I knew one devotee in London when I joined the Hare Krishna movement, 44 years ago, on January 7th. I moved into the temple in London. We had one devotee who had great faith in the chanting of Hare Krishna and if anyone asked him a question on anything, anything, his answer was ‘Just chant Hare Krishna’. You could ask him, literally, “What’s the time?” “Just chant Hare Krishna” would be his answer. “What should I do now?” “Just chant Hare Krishna” would be his answer. He was extreme. What he said was so of right. How could it be wrong to chant Hare Krishna? It can’t be but the thing is that when we are presenting Krishna consciousness and trying to help people understand these things and help them to enter into Krishna consciousness and facilitate their becoming involved, we definitely should try to consider or understand what sort of person do I have in front of me.
Now to make a snap judgement or do a quick analysis of what kind of person is this, on the surface level, it may not be too hard according to their attire. To present Krishna consciousness to a person so that it really strikes a chord in their hearts. To do that, we need to understand the person a bit so you may have to ask a few questions: What do you do? Etc by then you can mould your response in ways you feel will be relevant to the person. If you start talking severe renunciation to a hipster or something like that then it is quite possible that they will be put off.
I was present, I was not in the room but I was in Bhaktivedanta Manor when Srila Prabhupada met and spent maybe an hour with Graham Hill. He was a Grand Prix driver in the 60s maybe. He was the top man for some years, the most successful racing driver in the world. He came to meet with Srila Prabhupada and you know what Srila Prabhupada spoke to him about for the first 5 minutes? Prabhupada spoke to him about motor cars. Graham Hill was not a spiritual person but yet he really tuned in and then Srila Prabhupada started presenting Krishna consciousness and the man stayed for one hour. Therefore, we shouldn’t be like tape recorders or mp3 files. If you have an mp3 file, you can play it on any machine at any time of day and it will sound the same. So we shouldn’t just be mp3 files.
Krishna consciousness is a personal process. It is not impersonal. It is never impersonal. It is always personal and people like it when you deal with them personally and not like they are numbers or something like that.