Prabhupāda: Śaṅkarācārya... Śaṅkarācārya, after Buddha, His Holiness Śaṅkarācārya appeared to drive away Buddhism, and he established again Vedic religion. But that Vedic religion, being impersonal, that is also not Vedic religion. That is also another thing, that God is person. Nityo nityānām. Nityānām, the so many living entities—every one is person. How God can be imperson? If God is the supreme father... If you are a person, then how your father can be imperson? So that is imperfect knowledge. When we speak of God as imperson, that is imperfect knowledge.
- vadanti tat tattva-vidas
- tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
- brahmeti paramātmeti
- bhagavān iti śabdyate
- (SB 1.2.11)
The Absolute Truth is presented in three different phases. One is Brahman, impersonal Brahman, another is localized Paramātmā, and another is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So we shall discuss again. Next morning we shall...
Mālatī: (break) ...that Lord Buddha, he adopted a new type of religion, but those who were strict followers of Vedas, they would not accept him. Does that mean that there were still people who were following those beliefs, scriptures, at his time, or did he convert all of India?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Lord Buddha was patronized by the then emperor, Ashoka. And anything patronized by the state, it becomes very popular. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). So Lord Buddha converted Ashoka, Emperor Ashoka, to this religion. Therefore whole India became Buddhist. And later on, when Buddhism was driven out of India, the Jainism and similar other religious principles became visible. Ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ. Lord Buddha... Ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ is also Vedic religion, but they stressed especially on ahiṁsā. In the Bhagavad-gītā you will find: amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṁsā kṣāntir ārjavam (BG 13.8). These are the different steps of progressing in knowledge and religion. The first thing is amānitvam. Amānitvam means very humble. Very humble. And therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches that tṛṇād api sunīcena, "Just become humbler than the straw in the street or grass." To become religious means... Lord Jesus Christ also, he taught like that—"The humble and meek will attain the kingdom of God." Is it not said like that?
Haṁsadūta: He said, "The greatest amongst you shall be the last..."
Haṁsadūta: "...and the servant of all."
Prabhupāda: So this is taught also in the Bhagavad-gītā. Amānitvam adambhitvam. No false pride. Then ahiṁsā. Unless one is prideless, unless one is humble, it is not possible to become nonviolent. So this nonviolence is also there, the Vaiṣṇava. So automatically they don't encourage animal-killing. So every religion, the highest principle of any religion is there in Vaiṣṇavites, or the followers of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Any best thing, in any religion, you will find in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore it is perfect. Buddha religion teaches ahiṁsā; the Kṛṣṇa conscious people are ahiṁsā. Lord Jesus teaches love of God; they are the best lover of God. And Hindu religion teaches liberation; they are... As soon as they become Kṛṣṇa conscious, immediately they are liberated, immediately, instantly. There is no question of asking for liberation. Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura says liberation means... What is that? Liberation from this material hankering. And what is that material hankering? To satisfy the senses. So these devotees, they are not for satisfying their senses. They are simply trying to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa said that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). They are determined to preach this cult, that "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa." Therefore they are actual representative of Kṛṣṇa. Immediately they are liberated. So, so far liberation is concerned, there is. So far ahiṁsā, nonviolence, there is. So far love of God is there, there is. So combination of Hindu religion, Muslim religion... And Muslims also, they also say their bandeḥ.(?) They also pray in the mosque. I do not know, of course, all other religions. These principal things I know. They also accept "Allah akbar", "God is great." We are all bandehs,(?) all servants. So that is also... Vaiṣṇavism, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. "Kṛṣṇa is great."
So any highest principle of religion in any religion of the world you take, this is the summarization of all religions, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And that is accepted by Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje: (SB 1.2.6) "That is first-class religion which teaches how to love God, how to learn to love God." That is first class, not the rituals, not the formulas. That is another thing. Just like when a man is diseased, the physicians prescribes so many, that "You don't do this. You do this. You take this medicine. You just..." That is according to the particular disease. But the real aim is to be cured from the disease. So any religion which teaches to be cured from the material disease of sense gratification and teaches love of Godhead, that is perfect religion.