Devotee (1): For someone whose determination wavers and slackens here and there, is there ever a point where the neophyte devotee is in danger of just forgetting everything and falling, tumbling completely backwards?
Prabhupada: Everyone is neophyte. He should practice determination, that’s all. If he cannot practice, then why should he enter into this association? Let him remain aloof. One who has entered with the determination that “I must practice,” so if he cannot practice, then why this make-show that “I belong to Krsna consciousness movement. I am initiated.” Why this farce? He must practice with determination, that “By practicing I’ll be success.” That is wanted. He has no determination, why should he make a show? Drdha-vrata. Bhajante mam drdha-vratah [Bg. 7.28]. Drdha-vrata, that is wanted, determination. Hmm, go on. When one is determined, his success is assured. If he’s not determined, then success or failure.
Devotee (2): Can one develop determination gradually?
Prabhupada: Why gradually? When you promise before your spiritual master that no illicit sex, no gambling, no meat-eating, why should you fall down? If you have no determination, why should you promise in presence of the Deity, fire, spiritual master, Vaisnava? Why do you make this farce, if you have no determination? If you want to make it a farce, that depends on you. But you should not.
Devotee (2): When we make that promise…
Prabhupada: Yes, you should not fall down. That is determination. That is a gentleman’s determination, that “I have given my promise. Why shall I fall down?” That is determination. “I must respect promise.” That is called drdha-vrata. So he’ll success. Where is the difficulty? There is no difficulty. But if we want to cheat, that is another thing. If we have no determination, we should not take up this life. Therefore, chance is given that “Stay with us for six months or one year, be determined. Then be initiated.” If you are not determined, what is the use of false initiation?
Devotee (2): Sometimes this weakness seems to be…
Prabhupada: You should rectify weakness. Why you should give any importance to weakness? Weakness is weakness. Rectify it.
Garden Conversation — June 23, 1976, New Vrindavan