Stories shared by Srila Prabhupada during conversations and lectures.
So the point is that superficially it may appear sometimes against the social and religious rules and regulation, but if it is done for Krishna. Bhakti means anukulyena krishnanu-silanam [Cc Madhya 19.167]. Krishna should be satisfied. That is... It doesn't matter. Krishna should be satisfied. Just like Krishna pretended that He was sick, and many physicians came. He said, "No physician cured Me. If some devotee gives Me the dust of his feet on My head, then I can be cured." So all devotees were asked, and nobody... "Oh! How can I give? My dust on the head of Krishna? How it is possible?" Nobody prepared.
Then Krishna asked that, "Go to Vrindavana. Just ask the gopis if they can give. They are My best friends. If they are prepared? Oh, I am very much suffering from headache." So nobody was prepared to go... As soon as gopis were approached, "Oh, Krishna is sick. They want, oh, dust of...?"
Immediately, "Please take. Please take." She did not care that, "We are going to hell by offering our dust of feet on the head of Krishna. Never mind. We shall go. Krishna will be happy. That's all. Krishna will be happy." This is gopi.
It doesn't matter the whole world is going to hell, but if Krishna is satisfied, a devotee's prepared to do that. That is, that is called uttama-bhakti. Anukulyena krishnanu-silanam bhaktir uttama [Cc Madhya 19.167].
Reference: The Nectar of Devotion – Bombay, December 26, 1972
Everyone can chant. What is the difficulty? Everyone can chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare... Where is the difficulty? But they'll not chant. They'll not chant. They'll talk so many rubbish things, but as soon as you ask him to chant Hare Krishna, he'll be silent. That we have experienced. But still our thankless task is to induce everyone: "Chant Hare Krishna."
There is a cartoon picture in New York. One old man and his wife, sitting together. The wife is requesting the husband, old husband, "Chant, chant, chant," and the husband is replying: "Can't, can't, can't." This cartoon we have seen. So this is the... He will say three times: "Can't, can't, can't." But not "Krishna, Krishna, Krishna." That is not possible.
A similar story is there in the Bengal. One old mother was dying, and the sons requested the mother: "Mother, now you say 'Hare Krishna Hare Krishna'". So after requesting two, three times, mother became disgusted: atha katha nivalta nare. So atha katha vibol ta parane. she could say. Not Hare Krishna. Not Hare Krishna. This is the position.
Reference: Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 9.10 - Calcutta, June 29, 1973
It is described there that one brahmana - he was a great devotee - he wanted to offer very brilliant service, arcana, in the temple worship. But he had no money. But some day he was sitting in a Bhagavataclass and he heard that Krishna can be worshiped even within the mind. So he took this opportunity because he was thinking since a long time how to worship Krishna very gorgeously, but he had no money.
So he, when he got this point, that one can worship Krishna within the mind, so after taking bath in the Godavari River, he was sitting underneath a tree and within his mind he was constructing very gorgeous simhasana, throne, bedecked with jewels and keeping the Deity on the throne, he was bathing the Deity with water of Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Narmada, Kaveri. Then he was dressing the Deity very nicely, then offering worship with flower, garland.
Then he was cooking very nicely, and he was cooking paramanna,sweet rice. So he wanted to taste it, whether it was very hot. Because paramanna is taken cold. Paramanna is not taken very hot. So he put his finger on the paramanna and his finger burned down. Then his meditation broken, because there was nothing. Simply within his mind he was doing everything. So... But he saw that his finger is burned. So he was astonished.
In this way, Narayana from Vaikuntha, He was smiling. Lakshmiji asked, "Why you are smiling?" "One of My devotee is worshiping like this. So send My men to bring him immediately to Vaikuntha."
So the bhakti-yoga is so nice that even if you have no means to offer the Deity gorgeous worship, you can do it within the mind. That is also possible.
Reference: Bhagavad-gita 4.28 - Bombay, April 17, 1974
Srila Prabhupada : The practical example is here. These European and American boys are coming from well-to-do families. Why are they serving me? I am Indian, coming from a poor country. I cannot pay them. When I came to the West, I had no money. I brought only forty rupees. That was only an hour's expenditure in America. So their soul is to carry out my instruction. And therefore they are making progress. Pranipatena pariprasnena - they are asking questions. I am trying to reply to them, and they have all got full faith. They are serving like menial servants. This is the process.
If the spiritual master is bona fide and the disciple is very sincere, then the knowledge will be there. This is the secret. Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau [SU 6.23] - Vedic knowledge is revealed unto those who have faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master. Therefore in Vedic society, the students are automatically sent to the gurukula [the place of the spiritual master], regardless of whether one is a king's son or from some other background. Even Krishna had to go to gurukula.
There is a story that once Krishna went with a classmate to the forest to collect dry wood for His spiritual master. Suddenly there was a heavy rainstorm, and they could not get out of the forest. The whole night they remained in the forest with great difficulty. The next morning, the guru, their teacher, along with other students, came to the forest and found them. So even Krishna, whom we accept as the Supreme Lord, had to go to gurukula and serve the spiritual master as a menial servant.
So all of the students at the gurukula learn how to be very submissive and how to live only for the benefit of the guru. They are trained from the very beginning to be first-class submissive students. Then the guru, out of affection and with an open heart, teaches the boys all he knows. There is no question of money. It is all done on the basis of love and education.
Reference: Journey of Self-Discovery
Krishna went to His father's house, and He came to Kurukshetra in the chariot. This is Ratha-yatra. After Krishna departed from Vrindavana to Mathura and He never returned, once He returned, so Mother Yasoda, the cowherd boys and the gopis, they lost their life and vital force. They were simply crying and weeping. That was their business. So Krishna sent sometimes Uddhava to pacify them that, "I am coming very soon after finishing My business."
So when they got this opportunity that, "Krishna has come to Kurukshetra with His brother, sister, father. So let us go and see..." So they went to Kurukshetra to see Krishna. Whenever they got some opportunity, they wanted to see. So they went to see Krishna in the charioteer fighting dress. They were astonished. They thought that, "Krishna is our friend, cowherd boy. How is that, He is in the chariot, fighting?" So they became astonished. So this is the pastimes of Vrindavana.
So similarly, when the inhabitants of Vrindavana went to see Lord Krishna, Jagannatha. Krishna means Jagannatha. Jagat means this world, and nathameans master, or proprietor. So Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg 5.29]. "I am the proprietor of all the planets." Therefore He is Jagannatha - the proprietor of all the world, all the planets. So the Vrindavana inhabitants went to see Krishna, because their life was Krishna. They did not know anything except Krishna. So that was the opportunity.
So it was the request of Radharani to Krishna, "My dear Krishna, You are the same Krishna; I am the same Radharani. We are meeting, but We are not meeting in the same place. Here You are just like a royal king, with chariots, with soldiers, with Your ministers, secretaries. And there in Vrindavana You were a cowherd boy, and We used to meet in the jungles, in the bushes. So I want to take You there. Then I will be happy." So that sentiment was expressed by Lord Chaitanya, because Lord Chaitanya's worship was in the mood of Radharani.
Reference: There is A Story - Compiled from the Books, Lectures and Conversations of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada