Reading too many books

Hare Krishna

23rd December 2012


This blogs are from my last year’s diary.

While speaking to HG Rukmini Krishna Prabhuji today I discussed with him my current status where I am trying to study only Bhagavad Gita and have stopped reading all other books. The same instructions came from Guru Maharaj telling me that it is a step in the right direction. Guru Maharaj also wrote that NOD instructs us not to read too many books. Better to read one book at a time.

Prabhuji nobbed in affirmation and told me to follow it diligently and instructed me to just concentrate on reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, BG, SB and Krishna book, and that will be good enough. I will try to follow these instruction.

I was reading too many books and each new one I would pick a deeper topic and after some days won’t have the discipline to stop any of them so I would end up not finishing even one of them and always hankering for more.

The realisation to read only one book came as jolt in the right time. The shocker came when Guru Maharaj gave a very short Bhagavatam class at Radha Niwas few weeks back. The verse he picked up was SB 7.2.222

nitya ātmāvyayaḥ śuddhaḥ sarvagaḥ sarva-vit paraḥ

dhatte ‘sāv ātmano lińgaḿ māyayā visṛjan guṇān


The spirit soul, the living entity, has no death, for he is eternal and inexhaustible. Being free from material contamination, he can go anywhere in the material or spiritual worlds. He is fully aware and completely different from the material body, but because of being misled by misuse of his slight independence, he is obliged to accept subtle and gross bodies created by the material energy and thus be subjected to so-called material happiness and distress. Therefore, no one should lament for the passing of the spirit soul from the body.

I was shocked to know that Hiraṇyakaśipu knew all these details about soul and still behaved with so much animosity towards Lord. Guru Maharaj explained that as Hiraṇyakaśipu is speaking this verse we can clearly see that he has the correct knowledge but what is missing is `Surrender’ and without surrender all knowledge comes to a naught. Guru Maharaja’s words stuck somewhere deep inside me. I realised that all this knowledge I am trying to gain is no good. All my hankering for collecting books, reading deeper topics by previous acharayas suddenly fizzled out. I realised that I have to work towards surrender to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna first. I realised that I have to first read and study only Srila Prabhupada’s books and rest all can come later.

I also realised that I am just reading these books and not studying them. In fact Guru Maharaj scolded me in his first Teleconference on SB ( it was recorded and sent to many devotees to my initial embarrassment,  listen to all his recorded teleconf on SB @ ). It was only many months later that I was listening to the same recording that I realised that Guru Maharaj was showering his mercy on me by instructing me to first read Bhagavad Gita properly rather than jumping on to the higher books. Guru instructs us, but look at me, I am so fallen that even simple English also I could understand only months later. During the teleconference Q&A, at that time, I thought ` Guru Maharaj ji does not know how many times I have read Bhagavad Gita in the past and with what dedication I have read all the small books by Srila Prabhupada.  But of course I was, and remain,  a foolish person of first degree.

Lesson for me : Please listen to EACH word of Guru with utmost attention and follow what Guru’s instructions  without measuring it with my own poor intelligence and mind. If I follow even the so called simple instructions I will progress rapidly in Krishna Consciousness.

I will  follow them.

2013 status : I have fallen in love with simple yet deep purports of Bhagavad Gita, every week HG Vidur Priya Prabhuji teaches us something new from the same verses, I have fallen more in love with Srimad Bhagavatam ( reading canto 3 ) and fallen head over heels in love with Sri Chaitanaya Charitamrita. I read other books but mostly to get clarity on subjects where I get stuck or keen to read a particular topic in greater detail, which is more often. However my hankering to collect books show no sign of slowing down.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.