"People generally want to become a very great leader within this material world. Somebody is trying to become a very rich man like Ford or Rockefeller, somebody is trying to become the President, somebody is trying to become such thing and such thing, to become a very good leader so that many thousands of people may follow. So these are material demands. 'Give me some money, give me some followers, and give me a nice wife,' that's all. But Lord Caitanya refuses. He says 'I don't want all these things.' Na janaṁ na dhanam. Dhanam means wealth and janam means followers. Na sundarīṁ kavitām, 'or beautiful wife.' Then what for you are worshiping? What for you are becoming devotee? He says mama janmani janmanīśvare (Siksastaka 4). He's not asking for even liberation. Because the yogis, they want liberation, they have got demand. The materialists, they also have got demand, 'I want this, I want that, I want that.' So the so-called spiritualists, they also demand liberation. That is also demand. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that 'I don't want anything of this nature. Simply I want to be engaged in your service.' Janmani janmani—birth after birth. That means, he does not say also, that 'Stop my this disease of birth and death.' This is the stage of bhakti-yoga. There is no demand. Simply the only prayer is that You engage me in your service.
So our, this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa is also the same thing. This is also taught by Caitanya. Hare means addressing the energy of the Lord; and Kṛṣṇa, the Lord; Rāma, the Lord. Why? Please engage me in your service, that's all. That should be the demand. Please engage me in Your service. Because the whole disease is that we have forgotten to serve God. Because we are thinking, 'I am God. What is any other God that I have to serve? I am myself God.' That is the only disease. The last snare. First of all I try to become President, Minister, Rockefeller, Ford, this, that, when I fail, then I want to become God. That is another President, you see? So in the bhakti-yoga there is no such demand. Simply to serve. When all Presidentship fails, then I demand the highest Presidentship, to become God. You see? The demand is there, the disease is there. They cannot, do not know that, that my disease is still there. I am demanding to be the highest. But bhakti-yoga is just the opposite. To become servant. Servant of the servant (CC Madhya 13.80). Just opposite. There is no question of demanding to become the Lord or the President or this. I want to serve, that's all. And that is the crucial test. Service is the original nature.
Now in this material world also you are serving. If you want to become the President then I have to promise so many times to the voters that 'I'll give you service.' Without promise of service, there is no question of Presidentship. So actually my position is to render service. Either I become President or Minister or this or that. That they cannot understand. In spite of my becoming the highest executive person, President—'Oh, I have to give service to my people, otherwise immediately they dethrone me.'—Therefore my real position is service. But service here is so dangerous. If there is little discrepancy of service, the President is immediately fired. Why your President Mr. Kennedy was fired? Because some people did not like that you are rendering nice service. That is the root fact. So you cannot satisfy here by service. Our Gandhi in India, he was also killed. He gave service throughout the whole life, but people at the time did not like. 'Oh, you are not rendering that service.' So this is the position. Therefore one should be intelligent enough to know that no more service to these material objectives. I must give my service to the Supreme Lord. That is the perfection of life."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, February 21, 1969)