as the only initiating spiritual master
and who geographically reside in the USA
Subject: Suggestion on practical devotional service
Hare Krishna, dear devotees!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
The reason I am writing this letter is to make suggestion on practical devotional service and to search for like-minded devotees for implementing the same. Please, take time and patience to read this long letter consisting mainly of Srila Prabhupada’s quotes from his letters and suggestion on practical service to our beloved Spiritual Master. I kindly request to pass this letter further on to your devotee friends who accept Srila Prabhupada as the only initiating spiritual master and who reside in the USA.
This letter consists of the following sections:
1. Srila Prabhupada’s quotes on devotional service and combined work;
2. Srila Prabhupada’s quotes on importance of book distribution;
3. Srila Prabhupada’s quotes on importance of “Back to Godhead” magazine;
4. Suggestion on practical devotional service deriving from Srila Prabhupada’s quotes.
Srila Prabhupada’s quotes on devotional service and combined work:
Actually this Krishna Consciousness movement is the greatest need of the present day situation of the world. It is authorized approved and very old, and practical. It can be accepted by any person in any part of the world; that is already tested. Now each one of us has got a great responsibility to spread this movement as far as possible and that is the greatest service to the suffering humanity. Letter to Harer Nama, 28 May, 1968.
It is my firm conviction that this Krsna Consciousness Movement of Lord Caitanya's will be successful in all parts of the world if our students kindly continue in their enthusiastic endeavors to distribute this message freely to all persons. Letter to Damodara, 10 January, 1971.
Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura entrusted the responsibility to my Guru Maharaja, and He also in His turn empowered us to do the work. Similarly, I am requesting you, all my European and American students, to spread this movement city to city and village to village and make all people of the world happy. Letter to Sudama, 13 March, 1970.
The secret of success in spiritual life is to satisfy one's spiritual master. This is the essence. Letter to Bhurijana, 17 August, 1974.
Actually I am dependent on your mercy. If you kindly follow my instructions and continue to push on Krsna consciousness, that will make me very happy. Letter to Jagannatha-suta, 28 August, 197.
I am especially interested to see the Americans spread this movement. America is already blessed by Krishna, and if they become Krishna conscious, they will become more glorious. There is an Indian saying, "fragrance in gold.'' Gold is already valuable, but if it has got some nice fragrance, then it becomes even more valuable… If some percentage of Americans become Vaisnavas, it will be wonderful for the future of the world. It will be a great example for the world. So you yourself take to the process with heart and soul and always follow my instructions, and Krishna will bless you to convince many souls to become Krishna conscious. Letter to Nilambara ,16 November, 1974.
Every member & worker must learn to sacrifice for God's sake; that is the principle of this movement… I am confident that many self-sacrificing young men will join us as soon as we begin the work. We have to work this scheme from village to village and town to town which we will have to develop by a gradual process. Letter to Bhagavan, 19 November, 1973.
Krishna descends to teach us Bhagavad-gita begging our cooperation and anyone who cooperates with Him becomes blessed. You are sincerely cooperating with Krishna and therefore you all boys and girls in San Francisco, working together harmoniously. Harmony means Krishna Consciousness. Without Krishna Consciousness there cannot be harmony in the world… Please go on cooperating between your godbrothers. I'm always with you never mind if I am physically absent. Letter to Jayananda, 16 Sept 1967.
I may live or die it does not matter. But you must live for long time to push on this Krishna Consciousness movement. Letter to Rayarama, 21 Dec 1967.
We should never sit idly and ask Krishna to do everything. That is the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. It is clearly said in the Gita: "Yuddhasya ca mam anusmara [Bg. 8.7].'' So ordinarily, we have to try our best to our best capacity to achieve something, and by Krishna's Grace, all of a sudden we shall see everything is there. This sort of help from Krishna is transcendental happiness. Our principle should be therefore, that we should work for the mission with great enthusiasm, with certainty for its success, and patiently follow the regulative principles, and associate ourselves with pure devotees, and work being completely in Krishna Consciousness, that will make us happy and successful. Letter to Brahmananda, 20 Feb 1968.
So there is great possibility of spreading our Krishna Conscious movement, and if we work conjointly, with serious sincerity, we are sure to come out successful in this great adventure. Letter to Janardana, 26 Apr 1968
Actually this Krishna Consciousness movement is the greatest need of the present day situation of the world. It is authorized approved and very old, and practical. It can be accepted by any person in any part of the world; that is already tested. Now each one of us has got a great responsibility to spread this movement as far as possible and that is the greatest service to the suffering humanity. Letter to Harer Nama, 28 May 1968.
And by His Grace only you have come in contact with me. Personally I have no credit for myself, but I am trying to act as faithful servant of my predecessors and just presenting without any adulteration the message which I have received from my Spiritual Master. Similarly, if this message is presented by you all who have accepted me as the Spiritual Master, then all the people of the world may be benefited by receiving this transcendent message of Krishna Consciousness. Try to execute this mission wholeheartedly and faithfully and all of you try to broadcast the message to your best capacity. Letter to Krsna dasa, 1 June 1968.
I am sure if you all my beloved disciples combined together try to preach Krishna Consciousness in this spirit, Krishna will give the necessary strength. Letter to Satsvarupa, 28 Sept 1968.
So you have to pick up such many persons, and if you work combinedly together, strictly following my instructions, I am sure you will be successful… After all you have to work with confidence and faith in Krishna, under my direction, and I am sure you will come out successful… The thing is you have to become little enthusiastic and give up the idea of being guest of somebody and live peacefully. Letter to Acyutananda, Jaya Govinda, 13 Oct 1968.
So our meeting was Krishna's desire. Apparently it was accidental but actually it was Krishna's plan. So we should always remember this plan of Krishna and must continue to work jointly for advancement of Krishna Consciousness movement in this part of the world. I shall always pray to Krishna to give you more and more strength and confidence in this great responsibility and I shall pray for your long life to execute this mission. Letter to Hayagriva, 18 Nov 1968.
Even if I die you are my future hopes & you will do it. I am feeling very much for you all. Please let the ball roll on just as it is set. Letter to Rayarama, 18 Jan 1969.
You must work conjointly. That is my desire, and if you fight amongst yourselves for some individual interests, that is not surrender. Letter to Krishna das, 3 Apr 1969.
For so many countless lifetimes the conditioned souls have been giving all of their service and energy to the service of Maya, and I am requesting all of my disciples that for this one lifetime you give all of your energy and service to Krishna. The spiritual force is eternal, so to give simply one lifetime to Krishna is not a very difficult thing. And yet if we are serious in executing the devotional principles, this one lifetime of service to Krishna will absolute and final solution to all the problems of life. Sincere devotional service in even one lifetime is sufficient to make one eligible to return to the Vaikuntha world permanently. Krishna Consciousness has got this power. So stick to this path as you are now doing, and as your sincerity and determination increase more and more, Krishna will surely be pleased to bestow all of His blessings upon you. Letter to Madhudvisa, 7 Sept 1969.
Regarding your question, we must utilize our intelligence fully for serving Krishna. Serving Krishna does not mean that we sit idly and say that Krishna will take care of all our business. That is not depending on the Lord; rather it is laziness. Depending on Krishna means to act always in Krishna Consciousness, realizing that Krishna is the Ultimate Controller of all results. Letter to Bhagavan das, 22 Sept 1969.
I want to see that all my disciples are engaged 24 hours in the service of the Lord. If one is engaged full time in the service of the Lord, under my direction, that is my personal service. Letter to satsvarupa, 9 Jan 1970.
Our only ambition should be to serve the Lord. It does not matter where the service is demanded. It is exactly like the soldiers are asked to come forward to fight and there is no question of selecting the place. There are many sincere souls like you in the western world and my Guru Maharaja wanted me to come here and to pick up as many of you as is possible. And I am trying my best. By Grace of Krishna, you have joined me to help in this Krishna Consciousness propaganda and Krishna will surely be pleased upon you very much. Please try to continue this activity of cooperation and we are sure to come out successful. Letter to Jaya Gopala, 11 Jan 1970.
Now we are growing, and if we work cooperatively, our strength will also grow, and then the mission will not be checked in its progress. Letter to Candanacarya, 12 March 1970.
Regarding your consideration of management, No, we should take all risks for Krsna. This mentality to chant in a solitary place without any responsibility of preaching work is not approved by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja. One of our Godbrothers was doing like that and my Spiritual Master was not very satisfied with him… So far I am concerned, I do not factually feel any separation from my Spiritual Master because I am trying to serve Him according to His desire. That should be the motto. If you kindly try to fulfill my mission for which you have been sent there, that will be our constant association. Letter to Hamsadutta, 22 June 1970.
So you do this work of pushing on Krsna consciousness movement very enthusiastically and Krsna will help you to overcome all impediments in the matter of discharging your sincere devotional service to the Lord. Letter to Jagadisa, 9 July 1970.
Please work conjointly, without any personal ambition. That will help the cause. Letter to Brahmananda, Gargamuni, 31 July 1970.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said that this chanting of the Hare Krsna Mantra will be heard in every nook and cranny of this globe. He is God, so there is no doubt about it. So if we are intelligent we will take advantage of this opportunity and get the credit. If we do not, someone else will. Letter to Satsvarupa, 4 Nov 1970.
Thank you very much for your sincere endeavor and faith in your Spiritual Master. The key to success in spiritual life is to always endeavor to please the Spiritual Master, and follow his instructions. One who is determined in this effort will advance very quickly in Krishna consciousness. Letter to Satadhanya, 20 Feb 1972.
These inebrieties can be adjusted by the cooperative spirit, tolerance and maturity so I request you to kindly remain in the association of our devotees and work together. The test of our actual dedication and sincerity to serve the Spiritual Master will be in this mutual cooperative spirit to push on this Movement and not make factions and deviate. Letter to Babhru, 9 Dec 1973.
Those who try to distribute Krishna Consciousness amongst the general mass of people are very much favorite to Lord Krishna and Lord Caitanya. Letter to Rupanuga, 12 March 1968.
Srila Prabhupada’s quotes on importance of book distribution:
The more we distribute books and literature the more we become understood by the people about our mission, and the more they understand our mission they become advanced on the path of liberation from all problems of life. Letter to Tripurari, 16 Apt 1974.
So Kirtana plus distribution of our books and literature is the basic principle of our success. Even if we do not have our own temple it does not matter, but if we can hold Kirtana 24 hours, and distribute our publications, that is our great success. Letter to Mukunda, 1 Oct 1968.
That is my ideal of life, to form a nice group of devotees to perform Sankirtana and to distribute our books in wider circles. Letter to Gurudasa, 5 Feb 1969.
These statistics are very nice. I like very much to receive the report of my book sales. I think it also gives encouragement to the devotees who distribute the books. Here at Mayapur my guru maharaj was printing one paper. It was selling for only a few paise. Sometimes whenever one brahmacari would go to Navadvipa and sell even a few copies, I would see my guru maharaj become very much pleased. Even if the brahmacari was not a very important member, my guru maharaj would become very, very pleased with him. He personally instructed me that books are more important than big temples. At Radha Kunda he told me that since constructing the big marble temple at Bhag Bazar, there have been so many difficulties. Our men our envious over who will live in which room. I think it would be better to take off all the marbles and sell them and print books. He told me this personally. So I am always emphasizing book distribution. It is the better kirtana. It is better than chanting. Of course chanting should not stop, but book distribution is the best kirtana. Letter to Srutadeva 24 October, 1974.
We are not interested to attract millions of men to see some show. Better we attract one sincere soul to join us in ecstatic chanting and hearing, that will be of real value. And distribute books, as many as possible. If anyone hears something philosophy from us, that will help him. But if he purchases one book that may turn his life. So selling books is the best preaching activity. Sell books, hold the kirtana in public places like schools and colleges, preach—if you practice these things, and try to improve them more and more simply by your practicing sincerely, that simple programme will please Krishna the most and you will see that very soon. Letter to Sudama, 25 November, 1972.
I am glad to hear that you are distributing nicely books and magazines. The more we sell books, the more we advance in Krishna Consciousness, and the more we help others to have solid information how they may take advantage of their human form of life and achieve the supreme perfection. So I want that you should now increase very greatly this selling of books and literatures. Letter to Kulasekhara 20/1/72.
Actually producing and distributing books is our most important engagement, all other engagements culminate in this one end–distribution of books. Letter to Tamala Krsna, 27th July 1973.
I understand from Karandhara that you are one of the most staunch supporters and workers for distributing our books and I assure you that it is the highest service to my Guru Maharaja. Thank you very much. Letter to Trai dasa 8/12/73.
. We want to flood the world over with our books. So go on in this way and Krishna will surely bless you. Letter to Sri Govinda 21/1/71.
Actually this book production is most important, and you have pleased me very much. Just go on and flood the whole world with these Krsna books. Letter to Bali-mardana 8/873.
So I am very pleased with your activities. Now continue and increase. Everyone will want our books. We will always have customers. This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy. Letter to Ghanasyama 20/11/75.
Your report of the book distribution there is very encouraging. Make program to distribute our books all over the world. Our books are being appreciated by learned circles, so we should take advantage. Whatever progress we have made, it is simply to distributing these books. So go on, and do not divert your mind for a moment from this. Letter to Ramesvara dasa 11/10/74.
The results show that there is no limit to our book distribution. Our books are qualified to be distributed unlimitedly. Letter to Ramesvara dasa 18/1/76.
Because if these books are read, there is no doubt that many sincere souls shall be attracted and will join you in your work for Krishna. So please try for selling these books, it shall be considered as the greatest service. Letter to Gurudasa, 1 Dec 1968.
It is natural that such distribution of literatures should increase as the people hear more about Krsna Consciousness Movement, so distribution of our books and literatures is our major propaganda program. Letter to Gurudasa, 29 June 1970.
Yes, always try to sell our books and Back To Godhead, as far as possible. That is our main business. Letter to Gargamuni, 31 May 1968.
So, all our books are as good as Krsna because we deal in the books about Krsna only. Therefore, taking shelter of these books means taking shelter of Krsna—there is no doubt about it and if you stick to this principle there will be no attack from Maya. Letter to Bhavananda, 28 Oct 1970.
Anyone reading our Krsna book, Nectar of Devotion, Teachings of Lord Caitanya and Bhagavad-gita will certainly become a Krsna conscious person. Someway or other we have to push these literatures, whether through schools, colleges, libraries, membership or ordinary sales. In your country practically there is no illiteracy. Everyone can read and write. So when they will read Krsna book, certainly they will enjoy this as a story or as philosophy, morality, religion, etc. and gradually they will become perfect in Krsna consciousness. Letter to Karandhara, 18 March 1971.
We want to distribute our books as far as possible to all classes of men, because anyone who reads them is sure to become Krishna Conscious, they are so nice. Also you should distribute the books to schools, colleges, libraries, bookstores, and wherever else you can imagine that they will be received. Also continue your program of door-to-door Sankirtana. That is certainly Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement and he will bestow upon you all blessings. Letter to Rsabhadeva, 25 March 1971.
These books are so much potent that anyone who reads them is sure to become Krishna Conscious. They are so nice. So we want to make propaganda in that way. And if you are enthusiastic and sincere in your efforts, then Krishna will give you all facility. Letter to Prahladananda, 17 June 1971.
Also it is much more important that you utilize your valuable time and energy to distribute our magazines and books. That is real propaganda work. And the householders can earn their livelihood by distributing our books also. Letter to Sri Govinda, 13 July 1971.
I am glad to hear that you are distributing nicely books and magazines. The more we sell books, the more we advance in KC, and the more we help others to have solid information how they may take advantage of their human form of life and achieve the supreme perfection. So I want that you should now increase very greatly this selling of books and literatures. Letter to Kulashekhara, 10 January, 1972.
My first concern is that my books shall be published and distributed profusely all over the world. Practically, books are the basis of our Movement. Without our books, our preaching will have no effect. Letter to mandala Bhadra, 20 Jan 1972.
Without such books and magazines, our preaching work has no authorized basis, so there must be always books. Letter to Krishna das, 24 Feb 1972.
My ambition is to spread these books far and wide all over the world so that everyone shall read at least one of our books and that will change his life. If only 1% become devotees, that will change the world. Letter to Karandhara, 2 May 1972.
If you sell a book to someone, that is better than your speaking to them—what will your three minutes' preaching do? But if they read a book it may turn their life. Go on preaching, that is the highest perfection of activity, and do not worry for anything, Krishna is so much appreciative of this preaching work that He will give you every facility, as much as you have ambition. Letter to Brahmananda, 3 Nov 1972.
Srila Prabhupada’s quotes on importance of “Back to Godhead” magazine:
We must publish our books as much as possible because that will create our position. Back to Godhead should be the life and soul for the Society. Please let me know your program. Letter to Rayarama, March 16, 1967.
This Back to Godhead will always remain the backbone of the society because more the magazine is popular the more society becomes popular. Letter to Rayarama, Jan 30, 1967
I also very much appreciate the work you are doing in trying to promote my books and record, and I am very glad to know that the new BTG is selling well. These publication are the backbone of our movement, and if we can distribute them successfully. Then everything will be all right. Letter to Pradyumna, 25 Aug 1967.
Sankirtana and BTG distribution are our backbone for preaching and all other things are secondary. If you can distribute one BTG you go forward one step for our preaching advancement, what to speak of distributing our books also. So do it enthusiastically and Krishna will bless you more and more. Letter to Damodara -- London 1 September, 1971.
You should take BTG as your life and soul. Your work for BTG is first and foremost above all. If you do not find any time for other things, there is no objection, but I want to see that you make BTG a successful magazine like Life magazine or Illustrated Weekly of India. Letter to Rayarama, 23 March 1968.
We want to distribute as many issues of BTG as possible, so the more you can print and distribute, the more my Guru Maharaja will be pleased to see His Great Dream being fulfilled. Letter to Brahmananda, 16 July 1969.
I am glad to learn that you are selling BTG increasingly, and it is giving me pleasure increasingly. Letter to Subala, 6 Aug 1969.
It is very encouraging to learn that you are so enthusiastic to sell BTG. I consider sale of BTG so valuable because in the beginning I worked for BTG day and night alone in India. I still remember the hardship for pushing on this BTG. In the beginning, when I was householder, I did not care if somebody paid or not paid; I used to distribute liberally. But when I left my household life and I was living alone sometimes in Vrndavana and sometimes in Delhi or sometimes travelling for pushing on BTG, they were very hard days. Therefore, when BTG will be published not in hundreds of thousands, but in millions, that will give me great solace. Letter to Madhudvisa, 14 Apr 1970.
BTG is my life and soul. Please therefore try to distribute BTG as many as it is possible. I started this magazine in 1947 in my householder life. I was spending Rs. 300 to 400 at the time ($300 to 400 in your exchange), and I was distributing this magazine without any consideration how much I was getting in return. Practically the whole money was spent without any return. But ten years after, from 1954 to 1959, the struggle was very hard because at that time I had no money and alone I was editing, publishing, and securing money for publication. So it was a great struggle. My ambition was that I would publish BTG in huge quantity so that people may understand transcendental blessings of Lord Caitanya. Now, since I have come to your country, I have entrusted the matter to my beloved American boys and girls, and I wish to see that this magazine is published and distributed in the American way like "Readers Digest'', "Life'' etc., published in millions and distributed all over the world. Actually the position of BTG should be more important than any mundane magazine because it contains the quintessence of human necessities. Letter to Gurudasa, 16 Apr 1970.
Yes, if the BTG can be published in the States it will be a great facility because we can print every month. So try to get things done very smoothly by mutual arrangement, and that will give me great satisfaction. Letter to Brahmananda, 17 Apr 1970.
Actually we want that BTG be printed in every major language and distributed all over the world so that there is no language barrier in taking to our movement. Letter to Citsukhananda, 25 March 1971.
Sankirtana Party and distribution of our magazines and books is our real program. Other things are secondary. So during the summer time you should utilize this program of Sankirtana and book distribution vigorously. Attention diverted to incense business is not a very good sign. We should give all our energy for distributing BTG. Letter to Satsvarupa, 21 June 1971.
I am very glad to note of how you are increasing the "Back To Godhead'' distribution there in such a remote place. Our "Back To Godhead'' is the backbone of our movement so we should always be thinking how to increase it increase it increase it. Letter to Rocana, 21 Nov 1974.
Suggestion on practical devotional service deriving from Srila Prabhupada’s quotes:
The suggestion on practical devotional service is to register Srila Prabhupada’s non-profit organization in the USA. The purposes of such non-profit organization are:
1) To issue paper edition of Srila Prabhupada’s “Back to Godhead” magazine;
2) To distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books profusely in an organized manner.
To launch the organization enthusiastic devotes are required to fill positions of:
1) Director of non-profit organization;
2) Editor of Srila Prabhupada’s “Back to Godhead” magazine.
Srila Prabhupada had given us everything, we simply have to follow and do what he says. Let us put some efforts together and try to serve to our best capacity. Please, do not hesitate to contact me for further questions.
In service to Srila Prabhupada,
Facebook name: Arman Agtsp