(Click on photo to see a larger image of Srila Prabhupada playing mrdanga.)
"So our this movement is based on practical activity. Whatever talent you have got, whatever little strength you have got, education you have got... You haven't got to learn anything. Whatever you have got, in whatever position you are, you can serve Krishna. Not that you have to learn something first and then you can serve. No. The service itself is learning. The more you try to render service, the more you become advanced how to become experienced servant. We don't require any extra intelligence."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Mayapur, March 1, 1977)
"Yes, it is your good fortune that you can serve Krishna in so many ways -- to work, to write, to speak, to paint, to build -- all of these talents must be employed in Krishna's service. That will make you perfect. We are so fortunate to be in this human form of life, and to have the opportunity and the capacity to serve Krishna, and as there is very little time, we must do as much each day as we possibly can to serve Krishna, and to become always engaged in thoughts and activities of Krishna. Maya may try to pull us from Krishna's service, and try to engage us in her service, but we must simply persevere, and try to do as much as possible for Krishna each day, and gradually it will be easier and easier to keep engaged in Krishna Consciousness activities. And pray to Krishna to please keep us always engaged in the service of His Lotus Feet. Krishna is very kind, and He is never ungrateful, and will give you more and more opportunity to serve Him. That is His Mercy."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 12, 1968)
"Krishna says, svakarmana: 'Whatever talent you have got, you can serve Me and be perfect.' That is the program."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, January 16, 1976)
"Simply offer all your talents and energies in this service of the Lord and know that Krishna promises that for one who surrenders fully unto Him, He fully protects such devotee from all kinds of material distresses and sinful reactions."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 4, 1971)
"I wanted that you Americans use your talents in spreading this cult, and I can see that you are doing that. In all departments you can use your talents and thus do the greatest benefit for the entire world. So my mission has come out a success by the mercy of my guru maharaj who sent me on this mission. That was my only qualification in coming to your country, that I had the blessings of my guru maharaj."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 17, 1974)
"I wish that you can utilize your best talents in business organization and the result utilize for Krishna's satisfaction is on the absolute platform. To make the idea more clear, if I am translating Srimad-Bhagavatam, and if you are contributing for its publication and helping for its distribution, this means there is no difference between your service and my service. In the absolute platform there is no such distinction. And service is always on the absolute platform. One has to make the best use of his talent for the service of Krishna. That is wanted. Best example is Arjuna, that he utilized his talents, military science, in the service of Krishna."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 7, 1968)
"I am so glad you are playing music for Krishna. It is a great service of your talent. Anyone's special talent should be engaged in the service of the Lord, and thereby becomes successful in his life. I think that you can go on playing on your guitar and make it successful for Krishna kirtana. You do not require to learn freshly about sitar. We are not meant for learning something new for the service of the Lord; but we have to engage whatever talents we have already got. Our life is short but any type of education is great and long; so the best part of valor is to utilize properly whatever qualifications we have got for the service of the Lord. If you think still that you want a sitar, I will request you to make correspondence with Messrs Dwarkin and Sons, Esplanade Calcutta."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 3, 1967)
"Now you have got some good understanding of our Krishna consciousness so you write it for publication. I am very glad to know that you have got the experience and talent as well as the desire to write Krishna conscious children's books."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, July 19, 1970)
"I think it would be very nice if you would make nice silver jewellery for the Radha-Damodara Deities and in this way your talent will be used in the most perfect way."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 16, 1974)
"I am very much pleased to see your good handwriting. I shall therefore request you to utilize your talent in the service of Krishna. I think if you write Hare Krishna Hare Krishna in the same style as you have sent me one specimen, on bigger type on canvas, say 30 inches by 20 inches in color or black and white, it would be a very good engagement for you and at the same time we can utilize those sign boards hanging in nice places. So if you have got time you can prepare immediately such signboards Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare, as you have sent me the specimen, on canvas. Make the canvas colored bluish Krishna color and write Hare Krishna in white. It will be very nice."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 5, 1967)
"You mention that you were applying your artistic abilities with the deities working with Govinda dasi in Hawaii. If there is more engagement in that way take it up, or try to paint for our books. We can use unlimited amounting paintings for the Bhagavatam, as well as for our temples."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 21, 1977)
"Krishna has given you nice talent for doing business, and I am glad to see that you are using it well."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 17, 1969)
"Now by the grace of Krsna your talents are being utilized in His service. That is what we require in Krsna Consciousness. We do not require to qualify very extraordinarily to serve Krsna. Krsna is Self-sufficient, He does not require anyone's service, but still the more we render service unto Him the more we become happy.
The example is given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that the decoration on the face of a certain person is not seen by him, but when he sees his face on the mirror he enjoys. In other words, whatever we offer to the Lord, it is actually enjoyed by us. Just like we prepare so many delicious foodstuffs for Krsna, but we eat the Prasadam remnant of foodstuff offered to Krsna. The whole idea is that everything should be offered to Krsna, and afterward we shall enjoy the effects.
You have painted so many pictures of Krsna, and when you see to the pictures you enjoy and at the same time Krsna is pleased. Similarly the foodstuff prepared for Krsna actually we partake for it, but at the same time Krsna is pleased. Those who are cooking for themselves and eating them without offering to Krsna cannot enjoy such blissful life like the devotees.
By serving Krsna we are not the least loser, but we are simply gainer more and more transcendentally. Keep this point always in front, and work for Krsna and be happy."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 9, 1970)
"Expert means whatever he is doing, he must do it very nicely That's all. Suppose you are sweeping this room. You can do it very nicely, to your best knowledge. That is expert. The people will say, 'Oh, you have very nicely done.' Any work you do, do it very nicely. That is expert. Don't do it haphazardly. To your best talent, to your best capacity, try to finish it very nicely, whatever it may be. You are entrusted with some work. Do it nicely. That is expert. If you think that you are unable to do that work, then whatever work you can do, you take. But do it nicely. That is expert. Don't imitate. 'Oh, I have no capacity to work in that way, but I want to imitate. Oh, he is doing that. I shall do that.' Don't do that. That is not expert. You take up what you can do very nicely and do it nicely. We have so many works. Krishna is not that He is static. He is dynamic force."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, July 16, 1968, Montreal)
"I am in due receipt of your letter with enclosures and have seen the balance sheet. I have seen also the check account. Thank you very much. I think you are now expert account keeper may Krishna bless you for talents and sincere endeavour for service of the Lord. The more you serve the more you become expert in everything."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 3, 1967)
"So that will be the supreme perfection of our existence, to come to that point of being best friend, best devotee of Krishna. And how is that? If we become simply engaged in His preaching work, trying with whatever talent or education or experience or material advantages we have got, to spread Krishna Consciousness message all over the world. That is best friend of Krishna, that is Krishna's pet dog."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to George Harrison, Jan. 4, 1973)
"So I can understand that you are very talented boy from your wonderful script, so I think you should apply your talent for painting nice pictures of Krishna and the acaryas in our line, and also you may help Mohanananda in designing work for his press operation there in Sydney."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 22, 1972)
"There is no need of artificial talents. One has to serve Krishna sincerely with whatsoever talent one may have. Guidance of the Spiritual Master and sincere service to the Lord will give us all strength in the science of Krishna."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 20, 1967)
"Learning Spanish is a difficult job. How can you learn? I am very much enthusiastic about expansion of our branches, but if it is dependent upon learning of Spanish language, don't take this adventure. We should serve Krishna in whatever talents we have already got. However if you are still very much anxious to go there, and you think that you shall be able to get along without knowing Spanish language, then you may go there immediately and push on this Movement. The idea is to recruit active speakers who also speak English to translate and be trained for administering things locally -- you simply organize everything and instruct them, and gradually they will take over full management."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 15, 1971)
"Expertness is you just try to do which is easily performed by you. You don't accept anything heavy task because Krishna does not want that you have to do this heavy task. Whatever you know, you just apply it. You dovetail it in Krishna consciousness. Krishna does not say that you have to become like this, like that, like that, then you can serve Him. Does not say. Just like this cow. Just see. What does it know? He's an animal. You see? But the calf knows to brush his head and tongue like this, in love. It is doing and Krishna accepting, 'Yes.' That is expert. First of all find out what is easily done by you. Don't take anything which is not easily done by you. You find out what is your occupation, what you can very nicely and easily perform, and do it for Krishna. That's all. Is that clear? Expert? This is expert. Expert does not mean that I do not know how to drive motor car, and I will have to imitate somebody, 'Oh, I shall become driver.' Why? If you do not know driving, why should you attempt driving? Whatever you know, you just try it, that business, and try to satisfy Krishna. If you know driving, that's all right. But don't take... My Guru Maharaja explained that you haven't got to learn anything extra for Krishna's service. Whatever you know, you just apply it... Then you become successful. Because our time is very short. We do not know when I am going to die. As soon as I am out of this body, I am completely under the grip of nature, and I do not know what kind of body I am getting next. Of course, Krishna assures that His devotee will never be vanquished. He will get good body. But I do not know what kind of body I am going to... Therefore before finishing this body I will have to develop Krishna consciousness very nicely. That is my success."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, July 16, 1968, Montreal)
"The two essays which you have sent are very nicely written. It appears that you have good talent for writing, so kindly continue to develop in this way and write more and more of your realizations based upon our books. There is no need to concoct anything new. You simply have to study carefully our books and then in your own words try to express what you have read. This will automatically make you a very successful preacher.
There is no need to learn Bengali. I do not encourage learning any new skills. Whatever material abilities one has when he comes to Krsna consciousness, let him learn to engage these in Krsna's service: that is sufficient. There is no need of learning new skills now. That will simply be a waste of time."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 13, 1977)
"I am very glad to hear that you are continuing your drawing work nicely. This is your business. Krishna has given you some special talent and you are using it for spreading His glories. This is wanted."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 19, 1975)
"You have a nice talent for writing, practice makes perfect, so continue, it will be appreciated."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 23, 1973)
"Everyone has got some special talent given by God. We should cooperate. That's it. The hand can work in this way. We cannot walk with hands. That is the business of the hand. Similarly, I cannot cut the papers with leg. So all living entities are endowed with special... We should cooperate. The hand and leg should cooperate for maintaining the whole body. Similarly, everyone should use his talent for satisfaction of Krishna. That is perfection. Not compete with one another. That is mistake."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, November 10, 1971, Delhi)
"We should utilize our talents without being envious of others. You should do your best, but you should not be envious of others. In material life there is simply envy of others progress, but in spiritual life one encourages another, Oh you are doing very nice. That is Radharani. She says oh here is a very nice devotee. Please Krishna, you accept him."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 6, 1974)
"You have expressed a fear of becoming attached to your musical activities, but attachment for Krishna's service is not bad. If you can engage your talent for Krishna's service, then this attachment will increase your Krishna Consciousness status."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 13, 1969)
"You have tried to explain the reasons for your recent traveling excursions, but there is no need to explain; the reason is that you are restless. I wanted you to concentrate your mind on painting and utilizing your talents for Krishna's service, but you do not hear me. Any place that you want to live, that is all right, but why don't you use your talents? That you cannot do, and it is your misfortune."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 13, 1969)
"Your specific talents are to be engaged under direction of the Spiritual Master. Everything, every talent can be employed in Krishna's service, and how to do it is known to the Spiritual Master. You have the tendency for botany, you can grow nice flowers and fruits for Krishna, that is the utilization of your natural tendency."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 11, 1968)
"When you are typing, you should know that it is as good as chanting, because the work is also on the matter of Krishna. Chanting on the beads and chanting on the typewriter Composer machine are both transcendental sounds of Krishna. Krishna's Name, His Fame, His Qualities -- all of them are on the absolute platform, and therefore there is no difference between one and another. So do not be misled that you are typing and not chanting."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 16, 1969)
"I beg to thank you very much for your letter and I have received your presentation and the prasadam I have distributed to all the devotees. I have read the headline prayer. It is nicely written, correctly spelled, which shows that you are a very intelligent girl and you can use your talent and intelligence for serving the Lord. Young boys and girls are sometimes agitated in mind but if we follow the regulative principles and chant Hare Krishna mantra regularly the onslaught of material nature can be checked. The whole process is, of this Krishna Consciousness movement, to meet the waves of material nature. The waves are called agitation by hunger and thirst, lamentation, confusion, illusion in so called love and affection, pangs of old age and disease and at last meeting with death. All these things can be changed simply by engaging ourselves in the service of the Lord which keeps us always in the transcendental position. Some way or other if we are able to keep in the transcendental position by devotional service we remain completely untouched by the contamination of matter. By the grace of Lord Caitanya things have been reduced to a very easy operation: by chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 7, 1971)