“We are Srila Prabhupada’s followers—disciples and grand disciples—not because we are great or have done anything great. But we are the recipients of extremely powerful, causeless mercy. Of course, it is to our credit that we have come to the association of devotees and stayed in the association of devotees—that much we have done, and we should continue. But what we really are doing is putting ourselves in a position where we can receive that mercy. Of course, whatever instructions we receive, it is our duty to try our best to execute them.
Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja said emphatically that we can not make any advancement by our efforts, that whatever advancement we make is only by mercy. Anyone who sincerely tries to chant the holy name with full attention and absorption knows that it is only by mercy that we can have any taste for the holy name. Devotees who in any way take risks or do things beyond their normal capacity experience that it is only by mercy that they are able to be successful.”