The Spirit of Distributing Books

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

There is a saying, "tell me who your friends are, and I shall tell who you are." On similar lines there is another saying, "tell me what books your read and I shall tell about you." So the type of people whom we associate with and also the books we read have a great impact on our behaviour pattern as well. So we should be very careful to choose the right association and the right books.

Srila Prabhupada has gifted the whole world with good books to read for whole of lifetime and also the amosphere for good association in the form of various temples and centres all over the world. After tasting the effect of Srila Prabhupada's gifts, one can very well realise how mundane novels, literature or mundane relationships are all stale, flickering and cause of anxiety and suffering. Narada Muni says in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.5.10

na yad vacaś citra-padaṁ harer yaśo
jagat-pavitraṁ pragṛṇīta karhicit
tad vāyasaṁ tīrtham uśanti mānasā
na yatra haṁsā niramanty uśik-kṣayāḥ

Those words which do not describe the glories of the Lord, who alone can sanctify the atmosphere of the whole universe, are considered by saintly persons to be like unto a place of pilgrimage for crows. Since the all-perfect persons are inhabitants of the transcendental abode, they do not derive any pleasure there.

Now-a-days unfortunately the habit of reading from "books" is very much replaced by the tendency of browsing the internet and the contents which are thrown by social media. All such things have a negative impact not only on our consciousness, but also on our eye-sight as well. Our spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj always recommended and insisted that we study from books and avoid studying from gadgets. When we study from books, there is better focus and concentration, whereas when we study using the gadgets, we get distracted by so many pop-ups and other unwanted ads.  

Even after buying good books, most of the time we leave them untouched. They just remain as decorative pieces on our book shelves. Maharaj always very gravely reminded how Srila Prabhupada used to wake up at 1 am and do translation of all these scriptures. So we should atleast be wakeful during the day time and study Srila Prabhupada's literature.

His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada says in one of his lectures on Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9 that we should ensure that, "these books are very thoroughly being read and discussed and understood, and applied in practical life. That is wanted. Not to see the vouchers only, "How many books you have sold, and how many books are in the stock?" That is secondary. You may keep vouchers... If one is engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service, there is no need of voucher. That is... Everyone is doing his best. That's all. So we have to see that things are going on very nicely....Now, suppose you go to sell some book, and if somebody says, "You have read this book? Can you explain this verse?" then what you will say? You will say, "No. It is for you. It is not for me. I have to take money from you, that's all." Is that very nice answer?"

May we remember the words of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev and try to study the books before we distribute to others.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi