The manner in which Srila Prabhupada exhibited the opulence of modesty and humility is beyond compare. In spite of being the spiritual master of the whole world, the confidential associate of the Supreme Lord Krishna, the greatest personality on the surface of the earth, commander-in-chief of Lord Chaitanya’s army, and so much more… still Srila Prabhupada always showed us how humble a pure spiritual master is, even though he controls the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna. As an acharya Srila Prabhupada taught everything by his own example.
As Srila Prabhupada says, “The symptoms of a devotee are meekness and humility. Although spiritually very advanced, he will always remain meek and humble, as Kaviraja Gosvami and all the other Vaishnavas have taught us by personal example.” Prabhupada also says in another place, “The more one advances spiritually, the more humble one becomes.” The spiritual master is the most advanced devotee and thus the most humble.
The following is a collection of Srila Prabhupada’s expressions on humility.
My dear Lord Krishna, You are so kind upon this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here. Now You can do whatever You like with me. ”But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place?… But I know Your causeless mercy can make everything possible because You are the most expert mystic. How will they understand the mellows of devotional service? O Lord, I am simply praying for Your mercy so that I will be able to convince them about Your message.
Although my Guru Maharaja ordered me to accomplish this mission, I am not worthy or fit to do it. I am very fallen and insignificant. Therefore, O Lord, now I am begging for Your mercy so that I may become worthy, for You are the wisest and most experienced of all. If You bestow Your power, by serving the spiritual master one attains the Absolute Truth – one’s life becomes successful. If that service is obtained, then one becomes happy and gets Your association due to good fortune.
(Prayer unto the Lotus Feet of Krishna from Jaladuta Diary)
Just like all my disciples, because they have surrendered, so there is cooperation. Therefore this movement is increasing. Otherwise, alone what can we do? Because you are cooperating with me, therefore I am advancing this movement. If you non-cooperate with me, I am old man.
(Philosophical discussion with Shyamasundar Dasa)
I am grateful to you for all that you have said for me. I am a humble creature and I am just trying to do my bit in this connection because I was so ordered by my Spiritual Master Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja.
(Letter to Mr. Nakano, April 18, 1961)
I don’t say that “I have got a secret mantra which I shall give you, and you pay me fifty dollars” or like that. It is open secret. You have simply to accept kindly. Then you see the result. There is no loss on your part, but the gain is very great. Why don’t you try it? I request you, most humbly I request you that you kindly chant these sixteen names—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
(Lecture Engagement and Prasada Distribution – Boston, April 26, 1969)
I thank all of you very much for accepting me as your spiritual master, and I promise that I will take you back to home, back to Godhead. I ask you all to promise me to always chant at least 16 rounds, follow the regulative principles, read our books and try to preach this Krishna Consciousness Movement all over the world. So far my qualifications are concerned; I am simply trying to carry out the order of my Guru Maharaja.
(Letter to: Nityananda – Delhi, 12 November, 1971)
But the spiritual master does not think of himself as Hari. Although he’s offered the respect of Hari, he thinks himself as humble servant of Hari and all others. A spiritual master takes his disciples as his spiritual master. That is the position. He thinks that “Krishna has sent me so many spiritual masters.” He does not think himself as spiritual master. He thinks himself their servant. Because they have to be trained. Krishna has appointed him to train them. Therefore he thinks himself as servant of the disciples. This is the position. So when one is advanced, he can see the importance of devotees.
(The Nectar of Devotion – Vrindavana, October 23, 1972)
Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for kindly receiving me in this honorable way. According to our Vaishnava philosophy, whatever honor is offered to the spiritual master, that is transferred to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ‘pi . Our this philosophy, Vaishnava philosophy, it teaches that if you please your spiritual master, then God is also pleased. Because the spiritual master is the most confidential servant of God, therefore by honoring the spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is honored. Just like in English language there is the word, “If you love me, love my dog.” So the spiritual master is the “dog” of God; therefore if the spiritual master is patted, God is very much pleased.
(Arrival Address – New York, April 5, 1973)
My Guru Maharaja [Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati] told me to preach Krishna consciousness in the West. So, it is not my pride, but I can say for your instruction that I did it. Therefore, whatever little success you see, it is due to my following his order. I have no independent capacity, but I took the words of my guru as my life and soul. This is a fact.
(A lecture in Philadelphia on July 12, 1975)
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