Learn Something and Teach Others

Learn Something and Teach Others

Sudarshana devi dasi

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The following is a simple but noteworthy incident narrated by H G Bhurijana prabhu (a disciple of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada), in his book, "My Glorious Master" in which he shares wonderful realizations of his association with His Divine Grace.

I worked as a bricklayer's assistant to support the Chapel Hill temple. I made money at it, but I also learned how to lay bricks. I thought it would be something I could teach others. With an army of bricklayers, I thought, we could develop New Vrindaban. I informed Prabhupada of my idea when I saw him at New Vrindaban.

He approved. Then he described the Indian system of making bricks. "First, the clay is shaped into a brick. When they have many bricks, they place them on dried wood and light a fire under them. By the time the fire has died, the bricks are baked strong."

I was inspired by Prabhupada's directions. I walked into a field, found some local clay, and formed a small brick. I then threw it in the cooking fire. When I returned a few hours later, the clay had hardened.

When I showed it to Prabhupada, he took the brick in his hand and scrutinized it. I couldn't penetrate his mood. "Should I continue learning to lay bricks?" I asked.

"Yes," Prabhupada said. "This is our philosophy: learn something and teach others."

Then H G Bhurijana Prabhu writes his realization as follows:

I was an ISKCON devotee, the president of a new temple, and a philosophy graduate from the University of Buffalo. Not only was I laying bricks, but I was thinking of it as a possible Krsna conscious career. Prabhupada accepted my enthusiasm, and although he didn't directly comment on my choice of vocation, he left me with a sparkling jewel: "This is our philosophy: learn something and teach others."

"Learn something and teach others". Simple, yet packed with the sentiment of Vaishnava-seva and the power of preaching. "Learn something and teach others": the key to practical study. "Learn something and teach others": the mood of a devotee as teacher. "Learn something and teach others": became grafted to my consciousness by Prabhupada as a fundamental principle of my Krsna conscious life. (end).

Srila Prabhupada's words are akin to sutras - very terse but impregnated with unlimited meanings. How much we can understand from these few words - "Learn something and teach others" ?! We can practically write a book on it! I pray that by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and my spiritual master I may learn at least something from his instructions and share my lessons with others too.

Thank you very much
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada
Sudarshana devi dasi