All Devotees Should Write
This is a compilation based on the works of Srila Prabhupada.
Compiled by Premanjana Das
“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 Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, January 17, 1971)
Keep on with the practice of writing articles; in the midst of your heavy duties go on writing something glorifying the Lord and put our philosophy into words. Writing articles means to express oneself how he is understanding the whole philosophy. So this writing is necessary for everyone.
(Letter to: Giriraja — London 12 August, 1971)
“My long desired scheme of a Krsna Conscious daily newspaper is being implemented. Please do this work very nicely. It will be a very great step in the history of ISKCON movement.”
( Srila Prabhupada, Letter to Satsvarupa 1971)
“Here in this world there are thousands of newspapers and magazines reporting the stale, repetitious happenings of this limited space. So for reporting the news of the unlimited spiritual realm, concerning the eternal, ever-fresh Supreme Personality of Godhead, we could publish a newspaper at every second, what to speak of daily.”
( Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura)
“According to social conventions, it is said that one can speak the truth only when it is palatable to others. But that is not truthfulness. The truth should be spoken in such a straight and forward way, so that others will understand actually what the facts are. If a man is a thief and if people are warned that he is a thief that is truth. Although sometimes the truth is unpalatable, one should not refrain from speaking it. Truthfulness demands that the facts be presented as they are for the benefit of others. That is the definition of truth.”
(Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. Ch 10:4)
Srila Prabhupada- Preaching also means reading and writing, or else what will you preach? (Letter to: Gurudasa — Mayapur 18 February, 1977)
All students should be encouraged to write some article after reading Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita and Teachings of Lord Caitanya. They should realize the information, and they must present their assimilation in their own words. Otherwise, how they can become preachers?
(Letter to: Brahmananda — Los Angeles 1 July, 1969)
We need so many preachers who are soundly versed in the scriptures to convince the world to take to Krishna Consciousness. I am glad that you and the others are each writing one hour daily essays. That is parampara. All of our previous acaryas on our line have written substantially on the science of God-consciousness, so I would also like all my students to do this and I am very encouraged by this nice program you have initiated.
(Letter to: Vrindaban Candra — Bombay 9 November, 1970)
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 Kṛṣṇa. 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. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam, writing or offering prayers, glories. This is one of the function of the Vaiṣṇava. You are hearing, but you have to write also. Then write means smaraṇam, remembering what you have heard from your spiritual master, from the scripture.Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ: [SB 7.5.23] about Viṣṇu, not for others. Don’t write any nonsense thing for any nonsense man. Useless waste of time. Viṣṇu. Write about Viṣṇu, Kṛṣṇa. This is cultivation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Hear, write, remember, try to understand. Don’t be dull, dull-headed. Very intelligent.
(Sri Brahma-samhita, Verse 32 Excerpt — Los Angeles, August 14, 1972)
“…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 Arrival Address, June 20, 1975, Los Angeles)
“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, December 13, 1969)
“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 Satsvarupa, January 11, 1971)
“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 Billy Reyburne, March 12, 1972)
‘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 Letter to Patita Uddharana, October 14, 1973)
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.
Prabhupada: Vyasa-puja. Vyasa-prasadam. Unless one is blessed by Vyasadeva, he cannot write transcendental literature.”
(Srila Prabhupada’s Room Conversation, February 16, 1977, Mayapur)
“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.”
(Caitanya-caritamrta Antya 7.134 – The Meeting of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Vallabha Bhatta)
“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 Krsna dasa, October 21, 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.”
(Srila Prabhupada’s Letter to Janardana, December 19, 1968)
By writing according to our realization we become more and more convinced and all doubts are destroyed.
( Srila Prabhupada, Letter to: Pusta Krsna – Hyderabad 23 March, 1973)