Stories shared by Srila Prabhupada during conversations and lectures.
There is a short story in this connection about a snake who became a devotee upon instruction by Narada, who instructed him not to bite anymore. Since ordinarily a snake's business is to fatally bite other living entities, as a devotee he was forbidden to do so. Unfortunately, people took advantage of this nonviolence on the part of the snake, especially the children, who began to throw stones at him. He did not bite anyone, however, because it was the instruction of his spiritual master.
After a while, when the snake met his spiritual master, Narada, he complained, "I have given up the bad habit of biting innocent living entities, but they are mistreating me by throwing stones at me." Upon hearing this, Narada Muni instructed him, "Don't bite, but do not forget to expand your hood as if you were going to bite. Then they will go away." Similarly, a devotee is always nonviolent; he is qualified with all good characteristics. But, in the common world, when there is mischief made by others, he should not forget to become angry, at least for the time being, in order to drive away the miscreants.
Reference: Srimad Bhagavatam 4.11.31 Purport
Prabhupada: It is a question of culture. Culture. She was king's daughter, royal, and married her with a muni, and old, rotten - older than me. All the skin has become slackened. But still she was serving him just like worshipable lord. The age difference is great-grandfather and great-granddaughter. You'll find in Bhagavatam.
Lord Siva, he could not construct even a house. He was living underneath a tree. And his wife, Durga, srishti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka [Bs 5.44]. She can create a new world, so powerful, Durga. She's living with her husband underneath a tree. Never claims, "My dear husband, if you cannot, I can make one." There is a story about that, "People criticize us. All right, let us have some house." So Lord Siva, Durga, both of them capable to do anything. So they constructed a very nice gold house. "Now we shall live." So there is new house entering ceremony. So one Gargamuni was invited as brahmana. Many other brahmanas.
So they began to eat so much. Then whatever stock they have finished, then when after eating, when they wanted, "Give us dakshina," because after eating there is... So Lord Siva, "Where shall I get everything? I have finished." Then they became puzzled what to do. So Lord Siva said, "All right, you take this house." Again they became underneath a tree. [laughs] "All right, as dakshina you take this house. Don't bother." Their house entrance ceremony was there. As a result of that ceremony they became again underneath a tree.
Reference: Room Conversation - September 9, 1976, Vrindavana
It is mentioned that the spiritual world is just manifestation of cit-sakti, and this material world is creation of material energy or karma-sanga, where everyone has to work. Without work, it is said, na hi suptasya simhasya pravisanti mukhe mrigah. That is very nice example. In the forest the lion is supposed to be the mightiest animal, and he is sometimes called the king of the animals, pasu-raja. So in one place it is said that even the lion, who is the king of the forest, if he sleeps and he thinks that animals will come and enter in his mouth, that is not possible. He has to also find out how to eat. Na hi suptasya simhasya pravisanti mukhe mrigah. The lion is so powerful, but he cannot also dictate.
So there is another story, buddhir yasya balam tasya / nirbuddhes tu kuto balam / pasya simho madonmattah / sasa kena nipatitah, that a lion was killed by a rabbit. Sasakena nipatitah. Why? Now, buddhir yasya balam tasya: "One who has got intelligence, he has got power." A lion is very mighty, ferocious animal, and a sasaka, an ordinary rabbit, he killed a lion. How? Now, the lion was disturbing all animals, so all the animals held a meeting and called the lion: "Sir, you do not try to kill us all, hunting after everyone. We shall go voluntarily every day, one of us. So you don't create disturbance. Let us become peaceful." So lion agreed, "All right, if you voluntarily come, I will sleep, and if you enter in my mouth..." So this was the agreement.
Then there was the turn of one rabbit. So he planned something. He went to the lion a little late. So lion was very angry that, "Why you have come late? I am hungry, and you did not come." [laughter] So the rabbit said, "Sir, there was a danger in the way." "What is that?" "There is another lion, and he wanted to kill me and eat, so I protested, 'No, sir, you cannot kill me. [laughter] I am destined to be killed by such and such lion, so you cannot do it.'" So he was very much pleased: "Where is that lion?" "Yes. Please come. I will show you." So he took him near one well. The rabbit said, "He is living within this." [laughter] The lion immediately... "Come on. Make a how!" So there was vibration, still higher sound, and he saw his photo, yes, shadow. So he thought it, "Yes, there is a lion." Immediately jumped over him. [devotees laugh] Finished. So how the lion was killed by the rabbit? Now, buddhir yasya balam tasya: "One who has got intelligence, he has got power."
Reference: Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.44 - Los Angeles, June 10, 1976
Now this Arjunacarya...that's a very nice story. When he was writing commentaries, oh, he thought, "How is that Lord will come Himself and deliver the goods? Oh, it is not possible. He might be sending through some agents." So he wanted to cut vahamy aham, "I bear the burden and deliver." He wrote in a way that, "I send some agent who delivers."
So that Arjunacarya went to take bath, and in the meantime two boys, very beautiful boys, they brought some very nice foodstuff in large quantity. And in India there is a process to taking two sides burden on the bamboo. Just like a scale it is balanced. So these two boys brought some very highly valuable foodstuff and grains and ghee, and his wife was there. And the boys said, "My dear mother, Arjunacarya has sent these goods to you. Please take delivery." "Oh, you are so nice boy, you are so beautiful boys, and he has given. And Acarya is not so cruel. How is that? He has given so much burden to you, and he is not kind...?" "Oh, I was not taking, just see, he has beaten me. Here is cane mark. Oh, see." His wife became very much astonished that, "Acarya is not so cruel. How he has become so cruel?" So she was thinking in that way. Then, "All right, my dear boys. You come on." And gave him shelter. And, "No. I shall go because Arjunacarya again comes. He will chastise us." "No, no. You sit down, take foodstuff." She prepared foodstuff, and then they went away.
And when Arjunacarya came back, the wife said, "Acarya, you have become so much cruel nowadays?" "Oh, what is that?" "Two boys, very nice boys, they have brought so many foodstuff. You loaded on their head, and they denied to take it, and you have beaten them, chastised?" He said, "No. I have never done this. Why shall I do it?" Then she described, "Oh, such a nice beautiful boy." Then Arjunacarya understood that, "Because I wanted that God does not deliver, so He has delivered these goods, and because I cut these alphabets that He does not give personally, so He has shown that beating mark."
There is an incident in southern India of Yamunacarya. That story is there. Of course, you may believe or not believe. That's a different thing. But here the Lord says that, "I personally deliver." So those who are in Krishna consciousness, those who are actually busy in the matter of discharging their duties as a Krishna conscious person, they may be assured that so far their living condition is concerned or their comforts of life is concerned, that is assured by the Lord. There will be no hampering.
Reference: Bhagavad-gita 9.20-22 - New York, December 6, 1966
Prabhupada: So a grihastha, of course, required to accumulate some money because he's living with family, but so far brahmacari, vanaprastha and sannyasi is concerned, they should not keep any money.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu was so strict that His personal servant, one day he was taking after eating a little, what is called, myrobalan, haritaki. So one day he was giving myrobalan and Caitanya Mahaprabhu inquired, "Where you got this myrobalan?" So he said, "I kept it from yesterday." "Oh, you are stocking?" He immediately criticized him. "You are stocking? This is not good." So this principle...
Of course, even if we do not stock, don't think that we'll starve. Krishna has provided. But we should be depending on Krishna. There is no anxiety. Actually, there is no anxiety. We have experienced this. I was alone for many years, but not a single day I was starving.
Reference: Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.6.15 - New Vrindaban, June 29, 1976