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Srila Prabhupada’s Humility
by Padmapani das
“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.” (Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krishna, on board the ship Jaladuta, September 13, 1965)
“It is all Krishna’s Grace that He has sent such a nice assistants to me, for executing the mission of my Spiritual Master. Personally, I am nonentity; I have come here on the order of my Spiritual Master, and He has kindly sent you all boys to assist me. So whatever is being done, there is no credit for me, but all the credit goes to my Spiritual Master, because He has arranged everything, and I am simply to abide by His order.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 16, 1968)
“I am just trying to disseminate this message of my Spiritual Master and if there’s any credit for this service, everything goes to Him.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 14, 1969)
“Practically there is no credit for me, if there is any credit it goes to my Spiritual Master, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada, Who is helping me by sending so many good souls like you in this movement. Whatever is being done, it is due to His Divine Grace only. So my business is just to carry out His order. That is the way of disciplic succession; and as you have all come to help me, if you also follow the same principles then our combined effort to serve Lord Krishna will be surely successful.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 26, 1969)
“This is the prediction of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. As many towns and villages are there all over the world, this Krishna consciousness movement will be spread. So there is no credit for me, but it is only a teeny attempt, and humble attempt. So if one man could do, if you say, some success, why not all of us?” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 18, 1976)
“Actually I am dependent on your mercy. If you kindly follow my instructions and continue to push on Krsna consciousness, that will make me very happy.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 28, 1976)
“Actually, whatever is happening it is due to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada because personally I am completely incapable.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 21, 1970)
“When I left your country on the 22nd of July, I had very little hope to come back again. But Krishna informed me that I’m not going to die immediately; therefore, I have come back again to get inspiration of Krishna Consciousness from you all good souls. Although officially I am your Spiritual Master, I consider you all students as my Spiritual Master because your love for Krishna and service for Krishna teach me how to become a sincere Krishna Conscious person.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 16, 1967)
“As far as knowing Krsna, I am not so fortunate that I claim like that. But still, as a child, I claim the Person Krsna is reality. My estimation may be childish. Just like our Syamasundara’s daughter Sarasvati, she believed: ‘You know who Krsna is? He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead!’ Like a child.
Yes, I prayed like that in Sydney: ‘I can’t do anything good to them. But somehow or other I have brought them to You Sir. Now You make them Krsna conscious. Otherwise, how can I do anything? It is beyond my power.’ When I left Krsna in that condition and when again came back I saw Krsna was doing everything. He is so kind. Krsna can do wonderful things. In Bombay He has done the most wonderful things. Everyone, the whole Bombay appreciates how wonderful. If Krsna likes He can do anything. Now in our New York court case the judge has declared that Krsna consciousness is a genuine religion and has dismissed the case. Is it not Krsna’s great blessing?
Be blessed by Krsna. Your sentiments are all very nice. Krsna will help you.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 18, 1977)
“And because you are already acquainted with Krishna, I have no objection to accepting you as my disciple. Practically, I do not have any disciples; I select so many masters to train them in the service of the Lord. Your natural attraction for Krishna makes it show that in your previous birth you have cultured this science of Krishna Consciousness.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 18, 1968)
“From my personal point of view, I think that I am so sinful that I cannot even approach Krishna to show me any favor. But I have only one hope — my Spiritual Master — He is very kind. So someway or other He is dragging me towards Krishna. That is the only hope. Sri Caitanya Caritamrta says therefore: Guru Krishna. By the mercy of the Spiritual Master, and by the mercy of Krishna, one gets into Krishna Consciousness. Narada Muni is our original Spiritual Master and he has dragged so many fallen souls towards Krishna, and we are also hoping to be dragged by Him through the disciplic succession. Otherwise, if we study our own qualifications, there is none — rather I have got so many disqualifications.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 10, 1969)
“The kindly words that you have used in this connection are very much pleasing, but all the credit goes to my Guru Maharaja. He asked me to take up this job as soon as I met Him in 1922; unfortunately I was so worthless that I delayed the matter until 1965, but He is so kind that by force He engaged me in His service; and because I am very much worthless, therefore He has sent me so many of His nice representatives — the beautiful American boys and girls like you. I am so much obliged to you that you are all helping me in the discharge of my duties towards my Spiritual Master, although I was so much reluctant to execute it. After all, we are the eternal servants of Krsna, and by the Divine Will of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura we are now combined together, although originally we are born in different parts of the world, unknown to one another.
This is the way of Krsna transaction; so let us, with great enthusiasm, preach this cult all over the world and make the people happy. They are missing the central point, Krsna, and our duty is to remind them — then everything will be alright. So follow the path chalked out by our predecessors, and success is sure.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 12, 1970)
“Yes, I thought that… Guru Maharaja wanted and these Gaudiya Math people did not do anything, so let me try in this old age. The inspiration came, and I went. By his grace it has become little successful, that’s all. I have no credit. It is all the blessings of guru and Vaisnava, that’s all. I have no credit. I do not know how things are happening, because I am not at all bona fide position. But it is truly chadiya vaisnava-seva nistara payeche keba.” (Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Mayapur, March 17, 1973)
“Actually I am not worthy of any one of the words spoken by you but all of them are due to my Spiritual Master Who was so kind to me. In fact I am a worthless person because my Spiritual Master ordered me to take up this work in 1922 but I did not carry his order until 1958, when I was obliged to carry out His order by His arrangement only. This means although I was not very enthusiastic to carry out His order He forced me circumstantially to accept it. So this is His special mercy upon me and I always think about this with gratitude to this exalted personality coming directly from Vaikuntha World and we had the great fortune to meet Him. I think that is the only credit on our part that we happened to meet Him by some ‘ajnata sukriti’ or unknown auspicious activities. He is so kind upon me that when I came to your country, where I was completely unknown, He sent to me some good souls like you unsolicited. So I accept you all as assistants or representatives of my Guru Maharaja Who is still helping me because I am so feeble and unworthy. Anyway, the business which we have taken to work together is neither your business nor my business as far we are personally concerned, but it is the business of Lord Caitanya and His bona fide servants like my Guru Maharaja. Therefore it is the duty of all of us to execute it as nicely as far as possible within our capacity. In other words, we shall just try to discharge our responsible duties faithfully and seriously, then all facilities will come for our help.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 14, 1970)
“I am in receipt of your note and gift of one ring. Just now I am wearing it. Because you have sincerely offered, I must accept on behalf of my Guru Maharaja although I am not worthy.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 8, 1973)
Devotee: You must be higher than the paramahamsa stage, Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: I am lower than you. I am lower than you.
Devotee: You are so beautiful. You are paramahamsa, but still, you are preaching to us.
Prabhupada: No, I am lower than you. I am the lowest of the all creatures. I am simply trying to execute the order of my spiritual master. That’s all. That should be the business of everyone. Try best. Try your best to execute the higher order. That is the safest way of progressing. One may be in the lowest stage, but if he tries to execute the duty entrusted upon him, he is perfect. He may be in lowest stage, but because he is trying to execute the duty entrusted to him, then he is perfect. That is the consideration.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Surat, December 19, 1970)
Dr. Patel: I want to learn from you.
Prabhupada: I am not guru. I am… I am… This is… The guru has no material body. Just like the statue is not material, similarly, guru’s body is not material.
Dr. Patel: You say that those gurus who appear as material body, you are not to take it as a material body. Say that way. Because we are little…
Prabhupada: No, no, no. Not to take it. It is actually. If it is material body, then how they are getting benefits? If it is a material body. The same example: if it is iron rod, how it is burning? It is fire. When there is burning, you must assume it is fire. Why do you take, ‘Oh, it is iron rod’? Phalena pariciyate. Phalena pariciyate. By the result you have to… Therefore it is said, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah. We, we have no direct contact with Bhagavan, but guru, being representative of Bhagavan, if we satisfy guru, then Bhagavan becomes identical.” (Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Bombay, February 23, 1974)
“But I am not the greatest. I have got my spiritual master. He has got his spiritual master. He has got a spiritual master. In this way, we go up to Brahma. Brahma is the original spiritual master within this universe, who gave us the Vedic knowledge.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, May 21, 1972)
“On this occasion, therefore, I am praying to my spiritual master to give me strength to finish this work. I am neither a great scholar nor a great devotee; I am simply a humble servant of my spiritual master, and to the best of my ability I am trying to please him by publishing these books, with the cooperation of my disciples in America. Fortunately, scholars all over the world are appreciating these publications. Let us cooperatively publish more and more volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam just to please His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.1, Summary)
Devotee: … you Srila Prabhupada. Only by your mercy you have brought us to this Krishna consciousness movement.
Prabhupada: Yes. I am simply messenger. Mercy is of Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Prabhupada. Before your coming they predicted, that ‘Somebody will bring.’ Maybe that somebody I am. Bhaktivinoda Thakura predicted.” (Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Mayapur, March 23, 1975)
“Guru Maharaja liked me. I know. By his blessing it is, everything has happened. I was not worth. What did I…? I do not know why he liked. I was not worth. There were so many disciples. And still, he liked me.
Devotee: He could see how pure you were.
Prabhupada: Maybe. Out of his affection, it is his good will. He can like anyone, any dog, doesn’t matter. But I know he liked me. Anyone, by his choice of free will, he can love any damn thing. It doesn’t matter. That is called krpa-siddhi. ‘I like this man. This man must be prominent.’ That is his will. It doesn’t matter on qualification. So all these people, they liked me not on my qualification, but out of affection, out of good will.” (Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Mayapur, February 20, 1977)
“It is very well known that whatever Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught in His life as acarya, He Himself practiced. When He was preaching as a devotee, although He was detected by several great personalities to be the incarnation of Krishna, He never agreed to be addressed as an incarnation. Even though one may be an incarnation of Krishna, or especially empowered by Him, he should not advertise that he is an incarnation. People will automatically accept the real truth in due course of time.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.22.5, Purport)
Text and image from; Prabhupada Connect