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Krsna consciousness is not a sectarian religious movement

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Expressions researched:
"Krsna consciousness is not a sectarian religious movement" |"Krsna consciousness movement. It is not a sectarian religious movement" |"This is Krsna consciousness movement. It is not a sectarian religious movement, no" |"do not take this movement as a sectarian, religious movement" |"this Krsna consciousness movement is essential. It is not a sectarian religious movement, faith or sentiment" |"this Krsna consciousness movement is not a sectarian religious movement"

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 8

Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not a sectarian religious movement. Rather, it is meant for all-embracing welfare activities for the world. One can enter this movement without discrimination in terms of caste, creed, religion or nationality.
SB 8.5.49, Translation and Purport:

When one pours water on the root of a tree, the trunk and branches of the tree are automatically pleased. Similarly, when one becomes a devotee of Lord Viṣṇu, everyone is served, for the Lord is the Supersoul of everyone.

As stated in the Padma Purāṇa:

ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ
viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param
tasmāt parataraṁ devi
tadīyānāṁ samarcanam

"Of all types of worship, worship of Lord Viṣṇu is best, and better than the worship of Lord Viṣṇu is the worship of His devotee, the Vaiṣṇava." There are many demigods worshiped by people who are attached to material desires (kāmais tais tair hṛta jñānāḥ prapadyante'nya-devatāḥ (BG 7.20)). Because people are embarrassed by so many material desires, they worship Lord Śiva, Lord Brahmā, the goddess Kālī, Durgā, Gaṇeśa and Sūrya to achieve different results. However, one can achieve all these results simultaneously just by worshiping Lord Viṣṇu. As stated elsewhere in the Bhāgavatam (4.31.14):

yathā taror mūla-niṣecanena
tṛpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhāḥ
prāṇopahārāc ca yathendriyāṇāṁ
tathaiva sarvārhaṇam acyutejyā

"Just by pouring water on the root of a tree, one nourishes its trunk and all of its branches, fruits and flowers, and just by supplying food to the stomach, one satisfies all the limbs of the body. Similarly, by worshiping Lord Viṣṇu one can satisfy everyone." Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not a sectarian religious movement. Rather, it is meant for all-embracing welfare activities for the world. One can enter this movement without discrimination in terms of caste, creed, religion or nationality. If one is trained to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, who is the origin of viṣṇu-tattva, one can become fully satisfied and perfect in all respects.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not a sectarian religious movement. It is a scientific philosophical movement. Try to understand it. But the process is very simple. The process is by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. We are not magician, but we ask our students "Simply you chant this transcendental vibration," and he becomes gradually cleansed of all dirty things within the heart.
Lecture on BG 2.11 -- Edinburgh, July 16, 1972:

So our present situation is that the whole civilization is going on under the wrong impression that everyone is the body. That is not a fact. Therefore, this Kṛṣṇa kīrtana, this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, it has got a special effect. It is... Don't think this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is ordinary sound vibration. It is spiritual vibration. It is called mahā-mantra. Mahā-mantra. Just like... I do not know in your country whether there's snake chanters. In India still, there are many snake chanters, enchanters, I am sorry. So they chant some mantra, and a man, snake-bitten, can be revived to his consciousness. Anyone Indian present here, they know. Still. Especially I have seen in Punjab, there are many snake enchanters who know the how to chant the mantras. So if it is physically possible that a dead man... Of course, when a man is bitten by a snake he's not dead. He becomes unconscious. He's not dead. But by this chanting of mantra, he comes to his consciousness. Therefore, it is the system in India, if a man is bitten by a snake, he's not burned, or he's not taken as dead body. He's floated in some lifeboat and given to the water. If he gets chance he may come out again to consciousness. So similarly, we are, at the present moment, due to our ignorance, we are sleeping. We are sleeping. Therefore, to awaken us, this mantra, mahā-mantra, is required to awaken. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). Just like these boys, these European boys and girls who are along with me... I have got about, more than three, four thousand disciples like that. They are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. And not that whimsically they are chanting. They are fully convinced. If you talk with them, they will talk very nicely on philosophy. Everything sane, as a sane man. So how they are doing? Four years ago, they did not know what is the name of Kṛṣṇa. Perhaps they might have seen in the English dictionary the name of Kṛṣṇa as stated "a Hindu god." But actually, that is not the fact. Kṛṣṇa is the name of God. Kṛṣṇa means the all-attractive, all-good. All-attractive means He must be good; otherwise, how He can be attractive? A bad, someone who is bad, he cannot be attractive. Therefore Kṛṣṇa, this very word, means all-attractive. He has got all the good qualities, all the opulences so that He is attractive. That is the right description of, or right nomenclature of God. If God has got any name particular which is full in everything, that word is Kṛṣṇa. It is a Sanskrit word, but it indicates... Kṛṣṇa means God. In the śāstra it is said, īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1). Īśvaraḥ means controller, and paramaḥ, the supreme. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1). That is the instruction of Vedic literature. So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not a sectarian religious movement. It is a scientific philosophical movement. Try to understand it. But the process is very simple. The process is by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. We are not magician, but we ask our students "Simply you chant this transcendental vibration," and he becomes gradually cleansed of all dirty things within the heart. This is our process. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has explained, He has given us the instruction, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12).

Our whole trouble in this material world is due to misunderstanding. The first misunderstanding is that "I am this body." And actually, every one of us, we are standing on this platform, the bodily concept of life. And because the basic standing foundation is mistaken, therefore whatever we are creating, whatever we are understanding, they are all mistaken. Because the basic platform is mistaken. So first of all we have to drive away this mistaken idea that I am this body." That is called ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12), cleansing the heart. I am thinking, "I am this body," but actually I am not this. So we have to cleanse this misconception, and that is very easily done by simply chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. It is practical. So our request is that every one of you, if you kindly take our instruction to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra... You are not losing anything. But the gain is very much. We are not charging you anything. Just like others, if he gives some mantra, they will charge. But we are freely distributing. Everyone can take. Even the children, they can take. There are many children in our society. They chant and dance. It does not require any education. It does not require any price. Simply if you chant... Why do you not make an experiment and see by chanting? That is our request. Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. One may object, "Why shall I chant your Hindu Kṛṣṇa's name?" So we don't say that Kṛṣṇa, or God. God has got many names. That we admit. It is not... God is unlimited. Therefore, He must have unlimited names. But this Kṛṣṇa word is very perfect because it means all-attractive. You can discuss, "God is great." That's all right. How He's great? That is another understanding. So if you think that "Kṛṣṇa is the name of Hindu God, why shall I chant this?" So Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, "No." If you have got a name, another alternative name of God, then you chant that. Our only request is that you chant the holy name of God. If you have got any name of God, you can chant. You'll be purified. That is our propaganda.

General Lectures

Do not take this movement as a sectarian, religious movement. It is practically a movement to bestow the essential knowledge of life to the human society.
Lecture -- Tokyo, April 29, 1972, (with interpreter):

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is on a different platform than this matter. It will be easier to understand that distinction between living body and dead body. So we are talking of the living portion of our existence. The living portion... We have got a living force within this body. Everyone can understand. As soon as that living force is out of this body, this body has no longer any value. It is thrown away on the street. So without any knowledge of the living force within this body, if we simply take care of our body, it is just like decorating a dead body. So do not take this movement as a sectarian, religious movement. It is practically a movement to bestow the essential knowledge of life to the human society.

So religion is a kind of faith, but faith can be changed. But the knowledge which is essential in life, that cannot be changed. Therefore this culture, although it appears like a religious system, but it is the essential knowledge of life. Religion or faith, you can change from one to another, but you must know the essential value of your life. And because we have no, I mean to say, connection at the present moment with the essential knowledge of life, we are thinking that you are separate from me, I am separate from you. Just like we are all human being, but for want of adequate knowledge, I am thinking, "I am Indian," you are thinking you are Japanese, somebody is thinking he is American, and yet another is thinking that he is something else. Actually we are one. We are energy of Kṛṣṇa, or God. So, just like in dream I accept a different position, forgetting my real identification, and I think that I have gone far away from home, and I am flying, or I am in the forest—so many things I may dream—but that is not actual fact. So this movement is practically awakening the human society dreaming in sleep. Just like if a man is sleeping very sound, forgetting his duty, and some friend of the man is trying to awake him, "Mr. such and such. Please wake up. It is now morning. You have to do this thing, that thing." So this movement is like that. When a man is fast asleep, all other senses cannot work, but one sense, which is called ear, it can work. Just like you are sleeping and somebody is coming with a knife to kill you. You cannot see. The man can come and kill you. But if somebody cries, "Mr. such and such, wake up! Somebody is coming to kill you," you can use your ear and be precautious. So this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is something like that, awakening from the slumbering state of material consciousness. So more you chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—the more you become awakened from the slumbering state of material existence.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Now whether still we shall remain in ignorance or we shall learn this science and teach, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It is not a sectarian religious movement. No, it is not that. This is science, scientific.
Room Conversation with George Gullen, President of Wayne State University -- June 15, 1976, Detroit:

Prabhupāda: Everyone's body is temporary, either human body or cat's body, dog's body. But the human body is important because in the human body we have developed consciousness by which we can understand what is God. The cats and dogs, they cannot, they haven't got that developed consciousness. Therefore if we do not use this developed consciousness for understanding God and our relationship with Him, then we are no better than cats and dogs. Cats and dogs cannot be educated about God, but a human being can be educated. That is the distinction between animals and man. But modern education is keeping them in ignorance about God, so they are no better than cats and dogs. And how can you bring peace among cats and dogs? Can you bring in peace calling all the dogs of your city and sit down peacefully? No, that is not possible. So if we keep our citizens like cats and dogs, then how we can expect peace?

George Gullen: We are much in ignorance about those matters, I understand that, and...

Prabhupāda: Yes. Complete ignorance, like animals. So the leaders of the society, if they are serious about advancement of human civilization, they must take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness; otherwise, they'll be baffled.

George Gullen: Well, we do not teach about these things...

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the defect.

George Gullen: .... in public schools because we do not know.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Now whether still we shall remain in ignorance or we shall learn this science and teach, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It is not a sectarian religious movement. No, it is not that. This is science, scientific. So leading personalities like you, teachers, professors and other leading men, they should try to understand what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is and join. It is for the human society, it is not for a certain section.

George Gullen: I would like very much to know more about these matters myself, personally.

Prabhupāda: So kindly do that. You are little interested. So we are receiving orders from all universities, colleges, of our books. You have seen our books? These are our books.

Satsvarūpa: In Wayne State University, where he is president, they have standing orders.

Prabhupāda: Ah, we have also given (?). That is very nice. So every person, responsible person, he should learn this science and introduce, so that the opportunity a human being has got, that must be utilized.

This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is essential. It is not a sectarian religious movement, faith or sentiment. It is actually scientific movement.
Interview and Conversation -- July 8, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Vṛṣākapi: She reports on a religious, er... And this is Channel 4, TV. (setting up cameras, etc.)

Interviewer: We'd like to get a, first of all a general statement from you about the state of the world and the state of your movement in it...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Interviewer: ...at this time.

Prabhupāda: This is a spiritual movement, and at the present moment people are more interested with material improvement, but our real interest is... Not only our, every human being's interest should be for spiritual upliftment. Just like our body is there, and within the body I am the spirit soul, also I am there. So we are taking care of the body but not of the spirit soul. So the nature's law is that a spirit soul, changing in different position of the body, as we experience in this life, from childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood, similarly, after giving up this body, we'll have to accept another body, and there are 8,400,000 different forms of body. We do not know what kind of body we are going to accept according to our activities and mentality. At the time of death the mentality will ascertain what kind of body we are going to get next. So these things are completely not discussed, neither they have any knowledge. So at the present moment the human civilization is a very risky civilization, so in order to save them from this state of ignorance, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is essential. It is not a sectarian religious movement, faith or sentiment. It is actually scientific movement. Here are many scientists present. They are also taking very seriously about this movement. So we invite all important men to contact us and try to understand the basic principle of this movement, how to elevate the human society to the proper standard of life and become peaceful in this life as well as in the next life.

Interviewer: Do you think mankind is making some improvement?

Prabhupāda: No. Materially they may be doing some improvement, but that is not spiritually important. Just like I give sometimes this example: just like a dog, animal, is jumping with four legs on the street, and we are going fast with four wheels, so that does not make any difference. The difference is the dog cannot understand about his spiritual identity. A man can understand if he's properly trained up. If the man is denied that facility, then he remains in the ignorance of an animal like cats and dogs.

It is a great science, one can take advantage. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It is not a sectarian religious movement, no. It is a science, how to understand God, how to love Him.
Evening Darsana -- August 9, 1976, Tehran:

Ali: The way I look at it, it's better to talk about God than to talk about...

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is good. One must be serious, that we are talking about God, so what is my God realization? That is nice. Otherwise, if I go on life after life talking about God and there is no God realization... That is going on. Śrama eva hi kevalam.

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam
(SB 1.2.8)

We are talking of God, but instead of loving God, we are loving this body. So that is not practical. That is simply waste of time. Śrama eva hi kevalam. If one does not become enthused to love God, then simply talking about God is a waste of time. Śrama eva hi kevalam. That is going on all over the world. Somebody's Hindu, somebody's Christian, somebody's Muhammadan, they are going to the church, they are going to the mosque, they are going to the temple, everything is going on, but when you ask whether you love God or dog, he'll say, "I love dog." Practically we see. Everyone is keeping a dog, very favorite pet. And in church, they'll talk of God, but practically they love the dog. Is it not? This is going on, in the name of religion, that's all. Therefore Bhāgavata says it is simply waste of time. What is the use of talking God? If by talking of God perpetually you are developing your love for dog, then what is the use? Śrama eva hi kevalam. It is simply waste of time. These are all discussed. Regularly going to the church, regularly going to the mosque or temple, but the love is for material things, not for God. How I get money, how I get motorcar, how I get dog, how I get nice wife, how I get nice—the love is here. The example is given, just like a vulture. The vulture goes very, very high, four miles high, five miles. But his business is to find out where there is a corpse, where there is a corpse. Very highly elevated, but business is to find out a dead body. And as soon as he finds it... (hand motion indicating sweeping down) So this is going on. Very religious, very regularly performing religious ceremonies, rituals, but the business is where is a corpse. "Come on, here is some sense gratification." This is going on. If you are talking of God, then you must love God. That is progress. But there is no love of God, there is love of something else, so what is the use of talking about. Hm? What do you think? Is it not waste of time?

Parivrājakācārya: We can always tell by what people are serving, what they really are loving. If they are serving just their body, then no matter what they are saying, we know...

Prabhupāda: Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). Officially, God, God, God, but result is dog. Love is there, love is... That is natural. I want to love. Everyone wants to love. But the, unless he loves God, he'll never be happy. So simply talking of love, and if the love is simply transferred to dog, then where is the love of God? So such kind of talking of called śrama eva hi kevalam. It is simply waste of time and energy. You must practically come to the platform how to love God. So it is a great science, and it is available for everyone to understand and act. It is a great science, one can take advantage. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It is not a sectarian religious movement, no. It is a science, how to understand God, how to love Him.

Ali: Shouldn't there be a balance between physical existence and spiritual existence? Like between body and spirit?

Prabhupāda: Yes. First of all, you must have spiritual understanding, then spiritual study. If you have no spiritual understanding, then why spiritual study? All these scientists, they are trying to understand the spirit soul by material, on material platform. Therefore they are being misled. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā, to distinguish between matter and spirit it is negatively described: nainaṁ chindanti śāstrāṇi. Find out. The spirit soul is there which cannot be cut into pieces by any instrument.

Hari-śauri: Nainaṁ chindanti śāstrāṇi nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ (BG 2.23).

Prabhupāda: Ah, nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ. Pāvakaḥ means fire. It is never burned into the fire. It is never cut into pieces with instrument or any weapon. So if you study these two points, anything you take, it can be cut into pieces, within our physical experience. And anything within our physical experience, it can be burned. Even the iron, so hot, it can be burned and liquified by proper temperature. Even stone, it can be burned, it can be liquified. The glass, glass is nothing but liquidified stone, everyone knows it. Purīfied by chemicals, that's all.