ByHis Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Devotee: What sort of living entity is Māyādevī?
Prabhupāda: She is Vaishnavī, a great devotee of Krishna. But she has accepted a thankless task – to punish. The policeman is a sincere government servant, but he has accepted a task – therefore nobody likes him. (laughs) If some policeman comes here, immediately you shall feel disturbed. But he is the sincere servant of government. That is the position of Māyā. Her business is to punish these rascals who have come here to enjoy. (laughter) You see? But she is a sincere servant of God.
Devotee: Is this like a post?
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is a post, thankless post. Nobody thanks, everyone derides, you see. But she is a great devotee. She tolerates and punishes. That’s all. Daivī hy esā gunamayī mama māyā duratyayā [Bg. 7.14]. She only wants to see that, “You become Krishna conscious, I leave you, that’s all.” The business of the Police is that, “You become law-abiding citizen; then I have no connection with you. So far and so long you are not a law-abiding citizen, I shall kick you as much as possible.” So Māyā’s business is like this. And we are complaining, “Why you are kicking? Why you are kicking?” “Yes, I shall kick you because you are not Krishna conscious. I shall make you Krishna conscious by kicking, kicking, kicking. That’s all. That is my business.”
But our business is to implore, trnād api sunīcena. Our preaching method is not kicking. Our preaching method is, dante nidhāya trnakam, by taking a grass in the teeth, padayor nipatya, falling down on the feet, and kāku-śatam krtvā ca aham bravīmi, and flattering you hundred times, “I’m just submitting one thing: Become Krishna conscious.” That is our process.
But Māyā’s process is different. She’ll say, “Why shall you become Krishna conscious? You just enjoy and I shall kick you very nicely. That’s all.” And he accepts, “Yes, you kick me and let me enjoy, but I am not going to these Krishna conscious persons.” (laughter) You see? Practically, Māyā’s business, our business is same, but her process is different, our process is different. But people like her process.
[An excerpt from the Q&A session after a lecture on the Srimad Bhagavatam (7.9.8) delivered in Seattle on October 21, 1968.)