Distribution of Knowledge

26th Dec 2006
Kalacakra Krsna das

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

Today I received a mail from somewhere which contained the following stunning snippet from Srila Prabhupada's interaction with some of his devotees in his room. Prabhupada insisted how important it is for everyone especially his followers to study his books seriously.

"These books are for you," Prabhupada said as he pointed to several of the books he had written. "Do not make it an export business. They only buy and sell to others. For themselves they have no use."

Prabhupada imitated a devotee distributing his books, "Please take this book. It is very important." He then took the customer's role: "Oh, it is important? What is it about?"

Prabhupada again switched roles. "I don't know, it is for you!" We all laughed sheepishly. "My only criticism of the devotees is that they think my books are for distribution and not for reading."

Prabhupada wanted his disciples to become philosophically strong by studying his books. Shastric study grants us the ability to preach, fixes our intelligence, and purifies our hearts. At this time Prabhupada also asked the devotees,"Why are we so interested in book distribution? Because it is distribution of knowledge. It is distribution of knowledge." (end).

ISKCON devotees all over the world are extremely busy this month distributing books since this month is celebrated as the 'Book Distribution Marathon'. Every devotee is so fired up to bring the top for themselves, their team or their temple. On the one hand it is the best service we can do for Srila Prabhupada. But at the same time we should also remember the mood of book distribution. As Srila Prabhupada punches above, "It is distribution of knowledge.", it is not selling books. We should relish reading his books so much that we should feel for all the souls who are so ignorant of his transcendental literatures.

As Lord Sri Krishna insists while concluding His teachings to Arjuna, He says, (BG 18.68),

ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati
bhaktiṁ mayi parāṁ kṛtvā mām evaiṣyaty asaṁśayaḥ

For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees, pure devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me.

The Lord says, "who explains this supreme secret". So it is understood by default that when we distribute Bhagavad-gita or other books of Srila Prabhupada, we should know what is inside those books. Once we have tasted the transcendental teachings ourselves, the fervor with which we share those books with others will be intense, genuine and filled with compassion. Otherwise it will just be a 'book selling business' for us.

Let us pray to Srila Prabhupada to reveal his subtle and sublime teachings in his books and give us the taste to relish them every moment. Then automatically, the Lord will arrange for us to share the knowledge with the other souls.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das.