By the grace of Lord Sri Krsna, we had the chance of being born in a Vaisnava family, and in our childhood we imitated the worship of Lord Krsna by imitating our father

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Expressions researched:
"In my childhood I imitated my father. He was worshiping Deity of Krsna" |"My father was very pious man, and I wanted to imitate him in my childhood" |"My father was worshiping Krsna Deity. So I wanted to imitate him, and he gave me small Deity" |"in our childhood we imitated the worship of Lord Krsna by imitating our father" |"my father was worshiping, so I wanted to imitate"

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 2

By the grace of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, we had the chance of being born in a Vaiṣṇava family, and in our childhood we imitated the worship of Lord Kṛṣṇa by imitating our father.
SB 2.3.15, Purport:

The Pāṇḍavas, all being devotees of the Lord, certainly venerated family Deities in the royal palace for worship. Children who appear in such families fortunately generally imitate such worship of the Deities, even in the way of childhood play. By the grace of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, we had the chance of being born in a Vaiṣṇava family, and in our childhood we imitated the worship of Lord Kṛṣṇa by imitating our father. Our father encouraged us in all respects to observe all functions such as the Ratha-yātrā and Dola-yātrā ceremonies, and he used to spend money liberally for distributing prasāda to us children and our friends. Our spiritual master, who also took his birth in a Vaiṣṇava family, got all inspirations from his great Vaiṣṇava father, Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda. That is the way of all lucky Vaiṣṇava families. The celebrated Mīrā Bāī was a staunch devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa as the great lifter of Govardhana Hill.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

So children, they generally imitate, imitate the parents' habits or activities. So fortunately we had the opportunity of getting such a father. So we are imitating our father. In my childhood I imitated my father. He was worshiping Deity of Kṛṣṇa. So I asked him, "My dear father, I shall worship. Give me the Deity of Kṛṣṇa."
Lecture on BG 6.40-42 -- New York, September 16, 1966:

Athavā yogināṁ gṛhe. Yogināṁ gṛhe means that neither rich nor very pious, but actually yogi. His parents, he gets such a parent that who are actually in execution of spiritual life, Kṛṣṇa consciousness or yoga, the father mother. So children, they generally imitate, imitate the parents' habits or activities. So fortunately we had the opportunity of getting such a father. So we are imitating our father. In my childhood I imitated my father. He was worshiping Deity of Kṛṣṇa. So I asked him, "My dear father, I shall worship. Give me the Deity of Kṛṣṇa." So he gave me a little Deity of Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā and I was imitating. So beginning of life... So these are actually facts. Mahārāja Parīkṣit also, he was playing with Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa dolls. Just like Mirabhai. She was playing with Kṛṣṇa doll and later on she became a very high-grade devotee. So these chances are there.

Athavā yoginām eva kule bhavati dhīmatām (BG 6.42). He's given the chance of being born in such good family. Etaddhi durlabhataram. Now this kind of birth, in a family of devotee and yogi, is very, I mean to say, rare, and it is far better than the other two lives, to have birth in rich family or in pious family. Actually, they are acting. Just like when a boy is born of a father who is a medical man... We have seen it. So naturally he becomes a medical man. Because he sees his father and the inclination inherits. In that way, in the Indian caste system, originally it was a division. But because the son imitated the father, in this way, it has come to be a caste system by birth. So anyway, these chances are given. The purport is that we, everyone, every man should begin spiritual life.

In a pious family one gets the chance of spiritual advancement. I shall say practically, from my whole life. I was fortunate to get my, I mean to say, birth, in a very pious family. Yes. My father was very pious man, and I wanted to imitate him in my childhood.
Lecture on BG 6.40-43 -- New York, September 18, 1966:

So those who are rich in this world, or those who have got birth in a very, I mean to say, pious family, brāhmaṇa family, they should understand that "It is God's grace that I have got my birth with such, so much facilities of life." Why śucīnām? In a pious family one gets the chance of spiritual advancement. I shall say practically, from my whole life. I was fortunate to get my, I mean to say, birth, in a very pious family. Yes. My father was very pious man, and I wanted to imitate him in my childhood. Of course, our family was not very poor, but we were not very rich men. But my father was very pious man. So he was worshiping Kṛṣṇa. So in my childhood, when I was five or six years old, I requested my father that "Father, give me this Deity. I shall worship." So father purchased for me little Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā, and he gave me, and I was imitating. Whatever foodstuff I was getting, I was offering to Kṛṣṇa and eating. In this way I got my life developed. And there was a temple in our neighborhood. So I was seeing the Kṛṣṇa Deity. Oh, I was thinking... I still remember. I was standing for hours together.

So in this way, practically we can understand that these facilities are given by the Lord. The Lord is always prepared to give us facility. Simply He wants to see that we are sincere. That's all.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

A child naturally wants to play, so he can play with Kṛṣṇa Deity. We had the opportunity of doing that. My father was worshiping Kṛṣṇa Deity. So I wanted to imitate him, and he gave me small Deity.
Lecture on SB 2.3.15 -- Los Angeles, June 1, 1972:

Kṛṣṇa-krīḍām. Bāla-krīḍanakaiḥ krīḍan kṛṣṇa-krīḍāṁ ya ādade. This is the facility of taking birth in a Vaiṣṇava family. Children, simply by playing with Kṛṣṇa, they become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Some way or other, if somebody comes in contact with Kṛṣṇa, then his life becomes successful. So this kṛṣṇa-yoga, bhakti-yoga, can be practiced even by a child without interfering with his natural propensities. A child naturally wants to play, so he can play with Kṛṣṇa Deity. We had the opportunity of doing that. My father was worshiping Kṛṣṇa Deity. So I wanted to imitate him, and he gave me small Deity. That Deity is still worshiped. My sister and myself, whatever we were eating, we were offering exactly the same arcana. And father used to encourage. This Ratha-yātrā and Rādhā-Go.(?) Kṛṣṇa temple which we are propagating, it was, from the very beginning of our life, was initiated by our parents. So anyone can initiate his child to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness understanding from the very beginning. Without any education, without any knowledge. There is no need of high-grade knowledge or education to understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is already there in everyone's heart.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1969 Conversations and Morning Walks

My father was worshiping, so I wanted to imitate. I asked him that "Give me Deity." So he gave me.
Room Conversation with Allen Ginsberg -- May 14, 1969, Columbus, Ohio:

Prabhupāda: ...six or seven years old, my father was worshiping, so I wanted to imitate. I asked him that "Give me Deity." So he gave me.

Allen Ginsberg: Did you wash them and play with them?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Washed, changed dress.

Allen Ginsberg: Fed them.

Prabhupāda: Yes, everything.

Allen Ginsberg: Do you still? Do you still wash them and feed them and play with them?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Now my disciples I have... (laughs) At home I was doing that.