Keeping Devotional Integrity

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Dandavat pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

Srila Prabhupada, when he started the Hare Krishna movement in the West, engaged hundreds and thousands of young boys and girls in devotional service by his pure love and devotion. After the Mangala arati, Srngara arati, Bhagavatam class and Prasadam, the devotees would go out enthusiastically to preach Krishna Consciousness to the public. In order to server their spiritual master, they would even go to the most down-trodden places of this material world like the pubs, dance clubs, cinema theatres etc., do harinam and preach the message of Lord Krishna. Even though they took such risks and had to deal with non-devotees for most part of their preaching, they do not compromise their devotional principles, and thus keep their hearts aloof from the modes of material nature and bad association. This was a very important lesson that Srila Prabhupada taught us to safeguard ourselves (from material influence) as preachers of Krishna consciousness.

There is a nice known story that how one may mix with non-devotees and yet keep one's devotional integrity :

Once there was a monkey living on a tree on the bank of a river. There was a crocodile living in the river and will come to the banks occasionally to talk to the monkey. In course of time, the monkey also started associating with the crocodile and soon they both became friends. The monkey was innocent in his friendship but the intention of crocodile was to somehow have the monkey for his meal.

So one day he invited the monkey to come for a ride on his back in the river. The monkey jumped down from the tree and went with the crocodile. Soon he found himself in the middle of the river. The monkey asked the crocodile, "Where are we going?" The crocodile replied, "I am going to take you home, where my wife will cut your heart and eat it for lunch."

The monkey was frightened to hear this but he kept his cool and thought for a while. He got an excellent idea and replied to the crocodile, "But I have left my heart on the sea shore.Will you please let me get it?"

The crocodile thought this was a good proposal and allowed the monkey to get back to the shore and bring his heart. But as soon as he reached the shore the monkey jumped on his tree and waved a big 'bye, bye' to the crocodile. The crocodile was completely disappointed at his own foolishness and went back to the river.

So the moral of this story is that you may associate with the non-devotees, but don't give them your heart.

If a preacher finds himself being overwhelmed by the material energy, he should save himself instead of allowing maya to swallow him up.

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Pratik Prashant Pore
Abu Dhabi.

Moderator's Note: Sriman Pratik Prabhu is a young devotee living in the middle-east. He is only 11 years old and is doing his 7th grade in high-school. He has a very sharp intelligence and is very good in his studies. He is also very devoted and humble due to the expert training of his parents. He recites verses nicely, sings kirtans very well and plays kartals expertly.