Christ was such a great personality--the son of God, the representative of God. He had no fault. Still, he was crucified. He wanted to deliver God consciousness, but in return they crucified him--they were so thankless. They could not appreciate his preaching. But we appreciate him and give him all honor as the representative of God.
Of course, the message that Christ preached was just according to his particular time, place, and country, and just suited for a particular group of people. But certainly he is the representative of God. Therefore we adore Lord Jesus Christ and offer our obeisances to him.
Once, in Melbourne, a group of Christian ministers came to visit me. They asked, "What is your idea of Jesus Christ?" I told them, "He is our guru. He is preaching God consciousness, so he is our spiritual master." The ministers very much appreciated that.
Actually, anyone who is preaching God's glories must be accepted as a guru. Jesus Christ is one such great personality. We should not think of him as an ordinary human being. The scriptures say that anyone who considers the spiritual master to be an ordinary man has a hellish mentality. If Jesus Christ were an ordinary man, then he could not have delivered God consciousness.
Girl devotee: Is Jesus in the parampara?
Prabhupada: Yes. He says, "There is God. I am son of God." That is parampara. Yes. Unfortunately nobody cares to follow Jesus Christ. That I must say. Jesus Christ says, "Thou shall not kill," and Christians are very expert to kill. (laughter) They take pride in bullfighting. This is the position. So it is very difficult to find out a real Christian.
Prabhupada: Yes. 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.
Swedish man (1): But in himself, Christ himself. I mean not the...
Prabhupada: Christ. 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.
Just like in the Bible, the first injunction is "Thou shall not kill." This means the people were, in those days, at least people who were all around Christ, they were very much expert in killing. Otherwise why he says first, "Thou shall not kill"? So this injunction must be followed. Unfortunately they first of all killed Jesus Christ: "You are speaking 'Thou shall not kill'? I shall kill you." Just see. This is the position. "So what is my fault? You want to kill me?" "Because you are speaking of God, therefore we shall kill you." And actually it actually happened. This is demonic.
Jagadisa: In the Krsna book you describe that the only person who can't understand Krsna consciousness is the killer of the cow.
Prabhupada: Yes. Animal. Why cow? Any animal.
bhavausadhac chrotra-mano 'bhiramat
puman virajyeta vina pasughnat
Unless one is animal-killer, everyone welcomes God. This very word is used, vina pasughnat. Excepting these persons who are animal killers, everyone will welcome Krsna. It is so nasty thing, animal-killing. So you require thoroughly to be washed. Then you'll understand. Actually it is brainwashing. Civilized man, in the presence of so many nice grains, fruits, flowers, vegetables, milk, so many things, and you are eating meat like the man in the jungle? Are you civilized? Does it mean that the fruit, flowers and grains is meant for animals? It is meant for human beings. You do not know how to utilize it. You are in the state of the animals. You kill animals and eat. Don't claim that you are civilized. Therefore your brain requires to be thoroughly washed to become civilized. Therefore your brain requires to be thoroughly washed to become civilized, Krsna conscious. Then talk of civilization. Therefore Jesus Christ first of all requested you "Don't kill." That is also brainwash, cleanse your brain. But you could not take the brainwash. Your brain is congested with so much dirty things that you could not take the instruction of Jesus Christ, and you claim to be Christian. Be ashamed. Don't come forward. Be ashamed. You have no shame even. You are so--what is called?--fool that you do not know what is defective. What is that English proverb? "Fools rush in where angels dare not." You are such a fool that you are running in to obstruct Krsna consciousness, which is... Even the demigods, they aspire after it. You are such a fool. You are rushing in. So we take pity upon you, and therefore we are trying to expand Krsna consciousness. But be sane; don't talk insanity. (break) And here you see big, big scholars that "Yes, here is Indian statement for the whole..." There are many saintly persons. Who cares for your Bible? And Bhagavad-gita all over the world... Even if you take Dr. Radhakrishnan, elected as authority, he has tried to comment on Bhagavad-gita, not on your Bible. Has he done? Who cares for your Bible? He may speak favorably or unfavorably, that is Bhagavad-gita. But he has not spoken a word upon the Bible. Who cares for you? Not only here, all over the world, who is going to take the Bhagavad-gita, er, Bible? And we are selling millions of copies of Bhagavad-gita. That is proof Krsna is God. We can say that we have got at home. Here is God. What do you think?
Prabhupada: Yes, that's all right. But Jesus Christ did not say to you because you are rascal. You cannot follow even his one instruction. That is the answer. It is not the foolishness of Jesus Christ. Because you are so rascal, you cannot understand it. Therefore he avoided you rascals. Because whatever he has said, you cannot follow. So what you will understand? Therefore he stopped speaking.
Jagadisa: They killed him after three years.
Prabhupada: Yes. You are so rascal that his personal instruction is...
Ramesvara: Three years?
Jagadisa: Three years' preaching and they killed him.
Prabhupada: Why he will waste his time to rascals like you? And I understand that Jesus Christ said that "I have to say many thing, but I did not say..." like that.
Ramesvara: He said, "I have more to tell that ye cannot bear."