(Click to enlarge photo of a mischevous monkey)
"Asato maṁ sad gama. That is the Vedic... 'Don't remain in the asat (impermanent); just make progress to the sat (eternal).' That is wanted. That cannot be done unless one is fully situated in unalloyed devotional service of the Lord. That is not possible. One must go to the asat, because he is hovering on the mental plane. Mental plane is not secure. Anyone who is in mental plane, he may fall down at any moment. So we have to transcend the mental plane, intellectual plane. Jñana-karmady-anavṛtam.
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
('One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service.')
This is bhakti: simply to abide by the orders of Kṛṣṇa, fully engaged. Ānukūlyena, favorable, as Kṛṣṇa wanted Arjuna, 'You fight!' So he did not like to fight. He was nonviolent, so-called. But Kṛṣṇa wants. Kṛṣṇa wants, ānukūlyena. Kṛṣṇa must be satisfied. It doesn't matter whether I am satisfied or not. But here things are going that 'Kṛṣṇa, we don't care. If Your instruction does not appeal to me, to my sense satisfaction, I don't like it.' This is going on. Nobody likes to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ (BG 18.66). Nobody is prepared to that. 'If Kṛṣṇa satisfies my whims, then I accept Kṛṣṇa.' This is going on. That is not bhakti. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanaṁ (CC Madhya 19.167). Simply you have to abide by the orders of Kṛṣṇa. That is called bhakti. (break) ...in devotional service. Without devotional service, all activities, they are false, simply just like jumping like the monkey. What is the value? The monkey is always busy, but his busy-ness has no value. His busy-ness has no value. Therefore as soon as one monkey..., "Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out!" But he is always busy.
So to become busy like a monkey has no value. To busy..., to become busy as a devotee, that has value. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The Māyāvādī philosophy is that 'This business is useless, so stop it altogether.' No. That is negation. If you stop... Just like a child, if you stop playing mischief, always doing, then he will be mad, psychologically. You must give him some engagement, better engagement, so that he will not commit any more mischief. So bhakti is a service, activity. If he is not engaged in activity, then he will become again a rascal. Because we are living entities. We are not dead stone. That is bhakti. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam, hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ (CC Madhya 19.170). Engage..., hṛṣīka means the senses. The senses must be engaged. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ. Now the senses engaged for my sense gratification. So it should be purified, no more sense gratification. But the senses must have engagement. And how? That is in the service of the Lord. That is real activity. So bhakti is not that it is simply negation. There must be positive action. That is bhakti."
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Bombay, April 12, 1974)