Thankless task

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

The external energy is aware of this fact, but still she accepts a thankless task of keeping the forgotten soul under illusion by her bewildering influence.
SB 1.7.5, Purport:

The living being in his original state is not without thinking, willing and feeling power. It is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that the actual knowledge of the conditioned soul is now covered by nescience. Thus the theory that a living being is absolute impersonal Brahman is refuted herein. This cannot be, because the living entity has his own way of thinking in his original unconditional state also. The present conditional state is due to the influence of the external energy, which means that the illusory energy takes the initiative while the Supreme Lord is aloof. The Lord does not desire that a living being be illusioned by external energy. The external energy is aware of this fact, but still she accepts a thankless task of keeping the forgotten soul under illusion by her bewildering influence. The Lord does not interfere with the task of the illusory energy because such performances of the illusory energy are also necessary for reformation of the conditioned soul. An affectionate father does not like his children to be chastised by another agent, yet he puts his disobedient children under the custody of a severe man just to bring them to order. But the all-affectionate Almighty Father at the same time desires relief for the conditioned soul, relief from the clutches of the illusory energy.

SB Canto 3

One may be angry with Yamarāja for his thankless task of punishing sinful souls, but Yamarāja is one of the authorized devotees of the Lord, and so are all the other demigods.
SB 3.5.38, Translation and Purport:

The controlling deities of all the above-mentioned physical elements are empowered expansions of Lord Viṣṇu. They are embodied by eternal time under the external energy, and they are His parts and parcels. Because they were entrusted with different functions of universal duties and were unable to perform them, they offered fascinating prayers to the Lord as follows.

The conception of various controlling demigods who inhabit the higher planetary systems for the management of universal affairs is not imaginary, as proposed by persons with a poor fund of knowledge. The demigods are expanded parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu, and they are embodied by time, external energy and partial consciousness of the Supreme. Human beings, animals, birds, etc., are also parts and parcels of the Lord and have different material bodies, but they are not the controlling deities of material affairs. They are, rather, controlled by such demigods. Such control is not superfluous; it is as necessary as the controlling departments in the affairs of a modern state. The demigods should not be despised by the controlled living beings. They are all great devotees of the Lord entrusted to execute certain functions of universal affairs. One may be angry with Yamarāja for his thankless task of punishing sinful souls, but Yamarāja is one of the authorized devotees of the Lord, and so are all the other demigods.

Although he created the different influences of nescience, Lord Brahmā was not satisfied in performing such a thankless task, but he had to do it because most of the conditioned souls wanted it to be so.
SB 3.12.3, Translation and Purport:

Seeing such a misleading creation as a sinful task, Brahmā did not feel much pleasure in his activity, and therefore he purified himself by meditation on the Personality of Godhead. Then he began another term of creation.

Although he created the different influences of nescience, Lord Brahmā was not satisfied in performing such a thankless task, but he had to do it because most of the conditioned souls wanted it to be so. Lord Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 15.15) that He is present in everyone's heart and is helping everyone to either remember of forget. The question may be raised why the Lord, who is all-merciful, helps one to remember and another to forget. Actually, His mercy is not exhibited in partiality towards one and enmity towards another. The living entity, as part and parcel of the Lord, is partially independent because he partially possesses all the qualities of the Lord. Anyone who has some independence may sometimes misuse it due to ignorance. When the living entity prefers to misuse his independence and glide down towards nescience, the all-merciful Lord first of all tries to protect him from the trap, but when the living entity persists in gliding down to hell, the Lord helps him to forget his real position. The Lord helps the falling living entity glide down to the lowest point, just to give him the chance to see if he is happy by misusing his independence.

Almost all the conditioned souls who are rotting in the material world are misusing their independence, and therefore five kinds of nescience are imposed upon them. As an obedient servitor of the Lord, Brahmā creates all these as a matter of necessity, but he is not happy in doing so because a devotee of the Lord naturally does not like to see anyone falling down from his real position. Persons who do not care for the path of realization get full facilities from the Lord for executing their proclivities to the fullest extent, and Brahmā helps in that procedure without fail.

Although Brahmā created the principles of nescience as a matter of necessity for those living entities who were destined to ignorance by the will of the Lord, he was not satisfied in performing such a thankless task.
SB 3.12.4, Translation and Purport:

In the beginning, Brahmā created four great sages named Sanaka, Sananda, Sanātana and Sanat-kumāra. All of them were unwilling to adopt materialistic activities because they were highly elevated due to their semen's flowing upwards.

Although Brahmā created the principles of nescience as a matter of necessity for those living entities who were destined to ignorance by the will of the Lord, he was not satisfied in performing such a thankless task. He therefore created four principles of knowledge: sāṅkhya, or empirical philosophy for the analytical study of material conditions; yoga, or mysticism for liberation of the pure soul from material bondage; vairāgya, the acceptance of complete detachment from material enjoyment in life to elevate oneself to the highest spiritual understanding; and tapas, or the various kinds of voluntary austerities performed for spiritual perfection. Brahmā created the four great sages Sanaka, Sananda, Sanātana and Sanat to entrust them with these four principles of spiritual advancement, and they inaugurated their own spiritual party, or sampradāya, known as the Kumāra-sampradāya, or later on as the Nimbārka-sampradāya, for the advancement of bhakti. All of these great sages became great devotees, for without devotional service to the Personality of Godhead one cannot achieve success in any activity of spiritual value.

The sādhu has the thankless task of impressing upon them the importance of devotional service.
SB 3.25.21, Purport:

The sādhu has the thankless task of impressing upon them the importance of devotional service. Sometimes devotees are personally attacked with violence. Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, Haridāsa Ṭhākura was caned in twenty-two marketplaces, and Lord Caitanya's principal assistant, Nityānanda, was violently attacked by Jagāi and Mādhāi. But still they were tolerant because their mission was to deliver the fallen souls. One of the qualifications of a sādhu is that he is very tolerant and is merciful to all fallen souls. He is merciful because he is the well-wisher of all living entities. He is not only a well-wisher of human society, but a well-wisher of animal society as well. It is said here, sarva-dehinām, which indicates all living entities who have accepted material bodies. Not only does the human being have a material body, but other living entities, such as cats and dogs, also have material bodies. The devotee of the Lord is merciful to everyone-the cats, dogs, trees, etc. He treats all living entities in such a way that they can ultimately get salvation from this material entanglement. Śivānanda Sena, one of the disciples of Lord Caitanya, gave liberation to a dog by treating the dog transcendentally. There are many instances where a dog got salvation by association with a sādhu, because a sādhu engages in the highest philanthropic activities for the benediction of all living entities. Yet although a sādhu is not inimical towards anyone, the world is so ungrateful that even a sādhu has many enemies.

SB Canto 6

Preaching can be a difficult, thankless task, but a preacher must follow the orders of the Supreme Lord and be unafraid of materialistic persons.
SB 6.5.39, Purport:

Because Nārada Muni and the members of his disciplic succession disrupt friendships and family life, they are sometimes accused of being sauhṛda-ghnam, creators of enmity between relatives. Actually such devotees are friends of every living entity (suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām (BG 5.29)), but they are misunderstood to be enemies. Preaching can be a difficult, thankless task, but a preacher must follow the orders of the Supreme Lord and be unafraid of materialistic persons.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

One may argue that Mahā-Viṣṇu cannot have any connection with the material qualities, because if He were so connected, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam would not state that material nature, ashamed of her thankless task of acting to induce the living entities to become averse to the Supreme Lord, remains behind the Lord in shyness.
CC Adi 5.86, Purport:

The expansions of Lord Viṣṇu always retain their supremacy; they are never connected with the material qualities. One may argue that Mahā-Viṣṇu cannot have any connection with the material qualities, because if He were so connected, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam would not state that material nature, ashamed of her thankless task of acting to induce the living entities to become averse to the Supreme Lord, remains behind the Lord in shyness. In answer to this argument, it may be said that the word guṇa means "regulation." Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva are situated within this universe as the directors of the three modes, and their connection with the modes is known as yoga. This does not indicate, however, that these personalities are bound by the qualities of nature. Lord Viṣṇu specifically is always the controller of the three qualities. There is no question of His coming under their control.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Our business is very thankless task. We say any man who is not a devotee, he is rascal. We say generally. It is very harsh word, but we have to use it.
Lecture on BG 1.20 -- London, July 17, 1973:

As it is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra kharaiḥ (SB 2.3.19). What is that verse? Uṣṭra-kharaiḥ, saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ. They.... in this world we see there are many great men, so-called great men, and they are very much praised by the general people. So Bhāgavata says, that anyone who is not a devotee, who never chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, he may be very great man in the estimation of rascals, but he is nothing but an animal. Śva-viḍ-varāha-uṣṭra-kharaiḥ. "So how you can say such a great man. You are saying that animal." Our business is very thankless task. We say any man who is not a devotee, he is rascal. We say generally. It is very harsh word, but we have to use it. As soon as we see that he is not a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, then he's a rascal. How do we say? He is not my enemy, but we have to say because it is stated by Kṛṣṇa.

Māyā has no powers. Kṛṣṇa has given her power to chastise these individual souls who are defying the authority of Kṛṣṇa. They should be punished. It is Māyā's thankless task.
Lecture on BG 2.8-12 -- Los Angeles, November 27, 1968:

Jaya-gopāla: How is Māyādevī in such a distasteful position? How did she acquire her position?

Prabhupāda: (S)He's not acquired. She's given that position by Kṛṣṇa. Because there are many individual souls who will defy Kṛṣṇa; therefore Māyāvādī (Māyādevī) is required to punish them. Māyādevī is required to punish them. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). "It is very difficult to surpass the stringent laws of My māyā." So laws..., the māyā is not independent. Just like police force. What is the value of police force unless government gives the power? Does it mean... Suppose a Mr. John, he comes as a policeman. He's Mr. John. What power he has got? But because government has given him power, he can arrest you. Similarly, Māyā has no powers. Kṛṣṇa has given her power to chastise these individual souls who are defying the authority of Kṛṣṇa. They should be punished. It is Māyā's thankless task, but Māyā is obedient servant of Kṛṣṇa. Mama māyā. He says, "My māyā." So Māyā is not degraded. Māyā is faithful servant of Kṛṣṇa. She is faithfully serving.

The material energy is engaged in a thankless task for punishing the conditioned soul.
Lecture on BG 4.7 -- Montreal, June 13, 1968:

Just try to understand that there is department of welfare and there is department of police. It does not mean that welfare department is very favorite to the government and police department is not favorite. Do you think it is like that? For the government, both the departments are equal. Just try to understand. So the material energy is working in a different way, that does not mean that material energy is not liked by Kṛṣṇa. It has got the same importance as the spiritual energy. But the material energy is engaged in a thankless task for punishing the conditioned soul. Just like the police department. So for Kṛṣṇa, there is no difference between material energy and spiritual energy. For Kṛṣṇa it is all the same because He has got one energy. Just like electricity. Somewhere it is working for cooling purpose and somewhere it is working for heating purpose. But the generation of electric from the electric powerhouse, the energy is the same, electric. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa's energy is always spiritual. There is no difference His energy and He. But it is acting in a different way.

Our thankless task is to induce everyone: "Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa."
Lecture on BG 9.10 -- Calcutta, June 29, 1973:

Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. He'll become sukṛtī. He'll get some pious assets. Then he'll be able to understand Kṛṣṇa. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has introduced this method, and actually this method has been successful now all over the world. We began: "Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Simply Chant." So all these foreign students who have taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness very seriously, they began simply with chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. It is not difficult. Everyone can chant. What is the difficulty? Everyone can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma 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 Kṛṣṇa, he'll be silent. That we have experienced. But still our thankless task is to induce everyone: "Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa."

He'll say: "Kṛṣṇa, give me this facility. Give me this facility. I shall cut throat of this man, and enjoy." "All right, you cut throat." That also Kṛṣṇa gives. Kṛṣṇa's very, what is called, thankless task.
Lecture on BG 13.1-2 -- Paris, August 10, 1973:

Kṛṣṇa gives us full facility. I want to work in this way. All right, you work. Kṛṣṇa says that you don't work. This will not make you happy. You are asking Me facilities to fulfill your desire under certain condition. That you may have from Me. I can give you. But you'll never be happy." That is Kṛṣṇa's order. You'll never be happy. How I shall be happy? Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). You'll be happy only by this process. Simply by this process. If you manufacture, by your fertile brain, that: "I shall be happy in this way and that way," you'll never be happy. If you want to be happy at all, then this is My instruction: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śa... (BG 18.66). Kṛṣṇa is repeatedly saying this to everyone.

But he'll not do that. He'll say: "Kṛṣṇa, give me this facility. Give me this facility. I shall cut throat of this man, and enjoy." "All right, you cut throat." That also Kṛṣṇa gives. Kṛṣṇa's very, what is called, thankless task. Somebody wants to cut my throat, and I want, nobody may cut my throat. Kṛṣṇa has to adjust. He give me facility and he'll save also the man who is praying: "Sir, please save me from this cutting." Kṛṣṇa... Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). So this is going on.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Māyā's business is very thankless task, but she is engaged by the supreme authority to punish.
Lecture on SB 1.2.15 -- Los Angeles, August 18, 1972:

Āvaraṇātmikā-śakti, prakṣepātmikā-śakti. There are two kinds of energy of material, māyā. One is āvaraṇātmi..., ignorance. One is living very condemned life; still, he's thinking, "I am very happy." Or "We are all right." So that is called āvaraṇātmikā, covered. Real knowledge is covered. And another śakti is prakṣepātmikā. Prakṣepātmikā means if anyone tries to get out of this... Suppose our students are coming to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, somebody is coming to us, māyā will dictate, "Oh, why you are coming here? There are so many restrictions and so rules and regulations. Better give it up." "Why, yes, what is this nonsense? Give it up." This is called prakṣepātmikā. Māyā is dragging. Because the more one is sinful, the more one is miscreant, the more one is the lowest of the mankind, he, māyā will not allow: "Oh, why this rascal is here? He must suffer under me for more..., sometimes more; then he may be allowed." That is māyā's business. Thankless business. Just like police. Police is nobody's enemy, but when criminal, they punish like that, put him in the jail and beats him with a rod. That is the business of māyā, thankless. Nobody will thank police. When police beats, nobody will, "Thank you very much." No. Nobody is happy. Similarly, māyā's business is very thankless task, but she is engaged by the supreme authority to punish.

Now you make your plan of your enjoyment. God will give you a particular type of body and you enjoy. Just like the hog, he is enjoying. He is enjoying. What he is enjoying? Enjoying stool. It is very good for him enjoyment. But it is not for enjoyment for you. You'll..., that, "Oh, what a nasty animal it is. It is eating stool." But he is enjoying. So this is the business of God, thankless task.
Lecture on SB 2.1.5 -- Delhi, November 8, 1973:

We are not this body. But according to our mentality, by nature's law we are getting a particular type of body. Actually, I am spirit soul. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā (BG 2.13). Just like I am developing my ideas, youthful ideas. I am getting youthful body. I am developing childish ideas, getting childhood body. So as you develop, Kṛṣṇa, or God, has given you full freedom. You have come to this material world to enjoy. Now you make your plan of your enjoyment. God will give you a particular type of body and you enjoy. Just like the hog, he is enjoying. He is enjoying. What he is enjoying? Enjoying stool. It is very good for him enjoyment. But it is not for enjoyment for you. You'll..., that, "Oh, what a nasty animal it is. It is eating stool." But he is enjoying.

So this is the business of God, thankless task. Everyone wants to enjoy life in a different way, and he has to find out a particular type of body. In the human form of body you cannot eat stool. Your mouth, your hands, your legs are differently made. So for eating stool, you must have a particular type of body, mouth, taste, tongue, everything different. Then you will enjoy stool. A tiger, his body is different because he wants to enjoy fresh blood from another animal. So he has got a different type of body.

It has become a thankless task for the saintly persons, devotees of God, to drag them: "Oh, please come here. Please chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Please be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Please be God conscious." Nobody likes it. They think it botheration.
Lecture on SB 3.25.13 -- Los Angeles, November 10, 1968:

So we like society, friendship. Oh, I do not know how many intimate friendship I had, but those are now just like dream, everything finished. Now I am making new friendships with your countrymen, with you younger boys of this country, and I have forgotten the friendship which I made the whole life in India. So this friendship, this love, this society, this country—everything illusion. Just like dream. At night we dream, "Oh, I have been made a king," and in the morning I see everything finished. So we should not be attached to these temporary attractions. We admit these are temporary attractions, but we are still... Just like children. They are attracted to the..., but the parents, they're guiding, "Oh, you must go to school." Niḥśreyasāya. That is śreyaḥ. The boy, the child, does not like it, but the parents, they are anxious, "Oh, my child is not going to school; he is being spoiled." So dragging him.

Similarly, the scriptures, the sages, the saintly persons, the devotees, the representative of Kṛṣṇa, God, they're very much anxious to take us back to Godhead, back to home. That is niḥśreyasāya. That is the ultimate benediction. To be repaired(?), enamored by the temporary society, friendship and love. And it has become a thankless task for the saintly persons, devotees of God, to drag them: "Oh, please come here. Please chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Please be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Please be God conscious." Nobody likes it. They think it botheration, "Why Swamiji comes here and bothers us?" But it has become the business. Therefore the qualification of a saintly person is titikṣava, very tolerant, very tolerant. Just like Lord Jesus Christ, he was crucified. Still, he was so tolerant he, at the time of crucification, he's praying to God, "My Lord, these people do not know what they are doing. Please forgive them." Just see how much tolerant. Titikṣava. This is the first qualification of saintly person or God's servant or God's son. Very tolerant. They have to push on their Kṛṣṇa conscious movement or God conscious movement through so many odds. Through so many odds. Because they are just like the child; he's attracted with playthings.

Tolerate all this nonsense! What can be done? We have no other alternative, to tolerate. Nobody's coming to help us. Our business is so thankless task.
Lecture on SB 3.25.21 -- Bombay, November 21, 1974:

If you have got any faith for making spiritual advancement, then you must associate with sādhus. Ādau śraddhā. Just like here people come. Here there is no other thing because here all the boys and girls and devotees, they are concerned with Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. That's all. The whole business, whole day's business, whole night's business, is Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. From early morning at three o'clock to night, ten o'clock, they have only business of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. That's all. Therefore they are sādhu. Therefore they are sādhu. This is the symptom of sādhu. And so many people are criticizing. So many enemies we have got. We are not getting the sanction because there are so many enemies. We are creating "nuisance." We are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra—that is nuisance. This complaint is going to the police.

So that is very difficult. Therefore a sādhu is advised, titikṣavaḥ, tolerate! Tolerate all this nonsense! What can be done? We have no other alternative, to tolerate. Nobody's coming to help us. Our business is so thankless task. Because we are trying to create one temple, so many enemies, they are giving hindrance, "You cannot do it." Therefore titikṣava. You have to remain sādhu. You cannot become asādhu. You have to tolerate. What can be done? Titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ (SB 3.25.21). At the same time, you have to become merciful. You know what has happened in this place, Hare Krishna Land. So much attack by the police, by the Municipality, "Break this temple." So we could have gone, that "What is the use of taking so much botheration? We have got hundreds of temples outside India. If Bombay people are not liking, let us go away." No. Kāruṇikāḥ. We have come to distribute Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We must tolerate and give this message to the people. Kāruṇikāḥ. Very merciful, in spite of all trouble. What is the use of...? These boys, these American boys, they have come to help me—not that they are hungry, they have come here. No. My mission is that "You American, your, you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa so that India, people of India will see, 'Oh, Americans, they are also chanting. Why not ourselves? It is our property.' " But unfortunately, so much dull brain. But that is not coming. But still, we have to do it. We have to tolerate and we have to become kāruṇikāḥ.

That is the thankless task of the devotees, to turn these vimūḍhān from this māyā-sukha to real sukha. This is the business of the devotees.
Lecture on SB 3.26.22 -- Bombay, December 31, 1974:

So everyone is very, working very hard, struggling for existence, but they do not know how they can actually become happy. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). That they do not know. So it is our humble attempt only, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. At least, we inform people that "This is the way of happiness." Sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tat (BG 6.21). "Don't be carried away by temporary so-called happiness. That is not happiness. This is called māyā." Māyā-sukhāya bharam udvahato vimūḍhān (SB 7.9.43). Kṛṣṇa says, mūḍha, and Prahlāda Mahārāja says, vimūḍhān—not only mūḍha, but again added with word vi, viśiṣṭa. Viśiṣṭa-prakāreṇa mūḍha. Vi, therefore vimūḍha.

So Prahlāda Mahārāja says, śoce tato vimukha-cetasa māyā-sukhāya bharam udvahato vimūḍhān (SB 7.9.43). That is the thankless task of the devotees, to turn these vimūḍhān from this māyā-sukha to real sukha. This is the business of the devotees. They have no other business. Their business is not for making money. Money, they have got enough, and Kṛṣṇa supplies all their money. So there is no such problem for a devotee of how to secure money. Their only problem is how to turn these rascals to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all rascals, vimūḍhān. We say clearly, "If you are not Kṛṣṇa conscious, you are rascal number one."

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is tryng to give this Vedic culture all over the world, but they are after hogs and dogs. What can be done? This is very difficult job. But still we have to do, because we have placed ourself to become servant of Kṛṣṇa. Never mind we have to face so many dangerous positions; still we have to do this thankless task.
Lecture on SB 5.5.1-2 -- Bombay, March 25, 1977:

Human life is meant for tapasya, not to imitate the hogs and dogs. This is not human life. This is Vedic culture. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is tryng to give this Vedic culture all over the world, but they are after hogs and dogs. What can be done? This is very difficult job. But still we have to do, because we have placed ourself to become servant of Kṛṣṇa. Never mind we have to face so many dangerous positions; still we have to do this thankless task. "My dear brothers, do not be hogs and dogs. Be a saintly person." This is our mission. That is India's culture. Bhagavad-gītā, the same thing said: manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye (BG 7.3). Siddhi. Siddhi means perfection. Nobody is interested how to make this life perfect. Everyone is being carried away by the waves of material nature. This is not life.

We are simply desiring one after... And it is God's business, thankless business, that He is noting down, "All right, I will give you facility like this."
Lecture on SB 5.5.4 -- Vrndavana, October 26, 1976:

Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). Īśvara, the Supreme Lord, Paramātmā, is situated in everyone's heart. And we are always praying. Even we do not pray, we are... "If I would have been like this, if I would have got this opportunity, then I would have eaten like this, I would have done like this." This is going on continually. Continually. Indriya-prītaya apṛṇoti. We are simply desiring one after... And it is God's business, thankless business, that He is noting down, "All right, I will give you facility like this."

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni
yantrārūḍhāni māyayā
(BG 18.61)

So His business is that "This rascal wants like this," and still He's so merciful, He asks māyā, the material nature, "Give him a body like this. He wants like this." So therefore we have got varieties. Because we have got varieties of desires we have got varieties of bodies. This is the explanation. Otherwise who will explain why there are so many varieties of bodies? The varieties of bodies means varieties of desire.

Yamarāja is one of the appointed officers, mahājanas. He's a Vaiṣṇava, but his thankless task is that he has to punish all the sinful activities. That is his position.
Lecture on SB 6.2.9-10 -- Allahabad, January 15, 1971:

We have been discussing Ajāmila's upākhyāna after finishing the speeches by the Yamadūta, assistants of Yamarāja, the superintendent of judgment after death. Yamarāja is one of the appointed officers, mahājanas. He's a Vaiṣṇava, but his thankless task is that he has to punish all the sinful activities. That is his position.

That is the version of Śaṅkarācārya. He's lamenting, that the boys, the youths, the old man, they are very happy in their materialistic way of life, but a spiritualistic man like Śaṅkarācārya or Lord Jesus Christ, they are unhappy, "Oh, what foolish things they are doing." That is the thankless task of persons who are spiritually enlightened.
Lecture on SB 7.6.1 -- New York, April 9, 1969:

The Śaṅkarācārya he was passing on the road and he's singing. He was lamenting, what is that? Balas tavad krida sakta. Oh, all these boys are playing. Generally, when you pass a road you see the boys are playing, very much busy, and they're very jolly in playing. Bālas tāvad krīḍāsaktas taruṇas tāvad taruṇī raktaḥ. And young boys, they're after young girls. You see? Taruṇas tāvad taruṇī-rakto vṛddhas tāvad anta-magnaḥ. And the old man they are very much morose, what is to be done next. Parame brahmaṇi ko 'pi na lagnaḥ. Oh, everyone is busy. Nobody's interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, spiritual life. Everyone is busy. How they are spoiling their life! That is the version of Śaṅkarācārya. He's lamenting, that the boys, the youths, the old man, they are very happy in their materialistic way of life, but a spiritualistic man like Śaṅkarācārya or Lord Jesus Christ, they are unhappy, "Oh, what foolish things they are doing." That is the thankless task of persons who are spiritually enlightened. They can see it plain that how they are spoiling their valuable life. Simply for sense gratification.

Māyādevī is Vaiṣṇavī. She is great devotee of Kṛṣṇa. But she has accepted a thankless task, to punish.
Lecture on SB 7.9.8 -- Seattle, October 21, 1968:

Jaya-gopāla: What type of living entity is Māyādevī?

Prabhupāda: She is Vaiṣṇavī. She is great devotee of Kṛṣṇa. But she has accepted a thankless task, to punish. The policeman is a sincere government servant, but he has accepted a task, nobody likes him. (laughs) If some policeman comes here, immediately you shall feel disturbed. But he is the sincere servant of government. That is the position of Māyā. Her business is to punish these rascals who have come to enjoy here. (laughter) You see? But she is a sincere servant of God.

Jaya-gopāla: Is this like a post?

Prabhupāda: Yes. It is a post, thankless post. Nobody thanks, everyone derides, you see. But she is a great devotee. She tolerates and punishes. That's all. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). She only wants to see that "You become Kṛṣṇa conscious, I leave you, that's all." Police business is that "You become law-abiding citizen; then I have no connection with you." So far. "And so long you are not a law-abiding (citizen), I shall kick you as much as possible." So Māyā's business is like this. And we are complaining, "Why you are kicking? Why you are kicking?" "Yes, I shall kick you because you are not Kṛṣṇa conscious. I shall make you Kṛṣṇa conscious by kicking, kicking, kicking. That's all. That is my business." Our business is to implore, tṛṇād api sunīcena. Our preaching method is not kicking. Our preaching method is, dante nidhāya tṛṇakam, by taking a grass in the teeth, padayor nipatya, falling down on the feet, and kāku-śataṁ kṛtvā ca ahaṁ bravīmi, and flattering you hundred times, I'm just submitting one thing: "Become Kṛṣṇa conscious." That is our process. And Māyā, his process different. (S)he'll say, "Why you shall become Kṛṣṇa conscious? You just enjoy and I shall kick you very nicely. That's all." And he accepts, "Yes, you kick me and let me enjoy, but I am not going to these Kṛṣṇa conscious persons." (laughter) You see? Practically, Māyā's business, our business is same, but her process is different, our process is different. The people like her process.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Māyā's task is very thankless task because she is in charge of these conditioned souls, and her business is to give all the conditioned souls always miseries.
Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.281-293 -- New York, December 18, 1966:

When Vyāsadeva, he was just attempting to write Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by bhakti-yoga, he saw two things: apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇam. He saw the Supreme Personality and the material energy, apāśrayam, just far away from Him. Because this māyā's task is very thankless task. Māyā's task is very thankless task because she is in charge of these conditioned souls, and her business is to give all the conditioned souls always miseries.

Māyā is ashamed to come before Kṛṣṇa because she is entrusted with very thankless task.
Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 22.31-33 -- New York, January 16, 1967:

So this māyā, Kṛṣṇa's māyā, this illusory energy, external energy, also saw. Vyāsadeva saw. He saw Kṛṣṇa, apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇam. He saw the Supreme Personality as well as His māyā. So māyā, yad-apāśrayam. Māyā cannot come before Kṛṣṇa. Because... Just like the sun. Sunshine, there ignorance or darkness cannot come, cannot approach. So he saw. Vilajjamānayā yasya sthātum īkṣā-pathe amuyā. The māyā is ashamed to come before Kṛṣṇa because she is entrusted with very thankless task. Māyā is entrusted by Kṛṣṇa to take the conditioned souls and take charge of them. And māyā has taken charge of all us conditioned souls, and her task is to punish, simply beating. So that is a very thankless task. She is discharging the duty entrusted to her by Kṛṣṇa, but everyone, especially the transcendentalists, oh, they are hating, "Oh, māyā, māyā, māyā." Nobody will like, transcendentalists, māyā. Either personalist or impersonalist. But she's engaged. Just like police. Police is engaged by the state, but nobody likes police. Everyone will criticize police. Thankless task. Because they, unless they become strict, unless they become red-hot iron (?) they cannot execute their duty. That is their way of punishing. But people do not like them. Nobody likes police. You see. Even a police comes all of a sudden here to sit down here to hear us, we'll suspect, "Oh, he has come with some purpose." (laughs) It is such a thankless task. Similarly, māyā is entrusted with thankless task. She cannot approach Kṛṣṇa, neither she is liked by the conditioned souls.

So Śaṅkarācārya's real purpose was no existence of God, because he had a very thankless task.
Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 25.40-50 -- San Francisco, January 24, 1967:

So Śaṅkarācārya's real purpose was no existence of God, because he had a very thankless task. He was dealing with the persons who are Buddhists. They did not believe anything except matter. So for them, to establish that there is God, it is very difficult. Therefore he adopted this means that "There is no separate God. We are all God. You are God, I am God." And a demonic person, if he is addressed, "Oh, you are God," oh, he becomes very happy because he does not become responsible to any higher authority. He becomes God. He can do anything. He can perform any nonsense. Nobody is going to punish him.

General Lectures

Māyā is also serving Kṛṣṇa, but there is no thanks. That is the difference. She has taken a thankless task to punish persons who are godless, that's all.
Lecture -- Seattle, September 27, 1968:

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, no. Is Māyā, Māyādevī, a pure devotee?

Prabhupāda: Yes, certainly. The police force, are they not honest servant of the government? Does it mean the police force tortures you; therefore they're rejected from the government servant? Their task is thankless task, that's all. Similarly, Māyā is also serving Kṛṣṇa, but there is no thanks. That is the difference. She has taken a thankless task to punish persons who are godless, that's all. So Māyā as it is, it is not that she is out of touch of Kṛṣṇa. Vaiṣṇavī. In the Caṇḍī, in the book of Māyā, it is state that "Vaiṣṇavī." The Māyā is described as Vaiṣṇavī. Just like pure devotee is called Vaiṣṇava, she is also described there as Vaiṣṇavī.

Māyā is not our enemy, but she has got a thankless task with that trident.
Lecture -- Tokyo, April 20, 1972:

So māyā is there. Māyā does not want to lead (leave?) the culprits. Because one who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, he's a culprit, so māyā wants to give such person more and more trouble. But Vaiṣṇava risks his life to snatch him from the hands of māyā. So māyā, of course, when he sees that "This man, this living entity, is now corrected; he is now taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness," then she will not disturb.

daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te
(BG 7.14)

Māyā etāṁ... Māyā, she is the most sincere servant of Kṛṣṇa. She wants to chastise. Just like police. Police want to chastise a person unless he comes to his consciousness that he must abide by the laws of the state. That is police business. Otherwise police is not enemy. Similarly, māyā is not our enemy, but she has got a thankless task with that trident. So Kṛṣṇa is giving us the knowledge that "You surrender unto Me, and māyā will not trouble you." Māyām etāṁ taranti te. So we are giving this information, that "You rascal, you are trying to be happy by your material plan. You will never be happy. Don't be fooled. You have been befooled so many lifetimes. Now just make an experiment in this life. Take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and see whether you are becoming happy or not.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Just like a blind man going, falling into the ditch, we say, "No, no. Don't go there. You'll fall down." But he becomes angry, "Why you are instructing me?" That is our thankless task. We have to do it.
Morning Walk -- December 6, 1973, Los Angeles:

Bali Mardana: We have to be led by someone who can see.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Otherwise, if you led by another blind man, what is your benefit? Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). And our thankless task is... Just like a blind man going, falling into the ditch, we say, "No, no. Don't go there. You'll fall down." But he becomes angry, "Why you are instructing me?" That is our thankless task. We have to do it. How we can see that this blind man is going...? He'll immediately fall and die. How we can remain silent? We must have to say. That is our business, that "For want of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you are going to die. Take it. Be saved." But they do not like it.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

They have created this Vivekananda and Cinmayanandas, rascals, so many rascals. They have created such situation that Indian people are mostly in darkness, although God appears here in India. They have executed such thankless task, this Vivekananda, Cinmayananda and so many Māyāvādīs.
Room Conversation -- January 21, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Gargamuni: On that tape where you are arguing with that man, you asked him, "Did you read Bhagavad-gītā?" He was criticizing, but then he asked him, "Did you read Bhagavad-gītā?" He said, "No."

Prabhupāda: Just see. Such... They have created this Vivekananda and Cinmayanandas, rascals, so many rascals. They have created such situation that Indian people are mostly in darkness, although God appears here in India. They have executed such thankless task, this Vivekananda, Cinmayananda and so many Māyāvādīs. "Ramakrishna is Bhagavān." And what is his certificate that he is Bhagavān? "He said." No. He said "I am the same Rāma. I am the same Kṛṣṇa." So he is taking shelter of Kṛṣṇa to prove his Godhead. So why not go to original Godhead? Why shall I take the imitation? He is maintaining his position that "I am the same Kṛṣṇa." "So then same Kṛṣṇa is authority. So why shall I not go to same Kṛṣṇa? Why shall I go to you? Your authority is also Kṛṣṇa. So why shall I give up original Kṛṣṇa and take to an imitation Kṛṣṇa? You may be the same, but I am not a very intelligent man. Why shall I go to the imitation? I shall go to the original." Hm? Is it not? "I am not so expert to understand whether you are actual or not. You are saying. There is no proof in the śāstra. So let me go to the original." Is that all right, argument? "Why shall I take you? You are supporting, trying to maintain yourself." Everyone says that "I am Kṛṣṇa. I am God." So India, we have to fight little. There are so many atheists. But mass of people, they are all right.

And again they will take tranquilizer. Just see, how thankless task.
Room Conversation -- January 21, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Rāmeśvara: So they concoct different arrangements. Because people are willing to spend money to torture their own minds. No one is happy. They are very disturbed when they leave the movie theater. They are frightened. And at night they cannot sleep peacefully after seeing such movies. And they are paying money to go to these things.

Prabhupāda: And again they will take tranquilizer. Just see (laughing) how thankless task. Create something disturbing and again try to...

We have to do. Otherwise there is no meaning of preacher. Most thankless task. We want to save them, and they accuse us.
Room Conversation -- January 26, 1977, Puri:

Prabhupāda: So we have got very pessimistic view of this modern world. You may like or not. Simply spoiling time. Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). Simply work without any profit of the human form of life. And nobody is interested to correct the procedure. If we try to correct them, they will accuse us that "These people are brainwashed. They deviating these young men from the general procedure of human civilization." Hm? What is this? Illicit sex stopped? Then where is life? This is life, if young boys and young girls mix freely and have sex, and as soon as she is pregnant, you go away, let her suffer, no responsibility. The poor girl, long before, father, mother divorce—no protector. And as soon as she selects somebody husband, and as soon as pregnancy, he goes away. And old age—there is no family, no son. Ninety-nine percent the woman class live like that. How hopelessly the old ladies are sitting down—only one cat, one dog, one television. The old men also like that, hopelessness. Or drinking or seeing the television. And a dog friend. Is that life? And we want to correct it—"brainwash."

Gurukṛpā: They are so... They have no brain to even understand this. You cannot talk to them.

Prabhupāda: No, no, we have to do. Otherwise there is no meaning of preacher. Most thankless task. We want to save them, and they accuse us. My Guru Mahārāja used to give that example: A boy is flying kite, and he's going like this. He's just come on the edge of the roof. He is going to fall down. And somebody says, "Hey! What are you doing this for?" (shouts:) "Why you are checking me? Oh, my kite is gone, gone. I have gone back." This is going on. If you want to save them, they will accuse you that "My kite-flying is disturbed. Don't do this." "And why you are. Why...? You'll fall down." "Never mind. That is my business. Why you are checking me?" This example was given by my Guru Mahārāja. You want to save him. Who is a gentleman who will not save him? He is falling down next moment. That is natural. But he is angry. "Why you have checked my kite-flying?" So it is a different type of civilization, a different style of life. If you want to introduce they will accuse you, so many, like madmen. And still we have to do. That is preaching. You cannot expect very smooth life in preaching.

Jesus Christ-crucified. What was his fault? He was crucified. Of course, he was not crucified. Nobody can crucify him. But the people are so thankless...
Room Conversation -- February 3, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Hari-śauri: Yes. You said preaching is a thankless task.

Prabhupāda: Just see Jesus Christ-crucified. What was his fault? He was crucified. Of course, he was not crucified. Nobody can crucify him. But the people are so thankless...

Hari-śauri: That they wanted to do that.

Prabhupāda: Such a great personality, son of God. He wanted to deliver God consciousness. And return, he was crucified. We don't take Jesus Christ very insignificantly. We give him all honor. He's representative of God. He tried to preach according to the time, place, circumstances, country, people. Otherwise he is representative of God.

Correspondence

1947 to 1965 Correspondence

The Mahamaya who is known as Durga, Kali, Candi, Bhadrakali, Mohalaksmi, etc is the embodiment of His external potency as described in the Candi and it is the thankless task of the Mahamaya to punish the asuras with Her all powerful weapons in the ten direction of the material world.
Letter to Juggannath Babu -- Calcutta 14 March, 1949:

The Mahamaya who is known as Durga, Kali, Candi, Bhadrakali, Mohalaksmi, etc is the embodiment of His external potency as described in the Candi and it is the thankless task of the Mahamaya to punish the asuras with Her all powerful weapons in the ten direction of the material world. She does not only create and maintain this material world but also she annihilates it according to the direction of the almighty God. In the Bhagavad-gita this Mahamaya has also been described as Daivi Maya and She is so powerful that the asuras cannot by-pass Her at any rate. The asura can get remission from the stroke of the trisula of Mohamaya when he the asura, surrenders surrenders himself to Sri Krishna the Personality of Godhead. As Superintendent of the material world the Mohamaya has been described Durga as the protectress of the great durga or fortress of the grand universes. She gives all the necessities for our existence but as soon as we become an asura like the Mohisasuras, Ravanas, Hiranyakasipus, and in later ages like the Mussolinis and such others for the exploitation of the material energy, the Durga Devi at once appears Herself with Her dreadful trident and begins to devastate the whole existence by such tribulations as war, famine, pestilence, or sometimes annihilation of a total existence. The methods of annihilation as are invented by the human brain such as the atomic bombs etc are also Her creations but the deluded asuras, who are caused to act by the modes of prakrti the material nature, do think themselves as the originator or inventor of such weapons. In that way a constant struggle is going on between the asuras and the prakrti and the asuras are thus being punished in different ways which the asuras cannot overcome by any method except by full surrender unto the almighty God.

Facts about "Thankless task"
Compiled byVisnu Murti +, MadhuGopaldas +, Labangalatika + and Sahadeva +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryApril 3, 0009 JL +
Date of last entryDecember 17, 0011 JL +
Total quotes33 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 6 +, CC: 1 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 20 +, Conv: 5 + and Let: 1 +