The basic principle of the living condition is that we have a general propensity to love someone. No one can live without loving someone else. This propensity is present in every living being. Even an animal like a tiger has this loving propensity at least in a dormant stage, and it is certainly present in the human beings. The missing point, however, is where to repose our love so that everyone can become happy.

People become frustrated looking for the perfect object of love. We may love our brother and sister, our mother and father, our wife or husband, our friends, our community, our nation, the international community, or even all human beings, yet still our love will remain imperfect. That is because it is not all-inclusive. For example, every country considers the human beings residing there to be nationals, but not the animals. But “national” means anyone who takes birth in that country. In Sanskrit the word is praja, “those who take birth.” So it is the duty of the leader of a country to protect all praja residing there. Not that only human beings should be protected, while the animals — the cows, pigs, chickens, and so on — are slaughtered. They are also praja.

When one becomes Krishna conscious, however, he loves every living being because of its connection with Krishna. As Krishna says, “Material nature is the mother of all forms of life, and I am the seed-giving father” [Bhagavad-gita. 14.4]. Real equality and brotherhood come when we see all living entities as equal, as children of God. A person with such vision is called a pandita, or wise man. A pandita does not say, “Only my father and brother are good, and all others are bad.” That is sectarianism. At present lots of the leaders are fools and rascals because they are simply sectarian, thinking, “I am good, my brother is good, my father is good, my countrymen are good, and all others are bad.” That is the sum and substance of nationalism.

We have a propensity to love, but we do not know how to make our love perfect. That perfection is possible when we love Krishna. Now, in my old age, I am wandering all over the world teaching that everyone can become happy by practicing Krishna consciousness. It is not that I love only my countrymen, only Hindus. I love everyone, including the animals. But because human beings can understand the Krishna consciousness philosophy, I hold meetings for them.

The perfection of love of Krishna is already there within everyone. As it is stated in a book called Caitanya Caritamrita, “Pure love for Krishna is eternally established in the hearts of all living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When one purifies one’s heart by hearing and chanting about Krishna, that pure love naturally awakens.”


A lump of gold is gold, though it may be covered with dirt. It simply has to be cleansed; then it becomes pure gold. Similarly, everyone is Krishna conscious, but on account of association with matter people think they are something different from Krishna. Because everyone is part and parcel of Krishna, everyone has His qualities in minute degree, just as a speck of gold has the qualities of the vast mass of gold in the gold mine, or as a drop of sea water contains the same ingredients as the great ocean. The difference between Krishna and us is that He is the great, unlimited spiritual being and we are infinitesimal particles of spirit.

So, we have a propensity to love, but we do not know how to love or where our loving propensity should be reposed so that we and everyone else will be happy. The proper object of love is revealed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam [4.31.14]: “If you water the root of tree, the water is distributed to the branches, leaves, twigs, fruits, flowers — everywhere. If you put food into the stomach, the energy is distributed all over the body. Similarly, if you love Krishna, then everyone becomes satisfied.”

Krishna is the root of all existence and we are neglecting to water the root. Instead we are pouring water on the leaves and branches. That’s why the leaves and branches are drying up, and we are becoming frustrated. In other words, so-called humanitarian service or social service without any touch of Krishna consciousness is just like watering the leaves and branches of a tree without watering the root: it is all useless labor. You may perform whatever loving service you can for your society, community, and nation, but you must do it in Krishna consciousness, for the love of Krishna. Then your loving service will be perfect. Otherwise it will remain imperfect. The persons whom you are serving will ultimately not be happy, nor will you be happy.

The mission of the Krishna consciousness movement is to teach people how to love Krishna because then they will be fully satisfied. As it is said in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, “The supreme occupation for all humanity is that which awakens loving devotional service to Krishna. When such devotional service is uninterrupted and free of selfish motives, it completely satisfies the self.” Teaching this truth is the mission of the Krishna consciousness movement and the ultimate form of philanthropy. If people accept it, all their problems will be solved, and they will be very happy.


1 September 1896 – 14 November 1977. The founder and the spiritual guide (the acharya) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

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