It is misunderstanding NOT to read other Acaryas books-SP

May 2, 2022 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

May 13 1975

Amogha: Śrīla Prabhupāda, we are distributing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you explain that it’s best to start from the beginning and go gradually. So
Prabhupāda: No, anywhere you can see.
Amogha: So we can distribute any canto.
Paramahaṁsa: Usually what happens is a person who gets, say, the Second or Third or Fourth Canto, if he reads that, then he will want to start from the beginning, and he’ll buy the First Canto.
Prabhupāda: Yes. No, even if he does not read the First Canto, wherever he will read, he will get benefit. Sugar candy you taste from anywhere it is sweet. (long silence)
Paramahaṁsa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, I remember once I heard a tape where you told us that we should not try to read the books of previous ācāryas.
Prabhupāda: Hmm?
Amogha: That we should not try to read Bhaktivinoda’s books or earlier books of other, all ācāryas. So I was just wondering…
Prabhupāda: I never said that.
Amogha: You didn’t say that? Oh.
Prabhupāda: How is that?
Amogha: I thought you said that we should not read the previous ācāryas’ books.
Prabhupāda: No, you should read.
Amogha: We should.
Prabhupāda: It is misunderstanding.
Paramahaṁsa: I think maybe he was thinking that there was some things about some of the Gauḍīya Maṭha books.
Prabhupāda: Maybe.
Paramahaṁsa: And sometimes you said that better not to…, better to read your books.
Amogha: When the devotees went to India this year, they said that Acyutānanda Swami very…, chastised them that “You should never… If I catch any of you buying Bhaktisiddhānta’s books from Gauḍīya Maṭha then I will take it away,” something like this.
Paramahaṁsa: Yeah, that was, the reason was because of, he didn’t want the devotees going to Gauḍīya Maṭha. But there’s nothing wrong with the idea of studying the previous ācāryas’ books.
Prabhupāda: No. Who said? That is wrong. We are following previous ācāryas. I never said that.
Paramahaṁsa: All of your commentaries are coming from the previous ācāryas.
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Jayadharma: But that wouldn’t mean that we should keep all the previous ācāryas’ books and only read them.
Prabhupāda: That is already there. You first of all assimilate what you have got. You simply pile up books and do not read—what is the use?
Jayadharma: First of all we must read all your books.
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Paramahaṁsa: Practically speaking, Śrīla Prabhupāda, you are giving us the essence of all the previous ācāryas’ books in your books.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. [break]
 
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Sudama: She wants to know actually that should they just have the chanting without reading your books or without instruction or following the program.

Prabhupada: But that chanting must be pure. Your guru is writing books. If you think, “There is no necessity of reading books,” that is guror avajna. Do you means to say I am writing these books whole night for selling and making money? What, do you think like that?
(Bhagavad-gita Lecture 17.1-3  — Honolulu, July 4, 1974)

Did Srila Prabhupada want the works of the previous Acaryas to be translated and studied?
Many devotees of Lord Caitanya like Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura, Sri Locana dasa Thakura, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Sri Kavikarnapura, Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati, Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and in this latter age within two hundred years, Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti, Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Sri Syamananda Gosvami, Sri Narottama dasa Thakura, Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura and at last Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura (our spiritual master) and many other great and renowned scholars and devotees of the Lord have prepared voluminous books and literatures on the life and precepts of the Lord. Such literatures are all based on the sastras like the Vedas, Puranas, Upanisads, Ramayana, Mahabharata and other histories and authentic literatures approved by the recognized acaryas. They are unique in composition and unrivaled in presentation, and they are full of transcendental knowledge. Unfortunately the people of the world are still ignorant of them, but when these literatures, which are mostly in Sanskrit and Bengali, come to light the world and when they are presented before thinking people, then India’s glory and the message of love will overflood this morbid world, which is vainly searching after peace and prosperity by various illusory methods not approved by the acaryas in the chain of disciplic succession.” >>> Ref. VedaBase => SB Introduction
Within the past five hundred years, many erudite scholars and acaryas like Jiva Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Visvanatha Cakravarti, Vallabhacarya, and many other distinguished scholars even after the time of Lord Caitanya made elaborate commentaries on the Bhagavatam. And the serious student would do well to attempt to go through them to better relish the transcendental messages.” >>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 1.1.1, purport
Pure devotees have prepared many books of knowledge on the basis of authorized scriptures. Srila Rupa Gosvami and his assistants, under the instructions of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, have all written various literatures for the guidance of prospective devotees, and anyone who is very serious about raising himself to the standard of a pure devotee of the Lord must take advantage of those literatures.” >>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 3.7.39, purport
Works that should be consulted are Srila Jiva Gosvami’s Tattva-sandarbha (10–11),Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s commentary on that, and the following verses of the Brahma-sutra: sastra-yonitvat (Vs. 1.1.3), tarkapratisthanat (Vs. 2.1.11) and srutes tu sabda-mulatvat (Vs. 2.1.27), as commented upon by Sri Ramanujacarya, Sri Madhvacarya, Sri Nimbarkacarya and Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana.” >>> Ref. VedaBase => Madhya 6.135
Regarding the teacher Miss Wilson, you may engage her in translating, if she can read Bengali type. She can try Jiva Goswamis “Sandarbhas” — that will be a great contribution.” >>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Rudra, Radhika  —  Calcutta 20 February, 1972
Prabhupada: I was training, but they have not become so expert. As I am doing Bhagavad-gita, Srimad…, they could do Padma Purana, Visnu Purana, Brahma-vaivarta Purana in the same way. But our students are not so expert. >> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation — January 24, 1977, Bhubaneswar
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Reading other scriptures–
Regarding your question about Lord Jesus Christ, we accept him as saktyavesa avatara. Lord Buddha is in the same category also. Lord Buddha is mentioned specifically in Srimad-Bhagavatam as incarnation of Godhead, and yet Vaisnavas do not accept his philosophy, which is classified as atheism. Similarly, even if we accept Lord Jesus Christ as saktyavesa avatara., it doesn’t mean that we have to accept his philosophy. But we have all respects for him without fail. Regarding books like Aquarian Gospel or even the Testiments, we cannot accept them as authorities because sometimes it is learnt that the words are not actually spoken by Christ, but they are so set up by the devotees. For example, in the Ten Commandments it is clearly stated “Thou shalt not kill”, but some Bishop in Boston has changed it to “Thou shalt do no murder”. This means the Bishop wants to keep hold for animal slaughter. So don’t bother about all these literatures. We have all respect for these great preachers, but we do not require to study books save and accept for some reference. We must push on our philosophy how to love God. Our process is simple. We have got volumes of books also, so it is better for us to mind our own business than to divert our attention in the studies of other books. This was definitely forbidden by Lord Caitanya.
After all, Krishna Consciousness philosophy is as old as 120 million years at the least. So nothing can be compared with our philosophy either in the matter of antiquity, philosophy, ethics, science, morality, etc., all in correct vision and approved by great stalwart acaryas. So far others are concerned, they cannot be compared even. For example, if Lord Jesus Christ said “Thou shalt not kill”, or “Thou shalt do no murder” to the people, it does not reflect very good social structure of the audience. Our philosophy is above all these things. Just like we prescribe to our students no illicit sex-life, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling, but they are not ends in themselves. The real end is how to serve Krishna and sacrifice everything for Him. And to learn this transcendental art we have got so many volumes of books. So the summary is that instead of diverting our attention to read such unauthorized books, better pay our attention to more authorized Vaisnava literature. These scriptures of the Buddhists and the Christians may be the words of God, but still the are not always applicable to us. It is just like a king may give some rules and regulations for some criminals in prison; but for the good citizens out of the prison these rules are not necessarily applicable. So these Christian and Buddhist scriptures were delivered for a different class of men, and we needn’t spend our time in studying their doctrines. You should read our own books over and over again and as far as possible do not try to enter into controversy. We do not concern ourselves with any other religion. Our religion is to become the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna (CC Madhya 13.80).
Srila Prabhupada letter to Hamsaduta — Tittenhurst 2 November, 1969
 
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Read all the books or fall down-and also must do deity worship
Madhya 25.278 : PURPORT :
All the devotees connected with this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement must read all the books that have been translated (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā and others); otherwise, after some time, they will simply eat, sleep and fall down from their position. Thus they will miss the opportunity to attain an eternal, blissful life of transcendental pleasure.
NoD 35 Neutral Love of God 175614/530501
Without worshiping the arca-vigraha, the form or Deity of the Lord,
one cannot understand such literature as Bhagavad-gita and
Srimad-Bhagavatam.  
751030SB.NAI Lectures 223477/530501
So the temple worship is essential. So those who are against temple
worship, Deity worship, they are not very intelligent class of men,
foolish, mudha.  NoD 35 Neutral Love of God 175614/530501