In the present time one could think that:
‘This Vedic traditional knowledge has now come to the west, and western people are trying to take up eastern ways, and that maybe difficult!’
Sacinandana Maharaja tells a story of when his father met Srila Prabhupada. His father was an intelligent man. He was the director of the German railways. So his father asked Prabhupada:
‘What chance does a crocodile have to survive in the rein? A crocodile is out of his natural environment when you put him in the rein. How can he survive there? So you are making all these young people wear eastern dresses and take up eastern culture, but what chance do they have to survive?’
Well, he was partially right, it was difficult to survive. Therefore scriptures are making the same point again and again:
‘It’s through the association of devotees, that one will remain protected!’
It is only in the association of the devotees. Take the trouble to go and meet the devotee. Somehow or other be with the devotees again and again, and that is prerequisite. So one who has transcendental knowledge is protected but one must act on it, and that is the Vedic definition of intelligence – not only one who has knowledge but one who also acts upon it.
One who has knowledge but does not act upon it, is considered to be a ‘Sudra.’ So we must be very careful to take advantage, because I have said that in the Bhagavad-Gita, it is mentioned that the unsuccessful yogi is taking birth again. So sometimes the thought comes to our mind when we are thinking of all of us:
‘How many of us were unsuccessful yogis in the last life? And what went wrong?’
Sometimes you look at the devotees now, and sometimes you think:
‘Well, you already see how the next life is sort of coming!’
So we must be careful. It’s such a special opportunity, so we really should not miss it!
You should not think:
‘Oh, well if I don’t go back to Godhead in this life, then I’ll go somewhere else in life.’
It could take a while. So the aim is in this life, which really is the best!