“Whoever knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without doubting, is to be understood as the knower of everything, and he therefore engages himself in full devotional service, O son of Bharata.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.19)Download this episode (right click and save)
yo mām evam asammūḍho
sa sarva-vid bhajati māṁ
Friend-One: Alright. This time what I have for you is going to upset you.
Friend-Two: Then why even bring it up?
F1: Because it’s an important issue to discuss.
F2: Is it of a viewpoint that clashes with the bhakti-yoga philosophy?
F2: Bring it on. I’m not afraid. When you know that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you have nothing to fear. You can take on any challenger, because you know from where they come. You know what guides their erroneous understanding.
F1: So here goes. Have you ever heard of Krishna described as a prophet? You know, like by a famous teacher of yoga?
F1: It seemed kind of weird when I heard it the first time. They described Shri Rama as a prophet too. They lumped both of them in with other famous personalities that we know, like Agastya Rishi and King Janaka.
F2: King Janaka is mentioned by name in the Bhagavad-gita. He was known for his detachment, vairagya. At the same time, he paid attention to his duties. He is the perfect example of how to perform devotional service in the material realm. It looks like he’s attached by running a kingdom, but he is in complete yoga on the inside.
F1: Right. Agastya I know about from the Ramayana. There is the section where Shri Rama talks about Agastya with His younger brother Lakshmana. Agastya’s asceticism was so strong that evil characters couldn’t even come near his ashrama.
F2: Yeah. There was the time when Agastya stopped the racket that the Rakshasas Vatapi and Ilvala were up to. Vatapi would change his form into food which priests would then eat through the persuasion of Ilvala, who would assume the false guise of a sage. After the meal, Ilvala would call out to Vatapi, and the demon would burst out of the stomachs of these saintly characters, thereby killing them. They tried this one time on Agastya and it didn’t work. Not only did Vatapi die, but Ilvala did as well after he charged at the saint.
F1: That’s awesome. The reason I’m asking you about these things is that I could see the description resonating with people. You know, like the “all religions being the same” kind of thing. Jesus and Mohammed are known as prophets. So Krishna and Rama are the same. Janaka and Agastya too. It’s all one big happy family.
F2: I must tell you, this is one of the telltale signs of the Mayavadi. Notice how they are quite fond of quoting the Bible and other non-Vedic texts. Meanwhile, when speaking, the philosophy they present is completely based on the Vedas. Reincarnation, the difference between matter and spirit, the allures of maya, the influence of time, the existence of a Supreme Controller - these are all discussed in the Bhagavad-gita and Vedanta philosophy in general. Yet the Mayavadis are more fond of quoting other works in order to make people think that all religious systems are the same.
F1: That’s true. They quote a lot of poets, too. That just doesn’t seem right to me. Why would you quote someone who is admittedly under the sway of maya, or illusion? Maybe they can lend support to the idea of how strong the material nature is, but as far as God goes they are no authority at all.
F2: For the prophet thing, there is an easy retort. Am I going to listen to these people or King Janaka himself? Am I going to listen to what they say about Agastya Rishi or follow Agastya himself? Janaka is known as one of the twelve mahajanas, or great personalities. He gets this distinction because of his love and devotion to God. Though he experienced brahma-sukha through his spiritual practices, he found an even higher level of pleasure from seeing and serving God in His form of Rama. Janaka says that Rama is God. He does not say that Rama is a prophet.
F1: That’s true.
F2: The same goes for Agastya Rishi, who is the author of the Agastya-samhita. His teachings promote bhakti-yoga, or devotion to God. Agastya is particularly dear to Rama and vice versa. Agastya does not say that Rama is a prophet. If anyone in the Vedic tradition comes close to being a prophet, it is Narada Muni. He travels the three worlds spreading the glories of God. He never puts himself on an equal level. In order to do so you would have to be a cheater. You would have to willfully ignore important verses from the Bhagavad-gita. Krishna never says that He is a prophet, a son of God, or a person occupying a high position that is up for grabs. These are all cheating speculations done by those with a personal agenda.
For on prophet issue to be clear,
From Agastya and Janaka just hear.
That Rama is God they say,
For equality to Him no possible way.
Knowledge great and highly renounced,
Thus in Vedic history with stature pronounced.
Krishna too never a prophet can be,
Supreme Personality of Godhead is He.