(Click to enlarge photo of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda)
"So our bhakti process is not to try to see God personally. Just like the karmīs, they challenge, 'If we can see eye to eye, God?' No. That is not our process. Our process is different.
Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches us, āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu māṁ marma-hatāṁ karotu vā adarśanān (CC Antya 20.47). Every devotee likes to see, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches that 'Even if You make me broken-hearted, not being seen for life or perpetually, it doesn't matter. Still, You are my worshipable Lord.' That is pure devotee.
Just like there is a song, 'My dear Lord, please appear before me, dancing with Your flute.' This is not devotion. This is not devotion. People may think, 'Oh, how great devotee he is, asking Kṛṣṇa to come before him, dancing.' That means ordering Kṛṣṇa. A devotee does not order anything or ask anything from Kṛṣṇa, but he loves only. That is the pure love.
That is the teaching of Lord Caitanya. Āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām (CC Antya 20.47): 'Either You embrace me or You trample down, You give me all kinds of miserable life and You break my heart, not being seen by me...' This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's prayer in His ecstasy of Rādhārāṇī.
So that is wanted. So we should not try to see God. Then we'll be baffled. Sometimes if, trying, trying, if I baffled—I cannot see—then I'll conclude, 'There is no God. If there was God, I prayed so much and He did not appear before me. Oh, this... It is all humbug.' You see?
So pure devotion means anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam (Brs. 1.1.11), without any desire. Simply one desire, that 'How I shall be able to satisfy Kṛṣṇa?' That registered... Where is Mr. Singh? He was saying that 'I shall do my duty, and I do not want to know whether Kṛṣṇa is pleased or not pleased.' This is not bhakti. This is not bhakti. Bhakti means the bhakta's only business is to understand, 'Whether Kṛṣṇa is pleased by my activity?' That is bhakta's business. But because they have no relationship with God, they are puzzled that 'How I shall understand whether Kṛṣṇa is pleased or not?' They are puzzled.
That answer is given by Viśvanātha Cakravartī, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ: 'If you please the representative of Kṛṣṇa, guru, then He is pleased.' Yasya prasādād bhagavat... Otherwise you cannot understand whether Kṛṣṇa is pleased or not. You can understand also, because if you follow the Kṛṣṇa's instruction... Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66).
If one is completely surrendered to Kṛṣṇa and he has no other business than to serve Him, then he can understand that 'I am now... Even if I do not understand whether Kṛṣṇa is pleased or not, by the formula I can understand that because I am fully surrendered—I have no other business—then Kṛṣṇa must be pleased.' That is the...
And practical. Kṛṣṇa appears in two ways. He appears as antaryāmi, the Supersoul within himself, within oneself, and He appears as the spiritual master, externally. Caitya-guru and dīkṣā-guru. Caitya-guru... As caitya-guru, as the supreme spiritual master, He is in everyone's heart. And His representative... In order to help externally the sincere person, He sends the spiritual master. Therefore the spiritual master from outside and the caitya-guru from inside, they are helping. The Supreme Personality is helping a devotee, a real, serious devotee two ways: from within, from without.
The Caitanya-caritāmṛta therefore says that kṛṣṇera prakāśa, manifestation of Kṛṣṇa, a spiritual master. And Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasya aprasādād na gatiḥ kuto 'pi: 'If I can satisfy my spiritual master, then I understand that Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. And if I cannot satisfy my spiritual master, then I have no other way to approach Kṛṣṇa.' These songs we sing every day.
So my Guru Mahārāja used to say that 'Instead of seeing Kṛṣṇa, you serve so faithfully that Kṛṣṇa will see you.' That should be the process. Kṛṣṇa is omnipresent. He can see you; He can understand you, what are doing. So we have to execute devotional service in such a faithful way that Kṛṣṇa will see us. Then you will be successful. 'Don't try to see Kṛṣṇa. Try to become seen by Kṛṣṇa.' That was my Guru Mahārāja's instruction."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Gorakhpur, February 6, 1971)