(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
Prabhupāda: To accept all varieties of creation and engage them in Kṛṣṇa's service, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So the first condition is yadi, "if," kṛṣṇa-kathāśrayam. That should be the principle of devotees. Anything which has no connection with Kṛṣṇa, we have no interest. Let it go. We are simply interested if it is related with Kṛṣṇa. Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yukta vairāgyam ucyate. Our principle is to follow the Gosvāmīs. They have given two formulas, Rūpa Gosvāmī:
phalgu vairāgyaṁ kathyate
Where there is connection of Kṛṣṇa, if you can utilize it for Kṛṣṇa...
Just like we are utilizing everything. This building we are utilizing, the chandelier we are utilizing. We are using this microphone and using paper and press. We are using everything. But why? For Kṛṣṇa. We are not engaged here for singing cinema songs or like that. No. We can utilize these instrument for singing the glory of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we have taken advantage. Otherwise... But people..., there are so-called tyāgīs (renunciants): "Oh, these people are using material things. This man is taking material advantage; at the same time, he's condemning material advancement." We don't condemn. We simply teach people that utilize for Kṛṣṇa. Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe. We don't condemn. We don't say that don't manufacture this microphone. Yes. Microphone, use. But use it for declaring glories of the Lord. Then it is fully utilized. That is our process, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So we are not these so-called Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. Why jagan mithyā? Mithyā means false. They say that jagan mithyā, this whole material world is false. We don't say false. We say it is temporary, and so long it is in use, you utilize it for Kṛṣṇa. Then even this material world will be utilized for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is our proposal. We don't reject anything. Therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī: prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ. A thing which can be used for the service of Hari, Kṛṣṇa, if it is given up as material, that vairāgya, that renunciation, is not very good. That renunciation, "I have renounced everything..." Just like amongst the Jains, they will not ride on car; they'll walk. So our principle is not like that: "No, we shall not take advantage of the motorcar or the aeroplanes. These are all material. I shall walk." Why shall I walk? If I would not have taken the advantage of the aeroplanes, how I could preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world so swiftly? We must take all advantage—but for Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
We shall encourage people, but the thing is that we may not forget. If by material opulence we forget Kṛṣṇa, then that is suicidal. That is sui... Therefore we have to be little careful. We may drive the Rolls-Royce car, but may not identify with the car: "Oh, now I've become Rolls-Royce. You are Chevrolet; I'm Rolls-Royce." (laughter) Don't become nonsense like that. Rolls-Royce car is different from you, and Chevrolet car is also different from you. You can take advantage of them. Don't identify. They are identifying with the matter. That is the defect. That is called māyā. He's not identifying with Kṛṣṇa, that "I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. I am not part and parcel of these Rolls-Royce cars." If one keeps himself, I mean to say, awakened in this way, so in any condition of life he is liberated. Any condition.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, January 2, 1974)