Become a Spiritual Master and present Bhagavad-gita As It Is |

Spiritual Master / Guru

Published on February 17th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Become a Spiritual Master and present Bhagavad-gita As It Is–Thanks_to_the_Original_Guru.mp3

One who is doing this humble service of preaching work, Krishna consciousness, nobody is dearer than him to Me [Krishna]. So if you want to become recognized by Krishna very quickly, you take up this process of becoming spiritual master, present the Bhagavad-gita as it is. Your life is perfect.

My dear sons and daughters, I am so much obliged to you that you have become so enthusiastic for offering Vyasa-puja. Now try to understand. Several times we have explained why this function is called Vyasa-puja. I have already explained in the morning, this offering worshiping, one may think that this man is teaching his disciples man-worshiping, anthropomorphism. But it is not man-worshiping. One should not misunderstand. Vyasadeva is the original spiritual master. Original spiritual master is Krishna. From Krsna, Brahma was initiated, Lord Brahma. Tene brahma hrdaya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah. It is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that when Brahma was created, it was all darkness within the universe. He could not understand what is the purpose of his becoming there. Then he engaged himself in tapasya, and he was initiated from within.

Krsna is within everyone. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ‘rjuna tisthati. So He is called caitya-guru, means guru within the heart. And when Krsna understands… Because Krsna knows everything, whatever we are willing, whatever we are doing. He is the Paramatma; He’s sitting within our hearts as witness. Anumanta upadrsta. Upadrsta means simply observing what we are doing, and what we are desiring. So as we desire, Krsna is very kind, He gives us facility. We have many times explained. Therefore, we have got varieties of bodies to enjoy this material world. So when Krsna sees that a living entity is very anxious to understand Him or to revive his Krsna consciousness, then Krsna gives him all opportunity, especially by manifesting Himself as the spiritual master. Antar bahih. The spiritual master is therefore Krsna’s manifestation–Krsna’s mercy manifestation to help a person to develop his Krsna consciousness.

From within He’s helping. Therefore, He’s called caitya-guru, and from without, He sends His representative to help how to become advanced in Krsna consciousness.

Therefore, to advance in Krsna consciousness we require two kinds of help–one from Krsna and another from the spiritual master. It is stated in the Caitanya-caritamrta… You’ll be glad now that Caitanya-caritamrta is now published. (devotees: Jaya! Haribol!) Yes. (This) It is the… Our Panditji, Pradyumna, he has presented. Actually, he has worked for it, although I have translated. But I am very much indebted to him that he very carefully edits and makes the thing very perfect. So, now we have got translation of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, and Sanskrit portion… Because mostly there is Sanskrit portion, so, so my beloved disciple, Pradyumna, I call him Pandit Mahasaya, because he is actually doing the pandita’s work. So he edits and he works very hard. And… Not only that, his wife also helps in this connection. So actually, that is wanted.

kiba vipra kiba sudra nyase kene naya ye krsna tattva vetta sei guru haya

I’m sometimes criticized by my Godbrothers that I have become a marriage-maker, because a sannyasi does not take part in a marriage ceremony, but I get my disciples married. This is also unique in the history. So they criticize me that I have become a marriage-maker. But they, they do not know why I take this risk. I have got many disciples, they are married couples, but all of them, husband and wife, they are helping this movement. Here is Bhagavan dasa, he’s also married man, children.

So actually, married couples should be paramahamsas. Paramahamsa means the topmost stage of sannyasi. Paramahamsa. A sannyasi has got four stages: kuticaka, bahudaka, parivrajakacarya and paramahamsa. A sannyasi, in the beginning, he’s supposed to make a small cottage, just on the border of the village, does not go home, but the, his necessities are supplied by his home, but he does not go home. This is called kuticaka. Then gradually, when he is practiced, he begs from home to home. He does not anymore depend on his own home. (aside:) Stop this. That is called bahudaka. Bahudaka means collecting his necessity from many places. And then as he becomes practiced, he becomes parivrajakacarya. He goes from place to place, village to village, preaching the message of Krsna. As our Sriman Revatinandana Maharaja is doing. He has now very nice bus. All others also doing. Grhasthas are also doing. Because our only business is Krsna. It doesn’t matter whether a grhastha, vanaprastha, sannyasi. It doesn’t matter. So when he preaches all over the world, that is called parivrajakacarya. And when he’s experienced, he executes the work by his assistants. That is called paramahamsa. So grhasthas are supposed to be paramahamsa. Just like Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he was grhastha, magistrate, government servant, but he has worked so much for Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in writing books. Not only writing books, but also begetting a child like Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, my spiritual master. So that is grhastha. They should produce children like Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja. Because we want big stalwart men to preach this Krsna consciousness movement.

So everyone has got duty in Krsna consciousness, and this duty is taught by Krsna and the spiritual master. Guru- krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija. Ei rupe brahmanda bhramite kono bhagyavan jiva. Anyone who is coming to Krsna consciousness, he’s not ordinary living being. Anyone who is connected with our movement, he’s not ordinary living being. Actually, he’s liberated soul. And I am very much hopeful that my disciples who are now participating today, even if I die, my movement will not stop, I am very much hopeful. Yes. All these nice boys and girls who have taken so seriously… Bhaktivinoda Thakura wanted that European and American people may understand the philosophy of Caitanya cult and take part in it. That was his desire. My Guru Maharaja, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada, he also attempted to send his disciples to preach Caitanya cult in the Western world. One of them, he advised me also. First meeting, perhaps you know, he asked me to preach. So at that time I was young man, only twenty-five years old, and I was also householder. So I should have joined and executed his desire immediately, but due to my ill luck I could not immediately execute his order, but it was in my heart that it is to be done. So better late than never, I executed his order at the age of seventy years, not at the age of twenty-five. So actually I wasted so much time, I can understand that. From twenty… The message was there when I was twenty-five years old, but I began at the age of seventy years. But I did not forget the message. Otherwise, how could I do? That was, that is a fact. I was simply finding out the opportunity, how to do it. So anyway, although I began very late, at the age of seventy years, so by the help of my disciples this movement is gaining ground and is spreading all over the world. So therefore I have to thank you. It is all due to you. It is not my credit, but it is your credit that you are helping me in executing the order of my Guru Maharaja.

So this movement, Krsna consciousness movement, that you already know, that this is a most essential, most important movement to the human society. Last night the Ambassador of India, His Excellency Rasagotra, he was present here. He also appreciated that this movement is very important movement, and he was very pleased that I have done so much. So this movement will go on. Nobody can stop. So this Vyasa-puja ceremony means to offer our thanks to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because He is is the original guru. As we receive this message through parampara system from Krsna to Brahma, Brahma to Narada, Narada to Vyasadeva, Vyasadeva to Madhvacarya, in this way, Madhavendra Puri, then Isvara Puri, then Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then six Gosvamis, then others, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Jagannatha dasa Babaji, Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. Then we have taken. So this, as we come to this Krsna consciousness understanding through this long parampara, similarly, in the Vyasa-puja ceremony, whatever respect, honor, and presentation you give, that goes to Krsna through that parampara system, from down. As it is received through the parampara system, so similarly, your offerings also goes through this parampara system to the Supreme. The connection.

Our system is gopi-bhartur pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah. It is sometimes called bureaucracy. If you apply something, at least in India, to the President, you’ll have to submit to the local collector. The collector will submit to somebody else, somebody else, then secretary, you go. Then to the President. So our system is that. So it is not that I am training my disciples to worship me, man-worship, I’m getting some honor from them for nothing. No. It is not that. Whatever honor, whatever respect, whatever presentation you are giving to your spiritual master, it will go to Krsna by parampara system. This is Vyasa-puja. Therefore, it is called Vyasa-puja. Vyasa-puja means Vyasadeva is the original guru. After Brahma, Narada, then Vyasa. And Vyasa is original guru, because from his literature we understand spiritual knowledge. All these literatures whatever we have produced, they are actually originally from Vyasadeva. The four Vedas, Brahma- sutra, Upanisads, Puranas, they are called Vedic literature. And whatever is written with the conclusion of this Vedic literature, that is also Vedic literature. Just like our books. All our books, they are not mental speculation. Whatever I have learned from my Guru Maharaja, I am presenting. That’s all. It is not mental speculation–this philosophy, that philosophy. We kick out all these things. Unless we get the knowledge from the authorized source, we don’t accept. Because how we can accept? A so-called philosopher, scientist, according to… Why according? Everyone can understand that however great philosopher, scientist one may be, he is imperfect. He’s imperfect. Every man. I have several times recited this example that in our country Gandhi was very big politician. You know Mahatma Gandhi. He committed so many mistakes. At last he committed such a great mistake that he was killed. That’s a long history. So even a great person like Mahatma Gandhi, he commits mistake. Therefore, the sastra says any conditioned soul, he must commit mistake. However great he may be in the estimation of fools and rascals. Sva-vid-varahostra. He must commit mistake, he must be illusioned, his propensity is to cheat, and at the end, all the senses are imperfect. We have several times described. So, so much imperfectness, how he can give perfect knowledge?

Therefore, a so-called philosopher, scientist’s knowledge is always imperfect. The perfect knowledge can be received through this parampara system. From Krsna, Krsna to Brahma, Brahma to Narada, Narada to Vyasa, Vyasa to Madhvacarya. In this way, from Caitanya Mahaprabhu, six Gosvamis, then our Guru Maharaja, in this way. And our business is just to present whatever we have heard. This is very important point. And because we do not speculate mentally, just like so many svamis comes from India. They make their own presentation by speculation. So whatever little success I have got, it is due to this process, that I do not present anything which is created by me. That is the secret of success. All these rascals, I say, declare in this, all these rascals come, they manufacture. A spiritual thing cannot be manufactured–as God cannot be manufactured. God is always God, and the words of God is also God. If we present as it is, then it will be effective. That is said in the sastra:

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha bhaktir ratir anukramisyati

Everything is there. Satam prasangan. From a bona fide spiritual master you receive knowledge, because he will present as he has received from his spiritual master. He’ll not adulterate or manufacture something. That is the bona fide spiritual master. And that is very easy. To become spiritual master is not very difficult thing. You’ll have to become spiritual master.

You, all my disciples, everyone should become spiritual master. It is not difficult. It is difficult when you anufacture something. But if you simply present whatever you have heard from your spiritual master, it is very easy. If you want to become overintelligent, to present something, to interpret something, whatever over you have heard from spiritual master you can make some further addition, alteration, then you’ll spoil whole thing. Then you’ll spoil whole thing. Don’t make addition or alteration. Simply present as it is. Therefore, we have begun Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Don’t try to become over spiritual master. Then you’ll spoil. Remain always a servant of your spiritual master and present the thing as you have heard. You’ll be spiritual master. This is secret. You should know it. Don’t try to become overintelligent. That will spoil. Evam parampara praptam imam rajarsayo viduh. This is the… So (child talking) you can stop.(?)

So Caitanya Mahaprabhu says,

amara ajnaya guru hana tara ei desa yare dekha, tare kaha, ‘krsna’-upadesa

Just see. It is very nice. You’ll find in Caitanya-caritamrta, now it is published. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, He is the Supreme Lord, Krsna. He says, amara ajnaya. “Whatever I say, amara ajnaya, by My order, you become a spiritual master.” Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So one may be very illiterate, no education, or no scholarship, may not be born in brahmana family, or may not be a sannyasi. There are so many qualification. But one may not have all these qualifications. He may be rascal number one, but still, he can become spiritual master. How? Amara ajnaya. As Krsna says, as Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, if you follow, then you become spiritual master. One may be rascal number one from material estimation, but if he simply strictly follows whatever is said by Caitanya Mahaprabhu or His representative spiritual master, then he becomes a guru.

So it is not very difficult. One may not think that “I am not qualified to become guru.” No, you are qualified if you follow strictly the parampara system. Then you are qualified. That’s all. Amara ajnaya guru hana… And what is the difficulty? Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, “Don’t feel any difficulty.” Because as spiritual master, what you have to do? Yare dekha, tare kaha, ‘krsna’-upadesa. Whomever you meet, you simply speak to him the instruction which Krsna gives. What Krsna instruction gives? That is also very easy. What is that? Krsna says man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. Krsna says “Just become My devotee, always think of Me, offer Me obeisances, and worship Me.” So here is Krsna. If you simply think “Here is Krsna, Radha-Krsna Deity,” you may be fool number, rascal number one. That doesn’t matter. But you are getting impression of this Radha-Krsna, think of Him: “Oh, how nicely Krsna is decorated.” This much. No erudite scholarship. Simply… Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto. Here is Deity. Worship Him nicely as it is regulated principle. Even you are not worshiping, simply think of Krsna, “Here is Radha-Krsna.” Impression. What is the difficulty? As soon as you see Radha-Krsna, you get some impression. Think of that impression. Where is the difficulty? Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto. “Worship me.” If you have got opportunity, worship. If you are initiated, worship here. Or you install Deity at home, as our Ksirodakasayi Prabhu is doing. Everyone can do it. Where is the difficulty? Now ask him how he is happy. The whole family is happy. Not only he. But his wife, his children, everyone is happy. Practical. Man-mana bhava mad- bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. And if you cannot do anything, simply come and offer your obeisances: “My dear Lord Krsna, I am so poor, so unfortunate, I cannot do all these things, but I offer my humble obeisances unto Your lotus feet.” That much also. If you do this, you become spiritual master.

So, simply by accepting this principle, and even if you are not learned, illiterate, you are hearing so much from Bhagavad-gita, you simply repeat that. Simply repeat that. There is no question of becoming very learned scholar. God has given you this ear. Even if you are blind, you cannot read, you can hear. So Krsna upadesa, what is Krsna…? This is ‘krsna’-upadesa. And at last, Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. So if you simply preach this cult, “My dear friend, my dear brother, you surrender to Krsna,” you become spiritual master. You become spiritual master. You go door to door. No other talks. Simply say, “My dear friend, you are very nice, you are very learned.” That was adopted by Prabodhananda Sarasvati.

dante nidhaya trnakam padayor nipatya kaku-satam krtva caham bravimi
he sadhavah sakalam eva vihaya durad
caitanya-candra-carane kurutanuragam

The meaning is the preaching, very easy. Dante nidhaya trnakam. According to Indian system, if you put a grass on your mouth, it is a sign of that you have become very humble. If you approach a person with a grass in your mouth, he’ll immediately know that you are coming there with very, very great humbleness. Therefore dante nidhaya. This was the system. Dante nidhaya trnakam, and touching his feet. Immediately, touch his feet. Immediately, even if he’s enemy, he’ll be a friend. Even if he’s your enemy, it is so nice process. Take a grass on your mouth and immediately fall on his feet, padayor nipetya, and with folded hands, much flattering. Dante nidhaya trnakam padayor nipatya kaku- satam krtva ca. All flattering words. Aham bravimi. So immediately he will agree, “Yes, what you say I’ll hear. I’ll hear.” Immediately, convert to hear you at least. Just see how perfect process is. “Then what is your purpose, sir? Why you are becoming so humble, meek? And now say.” “Yes sir, I’ll say.” What is that? He sadhavah, “You are a great sadhu.” Although he may be rascal number one. Still, you call him, he sadhavah. “Yes, I am sadhu, yes. What is your proposal?” “Now kindly forget all nonsense, whatever you have learned. That’s all. I am flattering you because I want that you forget everything, all these yogis and this and that and that and meditation. Please kick out all these.” “Then what I have to do?” “Caitanya-candra-carane kurutanuragam. Just adhere yourself to the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Then you become spiritual master. That’s all.”

So I hope that all of you, men, women, boys and girls, become spiritual master, and follow this principle. Spiritual master, simply, sincerely, follow the principles and speak to the general public. Then Krsna immediately becomes your favorite. Krsna does not become your favorite; you become Krsna’s favorite. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, na ca tasmad manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah: “One who is doing this humble service of preaching work, Krsna consciousness, nobody is dearer than him to Me.” So if you want to become recognized by Krsna very quickly, you take up this process of becoming spiritual master, present the Bhagavad-gita as it is. Your life is perfect.

Thank you very much. (end)

[730822VP.LON Sri Vyasa-puja Lecture London, August 22, 1973]

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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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.

6 Responses to Become a Spiritual Master and present Bhagavad-gita As It Is

  1. Preaching says:


    I am extremely sorry for disturbing again.

    As a continuation of my previous comment, I also wanted to ask one more thing.

    Generally, those who I send the e-books to, avoid even approaching me. I don’t get it. In fact the same thing happens in book distribution too. 98% of the people to whom I distribute books, avoid confronting me if I happen to see them again. Why is it so? I enthusiastically try to approach them to ask them how the book was. But they try to avoid me in one way or another. Even those friends of mine who would casually talk with me, don’t even talk to me now, after I showed them the books.

    Prabhu, why is this so? I really don’t get it? Is it a fault on my side or their? It’s a really, really strange behaviour. All of them look at me as if I have done the greatest sin by showing or giving the book to them. I feel like a big culprit the way they (both people and friends) treat me.

    Personally, I just love Srila Prabhupada’s books, and can’t stop reading them. They are ever fresh and eternally increasing nectar. There is no question of budging a single inch from Srila Prabhupada’s nectarine instructions.

    I follow the right steps you always gave to distribute books, not speaking much. Yet, what’s lacking on my part? It feels so horrible; on one side even those who were good with me are ignoring me deliberately and on the other hand I couldn’t make them like the book and failed miserably in introducing Krishna consciousness to them.

    Prabhu, does this happen with you too? Why does no one appreciate such a wonderful book, such an amazing book?

    I am again sorry for the disturbance.

    The thing is that each time I get highly motivated to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books among friends and people, on reading his books, the same thing happens and it is very very discouraging which very strongly demotivates and makes me hesitate whether I have to continue or not.

    I am just not doing a good preaching work. Everything is going wrong in the opposite direction. I am a horrible, horrible servant, in fact not even a servant. Not able to do any service even on putting all efforts on my side…

    Please accept my humble obeisances.
    Your fallen servant,

    • Hare Krishna Rukmini

      Yes. This is quite normal… It is because this material world is the place where people who have rejected Krishna come to. We are all demons here who have rejected Krishna, we have come here to try and forget Krishna, so when we try to remind the people about Krishna, many of them do not want to be reminded. It is such a horrible world that they have made sex life the most important thing, and to get sex life they are all obsessed with getting money, and they will do anything for this sex and money. But Prabhuapda and we are telling them that there is no pleasure in the material world, that you will never be happy, no matter home much money and sex you get, in fact the more money and sex you get the more miserable you will become. It is like that. That is the truth. And Prabhupada is the only person in the history who has been prepared to tell this truth on a global, world-wide scale.

      So you have to look at it a different way. You say 98% of the people are not liking to talk to you about the books. But that means there are 2% of the people who want to talk with you about the books. And that is incredible! It is totally amazing if we can find even one person in the material world who wants to hear us talk about Krishna. So if out of 100 people you distribute books to you are finding 2 people who like it and want to talk to you about Krishna this is amazing Prabhu. You are doing wonderfully…

      I think you know that verse in Bhagavad-gita ‘Out of many thousands of men one may be interested in Krishna and out of all the interested persons hardly one will know Me in truth.’ So it is very rare, one in many thousands, to find a person who is interested in Krishna, we have to expect that. And be glad that we are finding at least a few interested in Krishna, that is wonderful.

      And it is like planting seeds. You talk to people about Krishna, sell them Prabhupada’s books, take some of their laksmi and use it in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, they have started their Krishna consciousness. Once we talk to them and they agree to buy Prabhupada’s books from us and give us some of their money, they are devotees, but it is a question of time. We have planted the seed and the seed will grow in time.

      So do not worry, by distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books you are doing the greatest service, to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, for yourself and for the fortunate souls who get your association and who you convince to take Prabhupada’s books.

      One thing is prasadam helps. I make coconut and honey balls. We can get very good quality honey and full-cream milk powder and coconut here, perhaps it is not so easily available in India, but you can make different prasdam. So it is very simple you mix equal quantities of full-cream milk powder and finely ground coconut and add honey and mix it up, enough so you can make balls out of if that stick together.

      So if you give them prasadam when you distribute the books they will become addicted to the prasadam and when they see you again they will buy another book from you just to get the prasadam again…

      So there are many ways. We should not be very concerned if the people like the books or not. Many times they will not like them, at least the first time they read it, or more likely they will not understand it, because they are very much covered by the modes of material nature. So we have to be very patient with them and never give up approaching them. And always be friendly and merciful and humble and never take their insults seriously. It is like if you walk past a house and there is a big dog there, he naturally barks at you, that is his nature, that what dogs do. So these people are just like dogs. We are trying to help them elevate their consciousness to Krishna consciousness. But they are still dogs at the moment. So we have to treat them very mercifully and not worry if they bark at us.

      And just because someone has rejected you once in the past that does not mean you should not try to approach him again. You should keep on trying every time you see him, and eventually he will surrender and talk to you and take more books and don’t be surprised if he hasn’t actually read the books you have sold him in the past, but encourage him to read them, glorify the books, glorify Srila Prabhupada and glorify Krishna, and if he barks at you then there is no problem, that’s what dogs do. But his consciousness will be a little more elevated because of his meeting with you and you let him go and talk to the next person.

      You don’t know what happens with all the people you talk to. And the more people you talk to the more lives you will change and the more devotees you will make. And then, at exactly the right time, Krishna will make the arrangement for you to meet him again.

      We should know it for certain that in our lives, if we are trying to surrender to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, and trying to distribute Prabhupada’s books, then whoever we meet, that is Krishna’s arrangement, and Krishna wants us to talk to that person about Him and sell him Prabhupada’s books.

      And we can not expect that everyone we approach will buy the books. If one out of ten of the people we approach and sincerely try to sell the books to actually buys a book then that is wonderful.

      So we have to look at it that way, not that most of the people are not interested, that is natural, that is what we would expect to find in the material world, no, the amazing, wonderful thing is SOME PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED…

      PS: We have got quite a few new titles available in cases of books in India at the moment:


      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  2. Preaching says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu!

    Prabhu, just as you have given a wonderful and very successful way of distributing physical books to people (approaching them, asking questions, giving a remark which makes them happy, and then after catching their attention showing the book to them and then asking for a contribution), is there any way I can capture the attention of people when I share books with them online (e-books)?

    Whenever I tell my friends to read a book on (or a PDF) and tell them that it is just amazing, there was never any reply from their side. Personally I don’t preach to them, since I know well the futility of my preaching (it just discourages them totally), and know that Prabhupada’s books will do it much better. Thus, all I tell them is that this book is very amazing, and to please give it a try. I don’t tell them anything about the book (about what it is about), but just give them the link, since I am afraid of describing it wrong. However, they never responded back. It happened with so many of my friends. This is quite distressing. I think it’s a fault on my side. (Or I wonder if it’s just that they aren’t interested?)

    Could you kindly let me know how I could encourage them to read it (the worst part is that I don’t know whether they don’t even read it or read it but don’t like it). Is there any way to inspire them to read these e-books like when we do while physically distributing books. (It is not possible to give them the physical books at the moment…)

    I don’t want them to hate and lose the opportunity to read the wonderful books just because of inadequate effort on my part.

    Kindly help.
    Thank you very much Prabhu!

    • Hare Krishna Rukmini

      We have to preach a bit. We have to convince them that the books are wonderful and that it is worth their effort to read them. Personally I would concentrate on distributing books to people face-to-face, in person. It is not very easy to transfer the enthusiasm you have for Krishna consciousness, your conviction that it is the absolute truth, to a person on the internet. If you are actually seriously chanting Hare Krishna, at least 16 rounds a day and strictly following the principles and go out on the streets to sell Prabhupada’s books to fallen conditioned souls, even though you may not realize it, you have a very attractive effulgence, an aura, and people are attracted to that, and this meeting of a devotee and seeing a devotee and speaking to a devotee is a very powerful thing and that goes a long way to awakening a preson’s interest in Krishna consciousness. And you can’t do that on the internet. So in this way internet is more-or-less useless for preaching to new people. Because new people have to be purified, in their initial conditioned state, they are like dogs, like I sad in my previous post, and dogs can’t understand the philosophy of Krishna consciousness. But if you meet them in person you can purify them and elevate them from this dog consciousness to human consciousness so they [at least some of them…] come to the point of being interested to find out more about Krishna consciousness.

      And then another very important part of becoming Krishna conscious is they have to give something to Krishna. They have to surrender some of their hard-earned money to help push on the Krishna consciousness movement. So when they buy a book from you they give you some money and you spend that for getting more books, printing more books, so in this way they become supporters of Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtan movement. And they become devotees. It may take time, you may not see it personally, but they have started their devotional service and once started Krishna consciousness will progress to the conclusion.

      So we do have to preach something. It is good to feel helpless and unqualified, because that is our real actual position. But at the same time we have to have faith in Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and when we are in a position where we have to preach we just have to pray to Prabhupada and Krishna that they please use us as their instrument, that we are hopeless and helpless, and that they will please make our speaking appeal to the person and awaken within him his dormant Krishna consciousness.

      In this way we can become instruments in the hands of Krishna and Prabhupada. Of course we are useless. But Krishna is not useless, Prabhupada is not useless, so if we can just surrender then our speaking will not actually be our speaking. We will become channels through which Krishna and Prabhupada can speak. And we have to surrender to this and let it happen. And see and become astonished about the wonderful things that start coming out of our mouths and the effects that what we say have on the people we are taking to…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Madhusudan says:

        I wanted to ask a question pertaining to book distribution. While searching for book distribution videos on youtube I came across Jai Caitanya das videos, the number 1 book distributor of ISKCON with 85000 books in a year. I think he is not selling SP original books, but I was quite interested in his approach of selling so many books.

        1.In this video(and even in his other videos under Westcoastmonk) he stresses on the process of building a relationship with those who come to buy the books. What are your thoughts about this from your vast experience?

        2. His method is to keep books on a table like a stall rather than directly approaching people. Would this also be a good method to distribute books?

        Param Vijayate Sri Krishna Sankirtanam

        • Hare Krishna Madhusudan

          I do not know for your situation. The point is you have to go out yourself and try the different methods and see what works in your case. Different devotees excel distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books in different ways. The point is to distribute Prabhupada’s books and get the people to read them, how you do it is not important. So if you can do it by setting up a table and distribute books that way it is great. If you do it by standing on the street and approaching the people directly and that works for you that is great. If you do it by going door-to-door and knocking on the doors and meeting the people and selling them Prabhupada’s books that is great. So it is always great if you go out and try and distribute Prabhupada’s books. You can find the way that works best for you. But the point is to go out and distribute Prabhupada’s books.

          As far as ‘building relationships’ with the people who come to buy the books, actually we want them to build a relationship with Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. And it is a tiny percentage actually, one out of many thousands, who will be really interested. So we have to concentrate and spend our time and energy on distributing the books to many, many thousands and millions of people. Not that we distribute books to five people and waste twelve months trying to develop relationships with those people. The point of a book distributor is to distribute the books. It is the books that enable the people to develop a relationship with Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.

          Of course we should have temples, places where the people who are reading the books can come to and associate with the devotees. That is a very essential step in the process of becoming Krishna conscious. First step is ado shraddha, one gets a little faith, then sadhu sanga, then naturally he wants to associate with devotees. So there should be a temple, he can go there for the Sunday feast. So the way it used to be done is we would always give an invitation to the Sunday feast with every book. And encourage the people to come to the temple for the Sunday feast, and in that way the few who were really interested would come to the temple and get to associate with the devotees.

          So that is the way it used to work.

          Of course we have to encourage them, cultivate them, and give them the chance to associate with devotees, take Krishna prasadam, engage in the kirtans, etc. But main point is to distribute the books and the book distributors need to concentrate on distributing books and have the faith that Prabhupada and Krishna are living in the books and when the people read the books they are directly associating with Prabhupada and Krishna.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

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