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How to Preach Sankirtana
This point about book distribution preaching is very important. I have heard your class when you were here in Korsnas over the speaker system. I thought it was a good class. There were some points that could be mentioned that might help you understand more about the problem of preaching in a temple about the urgency and importance of book distribution. When you ,vwi; speaking about the n.ru.^ ial of the bowks from Vrndavana to Navadvlpa, that was nice. It was a means by which the importance of the books could be emphasized without overdoing it. Just consider: Sometimes I very clearly speak about book distribution. I do not do it so very often, since the basis for this understanding has been nicely established in this zone.
When I do it, I do it clearly and strongly. There is no doubt what we are talking about. I usually do this when there is a need due to some degradation of the book distribution spirit. In other times, when things ale going as well as could naturally be expected, I do not hammer home this point again. In fact, such overemphasizing a point can work against one. For example, if one continuously preaches in class that one should follow the principles, gradually no one will be interested in the class since it is the same thing. Furthermore, due to the rebellious nature of the psychology of the conditioned souls, some of them might even think that they don't want to have anything to do with it. Do you understand? If there is no need to push something, then pushing it can have the exactly opposite effect than the one that is wanted.
For example, in your class you were directly pushing sanklrtana as one would normally do in a sankirtana class. Consider the audience. There were some sankirtana men there who already knew about the need to do it, since they were doing it already. There are also a majority of BBT devotees who do nothing but make books all day. They are not distributing the books, but making the books. This is their life and soul. Then there are a small handful of temple devotees who support everyone else and who also cannot sell books. So the point of the class, although nice, was lost on most of the people, since they were either already totally absorbed in the service or they could not do it due to supporting it. Such devotees would like to hear about Krsna. So it was nice that you told them the story, which was related to book distribution, yet was a pastime of the devotees of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The real point in preaching is that one has to learn how to attract someone's mind to Krsna and uicii, when the person understands Krsna s giones and ean appreciate the knowledge, you gradually reveal that it is all Prabhupada's mercy that comes from these books. Naturally, when one understands the importance of the books through study of the books, he will also want to sell the books as well. This is a natural consequence of good preaching. It is subtle in many respects, but it is more powerful, since it works on the level of intelligence. One should bring the hearers to the point of them making their own minds up about the importance of the books, rather than attempting to program them to think in that manner. I think this is what I haw tried u. do. Now you have to learn the art as well. I can be much more direct among my own disciples, since this is the direct order ot the spiritual master. However, you are not the guru; therefore, you cannot be so direct as I sometimes am. You have to be more subtle in the presentation to avoid getting anyone upset. Speak about Krsna, and attract people to hear about Krsna. Naturally you will bring them also to the books. One who is totally convinced about something does not need to continuously wave it about. For him it is second nature. Be convinced yourself and sure, then there is a good chance that others will become infected with your realization. (June 27,1988)