Preaching–First Become and Ideal Devotee
February 4, 2011 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Filed under Letters, Preaching
Lord Caitanya said that one should first make himself perfect and then attempt to instruct others. There is no point in telling another man to stop smoking if you yourself are smoking cigarettes.
Hyderabad, 23 April, 1974
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 9th April from Scotland.
You are asking what should your preaching work be now that you are attending the university. So the first preaching work is that yourself should become an ideal devotee. Lord Caitanya said that one should first make himself perfect and then attempt to instruct others. There is no point in telling another man to stop smoking if you yourself are smoking cigarettes. Even though you are mixing with all kinds of the student class at the university, you must strictly refrain from the four prohibitive sinful activities, and as an initiated student you must not let a day pass when you do not chant at least 16 rounds of Hare Krsna Mantra. If you can follow just these things nicely that in itself will be strong preaching by behavior. You should also always wear Kunti beads around the neck and wear the marking of tilak. People will inquire from you and you can tell them about Krsna Consciousness and sell them books also.
You should also try to associate with the devotees in England and Scotland. If possible, visit the temple on Sundays and whenever you can, and always read my books. I will be coming to London in the first week of Maya and if you can come and see me at Bhaktivedanta Manor that will be very nice.
Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami