(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada installing Radha London-Isvara, 1969)
Devotee: I read somewhere in your writings that in order to understand the confidential affairs of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa one must serve the gopīs who are servants of the gopīs, and I assumed that you were a servant of the gopīs. Is that correct? Or... How do I serve the servants of the gopīs?
Prabhupāda: Gopīs, they are not conditioned souls. They are liberated spirits. So first of all you have to come out from this conditioned life. Then the question of serving gopī will come. Don't be, at the present moment, very eager to serve gopī. Just try to get out of your conditional life. Then time will come when you'll be able to serve gopī.
In this conditional stage we cannot serve anything. Kṛṣṇa is performing it. But Kṛṣṇa gives us opportunities to accept service in this arcā-mārga. Just like we keep the Deity of Kṛṣṇa, offer prasādam under regulation, under principle. So we have to make advance in this way, this chanting, hearing, and worshiping in the temple, ārati, offering prasādam. In this way, as we make advance, then automatically Kṛṣṇa will reveal to you, and you'll understand your position, how you have to...
Gopīs means who are always, constantly engaged in the service of the Lord. So that eternal relationship will be revealed. So we have to wait for that. Immediately we cannot imitate serving gopīs. That's a good idea that we shall serve gopī, but it will take time. Not immediately. Immediately we have to follow the rules and regulation and routine work.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, November 27, 1968)