Regarding your questions, your first question was should the devotee always speak the truth to everyone in all circumstances? The answer is yes, one should always speak the truth, but qualified devotee will be able to speak the truth always very palatable to everyone so that it will sound pleasing even to his enemy, that is the art of speaking truth. It is certainly so that we must speak the truth to all people, but how you say it that is another thing: satyam bruyat, priyam briya. When you become yourself little more experienced in Krishna Consciousness by preaching work and if you are sincere and serious to make progress in spiritual understanding, you need not have to worry yourself further because the truth will always be spoken by you in the proper manner. Krishna will give you that intelligence, you need not be concerned for it. Simply try to please Him always by your sincere service and chanting, that's all. Of course, for doing business with businessmen you have to lie business. Just like Krishna Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sometimes He also had to also fabricate something in emergency situations. Although He made promise not to interfere in the Battle of Kuruksetra, He was forced to break His promise just to save His pure devotee. So there is no prohibition one shall never tell lie, because for business of carrying our propaganda work sometimes it may be necessary. Krishna Consciousness means practical living, not something utopian or idealistic and vague. We simply do the needful, whatever pleases Krishna most, that's all. Gradually you will understand what it means to please Krishna and what it means to displease Krishna. That you will learn by studying our books and by yourself engaging in practical devotional service. In the material dealings there is always there is always something undesirable, but even so you cannot give up your occupation. Just like fire is very pure, still there is some smoke. You cannot avoid it. All these things can be rectified when the result is offered to Krishna. Otherwise even though you may do very honest business it has no utility whatsoever. Your question if a devotee has no appreciation for God but he has little appreciation for pure devotee, than what kind of devotee is this? If he has appreciation for pure devotee, then he must have appreciation for God. It is just like "Love me, love my dog." If he simply loves the dog and not the master, then what kind of love is that? I have remarked that in your country when friends met, one friend has one dog beside him, the other friend always bends down to pat the dog first, then he is very much appreciated by the dog's master and the friendly discussions can begin. It is something like that. Your next question was regarding the neophyte devotee who is unable to comprehend even the existence of God, how he shall ever become lover of God? Therefore he has to be engaged in deity worship, and gradually you will have that sense. It is obligatory for the neophyte devotees to be engaged in deity worship. Even if he has no love of God, by following the regulative principles and worshiping the deity he will awaken that dormant love, and if you have got some faith in your spiritual master, by engaging in serving your spiritual master you will also come to the point of love of God:
- yasya prasadad bhagavata-prasadao
- yasya prasadanna-gatih kuto 'pi
- dhyayam stuvams tasya yasas trisandhyam
- vande guroh sri caranaravindam
If one has appreciation for the spiritual master then he must follow the instructions of the spiritual master, and that means he is supposed to worship the deity in a certain way, like that. It is not possible to love the spiritual master without loving God. Your next question was about the free will, whether we have it or not? If one is not intelligent enough for making for making decisions, then all decisions shall be sanctioned by the spiritual master. Neophyte means no independent decisions, no free will, that means surrender. But when he is trained up then automatically he gets his freedom. Just like a small child can only eat such things which are sanctioned by his parents, not by his own discretion. Free will is that when the controller says do this, you can use your free will to do it or not to do it. You have got the power to not do:
- iti te jnanam akhyatam guhyad guhyataram maya
- vimrsyaited asesena yathecchasi tatha kuru
- (BG 18.63)
"Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do." (BG 18.65)
Krishna asks, "Have you decided to fight?" "Yes, I have decided to follow Your order." This is free will.
You will find mentioned in many Vedic scriptures that maha-mantra is especially recommended for understanding God in this age of Kali Yuga, such as Agni Purana, Kali-Santaram Upanisad, Brhan Naradiya Puranam, and many others. Haridasa Thakura chanted 3 lakhs of names each day, that means 16 names in the mantra, 108x16 or 1,728 names in each round of mala, dividing 300,000 by 1,728 comes to roundabout 175 rounds on beads daily. And for us it is even difficult to chant 16 rounds! That is why Haridasa Thakura is "namacarya." We find in Caitanya Caritamrta information that both Lord Caitanya and Haridasa Thakura were constantly absorbed in chanting the Hare Krishna mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.