In the last [IRM] newsletter, we presented the shocking case of a ‘Vyasa-puja offering’ to Srila Prabhupada being used an excuse to express doubt in the very legacy Srila Prabhupada left us - his books. We were inundated with mail from concerned devotees who were very shocked to read of such doubts being expressed in Srila Prabhupada's teachings, and were asked to clear up such doubts in the next newsletter. It may be remembered that Devamrta Swami, a GBC 'Guru', had asked questions in his Vyasa-Puja offering where he was doubting whether or not Srila Prabhupada's books will continue to form the basis for ISKCON.
Here again are some examples of these doubts expressed by Devamrta Swami:
"What are your expressed desires for your books in relation to the future of ISKCON?"
"How do you see your books in relation to both training future ISKCON devotees and enlightening the present nondevotee population?"
"Amidst the burgeoning potpourri of Gaudiya Vaisnavism outside of India, do you still assert that your books are sufficient for bringing us to the zenith of bhakti?"
"How are we to commingle the previous acaryas' literatures with your books, especially since you certainly mention other sastras in your purports?"
"Should our senior devotees take the lead in demonstrating lifelong dependence on your books for their spiritual sustenance and delight?
Is there a danger that by doing so they could inhibit their spiritual maturity?"
(From Devamrta Swami’s ‘Vyasa-Puja offering’ to Srila Prabhupada, 2002)
One who has actually studied the teachings of Srila Prabhupada would not waste his time in asking Srila Prabhupada these nonsensical questions, since Srila Prabhupada has already given the answers. We present them below:
Srila Prabhupada's books answer ALL questions
"So utilise whatever time you find to make a thorough study of my books. Then all your questions will be answered." (Letter to Upendra, 7/1/76)
"If it is possible to go to the temple, then take advantage of the temple. A temple is a place whereby one is given the opportunity to render direct devotional service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. In conjunction with this you should always read my books daily and all your questions will be answered and you will have a firm basis of Krishna Consciousness. In this way your life will be perfect." (Letter to Hugo Salemon, 22/11/74)
"Every one of you must regularly read our books at least twice, in the morning and evening, and automatically all questions will be answered." (Letter to Randhira, 24/01/70)
Srila Prabhupada's books explain everything FULLY
"In my books the philosophy of Krsna Consciousness is explained fully so if there is anything you do not understand, then you simply have to read again and again. By reading daily the knowledge will be revealed to you and by this process your spiritual life will develop." (Letter to Brahmarupa Dasa, 22/11/74)
"There is nothing new to be said. Whatever I had to say, I have already said in my books. Now you must try to understand it and continue with your endeavours. Whether I am present or not does not matter." (Vrindavan, 17/5/77)
Srila Prabhupada's books alone are SUFFICIENT
"Regarding the Gaudiya Math books being circulated there, who is distributing? Who is sending these books? The Gaudiya Math does not sell our books, why we should sell their books. Who has introduced these books? Let me know. These books should not at all be circulated in our Society. Bhakti Vilas Tirtha is very much antagonistic to our society and he has no clear conception of devotional service. He is contaminated. Anyway, who has introduced these books? You say that you would read only one book if that was all that I had written, so you teach others to do like that. You have very good determination." (Letter to Sukadeva, 14/11/73)
"One should not partially study a book just to pose oneself as a great scholar by being able to refer to scriptures. In our Krsna consciousness movement we have therefore limited our study of the Vedic literatures to the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. These four works are sufficient for preaching purposes. They are adequate for the understanding of the philosophy and the spreading of missionary activities all over the world. If one studies a particular book, he must do so thoroughly. That is the principle. By thoroughly studying a limited number of books, one can understand the philosophy." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 22:1118, purport)
Srila Prabhupada's books will give ALL SUCCESS
Srila Prabhupada: Even a moments association with a pure devotee - all success!
Revatinandan: Does that apply to reading the words of a pure devotee?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes
Revatinandan: Even a little association with your books has the same effect?
Srila Prabhupada: Effect. Of course it requires both things. One must be very eager to take it.
(Room Conversation, 13/12/70)
Srila Prabhupada's books will DO EVERYTHING
"After 80 years, no one can be expected to live long. My life is almost ended. So you have to carry on, and these books will do everything." (Room Conversation, 18/2/76)
Previous Acarya's Books Can Only Be Understood Through Srila Prabhupada
"So this is parampara system. You cannot imagine what my spiritual master said. Or even if you read some books, you cannot understand unless you understand it from me. This is called parampara system. You cannot jump over to the superior guru, neglecting the next acarya, immediate next acarya." (Lecture 8/12/73)
"Whatever is to be learned of the teachings of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura can be learned from our books. There is no need whatsoever for any outside instruction. So I hope that you have understood these matters and I pray to Krsna always for your protection and advancement in Krsna consciousness." (Letter to Gurukrpa, Yasodananda, 25/12/73)
The Books Will Remain
"You have taken the right view of the importance of my books. Books will always remain. That was the view of my Guru Maharaja, and I also have taken it. Therefore I started my movement with my books. And we shall be able to maintain everything with the sales of the books. The temples will be maintained by the book sales, and if there are no more temples, then the books shall remain." (Letter to Hamsaduta, 8/11/73)
So Srila Prabhupada was clear enough regarding the importance of his books, and what role they will play. It is clear that there is no need to speculate after only a few years if his books are still sufficient for our needs. They were, are and always will be more than sufficient for our needs, and there is no need to alter or supplement them in anyway.
Finally we come to another nonsensical question that was asked by Devamrta Swami in his so-called 'Vyasa-puja' offering: "What should we do and feel about purports that seem to clash with current scientific, gender, sociological, and political notions and niceties?"
The Bible and Koran, for example, have clashed with such 'current theories' for hundreds of years and yet their followers still have faith in them. So where is our sraddha or faith in the teachings of Srila Prabhupada? So-called modern 'theories' have continually changed and will continue to do so. But the truth as presented by Srila Prabhupada will always remain. So there is nothing to 'do or feel'. Boldy present the truth just as Srila Prabhupada did, and whilst Srila Prabhupada's teachings will continue to remain in circulation for thousands of years more, these 'current theories' will be lucky if they last till the next generation.
Srila Prabhupada's transcendental vani ki jai!
[Ed. Note: This article is taken from the Newsletter of the Iskcon Revival Movement (IRM), Issue 59. http://farsight.members.beeb.net/ ]