(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
Prabhupāda: You'll find in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta the verse, kṛṣṇa-śakti vinā nahe nāma pracāraṇa. Without being empowered by Kṛṣṇa, nobody can preach the holy name of the Lord. Kṛṣṇa-śakti vinā nahe nāma pracāraṇa. So without getting the power of attorney... Just like even one is qualified lawyer, he must get the power of attorney from his client, and then he can speak. That is the law. Similarly, without being endowed with the power of attorney from Kṛṣṇa, it is not possible to preach.
So our business is... Because we are preparing ourselves to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we must be qualified to get the power of attorney. Sometimes we speak that "I'll preach." What you will preach? First of all get the power of attorney; then preach. Preaching is not so easy that anyone and anyone can preach without... Kṛṣṇa-śakti vinā nahe nāma pracāraṇa. So to get that power of attorney one has to qualify himself, not that the power of attorney is hanging in the tree and you can take it. No. So how this power of attorney can be achieved? That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. You are singing daily... Now, today is guru-pūrṇimā. Especially we should understand what is the power of attorney. Anyone can recite this verse, śrī-guru-caraṇa?
Devotee: Śrī-guru-caraṇa-padma, kevala-bhakti-sadma, vando mui sāvadhāna mate.
Prabhupāda: So this is the beginning, that if you want to be devotee, then you must approach the spiritual master who has got the power. Śrī-guru-caraṇa-padma, kevala-bhakti-sadma, vando mui sāvadhāna mate. Sāvadhāna means very carefully, not whimsically. Then?
Devotee: Yāṅhāra prasāde bhāi...
Prabhupāda: Yāṅhāra prasāde bhai, ei bhava toriyā yāi. Huh? Kṛṣṇa-prāpti hoy yāhā hoite. So why one should go to spiritual master? Because yāṅhāra prasāde bhāi: "My dear brother, if you get the benediction from the spiritual master..." Yāṅhāra prasāde bhāi, ei bhava toriyā yāi. What is that benediction? The benediction is not that "Cure my disease." They do not know, generally. Therefore they are cheated. The other day in Washington, one lady came with backache. So she came for curing the leg trouble. That is going on. "So you should approach a spiritual master? There is so many doctors, hospital. You go there." "No. Here you show me your miracles." And people are also cheating like that—some miracles and he becomes God. This is going on. But the miracle of spiritual master is yāṅhāra prasāde bhāi, ei bhava toriyā yāi. This is miracle: no more material existence. Then ei bhava toriyā yāi. So real thing is one can cross over the ocean of nescience. That is real gain. That is the real favor of spiritual master, not that cure your leg and again walk here and again become, break your leg, and again come. Not like that. Ei bhava toriyā yāi. Then?
Devotee: Kṛṣṇa-prāpti hoy yāhā...
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa-prāpti hoy yāhā haite. That is spiritual master, one who can give you Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa se tomāre, kṛṣṇa dite pāra, dhāi tava pāche pāche—Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. "Kṛṣṇa... I am seeking after Kṛṣṇa, Vaiṣṇava Ṭhākura, my spiritual master. So Kṛṣṇa is your property." Kṛṣṇa is not independent. He is the property of the devotee. Kṛṣṇa se tomāra, kṛṣṇa dite pāra, dhāi tava pāche pāche: "I am just following you, sir. Because Kṛṣṇa is your property, if you like, you can deliver: 'Take it immediately.'" So it is not flattering; it is in the śāstras. Vedeṣu durlabha adurlabha ātmā-bhaktau. You cannot get Kṛṣṇa by studying all the Vedas. Vedeṣu durlabha. Durlabha means it is not possible. Athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi, jānāti tattvam (SB 10.14.29). Prasāda-leśa. Prasāda-leśa. One who has got little favor of Kṛṣṇa, he knows Kṛṣṇa-tattva.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New York, July 11, 1976)