In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life BookIntroduction

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Prabhupāda was a rasika ācārya, an expert in relishing the mellows of pure devotion as taught by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Such capacity to relish hearing and chanting about Godhead’s transcendental name, form, attributes, and pastimes is uncommon. The great Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (6.14.5) informs us:

muktānām api siddhānāṁ
sudurlabaḥ praśāntātmā
koṭiṣv api mahā-mune

Out of thousands of perfected souls, it is very rare to find one that is a pure devotee of God.

Perfection, or self-realization, is indeed a noteworthy accomplishment, yet it pales in comparison to unalloyed devotion. One need not fully surrender to God to achieve liberation from the flawed existence of material life. Any number of techniques may be employed in this attempt, but absolute humility of heart is not a requirement. Pure devotion, on the other hand, acknowledges no technique, while humility and absolute surrender are the stage on which the drama of divine love is eternally performed. His Divine Grace had such humility, such surrender, although he was at the same time often very demanding, insisting on a high standard from his disciples. Yet his assertiveness was all on behalf of Godhead and therefore justified. His assertiveness was an example of the dynamic face of humility, not an abstract, sterile humility, but the concrete and productive humility of doing God’s bidding.

By Published On: December 2, 2023
In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life BookIntroduction
Avatar of Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda appeared in Kolkata in 1896, and after a successful education and engagment in business, he met his guru, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura in 1922. He formally took initiation from Sarasvatī Ṭhākura in 1933 and later accepted sannyāsa in 1959. Upon the order of his guru, he began writing philosophical essays and books in English and eventually travelled to the United States where he began the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness (ISKCON) in 1966. After establishing over 100 temples, initiating over 5000 disciples and writing sixty books on Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava teachings, he passed away in Vṛndāvana in 1977.