“Sometimes we are very enthusiastic but we don’t have a clear idea of what service is: we come to Krishna consciousness with our own conceptions and we try to apply our own ideas of what is ‘good’ and what is ‘spiritual’. When we engage in very deep service, we take all these misconceptions with us, and if we don’t leave them they will take us away, and we will go behind them. If those misconceptions don’t get burned in the fire of sacrifice and we don’t get to the proper conception of service, then we may decide that this is not what we expected and just want to leave. I’ve seen this happen sometimes.
“If you live in your house and chant your mantra you can live very peacefully, but when you do some active service like preaching then so many obstacles will come, from the environment and from within yourself, because the purification of the heart is starting in a serious way.”
—Krishna Kanta Devi Dasi
The Absolute Truth must be sought out through a real process; otherwise we shall go the wrong way and then say, “Oh, there is nothing here; it is not real.” So, only if we follow this real process of understanding the truth will we experience the real nature of divinity.
(Sri Guru and His Grace, chapter one)
Our practice, our advancement, needs all these difficulties. Otherwise we may not know what is progress and we will become hypocrites, and give the same adulterated thing to others. So, to purify ourselves it is necessary that so many disturbances come.
(Sri Guru and His Grace, chapter five)
So, what is service proper? Hegel’s philosophy is “die to live”: dissolve your ego as it is at present. Dissolve it mercilessly—die. Die means to dissolve, mercilessly. Throw yourself into the fire and you will come out with a bright self. Learn to die as you are: that mental concocted body, that concocted energy. Take the Name of the Lord and die. Bhakati-vinoda aja apane bhulila. Forget yourself as you are at present, and you will find your proper self there that does not die. Death is ordained for our existence, so give to the death that part of you that is ordained to die, and the eternal part of you will remain.
(Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion Vol IV chapter five)