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Title: Philosophy and Pastimes
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-03-15 09:04:37
Question by Chandrika: Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! On July 4, 1971, in Los Angeles Srila Prabhupada spoke the following about his mission. Interviewer: And you are not particularly interested in what particular name this God has. Prabhupada: No. Our purpose, mission, is that people may become God conscious. And the process is in this age by chanting the holy name of God. If you have got any name for God which is actually name of God, then you抣l be successful by chanting that name.
I thought that was a nice quote with regard the chanting of Nityananda and Gauranga. I also have a question about something he said later in the same interview. He went on in the same interview to speak the following with regard to philosophy being part of what he taught.
Prabhupada: Religion without philosophy is sentiment. Rules and regulations must be established on philosophy. Otherwise it is sentiment, defective. Religion without philosophy is sentiment, and philosophy without religion is mental speculation. They should be combined, philosophy and religion. Then it will be perfect.
Many of the books these days that people read, seem to be all about the pastimes of the Lord, but I wonder which are the books that are most necessary to establish the correct philosophy and understanding of pastimes etc, and do these need to be read simultaneously along with the books about the pastimes etc. by everyone no matter how advanced they are?
There are Shrila Prabhupada books he wrote, books like the science of self-realisation and a higher taste and journeys to other planets. Are these books still absolutely necessary to be read by one and all alongside the lilas etc, in order to keep the philosophy in mind whilst reading such things as lilas?
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! Pranams and Blessings! Nice quotes. Holy Books like Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata give us a divine mix of pastimes and philosophy so that the philosophy is easily digestable by us. Just like we can easily take some bitter medicine after it coated with a sweet capsule. Shrila Prabhupada抯 holy books are full with divine philosophy since is a Tattva Acharya following in the footsteps of Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana. Shrila Prabhupada抯 books should be read as they are the basis of all spiritual knowledge. Unless once understands the philosophy of how great and omnipotent the Lord is, one cannot fully appreciate His pastimes.