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One has to awaken his Kṛṣṇa consciousness by first regretting his past deeds. Just as King Purañjana began to flatter his Queen, one should, by deliberate consideration, raise himself to the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. To attain such an end, one must touch the lotus feet of the spiritual master. Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be achieved by self-endeavor. One must therefore approach a self-realized, Kṛṣṇa conscious person and touch his lotus feet. Prahlāda Mahārāja therefore said:
naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ
spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ
niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat
One cannot come to the precincts of Kṛṣṇa consciousness unless he touches the dust of the lotus feet of a person who has become a mahātmā, a great devotee. This is the beginning of the surrendering process. Lord Kṛṣṇa wants everyone to surrender unto Him, and this surrendering process begins when one touches the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master. By sincerely rendering service to a bona fide spiritual master, one begins his spiritual life in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Touching the lotus feet of a spiritual master means giving up one’s false prestige and unnecessarily puffed-up position in the material world. Those who remain in the darkness of material existence due to their falsely prestigious positions — so-called scientists and philosophers — are actually atheists. They do not know the ultimate cause of everything. Although bewildered, they are not ready to surrender themselves to the lotus feet of a person who knows things in their proper perspective. In other words, one cannot arouse Kṛṣṇa consciousness simply by his own mental speculation. One must surrender to a bona fide spiritual master. Only this process will help one.