This issue discusses the Vaisnava viewpoint on Lord Jesus Christ. Why? Precisely because he is revered as a messenger from the Supreme Lord Himself. The Vedas call such persons saktyavesa-avatara (sakti: Lord’s potency and avesa: one who is bestowed).
In a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, in 1974, he explained, “Krsna consciousness movement is not a sentimental religious system. It is science and philosophy. The attempt is to awaken God consciousness. God is neither Christian nor Hindu nor Muslim. God is God. There may be angles of vision to approach God, but God is one. Therefore our attempt is that you become God conscious. Don't be limited by Christianism or Hinduism or Muhammadanism.”
The real formula is this: First-class religion is defined as that system by which the follower becomes a lover of God.
You can approach this goal by accepting Christianity or Hinduism or Islam. If you understand what God is and if you know what your relationship with God is in this way your goal of life, how to learn to love God, is achieved then it doesn’t matter through which religion you achieve that perfection. But if you can achieve that perfection, that system is perfect.
Since Jesus exhibited the potency of God while he was present on the planet and continues to do so, anyone following his system authentically can achieve success in spiritual life. As is commonly observed, someone getting his Masters in chemical engineering from an institute in India may further proceed to the USA for his doctorate. The chemistry taught there does not contain different laws but the student has access to superior tools.
When Srila Prabhupada first arrived in London, newspaper reporters asked him, “Why have you come here?” Prabhupada immediately replied, “To teach what you have forgotten: God.” Srila Prabhupada did not bring “another religion” from the East to compete with those of the West. Rather, he gave the West what it had never known before: Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is known by various names. Westerners had a vague idea of God, but they knew nothing of Krsna. First they had imagined God to be an angry old man. Later they took Him to be either dead or at best an impersonal “force.”
How can a devotee of Krsna understand the position of Lord Jesus Christ?
In one of his essay’s Srila Prabhupada quotes Dr. Radhakrishnan’s comment on the Bible:
“The doctrine of the Incarnation agitated the Christian world a great deal. Arioes maintained that the Son is not the equal of the Father but created by Him. The view that they are not distinct but only different aspects of one Being is the theory of Sabellius. The former emphasized the distinctness of the Father and the Son and the latter their oneness. The view that finally prevailed was that the Father and the Son were equal and of the same substance; they were, however, distinct persons. (Introductory Essay, p. 35)
Then Srila Prabhupada comments as follows: “These words vaguely describe the philosophy of simultaneously oneness and difference; therefore we acknowledge it. Jesus, the son of God, is a jiva, a separated part of the Supreme Godhead. But the jiva is also spiritual, and hence Jesus is qualitatively the same as the Supreme Lord. But the son can never be equal to the Father in all respects; that is to say, the jiva is never on the same platform as the Supreme Lord. Also, all the jivas are separate individuals. And just as each jiva is a unique personality, so God is also a unique personality, but the difference is that He is absolute. By describing the Lord as impersonal and formless, one loses sight of His perfect wholeness.”
During the Cold War era scientists had warned of Mutual Assured Destruction (very aptly shortened to MAD). Now there is an opportunity of Mutual Assured Deliverance, provided spiritually minded people join hands, come out of their secluded places, and preach the science of God, to prevent the rapid growth of atheism.
The warning is already there, and responsible leaders of religious sects must meet together and form a common platform of a league of devotees of the Lord. There is no need for self-realized souls to live in a secluded place. Perfect self-realized souls, engaged in the service of the Lord, are unafraid of maya, just as law-abiding citizens of a state never fear the police. Such fearless devotees of God always speak scientifically about the existence of God, even at the risk of death. Such devotees of God feel compassion for the mass of people, who have completely forgotten the Supreme Lord and who engage in the false pursuit of happiness that ends in the sense pleasures enjoyed by the hogs and dogs.”