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What should be the first step to become a devotee?

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"what should be the first step to become a devotee"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Yes, dadāti. That I have already explained. Dadāti. He must give. Give. Everyone goes to God to beg, "God, give us our daily bread." But one must go to God to give Him. If I do not give bread to Kṛṣṇa, he will be starving. This is devotee's mentality. Yaśodāmāyī, Yaśodāmāyī is thinking, Kṛṣṇa, "If I do not feed Kṛṣṇa well, my child will die." This is devotion.
Room Conversation -- September 19, 1973, Bombay:

Guest (1): But what should be the first step to become a devotee.

Prabhupāda: Yes, dadāti. That I have already explained. Dadāti. He must give. Give. Everyone goes to God to beg, "God, give us our daily bread." But one must go to God to give Him. If I do not give bread to Kṛṣṇa, he will be starving. This is devotee's mentality. Yaśodāmāyī, Yaśodāmāyī is thinking, Kṛṣṇa, "If I do not feed Kṛṣṇa well, my child will die." This is devotion. Otherwise everyone is asking from Kṛṣṇa. But Yaśodā-mā is thinking that "If I do not maintain Kṛṣṇa properly, He will die." Therefore he (she) is always trying to supply everything, mākhana, miśri. So real love begins when you try to give God. Everyone is trying to take from God, "Oh father, give us our daily bread." This is not pure devotee. This is good because he has approached God, but this is not devotion. It is not devotion, it is..., means business "God, give me something, then I will love you." Is it not?

Guest (1): But giving means, you know, giving part of what you earn, or some other way. When you say give...

Prabhupāda: Give means, you want to take something from God. "God, give me wealth, give me fame" Yaśo dehi.

Guest (1): No, if we want to give to God...

Prabhupāda: Yes, when you learn to give God. Generally...

Guest (1): Therefore, if a man feels empty, what he can offer?

Prabhupāda: No, no, empty... God says that you can give Him patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam (BG 9.26). You can give Him little flower, little fruit, little leaf, little water. He is satisfied. Not that you have to give millions of dollars. But if you have got millions of dollars, and if you think, "God will be satisfied with little fruit," that is cheating. God knows, "He is a cheater. He has got millions of dollars and offering me little leaf, little water." He is intelligent enough. He knows that he's a cheater. People do that. Bhakti in the mind God, and for others, garama garama puri. And for Kṛṣṇa, within the mind, meditate. (laughter) God knows that "He is a cheater number one. He is preparing puri for himself, and for Me he is meditating." What is this nonsense? How meditation will help?

Guest (1): God expects something from you.

Prabhupāda: God does not expect. It is for your good. If you are simply taking from God, now if you learn how to give God, that is your perfection. That is your perfection. Why God will ask from you? He is all perfect. He does not want. He is not hungry. He is feeding millions of living entities. Eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān. Why God will ask from you? But if you give your life to God, then you become perfect. God is not want of, in your service or anything... He is complete. If he is not complete, he is not God. These are all mental concoctions. What you can do? What you have got to give charity?

Guest 4 (Indian man): What is the position of man...

Prabhupāda: You are poor man, what you can give, charity? Why you are thinking that you can give in charity? Therefore God says, dadāsi yat: "If you are thinking to make some charity, give it to Me. Come on." Just like Bali Mahārāja was approached by Vāmanadeva. The Supreme Lord went to Bali Mahārāja, "Bali Mahārāja, give Me some land." You see. So these are all mental concoctions. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā says that "If you have got such mentality to give some charity, give it to Me. Come on." The first thing is you try to learn how to give God.

Guest (1): But Gurujī, giving those who are in need, is not giving to God?

Prabhupāda: That is your philosophy. That is your philosophy. Everyone is needy.

Guest (3): Now people... There are drought conditions, people are starving. Cattles are dying. There are no rains.

Prabhupāda: Yes, because they are not God conscious, they are thinking like that. Now, suppose in the hospital, there are many patients. They are starving, many patients in the hospital. Do you know that or not? So why don't you give them food? They are starving. Why? Why don't you go to the hospital and you'll find hundreds of patients, they are starving... So similarly, why you are bothering? You are not bothering the hospital because you know that is right, they are starving. That is the physician's prescription. They must starve. So if you know God, then you will understand that you cannot help anyone. They are put into the starving condition under certain condition. So you cannot help them. You are simply thinking that "I will help." There are hundreds and thousands, millions of people starving. What you can do? Even if you try to give some something. Just like this Vivekananda philosophy, daridra-nārāyaṇa-sevā, to serve the poor Nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇa has become poor. These are manufactured things. This is not with reference to the authorized śāstras or knowledge. What they can do? They raise subscription, huge subscription, on this plea, daridra-nārāyaṇa-sevā. And Swami Nikhilananda in New York, he personally said, "Now these Americans ask me that you take from us so much money for daridra-nārāyaṇa-sevā, but when we go to India, we see all these daridra-nārāyaṇas are lying on the footpath." What you are doing for them? What you can do? You are simply thinking falsely. What you have got to give? Just oil in your own machine. Try to understand God, instead of thinking foolishly, "Oh, what I shall do, this? What I shall do, that?" First, of all try to understand the situation.

Lady: (Hindi)

Prabhupāda: (Hindi)

Guest (1): (Hindi)

Prabhupāda: Hindi (end)

MadhuGopaldas +  and Rishab +
July 27, 0011 JL +
August 26, 0012 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 1 +  and Let: 0 +