Iskcon Members Are NOT Hindus! Krishna is Not India’s Private Property!

Iskcon members are devotees of Krishna. A devotee of Krishna is not a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, etc. No upadhi, designation.

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You may call the Vedas Hindu, but “Hindu” is a foreign name. WE ARE NOT HINDUS. (Sri Isopanisad Introduction)
When we refer to something as being “Hindu”, this is unintelligent; neither is “Hindu” a Vedic word. Many small, sectarian religions have sprung up, diverting from the original Vedic principles. They are also going on as “Hindu”, but they are all started within countable years, not more than 1,000 years ago. Swamiji wants to preach the oldest of the Vedic scriptures, the Bhagavad Gita. If we present the Bhagavad Gita as it is, the people of the world will accept it. But if we put something as “Hindu Mission,” others may not like it.

(Letter from Mukunda, quoting Srila Prabhupada, 7 Dec 1969.)
To practice bhakti-yoga [loving service to God] means to become free from designations like “Hindu,” “Muslim,” “Christian,” this or that, and simply to serve God. We have created Christian, Hindu, and Muhammadan religions, but when we come to a religion without designations, in which we don’t think we are Hindus or Christians or Muhammadans, then we can speak of pure religion, or bhakti.

(Science of Self Realization Ch. 4: Understanding Kṛṣṇa and Christ)
They are not sannyāsīs, nor are they Vedāntists, nor Hindus, nor Indians, but they have taken this movement very seriously. (Science of Self Realization Practicing Yoga in the Modern Age)
Simply we are teaching that “Become God conscious.” God is neither Hindu nor Muslim nor Christian. He’s God. And WE ARE ALSO NOT HINDU or Muslim or Christian. This is our bodily designation. We are all pure, part and parcel of the Supreme. (BG Lecture NY 23/11/66)
Prabhupada: (chuckles) And that mataji, she has taken land. I don’t like that idea. Some Hindus are supporting. I don’t want a Hindu temple. Our constitution is different. We want everyone. Krsna consciousness is for everyone. IT IS NOT A HINDU PROPOGANDA. People may not misunderstand. And actually, till now IN OUR SOCIETY THERE IS NOT A SINGLE OTHER HINDU THAN ME. (laughter) Is that not? (Meeting 9/6/69) New Vrindavana)
Lord Caitanya, He said that “I am not a brahmana. I am not a Christian. I AM NOT A HINDU. I am not a sannyasi. I am nothing of this sort.” Then what You are? “I am the servant’s servant’s servant of Krsna. That is My identification.” And when you identify yourself in that way, you are liberated. That is Krsna consciousness, perfection of Krsna consciousness. (CC Lecture New York 21/12/66)
Prabhupada: No, no. Everyone will help us. Maybe… In that way sometimes Hindus are also against. It is not the Mohammedans. Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s time, even THE HINDUS WERE AGAINST HIS MOVEMENT, the brahmanas. They complained to the Kazi that “THIS IS NOT HINDU MOVEMENT.” You see? The sankirtana movement. Therefore Kazi had to take steps to stop the sankirtana movement. So Kazi took step on the ground of complaint by the Hindus.

Nitai: That’s similar to what happened in Bombay.

Prabhupada: Eh?

Nitai: That’s similar to what happened…

Prabhupada: Yes.

Nitai: …in Bombay.

Prabhupada: THE HINDUS THEY WANTED TO BREAK OUR TEMPLE, and they broke part of it. You do not know?

(Morning Walk 6/3/74)
Actually, “Hindu,” THERE IS NO SUCH WORD AS “HINDU” RELIGION. We don’t find in the Vedic scripture. Hindu religion… Hindu religion is a modern term given by the foreigners. Actually the Indians, bharatiya, they, their religion is varnasrama-dharma, religion of four castes and four spiritual orders, four spiritual orders and four social orders. The persons who follow these four orders of social status and four orders of spiritual advancement, they are called varnasrama. SO HINDU RELIGION IS A MISCALCULATION. (CC Lecture – NY 11/1/67)
But India, they have given up the real religious system, sanatana-dharma, or varnasrama-dharma. FICTITIOUSLY, THEY HAVE ACCEPTED A HODGEPODGE THING WHICH IS CALLED HINDUISM. THEREFORE THERE IS TROUBLE.

Everywhere, but India especially, they are… Vedic religion… Vedic religion means varnasrama-dharma. That is… Krsna says, God says, catur-varnyam maya srstam [Bg. 4.13]. So that is, what is called, obligatory. Just like law is obligatory. You cannot say that “I don’t take this law.” No. You have to take it if you want to have a happy. You cannot become outlaw. Then you’ll not be happy. You’ll be punished.

So God says maya srstam. “It is given by Me.” So how we can deny it? And that is religion. (Conv. – Vrindavan 28/6/76)
Other religious sects, they say this is Hindu belief. When Krsna says dehino ‘smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara: just like the child is becoming boy, boy is becoming young man. This is science. AND WHY DO YOU SAY IT IS HINDU BELIEF? Does it mean that a Muslim or Christian child does not become a boy? What do you mean by Hindu belief? But they say it like that, Hindu belief. Is that correct if somebody says it is Hindu belief? NO, IT IS FACT, IT IS SCIENCE. What do you think? Is that Hindu belief?” (Tehran 8/8/76)
So where is the difficulty to understand? Plain thing. Plain thing. But we are stubborn. We do not wish to understand. This is not a sectarian; this is a science. If a child becomes a boy, is that sectarian? The Hindu child becomes a boy, Hindu boy, and the Christian child becomes a Christian. That is outward, Hindu, Muslim, Christian. But within this body… I am Hindu or Christian because I have got this body from the Christian father-mother, Hindu father-mother. But that is body. I am not this body. Therefore we have to understand first that “I am not this body. Therefore I am not Hindu, not Muslim, not Christian, not black, not white. I am pure spirit soul.” Aham brahmasmi. THIS IS THE FIRST BASIC KNOWLEDGE. THIS IS NOT SECTARIAN. This is a basic knowledge, you believe or not believe. (BG Lect. – 22/4/76 Melbourne)
In Durban we went to that university. You remember? That Arya-samaji? He was speaking that “This is Hindu conception. Hindu conception.” And what do you mean by Hindu conception? A child grows to become a boy. Is that Hindu conception? It is science. When Krsna said, dehino ’smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara [Bg.

2.13], that’s a fact. It is applicable to the Hindus, to the Muslim, to the Christian, everyone. Why do you say it is Hindu conception? SO, YOU HAVE TO PRESENT IN THAT WAY, THAT THEY MAY NOT THINK THAT IT IS HINDU CONCEPTION. Because they are all rascals, unless you explain it, that this is meant for everyone, they will misunderstand that Bhagavata is for the Hindus or for the Indians. It is for everyone. But one must realize. There is no question of Hindu conception or Muslim conception. (MW – Mayapur 20/1/76)
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS HINDU DHARMA. NO. There is no such word in the whole Vedic literature. You won’t find in the Bhagavad-gita or Bhagavata as Hindu dharma. There is one word as bhagavata-dharma, but there is no such word as Hindu dharma. This Hindu dharma or Hindu… This is creation by our neighbour, Indian neighbour, the Middle-east Muhammadans. They gave the name, Indian people, as “Hindu.” “Hindu” means… There is one river, Sindhu. The Muhammadans, they pronounce sa as ha. So those who were on the other side of the Sindhu River, Hindu River, they were called Hindus. But actually Vedic religion is neither for Hindus nor for Christian nor for… It is meant for the human being. Vedic literature… This Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, they are VEDIC literature.

(SB Lecture – NY 5/3/75)
Bhakti, devotional service is not dependent on any material condition. Because one man is very rich, he can get Krsna? No. Because one man is very poor, he cannot get Krsna? No. That’s not right. Because one is Hindu or Indian, he can get Krsna, not others? No. That is also not. Krsna is unconditionally for everyone. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: sarva yonisu kaunteya [Bg. 14.4]. Otherwise, how He can be God? If He is a Hindu God, just like they describe in the dictionary that Krsna, a Hindu God—that is nonsense. Krsna is for everyone. Krsna does not say that “I am a Hindu God.’’ But these rascals say Krsna is Hindu God. This is going on. You see in the Bhagavad-gita, Krsna says, sarva yonisu kaunteya [Bg.14.4]. “In all species of life.’’ Sambhavanti murtayah. There are as many different forms of life. Tasam mahad yoni, brahma: “Their mother is this material nature, and I am their seed-giving father.’’ Krsna says that. So how can Krsna be Indian or Hindu or this or that? No. Krsna is for everyone. And the proof is that five years ago in the Western countries nobody knew what is Krsna. How they’re taking Krsna in so loving attitude? This is the proof that Krsna is for everyone, and everyone is for Krsna. Try to understand this philosophy. Don’t be mislead. IT IS NOT A SECTARIAN RELIGION. IT IS THE FACT. (Arrival Lecture – Gainsville 29/7/71)
So that activity and karmis’ activity, there is difference. The karmi’s activity is on upadhi. “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am Hindu,” “I am Muslim,” “I am Christian.” With this upadhi, we are acting. But bhakti means without upadhi. Sarvopadhi-virnirmuktam. Activity without upadhi. Working not as American. Working not as Indian. Working not as Hindu. Working not as Muslim. That is sarvopadhi-vinirmuktah tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. If we think that “I am Christian,” “I am Hindu,” “I am American,” that is with upädhi. When we purely think that “We are…,” or “I am servant of Krsna. My only business is to satisfy Krsna,” that activity is called bhakti. If I become interested in some party, that is not… Sometimes people criticize these American and European devotees, that they think that “They are American devotee; we are Hindu devotee. There is difference.” This is not bhakti-marga. This is upadhi. Why you should think yourself as Hindu? Why you should think of others who have come from America as American? That is less intelligent. Krsna-bhakta…

Vaisnave jati-buddhih. If one thinks of Vaisnava as belonging to this class, this nation, he has no vision. Naraki. That is called naraki-buddhih. Vaisnave jati-buddhih arcye siladhir gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhih. If we think the Deity as made of stone and made of wood, arcye sila-dhir; guruhu, nara-matih, if we accept spiritual master as ordinary human being; vaisnave jati-buddhih, and if we take a Vaisnava as belonging to America or Europe or India… No. They are transcendental. Neither the Deity in the temple is stone, NEITHER THE SPIRITUAL MASTER IS ORDINARY HUMAN BEING, NOR THE VAISNAVA BELONGS TO ANY CASTE. This vision is perfect vision. When you come to this vision, that is bhakti. Tat-paratvena nirmalam. A bhakta has to become purified. Tat-paratvena, being dovetailed with the service of tat, om tat sat. Tat-param. This is the process of devotional service. One should not be designated “I am this,” “I am that,” “I am that.” No. The world should unite. This Krsna consciousness movement is so nice that one should forget that he’s Indian or Hindu or Christian or American. Everything should unite as servant of Krsna.

That is bhakti-marga. (NOD Class – Vrindavan 1/11/72)
Gopala Krsna: They are saying, they are saying we are not Hindus.

Prabhupada: Hm?

Gopala Krsna: They are saying this is not Hinduism.

Prabhupada: Hindus?, we are Krsnian. It they, if…

Hansaduta: Krsnans.

Prabhupada: Krsna, in the dictionary it is said, that Hindu God but we are claiming, that Krsnian, Krsna. Krsna conscious. Krsna conscious means “Godder than the Hindus.” When you say we are not Hindu that we are not restricted with the Hindi community. That is the meaning. Because Krsna says, “I am for everyone.” So why should we be restricted to the Hindi community. Krsna says sarva yonisu, “In all forms of life, I am the seed giving father.” Why he should be simply Hindu? This point should be stressed. Sarva yoni means eighty four million…, eighty, eighty, eight million four hundred thousands, all forms. Krsna is for all of them. We therefore, why Krsna should be restricted to the Hindu community? Hindus are included but Krsna is not restricted to Hindus. Krsna’s picture, that Bal Gopal. He’s embracing the calves. Krsna does not embrace only the gopis, He’s embracing the calves also. That is Krsna. He’s equal to everyone. Mah hi partha vyapasritya ye ’pi syuh papa-yonayah. Papa-yonayah, so many low-grade forms of life, they’re also His…. Devotees are part and parcel. Mamaivamso ji… Quote this: Krsna is not restricted to the Hindu. We say, “We are not Hindu,” means we are not…. We embrace everyone. We are not restricted to the Hindus. The so-called Christians, so-called Mohammedans, they…. We embrace everyone, and actually we are doing that. Why should we simply be compact within the limitation of Hindus. That is not our purpose. Then we would not have come to western countries. We actually spreading universal brotherhood. Krsna is the father and everyone our brother. We are claiming, all our fallen brothers to become Krsna conscious. This is our movement. Caitanya Mahaprabhu (said) prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama, this is our movement. Why you should be restricted, to the India, and amongst the Hindus. (Room Conv. – Vrindavana 2/11/76)
So sad-dharma required. The, in this material world the so-called dharmas, this Hindu dharma, Muslim dharma and Christian dharma and Buddhist dharma and so many… They are not sad-dharma. They are asad-dharma. “Because I am born in the family of a Christian, I am Christian.” “Because I am born in the family of Hindu, I am Hindu.” And next time I may (be) born in the family of a dog. There is no dharma. So these are not sad-dharma. These are all asad-dharma, for the time being. Asad means “that will not stay.” You are Hindu. How long you are Hindu? Say, fifty years. Or you are Indian. How long you are Indian? Say, fifty, sixty, hundred years. But again you have to become something else. That we do not know. We are working very hard, “I am Hindu,” “I am Muslim,” “I am Indian,” “I am American.” These upadhi. But the upadhi may be changed next moment. At any moment. So what is your real dharma? This is temporary dharma for the body. What is your real dharma? Real dharma is sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. That is sad-dharma. That is sad-dharma. That will continue eternally. (SB Lect – Bombay 11/11/74)
This is the position. We are many, and God is one. So if we accept one God, then where is the chance of different religious system? God is one. God is neither Christian nor Hindu or Muslim or… No. God is God. Just like gold. Gold is gold. Either in the Hindu community, or Muslim community, gold is gold. Because gold is there in some Hindu community, nobody says “Hindu gold.” Does anybody say, “It is Hindu gold” or “It is Christian gold”? No. Gold is gold. Similarly, God is one. There is no “Hindu God” or “Muslim God” or “Christian God.” This is mistake. “We believe God in this way…,” that is nonsense. No. God is one, and you have to see what is the characteristic of God. Just like when it is gold, everyone wants to see whether it is actually gold or imitation gold. That we have to see. There cannot be Hindu gold, Muslim gold, Christian gold. No. Simply you have to see whether it is actually gold, acceptable. That should be the subject matter of theology, to know actually what is God and to understand what is our relationship with God. (SB Lecture – LA 26/6/75)
Prabhupada: Everyone should understand God and the relationship with God and act accordingly. Then it is perfect religion. And if there is no conception of God, no carrying out order of the God, that is not religion. That is cheating. But generally they do not accept God—still, he is stamping himself that “I am Hindu,” “I am Muslim,” “I am Christian.” He has no idea what is God, how to abide by His order, and they are fighting that “I am Christian and you are Hindu. Therefore we must fight.” This is going on. Nobody understands what is God. Pseudo religion. Practically there is no religion. If there is no government—you make your law; I make my law—then how there will be peace? That is the position. They do not understand what is God, and “I am Christian” or “Hindu” or “Mohammedan, so let us fight.” That’s all.

Dr. Kneupper: Do you think that there is a special way that Hinduism looks upon man’s place in the universe?

Prabhupada: The Hindu religion is a vague term. It is a vague term. It is not clear. It is not clear. Real term is, it is called, Vedic principle. Vedic principle. And in the Bhagavad-gita it is said: Vedic knowledge means to understand God. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]. So anyone who tries to understand God, he is in the Vedic line. Veda means knowledge, so as you get the stock of knowledge, that is called Vedas. But as soon as we say Vedas, they think it is Hindu. Mathematics is a science. So any scientific man will accept mathematics. Where is the question of Hindu mathematics? Gold is gold. If it is in the hand of Hindu, it is Hindu gold? Hindu, Muslim gold? Gold is gold. When we give the Vedic knowledge, they think it is Hindu idea. (Room Conv. –Vrindavana 6/11/76)
So at the present moment, being entrapped by the material nature, we have accepted different types of dharmas. That is artificial. That is artificial. “I am Hindu,” “I am Muslim,” “I am Christian,” “I am Buddhist,” “I am this,” “I am that.” These are all in relationship with this body. Accidentally if I am born in a Hindu family, or Muslim family, or Christian family, I identify myself, “I am Hindu,” “I am Muslim,” “I am Christian.” But real identification is, as I have already explained to you, aham brahmasmi, I am Brahman. I am the spirit soul. (SB Lect. – Hyderebad 26/11/72)
Mahamsa: THEY WILL SAY THAT THIS KRSNA CULTURE IS HINDUISM.

Prabhupada: THEN HE’S A RASCAL. PROVE IT IN THE COURT. KRSNA IS NOT HINDUISM. NEVER…. Is there anything in the Bhagavad-gita that Krsna says, “I am for the Hindus or for the Indians”?

Acyutananda: The Hindu law is so elastic, anyone who calls himself a Hindu or who practices any branch…

Mahamsa: Or puts on tilaka.

Acyutananda: Puts on tilaka, he may have the lowest character or the highest standard, anyone, he will be all considered a Hindu.

Prabhupada: So this should be taken to court, on the Supreme Court.

Harikesa: But if there is no definition of Hindu, how can you prove…

Prabhupada: THERE IS NO HINDU. It is not…. THEREFORE WE ARE NOT HINDU.

Acyutananda: Well, they’ll say, “This is our definition. This is what we say a Hindu is.”

Prabhupada: Huh?

Acyutananda: The court says, “This is what we say a Hindu is. SO YOU’RE HINDUS.”

Prabhupada: NO, NO. And court can say anything, but then why not put it into the judgment of many judges?

Harikesa: Then we have to establish what is Hinduism…

Prabhupada: Yes.

Harikesa: …and what is Krsna consciousness.

Acyutananda: It is already established.

Prabhupada: You can define anything. That does not mean that your definition is perfect. Actually we have to…. Who…? Suppose Hindu. So who is not accepting Bhagavad-gita? But where is…? In the Bhagavad-gita where is the mention of “Hindu”? Hm? Krsna says that “I am the father of all living entities.” So WHY DO THEY SAY THAT THIS IS HINDUISM?

Acyutananda: “Well, all religions say that they are the best. Jesus Christ says, ‘Everyone who comes to me, they will get the grace of God.’ So the same thing. But still they are Christians and you are Hindus.”

Prabhupada: So this cannot stay in the court. Krsna’s instruction is not for the Hindus. Nowhere it is mentioned.

Tamala Krsna: The word “Hindu” doesn’t appear in the Vedas anywhere.

Acyutananda: Then why do you use in the Krsna consciousness the Hindu caste marks, Hindus caste marks and tilakas? This is all Hinduism.

Prabhupada: NO, THIS IS NOT HINDUISM. Appears like Hindu. Just like you appear like an Indian sannyasi, but you are not Indian.

Acyutananda: The judge is wearing a white wig and a British suit. He’s not British either.

Prabhupada: No, we are clearly stating Krsna consciousness.

Harikesa: Yes, but Krsna is a Hindu god.

Prabhupada: That is your definition. Krsna doesn’t say.

Harikesa: But my definition counts ’cause I’m in charge.

Prabhupada: You can do any nonsense. That is….

Therefore you have to be taken to the court, that “How you can…”

Tamala Krsna: But they are the court.

Prabhupada: “…talk like nonsense and do like nonsense? Then anyone can do any nonsense thing? Then who will control you?”

Harikesa: That’s the point.

Mahamsa: The chief justice himself was saying like that in Madras. Their opinion will come in their favor.

Prabhupada: No, they can give opinion, but there is supreme court. There is international court. We shall go…

Mahamsa: International court?

Gopala Krsna: That’s only for disputes between countries, international court.

Prabhupada: Yes, it is country—”We are American. They are forcing us to become a Hindu.” This is between country. You have to tackle with intelligence.

Mahamsa: It’s become a world issue.

Acyutananda: In most books about Hinduism they describe that Hinduism is a cult where they worship many gods and ultimately God is formless.

Prabhupada: No.

Acyutananda: So we are against that. Then we are not Hindus even philosophically according to that.

Prabhupada: Yes. We are against all so-called cheating religion. THE HINDUISM IS ALSO A CHEATING RELIGION. We are preaching Bhagavata, and Bhagavata beginning that “We have kicked out all cheating religion.” What is cheating religion? That one has to understand. And Bhagavata says, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam:

[SB 6.3.19] “Religion means the order given by God.”

If you do not know who is God, “imperson,” then where is your religion? We have to tackle things.

Gopala Krsna: They will consult all the standard dictionaries about Krsna’s definition and all the…

Prabhupada: Dictionary is not the standard. The standard is the book itself. That is our preaching.

You may bring some dictionary made by some fools. No.

We have to take reference. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Acyutananda: Well, even Jesus Christ just said, “I am for all,” but there is Christianity.

Prabhupada: Yes, that is a fact. Either God or God’s representative, He is for everyone. Suhrdah sarva-bhutanam. That is the definition of sadhu.

Titikaavah karunikah suhrdah sarva-bhutanam. A saintly person…, as God is for everyone, a saintly person is for everyone. Why he should be for Hindu or Muslim or Christian? That is the definition of saintly person.

Suhrdah. Suhrdah means well-wisher. So either Christ or any Vaisnava, he is well-wisher for everyone.

[break] …suhrdah sarva-bhutanam. We are preaching all over the world and they are appreciating.

Harikesa: So many others have preached Hinduism but have no result.

Prabhupada: No result. Why they should become Hindu?

Acyutananda: That sign is there, “Swami Vivekananda, the Hindu monk.”

Prabhupada: But who cares for Ramakrishna Mission?

Hindu monk, but who cares for the Ramakrishna Mission?

For the last eighty-five years they are working. How many Hindus they have made? Simply bogus propaganda.

They advertise that “We have made all Americans…”

But where the Americans? They picked up two American ladies, that’s all. Where is the Hindu sadhus eating meat? [break]…

Prabhupada: Foreign devotees, they are joining this movement not because it is a Hindu culture. They take it as a real spiritual culture. Otherwise why, for the last hundred, two hundred years, the Hindu sannyasis, yogis, were going there? Who did accept it? Did anybody? (Morning Walk – 08/01/76)
This led to a long discussion whether our ISKCON temples could also be taken over. If they could, it would be on the basis of their being “Hindu” temples. So Srila Prabhupada, in order to avoid any government interference, suggested that we register the temples as American property. Apart from that, he said WE ARE NOT HINDU. The word Hindu isn’t in the Bhagavad-gita, and the teachings of Bhagavad-gita are for everyone, not just Hindus. SRILA PRABHUPADA STRONGLY EMPHASIZED THIS POINT AND EVEN SAID THAT WE COULD GO TO COURT TO PROVE WE ARE NOT HINDUS. (Conversation 6/1/76 Anbdhra Pradesh – Hari Sauri Dasa –ATD)
Mahesh: The other Swamiji, Swami Kaivalya does not know English. You have heard of Swami Kaivalya?

Prabhupada: No, what is his philosophy? He is Vaisnava?

Mahesh: Hmmm, I think he is not Vaisnava. But actually, in our Hindu religion, all paths are same and all is one.

Prabhupada: All is one? So we can just take your building?

Mahesh: Ummm. Actually, Swamiji, there are many Hindu families here in Kobe. They are all interested in seeing you. All have heard of the famous Hare Krsna Swamiji. And everyone will be coming tonight. If the program is successful, they can support one Hindu temple for your devotees to run in Kobe.

Prabhupada: WHAT IS THIS HINDU? HINDU MEANS HODGE-PODGE. All is one. This is nonsense. Where is the word “Hindu” mentioned in Sastra? In Bhagavad-gita? In Vedas? Anywhere? Where is this “Hindu” mentioned even one time? Anyplace? One place?

Mahesh: Ummm.

Prabhupada: [To Mr. Santanam.]: You are born in a brahmana family. Any one place? No, this Hindu is a name given by Mohammedans. They cannot pronounce Indus River, so they are calling those on the other side Hindus in their own pronunciation. You know this? [Pause.] You don’t know. But you can learn. To learn, one must approach a bona fide spiritual master and hear from him. This is the process. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya. We must serve him and inquire from him. Then he will train us to see the truth. By training we can develop.

M. Santanam: Swamiji, who is real guru?

Prabhupäda: A guru knows Krsna.

Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena. His eyes are decorated with love of Krsna. He can see Krsna everywhere. Become trained by such a spiritual master, and then you will understand everything. WE ARE NOT HINDUS, AND WE ARE NOT TRAINING THESE BOYS TO BECOME HINDUS. We are training them to love Krsna, God. (SP Conversation Japan 1972 – Bhurijana Dasa MGM)
So this is the warm invitation of Krishna Consciousness. It has nothing to do with black or white, young or old, or believe me, Christian or Jew or Hindu or anything like that. We consider these to be as much a part of false ego—Christian, Hindu, Jew—as we do black, white, young, old, man or woman. Because they were delegated to this body—I’m born in a Christian family, I call myself a Christian; I’m born in a Hindu family, I call myself a Hindu—so because of this body I’m a Hindu, because of this body I’m a Jew, and if I was born a million years ago would I be a Hindu, Christian or Jew? No. But I’d still be a servant, I’d still have my consciousness. See? Suppose you’re born a hundred thousand years from now? Are you going to be a Christian or a Hindu or a Jew? No. But you’ll still have your consciousness, you’ll still have to serve, and you’ll still want to be happy.

(VISNUJANA SWAMI – Festival Address Oregon 1/6/75)

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