(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 9 April 2013, Pretoria, South Africa, Disciple meeting)
You are welcome to get on board and we’ll help you as much as we can. But it is up to you, to buy the ticket and you got to pay the price. You might get a discount if you’re lucky but still the price has to be paid. I didn’t make that price; Prabhupada set the price as low as he could. Now, it is up to you if you want to get on board. I tell you, “Let’s do it! And don’t worry even if it gets hard, I will try to help you and not only with philosophy.”
Somehow, I became a spiritual master and in the beginning, I thought, “All you have to do is preach the philosophy and explain the Nectar of Devotion to the devotees, and things like that!” But then I realised that it’s not only about that. I realised that it’s about real life and that people bring back real problems from real life that interferes with their service. So, a sloka (verse) from the Bhagavad-gita will not always be enough. When it’s about real life you can say,
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ, (Bg 18.66)
“Just give up all varieties of activities and surrender unto me. I will deliver you from all the reactions of your sinful activities. Do not fear.” These are the words of Krsna. But sometimes, as Namacintanami (a disciple) said, “When you are really fatigued in the deep dark moment in your life, when things are just going all wrong, at that time you don’t want to hear the Bhagavad-gita… you just don’t want to.”
So I tried to do more, I want to try to help you in a practical way, when the need is there. I’m willing to help you to get there! But then it’s up to you. Then it’s up to you because I can only do one thing. This number above my head, sixty – it does mean something. Although I may look thirty or forty, it does get a little more difficult to keep up with the pace of things. Before I would have unlimited energy but now it’s a little more limited and I’m a little more careful about how I use it. I also have come to the point where I have to sort of say, “What can I do?” Sometimes I just say, “What can I do? I leave it now, it’s up to you.” I can only do so much. I can speak kind and encouraging words. I can speak strong words; I can speak so many things. But at the end of the day, it is up to you. If you want to get a ticket then please get on board. But you have to buy it, you have to do it and no one can help you.
At the end of the day, although we are all together here – you are all connected with me, so we are all one family. But on the other hand, at the end of the day, we are all alone. We are all on our own in our spiritual life. Prabhupada used the example of the plane. He says, “On the ground, so many people can do something for the plane but in the air, it is only the pilot that is flying. So you’re on your own.” So ultimately, we can all help you but it is between you and Krsna at the end of the day. And it is your chance to go back to Godhead!