(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
"Real religion is love, how to love God. That is real religion. Dharma, what is that? Yato bhaktir... Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo (SB 1.2.6). There are different kinds of dharma, or religious system. But real religious system means how we have learned to love God. That's all. Nothing more. No ritualistic ceremony, no formula, nothing. If your heart is always crying for God, that is perfect religion. That is perfect religion. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, śūnyāyitaṁ jagat sarvam: 'Oh, without Kṛṣṇa, I am feeling the whole world is vacant.' Vacant, yes. So we have to come to that stage. Of course, it is not possible for all of us, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu showed us how to become highest religious person. That is to feel always, 'Oh, without Kṛṣṇa, everything is vacant. Śūnyāyitaṁ jagat sarvaṁ govinda viraheṇa me. That is dharma, that is dharma."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, June 5, 1976)
"There are so many stages. But here is the highest status: govinda-viraheṇa me. Yugāyitaṁ nimeṣeṇa. 'For want of Govinda, I am thinking one moment as twelve years.' Yugāyitaṁ nimeṣeṇa cakṣuṣā prāvṛṣāyitam. 'I'm crying like torrents of rain from my eyes.' This is the highest necessity. This is also necessity. Yugāyitaṁ nimeṣeṇa cakṣuṣā prāvṛ..., śūnyāyitaṁ jagat sarvam. 'I don't see anything. Everything is vacant.' And that we have experience. If somebody whom you love very much, he dies, you think, 'I don't want anything. World is vacant.' I've no necessity but Kṛṣṇa. This is also necessity. So we have to see first of all necessity, then quality of necessity. This is knowledge. There is no necessity, means dull matter. Similarly, when there is no necessity of God, one is in the lowest stage of life, narādhama, animals, less than animal, narādhama, at least, lowest of mankind. If he does not feel the necessity of God, that means lowest of the mankind. Necessity of Caitanya Mahāprabhu also... Yugāyitaṁ nimeṣeṇa cakṣuṣā prāvṛṣay... A Vaiṣṇava says that 'I have no more necessity.' But he has no more necessity of this false necessities, material world."
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Honolulu, May 28, 1976)
"Love means, 'I enjoy or not enjoy, I love you.' That is love. Just like Cowper said, 'England, with all thy faults, I love you.' That is love. There is no return. Just like Rādhārāṇī's love to Kṛṣṇa. She does not require any return. You see? Kṛṣṇa left Vṛndāvana, Rādhārāṇī, and their whole life remained simply crying for Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa never returned. But still, they loved Kṛṣṇa. That is love. That love is being shown by Caitanya Mahāprabhu: 'Where is Kṛṣṇa? Where is Kṛṣṇa?' That's Rādhārāṇī's separation, love in separation. So love means without any return, without any sense gratification, without any consideration. That is love. Āśliṣya. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's... Āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām adarśanān marma-hatāṁ karotu vā (CC Antya 20.47). The lover is saying to the beloved, 'Either you embrace me with love or you kick me, trample me down under Your feet. And if You make me brokenhearted without meeting me, so whatever You like, You can do. Still I love You.' That is love. That is only possible to love Kṛṣṇa. That is not materially possible."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Boston, May 4, 1968)
"Lord Caitanya taught people in general the method of vipralambha-sevā, which is the method of rendering service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the feeling of separation. The six Gosvāmīs also taught worship of Kṛṣṇa in the feeling of the gopīs in separation. The prayers composed by Śrīnivāsācārya about the Gosvāmīs explain these matters very clearly. Śrīnivāsācārya said that the Gosvāmīs were always absorbed in the ocean of transcendental feelings in the mood of the gopīs. When they lived in Vṛndāvana they were searching for Kṛṣṇa, crying, 'Where are You, Kṛṣṇa? O gopīs, where are You? Where are You, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī?' They never said, 'We have now seen Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, and therefore our mission is fulfilled.' Their mission remained always unfulfilled; they never met Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa."
(Kṛṣṇa Book, Chapter 47)
"When the gopīs were talking in this way, their feelings for Kṛṣṇa became more and more intense, and they were experiencing Kṛṣṇa’s smiling, Kṛṣṇa’s words of love, Kṛṣṇa’s attractive features, Kṛṣṇa’s characteristics and Kṛṣṇa’s embraces. By the force of their ecstatic feelings, it appeared to them that Kṛṣṇa was personally present and dancing before them. Because of their sweet remembrance of Kṛṣṇa, they could not check their tears, and they cried without consideration."
(Kṛṣṇa Book, Chapter 65)
"That is another bliss, to feel separation from Kṛṣṇa. Everything, either you meet or you separate, the bliss is there. Crying for Kṛṣṇa is better bliss."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Gorakhpur, February 6, 1971)
"He rādhe vraja-devike ca lalite he nanda-sūno kutaḥ (Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka 8): 'Oh, where is Rādhārāṇī? Where You are? Where are Your friends, Lalitā and Viśākhā? Where is Nanda, son of Mahārāja Nanda, Kṛṣṇa?' Śrī-govardhana-kalpa-pādapa-tale kālindī-vane kutaḥ: 'Where are You? Are You near the Govardhana Hill or in the forest on the bank of the Yamunā?' Ghoṣantāv iti khedair mahā-vihvalau. They are crying, 'Where is Kṛṣṇa? Where is Kṛṣṇa? Where is Rādhārāṇī? Where is...?' They're crying: ghoṣantāv iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair mahā-vihvalau. Mad. Mad after. Vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau. This is the process of kṛṣṇa-bhajana. Not that 'I've seen just last night Kṛṣṇa dancing with the gopīs.' It is not so easy."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, August 12, 1974)
"In the beginning, sādhana-bhakti must be there. Then when you get attachment for Kṛṣṇa, that is called rāga-bhakti. And the more you increase your attachment for Kṛṣṇa, then it will come to the stage of prema-bhakti. You don't become kṛṣṇa-premī all of a sudden. 'Now I have become kṛṣṇa-premī. Let me cry.' And then, after crying, 'Oh, my throat is now dried up. Give me cigarette.' This kind of bhakti has no value. You'll see so many sahajiyās, professionals: they can cry, but they have no love for Kṛṣṇa."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Calcutta, January 25, 1973)
"Devotees, having no shelter other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, naturally cry to Him for help, exactly like children who do not know anything but the protection of their parents."
(Kṛṣṇa Book, Chapter 28)
"By chanting without offenses, the devotee cries to Radharani and Krsna to please lift him out of the material energy and put him into the spiritual energy, which is devotional service."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, July 20, 1973)
"Lord Caitanya also desired that 'a moment will appear unto me as twelve years of time, and the whole world will appear to me as vacant on account of not seeing You, my dear Lord.' One should feelingly pray and become eager to render his particular type of service to the Lord. This is the teaching of all great devotees, especially Lord Caitanya.
In other words, one should learn how to cry for the Lord. One should learn this small technique, and he should be very eager and actually cry to become engaged in some particular type of service. This is called laulyam, and such tears are the price for the highest perfection. If one develops this laulyam, or excessive eagerness for meeting and serving the Lord in a particular way, that is the price to enter into the kingdom of God. Otherwise, there is no material calculation for the value of the ticket by which one can enter the kingdom of God. The only price for such entrance is this laulyam lālasā-mayī, or desire and great eagerness."
(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 9)
"Actually, the perfection of Kṛṣṇa consciousness can be culminated in the shedding of tears from the eyes."
(Kṛṣṇa Book, Chapter 21)
"This crying is the last word in the progressive path of devotional service. One who can cry for the Lord in love is certainly successful in the line of devotional service."
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.4.35, Purport)
"The three words, namely Hara, Krishna and Rama, are transcendental seeds of the maha-mantra, and the chanting is a spiritual call for the Lord and His internal energy, Hara, for giving protection to the conditioned soul. The chanting is exactly like a genuine cry by the child for the mother. Mother Hara helps in achieving the grace of the supreme father, Hari, or Krishna, and the Lord reveals Himself to such a sincere devotee.
No other means, therefore, of spiritual realization is as effective in this age, as chanting the maha-mantra:
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare "
(Happening Album, 1966)