(Click photo to see a larger image of Srila Prabhupada and disciples.)
"The lotus feet of our spiritual master are the only way by which we can attain pure devotional service. I bow to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his grace one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Krishna.
My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth. Attachment to his lotus feet is the perfection that fulfills all desires.
He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth. From him ecstatic prema emanates; by him ignorance is destroyed. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.
Our spiritual master is the ocean of mercy, the friend of the poor, and the lord and master of the devotees. O master! Be merciful unto me. Give me the shade of your lotus feet. Your fame is spread all over the three worlds."
(Sri Guru-vandana by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura)
Devotee: "Will you always be our spiritual master?"
Prabhupada: "I don't follow. What do you say?"
Devotee: "Will you be our spiritual master for eternity?"
Prabhupada: "I think so. (laughs) Whatever we do here, it is for eternity because it is not on the material stages. It is all on the spiritual platform. There is a song by Narottama dasa Thakura, cakhu-dan dilo yei janme janme pita sei: 'One who has opened the eyes, he is, birth after birth, he is my father.'"
Devotee: "Oh, that is... Hare Krishna."
Prabhupada: "Cakhu-dan dilo yei. Cakhu-dan means one who has opened the eyes, that is spiritual master. Janme janme pita sei. Janme janme means birth after birth, he is my father."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Montreal, August 15, 1968)
Devotee: "Prabhupada, either of those associations, which is the highest?"
Prabhupada: "Both are equal."
Devotee: "Both are equal?"
Prabhupada: "You have to associate with both. Guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija (CC Madhya 19.151). Both guru's krpa and Krishna's krpa, they must be joined. Then you will get."
Devotee: "We're very eager to get that guru-krpa."
Devotee: "We are. All of us."
Prabhupada: "Yes. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah. If you get guru's krpa, then automatically you get Krishna."
Devotee: "Guru-krpa only comes by pleasing the spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada?"
Prabhupada: "Otherwise how?"
Devotee: "Excuse me?"
Prabhupada: "Otherwise how it can come?"
Devotee: "So those disciples who don't have opportunity to see you or speak with you..."
Prabhupada: "That he was speaking, vani and vapuh. Even if you don't see his body, you take his word, vani."
Devotee: "But how do they know they're pleasing you, Srila Prabhupada?"
Prabhupada: "If you actually follow the words of guru, that means he is pleased. And if you do not follow, how he can be pleased?"
Devotee: "Not only that, but your mercy is spread everywhere, and if we take advantage, you told us once, then we will feel the result."
Devotee: "And if we have faith in what the guru says, then automatically we'll do that."
Prabhupada: "Yes. My Guru Maharaja passed in 1936, and I started this movement in 1965, thirty years after. Then? I am getting the mercy of guru. This is vani. Even the guru is not physically present, if you follow the vani, then you are getting help."
Devotee: "So there's no question of ever separation as long as the disciple follows the instruction of guru."
Prabhupada: "No. Cakhu-dan dilo jei... What is that, next one?"
Devotee: "Cakhu-dan dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei."
Prabhupada: "Janme janme prabhu sei. So where there is separation? Who has opened your eyes, he is birth after birth your prabhu."
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, San Francisco, July 21, 1975)