By Niraj Bidawatka
While preaching Krishna consciousness, I often come across many inquisitive and faithful souls, who are attracted to the devotional process of serving Krishna. But only a few get serious and make advancement. The others, although attracted by Krishna bhakti, do not make substantial progress because they do not have the courage to come out in the open and be identified as devotees of Krishna. Such persons are either intimidated by their kinsmen, who may be parents, uncles, spouses, children – as the case may be – or by their superiors or by their friends and colleagues.
Sometimes, while distributing Prabhupada’s books, I observe that the husband is interested in buying some books and wants to learn about Krishna’s activities but the wife prohibits him and in some cases the wife is interested but the husband inhibits. In some cases, the parents and family members ensure that no one from their family gets interested in Krishna consciousness. Then there are many government servants, who are interested in Krishna bhakti, but they restrain themselves from making tangible progress in the path of Krishna consciousness because they fear that their material position as government servants will be hampered if they make more progress towards Krishna. Even businessmen think this way. They worry that their commercial activities will get affected by too much Krishna consciousness. So such people avoid the process of Krishna consciousness, although they very much appreciate this transcendental process.
Prabhupada explains this subject matter very succinctly in a lecture delivered on the Chaitanya Charitamrita, which is as follows.
“Now, there are different process of self-realization. Just like fruitive activities, karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, dhyana-yoga, hatha-yoga. So many, there are different… But they are simply steps. They are not themselves final. One who is unable to engage himself in Krishna consciousness, for them these different steps are prescribed – not for the person who is engaged in Krishna consciousness. Because if one does not engage himself in the service of Krishna, in Krishna consciousness… He may not like for so many reasons: for social reason, for political reason, for religious reason, for many other reasons. Although we find that it is very nice process, but still, there are some impediments which restrict us not to follow this principle. Now, one who cannot follow this principle, for him these different process are prescribed so that some day in the future he can have this opportunity of becoming a servant of Krishna. Because that is the final goal.”
CC lecture Madhya 22.14-20 New York Jan 10, 1967
Listen to the entire Audio Lecture here