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Is it compulsory to read Srila Prabhupada's books ONLY?

(1) Is it compulsory to read Srila Prabhupada's books ONLY?

(2) Is it harmful for new comers to read anything else than Srila Prabhupada's books?

(3) How one can judge by his own that when to start reading some confidential pastimes of Lord without going through proper process or guidance?

I request devotees to help me to find out answer to these questions with reference to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON Guru's books and lectures.


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hare krishna

books of srila prabhupada reading is neccessary becasue after reading the books u have questions than u will go to senior devotee or to u r guru for answering tthe quetion in u r mind than after u r satisfaction. because of this u get the association of senior devotee or u r guru maharaj if u r going for preach that time prabhupada books help u for preaching
it is not harmful for the new comers who jointly newly in iskcon becasue so many devotees are in iskcon becasue of srila prabhupada books if u r reading prabhupada books it means u r reading the guru parmapara books because prabhupada came through guru parmapara.
Only Srila Prabhupada’s Books To Be Studied

“There is no need by any of my disciples to read any books besides my books – in fact, such reading may be detrimental to their advancement in Krishna Consciousness. All reading of outside books, except in certain authorized cases such as for example to read some philosopher like Plato to make an essay comparing his philosophy with Krishna’s philosophy – but otherwise all such outside reading should be stopped immediately.

It is simply another botheration. If my students cannot even read my own books thoroughly, why they should read others? I have given you TLC, what need is there to read Caitanya Caritamrta translated by someone else. You are right to stop such reading.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to IRM: “Srila Prabhupada’s Books are enough”January 20th, 1972)

“One should not partially study a book just to pose oneself as a great scholar by being able to refer to scriptures. In our Krishna consciousness movement we have therefore limited our study of the Vedic literatures to the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. These four works are sufficient for preaching purposes.

They are adequate for the understanding of the philosophy and the spreading of missionary activities all over the world. If one studies a particular book, he must do so thoroughly. That is the principle. By thoroughly studying a limited number of books, one can understand the philosophy.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 22:118, purport)

“You haven’t got to study many books. You just simply study Bhagavad-gita As It Is.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, September 15th, 1969)

“So there is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavor. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn’t matter.”
(Srila Prabhupada Arrival Speech, May 17th, 1977)

Gaudiya Matha Books

“Regarding the Gaudiya Math books being circulated there, who is distributing? Who is sending these books? The Gaudiya Math does not sell our books, why we should sell their books. Who has introduced these books? Let me know. These books should not at all be circulated in our Society.

Bhakti Vilas Tirtha is very much antagonistic to our society and he has no clear conception of devotional service. He is contaminated. Anyway, who has introduced these books? You say that you would read only one book if that was all that I had written, so you teach others to do like that. You have very good determination.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Sukadeva, November 14th, 1973)

“So if you want to understand Bhagavad-gita, then we must understand in the same way as the person who directly heard from. This is called parampara system. Suppose I have heard something from my spiritual master, so I speak to you the same thing. So this is parampara system. You cannot imagine what my spiritual master said. Or even if you read some books, you cannot understand unless you understand it from me.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, December 8th, 1973)

“Whatever is to be learned of the teachings of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura can be learned from our books. There is no need whatsoever for any outside instruction.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Gurukrpa and Yasodanandana, December 25th, 1973)

Books of the Previous Acharyas

Paramahamsa: Practically speaking, Srila Prabhupada, you are giving us the essence of all the previous acaryas’ books in your books.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Yes.
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation May 13th, 1975)

“You cannot jump over. You must go through the parampara system. You have to approach through your spiritual master to the Gosvamis.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, March 28th, 1975)

Srila Prabhupada’s Books Answer All Questions

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada when you’re not present with us, how is it possible to receive instructions? For example in questions that may arise…
Srila Prabhupada: Well the questions are answ…answers are there in my books.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, 13th May 1973)
Awesome! Thank you very much prabhu. The answers are perfect coming direct from the lotus mouth of Sri La Prabhupad. The painstaking research shows a heart that is overflowing with love for SP.Hare Krishna!
1.Yes, it is in the best interest of new comers to stick to Srila Prabhupad's books as he is the founder acharya of ISKCON . He has mercifully written all his books keeping in mind the fallen and conditioned nature of all souls in this age. In his writings, he constantly reminds the reader of the basic lessons that we tend to forget, such as our spiritual nature and body being temporary, material world being full of dangers and sufering etc. The value of this Spiritual education will be appreciated by us as we grow into the movement. Since, we all have limited time at our disposal for reading such literature, it is better to stick to SP's books in early stages. I assure you , you won't run out of material.You can also listen to his immortal lectures.
2. Definitely , it is detrimental to read books outside ISKCON. As a devotee who reached ISKCON after wandering through many other spiritual movements a nd literature, I can assure you that you are not missing anything worthwhile. On the contrary, they can harm your fledgeling devotion, by causing misunderstanding.Even within ISKCON, there are books meant for more advanced devotees that we may be unqualified to benefit from. Also, the mood/ propensities of different authors colours their works and may lead to confusion in minds of a beginner.
3.I guess, the best time would be when we have realised our nature as spirit souls and material desires/anxieties have stopped tormenting our minds. SP refused to discuss raslila when some patrons insisted, saying he was unqualified to talk on the subject. In any case, we are assured that the holy names when chanted without offences, will reveal the form, glories and pastimes of the lord to his sincere devotees. Time being our major constraint in this age, I would prefer to strictly follow the instructions of SP and the spiritual master if initiated.

Hari Bol. I have attempted to reply within my understanding. Please forgive offences.
Hare Krsna Meenakshi here i putforth some of the points which you may consider worth.
1) First thing we need to understand that everyone should STUDY Srila Prabupada's books, not just Reading. Because there is a vast difference between the two words.
2) Study is some thing we do it seriously. Reading refers to doing in leisure time. So if we are serious in coming up in spiritual life we need to study His books.
3) Why only His books? : His writings are bonafied through Sampradaya i.e Proper Disciplic succession.
4) Nothing is harmful in reading other books, but the thing is that the new comers will be misdirected if they go in for other books. Its not only that the new comers study SP's books, even all Maharajs study His books on a daily basis.
5) I heard that Lord's confidential pastime are to be relished only if we attain a certain stage in our spiritual life. So certain topics are not disclosed or recommended for neophytes. We need to go step by step.
Just read this one book
Srutakirti das: It happened on three different occasions. I went in and
Prabhupada was reading Krsna Book and he said, “If you just read this one
book, you can be Krishna conscious.” He said, “You don’t have to read
hundreds of books. Just this one book.” He had his glasses on, and I was
sitting in front of him. Then he just looked at me and he said, “You don’t
even have to read the whole book, just one chapter. If you just read one
chapter of this book, you can be Krishna conscious,” and I’m nodding my
head, “Yes, Prabhupada.” But he just kept staring. And then he said, “You
don’t even have to read the whole chapter, just one page,” and he just ran
his finger down the page. Then he’s looking and he said, “You don’t even
have to read the whole page, just one line,” and he ran his finger across
the line of the Krsna Book. And I said, “Yes, Prabhupada.” And he’s still
looking and he said, “You don’t even have to read a whole line, just one
word,” and he pointed to a word in the book. He said, “Just one word of this
book if you read you can become Krishna conscious because Krishna is in
every word.” And then he put his head back down into the book, and I offered
obeisances and I left. But he said that about three different books to me
over a year. “If you just read this one book.” Once it was Nectar of
Devotion, once it was Bhagavad-gita, once it was Krsna Book. But he said,
“Any one of these, if you just read this one book, you can be Krishna
conscious.” He can understand Krishna is in every word, and this is what
Prabhupada gave us. Nobody else has given us this, this direct connection to
Krishna through His pure devotee.

From Following Srila Prabhupada DVD
“Are you reading my books?”
Adisekar das: He had the sankirtan leaders of that time from Bhagavan’s
zone a little meeting with us. First he congratulated the devotees for the
results. And he asked the first question, I think the only question he asked
us, and he said, “Are you reading my books?” Then Brighupati said, “You
know, Prabhupada, we don’t have much time, we don’t have time to read.” Then
I heard, I was near, Prabhupada said, “What is the use?” I could see he was
deeply hurt. It was a major priority. Our life was to be used to investigate
this message, these books, these thousands of hours of work. So, of course,
we were distributing, but then Prabhupada was more interested whether we
were reading his books.
Completely agree with Kritika mataji views. Prabhupada books are MUST MUST MUST
Yes all the Acharyas in our parampara can be read.But to really understand and realise their teachings we will need to be under guidance of a self realised Guru . Someone who can see Krishna face to face , speak with Krishna and can tell us what Krishna wants of us . Someone who can see in which rasa we are in and see our svarupa and guide us in awakening our eternal spiritual relation ship with Krishna .Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddanta and Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur etc are on that platform and we should pray and cry to Krishna to send us such a Guru .We should have faith in Krishnas words in Bhagavad Gita that self realised souls are always available --tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaḿ
jñāninas tattva-darśinah .

All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gouranga
Hare Krishna,
All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga, All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

1. As the devotees have confirmed, SP books are MUST and Srila Prabhupada told that his books are not ordinary, they were personally written under direct supervision of Krishna. Sometimes Prabhupada used to spend days to search for some words to put in his writing for the sake of presenting the absolute truth AS IT IS. Infact, Srila Prabhupada used to ask the devotees to read his books to himself too. He told that he has provided enough for one to go back to godhead by reading his books. In short, Srila Prabhupada had given us what we need, of course, may not be what we want and the former is indispensable while the latter is not so.

2. It depends on the type of books one reads, for example in the case of many student devotees in India, there are some books which act as tools to read Srila Prabhupada books, of course, these books are nothing but a collection of specific points of Prabhupada books, explained with some more evidences and examples. For example, many devotees read books of Radheshyam pr like Discover yourself, your secret journey, your best friend and victory over death which are authorized by many many senior devotees in ISKCON. Also, there are some books which deal with specific topic just like Brahmacharya in Krishna consciouness etc. etc. There may be many more in this collection which I have not mentioned, but what I understood is that one needs to be under the guidance of a bonafide spiritual master or his representatives in this regard and whatever he sanctiones, one may follow after cross checking Guru, Sadhu and Shastra. And the principle being, anukulyasya sankalpah, pratikulyasya vivarjanam.

3. That is why there are there is counselor system or some authorities above a person so that they can be sure of what he is performing is right or wrong. One can trust his mind completely only when he is fully purified, example the pure devotees can do that, but generally all others (who are genuine in practice) approach through their superiors who are more senior and in a position to guide them.

4. I am extremely sorry if I had given any inaccurate information and I would strongly recommend people going through this to check again with Guru-Sadhu-Shastra.

Your servant,
(1) Is it compulsory...........
Who says so ? Even Shrila Prabhupad never said so. He said there is no need. He never restricted or passed a dictatorium order not to read other books. He has simply aid it is of no use.
(2) Is it harmful for new comers .........
Yes the risk is there because new comers' minds are not trained to differentiate between Devotional love and materialistic love. He/She may draw materialistic conclusions and meanings of the words used.
(3) How one can judge..........
Even a Supreme Court Judge is not permitted to take judgement on his own case. He is judged by other judges. Only learned Gurus under whose watch you are being trained in Bhakti Marg, can know whether your bhakti and madhurya ras has ripened so much as to digest the highest of the delicatest emotions which are meant for the highest level of ecstacies, a slightest deviation from your "Pagdandi" and not broad road, and you will fall so fast and so deep that you can not even think of it. And you can not come up again to that position from which you fell.
Hare Krishna! I hope I can put in my views without causing offence. I have been a mayavadi before and have thoroughly read many books of that faith, including those by Swami Sivananda.At that time I used to think that advaitha is the ultimate philosophy and all other devotional literature as meant for sentimental and not-too-intelligent people.
Now, after coming into Krishna Consciousness by the mercy of devotees and parampara, I am of the strong opinion that a devotee need not(and should not) read any mayavadhi books at all . In fact, a devotee need not even read devotional literature of other authors whose deeper inclinations are not known, as they might be mayavadies in devotee garb.

A devotee needs no books other than those of SP. Our life infact is too short to be wasted on acquiring mastery on speculative philosophies . Anything a devotee needs to know. Krishna will reveal from within. SP too was very strict about devotees reading all kinds of spiritual books.


Your servant


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