Can one go back home back to godhead by practicing Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism and Judaism?

by Chaitanya Charan dasDecember 1, 2012

From: Purushottam Kumar

Can one go back home back to godhead by practicing Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism and Judaism?

Are Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism and Judaism authorized religious practice? Can one develop genuine love for God by practicing these religions? If yes then what is the destination of those who are sincerely practicing these religions? Do they go back home back to Godhead?

Answer Podcast

Answer Podcast Hindi

 Answer Summary By HG Kanai Krishna Prabhu

  •  Criterion for going back to Godhead is love of God: Going back to Godhead is not a matter of religious denomination, but of spiritual devotion. If one has developed love of God, one can go back to Godhead irrespective of one’s religious tradition. SP was asked in a radio program called ‘Les crane show’ about whether people who followed Christianity could go back to Godhead. SP answered that anyone, who had developed love of God by practicing any bona fide religion, could go back to Godhead. On contrary, a Christian teacher in the same program said that path back to Godhead was very narrow and only his religion could take one back to God. This may be the opinion of many exclusivists, but not of Vedic scriptures.

 

  • Love of God in other religions: Can people develop love of God by practicing other religions than Vedic religion? Definitely! There are saints like Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila who have developed exalted qualities of love of God as mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam. E.g. tolerance, compassion, non envy. There are Sufis in Islam, they are also considered exalted devotees.

 

  • Theistic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam accept that God is ultimate goal of life and one can go back to God by developing love for him. These are theistic religions. Where will practitioners of these religions go? It depends on one’s level of practice. Generally, if one follows the bona fide representative of God, it is God and the representative that takes care of one’s moving forward. How and where exactly one will go depends upon one’s consciousness and one’s individual circumstances. E.g. if one faithfully follows Christianity, Jesus may take the person to another place and further guide him to take him back to Godhead, or purification and revelation may come within one’s heart to go back to Godhead. We can’t say whether such a soul will go back to Godhead within the same lifetime or over multiple lifetimes. It will depend upon one’s individual level of devotion and past Karmic entanglements, conditionings etc. Specifics may vary, even for one following Gaudiya Vaisnava path, but the principle remains the same.

 

  • Pre-theistic religions: Buddhism and Jainism are non theistic and those following these religions purely will rise to mode of goodness. These are pre-theistic religions, focused on not so much the rejection of God, but on proper living. The practitioners of these paths will get elevation based on level of mode of goodness assimilated. In Buddhism, there’s a personalist tradition which focuses on Buddha as God and some Buddhists want to attain his abode. If the practitioner has developed devotion for Buddha, that’s additional to just development of mode of goodness, and so it is a further factor in his favor.

 

  • To summarize, anyone who is following a path given by God or by arrangement of God will be elevated by that path. Rather than looking at the religious denomination, we should look at conceptual understanding and behavior of the practitioner. Understanding people’s beliefs and seeing their practices, we can understand what their destination will be. Chapter 17 of Bhagavad Gita talks about three kinds of faith, and we can refer to this chapter to understand the destinations of practitioners of these religions.
About The Author
Chaitanya Charan das
2 Comments
  • kiran kumar epari
    March 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    No other religion is giving such a clear and vivid idea that god is indeed lord krishna, and i feel this makes our so-called hindu religion or sanatan dharma, meant for everyone, so special as it has revealed that god is none other than krishna..so there is no need of speculating or imagining how god is and his form.

  • manikandan
    May 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Nice answer Pr

Leave a Response

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

*