Prabhupada: …means ahankara-vimudhatma. The more we get material possession, our false egotism increases. “I have got this. I have got this. Who is more powerful than me?” Adhyo ‘bhijanavan asmi ko ‘nyo ‘sti sadrso maya. These are described in the Sixteenth Chapter. What is the meaning of this ahankara? Because vimudhatma, that “I have got this motorcar. I have got this property,” but within a second it can be finished. There is another, superior law. That he forgets. He sees actually, but he forgets. That is called vimudhatma. He is seeing, everyone. Of course, our time and nature’s time, little different. So many Hitlers, so many Napoleons, so many Gandhis, so many Jawaharlal came and went. But they do not see. Pasyann api na pasyati. They are seeing actually; still they do not see. Blind. In India the Mohammedans came. They ruled over. Where is the Moghul? The Englishmen came. Where they are? Everything gone. Pasyann api na pasyati. This is called vimudhatma. That is going on. The material civilization means ahankara-vimudhatma. By false egotism they are bewildered and rascals. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has translated this, that jada-bidya jato, mayara vaibhava: “All this material advancement of civilization is the paraphernalia of maya.” Because you cannot enjoy it, but you are thinking, “I possess so much. I possess so much.” You’ll not be allowed to enjoy, but still…. Therefore all these material possessions are the paraphernalia of maya. So what is the wrong there? Now, wrong is this, jada-bidya jato, mayara vaibhava, tomara bhajane badha. They are hindrances for advancement of Krsna consciousness. That is the aim of human life. That, you forget that. So tomara bhajane badha, anitya samsare, moha janamiya. The result is that he becomes more attached to this temporary world and remains the rascal. Because without being rascal, nobody comes in this material world to enjoy. As soon as anyone has come to this material world, he’s a rascal. Krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare, nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare (Prema-vivarta).
Cyavana: Srila Prabhupada? In some parts of the Bible it describes how things were being carried out, and they say that the activities were going on according to the will of God. Does that mean that there was a God conscious civilization then?
Prabhupada: Activities? These activities are going on. The sun is rising by the will of God; the moon is rising, will of God. You are being punished by the will of God. He is the Supreme.
Cyavana: But they described that people were worshiping and that children were being born…
Cyavana: Children were being born according to God’s will.
Cyavana: It’s described in certain parts of…
Prabhupada: Children will be born…. If you are…. If the child is sinful, then it will go to the womb of a mother who will kill him. That’s all. By the will. By the…. That he should be punished. One who has used contraceptive and abortion method, by the will of God he will enter another mother, and the mother will kill him.
Cyavana: But the Bible, it indicates…
Prabhupada: Now, now, you see, try, understand. You are very good Bible quoter, but try to understand each and everything. Simply you go on quoting, but understand what is that quotation. It is by the will of God. You have committed sinful life by contraceptive method. Now you enter in the womb of another mother and be killed. That is Bible.
Cyavana: So what is described there was not actually God consciousness or…
Prabhupada: No, it is God consciousness if you understand it, that “I am now being punished by the will of God. I have done sinful activities.” That is God conscious.
Guru dasa: God gives what everyone wants.
Guru dasa: If they desire that, they get that.
Prabhupada: :You wanted this punishment; therefore you get it.
Pusta Krsna: People are thinking that the punishment is something worse than this, that “This is very nice. We can live here and be happy, and the punishment is in hell.”
Prabhupada: No, no.
Pusta Krsna: “Here we live happily.”
Prabhupada: That…. No, no. That is the nature of the living being, that he is happy by nature because he is part and parcel of Krsna, sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. So ananda is nature, but he is finding, trying to find out nature in sinful life. Therefore he is being punished. That he does not know.
Guru dasa: So that’s his ignorance.
Prabhupada: That is ignorance. His nature is to become happy. He is happy, happy. Just like our natural position is we are healthy. Nature has made this body. But we create such situation that we become ill, sick. And at that time we see, “Oh, I am…” What is that? “I am infected. I have been contaminated.” Go to the doctor, injection. But the natural life is no disease.
Guru dasa: Yes.
Prabhupada: But you create a situation; therefore become diseased.
Guru dasa: Otherwise it wouldn’t be called “diseased,” because it would be normal to be sick. But disease means…
Prabhupada: Normal life means no sickness.
Guru dasa: Yes.
Prabhupada: And as soon as there is sickness, that means punishment. So if you want to be punished, then violate the hygienic laws. You can see that there is hospital and medical treatment and medicine — for whom?
Pusta Krsna: Sick people.
Prabhupada: No, for the human society. Not for the birds, beasts. But they follow nature’s law. But this rascal violates nature’s law and suffers.
Yadubara: What about for the devotees, Srila Prabhupada? Sometimes they are very sick, have so many…
Prabhupada: Devotees…. To become devotee is not so cheap thing. You don’t think that because you have got a tilaka you have become devotee. Why do you think like that?
Pusta Krsna: Jaya Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: That Bhaktivinoda Thakura, eita eka kalira chela, nake tilaka, galaya mala:(?) “Here is another follower of Kali. He has got tilaka and mala.” Sahaja bhajana kacen mamu, sanga laiya parera wala (?): “He is worshiping, bhajana, taking another’s wife.” Sahaja bhajana kacen mamu, sanga laiya parera wala, ei ta eka kalira chela: “Here is a servant of Kali. Simply he has changed his dress with tilaka and mala.” Bhaktivinoda Thakura says. If you take tilaka and mala and do all nonsense things, then you are not a devotee. You are Kali-chela. To become a devotee is not so easy thing.
Atreya Rsi: Devotee means perfect.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Certainly. Devotee means sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. He is above these material laws. That is devotee. Brahma-bhuyaya kalpate. He is in the Brahman stage. That is devotee. If you take…. That means sahajiya. “Because I have got a tilaka and mala, I have become devotee.” This kind of cheating will not do.
Atreya Rsi: And in this modern age, this cheating is very prominent…
Prabhupada: No, no. Modern or old, anyone who is a conditioned soul, he has got cheating propensity, four defects. One of them is the cheating propensity.
Atreya Rsi: Yes. But the mental stage in this age is very strong, mental. They think mentally they have found a solution.
Prabhupada: That they can do.
Atreya Rsi: But they…
Prabhupada: Within mind you can think, “I have become emperor of the world.” That you can do. Who can check you? But that is not the actual fact.
Atreya Rsi: That is the characteristic.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is mental concoction. Within mind you can think, “I have become the proprietor of the banks, all the banks.” Madman that is. He’s a madman.
Atreya Rsi: They have so many philosophies, but it’s all mental.
Prabhupada: All mental. We say, therefore, don’t say “philosophy.” We say “mental speculation.”
Atreya Rsi: Jaya.
Prabhupada: Philosophy means tattva-darsinah. That is described, tattva-darsinah. One has seen the truth, he is philosopher. And who is hovering in the mental concoction platform, he’s a rascal. “I think.” This is…. Their all European philosophy is…
Atreya Rsi: “I believe.”
Prabhupada: “I believe,” “In my opinion.” He’s a rascal, and he is giving his opinion.
Cyavana: Prabhupada, are the laws of karma written?
Prabhupada: Laws of karma is you touch fire, your finger will be burned. This is laws of karma. You cannot avoid it.
Cyavana: They are so complicated, though. Are they actually written?
Prabhupada: That is another…. This is the law of karma. If you do something which is forbidden, then you suffer. This is laws of karma. Or you enjoy. Both good and bad. That is laws of karma. Either you take the result good or the bad.
Atreya Rsi: To a devotee it is very clear, the laws of karma. He sees how that God, Krsna, is just.
Prabhupada: Yes. Devotee means tattva-darsi. He has seen the real truth. Devotee means who follows Krsna. So Krsna is giving the real truth. If you take, then you are devotee. If you don’t take, you are nondevotee.
Pusta Krsna: What is the role of mercy if one takes or doesn’t take?
Prabhupada: Mercy means…. Suppose you are a devotee. Unknowingly or by some bad habit you have done something wrong. That is excused. But if you intentionally do, that “I am devotee; Krsna will excuse me,” then you are rascal.
Gopala Krsna: That’s the greatest offense.
Prabhupada: Yes. Cheating. Cheating Krsna. Cheating Krsna is no business. That is to be punished. You cannot cheat Krsna. But if by accident, knowingly or unknowingly you have done something which is not good, that is excused. Sva-pada-mulam bhajatah priyasya. If you are actually, because you have given so much service to Krsna, you have become very dear to Him, so unknowingly you have done, committed sin — excused. Bhajatah priyasya. This word is used. You must have to become very dear to Him. Then if you accidentally commit some sin, that is excused.
Guru dasa: What does “unknowingly” mean, Srila…
Prabhupada: Unknowingly means…, suppose you are a smoker. So now you have given up everything. But in the association of some smoker you incline, “All right, let me smoke.” Then you regret, “Oh, I have done this.” It can happen. So that is excused. But if you think, “Now I am a devotee of Krsna. I can smoke like anything, and everything will be excused,” then you are a rascal.
Atreya Rsi: Also, Srila Prabhupada, we are knowing that we are so sinful and we’re so rascals, but having the opportunity of association of pure devotee and Krsna, that’s also mercy…
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes, yes.
Atreya Rsi: Because we can see that we are…, our hearts are not clean, and we are constantly thinking of maya…
Prabhupada: Education, education.
Atreya Rsi: This is mercy. This is greatest mercy.
Prabhupada: Just like you are being educated. Not that cent percent mark you are getting, but because you are trying to be educated, so that is also good. That is also good.
Devotee(1): Therefore the association is most important.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes, very important, so that if I commit some mistake, I’ll regret: “Oh, my other associate, he is not coming to act in that…” That chance he’ll get.
Atreya Rsi: So we pay a little attention to Krsna, but Krsna gives us a lot of attention.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Atreya Rsi: That is mercy.
Prabhupada: If you give…. If you go forward, Krsna, one step, He comes forward ten steps.
Atreya Rsi: He runs.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is His mercy.
Atreya Rsi: That is mercy.
Hari-sauri: I just read on one of the pages of that Bhagavatam where you said in a purport that Krsna desires that we go back home a lot more strongly than we desire to go back home.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. Therefore He comes. He is very anxious to take back His sons, back to home, back…. Just like father. If he sees, “My son is suffering there, leaving home,” he tries to get him back.
Atreya Rsi: Unfortunately we don’t even desire.
Prabhupada: And therefore you are madness.
Devotee: But the materialists will say…
Guru dasa: Therefore you have come.
Devotee: …Srila Prabhupada, that if God is, if He is actually wanting us to go back, then why is He causing suffering?
Devotee: If He wants us to come to back home to Godhead…
Prabhupada: But, you rascal, you are suffering. He says, “Come back.” You don’t go.
Atreya Rsi: Because He has given you freedom and this is…
Prabhupada: He says, “My dear boy, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]” But you don’t do. You must suffer. It is your creation, suffering. You must suffer.
Devotee: They say, “If He is all-loving, why is He…?”
Prabhupada: Loving, but…. You are…. I love you. I say, “Do this.” If you don’t do it, then…?
Devotee: It’s reciprocal.
Prabhupada: Yes. You must suffer.
Yadubara: So the suffering is His mercy also.
Prabhupada: Yes. Suffering means he’ll be purified. Suffering is the process of purification.
Atreya Rsi: And part of His laws…. It’s within His laws.
Prabhupada: You have infected some disease. You suffer. Then the enviousness(?) of Krsna will go away by suffering.
Guru dasa: So the pure devotee is sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1].
Atreya Rsi: So this question of freedom of jiva and control of Krsna, that there is freedom but at the same time there is no freedom, is a very fine line between the two that sometimes we do not understand.
Prabhupada: But why don’t you understand? Just like you belong to a free nation, the American. Does it mean you are free to do anything and everything?
Atreya Rsi: With your limited freedom.
Atreya Rsi: There’s a fine line between this freedom.
Prabhupada: When you say, “I belong to this free nation,” then yes, you are free. But that does not mean that you can do anything and everything.
Pusta Krsna: Take that example of the habit, if someone is smoking out of habit. So again. So is he free in that smoking, or is it…, has he completely surrendered his freedom?
Prabhupada: No, no…. These things are very common. Just like in your country the government has written on the cigarette box, “It is harmful to health.” But if you still smoke at your risk, do it.
Atreya Rsi: So freedom…. You can smoke, but you cannot avoid suffering from the result.
Prabhupada: Yes, from the result.
Atreya Rsi: You have to suffer.
Atreya Rsi: This is the law.
Prabhupada: Yes. This is the law.
Atreya Rsi: And you cannot smoke outside the laws. You cannot smoke a cigarette…
Prabhupada: This is…. Already warning is there that “You smoke; you suffer.” And if you still do that, suffer. What can be done? Common thing.
Gopala Krsna: The freedom is always there, minute independence.
Atreya Rsi: Minute.
Guru dasa: Freedom with responsibility.
Guru dasa: Just like they say that you have the freedom to yell “There’s a fire” in a theater, but you don’t do it.
Prabhupada: So many examples are there. Freedom is there, but you are not absolutely free to do whatever you like.
Guru dasa: Because of the stringent laws of nature.
Prabhupada: Because you are small. Just like children. He has got freedom, playing. But when he is doing something wrong, father, “You don’t do this. Don’t do this. Don’t do this.” But if he does it, even he is children, even he’s child, he’ll suffer. He cannot say, “I am child. I did not know, father.” Then that does not matter. You must suffer. You must suffer, even though you are child.
Atreya Rsi: And, Srila Prabhupada….
Prabhupada: Father takes care, “My dear child, don’t do this. Don’t touch fire.” But still, he touches; he must suffer. The fire will not excuse because he is child. That is not possible. Nature’s law will act.
Pusta Krsna: This idea of freedom and independence, is it possible for anyone theoretically to surrender to Krsna at any time?
Pusta Krsna: So let’s say someone is in a very degraded condition of life, modes of ignorance, passion. Their mind is always disturbed. Is surrender to Krsna…. Is it possible that it can be independent even of the mind?
Pusta Krsna: In other words, let’s say someone’s mind is…
Prabhupada: You are independent of mind always. It is your mind. You are not mind.
Pusta Krsna: Yes.
Prabhupada: Then you are independent of mind always.
Pusta Krsna: So even a person merged in the mode of ignorance can by some good fortune surrender to Krsna.
Prabhupada: No good fortune. God, Krsna, says, “You do it”; you do it. Here immediately you become fortunate. There is no question of waiting for becoming fortunate. You become fortunate immediately. Suppose if I say, “Take this bag, 100,000 dollars.” You can take it. Immediately you become rich man. Why don’t you take it?
Guru dasa: How does krpa-siddhi work, Srila Prabhupada?
Guru dasa: Krpa-siddhi. How does that work?
Prabhupada: Krpa-siddhi means that you are not willing take this bag. I say, “Take it, take it, take it.” (laughter) “No.” That is krpa-siddhi. Even you are unwilling, I give you in your pocket, push it. That is krpa-siddhi. (laughter)
Gopala Krsna: We should not wait for that.
Yadubara: All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Atreya Rsi: Individual’s freedom, when he is ignorant, it is not really freedom because it’s completely under the control…
Prabhupada: And when he gets the money, and he spends it, and he sees, “My poverty is gone,” then he becomes thankful. “Oh, it is so merciful that he has given me this thing.”
Atreya Rsi: The individual freedom, when he is in the mode of ignorance, is completely under the laws of material nature. When the individual makes spiritual advancement…
Prabhupada: Individual freedom means…. We should always know our freedom is limited.
Atreya Rsi: Limited. Yes. But…
Prabhupada: So we are not…. Because the Absolute, so how you can…, your freedom can be absolute?
Atreya Rsi: So the karmi thinks…. His freedom is limited to thinking “Am I going to eat this meat rare or well done?” That is the sort of freedom he is getting.
Prabhupada: No, you have to…
Atreya Rsi: Completely ignorance.
Prabhupada: Just like a thief. He also has got the conscience, “Why shall I steal?”
Atreya Rsi: “This or this.”
Prabhupada: “This or this.” But he knows that “If I do it, I shall be punished.”
Atreya Rsi: Yes. But when an individual spirit…
Pusta Krsna: Is that actual freedom, though? Is that freedom?
Prabhupada: No, I have already said that you cannot have absolute freedom.
Pusta Krsna: No, but is the spirit soul implicated in that decision in any way, or is it just the modes of nature working, “Well, I’ll take this instead of that.”
Prabhupada: What is that?
Pusta Krsna: Is the spirit soul implicated in that decision, or is it…
Prabhupada: What is that decision?
Pusta Krsna: Let’s say, “I’ll go to the cinema, or I’ll go to the restaurant.” So is the spirit soul implicated in that decision in any way, or is it simply the three modes of material nature working?
Atreya Rsi: The three modes.
Prabhupada: I do not follow what is your…
Pusta Krsna: There’s a situation. Either I’ll go to the cinema or I’ll go to the restaurant. So is the spirit soul…
Prabhupada: Both of them are sinful.
Pusta Krsna: Yes. So how is the spirit soul involved in it? Is the spirit soul choosing, or is the decision already made by his karma?
Prabhupada: Karma, karma… You can make your kar… You are doing that. Karma you are creating every moment by desire. Karma is…. What is that? Thinking, feeling, willing. You think of something; then you do it. That means you create your karma. You are thinking that “I shall go to the cinema”; then you go. That is karma.
Atreya Rsi: The question is choice.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is…
Atreya Rsi: Choice.
Prabhupada: That is desire. Therefore bhakti means you shall not desire anything except to serve Krsna. Then you are safe. Because you are desiring so many things for your sense gratification, you are becoming implicated.
Atreya Rsi: Yes. So the point is that if a…
Prabhupada: Just like a good child. He has decided, “I shall do only what my father says.” Then he is safe. And as soon as he misuses his indep…, little independence, he is complicated. So decide like that, that “I shall not do anything which is not ordered by Krsna.” Then it is all right. Otherwise you’ll suffer. Anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. Make it zero. Then you are safe. Anukulyena krsnanusilanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Simply do, act, what Krsna says; then you are safe. Why don’t you do that? That is also independence. You are misusing independence. You are misusing. Then you must suffer. The government says, “Do according to the law.” Then you are safe. Government will give all protection. And if you violate law, you must suffer.
Devotee: So take it that there is a man, Srila Prabhupada, who is not very learned in sastra, but he only simply does what his guru tells him.
Prabhupada: What is learned? What is learned? A child, does he require learning. When the father says, “You do it,” does it require any university education?
Prabhupada: “He is my father.” That’s all.
Guru dasa: Nara-priya(?) do not know sastras. They know unalloyed devotion.
Prabhupada: No, that is the nature. A child generally abides by the order of the parent. They are playing. The parent says, “Don’t do it! Sit down!” Immediately sit down. That is the nature. So why don’t you break your nature, that “My duty is to carry out the order of the supreme father?” Then you are safe.
Atreya Rsi: And when you carry out that order — you fully surrender — then you enjoy full freedom.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is full freedom.
Atreya Rsi: That is the freedom.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is freedom.
Atreya Rsi: That is absolute freedom.
Prabhupada: Full freedom means to be under the order of the Supreme. That is full freedom. That is full freedom.
Atreya Rsi: The cinema or restaurant is not freedom. It’s completely conditioning under the laws of material nature. But fully surrendered soul is fully free.
Prabhupada: No, no, if you simply, even if you want to go to a cinema…
Pusta Krsna: He’s still responsible for going.
Prabhupada: If you ask, “Father, I wish to see cinema,” if father says, “All right, we’ll go,” that is not sinful. But you go in your own whims — that is sinful. Tena tyaktena bhunjitha [Iso mantra 1].
Cyavana: Sometimes it’s difficult as devotees for us to know whether we’re doing the right thing or whether we’re just speculating.
Prabhupada: And therefore you have to consult your guru.
Atreya Rsi: It’s because we are not surrendered.
Cyavana: But even in small things, just day-to-day activities…
Prabhupada: There is no small thing. Everything big thing for a devotee.
Sudama: I’ve discovered, Srila Prabhupada, the way to do that, of course, is to read your books.
Sudama: By reading your books, then all of the…
Prabhupada: Therefore the books are there.
Sudama: Even practical, everything…
Atreya Rsi: But without attitude of devotion, nothing will work.
Atreya Rsi: Attitude of devotion must be there.
Prabhupada: The attitude, devotion, is there. Otherwise why one should come to our camp? But it must be properly utilized. It should not be misused. If you go to school and if you don’t read books, you’ll fail in the examination.
Guru dasa: But the attitude of devotion should be there every moment, so everything…
Guru dasa: …is very meaningful. Everything is a big thing. When we go out we should realize we’re doing it for Krsna.
Prabhupada: That is said, man-mana. Think of Krsna; He’ll guide you. Very easy thing. Man-mana. Always think of Krsna, then there is no question of falling down. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. These four things, if strictly done, he is safe. He is safe. Always think of Krsna, become His devotee, offer Him obeisances and…. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji, and worship Him. This is Deity worship. That will engage in always in thinking, in offering obeisances. And if we strictly follow only these, these four principles, mam evaisyasi satyam te: “You are coming back to Me without any doubt.” But instead of thinking Krsna, we are thinking something else, planning something, misusing independence.
Gopala Krsna: Bhimasena, I was speaking to him two days ago. He says that he’ll turn over that temple to us. He wants to meet you, so I’m going to call him to come and see you.
Gopala Krsna: He’s a big talker, but I was flattering him, and I said, “If you transfer it over to…” (laughter) He said, “I’ll do it when Prabhupada comes.” So I’ll tell him to come and see you today and…. I told him if he transfers it over to us, then we can build better on the top. He has already built something downstairs, and we can make it a very beautiful temple.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Gopala Krsna: We’ll call it Bhimasena.
Gopala Krsna: He wants to become famous, so I said, “Everybody will know that you built a temple there.”
Prabhupada: So it is good idea.
Gopala Krsna: Yes, the location is very good. It’s right in the center. And they have Radha-Krsna Deities there, plus they have Rama, Sita, Laksmana, Hanuman, which we can also worship.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Gopala Krsna: Only problem is they have Durga.
Prabhupada: Durga, so we can worship, giving Durga the prasadam of Rama or Krsna. That’s it.
Gopala Krsna: Yes, something can be worked out.
Prabhupada: Not directly. His prasada. If we can worship ordinary human being, why not Durga? But we give prasadam. We shall give. So don’t tell all these things now.
Gopala Krsna: No, I didn’t tell him anything.
Prabhupada: We do not say that we do not believe in the demigods. No, we believe in. But they are servants. That’s all. We cannot make the servant and the master on the equal footing. That is all. We worship Durga, srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka chayeva yasya bhuvanani vibharti durga [Bs. 5.44]. Now, what is the function? Icchanurupam api yasya ca cestate sa govindam adi… She is acting by the desire of the Supreme Lord, Govinda.
Guru dasa: Better than we are and should be worshiped.
Guru dasa: Better devotee than we are and should be worshiped.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Atreya Rsi: As a devotee.
Prabhupada: Yes, she’s a devotee. Just like we say “prabhu.” Prabhu means your master. So “Because you are devotee, we accept you as master.” Master means “I am ready to serve you because you are devotee. I am your servant.” Dasa-dasa-dasanudasah [Cc. Madhya 13.80]. “Because you are devotee, I am prepared to serve you. Otherwise not.”
Cyavana: Do the demigods sometimes forget their positions?
Prabhupada: Why you are serving me? If I had been an ordinary person, why…? You would have not…. Because you accept that “You are devotee,” therefore you serve. So as soon as we find a devotee, immediately serve him. Chadiya vaisnava-seva, nistara payeche keba. Without serving a devotee, who can be elevated? It is our duty. So we can serve the devotee.
Pusta Krsna: Srila Prabhupada? Why is…
Prabhupada: Prahlada Maharaja was offered, “Whatever you like, you take.” He said, “No, no, I don’t want anything. Please engage me in the service of Your servant.” He rejected everything. He simply said, nija-dasya-yogam: “Kindly engage me in the service of Your servant.” That is wanted.
Pusta Krsna: Srila Prabhupada, Prahlada Maharaja…
Prabhupada: He did not want even direct service. “Engage me in Your service,” he did not say.
Guru dasa: No.
Prabhupada: He said, “Engage me in Your servant’s service.”
Guru dasa: So if we see people in the world as potential devotees, we should also serve them so they can become good devotees.
Prabhupada: That is not service. That is mercy. One who is potential devotee, to show him mercy, develop him to become a devotee, that is mercy. That is not service. Service can be rendered to the higher person. And to the lower person you can show your mercy.
Guru dasa: Oh, that’s a good distinction.
Hari-sauri: That’s said in Upadesamrta…
Prabhupada: Yes. One who is lower than you, he requires your mercy. You give him mercy. And who is higher than you, you give him service. Not that Vivekananda did, that everyone service. No, service to the higher person. And to the lower person? Mercy.
Guru dasa: Someone asked me the other day if I knew Swami…
Prabhupada: And equal person? Friendship.
Guru dasa: Yes.
Prabhupada: With equal, friendship. With higher, service. And with lower, mercy.
Guru dasa: And envious, ignore.
Prabhupada: Yes, ignore. Neutral: “You go to hell. We don’t mind.”
Guru dasa: Somebody asked me the other day if I knew Swami Vivekananda. I said “Viveka-who?” He said, “Vivekananda is very famous in the West. Do you know him?” I said, “Viveka-who? I have never heard of him.”
Prabhupada: (chuckles) So he was little surprised.
Cyavana: They made some propaganda, that’s all.
Atreya Rsi: That’s Guru dasa’s trick.
Hari-sauri: Srila Prabhupada, if one serves the higher devotees and shows compassion to less advanced devotees, then where is the question, say, for a position of an advanced devotee who is feeling himself to be the lowest? So is that distinction still there of higher and lower? If he is feeling himself to be the lowest?
Prabhupada: He does not feel lowest. He takes sympathy that “Here is a person. He can be a devotee. So let me raise him to the standard.” He does not think that he is lowest. Devotee always thinks that he is lower than the worm. But it is the duty. It is the duty. It does not mean that he is thinking, “I am higher.” No.
Guru dasa: That’s again mercy.
Pusta Krsna: In other words, he doesn’t consider that he’s advanced and that therefore he is showing mercy to lower.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. He is always thinking, “I am lower than the worm, but Lord Krsna wants, so let me do some service. That’s all.”
Guru dasa: That is our occupation, to show mercy to others.
Atreya Rsi: And amongst devotees, Godbrothers, an advanced devotee is one who sees that “Everybody is serving Krsna so nicely…”
Atreya Rsi: “…so let me assist them.”
Atreya Rsi: “Let me facilitate their service.”
Prabhupada: Yes. Therefore we say prabhu. Prabhu means “You are my master. Please order me. What can I do for you?” That should be the attitude. [break] …”Guru dasa Prabhu, please come here and brush my shoes.” (laughter) What kind of prabhu? He should say, “Guru dasa Prabhu, can I brush your shoes?” That is real Vaisnava, not that “Guru dasa Prabhu, come here and brush my shoes.” Other devotees, they do not come for morning class?
Gopala Krsna: For the walk?
Prabhupada: Not for walk. At least we shall hold morning class or not?
Gopala Krsna: Oh, yes, Prabhupada, please. A few devotees are staying at the hotel here.
Pusta Krsna: There is a program tonight if you’d rather…. There is a program this evening, going out, the Rotary Club. So if you would rather just give class this evening.
Prabhupada: No, no, regularly we hold morning class anywhere. So…. So that morning class is not going to be held here?
Gopala Krsna: In the temple we have it. They had it this morning, but…. (end)