[During a lecture Srila Prabhupada interrupts his discourse on the Srimad-Bhagavatam verse when he notices some of his disciples leaving the
lecture, apparently to attend to other services] Srila Prabhupada: Why they are going? They are busy in some other work? Eh? Ugra-karma.
Without hearing, what will he do?
Nonsense? Sravanam kirtanam, this is our main business. If you don’t hear, what will you do? You will simply
do sense gratification. That’s all. So this is the difficulty, that we are not very much interested in hearing. Our bhakti begins here: sravanam kirtanam visnoh. We have to hear and we have to speak. But if we are not interested in hearing and speaking, then it will simply be formal. That’s all. And gradually it will be stopped. Unless there is the life of sravanam kirtanam, these big, big buildings, temples, will become a burden. So if we want to create a burden for the future, then we may give up this hearing and chanting and sleep very nicely. It will be a burden. Not sri-vigraha, but galagraha. Sri-vigraha means worshipable deity. So if we give up this sravanam kirtanam visnoh, then it will be thought that “Our Guru Maharaja has given us a burden on the neck – galagraha.” This is the danger. So we must be very much alert in sravanam kirtanam. Otherwise, all this labor will be futile. This building will only be a nest for the doves and the pigeons. That is the danger. That is being done. Nobody is interested. Such, such things… Now, who can understand Krsna? There are so many impediments. On one side, there is the curtain of maya; on another side, everyone is a rascal and fool; and on another side, Krsna is beyond your sense perception. This is the position. [So,] how much alert one must be? Then one can understand. Just like the Gosvamis. Is Krsna so easy to be understood?! But there is a process. So if we do not adopt the process, then how can we understand Krsna?
From a lecture by Srila Prabhupada in Mayapur, September 29, 1974