W hat do Prabhupāda’s books tell you to do? His books tell you to find the proper association of devotees, and particularly to find a devotee to whom you can surrender to, whom you have faith in – that this person knows Kṛṣṇa and can guide me Back to Home, Back to Godhead. If you haven’t come to that, then it doesn’t matter where you are, or what temple your in, what job you have – pack your bags and move today, because life’s clock is clicking down! If you don’t come to that wholesome shelter in your life, you human form of life has more or less been stalled. Maybe not wasted, because you chanted, you did things, you worship the Deity, and took prasāda and so many things, but if all that doesn’t culminate in that connection, then you can never surrender. Surrender can not be done, just to the object of the deity, or the general plane of service, through the guru’s institution even. Śrīla Purī Mahārāja has written, “Without surrender to the desires of the guru, simply serving His institution for lifetimes does not produce the desired result.”
God is not an institution, institutions are established to help us reach Him, understand what He is, disseminate that basic knowledge of what He is, and how to approach Him. Institutions are not just for themselves – they have a purpose.