(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada in Montreal, 1968)
Prabhupāda: So you should learn this nice simple fact, that whether by your work Kṛṣṇa or the Supreme Personality of Godhead is being satisfied. Just like a student, how he is prosecuting his studies will be tested at the examination how he can satisfy the examiner. Similarly, whatever we may do, we have to enquire or to understand whether by that work the Supreme Personality of Godhead is satisfied.
Unfortunately, they do not believe in God, or if they had some ideas of God... now they say God is dead. So they do not think that it is necessary to please God. That is the difficulty.
Devotee: In other words if we have a decision to make, we should make the decision only in terms of how it's going to affect my service to Kṛṣṇa.
Devotee: In other words, you don't necessarily make snap decisions. I mean they're probably very... they can consider it from all different points of view.
Prabhupāda: It is not difficult.
Devotee: No. But I mean you have to consider all the different means and figure out how you're going to serve Kṛṣṇa the best way.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa can be served by his own occupation, as I described just now. Or whatever you may be. You may be a potter, you may be a florist, you may be... whatever you may be, but you can satisfy Kṛṣṇa by his work, by your work. You do not require to qualify yourself with some specific qualification. Whatever qualification you have got, you have to dovetail it under the direction of expert spiritual master, how you can serve. That's all.
Devotee (2): What does that expert mean in the list of qualifications for a devotee? In the list of qualifications of a devotee there is one qualification, expert.
Devotee (2): What does that mean in relation to the occupation?
Prabhupāda: Expert means whatever he is doing, he must do it very nicely That's all. Suppose you are sweeping this room. You can do it very nicely, to your best knowledge. That is expert. The people will say, "Oh, you have very nicely done." Any work you do, do it very nicely. That is expert. Don't do it haphazardly. To your best talent, to your best capacity, try to finish it very nicely, whatever it may be. You are entrusted with some work. Do it nicely. That is expert. If you think that you are unable to do that work, then whatever work you can do, you take. But do it nicely. That is expert. Don't imitate. "Oh, I have no capacity to work in that way, but I want to imitate. Oh, he is doing that. I shall do that." Don't do that. That is not expert. You take up what you can do very nicely and do it nicely. We have so many works. Kṛṣṇa is not that He is static. He is dynamic force. Just like Arjuna, he was not a Vedantist, he was not a brāhmaṇa, he was not a sannyāsī. He was householder. He was military man. But he knew his business, how to do it nicely. So you do your business nicely. That is expert. And when it is dovetailed in Kṛṣṇa, there is no gradation that this business is better and that business is lower because everything is for Kṛṣṇa. So that business becomes Kṛṣṇa. Do it nicely and Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. And that is your success. Avyāpare suvyaparam yo naraḥ kartum icchati, sa-mulo hanyate 'khila pārthiva vānaraḥ. Expert.
There is a very nice story in Sanskrit. A monkey. A monkey... you might have some experience, that sawmen, who cut wood? Sawmen. So a sawman was cutting wood by the saw. So at the end of business it was half cut so he pulled down a, I mean to say, a plug so that next day he will come and he'll again begin sawing. So went away. So one monkey came. So monkey sat down there and began to pull on the plug because monkey's business is simply mischievous. So he did not know that his plough and some portion of his thigh was within the hole and when he took out this plug it was, (claps) I mean to say, clipped, and he could not get out and died. So the instruction is that... 'Khila pārthiva vānaraḥ, vyāpare suvyaparam. Avyāpara means a occupation, an occupation which is not fit for you. That is avyāpara. Avyāpara-suvyaparam. And one occupation which is not exactly fitting you, you do not know how to do it, so avyāpare suvyaparam yo kartu... if one wants to act in a business in which he is unable to do, then he is killed just like this fool monkey. Avyāpare suvyaparam yo naraḥ kartum icchati, sa-mulo hanyate. That foolish person is killed just like this monkey.
The monkey's business was not to imitate the sawman, but he wanted to imitate. The result was that he was killed. So that is not expertness. Expertness is you just try to do which is easily performed by you. You don't accept anything heavy task because Kṛṣṇa does not want that you have to do this heavy task. Whatever you know, you just apply it. You dovetail it in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa does not say that you have to become like this, like that, like that, then you can serve Him. Does not say. Just like this cow. Just see. What does it know? He's an animal. You see? But the calf knows to brush his head and tongue like this, in love. It is doing and Kṛṣṇa accepting, "Yes." That is expert. First of all find out what is easily done by you. Don't take anything which is not easily done by you. You find out what is your occupation, what you can very nicely and easily perform, and do it for Kṛṣṇa. That's all. Is that clear? Expert? This is expert. Expert does not mean that I do not know how to drive motor car, and I will have to imitate somebody, "Oh, I shall become driver." Why? If you do not know driving, why should you attempt driving? Whatever you know, you just try it, that business, and try to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. If you know driving, that's all right. But don't take... my Guru Mahārāja explained that you haven't got to learn anything extra for Kṛṣṇa's service.
Whatever you know, you just apply it... then you become successful. Because our time is very short. We do not know when I am going to die. As soon as I am out of this body, I am completely under the grip of nature, and I do not know what kind of body I am getting next. Of course, Kṛṣṇa assures that His devotee will never be vanquished. He will get good body. But I do not know what kind of body I am going to... therefore before finishing this body I will have to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness very nicely. That is my success.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Montreal, July 16, 1968)