"To follow in the footsteps of the Mahatmas means to give submissive aural reception to the words and instructions of the bona fide Spiritual Master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself. When the Lord appeared on this earth 5,000 years ago, He instructed Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna, and this purely transcendental message of Krishna has been passed down for the past 5,000 years by the media of sincere disciples giving submissive aural reception to the words of Krishna via the medium of the bonafide Spiritual Master. This acts like electricity, and if you touch a wire anywhere which is connected to the powerhouse, then you will be in contact with the electric current. But if the wire is broken or separated from the powerhouse, then there will be no electric current."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 21, 1969)
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