In the Beginning a Child May Fall Down
(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada and young child)

Devotee: (reading) "As the Vedas are eternal, so this truth of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is also eternal. One should have firm faith in this injunction without envying the Lord. There are many so-called philosophers who write comment on the Bhagavad-gītā but who have no faith in Kṛṣṇa. They will never be liberated from the bondage of fruitive actions. But an ordinary man with firm faith in the eternal injunctions of the Lord, even though unable to execute such orders, becomes liberated from the bondage of the law of karma. In the beginning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one may not fully discharge the injunctions of the Lord. But because one is not resentful of this principle and works sincerely without consideration of defeat and hopelessness, he will surely be promoted to the stage of pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness."

Prabhupāda: Yes. In the beginning there may be some failures. That is quite natural. Just a child is trying to stand, he may fall down. But that does not mean he should give up the idea. Go on. A time will come when he will be perfect. So we should not give up this business, to try to serve the Supreme. May be imperfect in the beginning, but stick to it, and a time will come when you'll be perfect, Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Devotee: (reading) "Thirty-two: But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do not practice them regularly are to be considered bereft of all knowledge, befooled, and doomed to ignorance and bondage (BG 3.32)."

Prabhupāda: Yes. If somebody says, "Oh, why shall I serve God?" all right, then you shall have to serve dog. That's all. Therefore he is befooled. He does not know that he has to serve somebody. His constitutional position is like that. He cannot escape. So therefore if he denies to serve God, Kṛṣṇa, then he has to serve māyā, illusion, in the hope that "I have become the master."

Just like in your country the President Johnson was the master. Actually, he was not the master; he was the servant of the country. Now the country has dismissed him. He is no longer master. So our mastership in this material world is like that. Actually, we are servant, but we are thinking master. In a family, I am servant of my wife, I am servant of my children, I am servant of my servants, but I am thinking I am master. "I am master of this family. I am master of this country. I am master of this society." Nobody is master.

The Caitanya-caritāmṛta says, therefore, "The master is only Kṛṣṇa." Ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa āra saba bhṛtya: (CC Adi 5.142) "Only Kṛṣṇa, or God, is master, and everyone is servant." Yāre yaiche nācāya se taiche kare nṛtya: "Each servant is dancing according to the order of the Supreme." That's all. Nobody is master. So this false conception of becoming master is called māyā, illusion. Nobody is master. Therefore one who disagrees to become servant of God, he is befooled. It is said, "But those who, out of envy..." He is constitutionally servant, but he is envious: "Why shall I become God's servant? I shall become God." You see? Everyone is claiming, "Oh, everyone is God. Why? What is the use of becoming servant of God? I am God." This is enviousness. So if one refuses to serve God and become envious, "disregard these teachings and do not practice them regularly are to be considered bereft of all knowledge." Because he is servant, but he is thinking, "I am master. I am not serving anyone." This is māyā, bereft of all knowledge.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, January 1, 1969)

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