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Sometimes the sankirtana devotees are criticized for strongly identifying with their service. But I think this identification is good because it is so easy to stop being a sankirtana devotee and become a gurukida devotee, a kitchen devotee, a puja devotee, a farm devotee, or whatever, because these activities don't demand as much surrender and are not as taxing as going out, walking the streets, and meeting contaminated, inimical, and demoniac people on snrikjrtnnn every day To come back to the temple and do some other service doesn't mean everything is going to be blissful, because the mind goes with vou. The mind becomes agitated in the temple because there is less pure protection in the temple than in the sankirtana field. There are all kinds of agitations: somebody tries to push his opinion on you, to show you he is better than you, or to force you to do something you don't want to do. It is just plain old mdya. There are a lot of troubles in the temple; everything is not all peaches and cream. It is much better out on sankirtana, where you will find the real protection, the real bliss, and the juice of Krsna consciousness.
To identify yourself as a sankirtana devotee is a lot better than to identify yourself as a grhastha or a brdhmana or a this or a that. We are all sankirtana devotees in Lord Chaitanya's eternal sankirtana party, so there can be no fault with this identification. But, of course, if you become proud and think other devotees are something else, more lowly, then you fall down from the platform of purification and become contaminated. Proud devotees usually fall away trom the sanklrtana mission and cannot do it for a long time.But one who knows, "I'm a sankirtana devotee, and I had better stay a sankirtana devotee," and who therefore prays, "Krsna, please give me Your mercy so I can remain a sanklrtana devotee, and all you devotees, please bless me so that I can perform this service all my life" — then it is a good identification, because that makes one humble. Being a sankirtana devotee means being a servant of all the people. It doesn't mean you are something great, glorious, and wonderful. Of course, the sankirtana devotees are glorified on the weekends. Someone will get all the roars and "rahhhs" from all the devotees. "Rahhh! You're the greatest! You're number one! Pound the drums! Pound the floor! This guy's the greatest!" Of course, five minutes later everyone forgets it. But, at the time, one is thinking himself the greatest. That is an identification which also destroys everything. You are not the greatest, you are not the smallest. You are just Krsna's humble servant. You are supposed to go out and distribute the books and not get hung up on all these things. In a humble state ot mind one can perform sarlklrtana continuously. But as far as the identification itself, it is good to identify yourself as a sankirtana devotee. It is better than any other identification. But ultimately we know we are just Krsna's servants. We are • nothing but the servants of the servants of the servants of the gopls. Lord Chaitanya taught us this, and He is the supreme sankirtana-dcarya. So we should follow in His footsteps.
Anybody with a sense of Krsna consciousness in his heart will glorify the sankirtana devotees, but it is the sankirtana devotees' responsibility to understand that all this glorification is for their service, not for them. If somebody says, "Oh, you're doing so wonderfully," it is because you are doing a wonderful service. The service is glorious, and you just happen to be doing it. Therefore you are being glorified. Somebody else will do it if you don't, and then he will be glorified. These books are so wonderful that anything connected with them — reading them, distributing them, producing them — makes one glorious. It is the books' credit, not one's own credit.