(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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  • (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
      • Srila Prabhupada said that while writing my books it is not that iam writing in my own words srila Prabhupada said that while my writing books Krishna personally guides me and gives me enough words to write  so srila Prabhupada writes in directly the personal guidence of Krishna

  • 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,
  • 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
  • Completely agree with Kritika mataji views. Prabhupada books are MUST MUST MUST
  • “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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
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