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Srila Prabhupada vani
Voices! - Letters (active link)

Voices! - Letters

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Srila Prabhupada said:

"Srila Vyasadeva revealed these statements after perfect realization and therefore they are perfect, for liberated sages like Vyasadeva never commit errors in their rhetorical arrangements. Unless one accepts this fact, there is no use in trying to obtain help from the revealed scriptures."  -- CC Adi-Lila Chapter 2 text 86 purport.

"If you concoct, 'I am more intelligent than my Guru,' 'I can make additions and alterations,' then you are finished." -- Srila Prabhupada lecture July 12, 1975 Philadelphia Pa.

"We cannot water down the philosophy to make it more palatable. Our books must remain as they are." -- Srila Prabhupada letter to Lilavati devi dasi March 31, 1977.


Notable Quotes:

Jasomatinandan prabhu:  " ... commonsense dictates that except for typographical mistakes such as "planet of the trees," no editions and subtractions should be done from 1972 edition."


We Don't Allow Any Literature Not Given by Liberated Soul
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Part 2 of 3

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.3.14:

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth." Vasudeva begot the Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet he was in full knowledge of how the Supreme Lord appears and disappears. He was therefore tattva-darsi, a seer of the truth, **because he personally saw** how the Supreme Absolute Truth appeared as his son."



Srila Prabhupada's Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, August 10, 1976:


"So things are to be adjusted as it is prescribed by great authorities. In Bhakti-rasamrta you'll find the regulative principles. That is called Vaisnava-smrti. So here we cannot live without working, and still we have to become always Krsna conscious. This art, to understand and to practice, is Krsna consciousness movement. Then in spite of my being engaged in so many so-called material things because a devotee has nothing to do with material things. Even if he works for maintenance of the body, that is not material. Just like Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who was magistrate. But it is not for a magistrate to write so many books--siddhanta-purnam. So he was in a different transcendental platform. So that is possible."



Srila Prabhupada's Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, January 17, 1971:


"If you sit down and write some article on Krsna, that means you have to concentrate on Krsna's activities or Krsna's devotees' activities, and that very process will purify your heart. Therefore we always recommend to our students that you write articles, read our magazine, read our book. In this way if we keep ourself... Work for Krsna. This... We have come here in this pandal or in this Kumbha-mela not for any other purpose than to glorify the Supreme Lord so that people may understand the importance of this movement."



Srila Prabhupada's Letter to Bahurupa, November 22, 1974:


"I am pleased to hear that you are chanting 16 rounds daily and reading my books regularly and following the four rules. In my books the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is explained fully so if there is anything which 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."



Srila Prabhupada's Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, December 8, 1973, Los Angeles:


"So if you want to understand Bhagavad-gita, then we must understand in the same way as the person who directly heard from. This is called parampara system. Suppose I have heard something from my spiritual master, so I speak to you the same thing. 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."



Srila Prabhupada's Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, March 31, 1976, Vrindavan:


"Satam prasangad mama virya-samvidah. That sravana, hearing also, should be accepted from devotee, from real devotee. Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami recommended that a brahmana... He wrote something about Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and there were so many discrepancies. So Svarupa Damodara Gosvami was not at all satisfied with such writings. He chastised the brahmana that "You cannot write." So unless one is self-realized, there is practically no use writing about krsna. This transcendental writing does not depend on material education. It depends on the spiritual realization. You'll find, therefore, in the comments of bhagavatam by different acaryas, even there are some discrepancies, they are accepted as asat-patha. It should remain as it is.


So Sanatana Gosvami therefore said, avaisnava-mukhodgirnam putam hari-kathamrtam, sravanam naiva kartavyam: "One who is not vaisnava, from him one should not hear hari-kathamrtam." Hari-katha Srimad-Bhagavatam is hari-katha, and it is amrta, nectarine. But if it is recited or explained by some avaisnava, one should not hear. It is forbidden. The example is given, sarpocchistam payo yatha. So professional reciters or one who speaks and writes for living means it is strictly prohibited. Na vyakhyam upayunjitah. One should not make Bhagavata recitation as a means of livelihood. That is, the process is not accepted. So sravanam kirtanam visnoh. You should hear from Vaisnava, at least one who is trying to become Vaisnava, not professional man. Bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat.


So the test of advancement in Krsna consciousness is that one should be detestful, lose attachment to the material things."




Srila Prabhupada's Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, August 21, 1968, Montreal:


"In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, the Lord says, "Anyone who is engaged in unalloyed devotional service unto me, so he is transcendental." sa gunan samatityaitan. Gunan means these modes, different modes--modes of ignorance, modes of passion, modes of goodness. Goodness is also material. That is not spiritual. If you become very good moralist or very religious, following all the rules and regulations, that is good but that is not spiritual. The spiritual is far above."




Srila Prabhupada's Lecture on Brahma-Samhita, August 14, 1972, Los Angeles:


"Brahma-Samhita means... Brahma is the first living creature appeared in this universe, and after his realization, he is offering prayer. Realization means you should write, every one of you, what is your realization. What for this Back to Godhead is? You write your realization, what you have realized about Krsna. That is required. It is not passive. Always you should be active. Whenever you find time, you write. Never mind, two lines, four lines, but you write your realization. Sravanam kirtanam, writing or offering prayers, glories. This is one of the function of the vaisnava. You are hearing, but you have to write also. Then write means smaranam, remembering what you have heard from your spiritual master, from the scripture. sravanam kirtanam Visnoh: about Visnu, not for others. Don't write any nonsense thing for any nonsense man. Useless waste of time. Visnu. Write about Visnu, Krsna."




Srila Prabhupada's Arrival Address, June 20, 1975, Los Angeles:


Prabhupada: "yes. And our men, all our men should write. Otherwise how we shall know that he has understood the philosophy? Writing means sravanam kirtanam. Sravanam means hearing from the authority and again repeat it. This is our business, sravanam kirtanam visnoh, about Visnu, not for any politician or any other man. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh, about Krsna or Visnu. So that is success. Hear and repeat, hear and repeat. You haven't got to manufacture. Any one of us, simply if you reproduce the purport which I have given in the Bhagavata, you become a good speaker."




Srila Prabhupada's Letter to Satsvarupa, December 13, 1969:


"Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated December 7, 1969 along with the article of Acyutananda. Your decision not to publish this article is correct. To the neophyte devotees we should issue instruction that there are four stages of understanding the absolute truth. The first stage is re-establishing our relationship with Krishna. This is the first stage. The second stage is after understanding our relationship, to perform devotional service under proper guidance. The third stage is acquisition of the desired object. The fourth stage is relishing the nectar of perfectional love. So Radha-Krishna lila belongs to the fourth stage of understanding, and we are publishing BTG for people in general to re-establish their forgotten relationship with Krishna. So we should always remember this and from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-Gita, and Isopanisad they should try to write how our relationship is revoked from this stage of forgetfulness. They should write articles like this: 1) Krishna, the omnipotent, 2) how God can be realized as all-pervasive, 3) the original source of everything, 4) transcendental process of hearing, 5) how one gets out of the clutches of maya, 6) prayers by arjuna, 7) prayers by kunti devi, 8) prayers by Bhismadeva. They should try to understand krishna first in so many ways which are described in our Bhagavatam. They should read them carefully and pick up subject matters as above mentioned. What general people will understand about Radha-Krishna lila? Immediately they will take it as ordinary boys and girls in spite of a thousand warnings, "This is not this, this is not this." So you shall issue instruction that they should write articles on the subject matters as above mentioned. They should read our Bhagavatam. The purports are there: they should assimilate them in their own words in a literary career."



Srila Prabhupada's Letter to Satsvarupa, January 11, 1971:


"I hear from all our centers that they have instituted regular classes for writing articles and still you say they do not contribute sufficiently to Back to Godhead. How is that? I want all our students to write articles for our transcendental magazine."



Srila Prabhupada's Letter to Billy Reyburne, March 12, 1972:


"Regarding your question about writing songs about krishna, this is not very important thing. You can write, but one cannot take it very seriously. If any vaisnava is writing song about krishna, that should be from one who himself has realized Krishna, just like our great saints and acaryas like Madhvacarya, Ramanujacarya, Rupa gosvami, six gosvamis, Bilvamangala, Bhaktivinode Thakura, like that. They are self-realized souls, therefore if they write something song about Krishna, that is perfectly from the transcendental platform, without any tinge of mundane influence or nonsense imagination. Unless someone comes in the category of these great leading vaisnava personalities, his manufacturing some songs will be misleading to himself and to others. And unless his writing of poems and songs can be accepted as gospel, as vedas or the Absolute Truth, such writing is diverting the attention from the subject matter only and should not be regarded very seriously. Now you should become serious to pursue this Krishna consciousness movement with full energy of body, mind and soul. If you are writing poems and songs, that's alright, you can do it also, but if you can write articles for our Back to Godhead magazine, that is better, that is solid preaching work. No one should write songs of Krishna unless he is self-realized soul, that will spoil the value of the whole thing. But try to use your writing and singing talent for krishna's preaching work, by writing articles, singing the kirtana, like that. Than you will be happy, and I think you should without further delay try to become devotees as the others are doing and live with us and practise the regulative principles of brahmacari life. In this way, become determined to fix your all attention for seeing Krishna face to face by the Krishna Consciousness process and than you shall qualify yourself for writing songs about Krishna and you chant always this Hare Krishna mantra you can come to the highest point of seeing Krishna very soon, you may know it for certain."



Srila Prabhupada's Letter to Patita Uddharana, October 14, 1973:


"'It is by the mercy of all these Vaisnavas and gurus that I attempt to write about the pastimes and qualities of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Whether I know or know not, it is for self purification that I write this book."


The purport is that for transcendental writing one must be an authorized vaisnava and should write to purify oneself, not for credit. It may or may not be published, but one who is actually sincere in writing, all his ambitions will be fulfilled."




Srila Prabhupada's Room Conversation, February 16, 1977, Mayapur:


Hari-sauri: "That man from Delhi said that he thought you were an incarnation of Vyasadeva.

Prabhupada: Yes. Any devotee in literary career, he is to be understood... Just like our Vrndavana dasa Thakura. He is described as incarnation of Vyasadeva because Vyasadeva wrote Bhagavatam and he wrote Caitanya-bhagavata.

Pradyumna: Vyasa-puja.

Prabhupada: Vyasa-puja. Vyasa-prasadam. Unless one is blessed by Vyasadeva, he cannot write transcendental literature."




Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.4.20 Purport - Vidura Approaches Maitreya:


"Sri Uddhava's actual life is the direct symbol of the catuh-sloki Bhagavatam enunciated first to Brahmaji by the Personality of Godhead. These four very great and important verses from Srimad-Bhagavatam are particularly taken out by the Mayavadi speculators, who construe a different purport to suit their impersonal view of monism. Here is the proper answer to such unauthorized speculators. The verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam are purely theistic science understandable by the postgraduate students of Bhagavad-gita, the unauthorized dry speculators are offenders at the lotus feet of the Lord Sri Krsna because they distort the purports of Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam to mislead the public and prepare a direct path to the hell known as Andha-Tamisra. as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (16.20) such envious speculators are without knowledge and are surely condemned life after life. They unnecessarily take shelter of Sripada Sankaracarya, but he was not so drastic as to commit an offense at the lotus feet of Lord Krsna. According to Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sripada Sankaracarya preached the Mayavada philosophy for a particular purpose. Such a philosophy was necessary to defeat the Buddhist philosophy of the nonexistence of the spirit soul, but it was never meant for perpetual acceptance. It was an emergency. Thus Lord Krsna was accepted by Sankaracarya as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in his commentation on Bhagavad-gita. Since he was a great devotee of Lord Krsna, he did not dare write any commentary on Srimad-Bhagavatam because that would have been a direct offense at the lotus feet of the Lord. But later speculators, in the name of mayavada philosophy, unnecessarily make their commentary on the catuh-sloki Bhagavatam without any bona fide intent."




Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.45-46 Purport - Chanting the Song Sung by Lord Siva:


"Without serving Krsna according to the vidhi-marga regulative principles of the pancaratrika-vidhi, unscrupulous persons want to jump immediately to the raga-marga principles. Such persons are called sahajiya. There are also demons who enjoy depicting Krsna and His pastimes with the gopis, taking advantage of Krsna by their licentious character. These demons who print books and write lyrics on the raga-marga principles are surely on the way to hell. Unfortunately, they lead others down with them."




Caitanya-caritamrta Antya 7.134  - The Meeting of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Vallabha Bhatta:


"Whatever you might write due to false pride, trying to surpass Sridhara Svami, would carry a contrary purport. Therefore no one would pay attention to it.



Srimad-Bhagavatam has many tikas, or commentaries, following the parampara system, but Sridhara Svami's is first. The commentaries of all the other acaryas follow his. The parampara system does not allow one to deviate from the commentaries of the previous acaryas. By depending upon the previous acaryas, one can write beautiful commentaries. However, one cannot defy the previous acaryas. The false pride that makes one think that he can write better than the previous acaryas will make one's comments faulty. At the present moment it has become fashionable for everyone to write in his own way, but such writing is never accepted by serious devotees. Because of false pride, every scholar and philosopher wants to exhibit his learning by interpreting the sastras, especially Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, in his own way. This system of commenting in one's own way is fully condemned by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore He says, 'artha-vyasta' likhana sei. Commentaries written according to one's own philosophical way are never accepted; no one will appreciate such commentaries on the revealed scriptures."




Srila Prabhupada's Letter to Kirtanananda, April 7, 1967:


"I have seen in the bible that Lord Jesus Christ recommended this Kirtana performances in the Bible. You know better than me and I would request you to write a small book on sankirtan movement in the Bible. I have given a note of direction to Hayagriva for writing a drama on Lord Caitanya and if he can deliver us a nice drama for staging in your different parts of the state it will be a great stride for our mission and I hope it will help us financially a great deal. Just you encourage Hayagriva to write this Drama very nicely in Poetry so that they can be sung in western tone all over America and Europe and staged everywhere to cover our expenses."



Srila Prabhupada's Letter to Krsna dasa, October 21, 1968:


"I can see from your writing that you have got capacity to write, this is a great help. You can write articles for Back to Godhead, so writing capacity is not discouraged. And I shall always be glad to receive your long letters."



Srila Prabhupada's Letter to Janardana, December 19, 1968:


"So far as reviews I think that there is no need to review nonsense books and give them publicity at our cost. The sincere theists and philosophers will surely appreciate our presentation of Bhagavad-gita as it is so you can write some articles on the basis of our discussions in this book or in Srimad-Bhagavatam."

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