Even If You Fall Down, It Is a Great Gain
(Srila Prabhupada and his father with the Mullik family Radha-Govinda Deities, Calcutta)

Prabhupāda: When I came, in the beginning, there were many..., not many, a few, say within five or six, they were working with me, but now they are not working. So that is possibility. Because one may come by sentiment, then, after staying for some time, he may find it: "Oh, what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Let me do something else." Or "Let me join in my previous occupation." So Nārada Muni says that "Even a person joins Kṛṣṇa consciousness, giving up all other occupational duties and, without being mature, falls down, some..."

There are so many reasons one may fall down. Not only... Actually, the reason is māyā. Māyā... Māyā, it is a fight. To take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness means it is a fight against māyā. Māyā is trying to keep you captivated within this material world. But if anyone takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he..., māyā has to give him up. Māyā cannot control anymore. That is not the jurisdiction of māyā. Because you have read in the Bhagavad-gītā that Kṛṣṇa says, daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14) "It is very, very, very difficult to get out of the grip of the strong māyā." It is not... But mām eva ye prapadyante: "If anyone comes to Me or surrenders unto Me," māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14), "he immediately becomes out of the jurisdiction of māyā."
So māyā is strong always. Just like I was explaining this morning what is māyā. Māyā is already there, side by side, Kṛṣṇa and māyā. Just like this light: this side is light; this side is darkness. Take this example. This light, the one side is very bright; another side is dark. So this darkness and this light is always side by side. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa and māyā... Because māyā is one of the energy of Kṛṣṇa. When Vyāsadeva, by bhakti-yoga meditation, experienced the whole thing, what did he see? He saw Kṛṣṇa. Apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇam (SB 1.7.4) "He saw the Supreme Person." Māyāṁ ca tad-apāśrayam: "And he saw also māyā on the back side." Just like when you, if you stand the light side, your shadow is not on the light side. The light... The shadow is on the back side.

So in our back side the māyā is there, although you are in front of Kṛṣṇa. So as soon as you become little slack in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, immediately māyā is ready to capture. Māyā is always going side by side. As Kṛṣṇa is all-pervading, the māyā is also all-pervading. As soon as there is lack of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is immediately māyā.

    kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vañcha kare
    pāśate māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare
    (Prema-vivarta 6.2)

Jāpaṭiyā dhare means embrace. What is that? What is called, to capture like this?

Devotee: Hug?

Devotees: Hug, hug. Embrace?

Prabhupāda: Embrace? Yes. So as soon as one, kṛṣṇa-bhuliyā, forgets Kṛṣṇa... Forgetting Kṛṣṇa means sense enjoyment. Two things are there. One, the materialistic persons, they are engaged in the activities of sense enjoyment, forgetting Kṛṣṇa; and the transcendentalists, the devotees, they are, even though they have not forgotten, but they are not interested in sense enjoyment; they are interested in Kṛṣṇa. That is the difference. This is māyā and Kṛṣṇa.

So māyā is always strong. As soon as we little slack in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, māyā will capture us in the same process. So here it is said, bhajann apakvo 'tha. If one is not very strong, not very much advanced, not mature, and falls down under the clutches of māyā again, so, Nārada Muni says, yatra kva vābhadram abhūt: "There is no," I mean to say, "loss." Abhadra means great loss or inauspicity. There is no... "It is still good, even if he falls down." Why? Yatra kva vā abhadram amuṣya kiṁ ko vārtha āpto 'bha...: "In comparison to the person who is simply sticking to the formalities of religious principles without any development of love of Godhead, simply following the routine work—in comparison to that person, this person who came to surrender to Kṛṣṇa, either by sentiment or some way or other but falls down, this man is better. This man is better. There is no," I mean to say, "any great loss. Rather, it is a great gain."

How it is gain? Kṛṣṇa has confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that yoga-bhraṣṭo sanjāya... Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe (BG 6.41). This question was raised by Arjuna, that "Kṛṣṇa, one person is engaged in bhakti-yoga. It is very good. If he can execute bhakti-yoga to the perfect point and becomes liberated, goes back to Kṛṣṇa, it is very nice. But if he falls down, then what is his position? He loses both things? He loses Kṛṣṇa consciousness and all this material enjoyment? Then he is nowhere?" Kṛṣṇa said, "No, no, no, no. It is not like that. His position is not like that. His position is better still, even if he has fallen down."
What is that? Now, śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo 'bhijāyate (BG 6.41): "If one, anyone, immaturely falls down, then in next life he will have the opportunity to take birth in very rich family or in a family of a," I mean, "real brāhmaṇa.” Real brāhmaṇa means śuci, always pure. That is real brahminical qualification. Truthful, clean, wise, God consciousness—these are brahminical qualification…

So to get birth in the family of a pure brāhmaṇa means he gets the association. Because in a brāhmaṇa family or a rich family the worship of Kṛṣṇa is there. Every brāhmaṇa family, according to Vedic culture, must worship Nārāyaṇa. Every brāhmaṇa family. If he is not worshiping Nārāyaṇa, then he's rejected from brāhmaṇa family. That was the stricture. And śrīmatām. Śrīmatām means rich family, very rich family. So every rich family had a temple, private temple. Just like I was born in a family. Although I was not a member of that family, but I was born in a very rich family. They had a temple. Still that temple existing. When I last year went to India, I stayed in that temple. Acyutānanda, recently he was there. He informed me that he is staying in that temple. So that is the facility. We got the facility of this temple. Because we were born in that family, from the very beginning of our life we got the idea of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa worship. It is very nice.

So śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo 'bhijāyate (BG 6.41). So there is no loss. He begins again worship of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, either in the brāhmaṇa family or in the rich family. And ko vārtha āpto 'bhajatāṁ sva-dharmataḥ: "And if anyone does not take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, devotional service, simply engages in his, I mean to say, prescribed duties as a brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya or a śūdra, and he's very strict moralist, he may get; he may not get also." There is... Because this life, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, yes, Vedas, Upaniṣad, kṣurasya dhara iti duratyayā... The people do not understand that how we are stationed. Any little difference, we may fall down. As there is chance of falldown from Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is chance of falldown from any position. This human life, human form of life, should be very carefully and cautiously utilized. This verse I was explaining yesterday, labdhvā sudurlabham idaṁ bahu-sambhavānte (SB 11.9.29). So Nārada Muni advises that "Induce everyone to be engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Never mind if he.... Even if he falls down, there is no loss." This is the principle. If he becomes successful, oh, the greatest boon.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New Vrindavan, June 19, 1969)
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