Welcome to the KrishnaSoft's Electronic Newsletter.
This is the December 2000 issue entitled: "Reading Srila Prabhupada's Books is Also Chanting!"
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This newsletter goes to over 1100 people who either have an interest in Vedic science and/or spiritually entertaining multimedia technology.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
(1) Reading Srila Prabhupada's Books is Also Chanting!
(2) You can Distribute Books Without Any Books!
(3) Feedback: Miscellaneous
(4) Editorial Policy and Product List 1. READING SRILA PRABHUPADA'S BOOKS IS ALSO CHANTING!
Lord Caitanya's wanted that the holy name of Lord Krsna spread to every town and village. So wouldn't it be better if Srila Prabhupada had just told people to chant Hare Krsna instead of translating and writing so many books and arranging for their distribution all over the world? Is reading books and distributing them deviating from Lord Caitanya's mission to chant Hare Krsna? The answer to the above questions is NO. As explained in previous newsletters, the devotional service is coming down through the disciplic succession:
"The Lord's order descends in disciplic succession through the bona fide spiritual master, and thus execution of the order of the bona fide spiritual master is factual control of the senses . Such execution of penance in full faith and sincerity made Brahmaajii so powerful that he became the creator of the universe." (Bhag. 2.9.8)
So this idea of writing books was not Srila Prabhupada's idea but Krsna's plan coming down through the disciplic succession:
"First of all let us offer our respectful obeisances unto our spiritual master, Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada, BY WHOSE ORDER I am engaged in this herculean task of writing commentary on the Srimad-Bhagavatam as the Bhaktivedanta purports." (Bhag. 4.1.1)
So did Lord Krsna add to His plan from just chanting Hare Krsna to also including reading books? No, He did not because the devotional service of writing books as authorized through the disciplic succession (parampara) attains the same transcendental nature as chanting Hare Krsna:
"Anyone, therefore, who is earnestly serious in heart and soul about being in intimate touch with the Personality of Godhead in the relationship of transcendental loving service will always be infallible in words and action. THE REASON IS THAT THE SUPREME LORD IS ABSOLUTE TRUTH, AND ANYTHING EARNESTLY DOVETAILED WITH THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH ATTAINS THE SAME TRANSCENDENTAL QUALITY. On the other hand, any amount of mental speculation on the strength of material science and knowledge without any bona fide touch with the Absolute Truth is sure to be a mundane untruth and failure, simply due to not being in touch with the Absolute Truth. Such godless, unfaithful words and actions, however materially enriched, are never to be trusted. That is the purport of this important verse. A grain of devotion is more valuable than tons of faithlessness." (Bhag. 2.6.34)
Therefore, Srila Prabhupada chanted in writing books and spread the chanting by spreading his books. This is also confirmed in the case of Vyasadeva's works on which Srila Prabhupada's translations are based:
"To go to some holy place of pilgrimage does not mean only to take a bath in the Ganges or Yamuna or to visit the temples situated in those places. One should also find representatives of Vidura who have no desire in life save and except to serve the Personality of Godhead. The Personality of Godhead is always with such pure devotees because of their unalloyed service, which is without any tinge of fruitive action or utopian speculation. They are in the actual service of the Lord, specifically by the process of hearing and chanting. The pure devotees hear from the authorities and chant, sing and write of the glories of the Lord. MAHAMUNI VYASADEVA HEARD FROM NARADA, AND THEN HE CHANTED IN *WRITING*; Sukadeva Gosvami studied from his father, and he described it to Pariksit; that is the way of Srimad-Bhagavatam. So by their actions the pure devotees of the Lord can render any place into a place of pilgrimage, and the holy places are worth the name only on their account. Such pure devotees are able to rectify the polluted atmosphere of any place, and what to speak of a holy place rendered unholy by the questionable actions of interested persons who try to adopt a professional life at the cost of the reputation of a holy place." (Bhag. 1.13.10)
Thus, writing books on the order of the spiritual master is also chanting whereas books written without any touch with the order of the guru are useless for spiritual progress because they are sure to be based on mental speculations. Lord Krsna is unlimited and beyond our mental capacity to understand so only He can tell us about Himself and He does so only when service is performed via the order of the spiritual master:
"By service of the bona fide spiritual master, the Lord consents to REVEAL Himself in proportion to the service rendered. Utilization of the human energy in the service of the Lord is the progressive path of salvation. The whole cosmic creation becomes at once identical with the Lord as soon as service in relation with the Lord is rendered under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master." (Bhag. 1.5.23)
"To act under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master with a motive to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead is PURE DEVOTIONAL SERVICE." (Bhag. 3.29.8)
This pure devotional service attains the same transcendental quality as Lord Krsna (as described above) and association with this pure devotion can purify the conditioned souls as we learn by the example of Narada's previous life:
"Pure devotion is as much infectious, in a good sense, as infectious diseases. A pure devotee is cleared from all kinds of sins. The Personality of Godhead is the purest entity, and unless one is equally pure from the infection of material qualities, one cannot become a pure devotee of the Lord. The bhakti-vedantas as above mentioned were pure devotees, and the boy became infected with their qualities of purity by their association and by eating once the remnants of the foodstuff taken by them... There are sometimes pseudodevotees, and one should be very much cautious about them." (Bhag. 1.5.25)
Thus, anyone who reads Srila Prabhupada books which have been prepared with pure devotion will be chanting whether he understands the books or not. So, Lord Caitanya's order to spread the holy name is perfectly in-line with distributing Srila Prabhupada's books. And just as in chanting, the quality is more important than the quantity; similarly in our reading our devotional attitude plays a big role in our purification:
"Srimad-Bhagavatam is a narration about the Personality of Godhead and the devotees of the Lord like the Pandavas. The narration of the Personality of Godhead and His devotees is absolute in itself, and thus to hear it WITH A DEVOTIONAL ATTITUDE is to associate with the Lord and constant companions of the Lord. By the process of hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam one can attain the highest perfection of life, namely going back home, back to Godhead, without failure." (Bhag. 1.15.51)
2. YOU CAN DISTRIBUTE BOOKS WITHOUT ANY BOOKS!
"Although one may be situated in a lowly position, he can execute devotional service under any circumstance, as stated, ahaituky apratihata: 'Devotional service cannot be checked by any material condition.' (Bhag. 1.2.6)" (Bhag. 4.24.69)
This is because devotional service is a function of the spirit soul not a fruitve or mental activity. So even without books, we can maintain the desire to do book distribution and think of ways of how it can become physically possible. Therefore, the distribution of Srila Prabhupada's books cannot be checked by anyone. On the other hand, one can sell millions of Srila Prabhupada's books and not have advanced spiritually one bit, but made things worse for himself as well as others who support him; this is true in cases where the service involves deriding of devotees:
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes very dear to those devotees who have no material possessions but are fully happy in possessing the devotional service of the Lord. Indeed, the Lord relishes the devotional activities of such devotees. Those who are puffed up with material education, wealth, aristocracy and fruitive activity are very proud of possessing material things, and they often deride the devotees. Even if such people offer the Lord worship, the Lord never accepts them." (Bhag. 4.31.21)
3 FEEDBACK: MISCELLANEOUS
>in the whole universe, Virender? You should name them, and finally become
>dear to Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. Krishna used to chastize such demons,
>just as Prabhupada did, too. So why not following their example?
My service in that newsletter is to preach the Srimad-Bhagavatam not to attack any particular person. I'll stick to my devotional service and I would suggest that you stick to yours.
>Looking for a really memorable gift?
>This is not a book nor a movie. It is an actual life experience that takes the
>viewer on a trip back in time -- and then propels him or her thrillingly forward
>into a spiritual world!
Can you prove this via sastra? Perhaps, it degrades one's spiritual life preventing one from going to the spiritual world.
>NEW Interactive Bhagavad-gita As It Is CD-ROM turns your computer
>into the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Its superb graphics, video, and sound
>will absolutely amaze you and open a view of Bhagavad-gita you've
>never seen before!
Doesn't Encarta 2000 deluxe have better graphics, video, and sound? If I wanted to be awed by graphics, video, and sounds I have many options (mostly free).
>Bhagavad-gita (Sanskrit translation: "The Song of God"), is the brightest jewel of
>Eastern wisdom. This ancient Vedic text inspired the book and newly released
>movie, Bagger Vance. Now the experience that stimulated such great thinkers
>as Albert Einstein, Thoreau, Gandhi, and George Bernard Shaw is available
>in full color and sound with all the original texts and modern day explanations
>-- plus many extras -- in an amazing new interactive CD ROM format.
That you still have to prove that Srila Prabhupada's Gita As It Is which has inspired millions is the same as what you are presenting. Remember anything done whimsically (without guru and sastric authority) is garbage as far as spiritual life goes.
>This may be the closest you will ever come to personally
>experiencing the drama, emotion, and historical impact of Lord
>Krishna's conversation with Arjuna at Kuruksetra, India, 5000
Big "may be". There are many translations/presentations done whimsically which claim to be THE Gita.
>Just a click of the mouse and you can read any verse, do any search.
>But this rare and highly professional CD ROM gives you even more
>than words imparting timeless knowledge. There are voice
>characterizations, colorful paintings, animation, original musical
>compositions, and sound effects to enthrall children, fascinate
>newcomers, and deepen one's faith and understanting.
Again what about Encarta to enthrall children?
>Can you think of a more perfect gift or more engaging learning tool
>for students than Lord Krishna explaining the purpose of life on a
>colorfully animated computer screen?
That you still have to prove that Lord Krishna is explaining things and not His explanation coming through the filter of someone's imperfect mind. All the 600+ translations are presenting Lord Krsna's words in one sense.
Who authorized this work? Can you quote from Sastra where Srila Prabhupada is allowing somebody to put his own presentations in HIS books and sell it under the title of his books? Can I put my own french interpretations of the Gita and as long as I include Srila Prabhupada's Gita As It Is call it French Gita As It Is? So who is presenting the multimedia that you dare to call it Multimedia Gita As It Is?
[Just because someone includes the same words Srila Prabhupada used as part of his own work, does not make that work bona-fide. The words have to be used in devotional service via the spiritual master's order coming down through the disciplic succession and confirmed by sastra. For example, mayavadis chant the Hare Krsna mahamantra (which is certainly bona-fide) but because they deride Lord Krsna, the devotees, and the process of devotional service, their chanting should not be heard and Lord Krsna does not accept their offering:
"If a person derides a pure devotee, he is never recognized by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, the Supreme Lord never excuses one who offends a pure devotee." (Bhag. 4.31.21) ]
4. EDITORIAL POLICY AND PRODUCT LIST
"One should engage in practical service to the Lord. In our Krsna consciousness movement, *ALL* our activities are concentrated upon distributing Krsna literature. This is very important. One may approach any person and induce him to read Krsna literature so that in the future he also may become a devotee.... By fully concentrating on distributing books for Krsna, one is fully absorbed in Krsna."
Our newsletters are geared to show you the benefits of the instructions contained in the transcendental books of Srila Prabhupada so you can judge for yourself the value of these books and obtain them in book or CDROM format. We also have video demos of the Gita CDROM and Bhagavatam CDROM available for those without computers or those who want to get a glimpse into what is on the CDROM.
Krishna Software Inc. has produced some multimedia CDROMs and all the details and reviews of these CDROMs can be found at our website http://www.krishnasoft.com. Here is our current list of products:
(a) Multimedia Bhagavad-gita As It Is CD: Lord Krsna's eternal instructions to Arjuna and the rest of the world about Isvara (Supreme Lord), jiva (the soul), karma (activities), kala (time), and prakrti (nature). This is a 30-hour audio-visual CDROM. Also available with Hindi translations.
(b) Multimedia Srimad-Bhagavatam CD: An encyclopedia on the science of Krsna consciousness. This CDROM deals in detail with bhakti-yoga and covers various subjects-- the creation of the universe, Vedic astronomy, transmigration, birth-death, etc. This is about 35 hours of audio-visual presentations.
(c) Multimedia Krsna CD w/Vedic Astronomy: This is a 51-hour audio-visual presentation of the Krsna book and a Vedic Astronomy simulation based on the Srimad-Bhagavatam. All on a single CDROM. Free sample demo downloadable from our website.
(d) Multilingual Word Processor CD [version 4.00/5.00]: Type in diacritics, Hindi, Sanskrit, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, and Assamese without knowing the alphabet. This is for those who want to write articles using multiple languages. Free demo downloadable from our website. New version now supports Marathi script.
All of the above software was tested on various Intel 486 and Pentium processors running Windows 3.1, Windows '95, Windows '98, and Windows NT (client and server).
Latest information and secure ordering is available at our web site: http://www.krishnasoft.com. Any upgrades can be downloaded from this website as well.
End of Newsletter- written and edited by KSI staff; (c) 1998-2000 Krishna Software Inc.
Our staff consists of: Hari Rama Dasa, Virender Dayal, Rajni Dayal, and volunteers.
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All glories to Lord Sri Krsna and His transcendental potencies! All glories to the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the literary incarnation of Lord Sri Krsna!
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