(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
"Vaiṣṇava means he is always feeling for the distress of the others. Just like Lord Jesus Christ. What is the necessity of being crucified? Because he was a Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava means the servant of God or the devotee of God, Vaiṣṇava. Viṣṇu means Lord, and Vaiṣṇava means one who is devotee of Viṣṇu, he is called Vaiṣṇava. Godly. Godly person. Vaiṣṇava means godly person. So every godly person, he thinks for others. 'Oh, people are suffering for want of knowledge, for want of God consciousness, for want of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Oh, let me do some service. Let me enlighten them so that they may be happy.' Therefore we offer our obeisances to the Vaiṣṇavas: vāñchā-kalpa-tarubhyaś ca kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca. Vāñchā-kalpa-taru means that 'My dear devotee, you are just like a desire tree. Whatever I desire from you, you fulfill.' Vāñchā-kalpa-tarubhyaś ca kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca. Kṛpā means mercy. 'You are the ocean of mercy.' And patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo, 'And you are deliverer of the fallen souls. Therefore I offer my obeisances unto you.'
It is very nice to offer respect to a godly person. It is described very nicely. Why? Now, patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo. A godly person's business is to reclaim the fallen souls. A godly person sees that 'Here is my brother. He is son of God. I am son of God. Without enlightenment, without knowledge of God, he is suffering. So let me give him some knowledge of God.' This is godly person's business. He has no other business. He has no business to find out where to eat, where to sleep. Oh, that God provides for him. If God can provide food and shelter for cats and dogs, do you think God will not provide food and shelter for His confidential devotee? Is God so blind or ingratitude or unable? If He is able to feed innumerable living entities within this universe, does it mean that one who has sacrificed his life for God's service, he will starve? No. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ pranaśyati: (BG 9.31) 'My dear Kaunteya, Arjuna, you declare it to the world that My devotee will never be vanquished.' Never be vanquished. Another place it is said, teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham: (BG 9.31) 'Those who are constantly engaged in My service, for them, I personally carry all the necessities to his home.' So rest assured that if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, if you become God conscious, there will be no scarcity of happiness. Don't think that 'If I devote my life only for Kṛṣṇa consciousness I will be starving.' No. So this enlightenment is given by godly persons."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, January 3, 1970)