“By service of the Absolute Truth, even for a few days, a devotee attains firm and fixed intelligence in Me. Consequently he goes on to become My associate in the transcendental world after giving up the present deplorable material worlds.” (SB 1.6.23)
With that firm, fixed intelligence we should remain focused on the goal of Krishna and not be distracted by the paltry pleasures and petty perturbations of this deplorable material world. It is deplorable because, although by nature we are eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss, the material world is full of ignorance and misery, and furthermore it is temporary. Also deplorable is that we come to the material world to forget Krishna and try to take His place. But when our intelligence becomes fixed on the goal of Krishna, we can go to Krishna and become His personal associate.
Sometimes there are problems. Of course, there are always problems in the material world; even in the association of devotees there can be problems. But we should not forget our real goal. Srila Prabhupada wrote, “Although there may be some difficulties within our society [ISKCON], these things are not very important. What is important is that we should simply fix our mind on Krishna’s lotus feet. This is His instruction in the Bhagavad-gita [man-mana bhava mad-bhakto]. So we associate with one another so that we can assist each other in hearing and chanting about Krishna. That is the purpose of our society, to assist each other in hearing and chanting about Krishna. This you will not find in the materialistic society, where all hearing and chanting is simply concerned with sense gratification. So, our desire is Krishna, and we want to go back home, back to Godhead, where Krishna lives eternally. So you simply follow my instructions as I have given them to you and surely your life will be a success.” (Letter dated November 22, 1974)
This is the real purpose of our society, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness: to become Krishna conscious—to chant and hear about Krishna and fix our minds on Krishna, mainly through the process of chanting and hearing in the association of devotees.
We should always keep in mind what is the purpose of our society. As Srila Prabhupada mentioned directly in his letter, and indirectly in the verse and purport, and throughout his books, it is to fix the mind on the lotus feet of Krishna and assist each other in hearing and chanting about Krishna and remembering Him. With that perspective we can make progress without being unnecessarily distracted by the petty problems, or so-called problems, of the material world—because we are fixed on the goal. We have to deal with the material world—we have to keep the body and soul together and to do so many things to live in this world. And we have to expand the mission of Krishna consciousness—that was very much Srila Prabhupada’s mood, gosthy-anandi. But again, as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said, “The best gosthy-anandi is a bhajananandi who preaches.” So when we actually experience that bliss, that ananda, in bhajana, in chanting and hearing about Krishna, we get the conviction and inspiration and potency to actually preach, to touch people’s hearts with Krishna consciousness.
So we should remain fixed on our goal and the process to achieve it. And as this verse says, after even only a few days of being engaged in the service of the Absolute Truth a devotee attains firm and fixed intelligence in Krishna and consequently, after giving up the present deplorable material worlds, goes on to become Krishna’s associate in the transcendental world.