If You Love Me, Love My Dog
Prabhupāda: So a Vaiṣṇava is godly. He is qualified with all good qualities. That is Vaiṣṇava. That is Vaiṣṇava. He knows the value of each and every thing. Therefore he's godly. And therefore to offer respect to Vaiṣṇava is also a great qualification. Even to offer respect to the Vaiṣṇava is greater qualification than one who simply offers respect to God. That is stated in Devī Purāṇa:

    ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ
    viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param

This is the statement of Lord Śiva.

    tasmāt parataraṁ devi
    tadīyānāṁ samarcanam
    (CC Madhya 11.31)

"Worship of God, Viṣṇu, is the highest, topmost method of worship. And greater than the topmost worship is to worship Viṣṇu's paraphernalia. Viṣṇu's devotee, Viṣṇu's temple, Viṣṇu's dear..." Just like we worship tulasī. Why? Because it is very dear to Viṣṇu. Tadīyānām. Viṣṇu likes, Kṛṣṇa likes. When, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam (BG 9.26), the tulasī flower, leaf is offered to Kṛṣṇa, He becomes very pleased. Therefore we love tulasī, because He likes. In common word they say: "If you love me, love my dog." I have seen people do that. One man is going with his dog. His friends meet, and if the friends pats the dog, the man becomes pleased. Is it not?

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So... just like if you have got your child on your lap, if some friends come and takes your child and pats him and kisses him, then you become pleased, immediately: "Oh, this gentleman loves my child so much." Similarly, if a Vaiṣṇava, a devotee, is respected, then Kṛṣṇa is more pleased. Therefore it is called yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. The respectful to guru makes easier to receive mercy from God. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. What is the meaning?

Devotee (2): "By the mercy of the spiritual master one gets the blessings of Kṛṣṇa."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because Kṛṣṇa is immediately pleased, "Oh, he's obedient and respectful to My devotee." It is in the same way, "Oh, he loves my child so much. He loves my dog." Dog is not qualified, but because the gentleman's dog is loved, the gentleman is pleased. This is counteractive. Similarly, a pure devotee, representative of God, if he is offered respect, that respect goes to God.

(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, June 28, 1974, Melbourne)

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