Who was Jesus?

Sri Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita (4.7):

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

"O descendant of Bharata, whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend Myself" (Bhagavad-gita 4.7).

Either Krishna comes Himself or He sends His empowered representative: a shaktyavesa avatara, a perfect being, empowered to preach sanatana dharma: eternal religion, the universal religion of the soul. Krsna-sakti vina nahe tara pravartana: Unless one is empowered by Krishna, one cannot preach effectively.(Caitanya Caritamrita Antya Lila 7.11).

We can understand Jesus to be such a shaktyavesa avatara, a perfect soul, a messenger of the Supreme Being.

Such great souls have no business decending to lower planets such as ours, save and except in complete selflessness, to save the conditioned souls - kara para-upakara.

They descend to this level of consciousness as tiksavah karunikah - suhrdah sarva-dehinam ajata-satravah santah - sadhavah sadhu-bhusanah. "The symptoms of a sadhu [saint] are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime" - (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.25.21).

Srila Prabhupada explains this verse:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam states that any bona fide preacher of God consciousness must have the qualities of titiksa (tolerance) and karuna (compassion).

In the character of Lord Jesus Christ we find both these qualities. He was so tolerant that even while he was being crucified he didn't condemn anyone. And he was so compassionate that he prayed to God to forgive the very persons who were trying to kill him. As Christ was being crucified he prayed, "Father, forgive them. They know not what they are doing."

Srila Prabhupada said, "Jesus Christ was such a great personality--the son of God, the representative of God. He had no fault. Still, he was being crucified. He wanted to deliver God consciousness, but in return they crucified him. They were so ungrateful. They could not appreciate his preaching. But we appreciate him and give him all honors as the representative of God" (The Science of Self-Realization, chap. 4).

Great souls are never disturbed under any circumstances:

narayana-parah sarve
na kutascana bibhyati
svargapavarga-narakesv
api tulyartha-darsinah

"Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord never fear any condition of life. For them the heavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same, for such devotees are interested only in the service of the Lord" (Srimad Bhagavatam 6.17.28).

Even when facing tribulations, when being led to crucifixion, a perfect being on the highest level of intimacy with God, absorbed in God, is not afraid under any circumstances: "Daughters of Jerusalem, don't cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children" (Luke 23:28).

brahma-bhutah prasannatma
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param

"One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity, absorbed in pure devotion to Me"
(Bhagavad-gita 18.54).

Being absorbed in carrying out the will of the Lord, great souls return to the spiritual world after accomplishing their mission. >> next >>

Keep on reading:

  1. Introduction
  2. Who was Jesus?
  3. Are Jesus and Krishna one?
  4. Is worshipping Jesus compatible with worshipping Krishna?
  5. The difference between Jesus and Krishna.

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© 2000 Klaus Peter Brinkmann