Love for God is preceded by knowledge-SP says Yes!

January 18, 2023 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

June 28 ,1976 New Vrndavana
Prabhupāda: So these people, these mahājanas, they know what is the principles of religion. Religion means bhagavata-dharma, to understand God and our relationship with God. That is religion. You may call it Hindu religion or Muslim religion or Christian religion, but real religion is that which teaches how to love God.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: This is off the record, but one may ask if someone like Christ or Moses was not mentioned amongst the mahājanas, present some sort of religion…
Prabhupāda:No, mahājana there is in Christian messiahs. There is mahājana. And later on, after Christ, there was so many other. Saint Matthew, Saint Thomas, like that. Mahājana is mentioned there. How can you say there is no mahājana?Mahājana means who is strictly following the original religion. That is called mahājana.Or who know the things as they are. They are called mahājana. And that means paramparā system. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna is learning Bhagavad-gītā directly from Kṛṣṇa. He’s mahājana. So you learn from Arjuna. And after hearing Bhagavad-gītā, as Arjuna acted, as Arjuna understood Kṛṣṇa, you follow that. Then mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. Then you are following the mahājana. You are on the real path. Just like we are. Here it is said, mahājana, Svāyambhu. Svāyambhu means Brahmā, Lord Brahmā. So our, this sampradāya, Gauḍīya sampradāya, is Brahma-sampradāya. And Svāyambhu, Nārada. Nārada is also in the brahma-sampradāya. And Śambhu, Lord Śiva, he is also mahājana. He has got his sampradāya, Rudra-sampradāya. And similarly, Śrī-sampradāya. So all these sampradāya we must follow. Sampradāya vihina ye mantras te niṣphala mataḥ.If you do not belong to sampradāya, mahājana, then you are useless. You cannot concoct any religious system. So either you be Christian or Hindu it doesn’t matter. You have to follow the mahājana.If a Christian says, “I don’t believe in St. Thomas,” what kind of Christian he is?Similarly, it doesn’t matter who is a mahā… But real mahājana is he who is strictly following the principle as enunciated by God. That is religious system. Otherwise there is no religion. There is no question of religion. It is simply concoction. Mano-dharmi, mental speculator. Mental speculation is not religion. Religion is the order of Kṛṣṇa and one who follows that order, he is religious. That’s all.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. So far I can understand, you’re saying that there’s no need to label that there’s one religion in the world. Rather, everyone can…
Prabhupāda:One religion is there already, that how to love God. This is one religion. Will the Christian say, “No. We don’t want to love God”? Will the Christians say? Will the Mohammedans say, “No, no. We don’t want to love God”? So religion means how to love God, and any religion which teaches how to love God, that is perfect.It doesn’t matter whether he’s Christian or Muslim or Hindu. It doesn’t matter. You have to be educated to take your degree. It doesn’t matter from which college you take degree.Similarly, religion means you have to learn how to love God. If you have no love for God, it is all useless. That is not religion.
.Becauseyou do not understand God. You have no love for God.That is going on, all over the world. They’re stamping under some sect, but there is no real religion. So in order to bring them all in one platform, they have to accept the principles of Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you do not accept in the beginning Kṛṣṇa, that He is the supreme, then you try to understand that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is education. There is somebody supreme. So if I say, because I am Hindu, I am Indian, that “Kṛṣṇa is the supreme,” you may say, “Then why Kṛṣṇa? Kṛṣṇa is Indian.” “No. He is God. Just like the sun rises first in India, then comes to Europe. But that does not mean the sun is different. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, although appeared in India, now He has come to Western countries, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.You try to understand whether Kṛṣṇa is not God or God. But He is God. There is no doubt about it. If you have got intelligence to understand what is God, then try to understand. But He is God undoubtedly. So take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and abide by the order of Kṛṣṇa. Then everyone comes on the same platform, the religious platform, one religion, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Question 19, this is…
Prabhupāda: Now, this is clear or not?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Oh yes.
Prabhupāda: Anyone? We are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, our business is to surrender to Him. And Kṛṣṇa personally advises that “You surrender unto Me. I shall give you all protection.” This is religion.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Sometimes we meet people in our preaching activities. They may, of course, claim to be very devout Christian or Muslim, but at the same time they will blaspheme Kṛṣṇa. Is it possible that such persons can actually be associates of God?
Prabhupāda:No, no. It is just like in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement there are so many Christians, so many Jews, so many Mohammedan, and Hindus. Everyone is there. It is a question of understanding.So in the beginning if… But if he’s serious to understand what is God, then he will accept Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Lord. If he knows what is God, then he’ll understand, “Here is God.”If he remains in darkness, he does not know what is God, then how he’ll understand Kṛṣṇa? He’ll understand Kṛṣṇa as one of us. That’s all. But if he knows what is God then he’ll understand. Yes, here is God, Just like if a person knows what is gold, then anywhere gold, he’ll understand, “Here is gold.” It does not mean only gold, in certain shop only gold is available. But if he knows what is God, what is meaning of God, that he will find in Kṛṣṇa in fullness. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]. The śāstra says how He is Bhagavān, what is Bhagavān. You should understand and see from the activities of Kṛṣṇa whether He is not Bhagavān. It requires brain to understand. I say, “Here is God.” Now it is up to you. If you know what is God, then test it, and then you’ll accept God. If you do not know how to test it, then you may refuse. That is another thing. You’ll accept iron as gold. That is your ignorance. You do not know what is gold.But if you actually know what is gold, you will accept Kṛṣṇa as God, there is no doubt about it. So this is the only platform, Bhagavad-gītā. Everyone come and take to Kṛṣṇa and understand God and learn how to love Him and your life is perfect.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: But if the Christians are saying that “This is the only platform, the Bible,” and the Muslims are saying, “This is the only platform, Koran,” and the community of followers of Bhagavad…
Prabhupāda:But we have to see by the result. The result is... Only platform, that only platform, that is decided… Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ. That is actually religion. How? Yato bhaktir adhokṣaje. If one has learned how to love God. If there is no love of God, then what is the use of claiming that this is the only platform? Where is the sign of love of Godhead? That is to be seen. Simply if you say… Everyone will say, “This, my, this property is the best, or my understanding is…”But there must be practical proof. The practical proof-say how to love God, what is the process of loving God? If you do not know your relationship with God and other’s relationship with God, then how you know God? That is lacking. Nobody can give clear conception of God. Can the Christians give? Then where is love of God? If you have no understanding of what is God, where is the question of love? Love is not fictitious. You cannot love air. You love a person, a beautiful person, a beautiful woman. If you say, “I love air. I love the sky…” Where there is question of love?There must be a person. So who is that person we want to love? But they have no personal conception of God, neither they can describe the personal beauty, capacity, strength, ṣaḍ-aiśvarya-pūrṇaḥ. There is no such description.So they have got the conception of God, but actually they do not know what is God. But religion means you must know God and love Him. That is religion. That is first class religion. Is that clear or not?

Kulādri: We had one priest who came. He was discussing with Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja. He did not know what God looked like, he never gave anything, never talked about God, but he said he loved God.
Prabhupāda: Then? What kind of love it is?
Kulādri:Nor did he say his people ever came to church. He said, “At best they come once a week.” He said that’s all that is necessary.
Prabhupāda: Well, love does not mean that you come once in a week at my house.Love means you come to my house, give me some presentation, and take something from me. Dadāti pratigṛhṇāti bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva ṣaḍ-vidhaṁ prīti-lakṣaṇam. Love means if you love somebody, then you must give him something, you must accept something from him. Dadāti pratigṛhṇāti. You must disclose your mind to him and he should disclose his mind to you. Dadāti pratigṛhṇāti guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati, and bhuṅkte bhojayate.If you love somebody, you give him something eatable and whatever eatable he offers you accept. These six kinds of exchange makes love. But if you do not know the person, the boy or the girl, then where is the question of love? Love begins… If you love some girl, if you love some boy, then you give something, some presentation, and he gives you some presentation. That develops love. You give something to eat and whatever he gives you to eat, you eat. You disclose your mind,
Pradyumna:Then… You said we must know Godbeforewe can love Him. So that means devotional service is preceded by knowledge.
Prabhupāda:Yes. Yes. Yes, that is the process in the Bhagavad-gītā.There are 18 chapters.The whole 18 chapters is the educationhow to know God.And when Arjuna completely in awareness he accepted, “Kṛṣṇa, You are paraṁ brahma, paraṁ dhāma [Bg. 10.12],” that is understanding. Then surrender, sarva-dharmān parityajya [Bg. 18.66].Unless you know God, how you’ll surrender
April 28 1974 letter Rupanuga
So far we are concerned we are trying to train first class men. How much great responsibility we have to follow regulative principles, chant the beads, live with personal character etc. Regulative principles means to especially execute devotional service in terms of the revealed scriptures under the direction of the spiritual master.By fulfilling the regulative principles you come to the platform of spontaneous love for Krsna.Spontaneous love for Krsna is there already but is covered by the influence of Maya.The regulative principles are a device how to overcome the influence of maya and come to the platform of spontaneous love of Krsna.If we want to exist as first class men in society all our students must be induced to following the regulative principles.One shouldn’t think artificially he has come to the spontaneous platform. That is sahajiyaism.
Madhya 25.278 : PURPORT :-All the devotees connected with this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement must read all the books that have been translated (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā and others); otherwise, after some time, they will simply eat, sleep and fall down from their position. Thus they will miss the opportunity to attain an eternal, blissful life of transcendental pleasure.
NoD 35 Neutral Love of God 175614/530501
Without worshiping the arca-vigraha, the form or Deity of the Lord,
one cannot understand such literature as Bhagavad-gita and
751030SB.NAI Lectures 223477/530501
So the temple worship is essential. So those who are against temple
worship, Deity worship, they are not very intelligent class of men,
foolish, mudha.  NoD 35 Neutral Love of God
Some Conclusions– so the entire point of all these quotes is to prove without a doubt that first we must know God and then we can love Him. 
Pradyumna: Then… You said we must know God before we can love Him. So that means devotional service is preceded by knowledge.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Yes, that is the process in the Bhagavad-gītā. There are 18 chapters. The whole 18 chapters is the education how to know God.