Books Prabhupada observing devotee cook in kitchen

Published on June 11th, 2016 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Full size image

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Reading Srila Prabhupada’s Books

I am requesting all of my students to read my books very seriously every day without fail. In this way, if your mind becomes absorbed at least one or two hours daily…

Los Angeles
13 June, 1972

New York

My Dear Bhargava,

Please accept my blessings. I am in receipt of your letter dated May 31, 1972, and I have noted the contents. Our advancement in Krishna Consciousness is made possible in two ways, by Knowledge and renunciation, jnana and tyaga or tapasya. The more we become renounced from this material world, the more we advance in Krishna Consciousness. But we are only able to make such sacrifices and perform tapasya if we have got knowledge. So first thing is to become knowledgeable in Krishna Consciousness, then the tapasya or voluntary life of austerity will result automatically. So I am requesting all of my students to read my books very seriously every day without fail. In this way, if your mind becomes absorbed at least one or two hours daily in the transcendental subject matter of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, and other books then very easily you will make your advancement in Krishna Consciousness. It is not a matter of changing our engagement, adjusting this or that material condition, in order to find our real happiness. Krishna Consciousness is not like that. It is able to be performed under any variety of material conditions or with any type of engagement. Therefore if your duty as a photographer is very much helpful to our propanganda work and for improving our BTG then there is very much need for your remaining in that occupation and doing it to your best capacity. It is a fallacy to say that my present engagement with the press is not the best for my spiritual advancement, and if we think in this way we may go on trying out one engagement after another and always say the same excuse. This restlessness or agitation of the mind cannot be rectified by altering the material circumstances. If we are Krishna Conscious, any type of occupation will suit me and we shall always be satisfied. Therefore, I recommend you to read books more and more and try to understand the subject matter from different angles of vision and be always discussing it with your godbrothers even while you are working at the press, and when you are working and you cannot read, then listen to the tapes of my lectures and hear in that way. And never neglect to chant your 16 rounds of beads daily, rise early without fail, attend mangal arati, take bath, and follow the other regulative principles, and everything will come out very successfully, you can rest assured of that.

I am feeling the tendency more and more to retire behind the scenes for translating work, and I want to turn over the management of everything to the GBC and other senior leaders amongst my disciples, so if you have in future any more matters for discussing you may assist me in training these leaders and managers by placing your questions before them. I think Rupanuga will be able to answer all of your questions satisfactorily, so you can be confident that he is giving you all good advice.

Hoping this will meet you in good health,

Your ever well-wisher,

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

ACBS.sda

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34 Responses to Reading Srila Prabhupada’s Books

  1. Henk van Rijen says:

    Dear Madhudvasa dasa.

    Hare Krishna!
    Several times I have read devotees been advised to chant at least 16 rounds a day.
    I have no idea what exactly is meant with the word ’round’.
    Will you kindly explain – for my better understanding?
    Your Gratefull

    • We have a set of beads with 108 beads on it. So a round is chanting one mantra on each of the 108 beads. So a round is chanting:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      108 times.

  2. Kunal Anand says:

    Why should I read changed books?

  3. Jatin kanwat says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu ji,

    As told in Bhagvad gita Guru have great importance in a devotee life..i want to ask that how can i get a Guru???

    When i asked this to a devotee of ISKCON they told me that SHIRLA PARBHUPADA is our guru and he is present everywhere it doesn’t matter that he physically is present here or not!!!

    • It is true. Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna and he is living personally in his books. If you read Prabhupada’s books you are directly and personally associating with Srila Prabhupada. So do it. Get Prabhupada’s books and read them and you will find your guru there.

      Of course there are so many people posing as gurus at the moment, in ISKCON and out of ISKCON. But the time is bad. It is Kali Yuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy. So these days almost everyone who is presenting himself as a guru is not a pure devotee of Krishna. That is cheating. Only a pure devotee of Krishna has the power to elevate his disciples form the material platform to the spiritual platform. If one is himself still on the material platform he has no power to help anyone else to the spiritual platform. So there are so many cheaters. You can presume today that every guru is a cheater. Real guru has real symptoms and you can find out what are the symptoms of a real guru by reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and by seeing his personal example in his life.

      So the ISKCON devotees have told you the correct thing. Please follow their instructions and read Srila Prabhupada’s books and find your guru there.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Jatin kanwat says:

        Thanks alot Prabhu ji your reply is very helpfull to me i am searching for answer of this question from years and you enlightened me with this answer…. Hare Krishna 🙂

  4. Jatin kanwat says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu ji

    I want to ask that if conditions are like that i have to chant using my mobile app should i count that rounds which i have chanted using my mobile app in my total rounds of per day…

    • Hare Krishna Jatin

      If you can chant 16 rounds on beads that is best, but if, due to circumstances, you have to chant using some other counting method, then you can do that. The point, the vow, is to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, how you count them is up to you. Best to chant on Tulsi beads, but if you can not then chant Hare Krishna and count some other way.

      Personally I do not think mobile app is a very good way. Better to turn off the mobile and chant Hare Krishna using clikker or something that won’t disturb your chanting:

      https://krishnastore.com/japa-clicker-hand-tally-for-mahamantra-chanting-h-krishna-1120.html

      Mobile is very distracting and we don’t want to be distracted, at least as far as possible, while chanting Hare Krishna.

      Situation in the material world is not always perfect… So we have to adjust sometimes, to make the best use of a bad bargain.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  5. Vishal says:

    Hare Krishna ji,

    Thank you all very much for sharing such wonderful quotes and preachings.

    Today is Ekadashi. Calenders shows it on 2 days, for Vaishnavas it’s on today.

    I wish to know, on which day Kaliyug will enter into grains ? Which Ekadashi day will Kaliyug consider for entry into grains ?

    My regards

    Vishal

    • Hare Krishna Vishal

      According to Srila Prabhupada we should observe the Ekadasi fasting on the same day as it falls in Mayapur.

      So Prabhupada’s System is to get the calendar for Mayapur and use that all over the world. So Ekadasi fasting is on Sunday April 23 all over the world. That is Prabhupada’s system, and if we follow that we will not go wrong.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  6. Damien says:

    Hare Krishna, prabhu…can you please clarify something for me?

    Can advancement in Krishna Consciousness be achieved by chanting the maha-mantra alone?

    • Yes. Of course. Chanting Hare Krishna will help us to advance in Krishna consciousness undoubtedly in any circumstances.

      However there are certain things that are favorable for our advancement and certain things that impede our advancement. That is why there are regulative principles. You could say that “Will lighting a match always create fire?” And one would be inclined to say yes. But there are some circumstances that impede the fire. Like if you are pouring water on the match and trying to light it to make fire. It will be very, very difficult to get fire. So it is with the regulative principles. There are four things that very much impede our advancement in Krishna consciousness. That is illicit sex, meat eating, gambling and intoxication. So chanting Hare Krishna and doing these things is something like trying to light a fire while pouring water on it. Very difficult. Still even if you can not follow the principles you should continue chanting Hare Krishna because that chanting, although you many not get the actual result of love of God yet, still that chanting will purify you and give you the strength to follow the regulative principles.

      So we should always chant Hare Krishna, no matter how fallen we may be. But we have to know that a symptom of chanting Hare Krishna is that we will get the strength to follow the regulative principles and to make advancement in Krishna consciousness we have to follow the regulative principles.

      So just chant Hare Krishna in whatever situation you find yourself in. That will always help you. And will give you strength to follow the regulative principles and make more advancement in Krishna consciousness.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Damien says:

        Hare Krishna, Madhudvisa dasa! Thank you for the explanation!

        Is chanting mentally considered valid chanting? I can still “hear loudly” in my mind when I chant like this. I’ve started chanting quite a bit now – 102 rounds since last Thursday March 23 – sometimes verbally, and sometimes mentally, and a mixture of both.

        • No. Chanting has to be done with the tongue and heard with the ears. Chanting in the mind is not chanting. That is thinking in the mind. Of course thinking in the mind about Krishna is also good. But it does not count as chanting. Chanting must be done by vibrating the tongue and hearing through the ears. Spiritual advancement is possible through hearing. So we have to vibrate the Hare Krishna mantra with our tongue and hear it with our ears.

          • Damien says:

            Hare Krishna…!

            Oh no! I’ve been chanting both audibly and mentally combined as my lips get dried up after a while…Would that still count??

            I will chant audibly the next time…

          • No. You can’t count thinking in your mind as chanting. Chanting is done with the tongue and heard with the ears. Thinking about Krishna in the mind is also good, but you can’t count that as chanting.

          • Damien says:

            Oh…can I record my voice and then play it back like a loop over and over again while I am listening to it, and silently whisper the Hare Krishna chant along with the recording?

            And, or, can I listen to my own recorded Hare Krishna voice that can play over and over again throughout the day if I am occupied with work?

          • No. If you want to listen to something listen to Srila Prabhupada. There is Prabhupada Japa tape. That is Srila Prabhupada and other devotees chanting japa. And there are all Prabhupada kirtans and bhajans and classes and so many things.

            So don’t bother recording yourself and listening to yourself. Better to listen to a pure devotee of Krishna. Listen to Srila Prabhupada. There are thousands of hours of Prabhupada audio recordings available..

            So listen to Prabhupada…

            https://krishnastore.ca/audio-mp3-on-usb-stick-cd-om-45_47.html

        • jonathan says:

          Aloha; i will leave it to you to research, but you will find 16 Purports in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita where Srila Prabhupada emphasises His instructions of following the 4Reg.Principals and chaning 16 Rounds of Japa a day. In one of these Purports He makes the point that this Japa must be chanted Loudly so that others can also hear you chanting.
          ( another instruction that our Hrydananda swami seems to have missed along the way)

          • jonathan says:

            Aloha ~@~ 4got to mention ~@~
            Srila Prabhupada also points out in these Purports
            ~OF ALL THE ACHARYA’s INSTUCTIONS,~
            ~Following the 4 reg. principals and
            chanting 16 rounds a day ~
            ~IS THE MOST IMPORTANT.~

            Certainly an important point to study when considering
            KRISHNA’s point~Bhagavad Gita 4:34~
            Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.
            PURPORT
            “One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master.”

            Srimad Bhagavatam: ~Canto3 Ch.24 Text 12~
            “To honor the spiritual master means to carry out his instructions word for word.”

            Chaitanya Charitamrita: Adi Lila Ch.12 Text 10
            ” The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. “

  7. Damien says:

    Oh…I have a question that I’ve forgotten to ask all along. Is Krishna really blue in color. If really so, why is he blue and not having the same color like everyone else during the time he was on earth? I always see pictures of him colored blue all over and I wondered why.

    Hare Krishna!

    Damien

  8. Henk van Rijen says:

    Hare Krishna!
    Our dear cat left her body just two days ago. Sixteen was her age.
    What – according to vaishnavic filosofy – is the place/role of animals in general?
    I assume the Supreme Person of Godhead gave them an identity too? Do they – being also spirit soul then – sink and rise as human identities do after reincarnating? Can they attain a human body? Have all humans ever in their evolutional unfolding been animals once?

    Thanking you beforehand for your kind and clearing reply,

    • Hare Krishna Henk

      Yes. Cats are people too. You can also take a cat’s body in your next life and it is very likely that you will be in a cat’s body in your next life if you become attached to your pet cat like this. And that would be a great pity. Because the consciousness of a cat or any other animal is not very developed. They can only think about eating, sleeping, mating and defending. All their activities are totally driven by these four animal desires.

      Yes. Cats will eventually attain a human body. They have to evolve through various species of life until they come to either a monkey, cow or tiger body, then from these three species the next body will be human.

      Animals don’t sink and rise like humans, they just rise gradually through the species. It is an evolution of consciousness. They can not sink because their consciousness is not developed so they do not have free choice. They act out of instinct only, so there is no question of sinful and pious activities for animals.

      It is only when the consciousness is elevated to the human platform that the free will to choose between good and bad activities is there. And with that free will comes responsibility for the choices also.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  9. Jayesh says:

    Hare krishna prabhu does happiness come from satisfaction or vice versa? I was explaining someone the importance of chanting and i told him that if you chant you will be happy and if you are happy you are satisfied. And then the discussion took a different turn and then he told that if you are satisfied then you are happy. Hare krishna

    • Yes. It is splitting hairs. Satisfaction and happiness are symptoms of the same thing. You can not separate them. One is not caused by the other. Both are symptoms of the same thing. So the only cause of actual happiness and satisfaction is when we are reinstated in our eternal constitutional position as servants of Krishna.

      The materialists misidentify the body with the self. They think they are the material body. So they become confused and think if they satisfy the senses of the body that will make them happy. So they are thinking if they can have sex with a nice girl, get a lot of money, eat nice food, etc, etc, they will be happy. But this is a mistake. They are mistaking the material body as themselves and thinking that satisfying the demands of the material senses will make them happy. It is a great mistake.

      We are not the material body and no amount of material sense gratification will make us happy or satisfied. The only way we can become happy and satisfied is by reestablishing our original eternal loving relationship with Krishna and the best way to do that is by chanting:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

  10. jonathan says:

    Aloha; ~*~In regard to Srila Prabhupada’s Requests for reading His Books~*~

    1977 Srimad Bhagavatam Class@L.A.Temple(NewDwaraka) a few weeks after 1977 Mayapur Goura Purnima Festival and GBC meetings,
    Under the Order of Srila Prabhupada
    Satsvarupa das Swami was reiterating GBC resolutions from those meetings.
    One new resolution announced , made by Srila Prabhupada Himself, is His request for a minimum daily Sadhana to be followed by all formerly initiated disciples, either living in the Temples or living in their own home.
    2 points from this request
    ~1~Everyone must attend morning and evening Classes.
    ~2~Everyone must read the 4Books,
    (Bhagavad Gita~Srimad Bhagavatam~Chaitanya Charitamrita~Nectar of Devotion)
    2hours a day independently beyond the Class time.

    ~?~Update~?~

    ~1~ satsvarupa das has told me that he presently has no memory of this.

    ~2~ This established 1977 GBC resolution made by Srila Prabhupada Himself has disappeared from the “official” GBC archives~?~

  11. Vanshika says:

    Hare Krishna, Jai Srila Prabhupada, Dandvats.
    This article one should keep reading time to time so that we keep reading Gurudev Srila Prabhupada’s books daily,
    A source of great inspiration is your website Madhudvisa Prabhuji!
    Thanku
    Hare Krishna!!

  12. ananya misra says:

    father while hearing the lecture in mp3 format i fall asleep why is this/?is this due to impurity in mind

    • Yes. But keep on hearing and gradually the subject matter will become more and more interesting and you will hear it with wrapped attention. But the purification of our minds will take some time. So just keep on hearing and chanting Hare Krishna and reading Prabhupada’s books and you will see the good results in time.


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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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