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Sectarianism

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Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Nimāi Paṇḍita declared that party feelings and sectarianism were the two great enemies of progress and that as long as he should continue to be an inhabitant of Nadia belonging to a certain family, his mission would not meet with complete success.
Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter Prologue: Some of the jealous and low-minded brāhmaṇas of Kulia picked a quarrel with Mahāprabhu and collected a party to oppose him. Nimāi Paṇḍita was naturally a soft-hearted person, though strong in his principles. He declared that party feelings and sectarianism were the two great enemies of progress and that as long as he should continue to be an inhabitant of Nadia belonging to a certain family, his mission would not meet with complete success. He then resolved to be a citizen of the world by cutting his connection with his particular family, caste and creed, and with this resolution he embraced the position of a sannyāsī at Katwa, under the guidance of Keśava Bhāratī of that town, on the 24th year of his age.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

There is no question of sectarianism. There is no question of this "ism" or that "ism." It is a question of pure knowledge.
Lecture on BG 2.13 -- New York, March 11, 1966: As the soul is within the body and the body is changing every moment, similarly, the last stage of change is called death. Death is nothing but the final change of this present body. That's all. And our death condition is for seven months only. As soon as I leave this body, at once I am injected into other's mother's body according to my karma. I may be injected to a queen's womb; I may be injected to a dog's mother. You see? That is due to my karma. You see? The father is present there. The dog father is present there. The king's father is present there. The devatā father is present there. There is no scarcity of father, but it will depend on my karma, which kind of father I shall take shelter. So these things are, have to be accepted from the authoritative scriptures like Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavata. And then it will be possible for us to understand the things as they are. There is no question of sectarianism. There is no question of this "ism" or that "ism." It is a question of pure knowledge.
There is no question of sectarianism, that "In this temple the Christians will come" or "The Muhammadans will not come." Anyone. Because we are teaching what? Teaching love of Godhead.
Lecture on BG 4.7-10 -- Los Angeles, January 6, 1969: So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is incarnation. They are teaching love of Godhead. We are not teaching some ritualistic process, that "You become Hindu. You become Christian. You become Muhammadan." We are simply teaching, "You try to love God. You have forgotten God. You have declared, 'God is dead.' These are all nonsense. God is there. You are here. You are suffering because you have forgotten God. You try to love God. Your normal life will come back. You will be happy." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. There is nothing, artificiality. So there is no question of sectarianism, that "In this temple the Christians will come" or "The Muhammadans will not come." Anyone. Because we are teaching what? Teaching love of Godhead. Either you become Christian or Muhammadan, Hindu, how you can deny God? Those who are denying God, their case is different. But one who is accepting God as the central figure in religion, how they can deny this movement? Because we are teaching love of Godhead.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

It is all authorized, authorized books. Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavata, Vedic literature. We are simply inviting them. Now where is there sectarianism? If we say to you, either you are Hindu or Muslim or Christian, if we say that "Please hear about God," where is sectarianism? "Your life is meant for hearing"?
Lecture on SB 2.1.5 -- Delhi, November 8, 1973: One has to hear. It is not very difficult. But people have become so rascal, so foolish, they will not hear. They will not hear. We are requesting. We have not manufactured anything. It is all authorized, authorized books. Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavata, Vedic literature. We are simply inviting them. Now where is there, I mean to say, sectarianism? If we say to you, either you are Hindu or Muslim or Christian, if we say that "Please hear about God," where is sectarianism? Where is sectarianism, "Your life is meant for...," if we preach that "Your life is meant for hearing"? Now, we are presenting Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you don't accept Supreme Personality of God, Kṛṣṇa, then what is your Supreme Personality of Godhead you present? Then you compare who is actually Supreme Personality of Godhead. What is the meaning of Supreme Personality of Godhead? Why you are taking? Why you are taking sectarian? Kṛṣṇa claims, sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya [Bg. 14.4]. All forms of life. Not only human forms of life, even animal forms of life, vegetable forms of life, aquatics. They are all... Actually that is the fact. We are not this form. We are not this body. But according to our mentality, by nature's law we are getting a particular type of body. Actually, I am spirit soul.

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

"Only my brother is good, my father is good, and all are bad." That is not paṇḍita. That is sectarianism.
The Nectar of Devotion -- Bombay, January 4, 1973: If one does not see equally to all living entities, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ... [Bg. 5.18]. That is paṇḍita. It is not paṇḍita that "Only my brother is good, my father is good, and all are bad." That is not paṇḍita. That is sectarianism. That is sectarianism. Paṇḍita...
vidyā-vinaya-sampanne
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
[Bg. 5.18]
So that means at the present moment all the leaders, they're fools and rascals. They are simply sectarian. "I am good. My brother is good. My father is good. All others bad." That's all. Nationalism, communism, these are going on. But a Kṛṣṇa-bhakta, he does not see like that. He does not like to kill even an ant.

Arrival Addresses and Talks

So unless we come to that point, this so-called fighting and sectarianism will go on. So we want to teach people... Not only sectarian people in India or the so-called Hindus or Muslims or Christians. Everyone. Because everyone is spirit soul, and as soon as he understands that "I am not this body. I am spirit soul," then he becomes completely happy.
Srila Prabhupada Welcomed by Governor at Hotel De Ville -- Geneva, May 30, 1974: One who is actually paṇḍita... Paṇḍita means learned, and in spiritually learned (life), he sees that a very learned scholar, brāhmaṇa, and a dog, an elephant, a cow, or a low-born man, creature—all on the same platform of spiritual life. So unless we come to that point, this so-called fighting and sectarianism will go on. So we want to teach people... Not only sectarian people in India or the so-called Hindus or Muslims or Christians. Everyone. Because everyone is spirit soul, and as soon as he understands that "I am not this body. I am spirit soul," then he becomes completely happy.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Sectarianism is the great enemy of...
Room Conversation with British Man -- August 31, 1973, London:

Haṁsadūta: And similarly religion is one. Because God is one, His religion, because religion means law of God. Whatever He speaks, it must be the same everywhere. Either in the Bible, Koran or the Bhagavad-gītā. Unfortunately we are making so many differentiations or distinctions or contradictions. But actually on principle, there is only one religion. If we actually understand religion, the word of God, law of God, there can't be two religions. Just like mathematics is one.

Guest (1): I do feel that. It's because I do feel that so very strongly, I cannot feel impelled to give allegiance to any sect at all. It's repugnant to me.

Haṁsadūta: Sectarianism is the great enemy of...

Guest (1): It is, it's a dreadful thing.

Prabhupāda: From practical life, just like world's principal religion, Christianism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Mohammedanism also, the principle of not killing is there, every religion. Buddhism, they're completely for not killing. No circumstances, at any circumstances killing is not allowed. Similarly, in Vedic religion, killing is not allowed, but at circumstances, it is allowed. Similarly Christianity, they also say, "Thou shall not kill." Mohammedans also, they allow killing, but circumstantially. So the principle of killing is forbidden every religion, every religion. So the principle of religion is one. Take for example, in every religion there is acceptance of God and religion means to abide by the order of God. So how there can be two religions? There cannot be two religions. "I believe like that, we believe like that." These are man-made. But actual religion is that God is one and religion means the orders, the law given by God. That's all. Simple definition. Just like state is one, government is one, and to become good citizen means to abide by the laws of the government. That's all. Those, one who is abiding by the laws of God, he is perfect religionist. It doesn't matter whether he's a Hindu, he's a Muslim or a Christian. Whether he has got proper sense what is meant by God and what is the order of God. Then he is religionist, perfect religionist.

Guest (1): I understand I think most of what you have said. I will definitely come to some of your morning lectures and I believe I must read one of these books too.

Prabhupāda: Yes, you can read...

Guest (1): To know a bit more. So next time I come and see, I shall be smiling a bit more.

Prabhupāda: All right. (laughs)

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

So for knowledge, we can take it from anywhere. There should not be sectarianism, "Oh, why shall I take knowledge from here and there?" Wherever knowledge is available, we should take it. That is the real position of seeker of knowledge.
Morning Walk -- June 25, 1975, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Animal condition. Not only horrible, it is animal condition. They do not want to know God. Just like these animals, they are not interested. So they have no church, the animals, or temple. But in the human society, either he is Hindu or Muslim or Christian, there is some arrangement for understanding God. Now they are also neglecting that, everyone, all over the world. Now they are clearly... The Communists, they hate to say anything about God. So ultimately they are coming to such position, the Communists, that "No word about God." So this is the position. Now apart from them, just like theologists and theosophists. They are, at least, after understanding what is God, but they cannot ascertain definitely. So why do they not take? We are offering, "Here is God." Where is the objection? Why they should object? If you do not know something and if I give you the information, why you should not take?

Dr. Judah: That's a good question.

Prabhupāda: That is my question. [break] Just like in India, for higher technological knowledge, they come to foreign countries. So for knowledge, we can take it from anywhere. There should not be sectarianism, "Oh, why shall I take knowledge from here and there?" Wherever knowledge is available, we should take it. That is the real position of seeker of knowledge. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says, nīcād apy uttamā vidyā strī-ratnaṁ duṣkulād api. He says, viṣād apy amṛtaṁ grāhyam. Viṣa, viṣa means poison. "In the pot of poison, if there is little nectar in, take it." Viṣād apy amṛtaṁ grāhyam. Poison is not to be touched, but if there is little nectar in, take it. And amedhyād api kāñcanam: "And in a filthy place there is gold. Take it." Not that gold has been polluted because it is in the filthy place. If there is gold in the filthy place, don't hesitate. Take it. And nīcād apy uttamā vidyā. Generally, people used to take education from brāhmaṇa. So Cāṇakya Paṇḍita advises that "If there is education, actual education, even he is a lower class man, śūdra or caṇḍāla, take it. Accept him as master." And nīcād apy uttamā vidyā. Nīcād apy uttamā vidyā strī-ratnaṁ duṣkulād api. And in India, according to Vedic civilization, the marriage is done after seeing the family tradition very scrutinizingly. So here it is advised that duṣkulād api, "In a abominable family, if there is nice girl, educated, beautiful, accept her. Accept her." Nīcād apy uttamā vidyā strī-ratnam. Ratnam means jewel. Wife, she is like jewel although born of a low family, accept. So anything very good, even it is available from a place which is not desirable, one should accept it. So if you are actually seeking after God, so here is God available from Vedic literature. Why don't you take it? Why you should refuse it? That is not very good sign.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

It is not a sectarianism like Muslimism, Christianism or "Thisism..." Hinduism also now one of them. Actually, it is a way of life, varṇāśrama-dharma, how to become elevated to the spiritual platform.
Answers to a Questionnaire from Bhavan's Journal -- June 28, 1976, Vrndavana:

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The next question, Śrīla Prabhupāda, fifteen. "Hinduism has been defined as a way of life."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Actually it is the way. That, I have already described it. It is not a sectarianism like Muslimism, Christianism or "Thisism..." Hinduism also now one of them. Actually, it is a way of life, varṇāśrama-dharma, how to become elevated to the spiritual platform. So that begins by the varṇāśrama-dharma, to select persons according to his capacity to different varṇas. Some of them selected, trained as brāhmaṇas. Some of them trained as kṣatriya, some of them as vaiśya, some of them as, remain... Those who cannot take any training, they are śūdras. So in the ways (indistinct) there must be social division not by birth, but by education. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. That we have lost. The so-called Hinduism they have lost. And because they did not follow real varṇāśrama-dharma, therefore India, so many renegades, Muslim became... Once they become Muslim, there was no reformation. But according to Vedic principle, even one is fallen, he can be raised to the highest standard.
God is unlimited, therefore He must have unlimited names also. But the name must be God's name; then you chant, you'll be purified. So there is no question of sectarianism in this movement. We are recommending that you chant the holy name of the Lord.
Evening Darsana -- August 9, 1976, Tehran:

Prabhupāda: Yes, name means authorized. Name means authorized. Not fictitious. If you chant fictitious name, that will not be effective. But if you chant real name of God, then you'll be purified. So if you have got name of God, chanting, there is no question of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. You chant. If you have got the name, real name of God, chant it. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ. God is unlimited, therefore He must have unlimited names also. But the name must be God's name; then you chant, you'll be purified. So there is no question of sectarianism in this movement. We are recommending that you chant the holy name of the Lord. Do it. Is there any objection? Suppose you say that you are Muhammadan. If I say you chant the holy name of God, have you got any objection?

Ali: Yes.

Prabhupāda: You have got objection?

Ali: Oh, no, no, chanting, I do chant myself.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that's all. We are preaching this. We don't say that you become one of us. You chant the holy name of the Lord, that's all.

Correspondence

1970 Correspondence

There is no question of sectarianism. Every religion should have this aim in view. But that system of religion which teaches development of God Consciousness is first class.
Letter to Acyutananda -- Los Angeles 15 March, 1970: Whatever we possess, including our body and our self, everything, belongs to Him. When one is completely in sense of this fact—he is God Conscious. And unless a living entity becomes God Conscious, he cannot be happy. So this is our propaganda. There is no question of sectarianism. Every religion should have this aim in view. But that system of religion which teaches development of God Consciousness is first class. We have to estimate by the result, and not by the formalities. So this movement, Krishna Consciousness, very quickly develops this God Consciousness, and it is very easy to adopt it.