(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada distributing the mercy)
Young man: When you succumb to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or to Kṛṣṇa, do you still have any obligation to, say, the worldly affairs, in making, say, the world a better place?
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is my obligation, to give them education in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the best service I am giving to the humanity. Why I have come to your country? I am old man. Just to fulfill this obligation. So when one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, he feels obligation very extensive, not limited. He is called mahātmā, very broad-minded. Not cripple-minded. So "I am good, my father is good"—not like that. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice that it makes your mind broader. Mahātmā. Sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ. This exact word is there in the Bhagavad-gītā:
bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
After many lives' cultivation of knowledge, when one comes to the point that Vāsudeva, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is everything, He is the cause of all causes, then he surrenders unto Him. But such kind of surrendering soul is very rare.
So in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we do not expect that everyone can join, but anyone who joins, it is to be understood that in his previous life he has passed all cultivation of knowledge. Otherwise it is not possible. But if one is... just like this verse says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). If one is intelligent to understand this verse, that only a wise man, only one who has become very wise after many, many births' cultivation of spiritual knowledge, he surrenders to Vāsudeva, or Kṛṣṇa... so I do not know whether I cultivated knowledge in my past life, but if it is a fact that this is the result of many, many births' cultivation of knowledge, why not surrender immediately and become the most learned wise man? Take the opportunity.
One has to become very intelligent. Just like if one man is earning, say, ten hundred millions of dollars by depositing little, little, in the bank, so if somebody offers, "All right, you take immediately ten hundred thousands of dollars immediately," so who will refuse it? So if it is a fact that one comes to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness after many, many births... so, little intelligence required, that "Why not take it immediately? Even I did not cultivate knowledge in my past life, let me take immediately."
So this opportunity is offered. Take Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There is no tax, there is no loss, but everything is gained. Try it. At least, make an experiment for week or for fortnight and see. It is not difficult. Simply we must be willing. That's all. Because every one of us are independent. Not fully; little. So we can use our independence, we can misuse our independence.
So here is the offering: take Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now it is your choice. If you can take, it is good. If you don't take, that is your good will. Is there any difficulty to accept our formula? I ask all of you, is there any difficulty? I am asking this. You have asked so many questions of me. Is there any difficulty to accept this formula?
Young man: No.
Young man: No.
Prabhupāda: So why don't you take it?
Young man: I have.
Prabhupāda: Thank you. (laughter) It is so simple, nice. Try to understand by your knowledge, question. We are not pushing forcibly. You have got your intelligence, argument, logic, everything. But you'll find it. Caitanyera dayāra kathā karaha vicāra (CC Adi 8.15). The author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta says that we are placing it for your judgment. Not that we are pushing it by force, that you have to accept it. Just like sometimes it is said that the Muhammadans, they propagated one hand sword and one hand Koran, "Either you accept Koran or there is sword for you." It is not that. It is placed for your judgment. And if you like, you can accept it. Otherwise, I came here empty-handed, I shall go back empty-handed. There is no loss, no gain. (laughter)
So any other question? All right. Then join with Hare Kṛṣṇa. Chant.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Seattle, October 11, 1968)