By Giriraj Swami
I heard a beautiful talk by Srila Prabhupada in which he spoke of the order of the guru and his own achievement:
“[Sanatana Gosvami] therefore said, krpa kari’ yadi more kariyacha uddhara: ‘I know that it is due to Your mercy that I have been able to give up my material position, as Your man. Now order me what is my duty.’ This is devotee, you see? Not that ‘Now I am free from family life, I have no responsibility. Now I shall take prasadam and sleep.’ No. You must be hundred times more active than in your family life. That is devotional service. Of course, it is not pride, but take the example of my life. I was retired in Vrindavan, and at seventy years old I thought that it was to be done: ‘Nobody did it. Let me try.’ So I came to your country. Today is the tenth anniversary. So at least from material calculation, if I would not have taken that risk . . . When I was coming, my friends and others said, ‘This man is going to die.’ ‘Never mind,’ I thought. ‘Death will come. Let me try.’ So this activity must be there. That is the begging of Sanatana Gosvami. He said, apana-krpate kaha ‘kartavya’ amara: ‘What shall I do?’ It doesn’t matter what is your age, young man or old man. You must execute the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, through parampara, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and your guru. That is the real life of devotional service, to take some responsibility for working and execute it to your best capacity.
“In this connection, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has explained in connection with the verse"
bahu-sakha hy anantas ca
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura said that ‘My only duty is to execute the order of my spiritual master. I do not mind whether I am going to hell or going back to home. No. My only life and soul is to execute the order of my spiritual master.’ He has explained like that. So devotional service is a great responsibility, to execute the order of the superior. Then our life is successful.
“Thank you very much.”
- Srila Prabhupada, talk on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 20.101, July 6, 1976, Washington, DC