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(Click on photo to see a larger image of Srila Prabhupada offering obeisances to the Supreme Lord.)

"First of all try to fully understand your disease. Then we shall prescribe your medicine. You are bowing down to death, you are bowing down to disease, you are bowing down to old age. You are bowing down to so many things. You are forced to bow down, yet still you are thinking, 'I cannot bow down; I don't like to bow down.' But you have to bow down. Why do you forget your position? That forgetfulness is your disease.

The next step is to understand that since you are being forced to bow down, now you have to find where you shall be happy even by bowing down. And that is Krishna. Your bowing down will not be stopped, because you are meant for that, but if you bow down to Krishna and Krishna's representative, you become happy. That's the difference. If you don't bow down to Krishna and His representative, you'll be forced to bow down to something else -- maya (illusion). That is your position. You cannot be free at any moment.

But if you bow down to Krishna and His representative, you'll be happy. For example, a child is always bowing down to his parents, and he is happy. His mother says, 'My dear child, please come and sit down here.' 'Yes,' says the child, and he is happy. This is the nature of the child's relationship with his mother. Similarly, Krishna and His representative are like loving parents, and we are like helpless children in the clutches of maya. But if we bow down to them we shall be safe and happy.

So you cannot stop your bowing down -- that is not possible. But you simply have to seek out the proper persons to bow down to. That's all. If you artificially think, 'I am not going to bow down to anyone; I am independent,' then you suffer. You simply have to bow down to the right person -- and that is Krishna, or Krishna's representative."

(Srila Prabhupada lecture, Seattle, September 30, 1968)
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Bowing Down to the Right Person