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In South Africa in 1975, we were in Shrila Prabhupada's room and he had just been given the Fifth Canto of Srlmad-Bhagavatam. He was very happy to get this book. But as he was looking ai the book, and as everybody leti, nc said, In America they are thinking these books are for others, that they are simply for distribution. They don't know that I have written these books for my disciples to read. Now I am au≠thorizing you to read my books twenty-four hours a day. I want all my disciples to become expert in this philosophy and then distribute it with great power and potency."
Shrila Prabhupada wanted his disciples to distribute millions of books, but he wanted them to do it for their whole lives, not like a comet streaking through the airórunning around without really understanding what is going on. One cannot distribute books thinking of big results alone. One can do that for some time. We have personally seen that the motive to be on top of the charts is inspiring, but it doesn't last. One must have transcendental knowledge, vidya. If it is done for fruitive results, the results will gradually diminish. Or we may maintain big results, but our idea will be, "I can also get big results in the material world. Why do I need Krsna conscious≠ness?" Therefore we have been losing some devotees through≠out the years. Prabhupada told us not to be attached to mundane fame, profit, or distinction. What difference does it make if nobody knows what you do, or nobody cares? The spiritual master and Krsna know. We may somehow or other distribute by a material arrangement, but that will ultimately go down, down, down, and we will lose so many men. In 1970, when there were 450 devotees in this movement, Prabhupada announced that we now had enough men and we should teach them to become first-class Vaisnavas. "First class" means
titiksavah karunikah† suhrdah sarva-dehinam
ajata-satravah santah sadhavah sadhu-bhusanah
"The symptoms of a devotee are that he is tolerant, merciful, and friendly to all. He is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime."