Srila Prabhupada was in the garden with the parents of a young devotee. Being responsible for landscaping the garden for Prabhupada they had the good fortune to please His Divine Grace.
Kirtanananda Maharaja and I were also present. “A devotee is very proud that we are Krsna’s servant,” Srila Prabhupada said, “A devotee has that pride. We are not ashamed that we are Krsna’s servant.” Srila Prabhupada then spoke directly to the parents saying, “Your son is a very nice boy and a good devotee.” They were very pleased by His Divine Grace’s sweet words. Now at ease — but with concern — they mentioned to Srila Prabhupada, “The devotees don’t seem very ambitious.”
“That’s right,” Srila Prabhupada said. “A devotee has no ambition. He simply wants to do some humble service for Krishna. He is not trying to do anything big. A devotee is not ambitious. We have no ambition.”
Seeing the parent’s discomfort, Kirtanananda Maharaja interjected, “What Prabhupada means to say is that the devotees have no material ambition.” Srila Prabhupada emphatically replied, “No! We have no ambition. The devotee is not at all ambitious. We just want to serve Krishna.”
Srila Prabhupada always knew the exact point he was making, even if others didn’t. Sometimes disciples would interrupt Srila Prabhupada to interpret his statements, thinking that owing to the difference of cultures Srila Prabhupada didn’t understand the person.
Understanding the exalted position of our beloved Srila Prabhupada, one can appreciate that His Divine Grace knew who he was dealing with, what they meant and exactly what he wanted them to understand. Srila Prabhupada doesn’t compromise the philosophy to please anyone. He speaks the absolute truth!
Jai Srila Prabhupada!
– From the Srila Prabhupada Uvaca by HG Srutakirti Dasa