Following is the continuation of the conversation between His Divine Grace AC. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada and a Christian priest that took place on June 9, 1974 in Paris.
Jyotirmayi: He would like to know if to instruct young Christians to chant the name of Krsna will be helping them attain the highest perfection or if it is changing their religion.
Prabhupada: No. We are recommending "Chant the holy name of God." So if you have got the holy name of God, you can chant that.
Jyotirmayi: He said that in Christianity God has no name.
Jyotirmayi: God has no name in Christianity, but the son of God has a name. And before they use for a long time, and everywhere they were saying the name of Jesus Christ.
Prabhupada: But you said that His name be glorified.
Devotee: They say "Hallowed be Thy name."
Priest: But the name is not said.
Devotee: Jesus said that "All I have taught you is not the total sum of the knowledge of God," he says, "but there is more to be told."
Prabhupada: That's all right. So if you have no name, then why don't you take this name, "Krsna"?
Prabhupada: Caitanya Mahaprabhu says,
namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah
God has many names. If you are missing, so you can take one of the name. Krsna is one of the names, so what is the objection? And Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "In this name, all the potencies of God is there." Namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-sakti tatrarpita. That name is as powerful as God Himself. There is no difference between the name and God, because He is absolute. Here in the material world there is the difference between name and the person or the thing. If I am thirsty, if I simply chant "water, water, water," that will not appease my thirst. But the spiritual world is absolute – the name and the person is the same. Abhinnatvan nama- naminoh [Cc. Madhya 17.133]. Under the circumstances , if you are missing some name, so take this name. Why it should not be taken?
Priest: Yeah , but you can take "Rama," you can take "Parasurama," you can take (indistinct).
Prabhupada: Yes , yes, any name, any name.
Priest: Krsna has no special…
Prabhupada: No. Special there is. In this way, it is recommended in the sastra, recommended in the sastra: harer nama. Harer means of God. Harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam [Ce. Adi 17.21]. So this is the … We have to chant the name of God. This is the prescription. This is Vaisnava
Priest: Does it matter. ..
Prabhupada: Now, there are thousands and thousands of names, that we also admitted. At least we have got sahasra-nama, Visnu sahasra. But in an other place it is said, other Upanisad, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama … This name is recommended. Just like Agni Purana and Kalisantarana Upanisad, in this Vedic literature, this …
Puga Krsna: We say that God's name is special, whatever name it is. Not that we eliminate God, saying He's not special. He is special. Whether you call Him by this authorized name or that authorized name, His name is special because it's nondifferent from Him. So not that we should just overlook the name of God because we're overlooking God.
Priest: You see, for instance, in Christianity for a long time there was a bhakti , and this bhakti was devoted to the name of Jesus. So for a very long time you had that Jesus bhakti. And in your country, in America today, like you have got the Hare Krsna, you have got also the Jesus devotees. Now, this is also present in many places. And the name does not matter. There is no name who has got the … Because then you find again what …
Prabhupada: No . If Jesus is the name of God, then you can chant. If Jesus is the name of God. But Jesus, Lord Jesus Christ , says that he is son of God. Of course, there is no difference between son and the father. That is another thing. But still, if I want the father, how by calling the name of son I can get the father? That is also another thing.
Priest: Yeah, but I mean , this is another point.
Prabhupada: But if you have got the father's name, why should you call Him by the son's name?
Priest: Jesus told us, "If you see me, you see the Father, because the Father cannot be seen ." It was a common name. Yoshua was a common Jewish name.
Prabhupada: Yes. Hare Krsna. Now, one thing is that if we are interested in chanting the name of God, if it is available , then why should I chant the name of the son?
Priest: No, it is not that question . The question is …
Prabhupada: Anyway, we are recommending "Chant the holy name of God."