‘The Poison Is Personal Ambition’

Various excerpt from Srila Prabhupada’s correspondence:

“Our life is very short. The Krsna consciousness movement is not meant for fulfilling one’s personal ambition, but it is a serious movement for the whole world.” (Satsvarupa, 7/31/70)

“As alleged by you I have received complaints against Bali Mardan and his wife, so seriously so much so that the girl has declared that Bali Mardan is an incarnation of Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura on my name. In India some of the important members they have collected huge amounts in the name of the Society and spent it luxuriously. I wanted you all my experienced disciples should manage the whole institution very cleverly without any personal ambition like ordinary materialistic men. The Gaudiya Math institution has become smashed, at least stopped its program of preaching work on account of personal ambitions.

So whatever is done is done. I shall request you all not to be personally ambitious. I shall do everything in my power to fulfill your personal ambition, but that will be done in due course of time when you are fully trained up and following the regulative principles and chanting 16 rounds.” (Karandhar, 10/8/74)

“We have worked very hard and established a great institution, but if we think for our personal benefit then it will become ruined. This is my only concern.” (Chayavana, 11/1/74)

“Regarding Brahmananda, he is actually surrendered soul, but Maya is so strong that on account of association he has even fallen down. So these two things are always side-by-side: Maya and Krsna; Krsna is service and Maya is sense gratification, so every moment we are prone to be subjugated by either of them. Our duty is therefore to be very, very careful. The poison is personal ambition. So everyone has the chance, therefore one should not be complacent. Doubts may come about, but one should be firmly fixed up that there cannot be any doubt on the Spiritual Master or Krsna. (Satyabhama, 11/7/70)

“The future hope of solid standing of our mission is on the proper management of our governing body. Now we are increasing in volume. The area of our activity is expanding. Under the circumstances, if our management goes on nicely to maintain our prestige and good name, that will be our success. Such status quo can be maintained only on our being freed from any kind of sense gratifying attitude, because pure devotional service means: ‘anyabhilasita sunyam,’ or without any other desire than to satisfy Krishna.” (Bhagavandasa, 2/16/71)

“Perhaps you know the picture of Madhvacarya, one of the great Acaryas in our line, who is holding two fingers up to indicate Krishna and jiva. The impersonalists hold up one finger because their idea is that everything is one. So if we make the Spiritual Master identical with Krishna, then we will also become impersonalists. If we say that our Spiritual Master is Krishna, then the conclusion is that if we become Spiritual Master some day, then we will also become Krishna. Please try to understand how dangerous this kind of reasoning is.

In my books I have tried to explain clearly this simultaneously one and different philosophy, ‘acintya bheda bheda tattva‘, propounded by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But sometimes it happens that this philosophy is given a self-interested interpretation. As soon as personal motivation comes in it is not possible for one to understand our Krsna consciousness philosophy.” (Ishan, 9/70)


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