Serving a Devotee Is Our Duty
Prabhupāda: Prabhu means your master. So "Because you are devotee, we accept you as master." Master means "I am ready to serve you because you are devotee. I am your servant." Dāsa-dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ (CC Madhya 13.80). "Because you are devotee, I am prepared to serve you. Otherwise not."

Devotee: Do the demigods sometimes forget their positions?

Prabhupāda: Why you are serving me? If I had been an ordinary person, why...? You would not have... Because you accept that "You are devotee," therefore you serve. So as soon as we find a devotee, immediately serve him. Chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā, nistāra pāyeche kebā (Prema-bhakti-candrikā). Without serving a devotee, who can be elevated? It is our duty. So we can serve the devotee.

Devotee (2): Śrīla Prabhupāda? Why is...

Prabhupāda: Prahlāda Mahārāja was offered, "Whatever you like, you take." He said, "No, no, I don't want anything. Please engage me in the service of Your servant." He rejected everything. He simply said, nīja-dāsya-yogam: "Kindly engage me in the service of Your servant." That is wanted.

Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda, Prahlāda Mahārāja...

Prabhupāda: He did not want even direct service. "Engage me in Your service," he did not say.

Devotee (2): No.

Prabhupāda: He said, "Engage me in Your servant's service."

Devotee (2): So if we see people in the world as potential devotees, we should also serve them so they can become good devotees.

Prabhupāda: That is not service; that is mercy. One who is potential devotee, to show him mercy, develop him to become a devotee. That is mercy; that is not service. Service can be rendered to the higher person. And to the lower person you can show your mercy.

Devotee (2): Oh, that's a good distinction.

Devotee (3): That's said in Upadeśāmṛta...

Prabhupāda: Yes. One who is lower than you, he requires your mercy. You give him mercy. And who is higher than you, you give him service. Not that Vivekananda did, that everyone service. No. Service to the higher person. And to the lower person? Mercy.

Devotee (2): Someone asked me the other day if I knew Swami...

Prabhupāda: And equal person? Friendship.

Devotee (2): Yes.

Prabhupāda: With equal, friendship. With higher, service. And with lower, mercy.

Devotee (2): And envious, ignore.

Prabhupāda: Yes, ignore. Neutral: "You go to hell. We don't mind." (laughter)

Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, if one serves the higher devotees and shows compassion to less advanced devotees, then where is the question, say, for a position of an advanced devotee who is feeling himself to be the lowest? So is that distinction still there of higher and lower? If he is feeling himself to be the lowest?

Prabhupāda: He does not feel lowest. He takes sympathy, that "Here is a person. He can be a devotee. So let me raise him to the standard." He does not think that he is lowest. Devotee always thinks that he is lower than the worm. But it is the duty. It is the duty. It does not mean that he is thinking, "I am higher." No.

Devotee (2): That's again mercy.

Prabhupāda: Mercy.

Devotee: In other words, he doesn't consider that he's advanced and that therefore he is showing mercy to lower.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. He is always thinking, "I am lower than the worm, but Lord Kṛṣṇa wants, so let me do some service." That's all.

Devotee (2): That is our occupation—to show mercy to others.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (4): And amongst devotees, Godbrothers, an advanced devotee is one who sees that "Everybody is serving Kṛṣṇa so nicely..."

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (4): " let me assist them."

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (4): "Let me facilitate their service."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore we say prabhu. Prabhu means "You are my master. Please order me. What can I do for you?" That should be the attitude.

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, March 25, 1976, Delhi)

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