(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
Guest: Is it possible for one to make it in this life? This one...? Is it possible that one falls down?
Prabhupāda: It is possible in one second, provided you are serious. It is not difficult. Kṛṣṇa-bhakti... Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19): "After many, many births, one, when one is intelligent, wise, fully grown, wise, he surrenders unto Me," Kṛṣṇa says. So if I am intelligent, then I will see that "If that is the goal of life, that after many, many births one has to surrender to Kṛṣṇa, why not myself surrender immediately?" This is intelligence. If this is a fact, that one has to come to this point after cultivating knowledge for many, many births, then why not accept it immediately? Why shall I wait for many, many births if this is a fact?
So that requires little intelligence. It does not require many, many births. It requires little intelligence. Take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness seriously; your problems are solved. Now, if you don't believe in it, then come to argument, come to philosophy, come to reason. Go on arguing. There are volumes of books. You can be convinced. You can learn it. Every answer is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. You can try to understand it with your reason, with your arguments. It is open. (break) ...like Arjuna. Arjuna was taught Bhagavad-gītā, how much time? At most, within half an hour. Because he was very intelligent. This Bhagavad-gītā, the people of the world are reading. Very, very learned scholar, wise men, they are reading. They are trying to understand, giving different interpretation. And there are thousands of edition, commentaries. But Arjuna was intelligent; he understood it within half an hour.
So it requires relative intelligence. Everything... This world is relative. Law of relativity. That is scientific. Professor Einstein's theory? Law of relativity? So it is relatively. One can become immediately Kṛṣṇa conscious within a second, and one cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious after many, many births. So it is relative. If you have got sufficient intelligence, you can accept it immediately. If there is less intelligence, then it will take time. You cannot say that "It will be possible after so many years." That cannot be said. It is relative. Everything is relative. For a human being, from here to here, one step; and for a small microbe, it is ten miles from here to here, ten miles for him. So everything is relative. This world is relative world. There is no such formula that 'One can be Kṛṣṇa conscious after so many years.' No. There is no such formula. One cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious even millions after..., births, and one can become within second Kṛṣṇa conscious. But on the other edge, within this life we can become perfect in Kṛṣṇa consciousness if we take it seriously. Especially you are all young boys. We expect at least you'll live for fifty years more. Oh, that is sufficient time. Sufficient. More than sufficient. More than sufficient. If for fifty years one chants simply Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, he is sure to become perfect. There is no doubt about it. Simply if you chant this mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, oh, there is no doubt about it.
Guest (2): I had a question. Whose choice is it? In other words, you said it takes an intelligent person to become Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but it's obvious that there are not so many intelligent people. Whose choice is it? If a person isn't intelligent, is it because he wants to enjoy that makes him ignorant?
Guest (2): Or is it because he has to wait until he is...
Prabhupāda: It is his choice. Just like if somebody offers you one million dollars, "Take it." You do not know what is the value of one million dollars; you will refuse it. So little intelligence. So the choice is yours. In all the case, the choice is yours. If you know the value, instantly you accept it. If you do not know the value, then it will take time. But after all, the choice is depending on you to accept it or not accept it. It is your choice. Kṛṣṇa also says in the Bhagavad-gītā. After instructing him (Arjuna), He inquires, "Whether your illusion is now over? What you decide to do now?" He said, "Yes, my illusion is over. I will act what You say." That's all. The choice is mine.
Devotee: I know so many people, young people, that when they see us chanting on the street, I can see their eyes, that they really want to chant also, but something is stopping them.
Prabhupāda: That is māyā. Māyā is there. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, "The māyā is very strong." But if you capture Kṛṣṇa very, more strongly, then māyā cannot do anything. If something is opposing your chanting, then you'll have to chant more loudly: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. So you defeat māyā. The medicine is the same. At least, I do so. When I am in some danger, I chant Hare Kṛṣṇa loudly. Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. That's all. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura... There is song: jāy sakal bipod bhaktivinod bole jakhon o-nām gāi. He says, "As soon as I chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa, I become immediately free from all dangers."
So the means is there. We have to utilize it. That requires intelligence. So my request to you all boys, that you try to understand and... You understand or not understand, it is a standard method. Try to induce people to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. They will be happy. They will get the... Real thing will be delivered to them. That is a fact. So such a simple method and such sublime gain, so why one should lose this opportunity? There is no loss, but the gain is very great. So why should you lose this opportunity? Let us make an experiment, chanting, Hare Kṛṣṇa. And those who are making, those who are chanting, they are being convinced, they are being advanced. They are realizing.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Hamburg, September 8, 1969)