Vīrabhadra: And my fourth and last question is,are you in this world?
Prabhupāda: Hm? (laughter)
Vīrabhadra: Are you in this world?
Prabhupāda: I am?
Vīrabhadra: Are you in this world? I mean you,are you...?
Prabhupāda: I'm not in this world, yes.
Vīrabhadra: You're not in this world.
Jaya-gopāla: I thought I heard it said that you are in this world without being a part of it. You are in the world without being a part of it, being a part of it, like the lotus flower which floats on the water.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the way. That is the way of understanding. Just like I am in America. It is very easy to understand. I am not adopting any ways of life as the Americans do. So I am not in America. Not only myself, all my disciples who are following me, they are also not Americans.They're different from American behavior,American ways of life. In that sense I'm not in America. I am in Vṛndāvana because wherever I go in my apartment or in my temple I live with Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I don't accept any consciousness of America. And I teach my disciples also to take to that consciousness. So one who takes to that consciousness, he is also not in America, not in this world.It is... I have given this example many times.Just like a king and a bug is sitting on the same throne. The bug is biting and the king is ruling.It is not that because the bug is there on the throne, he is king, or the king is sitting with thebug, he is bug. Why this difference? Difference of consciousness. The king knows his duty. He is working in his duty; therefore he's king. And the bug knows his business, to bite; therefore he's bug. But sitting on the same place. But because due to different consciousness, one is bug, one is king. So if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and if you remain in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you don't belong to this world. You are no more bug, you are king. Change this consciousness.Even apparently you may seem to remain with the bug, you are no more bug.
-- Excerpt from Srila Prabhupada's Lecture on
Bhagavad-gītā 2.46-62 on Dec 16, 1968 in Los
Angeles, California, USA