Mr. Malhotra: How it can be that so many sages of the past, they proclaimed ahaṁ brahmāsmi.
Prabhupāda: Brahman (Hindi). You are Brahman. Because you are part and parcel of Parabrahman. That I have already told you. That gold, big gold and small particle, that is gold. Similarly, Bhagavān Parabrahman, and we are part and parcel of Him. Therefore I am Brahman. But I am not Parabrahman. Kṛṣṇa is accepted as Parabrahman by Arjuna: paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12). Parabrahman. So param, this word is used, Paramātmā, Parabrahman, Parameśvara. Why? That is the difference. One is supreme and one is subordinate. Subordinate Brahman. You are Brahman, there is no doubt of it. But not that Parabrahman. If you are Parabrahman, then why you are making sādhana to become Parabrahman? Why? If you are Parabrahman, then you are Parabrahman always. Why you have fallen in this condition that you have to perform sādhana to become Parabrahman? That is foolishness. You are not Parabrahman. You are Brahman. You are gold, a small particle. But you cannot say that "I am gold mine." That you cannot do. Paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12).
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: So he is checking if it is time to go on... Are you going to come with us also? Very good.
Prabhupāda: Bring little water. These, my disciples they are part and parcel of me. Whole mission is going on with their cooperation. But if he says that I am equal to my Guru Mahārāja, then that is offense.
Mr. Malhotra: Suppose guru desires that my disciple should rise higher than me.
Prabhupāda: That means he is in lower stage. That you have to accept first of all.
Mr. Malhotra: Like as a father sees that his children grow.
Prabhupāda: Yes, still father begets father, and a child cannot become father.
Mr. Malhotra: Father begets father but he feels that he may, will progress...
Prabhupāda: No, no. Father may want to see that the son is equally qualified, but still the father is father, and child is child. That is perpetual. Similarly, a part and parcel of God may be very powerful, but that does not mean that he has become God.
Mr. Malhotra: Other traditions, guru disciple, then the disciple becomes guru, then disciple. The gurus may change.
Prabhupāda: They cannot change. If there are change of guru, the disciple acts, but does not, he'll never say that I have become equal or one with guru. That is not so.
Mr. Malhotra: I am thinking about this, Swamiji, that your Guru Mahārāja is preaching through you, and you are preaching through them.
Mr. Malhotra: So disciple is guru through his disciples.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. Evaṁ paramparā prāptam (BG 4.2). But that does not become, he has become. He may be representative of guru, representative of God, but it does not mean that he has become God.
Mr. Malhotra: But he becomes guru with his disciples.
Prabhupāda: That's alright.
Mr. Malhotra: Never equal to his guru.
Prabhupāda: Not equal, representative. I send one representative of this man, and he may be very expert, doing very good business, still he cannot be equal to me. He is acting as my representative, that's another thing. But not that he has become the original proprietor.
Mr. Malhotra: But as your disciples, you are taken as guru.
Prabhupāda: But they will never say that they have become equal to me. "I have advanced to be my guru." Never say. Just like this boy, he is offering obeisances. He may be expert in preaching more than me, but he knows that "I am subordinate." Otherwise how he shall offer obeisances? He can think, "Oh, now I am so learned. I am so advanced. Why shall I accept him as superior?" No. That continues. Even after my death, after my disappearance, he will offer obeisances to my picture.
Mr. Malhotra: But amongst his disciples he will be worshiped...
Prabhupāda: That's all right, but he remains a disciple of his guru. He will never say that "Now I have become guru, so I don't care for my guru." He will never say. Just like I am doing, but I am worshiping my guru still. So I remain subordinate to my guru, always. Even though I have become guru, still I am subordinate to my guru.
Room Conversation with Life Member, Mr. Malhotra -- December 22, 1976, Poona