Published on March 29th, 2018 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Full size image


Preaching–First Become and 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.

Hyderabad, 23 April, 1974

Glasgow, Scotland

Dear Niranjana,

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


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3 Responses to Preaching–First Become and Ideal Devotee

  1. gargamuni das says:

    Prabhupada: Fight… Without fight where is life? If there is no fighting, then what is that life? That is dead stone. Fight must be there. Krsna’s whole life is fighting from the very birth. His father carried Him to Gokula where He is still living, and He fell down from the Yamuna . Just born, fighting began. Just born. And at Yasodamayi’s house, Nanda Maharaja’s house, so many demons daily coming — Sakatasura, Aghasura, Bakasura, Putana, so on, so on, so on; ultimately Kamsa, when He was young boy. Vrndavana, so many asuras came. You have seen the pictures? Krsna is fighting with the horse demon, with the bull, fighting. If Krsna is fighting, why not Krsna consciousness the same thing? You cannot expect peaceful life. No, there must be fighting, then think, “That is Krsna’s presence, His fight.” So this fighting means they’re feeling the presence of Krsna consciousness movement.

    >>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation about New York Court Case — November 2, 1976, Vrndavana

    Then you become madhyama-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari, advanced devotee. Just like these people, either in India or here, they remain simply Churchianity, going to the church without any understanding. Therefore it is failing. Churches are being closed. Similarly, if you do not keep yourself fit to preach, then your temples will all be closed in due course of time. Without preaching, you’ll not feel enthused to continue the temple worship. And without temple worship, you cannot keep yourself pure and clean. The two things must go on, parallel. Then there is success. In modern time, either Hindus, Muslim or Christian, because in these places there is no teaching of philosophy, therefore they are closing, either mosque or temple or church. They will close.
    Prajapati: They can show no good result for their activities.
    Prabhupada: Yes. That is preaching. Therefore we are writing so many books. Unless we take care of the books and preach and read ourself, understand the philosophy, this Hare Krsna will be finished within few years. Because there will be no life. How long one can artificially go on, “Hare Krsna! Haribol!” That will be artificial. No life.
    Yasomatinandana: That’s right, Prabhupada. We are so foolish, we never realize anything you tell us like that. Without the preaching…
    Prabhupada: Without preaching, without understanding philosophy, you cannot keep your strength. Everyone should be thoroughly well conversed with the philosophy which we are putting… That means you must read thoroughly every day. So many books we have got. And Bhagavata is so perfect that any verse you read, you get a new enlightenment. It is so nice. Either Bhagavad-gita or Bhagavata. But it is not ordinary writing.
    Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk — December 12, 1973, Los

  2. Hunter says:


    I am 18 years old and just got out of High School. I am not sure if I want to go to college, but should I follow these same directions? Should I wear Tilak when I go to work? If it is something Srila Prabhupada wants, I will surly try to do so!

    Thank you!

    • sanil says:

      hare krishna hunter,
      if you ish to follow krishna consciousness strictly in your life then you must wear kunti beads round your neck and tilak on the forehead. in this way you will quickly achieve perfection and go back to godhead.

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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

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