(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 7 May 2013, Simhachalam, Germany, Srimad Bhagavatam 9.6.41-42)
We see that Srila Prabhupada based this movement on practical service and not on chanting the whole day, prāyeṇa deva munayaḥ sva-vimukti-kāmā maunaṁ caranti vijane na parārtha-niṣṭhāḥ, (Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.44). And not only on practising for our own salvation, naitān vihāya kṛpaṇān vimumukṣa eko, (Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.44), but with that desire as Prahlada Maharaja showed – to do something for the conditioned souls.
That is the way because if we are just engaged in devotional service with an aim to become purified, to make advancement and to overcome material desires; then it will be very difficult. But when we become absorbed in thinking of others and their situation – particularly others like us.. that are just like us, because we can relate to them, we can feel for them.
It is hard to feel compassionate but everyone feels some compassion for themselves. It is easier to feel compassion for people who are like us; they are in the same boat that we used to be in. One can identify with it and think, “Yes, I was like that.”
So, it is easy, just bring people who are now where we were before. Like that, we know them inside out; we know everything about them. One can so easily do something to connect to others and that is the most powerful service because that has the blessings in this age of Lord Caitanya. And only with those blessings can we, the residents of kali-yuga, overcome these material desires that are otherwise so strong!