Mike Robinson: Can you tell me from your own experience some of these different stages you've been through.
Prabhupāda: Yes, first stage is that you are inquisitively trying to understand. This is the first stage. This is called śraddha, that you have got some faith, "What is this movement? Let me study." This is the beginning. Then, if you are serious, then those who are cultivating this knowledge, you mix with them, try to understand how they are feeling. Then you'll feel, "Why not become one of them?" Then when you become one of them, then all your misgivings go away. And then you become more faithful and you, then you get a taste. Why these boys are not going to see the cinema? They can go-other boys are going. They never ask me. Neither they would like to see even. They hate. Their taste is different. Why they do not eat meat, go to the restaurant? Their taste has changed. In this way you make progress. Firm faith, taste is changed, then God-realization, then love of Godhead, the perfection. That is wanted, love of Godhead. That is first-class religion. Not that ritualistic ceremony, "I believe," "This belief." That is not religion; that is cheating. Really when you develop your love for God, that is perfection of religion.
Mike Robinson: Perhaps finally, then, I could ask you, do you ever have any doubts?
Prabhupāda: If I have doubts, how I am preaching? That means I am cheating. And how I am writing so many books? Do you think a man with doubt can produce, in doubtful condition, he can produce so many books? (devotees quietly laughing) Do you think like that?
Mike Robinson: Well, I don't know, I just...
Prabhupāda: Well, you should know. (laughter)
Mike Robinson: So you never doubt any of this, anything at all.
Prabhupāda: We are sure.
Mike Robinson: That you have found the truth.
Prabhupāda: Utsāhān dhairyāt niścayād. Find out this verse.
- utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt
- saṅga-tyagāt sato vṛtteḥ
- ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati
- (Upadeśāmṛta 3)
"There are six principles favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles (such as śravanaṁ kīrtanam viṣṇoḥ smaranam (SB 7.5.23)—hearing, chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa), (5) abandoning the association of nondevotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous acaryas. These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete success of pure devotional service."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Everything is there.
Mike Robinson: And you are sure this is the truth.
Mike Robinson: Thank you very much for talking to me. It's been a pleasure talking to you.
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Give him prasādam.
Hari-śauri: This is a, just a...
Prabhupāda: Take prasādam.
Mike Robinson: It's lovely. Do I eat it with a spoon? (laughs) How's the normal way to eat it?
Hari-śauri: You can eat it with a spoon, it's all right.
Mike Robinson: Yes, there is.... Thank you very much.