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Consulting books

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 3

We have written a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu entitled The Nectar of Devotion, and one may consult this book for more detailed information on the science of devotional service.
SB 3.2.5, Purport:

The nine different modes of devotional service, such as hearing, chanting and remembering, are the beginning of the process. By regular hearing of the glories and pastimes of the Lord, the impurities in the student's heart begin to be washed off. The more one is cleansed of impurities, the more one becomes fixed in devotional service. Gradually the activities take the forms of steadiness, firm faith, taste, realization and assimilation, one after another. These different stages of gradual development increase love of God to the highest stage, and in the highest stage there are still more symptoms, such as affection, anger and attachment, gradually rising in exceptional cases to the mahā-bhāva stage, which is generally not possible for the living entities. All these were manifested by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the personification of love of God.

In the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, the chief disciple of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, these transcendental symptoms displayed by pure devotees like Uddhava are systematically described. We have written a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu entitled The Nectar of Devotion, and one may consult this book for more detailed information on the science of devotional service.

SB Canto 5

One should not be simply intent on consulting books but should simultaneously execute the spiritual master's order (yathopadeśam).
SB 5.5.14, Purport:

The unflinching execution of devotional service is in itself brahma-bhūta (SB 4.30.20). Another important feature in this connection is anena yogena yathopadeśam. The instructions received from the spiritual master must be followed immediately. One should not deviate from or surpass the instructions of the spiritual master. One should not be simply intent on consulting books but should simultaneously execute the spiritual master's order (yathopadeśam). Mystic power should be achieved to enable one to give up the material conception, but when one actually engages in devotional service, one does not need to practice the mystic yoga system. The point is that one can give up the practice of yoga, but devotional service cannot be given up.

SB Canto 6

If one wants to be protected from the reactions of ignorance even in this age of Kali, one may consult the books left by Śrīla Vyāsadeva, Upaniṣads, Vedānta-sūtra (Brahma-sūtra), Mahābhārata, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Mahā-Purāṇa (Vyāsadeva's commentary on the Brahma-sūtra) and the other seventeen Purāṇas.
SB 6.8.19, Translation and Purport:

May the Personality of Godhead in His incarnation as Vyāsadeva protect me from all kinds of ignorance resulting from the absence of Vedic knowledge. May Lord Buddhadeva protect me from activities opposed to Vedic principles and from laziness that causes one to madly forget the Vedic principles of knowledge and ritualistic action. May Kalkideva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appeared as an incarnation to protect religious principles, protect me from the dirt of the age of Kali.

This verse mentions various incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead who appear for various purposes. Śrīla Vyāsadeva, Mahāmuni, compiled the Vedic literature for the benefit of all human society. If one wants to be protected from the reactions of ignorance even in this age of Kali, one may consult the books left by Śrīla Vyāsadeva, Upaniṣads, Vedānta-sūtra (Brahma-sūtra), Mahābhārata, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Mahā-Purāṇa (Vyāsadeva's commentary on the Brahma-sūtra) and the other seventeen Purāṇas. Only by the mercy of Śrīla Vyāsadeva do we have so many volumes of transcendental knowledge to save us from the clutches of ignorance.

The present chaotic conditions of the world are due to the ignorance of leaders who forget that they have been appointed to act by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because they have been appointed by the Lord, their duty is to consult the Lord and act accordingly. The book for consultation is Bhagavad-gītā, in which the Supreme Lord gives directions.
SB 6.15.6, Purport:

Prakṛti, material nature, as directed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, induces all living entities to create, maintain or annihilate according to the modes of nature. But the living entity, without knowledge of the Supreme Person and His agent the material energy, thinks that he is the doer. In fact, he is not at all the doer. As an agent of the supreme doer, the Supreme Lord, one should abide by the Lord's orders. The present chaotic conditions of the world are due to the ignorance of leaders who forget that they have been appointed to act by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because they have been appointed by the Lord, their duty is to consult the Lord and act accordingly. The book for consultation is Bhagavad-gītā, in which the Supreme Lord gives directions. Therefore those who are engaged in creation, maintenance and annihilation should consult the Supreme Person, who has appointed them, and should act accordingly. Then everyone will be satisfied, and there will be no disturbances.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

The spiritual master delivered the Vedic hymns and their explanations to the student, who would then remember them forever, without consulting books.
CC Adi 16.44, Translation and Purport:

The Lord replied, "By the grace of the Lord someone may become a great poet, and similarly by His grace someone else may become a great śruti-dhara who can memorize anything immediately."

In this connection, śruti-dhara is a very important word. Śruti means "hearing," and dhara means "one who can capture." Formerly, before the beginning of Kali-yuga, almost everyone, especially among the intelligent men, the brāhmaṇas, was a śruti-dhara. As soon as a student heard any of the Vedic wisdom from his master, he would remember it forever. There was no need to refer to books, and therefore there were no written books in those days. The spiritual master delivered the Vedic hymns and their explanations to the student, who would then remember them forever, without consulting books.

To become a śruti-dhara, one who can remember simply by hearing, is a great achievement for a student.

CC Madhya-lila

It is very difficult to find out Vaiṣṇava directions from the book of Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. It is better to consult the commentary made by Sanātana Gosvāmī himself for the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa under the name of Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā.
CC Madhya 1.35, Purport:

The details of the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa-grantha are given by Śrī Kavirāja Gosvāmī in the Madhya-līlā (24.329–345). The descriptions given in those verses by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī are actually a description of those portions compiled by Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. According to Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, the regulative principles of devotional service compiled by Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī do not strictly follow our Vaiṣṇava principles. Actually, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī collected only a summary of the elaborate descriptions of Vaiṣṇava regulative principles from the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa. It is Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī's opinion, however, that to follow the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa strictly is to actually follow the Vaiṣṇava rituals in perfect order. He claims that the smārta-samāja, which is strictly followed by caste brāhmaṇas, has influenced portions that Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī collected from the original Hari-bhakti-vilāsa. It is therefore very difficult to find out Vaiṣṇava directions from the book of Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. It is better to consult the commentary made by Sanātana Gosvāmī himself for the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa under the name of Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā. Some say that the same commentary was compiled by Gopīnātha-pūjā Adhikārī, who was engaged in the service of Śrī Rādhā-ramaṇajī and who happened to be one of the disciples of Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī.

The eighth vilāsa of Hari-bhakti-vilāsa should be consulted as far as possible.
CC Madhya 24.337, Translation:

“The items of worship, such as water, conchshell, flowers, incense and lamp, should be described. You should also mention chanting softly, offering prayers, circumambulating and offering obeisances. All these should be carefully described.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

If there is any difficulty to understand, we may consult persons who are in the understanding. We may consult books. We may consult authorities.
Lecture on BG 4.13-14 -- New York, August 1, 1966:

There is no reaction of the activities of Kṛṣṇa. Just like Kṛṣṇa was commanding over Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukṣetra, and practically He was ordering that "You must fight. You must kill the enemy." Now, this act of Kṛṣṇa's has no reaction on Him. One should understand it. Na māṁ karmāṇi limpanti (BG 4.14).

If there is any difficulty to understand, we may consult persons who are in the understanding. We may consult books. We may consult authorities. That we can do because inquiry is always allowed. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). The, I mean to say, the transcendental inquiry is never forbidden. A sincere person, one can make inquiry. But fact is this. If I cannot understand in my present condition, that is my misunderstanding. But the fact is this that Kṛṣṇa, when He comes, He is not any, like any one of us. He's transcendental. Neither any act which He does, it has got reaction. And He says, na me karma-phale spṛhā, "I have no desire for any fruitive activities."

We have forgotten all these things. Therefore the books and the scriptures are there. That is also another mercy of God. Just like you consult some book, doing something.
Lecture on BG 9.18-19 -- New York, December 4, 1966:

Now you have got this beautiful body of human, civilized human being. Or you can get the body of more and more developed body, just like Brahmā, just like the sun, moon, and so many there are. And if you forget, you go down to the cats and dogs and ants and germs and so many things, become a worm of the stool. He will give you all facilities. This is called karma-cakra, cycle of work. As you desire, so God gives you facility. Therefore our desire should be revived: "What kind of desire we should at all make?" Therefore this Bhagavad-gītā is there; the scriptures are there. You have forgotten. We have forgotten all these things. Therefore the books and the scriptures are there. That is also another mercy of God.

Just like you consult some book, doing something. Just like we do every day. What is the postal rate? I do not know. This is a parcel I have to send. So at once I consult book. The direction is there, postal guide is there, and I do the right thing. Similarly, when we forget our acti..., what is the destination of life, then we have to consult. This is the direction.

There were many scientists. They were sitting, consulting books: "Oh, why it is not working?"
Lecture on BG 10.4-5 -- New York, January 4, 1967:

If you work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is real intelligence. And if you work against Kṛṣṇa, that is foolishness. That is the distinction between intelligent and foolishness. Jñānam. Jñāna means knowledge. Now, so far knowledge is concerned, here is a key packet. If you want to make research who has made this packet, who has discovered it, in which country first it was introduced, in what material it is made, oh, you can write volumes of books. You can speculate in any damn thing, and you can write volumes of books. That does not mean that you are a man of knowledge. There are so many.

I'll give you one very nice example. This is practical. In my youthhood I was manager in a big chemical firm. So there was a sulphuric acid chamber. There was some defect. It was not working well. In that chamber sulphur is given, and it is fused, and then acid comes out. So it was not working. So there were many scientists. They were sitting, consulting books: "Oh, why it is not working?" Then the managing director, Dr. Bose... He was very intelligent man. He at once went to another firm. They were also chemical. He knew there was an ordinary worker; he was very experienced. So... He was Muhammadan. He called him at once, "Just come and see what is defect there." And he at once came and manipulated some machine—at once acid transformed. All the theoretical scientists, they sat down. So this kind of experience you'll find even an ordinary man.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

"Let me see my book whether your father took it." So he said, "All right, consult." So after consulting the books, he said, "I don't find any item that I gave loan to your father."
Lecture on SB 1.5.33 -- Vrndavana, August 14, 1974:

This is within the blood of every Indian that if I cheat you or if I take some money from you without your benefit, without repayment, then I will have to suffer. Still in India they believe this. There are some incidences that a man, father took some loan from some gentleman and his father died, and his son came to pay the money to the creditor: "Sir, my father took so much money from you. Now my father died without payment. So I have got money, you kindly take it." He says, "Let me see my book whether your father took it." So he said, "All right, consult." So after consulting the books, he said, "I don't find any item that I gave loan to your father." "No, sir, I know, my father said at the time of death that 'I owe so much money to that gentleman, I could not pay; you pay it.'" So the trouble was the man says "I don't find any debit to your father's name. How can I take your money?" And he is insisting, "Yes, my father took money from you, kindly take." This was India. This was India. They knew that "I cannot cheat you." Karmī, in the karma-kāṇḍa, if I cheat you, then I will have to pay you four times this life or next life. That is the law of karma.

There was a committee, and the king would take their advice how to manipulate the political affairs or administration, and they would consult standard books.
Lecture on SB 1.9.2 -- Los Angeles, May 16, 1973:

All the kṣatriyas, kings, would be always accompanied by hoards of brāhmaṇas. As soon as they required any instruction, immediately consult the brāhmaṇas, and they gave good advice: "Do like this." This is the business of the brāhmaṇa. And the kings, they would not do anything without consulting. Don't think that because there was monarchy, they were all autocrat. No. If the brāhmaṇas would not agree, then they won't do. The brāhmaṇa's community, all saintly persons and learned scholars, brāhmaṇas... There was a committee, and the king would take their advice how to manipulate the political affairs or administration, and they would consult standard books.

You are reading so many books, consulting so many philosophers, scientists, searching out peace of mind.
Lecture on SB 1.15.28 -- Los Angeles, December 6, 1973:

This Deity worship means to train the neophytes devotees how to concentrate upon the form of Kṛṣṇa, especially His lotus feet. That will make our life pacified always, śānta, śānta, pacified, peaceful. Another point is, sauhārdenātigāḍhena, very deep intimacy. We have got already our relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati (BG 5.29). We are seeking after friends who can give me some benefit, who can give me some peace of mind. You are reading so many books, so many..., consulting so many philosophers, scientists, searching out peace of mind. But we are forgetting that our real suhṛt, friend, is Kṛṣṇa.

Simply you have to consult authorized books, you get learned yourself.
Lecture on SB 6.1.6 -- Los Angeles, January 3, 1970:

This life is preparation for the next life. The modern civilization does not know that every living entity is eternal; he is changing simply different phases of life. So if one is ignorant how he is changing his different phases of life, what is his next life, what he was in the past life... How one can know? One can know, śāstra-cakṣuṣāt. One can know from the scriptures, from the authorized books, as you know so many things. How you know that the moon planet or sun planet or this planet or that planet have got so many things, this or that? It is from the books. You have never gone to the moon planet, but you learn it from the books, authorized books. Simply you have to consult authorized books, you get learned yourself.

You consult so many authoritative books for understanding knowledge.
Lecture on SB 6.1.7 -- San Francisco, March 1, 1967:

Śāstra means you can consult. Just like you consult dictionary, you consult encyclopedia, you consult so many authoritative books for understanding knowledge, similarly, if you consult, you get all information. So in this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is all stated: "If you do like this, you get birth like this. If you do like this, you get birth like this."

The book is there, Veda. We have to consult the Vedas.
Lecture on SB 6.1.39 -- San Francisco, July 20, 1975:

All the lawbooks are meant for the men, for the human being, not for the animals. Just like in your country the police law is: "Keep to the right your car." But if a animal goes, keep to the left, it is not punishable. So everyone not punishable. Then again, human being, all of them, not punishable. Those who are criminals, those who have violated laws, they are punishable. So therefore this question is "Whether and how they are punishable? What is dharma, and what is adharma? So if you are representative of Yamarāja, then you explain to us first of all whether you are actually representative."

So the Yamadūta, they are also servant of very exalted personality, one of the authority. So they are not lacking in knowledge by the grace of their master. So the first thing they said, veda-praṇihito dharmo hy adharmas tad-viparyayaḥ. Dharma and adharma, religious principle and not religious principle, nonreligious principle—how to discern. The book is there, Veda. We have to consult the Vedas.

Five thousand years before, at that time the memory was so sharp that one could keep in his memory simply by once hearing from the spiritual master. There was no need of written books to consult.
Lecture on SB 12.2.1 -- San Francisco, March 18, 1968:

This book, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, was written... Not written, pratically it was recorded. All Vedic literatures, they are recorded from hearing or tradition of... (break)... five thousand years before, the statements of authorities, people could keep in mind without any book record. At that time the memory was so sharp that one could keep in his memory simply by once hearing from the spiritual master. There was no need of written books to consult. So five thousand years ago this book was recorded by Vyāsadeva because he could understand that in future people will be born of so lower grade that it would be not possible to keep in memory without book record.

General Lectures

A human being, if he tries, if he consults books of knowledge just like Bible or Bhagavad-gītā or similar other scriptures, he can know what is God, how great He is, how omnipotent He is, and what is our relationship with God.
Lecture at Boys' School -- Sydney, May 12, 1971:

You say, "God is great," but how He is great, that we do not know. That we have to know. That is called God consciousness or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Everyone says, "God is great. God is omnipotent. God is all-powerful," but we do not know how God is great, how God is all-powerful, how God is omnipotent. That we should know. And that is the prerogative, a special power for the human being. The animals, they cannot know what is God, how God is great, how God is all-powerful. But a human being, if he tries, if he consults books of knowledge just like Bible or Bhagavad-gītā or similar other scriptures, he can know what is God, how great He is, how omnipotent He is, and what is our relationship with God.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

When somebody asks you some question, if you say, "Let me consult my book," that knowledge has no value.
Room Conversations -- April 22, 1972, Japan:

Prabhupāda: Now we are selling The Process of Creation but if I do not know what is the process of creation, we do not read, if you go to sell some book, then if he says, "What is the process of creation? You explain," and if you say, "All right, let me consult my book..." Kuto gata vedyaḥ para-hasta-gataṁ dhānam. Para-hasta-gataṁ dhānam means, "I have got enough wealth." "Where it is?" "It is in other hands. It is not in my possession, in others' possession." This kind of possessing wealth has no value. Similarly, when somebody asks you some question, if you say, "Let me consult my book," that knowledge has no value. "Let me consult my book." So all these books are there. You see one śloka studying, knowing. It takes one hour. So there are millions of ślokas. How much you have to study. So these things are to be noted. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means perfection, all round perfection. Then people will much appreciate.

Everything is there in the śāstra; therefore books should be consulted.
Room Conversation -- June 14, 1972, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: One who is actually inquisitive to understand the highest benefit of life, he must approach a guru. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ. Jijñāsu means inquisitive. Śreya—the highest benefit of life. Uttamam-highest. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam. Ṣābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ. What is the qualification of such a person? Ṣābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ. He is completely well versed in the transcendental science. And what is the symptom that he is well versed? Brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam. He has taken shelter of Brahma or Kṛṣṇa or God. Upāsanā-finishing all desires. These two things: he is a devotee and he has no more material desires. He must be well versed in the science, he must be a devotee, and he has no attraction for material things. These three things, if you can find, then he's perfect guru. Everything is there in the śāstra; therefore books should be consulted. If you have no books, those who are discussing books, you should approach them, you should hear them. Just like we are holding class, morning, evening. People can come here, take advantage what we are speaking, then gradually they can understand.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

The government can give you the law book. You consult and do accordingly. You'll be happy.
Morning Walk -- Durban, October 13, 1975 :

Prabhupāda: Vedic culture, He has given, Bhagavad-gītā. Why don't you accept it? You don't accept; then suffer. He has given His instruction. The government gives you the law. Now, when you violate, the government will come to stop you? You violate and suffer. Why do you expect that "When I violate the laws, the government men will come and stop me?" Why do you expect like that? Eh? The government can give you the law book. You consult and do accordingly. You'll be happy. And if you don't, against, the government man is not coming to stop you. You do and suffer. Kṛṣṇa says, "Whenever there is discrepancy, I come." That is general, not for India. Vedic culture is not for India. It is for everyone.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

You have to consult śāstra.
Interview with Newsweek -- July 14, 1976, New York:

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: How seriously should they be punished?

Prabhupāda: That you have to consult śāstra. There is direction. It is... Practically it is the same. Just like Manu-saṁhitā, it says that if one is a murderer then he should be killed. Life for life. He should be hanged. That is the old system. The king used to kill a murderer. So that is almost the same punishment.

Rāmeśvara: What Prabhupāda said is that you have to consult the ancient law books which were written, which are part of Indian culture, thousands of years ago.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Make your defense measure consulting all these books.
Room Conversation -- February 18, 1977, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: It is already there.

Satsvarūpa: The whole defense is prepared by Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa has given all knowledge. Actually nobody has tried to present Bhagavad-gītā like this. That's a fact. And it is acting. (laughs) Now it is acting. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante... (BG 7.15). Make your defense measure consulting all these books, everything.

Correspondence

1970 Correspondence

My oral instruction as well as my books are all at your service.
Letter to Hayagriva -- Calcutta 14 September, 1970:

From the very beginning I was strongly against the impersonalists and all my books are stressed on this point. So my oral instruction as well as my books are all at your service. Now you GBC consult them and get clear and strong idea, then there will be no disturbance.

1971 Correspondence

I especially want that my students enter into the schools and colleges and present our Krishna philosophy and sell our books.
Letter to Badarinarayana -- Delhi 18 November, 1971:

We should always be thinking of how to spread this Sankirtana Movement by applying our basic principles according to time and place, and I especially want that my students enter into the schools and colleges and present our Krishna philosophy and sell our books.

1972 Correspondence

Because I have now given you everything you are able to answer all such questions from what you know, and if there is any difficulty you may consult my books, or you may write me if necessary.
Letter to Hamsaduta -- Madras 14 February, 1972:

Now our Society is growing very rapidly all over the world, and the burden of administration is taxing me too much and taking too much time. So I want that you all GBC men work cooperatively to manage things now, along with the other officers, and it is better if devotees can address their questions to you, and because I have now given you everything you are able to answer all such questions from what you know, and if there is any difficulty you may consult my books, or you may write me if necessary.

1976 Correspondence

During the exams books may not be consulted.
Letter to All Governing Body Commissioners -- Nellore, South India 6 January, 1976:

Anyone wishing to be initiated as a brahmana will have to pass the Bhaktisastri exam and anyone wishing to take sannyasa will have to pass the Bhaktivaibhava examination as well. This will prevent our Society from degrading to the level of so many other institutions where, in order to maintain the Temple, they accept all third class men as brahmanas. Any sannyasis or brahmanas already initiated who fail to pass the exams will be considered low class or less qualified. Anyone wishing to be 2nd initiated will sit for examination once a year at Mayapur. Answers will be in essay form and authoritative quotations will be given a bigger score. During the exams books may not be consulted.

... more about "Consulting books"
Visnu Murti +  and Tugomera +
March 14, 0009 JL +
December 6, 0009 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 4 +, CC: 3 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 11 +, Conv: 5 +  and Let: 4 +