Effective Preaching

28th Aug 2007
Sajjana Priya Krishna das

Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble pranams! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

We know that preaching is the best way to please the Lord. But sometimes when we preach to new people, they don't take it seriously and we become discouraged by their response. How can we effectively preach the glories of Lord? In Srimad Bhagavatam, Narada Muni while glorifying the preaching qualities of Prahlad Maharaj explains in verse 7.8.1 as to how he was able to influence even the demoniac children to take up the process of Krishna consciousness very seriously.

śrī-nārada uvāca
atha daitya-sutāḥ sarve śrutvā tad-anuvarṇitam
jagṛhur niravadyatvān naiva gurv-anuśikṣitam

Narada Muni continued: All the sons of the demons appreciated the transcendental instructions of Prahlada Maharaja and took them very seriously. They rejected the materialistic instructions given by their teachers, Sanda and Amarka.

The demoniac children accepted Prahlad Maharaj statements even though he was a small boy but they did not accept the teachers' instructions who are experienced and old. Srila Prabhupada in his unparalleled purport, gives four main reasons for effective preaching.

1.Qualification of a devotee.  
2.Sincerity  
3.Seriousness  
4.Follow the instructions of a bona fide spiritual master.

1. Qualification of a devotee: It is very important to be linked to a bonafide sampradaya else our preaching would not be effective. Guru Aashraya - Taking shelter at the Lotus feet of Guru is important as the seed of Bhakti comes through the mercy of Guru and Krishna. Even though there are so many pseudo teachers who are very effective because of Kaliyuga effects, their teaching sustains only as long as the leader is alive. Once he passes away the faith also dwindles and pseudo teachers philosophy evaporates in course of time. But in case of Hare Krishna movement, we find that the movement is spreading rampantly all over the world even after the physical disappearance of Srila Prabhupada(founder acharya) more than 30 years ago.

2. Sincerity: Unless we are sincere in following our devotional practices, the preaching would not be effective to others and will not influence others. The Paramatma in the heart of other living entities, is watching us always and therefore unless the sincerity is there in preacher's behaviour, the Paramatma will not direct the living entities to accept our preaching. Whatever activities we perform in devotional service needs to be done with real sincerity.

3. Seriousness :- Actually speaking we are not becoming serious always because
1. We have little faith in shastras, guru and sadhu . 
2. We have no idea of the Spiritual world and its opulence and eternity. 
3. We hope to live for a long time in this material world and try to postpone our seriousness in that process.
4. Fear of getting committed to this process will enable us to lose the comfort zone of sense gratification. 
5. Austerity to the body is becoming very cumbersome. 
6. We don't want to lose our social position and designations.
7. Ultimately we don't have any sincere desire to do this process seriously. 

Seriousness will come when we intensify the study of shastras very committedly, because Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita have been spoken in serious circumstances to Arjuna and Parikshit Maharaj (one in the Warfield and other waiting for death). For us we do not know when that circumstances will crop up and therefore we have to become seriousness now itself or otherwise we will be left in lurch. As Kulashekara always says in Mukundamala stotra. No.33 -"O Lord Krishna, at this moment let the royal swan of my mind enter the tangled stems of the lotus of Your feet. How will it be possible for me to remember you at the time of death, when my throat will be choked up with mucus, bile and air." Remembering this verse we have to become seriousness in devotional service very quickly.

4. Following the instructions of a bonafide spiritual master - Following the spiritual master's instruction in toto is important. But we would like to follow, whatever is comfortable to us and we tend to neglect other instructions. We fail to understand that simply by following the instructions we will be able to achieve 1) qualification 2) sincerity 3) seriousness in devotional service. The secret of success in spiritual life is in satisfying the spiritual master and thereby getting his sincere blessings.

I therefore sincerely pray to the Supreme Lord, Prabhupada and Gurudev to shower their causeless mercy on this errant soul to at least follow the instructions of Spiritual master to the maximum extent so that devotional service and preaching would become effective one day.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Sajjana Priya Krishna das
Abu Dhabi.