(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
Prabhupāda: So any activities of the Vaiṣṇava, they should always pray to the previous ācārya, 'Kindly help me. Kindly...' This is..., Vaiṣṇava is always thinking himself helpless. Helpless. And begging help from the previous ācārya. Just like in Caitanya-caritāmṛta you will find, the author, at the end of every chapter:
śrī rūpa-raghunātha-pade yāra āśa
caitanya-caritāmṛta kahe kṛṣṇadāsa
(CC Adi 1.110)
His every line, he is thinking of Rūpa-Raghunātha, previous ācāryas. "So let me surrender to the gosvāmīs, and they will help me how to write." You cannot write. That is not possible.
So this is Vaiṣṇava's policy. Vaiṣṇava ṭhākura, tomāra kukkura, baliyā janaha more (Śaraṇāgati 19). Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung, "My dear Vaiṣṇava ṭhākura, you just accept me as your dog, as the dog works by the indication of the master." He will give his life. Dog has a good qualification: however a strong dog may be, when the master orders, he will give his life. This is dog, faithful, so faithful to the master. So vaiṣṇava ṭhākura...
So Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura is praying, vaiṣṇava ṭhākura, tomāra kukkura, baliyā janaha more: "My dear Vaiṣṇava ṭhākura"—Vaiṣṇava ṭhākura means guru—"kindly accept me as your dog." And he describes, I forget the exact language, that "I will always try to protect you. As dog keep watch, so I will watch so nobody can come to disturb you. And whatever little prasādam you will give me, I'll be satisfied." Dog... That dog's qualification. The master is eating, but the dog will never come, unless the master gives little morsel. He is satisfied. He is satisfied. So this is Vaiṣṇavism, to follow the previous ācārya. This is Vaiṣṇavism.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, July 17, 1973)