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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Nityananda Gauranga Naam > Most Important NG Questions > Book Writing and Distribution

Importance of Writing, publishing

And distributing Vedic literature
Compiled by BRS Swami Gaurangapada


Q. Why do you concentrate more on wiritng and publishing books then on temple construction?


A. by Swami Gaurangapada:


The reason is because this is the instruction of all my previous Acharyas.


There is no greater bhajana or seva greater than preaching through writing.  (Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura)


It is certainly not good to write literature for money or reputation, but to write books and publish them for the enlightenment of the general populace is real service to the Lord. That was Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's opinion, and he specifically told his disciples to write books. He actually preferred to publish books rather than establish temples. Temple construction is meant for the general populace and neophyte devotees, but the business of advanced and empowered devotees is to write books, publish them and distribute them widely. According to Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, distributing literature is like playing on a great mridanga. (Cc. Madhya 19.132)


Book publishing and distribution is more important than temple construction: Nectar Of Devotion Ch. 7:


… a sannyasi should not be enthusiastic about constructing temples. We can see in the life of various acaryas in the line of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that they are not very enthusiastic about constructing temples. However, if somebody comes forward to offer some service, the same reluctant acaryas will encourage the building of costly temples by such servitors.…

So a bona fide spiritual master should not personally take any responsibility for constructing temples, but if someone has money and wants to spend it in the service of Krishna, an acarya like Rupa Gosvami may utilize the devotee's money to construct a nice costly temple for the service of the Lord.… a spiritual master needn't be very enthusiastic for constructing temple buildings simply in the name of so-called spiritual advancement. Rather, his first and foremost activity should be to preach. In this connection, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja recommended that a spiritual master print books. If one has money, instead of constructing costly temples, one should spend his money for the publication of authorized books in different languages for propagating the Krishna consciousness movement.


Letter to: Satsvarupa,Nellore, 5 January, 1976:

If this book distribution is managed properly, pushed on with great enthusiasm and determination and at the same time if our men keep spiritually strong, then the whole world will become Krishna conscious.


Book distribution is more important than Deity worship:

Bhag. 7.14.39


Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu set a practical example in that He did not establish any temples or Deities, but He profusely introduced the sankirtana movement. Therefore Krishna consciousness preachers should give more stress to the sankirtana movement, especially by distributing transcendental literature more and more. This helps the sankirtana movement. Whenever there is a possibility to worship the Deity, we may establish many centers, but generally we should give more stress to the distribution of transcendental literature, for this will be more effective in converting people to Krishna consciousness.


The Secret of Shrila Prabhupada's Success

Morning Walk, April 2, 1974, Bombay


Prabhupada: Yes. Krishna says, sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66]. You'll take a practical... My Guru Maharaja gave me hint that book publication is more pleasing to me than Matha-mandira. So I took it and I began to publish books and that has come successful. Karyam karma. I took it, Oh, Guru Maharaja wants that books should be published. So let me concentrate on this instead of... My creating so many centers, big, big temples, that is not my primary duty. My primary duty is to write books. Therefore I am going on still. These are coming automatically. Maybe this is the secret of my success.


Meeting With Member of Parliament, Mr. Krishna Modi, August 31, 1976, Delhi:

Krishna Modi: And what is your program, sir?

Prabhupada: My program is chant Hare Krishna and write books. That's all.


Cc 12.8 purport:

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura wanted to print as many books as possible and distribute them all over the world. We have tried our best in this connection, and we are getting results beyond our expectations.


TLC: Lord Chaitanya's Mission

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed His disciples to write books on the Science of Krishna, a task which those who follow Him have continued to carry out down to the present day.


Room Conversation, April 10, 1977, Bombay:

Prabhupada: Yes. I am chanting. If I am not writing I am chanting. Of course, sometimes irregularity. What can be done with this physical impediment? Otherwise, I'll either chant or read books or write books.


Letter to Upendra, Los Angeles, 6 August, 1970:

These things are too much botheration for me, I simply want time to write books to satisfy my Guru Maharaja.


SB 8.1 summary:

I am continuously trying to publish books, as suggested by my spiritual master. […] I am neither a great scholar nor a great devotee; I am simply a humble servant of my spiritual master, and to the best of my ability I am trying to please him by publishing these books, with the cooperation of my disciples in America.


SB 10.2.31 purport:

Thus it is the duty of the acarya to publish books that will help future candidates take up the method of service and become eligible to return home, back to Godhead, by the mercy of the Lord.


His Divine Grace Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada's Appearance Day, Lecture, Mayapur, February 21, 1976:


He (Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta) continued that “There is no need of establishing many temples. Better we publish some books.” He said like that. He said that “We started our, this Gaudiya Matha in Ultadanga. The rent was very small, and if we could gather 2 to 250 rupees, it was very nice, going on. But since this J.V. Datta(?) has given us this stone, marble stone Thakurabari, our competition between the disciples have increased, so I don't like anymore. Rather, I would prefer to take out the marble stone and sell it and publish some books.” So I took that point, and he also especially advised me that “If you get money, you try to publish books.” So by his blessing it has become very successful by your cooperation. Now our books are being sold all over the world, and it is very satisfactory sale. So on this particular day of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's advent, try to remember his words, that he wanted that many books should be published about our philosophy and it should be given to the English-knowing public especially, because English language is now world language. We are touring all over the world. So anywhere we speak English, it is understood, except in some places. So on this day, particular on the advent of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, I’d especially request my disciples who are cooperating with me that try to publish books as many as possible and distribute throughout the whole world. That will satisfy Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as well as Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Thank you very much.


Arrival Address, Los Angeles, June 20, 1975

I have no personal qualification, but I simply tried to satisfy my guru. That's all. My Guru Maharaja asked me that "If you get some money, you print books." So there was a private meeting, talking, some of my important Godbrothers also there. It was in Radha-kunda. So Guru Maharaja was speaking to me that "Since we have got this Bagh Bazaar marble temple, there has been so many dissensions, and everyone thinking who will occupy this room or that room, that room. I wish, therefore, to sell this temple and the marble and print some book." Yes. So I took up this from his mouth, that he is very fond of books. And he told me personally that "If you get some money, print books." Therefore I am stressing on this point: "Where is book? Where is book? Where is book?" So kindly help me. This is my request. Print as many books in as many languages and distribute throughout the whole world. Then Krishna consciousness movement will automatically increase.


Letter to: Ajita, Bombay, 7 April, 1974

After all, this is my prime duty, to publish books on Krishna Consciousness.


Letter to: Bhagavan, Vrindaban, 5 November, 1972:

Anyway, print books, distribute profusely, and that will be the best preaching work. What will your three minutes' preaching do?--but if they buy one book, it may turn their life. So make this your important task, to print our books in French language and other languages, and distribute widely, and that will please my Guru Maharaja. Never mind it takes little time to make progress, our process is slow but sure, and we are confident that if we continue in this way we shall go one day back to home, back to God head.


Letter to: Karandhara, Bombay, 27 September, 1973:

This engladdens me when I see our literature very widely distributed. This was the subject matter of my Guru Maharaja's satisfaction. He liked to distribute books more than constructing temples. He personally advised me to print books if I have got some money.


Letter to: Srutadeva, Mayapur, 24 October, 1974:

I think it also gives encouragement to the devotees who distribute the books. Here at Mayapur my guru maharaj was printing one paper. It was selling for only a few paise. Sometimes whenever one brahmacari would go to Navadvipa and sell even a few copies, I would see my guru maharaj become very much pleased. Even if the brahmacari was not a very important member, my guru maharaj would become very, very pleased with him. He personally instructed me that books are more important than big temples. At Radha Kunda he told me that since constructing the big marble temple at Bhag Bazar, there have been so many difficulties. Our men our envious over who will live in which room. I think it would be better to take off all the marbles and sell them and print books. He told me this personally. So I am always emphasizing book distribution. It is the better kirtana. It is better than chanting. Of course chanting should not stop, but book distribution is the best kirtana.


Letter to: Puranjana, Honolulu, 4 May, 1976:

If we strain, and if he takes one book home, some day people will come to understand what valuable knowledge they have received. It is transcendental literature.


Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.9-11, New Vrindaban, June 6, 1969:

So if you want to write books, you write books by glorifying the Lord. Na yad vacas citra-padam harer yasah.