Krishna is a historical personality. But He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. According to Vedic literature, we get information that God comes within all kinds of societies. Not only human society but in animal society also. And why does He come? When does He come? These descriptions, that information is there in the Vedic literature very nicely, so one has to study.
Q&A’s About Krishna
Question: Prabhupāda, who is Krishna?
Bhaktivedanta Swami: Krishna is a historical personality. But He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. According to Vedic literature, we get information that God comes within all kinds of societies. Not only human society, but in animal society also. And why does He come? When does He come? These descriptions, that information is there in the Vedic literature very nicely, so one has to study.
Sometimes, people object that, “God cannot come as incarnation.” But we don’t agree with that point. If we say that God cannot come, that means God becomes subjected to our order. He is so great and independent, so why He shall not come? If He likes, He can come.
We don’t agree to the philosophy that God cannot come. Why God cannot come? If He is actually the greatest, whatever He likes, He can do, that is God’s position.
Question: What is Krishna consciousness?
Bhaktivedanta Swami: Yes. That is very important. Krishna consciousness is described very nicely in the Bhagavad-gītā. Perhaps you know Bhagavad-Gītā. I understand you are reading Bhagavad-Gītā.
So Bhagavad-Gītā is the guide how to become Krishna conscious. There is a statement by Krishna Himself in the ninth chapter: man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru
Man-mana: Just always think of Me, become my devotee, always think of Me. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji: Worship me. Offer obeisances unto me. These are the different processes how one can become Krishna conscious.
Question: How does Krishna consciousness differ from other yoga systems?
Bhaktivedanta Swami: Yoga systems is also Krishna consciousness. But the modern yoga system is a different manufacture of the latest atheist class of men. They meditate upon something impersonal, void. That is very difficult. You cannot concentrate your mind on something void. That is simply troublesome. That is stated in the Bhagavad-Gītā: kleso ‘dhikataras tesam avyaktasakta-cetasam
Those who are attached to the impersonal void feature of the Absolute Truth, their process is very troublesome. So, Krishna has got the different features of his manifestations.
The first feature is impersonal. The second feature is localized. The third feature is localized, but the Supreme.
So generally, the yogis, they try to concentrate on the impersonal feature. Actually they should have concentrated on the localized feature. The localized feature is called Paramātmā. And the impersonal feature is called brahman. And the personal feature is called Bhagavān. That is explained very nicely in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
The Absolute Truth is one. And personal, impersonal, and localized, the thing is one. But according to a different vision, in the beginning, it is impersonal, farther advanced it is localized and farther advanced it is personal.
So yoga system of the modern day, first of all I may say, most of them are not very bona fide. They are simply humbug. Actual yoga system, aṣṭāṅga-yoga, is different stages of practicing yoga, is not possible at the present day.
Question: What is the relationship between Christ and Krishna?
Bhaktivedanta Swami: That is very simple to understand. Christ represented himself, as son of God. So we have no objection to accepting him as son of God..
Question: In the Bible, Lord Christ said the only way to worship God is through me.
Bhaktivedanta Swami: Yes. That’s nice. Because unless you get association of a devotee, there is no question of God realization. So Jesus Christ was a devotee. So one has to associate with a devotee before realization of God. But it is not that God has got only one devotee.
If God is unlimited, he has unlimited devotees of God. That is real philosophy. But the philosophy which was spoken by Lord Jesus Christ, that society was different from the society where Krishna appeared and Krishna spoke.
Just like Krishna spoke to Arjuna. And Jesus Christ spoke to some people in a desert. So their status of life and their understanding is different.
So the representative of God speaks according to the circumstances, according to the country. So it was good for the people at that time. They should have concentrated to Jesus Christ.
Question: Is Krishna consciousness sectarian? Can anyone take it up? Can Christians take it up? Can Moslems take it up?
Bhaktivedanta Swami: Yes, you can see practically. All our students here in the Western countries, they’re mostly coming from Christian group, Jewish group, and there are many Mohammedans also. And these Negros. All kinds of…everyone is welcome. That is stated in the Bhagavad-Gītā.
Although materially there is gradation of first class, second class, third class human society. But Krishna is saying that anyone, mam hi partha vyapasritya, anyone who takes proper shelter of me, this is very important. Proper shelter means to take shelter of Krishna.
But in the physical absence of Krishna, one has to take shelter of Krishna’s real representative. Then anyone who is understanding Krishna’s philosophy, and he will be elevated to the highest platform of understanding.