April 1 2009

Here’s question #3 from the CIS:

“Did Srila Prabhupada ever mentioned in his talks or wrote somewhere that Christianity is mayavada? If he did how should we understand it?” [author not identified]

Answer:

I don’t know of any specific statement from Srila Prabhupada that Christianity is mayavada. If anything, it is not because they worship the personal aspect of the son of God, Jesus.

jesus_king.jpg

Islam is definitely mayavada. If you look closely at some of the sculptures in the older temples in Vrindavan, you will see that many of the figures have their hands, faces and other features broken off. This is was the result of Muslim attacks on Hindu temples, especially during the time of Aurangzeb. Many temples in Vrndavana were desecrated such as the Radha Govinda mandira which had its top three floors knocked of by the forces of the envious Aurangzeb.

govindaji-mandir.jpg

Buddhism is generally impersonal or sunyavada, although there are some sects that worship a form of Buddha and having a relationship with him on a heavenly planet is their ultimate goal. Judaiism has no personal form of worship.

Here is an interesting letter Srila Prabhupada wrote to an editor of the Los Angeles Times:

Los Angeles
14 January, 1970
70-01-14

Executive Senior Editor
Los Angeles Times
Times Mirror Sq.
Los Angeles, Cal.
Dear Sir,
With reference to your article in the Los Angeles Times dated Sunday 11th January, 1970 under the heading “Krishna Chant,” I beg to point out that Hindu religion is perfectly based on Personal conception of God or Visnu. Impersonal conception of God is a side issue or one of the three features of God. The Absolute Truth is ultimately the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Paramatma conception is localized aspect of His omnipresence and the impersonal conception is the aspect of His greatness and eternity. But all combined together makes the Complete Whole.

“Dr. J.F. Staal’s statement that Krishna cult is a combination of Christian and Hindu religion — as if something manufactured by concoction — is not correct. If Christian, Mohammedan or Buddhist religions are personal that is quite welcome. But Krishna religion is personal from a time long, long ago when Christian, Mohammedan and Buddhist religions had not yet come into existence. According to the Vedic conception, religion is basically made by the Personal God as His laws. Religion cannot be manufactured by man or anyone superior to man. Religion is the law of God only.

“Unfortunately all the Swamis who came before me in this country stressed the impersonal aspect of God without sufficient knowledge of Personal aspect of God. In the Bhagavad-gita, therefore it is said that only less intelligent persons consider that God is originally impersonal but when He incarnates He assumes a Form. But Krishna philosophy based on the authority of the Vedas is that originally the Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. …”
[end quote]

You see from this that the impersonal aspect of God is the one most commonly recognized, and therefore you will find that even so-called followers of the Vedas are mainly mayavada, what to speak of other religions whose literature does not touch upon the personal aspect of God.

Your humble servant,
Hari-sauri dasa

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