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If Jesus is the only way, is Krishna consciousness invalid?

Question: 
Does Jesus' statement, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" mean that no spiritual tradition but Christianity is valid?


Our Answer:

God the Father is one. There's only one Supreme Absolute Truth. He is known by many names, and He makes Himself approachable in many ways, to many people. Sometimes He personally shows Himself, sometimes He appears as supernatural phenomena (as a burning bush, for one example), and sometimes He shows himself through the words and deeds of a trusted representative.

In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna says, "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth." (4.34).

The Absolute Truth is the Supreme Person, God the Father. He has unlimited names according to His sublime qualities. Jesus' statement confirms Krishna's teaching; the Father is pleased we approach Him through His son, or trusted representative.

God is eternal, infinite, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-merciful, and the reservoir of all love. All living entities are His inseparable parts, and He is the supreme conscious being amongst all conscious beings. He expands Himself into unlimited forms, avatars, in each of the innumerable material universes, to make Himself knowable and available to all.

God also has unlimited representatives—His devotees—who work on His behalf to give knowledge and love of God to everyone in the material world. Jesus was the perfect guru, showing by example how to love and serve God. For us to be able to love God, we have to learn about Him from someone who knows—God's trusted representative—and to have as much faith in his representative as we have in God Himself.

Following God's words in scripture is the same as following God Himself. The same holds true for following God's representative. Jesus also said, "I and the Father are one," meaning that although there is a distinction between God and His representative, to respect, obey, and surrender to God's representative is the same as surrendering to God. As God is one, guru is also one. There may be many persons teaching God consciousness, but if their message is God's message, they are one in purpose.

Claiming that Jesus is God's only son—His one and only representative ever—is to put severe limitations on God's power and mercy. All living beings everywhere are His sons—He is the Lord of everyone—though some are more conscious of this than others. The belief that God, the Supreme Person, can only beget a single son—when countless persons throughout history have begotten multiple sons and God is greater than man in every way—is not supported in the Vedic tradition.

  • Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.2.34, purport:

    "The Lord, therefore, comes to propagate the message of the kingdom of God, either personally as an incarnation or through His bona fide representative as the good son of God."

  • Srimad-Bhagavatam, 11.1.5, purport:

    "Every living being is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, as stated in the Bhagavad-gita. . . Every living entity is originally a son of God, yet to execute His pastimes the Lord selects certain highly qualified living entities whom He allows to take birth as His personal relatives."