(Srila Prabhupada in his Bowery loft, 1966)
Guest: If a person experiences difficulty attaining a level of consciousness of God, how to counteract that?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Difficulty is there always. Even you go to a school there are so many difficulties. But if you practice with vow and rigidity, you become successful. Difficulties may be there. In every field of our activities there are difficulties. You cannot say... This world is full of difficulties. So difficulties may be there, but you have to struggle against the difficulties and you have to adopt the process. Then your difficulties will be over. It is not that "Because there is difficulty I shall refrain from it." No. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo 'tha bhajana-kriyā tato 'nartha... (CC Madhya 23.14-15). These are process. Just like you have come here with some śraddhā, with some faith: "Oh, here is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Let me sit down. Let me hear." This is the preliminary stage. If you become little serious, then you come daily and try to understand what is this. This is called sādhu-saṅga (CC Madhya 22.83). Then, gradually, as these boys, they offered themselves, "Swamiji, I want to be your regular student, initiate." Third stage. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo 'tha bhajana-kriyā (CC Madhya 23.14-15). And if he follows the rules and regulation, gradually the difficulties are over. Anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. And when the difficulties are over, then he gets faith—tato niṣṭhā. He gets taste—tato ruciḥ. Athāsaktiḥ, then attachment. Then bhāva, ecstasy, and the highest perfection after that. So difficulty may be there. We are in difficulties, this material life. But we have to come over. That is required. It is not that you cannot come over the difficulties. In every step of our life there are difficulties. The material life is like that. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām (SB 10.14.58). In every step there is danger. It is a place like that. Even if you are comfortable in a nice car, you are going, oh, there may be any moment accident. Even you are sitting here, there may be accident. So difficulties, this world is full of difficulties. One who does not understand this difficult position, he's a fool. If one thinks that "I am very comfortable," then he's a fool. This is animal life, just as animal thinks, "Oh, I am very comfortable. I am very nice." And dissatisfaction is human life. He's not happy unless he gets the greatest happiness. That is human life. And if he thinks, "Yes, I am well off. I am very happy," then he is animal. Because there is no happiness here. Full of distress. Full of miseries. How he says that "I am happy"? That means he is ignorant. So difficulties are there. You have to work out. That is the problem.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New York, October 26, 1966)