(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada at the Kumbha-mela, 1977)
"Don't be puffed up with your false knowledge. Having this little degree from the university, you are thinking that you have become so learned, you don't care for God even. This is nonsense. Therefore first qualification to make progress in knowledge is amānitvam. Amānitvam. Don't be proud falsely. Our present education is simply teaching people how to become falsely proud. Just like here is, Bhagavad-gītā is going on. They are falsely proud: 'Oh, what you have to learn here? We know everything. We know everything. We are M.A., Ph.D. That's all. We have finished all education.' Therefore the first thing is amānitvam, pridelessness."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, October 2, 1973)
"So these puffed-up persons cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. One has to become very humble. Christ also says, 'The kingdom of God is for the humble and the meek.' That is actually... And Kṛṣṇa also says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). This is the beginning of humbleness: 'Yes, I have nothing... insignificant.' Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān mām (BG 7.19). This is real knowledge, to remain always insignificant before guru, Kṛṣṇa. Then it is profit. If somebody thinks that 'I have become more than my guru, more than Kṛṣṇa,' then he is finished. So one should become very humble and meek. It doesn't matter where he is situated, either this institutionally, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa. Even one has taken sannyāsa, he should remain always humble.
So never we should think that 'I have become very big personality.' That was the instruction of my Guru Mahārāja, that baḍa vaiṣṇava—'I am very big Vaiṣṇava. Everyone should come and obey my orders'—this is condemned position. The real position is one should be very humble and meek. Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva (SB 10.14.3). Namanta means humble. One should be prepared to learn from namanta eva san-mukhari, those who are pure devotee. From them one should be very much anxious to hear. That, the same thing, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11). Who has no other desire in the material world except to serve Kṛṣṇa, he is pure devotee. So one should be anxious in humbleness to hear from such personality."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Mayapur, February 10, 1976)
"Just be submissive. Don't be puffed up artificially. You are being slapped always by the laws of material nature. Don't think that you are independent. It is foolishness to say that 'I am independent. I don't care for anything of...' No. You have to care. You are being kicked every moment by the laws of nature. You should know it. You are not independent. Therefore be namanta eva, be submissive."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New Vrindaban, May 21, 1969)
"Real thing is bhakti. What you can offer to Kṛṣṇa? Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. What you have got? What is your value? And what is the value of your things? It is nothing. Therefore real thing is bhaktyā, real thing is your feeling. 'Kṛṣṇa, kindly take it. I have no qualification. I am most rotten, fallen, but (begins to cry) I have brought this thing for you. Please take it.' This will be accepted. Don't be puffed up. Always be careful. You are dealing with Kṛṣṇa. That is my request."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, July 16, 1969)