It is therefore stated in Bhagavad-gītā (18.68–69) that the devotee who preaches is most dear to the Lord.
ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati
bhaktiṁ mayi parāṁ kṛtvā mām evaiṣyaty asaṁśayaḥ
“For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me.”
na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ
bhavitā na ca me tasmād anyaḥ priyataro bhuvi
“There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.”
Therefore the devotees go out to preach, and going forth, they sometimes meet opposing elements. Sometimes they are defeated, sometimes disappointed, sometimes able to convince, sometimes unable. It is not that every devotee is well equipped to preach.
Just as there are different types of people, there are three classes of devotees.
In the third class are those who have no faith. If they are engaged in devotional service officially, for some ulterior purpose, they cannot achieve the highest perfectional stage. Most probably they will slip after some time. They may become engaged, but because they haven’t complete conviction and faith, it is very difficult for them to continue in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We have practical experience in discharging our missionary activity that some people come and apply themselves to Kṛṣṇa consciousness with some hidden motive, and as soon as they are economically a little well situated, they give up this process and take to their old ways again. It is only by faith that one can advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
As far as the development of faith is concerned, one who is well versed in the literatures of devotional service and has attained the stage of firm faith is called a first-class person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
And in the second class are those who are not very advanced in understanding the devotional scriptures but who automatically have firm faith that kṛṣṇa-bhakti, or service to Kṛṣṇa, is the best course and so in good faith have taken it up. Thus they are superior to the third class, who have neither perfect knowledge of the scriptures nor good faith but by association and simplicity are trying to follow.
The third-class person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness may fall down, but when one is in the second class or first class, he does not fall down. One in the first class will surely make progress and achieve the result at the end.
As far as the third-class person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is concerned, although he has faith in the conviction that devotional service to Kṛṣṇa is very good, he has no knowledge of Kṛṣṇa through the scriptures like the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā. Sometimes these third-class persons in Kṛṣṇa consciousness have some tendency toward karma-yoga or jñāna-yoga, and sometimes they are disturbed, but as soon as the infection of karma-yoga or jñāna-yoga is vanquished, they become second-class or first-class persons in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Faith in Kṛṣṇa is also divided into three stages and described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. First-class attachment, second-class attachment, and third-class attachment are also explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in the Eleventh Canto.
However one is situated, one should have the determination to go out and preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That endeavor should at least be there, and one who so attempts to preach renders the best service to the Lord. Despite opposition, one should attempt to elevate people to the highest standard of self-realization.
One who has actually seen the truth, who is in the trance of self-realization, cannot just sit idly. He must come out. Rāmānujācārya, for instance, declared the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra publicly. He did not distribute it secretly for some fee. Recently, an Indian yogi came to America to give some “private mantra.” But if a mantra has any power, why should it be private? If a mantra is powerful, why should it not be publicly declared so that everyone can take advantage of it?
We are saying that this Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra can save everyone, and we are therefore distributing it publicly, free of charge. But in this age, people are so foolish that they are not prepared to accept it. Rather, they hanker after some secret mantra and therefore pay some “yogi” thirty-five dollars or whatever for some “private mantra.” This is because people want to be cheated. But the devotees are preaching without charge, declaring in the streets, parks, and everywhere, “Here! Here is the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Come on, take it!” But under the spell of māyā, illusion, people are thinking, “Oh, this is not good.” But if you charge something and bluff and cheat people, they will follow you.
In this regard, there is a Hindi verse stating that Kali-yuga is such an abominable age that if one speaks the truth, people will come and beat him. But if one cheats, bluffs, and lies, people will be bewildered, will like it, and will accept it. If I say, “I am God,” people will say, “Oh, here is Swamijī. Here is God.”
In this age, people don’t have sufficient brain power to inquire, “How have you become God? What are the symptoms of God? Do you have all these symptoms?” Because people do not make such inquiries, they are cheated. Therefore it is necessary to be fixed in consciousness of the Self. Unless one knows and understands the real self and the Superself, one will be cheated. Real yoga means understanding this process of self-realization.
Episode 224 – Saved Yourself? Save Others Too!!
Read or purchase the book at biglink.to/pathofperfection
I’d like to conclude this quote with words of my Guru Maharaja, Srila BB Govinda Swami, which perfectly connect to Srila Prabhupada’s message and instruction that everybody, on whatever level they are at, everyone has to preach:
“You have to preach. You have to practice carefully, and you have to preach. You have to just always remember that you’ve come here to experience the reality of Krishna. Now you have to share that. If you don’t share it – you’re just a miser person. Devotees always have to preach, devotees always have to share.
And another aspect is that as much as we like, as much as we try our japa is never gonna be perfect for a long time, our reading shastra, we read sometimes and then we will skip, the mind is always going to be having its issues, so we need some special insurance policy, extra coverage of the insurance policy. That extra coverage is the mercy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. If we share and preach – Lord Chaitanya will give that mercy, and then He will sign your application and stamp it, and then you can go to Vrindavan in the spiritual world. But you can’t go there unless you actually serve Mahaprabhu, there’s not a chance… taking harinama all over the world, sharing harinama all over the world, giving it to every living being… That’s why Prabhupada was so great, he took what he had and shared it unlimitedly. So you have to share and share and share and share your whole life. Always sharing, never stop sharing until your last breath.“
03.12.2015 Instructions after Mangala Arati
Sri Vrindavan Dham, India