Madhudviṣa: Is there any way for a Christian to, without the help of a spiritual master, to reach the spiritual sky through believing in the words of Jesus Christ and trying to follow his teachings?
Prabhupāda: I don't follow.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Can a Christian in this age, without a spiritual master, but by reading the Bible and following Jesus's words, reach the...
Prabhupāda: When you read Bible, you follow spiritual master. How can you say without? As soon as you read Bible, that means you are following the instruction of Lord Jesus Christ, that means you are following spiritual master. So where is the opportunity of being without spiritual master?
Madhudviṣa: I was referring to a living spiritual master.
Prabhupāda: Spiritual master is not the question of... Spiritual master is eternal. Spiritual master is eternal. So your question is without spiritual master. Without spiritual master you cannot be, at any stage of your life. You may accept this spiritual master or that spiritual master. That is a different thing. But you have to accept. As you say that "by reading Bible," when you read Bible that means you are following the spiritual master represented by some priest or some clergyman in the line of Lord Jesus Christ. So any case, you have to follow a spiritual master. There cannot be the question without spiritual master. Is that clear?
Madhudviṣa: I mean like we couldn't understand the teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā without your help, without your presentation.
Prabhupāda: Similarly, you have to understand Bible with the help of the priest in the church.
Madhudviṣa: Yes. But is he receiving a good interpretation from his disciplic succession or his bishop? Because there seems to be some kind of a discrepancy in the interpretation of the Bible. There's many different sects of Christianity that interpret the Bible in different ways.
Prabhupāda: Of course, there cannot be any interpretation in the Bible. Then there is no authority of Bible. If you interpret something... Just like "Call a spade a spade." So if you call something else, that is a different thing. He's not spiritual master. Just like this is watch. Everybody has called it watch, and if I call it spectacle, then what is the value of my being spiritual master? I'm misleading. (laughter) It is watch, that I must say. So when there is misinterpretation, he's not a bona fide spiritual master. He's not spiritual master, what is called a bona fide. If I want to teach you how to see this watch, I can say that "This is called watch and this is called hand and this is called time indication; this is, this called...," so that is nice. And if I say that "Everybody says it is watch. I say it is spectacle," then what kind of a spiritual master I am? Reject him immediately. That intelligence you must have, who is a pseudo spiritual master or real spiritual master. Otherwise you'll be cheated.