We Should Not Be Anxious for Fame
(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada's poster in the Hip Job Co-op, Haight-Ashbury, 1967)

"Yaśas, fame, should be according to Lord Caitanya, who said that a man is famous when he is known as a great devotee. That is real fame. If one has become a great man in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and it is known, then he is truly famous. One who does not have such fame is infamous."

(Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 10.4-5, Purport)

"So the point is that a devotee, even he does not want advertisement, Kṛṣṇa advertises him. Kṛṣṇa advertises him without his intention. Kṛṣṇa wants to see that His devotee is very much advertised as devotee. Therefore, when Caitanya Mahāprabhu was talking with Rāmānanda Rāya that 'Who is the most famous man?' Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired, asked this question from Rāmānanda Rāya. He answered, 'He is the most famous man who is known as a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa. He is the most famous man.'"

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Delhi, November 16, 1971)

"If one can attain imperishable name and fame by sacrificing his perishable body, he becomes a very respectable figure in the history of human civilization."

(Kṛṣṇa Book, Chapter 72)

"So, so long we are living, our name, our fame, our form, our activities, are glorious, very good. And as soon as the life is gone, nobody cares. It is a lump of matter. That's all. When one is living, a big man, nobody can go before him or touch him— there are so many guards. But the same man, when he's dead, if he's lying on the floor, if somebody kicks on his face, nobody cares, finished.

So we should understand this. That after the disappearance of the body, soul, this so-called big name, big fame, important body, has no value."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, April 30, 1973)

"You ask about the desire for fame. Fame is a material desire, but to desire fame in Krishna Consciousness is not bad. If you think that people may know me as a great devotee of Krishna, that they may acknowledge me a nice devotee of Krishna, that is not at all bad. But even one is highly elevated in Krishna Consciousness he should not think himself a great devotee, he should think himself always humble."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 13, 1968)

"Then Lord Caitanya asked Rāmānanda Rāya, 'What is the greatest reputation one can have?' Rāmānanda immediately replied that a person reputed to be Kṛṣṇa conscious should be considered the most famous man in the world. One who is famous as a Kṛṣṇa conscious man has eternal fame. In the material world, everyone is striving for three things: he wants his name to be perpetuated, he wants his fame to be broadcast all over the world, and he wants some profit from his material activities. But no one knows that all this material name, fame and profit belong to the temporary material body and that as soon as the body is finished, all name, fame and profit are finished also. It is only due to ignorance that everyone is striving after the name, fame and profit connected with the body. But actually it is deplorable to become famous on the basis of the body or to become known as a man of spiritually developed consciousness without knowing the supreme spirit, Viṣṇu. Real fame belongs to one who attains Kṛṣṇa consciousness in this very life."

(Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 32)

"We should not be very much anxious about being famous. Not, 'Oh, there is a great man who knows everything about spirit and who is perfect.' No. We should be very sincere to understand things as they are. We should not falsely claim which I am not."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Montreal, October 25, 1968)

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