Devotee: Which is more important: to go back to Godhead or to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Prabhupāda: Well, one who is preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he's already back to Godhead. (break) ...īhā yasya harer dāsye karmaṇā manasā vācā (Brs. 1.2.187). Preacher means he has engaged his body, his mind, his speeches only to glorify the Lord. That is preacher. So anybody who's engaged that business, he's jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate. He's liberated even in this life. (break) ...even if he's liberated. So why he should seek for liberation? He's already liberated. He's already back to Godhead. He's already with Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is talking with him. Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi... (BG 10.10). One who is actually preacher, engaged in Kṛṣṇa's glorification, service, he's already in Vaikuṇṭha. That is stated in Bhāgavata. Etad īśanam... (SB 1.11.38). It's just like Kṛṣṇa, if He comes within this material world, does it mean that He's in the material world? Similarly, Kṛṣṇa's pure devotee, he's not in the material world. In the spiritual world.
Guest: He gets the body? Does he get the body?
Prabhupāda: Therefore it's said, jīvan-mukta. Although he is within this body, still he is mukta. Just like... example is you take a rod, put into the fire; by association of fire it becomes red hot. At that time, it is fire, not rod. Similarly, if one is fully Kṛṣṇa conscious—he has no other business than to glorify Kṛṣṇa—he's already in the Vaikuṇṭha. Why should he...? Therefore kṛṣṇa-bhakta doesn't require any mukti. Muktiḥ mukulitāñjali sevate 'smān. Mukti's serving him.
Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, mama janmani janmani (Śikṣāṣṭaka 4), birth after birth. And when you go back to home, back to Godhead, there is no birth. Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6). You don't return. But here Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, "Birth after birth." So he's already mukta, he's already in the Vaikuṇṭha. Is that clear? Yes. Therefore kṛṣṇa-bhakta is niṣkāma. He has no any desire, because he's already fulfilled with all desires. He's, he's in the service of the Lord.
Devotee: Well, like sometimes the devotees are preaching, but they get feelings of getting entangled, so they want to...
Prabhupāda: That means it is not yet perfect preacher. He requires perfection.
Devotee: So they argue with me or some other...
Prabhupāda: It is not the question of arguing.
Devotee: No, they say: "Well, I want to fix myself up," and we want them to preach.
Prabhupāda: Preaching is our only business. Preaching. Whatever we do, it is aimed at preaching. That is our business. Whatever we are doing, it is for preaching. (break) In, in the practice or in the engagement of preaching, their position is better than those who are worshiping the Lord in a secluded place, bhajanānandī.
Devotee: What about those who are preaching, but imperfectly, and those who are...?
Prabhupāda: Even it is imperfect...
Devotee: It's better than just sitting.
Prabhupāda: Yes. If he's sincere, it cannot be imperfect. Because... we are always imperfect, but Kṛṣṇa will help us. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam (BG 10.10). How he can be imperfect? Kṛṣṇa will give him intelligence. Imperfect means whose intelligence is not perfect. But when Kṛṣṇa is giving intelligence, how he can be imperfect? He may be imperfect, but he's being helped by Kṛṣṇa. Therefore he's not imperfect.
Guest: Pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idam (Īśopaniṣad, Invocation).
Prabhupāda: Yes. He's associating with Kṛṣṇa. And unless one is confidential devotee of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa does not speak with him. But when he becomes perfect confidential servitor, Kṛṣṇa speaks with him, "Do like this, do like that," and he'll do that. And therefore in his action, you won't find any fault. If somebody perfect instructs him, "Do like this," then my action is not imperfect. Kṛṣṇa said, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). If I say: "Yes, you give up everything. Just surrender to Kṛṣṇa," then I am perfect. And if I say: "So 'ham. I am Kṛṣṇa," then you are imperfect.
Is that...? (break) "...the same. I am the Lord. I am the Supreme." They're all imperfect. Vimukta-māninaḥ. They have been described as rascals. They are strongly thinking that they are liberated. They're rascals. Ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ (SB 10.2.32). They are talking like nonsense because their intelligence is not... (break) ... it is purified. He's therefore wrongly thinking that, "I am the Supreme Lord. I am moving the sun." These rascals, they meditate, "I am moving the sun, I am moving the moon. I am this, I am that." This is their meditation. So 'ham. So they are rascals. And how you can become the Supreme? As soon as you have got a toothache, you have to go to the doctor. And he was thinking he was supreme. Nonsense. Rascal.
(break) ...bhāṣya śunile haya sarva-nāśa (CC Madhya 6.169). These are Māyāvādīs, those who are after, "I am the Supreme." They are Māyāvādīs. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, "Anyone who hears the philosophy of Māyāvādī, he is doomed. He is gone." (break) ...he is teaching, "Why you are seeking after God?" Just like Vivekananda taught, "Oh, why you are seeking after God? Don't you see so many Gods are on the street? They are hungry. They are lame. They are daridra-nārāyaṇa. Why don't you worship them?" This is Māyāvādī. So if we take Vivekananda's version, and be engaged in the service of the daridra-nārāyaṇa, then I am misled. (break) ...preaching this daridra-nārāyaṇa-sevā for hundreds of years, at least one hundred years, but still, there are daridras. Even in the city like Bombay, still. Fifty years ago I came. I saw there are the residents of the footpath, having a small... eh?
Guest: The pipe.
Prabhupāda: And still I find. When the rice is selling at eight rupees kilo, and when the rice was selling three rupees a maund, at that time also they were on the footpath, resident, and now also.
Guest (2): Now also.
Prabhupāda: Now also. So how you can stop this?
Guest: It is God's desire.
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is nature's arrangement. And those who are rich... there were richer section when the rice was selling at three rupees per maund, and the richer section is still there when rice is selling, nine rupees a kilo. So they have no eyes, because less intelligent. They cannot make equal. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). Prakṛti, in the prakṛti there are three modes of material nature. They will be manifested. It is not possible to make everyone of the same standard. The standard must be different. So they are simply spoiling their time to make the whole society on the same status. The Communists are trying, the others are trying. That is not possible. So one should not be disturbed with all these superficial low and high places. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says:
yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete
so 'mṛtatvāya kalpate
One is not disturbed with this outwards happiness and distress, he's eligible to become immortal. Saḥ amṛtatvāya. How? Yaṁ hi... (break) ...amṛta, eternal. And that is perfection. And that is going back to home, back to Godhead. But they do not know what is the aim of life. Still they are leaders. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31): leaders are blind, and they're leading blind men. Therefore there is always disaster, confusion.
Guest: The aim of life is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Aim is go home, back to Godhead. Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6). That is our aim.
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Bombay, September 18, 1973)