When Śrīla Prabhupāda asked for questions (after delivering a lecture in Hamburg, Germany), one devotee asked if it was possible to become Krishna conscious in this very lifetime. “It is possible in one second, provided you are serious,” Prabhupāda said. “It is not difficult. Bahūnām janmanām ante jnānavān mām prapadyate: ‘After many, many births, when one is intelligent, wise, fully grown in wisdom, he surrenders unto Me,’ Krishna says. So if I am intelligent, then I will see: ‘If that is the goal of life, that after many, many births one has to surrender to Krishna, why not surrender myself immediately?’ This is intelligence. Why shall I wait for many, many births if this is a fact? So that requires a little intelligence. It does not require many, many births. It requires a little intelligence. Take to this Krishna consciousness seriously; then your problems are solved. Now, if you don’t believe in it, then come to argument, come to philosophy, come to reason. Go on arguing. There are volumes of books. You can be convinced. You can learn it. Every answer is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. You can try to understand it with your reason, with your arguments.”
Śrīla Prabhupāda then added a fascinating explanation about relativity: “So it requires relative intelligence. This world is relative. One can become immediately Krishna conscious, within a second, or one may not become Krishna conscious even after many, many births. So it is relative. If you have got sufficient intelligence, you can accept it immediately. If there is less intelligence, then it will take time. You cannot say that ‘It will be possible after so many years.’ That cannot be said. It is relative. Everything is relative. For a human being, from here to here, one step; and for a small microbe, it is ten miles from here to here, ten miles for him. So everything is relative. This world is a relative world. There is no such formula that ‘One can be Krishna conscious after so many years.’ No. There is no such formula. One may not become Krishna conscious even after millions of births, and one can become Krishna conscious within a second. But within this life we can become perfect in Krishna consciousness, if we take it seriously. Especially you are all young boys. We expect you’ll live at least fifty more years. Oh, that is sufficient time. Sufficient. More than sufficient. More than sufficient. If for fifty years one chants simply ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,’ he is sure to become perfect. There is no doubt about it. Simply if you chant this mantra, Hare Krishna-oh, there is no doubt about it.”
Next, a question was asked why some people accept Krishna consciousness and some do not. Prabhupāda repeated that the choice is ours. If something stopped us, it was māyā, and the only remedy was to take shelter of Krishna more strongly by chanting Hare Krishna. He appealed to his listeners to induce people to chant Hare Krishna; they would receive the real thing and become happy.
“Don’t be misled that, ‘There are no problems in life. We are very happy-eating, sleeping, mating.’ This is animal life. There are so many great problems. Very great problems: birth, death, old age, disease-and repeatedly. Bhūtva bhūtva pralīyate: the universe is manifested, again non-manifested, again manifested, again nonmanifested. So stop this problem. Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramam mama: go to Krishna’s abode. And what is the difficulty? You do your own work and chant Hare Krishna. We don’t say that you stop your business, stop your occupation. You remain. Just like he is a teacher [pointing to Hayagrīva]-all right, he is a teacher. He [referring to Krishna Dāsa] is a jeweler-remain a jeweler. He’s something. He’s something. That doesn’t matter. But be Krishna conscious. Chant Hare Krishna. Think of Krishna. Take Krishna prasādam. Everything is there. And be happy. That is our propaganda. You learn yourself and preach this cult. People will be happy. Simple method.”
[An excerpt from Srila Prabhupada and His Disciples in Germany by Vedavyāsa dāsa]ALSO READ: TECHNIQUE OF YOGA IN DAY-TO-DAY LIFE DON’T WAIT FOR OLD AGE SCIENCE SHOULD STOP DEATH