(Click photo to see a larger image of Srila Prabhupada in Tompkins Square Park, 1966.)
"I have not come to earn money from your country, but I have come to your country to give you something sublime... not to take from you, not to exploit you, but to give you something sublime."
(Srila Prabhupada Interview, San Francisco, March 9, 1968)
"So far I am concerned, I have not come here to cheat you nor to gain. I've come to execute the order of my Guru Maharaja. I have no business to cheat you neither to get something from you."
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, New York, July 11, 1976)
"What is our movement? Why I have come to your country? Because to make you Krishna conscious. So there is love of Krishna. Otherwise why... what is the business, I have come to you? I have no business. Because I love Krishna, I want to see all, everybody in the world, to become Krishna conscious. Otherwise why in this old age we are trying so much?"
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, January 11, 1974)
"When I was lecturing in Berkeley University, one Indian student asked me, 'Swamiji, what this Hare Krishna movement will benefit? We require technology.' So I replied that 'You have come to beg technology; I have come to give them, not to beg from them.'"
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Bombay, January 7, 1977)
"We have no business to come so far. In Vrindavan I could live very peacefully, there is two room still, in Radha-Damodara Temple. But because there is Krishna consciousness... Krishna consciousness means serving the Lord. That is Krishna consciousness. So Krishna dictated that 'You are sitting here very peacefully without any botheration. No, you go to the Western countries. Teach them.'"
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Hawaii, January 18, 1974)
"Those who give education in exchange of money, they are not brahmanas. Just like we are lecturing, educated, educating people. We don't say that 'Give us salary.' We simply ask them, 'Please come.' Therefore we are making food. I'll give you food. I'll give you good seat. Please come and hear. We are not asking money, that 'First of all pay the fees. Then you come and learn Bhagavad-gita.' We never say so. So those, these so-called teachers, they first of all set up salary, 'What salary you'll give me?' That is dog's business. That is not brahmana's business. Brahmana will never ask. Brahmana is eager to give lesson only. That's all. Brahmana is eager to see that people are educated. 'Take free education and be educated. Be a human being.' This is brahmana's business. I came here not to ask for any money. But I want to give lesson. This is brahmana's business."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Paris, June 11, 1974)
"Although I am not emperor of the world, but I am a teacher. It is my duty not only to you, to everyone. But I take your country, I have come to your country with a special purpose, with a special mission, that if the American boys and girls take this Krishna consciousness movement very seriously, then that will be followed by other countries, and the face of the world will change. That is my request."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Boston, April 25, 1969)
Guest: "When you succumb to Krishna consciousness, or to Krishna, do you still have any obligation to, say, the worldly affairs, in making, say, the world a better place?"
Prabhupada: "Yes. This is my obligation, to give them education in Krishna consciousness. That is the best service I am giving to the humanity. Why I have come to your country? I am old man. Just to fulfill this obligation. So when one becomes Krishna conscious he feels obligation very extensive, not limited. He is called mahatma, very broad-minded. Not cripple-minded."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Seattle, October 11, 1968)
"Before me, so many swamis came in this country; they could not present the real thing. They wanted some money and went away. That's all. Our this Krishna consciousness movement is not that. We want to give something to the Western countries. That is our purpose. Not we have come to beg; we have to give him something. That is my mission. They come here to beg, 'Give me rice,' 'Give me dal,' 'Give me wheat,' 'Give me money,' but I have come here to give something of Indian culture. That is the difference. So you European, American students, you take full advantage of this Vedic culture. I am therefore so much laboring hard that we... before my leaving this body, I may give you some books who you can enjoy after my death. So utilize it. Utilize it."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, July 6, 1972)
"In this old age I have come to your country. Why? Because we are trying to follow the footprints of Lord Caitanya; therefore we have come. Otherwise, in old age who goes out of home? Nobody goes. And anyway, it is our duty to present."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Montreal, July 6, 1968)
"So preaching is independent. If you have got desire, you can preach in any circumstances and Krishna will help you. I have practically experienced. I went to your country without any help, without any money, alone. And gradually things developed... all foreigners. I did not approach any Indian. I did not approach anyone, but Krishna sent friends, gradually developed."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Vrindavan, September 30, 1976)
"You are advanced in so many ways. Take this Krishna consciousness movement. Your country will be perfect, actual leader of the whole world. I have come to your country with this purpose, that if American boys and girls should accept this Krishna consciousness movement, it will be good for them and good for the world. So try to understand this Krishna consciousness movement. It is very easy -- it is not difficult -- but it is sublime. It is the most sublime movement. It can solve all the problems of the world. That we are sure."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Columbus, May 19, 1969)
Guest: "I would like to ask, Swami, would you pray for me?"
Devotee: "He wants you to pray for him."
Prabhupada: "I am praying for everyone. That is my business. Otherwise why I have come here?"
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Philadelphia, July 13, 1975)
"In the Bhagavad-gita the verse vyavasayatmika-buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana (BG 2.4), in connection with that verse, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives his commentary that we should take up the words from the spiritual master as our life and soul. We should try to carry out the instruction, the specific instruction of the spiritual master, very rigidly, without caring for our personal benefit or loss.
So I tried a little bit in that spirit. So he has given me all facilities to serve him. Things have come to this stage, that in this old age I have come to your country, and you are also taking this movement seriously, trying to understand it. We have got some books now. So there is little foothold of this movement. So on this occasion of my spiritual master's departure, as I am trying to execute his will, similarly, I shall also request you to execute the same order through my will. I am an old man, I can also pass away at any moment. That is nature's law. Nobody can check it. So that is not very astonishing, but my appeal to you on this auspicious day of the departure of my Guru Maharaja, that at least to some extent you have understood the essence of Krishna consciousness movement. You should try to push it on. People are suffering for want of this consciousness. As we daily pray about devotees,
krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
vaisnavebhyo namo namah
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaisnava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.]
A Vaisnava, or devotee of Lord, his life is dedicated for the benefit of the people. You know -- most of you belong to Christian community -- how Lord Jesus Christ, he said that for your sinful activities he has sacrificed himself. That is the determination of devotee of the Lord. They don't care for personal comforts. Because they love Krishna or God, therefore they love all living entities because all living entities are in relationship with Krishna. So similarly you should learn. This Krishna consciousness movement means to become Vaisnava and feel for the suffering humanity."
(Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's Disappearance Day Lecture, Los Angeles, December 9, 1968)
"Another thing, that don't be satisfied that you have understood. That's all. No. This should be distributed. Just like in my old age I have come to your country carrying the order of my spiritual master to distribute it. You are all young boys and girls; take this message and distribute it. The whole suffering humanity will be happy. That is our mission."
(Sri Vyasa-puja Lecture, Hamburg, September 5, 1969)