(Kadamba Kanana Swami)
Preaching will not become successful if we are not endearing ourselves to Krsna. Preaching does not just depend on some techniques otherwise we could all learn hypnosis and with hypnosis, we could take over the world! There are yogis like that who can bring people under their will, “Chant Hare Krsna!” and look into their eyes. This is not the way we want people to chant – by force! We want people to chant voluntarily. We want service to be voluntary.
When Prabhupada invited everyone to come to the Sunday Love Feast, everyone would eat so much, be totally ecstatic and then, they would go home. Prabhupada never asked, he would wait until someone offered to help. If someone wanted to help then he would make them in charge of that particular task. As soon as one extended help, he would take that help but he never forced anyone. In this way, Srila Prabhupada was very expert and captured everyone.
So there are many ways, many fronts in which we can spread Krsna consciousness while dealing with the modes of material nature – battle it out in the soaking rain with a kirtan party or we can stand soaking in the rain with a bag full of books. We can stand in the street with an umbrella and invite people under the umbrella, it was an old system – boys went out in the rain with a big umbrella and then would call someone over and give them a book. Like that, many tricks were employed. Another system was to sit in the car and call people over. They would think that you are lost and you intend asking for the road – people always want to give directions – and then give the books out of the car. Some would stand on the street and knock on the windows of cars.
Anyhow, we have many fronts with which we can deal with people and Prabhupada was broad minded. In this way, this movement is not stereotyped; it is not that there is a particular mould that everyone would have to fit into and that everyone has to be the same. But in one way, everyone must be the same – we have to start taking responsibility for the Krsna consciousness of others. We may do it on our own front, in the area where we are expert, whatever we are good at.
If we take responsibility for the Krsna consciousness of others, if we keep ourselves preoccupied with that then the mercy will come. If you don’t know what you are good at then we will put you in the book distribution army because that is very powerful.
Prabhupada was good at that. Prabhupada was very good at taking the essence of things from everywhere, from all the teachings of the acharyas, taking it together, taking the spirit and bringing it home to people. The essence which meant surrender to Krsna and if you read Prabhupada’s books, in so many ways, he is telling us to surrender to Krsna. When you read his books, you get hit from so many different angles with the same message: surrender to Krsna.
The real purpose is pure devotional service; the reason is to give up false ego; one should bow down before Krsna, humility means to do everything for Krsna and so on. Finally after you have been reading for a while you think, “Maybe I should surrender to Krsna!” This is what reading does. So in this way, all of us can surrender in our own individual way. That is the one thing we all have in common. We are all very different – some are intellectuals, some are practical – it does not matter!