Hare Krishna, your Grace grant me Your blessing and allow me to be on your lotus feet.
I was reading the Bhagavad-gita, chapter 4, verse 35 about the relationship we should have with a spiritual master.
How should a devotee of Krishna consider the Lord Jesus Christ? Like a spiritual master? Like a prophet? Or as the Son of God?
Dear Bhakta Jomi,
Please receive my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada answered several times to this question saying,
“yes, we accept him as our Guru”.
Several more things have been said in this regard by him and by others.
I also answered to a similar question of yours (1 Abril 2019) in these terms:
Srila Prabhupada said, “Guru Mahārāja (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami) said śaktyāveśa-avatāra, powerful incarnation. Therefore whenever there was question of Jesus, I never disrespected Jesus, never criticized him, because I know that he is powerful representative of God. We took it from Guru Mahārāja.”
Room Conversation with Ram Jethmalani (Parliament Member), April 16, 1977 in Bombay, India.
The term “saktyavesa avatara” used by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta puts Lord Jesus in a higher position respect to jiva-tattva gurus. The christian term “prophet” or “son of god” could therefore apply.
In that answer I added:
“So on the basis of the words of our closest Acarya we give Jesus Christ much respect.”
If you want to read that article again this is the link:
However we must try to understand the topic of Guru (guru-tattva) in a deeper way. We should not remain in the sentimental or mental plane.
While both our most immediate Acaryas (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and Srila Prabhupada) have said that they accept Jesus as a Guru, they took initiation and instructions from other Gurus, and from other spiritual traditions. They did not say, “Jesus is in my heart, I don’t need anything nor anyone else”, as many so-called Christians say.
So, what all of this mean?
First of all a Guru has to have a deep impact in our lives. It cannot be just a photograph on an altar. He has to guide, to teach with words and example.
That’s why the principle of parampara (an uninterrupted chain of teachers and disciples) is so important.
We accept and respect a Guru who lived and preached in the past, but we would need a “living representative” of his to adhere to his school.
In other words to take full benefit of accepting Jesus Christ as our Guru we would need a uninterrupted parampara coming down to our present days. If we had a spiritual master in Jesus’ line, things would have been considerably different.
Being born and raised in the supposedly most catholic city in the world (Rome) I breathed Christianity since birth and study it seriously, and I would have serious doubts that this pure representative exists.
Without a parampara not only we don’t have a personal guide, but it is also lecit to harbour doubts abouts the authenticity of what we call “Sastras”, or holy scriptures. A book is holy when a pure saint writes it and when similarly pure saints hand it down through the chain system from teacher to disciple.
Therefore without a uninterrupted chain of spiritual masters coming down up to the present day, and without scriptures on which we can rest our complete trust, the most logical thing to do is to worship and consider Jesus as one of our Gurus, but look elsewhere for an personal expert guide for our return to the spiritual world.
Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
12 october 2019