Understanding Krsna and Christ

Conversation with Father Emmanuel

The Science of Self Realization
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4 “Understanding Krsna and Christ”

Conversation with Father Emmanuel

In 1974, near ISKCON’s center in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany, Srila Prabhupada and several of his disciples took a morning walk with father Emmanuel Jungclaussen, a Benedictine monk from Niederalteich Monastery.

Noticing that Srila Prabhupada was carrying meditation beads similar to the rosary, Father Emmanuel explained that he also chanted a constant prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, be merciful unto us.” The following conversation ensued.

Srila Prabhupada: What is the meaning of the word Christ?

Father Emmanuel: Christ comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning “the anointed one.”

Srila Prabhupada: Christos is the Greek version of the word Krsna.

Father Emmanuel: This is very interesting.

Srila Prabhupada: When an Indian person calls on Krsna, he often says, “Krsta.” Krsta is a Sanskrit word meaning “attraction.” So when we address God as “Christ,” “Krsta,” or “Krsna,” we indicate the same all-attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Jesus said, “Our Father, who art in heaven, sanctified be Thy name,” that name of God was “Krsta” or “Krsna.” Do you agree?

Father Emmanuel: I think Jesus, as the son of God, has revealed to us the actual name of God: Christ. We can call God “Father,” but if we want to address Him by His actual name, we have to say “Christ.”

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. “Christ” is another way of saying Krsta, and “Krsta” is another way of pronouncing Krsna, the name of God. Jesus said that one should glorify the name of God, but yesterday I heard one theologian say that God has no name-that we can call Him only “Father.” A son may call his father “Father,” but the father also has a specific name. Similarly, “God” is the general name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose specific name is Krsna. Therefore whether you call God “Christ,” “Krsta,” or “Krsna,” ultimately you are addressing the same Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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