Published on February 6th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Jesus was an empowered incarnation of Krishna

Yes, Lord Jesus was jiva-tattva. He is not Visnu tattva. When a jiva-tattva becomes specifically empowered by the Lord, he is called saktyavesa avatara. Lord Buddha and Lord Jesus Christ were in this group of saktyavesa avatara.. But they were not in conditioned state when they appeared; they came to teach here.

Los Angeles 14 November, 1968

My Dear Aniruddha,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated Nov. 7, and I am very glad to know that you are working in San Francisco equally with the same enthusiasm as I saw you here when I was in Los Angeles last year. Perhaps you have heard it that for the time being we have no temple. The landlord in Hollywood Blvd. did not like our devotees to stay there, and he returned $450 so that we would move our articles there from the storefront. So the Deities are here in my apartment, so I do not know how we shall find out a suitable place. And when there is a nice suitable place for our temple, then I shall consider whether you are to come back. For the mean time, you work in San Francisco, and try to organize sales of our Back To Godhead as many as possible. I have not heard anything from Cidananda since a long time, and I hope he along with the other devotees are all well. I understand that on the average you are collecting $22 a day, so this is nice, just go on trying to increase.

Whenever the Indian community invites you to go and take Prasadam, be always kind with them, and go there and chant Hare Krishna. They are vegetarian, so whatever Prasadam they prepare you offer to the Deity and enjoy it.

Regarding your questions: Your first question, “Are great sages put under yogamaya or maya? Also are all the eternally liberated souls under yogamaya?” Yogamaya means the mercy of the Supreme Lord which connects a devotee in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, and mahamaya means the external potency of the Lord which puts a conditioned soul into illusion that he will be happy by material adjustment. So great sages who are impersonalists are also under the spell of mahamaya, because a conditioned soul in the material world wants to improve his material position as exalted as possible, and the concept of becoming one with the Supreme Lord is the greatest illusion for them. Because it is a fact that nobody can be equal or greater than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such, anyone desiring to become one with the Supreme means that he is still in the trap of maya. On the other hand, a humble devotee who may not be a great sage, but simpy by his implicit acceptance of the Lotus Feet of the Lord as the goal of his life means that he is under the protection of yogamaya. I think this will clear the idea.

Your next question, “Is there a difference between Arjuna’s body and his soul, and how does this apply to all Krishna’s eternally liberated souls described in the scriptures. Is Arjuna always the same in his appearances with Krishna or is a new soul taking his body each time?” Yes, there is difference. Therefore he forgets his past activities. Just like we forget ourselves while dreaming because our subtle body acts at that time differently from the gross body. Similarly, by changing this body or transmigrating from one body to another, we forget all the activities of our previous body. The associates of the Lord, even though they have a different body, or even though they forget the activities of their past body, still they are associates of the Lord. These explanations are given in the Bhagavad-gita as it is.

Your next question, “Is a pure devotee eternally liberated and if so is he at any time a conditioned soul? We are eternally conditioned, but as soon as we surrender to Krishna do we then become eternally liberated? When Lord Christ appeared he seemed to be conditioned in his growth. Was he a specific incarnation or a conditioned soul who became liberated?” You are not eternally conditioned. You are eternally liberated but since we have become conditioned on account of our desire to enjoy materialistic way of life, from time immemorial, therefore it appears that we are eternally conditioned. Because we cannot trace out the history or the date when we became conditioned, therefore it is technically called eternally conditioned. Otherwise the living entity is not actually conditioned. A living entity is always pure. But he is prone to be attracted by material enjoyment and as soon as he agrees to place himself in material enjoyment, he becomes conditioned, but that is not permanent. Therefore a living entity is called on the marginal state, sometimes this side, sometimes that side. These are very intelligent questions. And I am very glad that you are putting such intelligent questions and trying to understand it. It is very good. But best thing is that one should know he is in conditioned life and try to cure it. When a man is in diseased condition he should try to get out of diseased condition without harassing his brain when the disease has begun. But it is to be understood that the disease is not our constant companion, it is temporary. So the best thing is to cure the disease, and not waste our time to find out the date when it began. Forgetfulness of Krishna is the disease, so let us keep ourselves always in Krishna Consciousness, and get out of the disease, that is healthy life. Yes, Lord Jesus was jivatattva. He is not Visnu tattva. When a jiva tattva becomes specifically empowered by the Lord, he is called saktyavesa avatara. Lord Buddha and Lord Jesus Christ were in this group of saktyavesa avatara.. But they were not in conditioned state when they appeared; they came to teach here.

You should all read very carefully Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita, and you should be able to answer all questions like this, and only in rare cases approach me. But it is important that our students must be able to answer all questions for becoming preachers.

Arati is performed at 1 1.2 hour before sunrise to awaken the Deities. Each offering is made by moving it in 7 big circles, starting at the Lotus Feet of the Lord, and going clockwise round. First of all, burning camphor or ghee (5 fires if possible) is offered in this way, slowly circling them before the Lord. With left hand bell is being rung, and with right hand the offerings are made by circling. Next burning dhupa is offered. Then water is offered in a conchshell. Then a nice handkerchief is offered. Then a nice flower, as a rose. Then the Deities are offered a fan, nice peacock feather fan. And the last item is the blowing of the conch shell three times. Throughout arati there is bell ringing, cymbals, mrdanga, gong, harmonium, etc.

Hope you are all well, and please keep me informed on the progress of the temple there.

Your ever well-wisher,

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

16 Responses to Jesus was an empowered incarnation of Krishna

  1. jay says:

    in bible which heaven did jesus says about?
    is that goloka?

    • No. It is a heavenly planet within this material world.

      • Jay says:

        thanks for the reply.
        but jesus said to people(before attending to heaven) , that u will be live eternally there.
        no hunger,no sad,no worry.also u can eternally save your property on there..
        so coming to your reply you are saying its heavenly planet with material world. so if its a materialist things on there how above verses from bible would be relate to your reply?

        • I am not an expert on the Bible, I am an expert on Krishna. So if you ask me about Krishna I can give you a definitive reply. But I can not give a definite reply on the Bible. That is not my field of expertise.

          • Jay says:

            thanks for the reply, so why are you titled for this page as
            Jesus was an empowered incarnation of Krishna.
            so if you explaining jesus, you need to read bible first.then only you can post article about this, related to krishna’s some of sort of avatar. I hope our conversation will be a friendly manner.

          • I have read the Bible, I was raised as a Christian, so I know both the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ and the teachings of Krishna and can see they are essentially the same teachings.

  2. Ratnadeep Ray says:

    Hare Krishna prabhu,

    Just like Prabhupada says Jesus is an empowered incarnation or shaktyavesha avatatar, similarly many baba’s in India can come forward and call themselves empowered incarnation. In fact many have done so. So how to distinguish between shaktyavesha avatar and such baba’s ?

    • They are all rascals. You can presume this unless there is some actual proof otherwise. And there is never proof. This “I am god” business is very strong in India and fools accept these make-believe gods and give them some money. It is a business. That’s all.

      Krishna is God. Real guru presents himself as servant of God, servant of Krishna, not God himself. So if someone is presenting himself as god he is a cheater, a rascal.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  3. Issac says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa. I have heard that Jesus can turn water into wine. Jesus drank wine and ate meat. I looked about Jesus on prabhupadabooks.com and Srila prabhupada all he has to say is he is not a drunkard and about meat a long time ago I read that he did not mention about maintaining slaughterhouse or eating meat from the slaughterhouse. Something like that. Can you enlighten or explain me about Jesus that I am mentioning here

    • Hare Krishna Issac

      We do not know if Jesus ate meat or not. Jesus was not at all happy with the animal killing that was going on in the Jewish Temples at the time. And he said “Thou shalt not kill.” So Srila Prabhupada was constantly preaching to the Christians that “Jesus says thou shalt not kill but the Christians have the biggest slaughterhouses in the world.” So it is our position that Jesus preached against killing. And killing means animals as well as humans. So our position is that the Christians are disobeying Jesus if they kill animals. And there are places in the Bible where Jesus preaches against drinking alcohol.

      But the thing is Jesus had to preach according to the time and the place he found himself in. The people Jesus was preaching to were fishermen living in a desert. And not very civilized or educated or spiritually inclined. Jesus even says himself “There are so many things I have not told you for if I told you you could not bear them.” So Jesus could only preach as much as the people he was preaching to could bear. But Jesus himself had a lot more spiritual knowledge that the people he was preaching to were not yet ready to accept.

      So the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible are somewhat limited. But still whatever is there in the Bible is good. But it is limited by the ability of the people that Jesus was preaching to.

      Jesus gave them good instructions that would help them come closer to God, Krishna, to the extent they could understand and accept them.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Tiger Shroff says:

        I have also heard that the teachings have been edited and corrupted through the ages. Just like modern day ISKCON is changing Srila Prabhupada’s original books.

        • Yes. Of course. The teachings of Lord Jesus Christ have been edited and corrupted through the ages. The problem is nothing was written down during the life of Jesus. The teachings of Jesus are based on the memories of the disciples and others and in many cases written down thirty years or more later. So there was never any truly authoritative version of the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ. And they have continued to edit and change over the years for various political reasons…

          In Krishna consciousness with the teachings of Srila Prabhupada it is very different. Prabhupada’s books were printed in his physical presence under his direction and guidance, and he personally read and approved all of his original books. And we still have those exact original books, the same ones Prabhupada himself read daily and totally approved of. So that is our plan. To preserve the original teachings of Srila Prabhupada so we never get into the situation the Christians find themselves these days…

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  4. Patrick says:

    “When a jiva-tattva becomes specifically empowered by the Lord, he is called saktyavesa avatara. Lord Buddha and Lord Jesus Christ were in this group of saktyavesa avatara”

    I may have misunderstood, but this passage seems to put Buddha and Jesus on an equal spiritual platform. I was under the impression that Jesus was a devotee of Krishna, whereas Buddha was an actually a reincarnation of Krishna. Can you please clarify this issue?

    Thank you


    • It is the same platform. Pure Devotee or incarnation of Krishna. The same spiritual platform. There is no difference in the platform. Pure devotee is the manifest representative of Krishna. He speaks for Krishna. Hearing him is the same as directly hearing from Krishna. So there is no difference in the platform.

  5. Suman says:

    Perfect Questions and Perfect Answers

  6. Raphael says:

    Lord Jesus ki jay!!!…Prabhupada ki Jay!!!…Haribol!!!…
    I offer my humble obbeisences to both of them…They are both
    alive,always with KRISHNA…I ask with all respets for their blessings…

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