Following is an excerpt from a conversation between His Divine Grace
A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and a Christian priest that took place on June 9, 1974 in Paris.
Jyotirmayi: Mr. (indistinct) has made very good progress, because before he was always teaching impersonalist Bhagavad gita, and now you see he is wearing a dhoti, he's coming to chant Hare Krsna, he's coming for Srimad Bhagavatam classes, and he teaches personalist Bhagavad gita. But he still thinks a little bit that maybe above there is something impersonalism. But there is good progress . (laughter)
Prabhupada: Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. Brahman, Paramatma … He understands English?
Prabhupada: Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan, last stage. First realization impersonal Brahman, then localized Paramatma, and then Personality of Godhead.(Jyotinnayf translates into French)
Yogesvara: Jyotirmayi, perhaps you can explain what Mr. Priest's qualifications are.
Jyotirmayi: Yeah, Mr. (indistinct) is a priest, and he has been for a long time in India, a Christian priest, and he was very glad to know what you are doing here. Krsna consciousness was …
Prabhupada: In India, where did you stay?
Priest: In Poona.
Prabhupada: Poona,oh. How long you were there?
Priest: Twenty five years.
Prabhupada: Oh, then you are Indian. (laughter)
Priest: Half of my time, yes, I was in India, half my life.
Prabhupada: Twenty five years in a place means you domicile. Yes, naturally.
Priest: For studies it's a beautiful place, and particularly for Sanskrit.
Priest: How do you find your disciples here in Europe?
Prabhupada: Caitanya Mahaprabhu's cult is so nice that it can attract anyone.
Priest: It does, it does.
Prabhupada: What was your subject matter for study?
Priest: I was studying for a doctorate thes is, the story of the pilgrimage and everything of the brahmana pilgrimage. And as you know, it was one of the main bhakti tradition in Maharastra, Orissa, Jnanesvara.
Prabhupada: Tukarama, Tukarama.
Priest: I have proceeded to (indistinct).
Prabhupada: Tukarama is in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Priest: That's right.
Prabhupada: He was initiated by Caitanya. In his avanga, it is written that he was initiated by Caitanya.
Priest: It's a great bhakti tradition.
Prabhupada: Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg.18.55]. Find out. If we want to know God, then we have to accept the process recommended by God. That is bhakti.
bhaktya mam abhijanati
yavtin yas casmi tattvatah
tato mdm tattvato jnatva
"One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God."
Prabhupada: So in another place also it is said, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto madyaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], mam evaisyasi, asamsaya. "If you want to enter in the kingdom of God, always think of Me," man-mana, "and you just become My devotee and worship Me and offer your obeisances." These four principles, it is not difficult. To achieve the kingdom of God is not at all difficult. It is very easy. Anyone can go. But they are not prepared to accept the process. That is their misfortune. Otherwise, always thinking of God. We are thinking something, but the thinking should be turned towards God. That is our teaching. They are always chanting Hare Krsna. So by uttering the word Krsna, immediately you think of Krsna. This is the process. It is not difficult at all.
And you can always think of, just like these boys have been taught, walking on the street, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama … Just like we have got this. I am talking with you, but two minutes I talk with you, as soon as I stop, I chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama … What is the difficulty? It is Simply practice. No difficulty. And simply by chanting the holy name of Krsna, everyone can see how these young boys and girls, they are not very old, they have taken to it quite young, but they have forgotten everything. They do not go to cinema, do not go to hotel, no dancing. Dancing they have got Krsna dancing, always. Painting they have got, singing they have got, arts, literature. We have got eighty books like this, four hundred pages. Pure life no meat eating, no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling. Finished. And it is guaranteed if you remain in this attitude, Krsna says that "Surely you come back to me." What is the second line? Man-mana …
Pradyumna: Mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam atmanam mat-parayamah.
Prabhupada: In another place it is said asaritsaya, that is in the Eighteenth Chapter. So to go back to home, back to Godhead, is very easy, but people will not take to it. They are stubborn; they will stick here, the miserable life, material life. This is the difficulty. Otherwise, God can be achieved very easily. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Four things.
yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yukta tamo matah
The first class yogis. Actually no education is required. Simply God has given us the tongue and the ear. So it's Hare Krsna, tongue, and hear with the ear. Sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir: by hearing, the sound enters into the heart. In this way you become purified, mind is cleansed, ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. It is very scientific and very easy. And we are recommending-"we" means Caitanya Mahaprabhu He says that "You chant the name of God." Now, if somebody thinks "Krsna is Hindu God, why shall I chant?" it doesn't matter. You chant your conception of God. What is the name of God in Christianity? Is there any name?
French Man: Jehovah.
French Man: He has no name in Christianity.
Prabhupada: Then take this name. (laughter) If you have no name, then take this name. Where is the harm? And they are taking Hare Krsna, what is the harm?
In the next issue… The Christian priests argues about the impersonal nature of God, but Srila Prabhupada easily exposes the flaws in his philosophy by commonsense logic.