(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada chanting japa)
"We cannot imitate. We can simply follow. Anukaraṇa, anusaraṇa, there are two Sanskrit words. One is imitation, and one who is following the footprints. If one tries to follow the footprints of great personalities, that is very nice, but we cannot imitate. Imitate. Imitation is dangerous.
Just like Lord Śiva, he drank an ocean of poison and he kept it on the throat. He did not allow to go down. So therefore his name is Nīlakaṇṭha. It became bluish. His neck is blue. But if somebody imitates Lord Śiva and indulges intoxication, gāñjā, he'll go to hell. He is powerful. Somebody says 'Well, Lord Śiva is a smoker so we can also smoke.' No. You cannot imitate. You can simply follow.
Just like the sunshine. The sunshine is so strong that it is absorbing the moisture of the filthy place, contaminated place where one is passing stool and urine, but still it is sun because sun is so powerful. But if you live in that place for some time where urine and stools are thrown, then you'll be contaminated immediately because you are not powerful. Tejiyāsāṁ na doṣāya (SB 10.33.29).
Those who are powerful, if they somebody does something which is very extraordinary, that is not to be imitated. You have to follow the rules and regulations. That will give you progress. Don't try to imitate. Just be in your position, try to follow the rules and regulations, and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and gradually you'll get result. There is no need of being hasty."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, December 23, 1968)