(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
"O son of Kuntī, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me."
"There is no question of giving anything up in Krsna consciousness. That is the sum and substance of the Bhagavad-gita. Arjuna also thought like that 'I shall not fight' and fell silent. but Krsna did not approve of this sentimental attitude of the great Arjuna. The whole Bhagavad-gita was spoken to Arjuna simply to convince him that he should work for the satisfaction of Krsna. Therefore Krsna plainly says, 'Whatever you do as work, whatever you eat, or give away in charity, do it for Me.' This is real Krsna consciousness, to work for the satisfaction of Krsna."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 30, 1973)
"Simply you have to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and for Kṛṣṇa. Then your life is successful. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: yat karoṣi yad juhoṣi yad aśnāsi yat tapasyasi kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam (9.27). Now, yat karoṣi. You have to do something. You have to work. Kṛṣṇa does not say, 'Oh, because you are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you, you simply...' If you can, simply can think of Kṛṣṇa, it is very good. But in our present position, that is not possible, because we are not so advanced that we can simply think of Kṛṣṇa. But simply think of Kṛṣṇa is automatically done if you work for Kṛṣṇa."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Boston, May 7, 1968)
"Bad work means sense gratification. That's all. Anything you do for the satisfaction of your sense, that is bad work. And anything you do for satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa, that is good work. This is the division of bad work and good work. The same thing, if you do for your personal satisfaction, it is bad work. And the same thing, if you do for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa, that is good work. We must first of all learn this.
Just like Arjuna was thinking in the beginning that 'Fighting and killing is not good, especially fighting with the family members and killing them. No, no, I cannot do that.' Bad work. He was thinking it was bad. But same thing he did. When he understood Bhagavad-gītā, he did not do anything else, because he was a fighter, he was a warrior. In the beginning he was refusing because he was trying to satisfy his senses. 'Oh, it is very good. I think it is... I think...' What you are? You are always misguided if you think like that. But the same Arjuna, when understood Bhagavad-gītā... Kṛṣṇa inquired from him, 'Now what is your decision?' Now, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73). 'Yes, now I have decided.' So what is that vacanaṁ tava? Kṛṣṇa asked him to fight. So same fighting, how he became good now? Because Kṛṣṇa wanted it. A good work. So this should be our motto of life, that you should act if Kṛṣṇa is pleased. This is good work."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, April 5, 1974)
"So anyone who has got this material body, he cannot stop even for a moment working something. Na hy akarma-kṛt. This is the nature. He must do some... Just like child. Child is always restless. Similarly... 'Child is the father of man.' One who becomes father, the same restlessness, because that is the nature. Na hi dehavān akarma-kṛt. So if you are not engaged in good work, then you must act badly. That is natural. You have to work. Therefore idle brain is devil's workshop. If you are sitting idly, then brain also will work, mind also will work. The bodily function will go. So if you don't engage yourself in good work, then you must be engaged in bad work. And if you are not engaged in good work and if you are engaged in... There are two things, good or bad. So in one of them we must be engaged. So if we are not instructed or trained up to act in good work, then we must be doing bad work. Bad work means māyā and good work means God. There are two things: God and māyā. If we do not act in godly situation then we must be acting in māyā's clutches."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, July 25, 1975)
Prabhupāda: So our principle is: We have to act according to the desire of Kṛṣṇa; then it is good. Otherwise, bad. Kṛṣṇa says, na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). So in spite of advancement of knowledge, because they are not Kṛṣṇa conscious, therefore they are all duṣkṛtinaḥ, all sinful men. That is the test. So it is very difficult to understand this philosophy, but this is the fact. We are not going to be followers of zero-vādīs or impersonal-vādīs. We remain completely in the varieties, but these varieties are usable only for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. That is spiritual. You cannot stop the varieties. You have to change the quality of the varieties. Just like we are eating. It is not possible to stop eating. Why shall I stop eating? But the quality is changed. It is prasādam.
Devotee: Just like we're getting some money for our books...
Prabhupāda: The quality's changed.
Devotee: ...they take that spiritual life is negation of anything that they're doing now—no more money, no more anything.
Prabhupāda: For our personal comfort, we, our students are lying on the floor. They are not using the money for purchasing nice furniture. No personal comfort. But if you say that "You are purchasing big, big car," yes, for going quickly to serve Kṛṣṇa. Our service is main point. If I can go and serve Kṛṣṇa within a minute, why shall I wait for one hour? So we take all advantages. After all, it belongs to Kṛṣṇa. They say that "We have manufactured." That's all... But we say that Kṛṣṇa has manufactured. So they... This philosophy, it is little difficult to understand by the dull men, that nothing is without Kṛṣṇa. Everything... Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (Īśopaniṣad 1). Sarvam, when we say sarvam, how we can exclude this and that? Everything is in relationship with Kṛṣṇa, sarvam. Sarvam means everything. So how can you discriminate, "This is material; this is spiritual"? The discrimination is that when it is not used for Kṛṣṇa, that is material, and when it is used for Kṛṣṇa, that is spiritual.
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Melbourne, April 20, 1976)
"So you take the good opportunity to study well our literatures and how to apply the philosophy of Krsna consciousness practically in daily working and help us to spread this transcendental message to all the people of the world. That is our desire. So your humble and sincere effort is needed to be applied for executing this program to the best of your capacity.
My Guru Maharaj used to say that everything is already supplied by Krsna; all the ingredients of different varieties already are there; there is no lack of anything in this world. The only thing that is lacking is Krsna consciousness. So Krsna is supplying us with all facilities, so there is no question of scarcity of anything. Simply we must become Krsna conscious and conscientiously apply our energy to utilizing all facilities in the matter of pleasing Krsna or devotional service. We should always be very careful to avoid utilizing any of the facilities available for our own sense gratification, but we should use everything for the satisfaction of Krsna only."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 3, 1970)
Prabhupāda: Karmī is also working and bhakta is also working. Then what is the difference?
Devotee: One is working for his own sense satisfaction and the other is working for the sense satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa.
Devotee(3): The devotee is peaceful. The karmīs are never peaceful.
Prabhupāda: Karmī... Just like I began this Kṛṣṇa consciousness business with forty rupees, eh, in New York. Now, say within eight or ten years, we have got forty crores. What is the karmī who started his business with forty rupees and within ten years, eight years, has got forty crores?
Devotee(2): Therefore the difference is the karmī's not successful.
Prabhupāda: A bhakta is never unsuccessful.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Honolulu, May 26, 1976)