This life of spiritual execution cannot be hampered by any material condition. From Srimad-Bhagavatam we understand that sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6]. That is the highest type of religious performances by which one can achieve the perfection of loving God.
Yato bhaktir adhoksaje. Bhakti means to offer transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord. Bhakti. Bhaj-dhatu sevaya(?). Bhaj. Bhaj-dhatu, it is a verb, bhaj. Bhaj means to render service just like servant renders service to the master, friend renders service to the friend, wife renders service to the husband, husband renders service to the wife.
This service-rendering process is going on everywhere. Nobody is absolute that he does not render service to anyone. That is not possible. I have repeatedly explained that if somebody has no master to serve, he voluntarily accepts a cat or dog as his master to serve. The nice name is pet dog, but it is serving. The mother serves the child. So one who has no child, he takes the cat as her child and serves.
So the service mood is going on everywhere. But the highest perfection of service is when we learn to serve the Supreme Absolute Lord. That is called bhakti. And that bhakti execution of service to the Lord is ahaituki. Just like we have got some little examples. This mother is serving the child not with any expectation. She loves to serve the child. She wants to see the child is in comfort, the child does not feel any discomfiture. That is her pleasure.
There is no reason why she is loving. That is natural. Similarly, when we invoke our natural love for God, that is the highest perfection of religious principle. Ahaituky apratihata. Apratihata means it cannot be checked by any material condition. Just like we want to chant Hare Krsna; this is service. This is the beginning of service, chanting the glories of the Lord, or praying the Lord, "Hare, O the energy of the Lord, Krsna, O Lord, please engage me in Your service." This is the prayer. Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, repeatedly, "Please engage me. Please engage me." But God can give you many things. Whatever you want, He is giving. Ye yatha mam prapadyante [Bg. 4.11]. He can give you even salvation, but very rarely He gives you the chance of serving Him.
So service is not an ordinary thing. So this is, this service is unimpaired, unchecked by any material condition. So Sukadeva Gosvami, he gives us some definition how you can be completely independent to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now our problem is eating-sleeping. Eating-sleeping. After sleeping, there is mating or fearing. These are the problems of bodily demands. So Sukadeva Gosvami recommends for a serious devotee, he says, cirani kim pathi na santi. Cirani means worn-out, rejected garments.
In your country it is very usual to find in the dustbin so many things are thrown away. So sometimes nice dress is also thrown away. So Sukadeva Gosvami says that if you have problem of dressing yourself, just pick up some old garments from the street. Cirani kim pathi na santi. "All right. I get my garment. What about my food?" He said, cirani kim pathi na santi disanti bhiksam naivanghripah para-bhrtah. Anghripah means the living entity who eats by its leg. Just like we eat by our hand. Do you know what is that living entity who eats by the leg? Can you... Huh? No. Trees. Yes. Yes. The trees, they eat from the root. That is their eating process. You pour water on the root of the tree, and that water the whole tree sucks. That is their eating. Therefore they are called anghripah. They drink their food, eatables, by the leg. So their qualification is para-bhrtah. Para-bhrtah means trees are meant for sustaining others. Trees. Just like a nice mango tree, it produces nice fruit, but it does not eat. It is for you. Para-bhrtah, maintains others. The tree gives shelter, the tree gives fruits. You cut trees for your purpose; it does not protest. Therefore the tree's life is dedicated for the service of others.
So Sukadeva Gosvami says "Whether such nice living entity who has dedicated his life for others does not give you fruits?" So why you are thinking of your food problem? The food is there in the tree and the garment is on the street. Then where is my home, apartment? Sukadeva Gosvami says, ruddha guhah kim, "Whether the caves of the mountain are closed?" They are open for you. The caves of the mountain are open for you, the trees are there to supply you food, and people throw away old garments, that is your dress. And water? Water supply? Sukadeva Gosvami says, "Whether the rivers are dried up?" There is water. In this way he gives a very nice list so that you can become very independent. There is no problem for your bodily demands. But one has to practice. Formerly the saints, mendicants, sages, they used to practice like that, that not dependent on any condition. And so far God, God is within you. So you haven't got to go anywhere to search out God. God is with you, and you can be independent in this way.
So there is no problem for executing devotional service to the Lord. And that is the highest perfection of all religious principles. But we have to practice. And that is not possible in this age. This age is called Kali. It is very difficult age. People are not very much interested to the most important problem of life. They are alpayusa. Prayenalpayusah sabhya kalav asmin yuge janah. People are short-living and manda. Manda means very slow for ultimate goal of life. The ultimate goal of life is to search out or is to reestablish your lost relationship with God. That is the mission of human life. Otherwise what is the difference between animal life and human life? The animal life, they are also busy for eating, sleeping, mating and defending. So if we human beings, we are also similarly busy, then what is the difference? So this sort of civilization, simply making nice arrangement for eating and sleeping and mating and defending, that is not practically human civilization. The human civilization is meant for searching out God. Na te viduh. They do not know, unfortunately. They have forgotten. But by good association, they can remember. Therefore this meeting of Krsna Consciousness Society's meeting is just to give people chance to associate with the Society and invoke their lost relationship with God. That is the missionary activities of this Society.
So that is the highest gift to the human society. There are so many welfare activities in the human society. People open hospitals, schools, colleges, charitable institution. They are nice. But the best contribution to the human society is to revive his lost relationship with God. Just like a rich man's son. Someway or other he has left his father's home and he's loitering here and there. Somebody finds him: "Oh, you are Mr. such and such. You are the son of such and such gentleman. He's very rich man. Why you are suffering? Come, come with me. I shall take to your father." So this is one kind of welfare activity. And another welfare activity, the same person who is loitering in the street, somebody says, "Oh, you are hungry. All right, come on. I shall give you some bread." That is also welfare activity, but this welfare activity, to get the lost son to his father, rich father, not ordinary father, that is the best service. Similarly, all living entities... As Krsna claims in the Bhagavad-gita... Krsna claims,
murtayah sambhavanti yah
tasam brahma mahad yonir
aham bija-pradah pita
In many places in the Bhagavad-gita Krsna claims all living entities as His sons, parts and parcels. Just like your children, they are part and parcel of your body. They are not different from you. The same blood is running in his body. Similarly, our constitutional position is that the same blood of God is running in our body. We are not different in that way from God.
[Excerpt from a lecture on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.2.5—Los Angeles, December 2, 1968]