Chapter 4: Devotees Have No Ambition

Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 4
Devotees Have No Ambition

Śrīla Prabhupāda's Garden,
ISKCON Los Angeles

Śrīla Prabhupāda was sitting in his garden with the parents of a young devotee. Having landscaped the garden for Prabhupāda, they had the good fortune to have pleased His Divine Grace. Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja and I were also present.

"A devotee is very proud to be Kṛṣṇa's servant," Śrīla Prabhupāda said. "A devotee has that pride. We are not ashamed that we are Kṛṣṇa's servants."

Then speaking directly to the parents, Śrīla Prabhupāda said, "Your son is a very nice boy and a good devotee."

They were very pleased by the sweet words of His Divine Grace, but stated, "The devotees don't seem very ambitious."

"That is right," Śrīla Prabhupāda said. "A devotee has no ambition. He simply wants to do some humble service for Kṛṣṇa. He is not trying to do anything big. A devotee is not ambitious. We have no ambition."

Seeing the parent's discomfort, Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja quickly added, "What Prabhupāda means to say is that the devotees have no material ambition."

"No!" Śrīla Prabhupāda replied. "We have no ambition. The devotee is not at all ambitious. We just want to serve Kṛṣṇa."

Śrīla Prabhupāda always knew the exact point he was making, even if others didn't. Sometimes disciples would try to interpret Śrīla Prabhupāda's statements, thinking that cultural differences prevented his guests from understanding Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Knowing the exalted position of our beloved Śrīla Prabhupāda, one can appreciate that His Divine Grace knew who he was dealing with, what they meant and exactly what he wanted them to understand. Śrīla Prabhupāda never compromised the philosophy to please anyone. He always spoke the absolute truth!

Jai Śrīla Prabhupāda!