PQPA—6. The Perfect Devotee———-February 29, 1972, evening
680) Whether I know what austerity is! Taught by Srila Prabhupada!
Syämasundara: Srila Prabhupäda, this afternoon we were discussing austerities.
Srila Prabhupäda: Mm?
Syämasundara: If we don’t practice austerities voluntarily, then we must involuntarily practice some austerities.
Srila Prabhupäda: Yes, under the direction of the spiritual master one should… You have no mind to follow austerities, but when you accept a spiritual master, you have to carry out his order. That is austerity.
Syämasundara: Even if you don’t want to practice austerity, you must.
Srila Prabhupäda: Yes, you must. Because you have surrendered to your spiritual master, his order is final. So even if you don’t like it, you have to do it. To please me.
Srila Prabhupäda: But you don’t like… [He laughs.] Nobody likes to fast, but the spiritual master says, “Today, fasting,” so what can be done? [Syämasundara laughs.] A disciple is one who has voluntarily agreed to be disciplined by the spiritual master. That is austerity.