We have been trying to practice Krishna consciousness for so many years but still we find the real bliss eludes us. Still we find we have not developed the taste for chanting the holy names. We know that as per Srimad Bhagavatam the human form of life is so valuable and we should take advantage very quickly and not postpone our serious spiritual practices. One of the most important aspect of spiritual practices in developing the taste for devotional service is reading of Srila Prabhupada’s books especially Srimad Bhagavatam. But nowadays we are more interested in showing statistical numbers of devotees we have generated without the underlying important aspect of perfecting our own saadhanaa – chanting the holy names with full attention. We are so much misled that we don’t understand that one of the topmost guiding principles given by Srila Prabhupada is “Books are the basis”. Srila Prabhupada is not insane to put Srimad Bhagavatam class during the morning hours and Srimad Bhagavad Gita in the evening hours. He could have put any other books but he did not do so. Because he knows the whole movement is mainly based on these two books. But that does not mean we should not read other books. Of course all the books are also important but the basic principle is not to ignore these two particular books. As our Guru Maharaj says that even one verse takes so much of time to understand and assimilate and we don’t have enough life time to complete Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad gita, Chaitanya Caritamrta and others.
We can see a wonderful part of the lecture given by Srila Prabhupada on Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.14 on the importance of reading his books. This lecture was given in Melbourne, April 13, 1972.
“You don’t read. In the first volume of Bhagavata these things are explained. But I don’t think you read all these things. Do you read? So if you don’t read, then you will feel restless: “Oh, let me go from Japan to India, from India to Japan.” You are restless because you don’t read. I am laboring so hard for you, but you don’t take advantage. Don’t take advantage of eating and sleeping. Take advantage of these books. Then your life will be successful. My duty — I have given you so valuable things, day and night trying to convince you, each word to word. And if you don’t take advantage of this, then what can I do for you?“
Srimad Bhagavatam confirm this statement 11.9.29:
labdhvaa su-durlabham idam bahu-sambhavaante
maanushyam artha-dam anityam apiha dhirah
turnam yateta na pated anu-mrtyu yaavan
nihshreyasaaya vishayah khalu sarvatah syaat
“After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus a sober human being should quickly endeavor for the ultimate perfection of life as long as his body, which is always subject to death, has not fallen down and died. After all, sense gratification is available even in the most abominable species of life, whereas Krsna consciousness is possible only for a human being.“
Srila Prabhupada is pleading from the core of his heart to study his books and we just simply ignore his pleading. How can we expect to cross over the hurdle of birth and death? As our Maharaj says, “Kaliyuga forces are so powerful that it will drag you to faithlessness everyday and therefore everyday we have to recharge our faith by reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.“
I therefore pray to Srila Prabhupada, Gurudev and Lord Sri Krishna to shower Their special mercy so that I understand the value of Srila Prabhupada’s books and take advantage of them.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sajjanapriya Krishna das
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Hare Rama Hare Rama
and be happy.