Dhanurdhara Swami November 29th, 2000
I received a note appreciating my journal explaining that it “gives people a chance to hear philosophy when they don’t have time to read or make time to read.” It’s more likely that people don’t make time to read and this disturbs me, although I am sympathetic to the plight of the devotees. I also find it sometimes hard to read when my schedule is upset and my day becomes passionate. Not making time to read has more to do with our lifestyle and the modes we attract than our lack of time, although I understand how exhausting working and family life is in today’s world.
Another problem is that, in many places, the Hare Krishna movement has failed to provide an attractive and nourishing spiritual environment to inspire devotees in Krishna consciousness. Nonetheless, we have to sincerely analyze our style of life and see what changes can be made so that are lives are more impacted by goodness and devotion. Ultimately, everything rests on our sincerity, our desire to become Krishna consciousness.
Sometimes I think that many, or even most people, are not capable of really studying philosophical books on their own; otherwise why do so few devotees seem to read Srila Prabhupada’s books regularly? In Vrindaban and other holy places we still see that most people learn philosophy by hearing others speak. The Hare Krishna movement needs to concentrate more on developing learned and engaging speakers who can attract people to hearing. Hopefully, then the devotees will also become inspired to read.
I read some relevant points in Bhakti-Sandarbha in this regard:
bhaktya tat-katha rucer?bhakti means the taste in hearing about Krishna; the eagerness, relish, and willingness to hear about Krishna.
eva paravastha-rupaya prema laksanaya?this taste is hearing itself which will transform into prema; the extreme taste for hearing is prema.
I see the disciple of Narayan Maharaja who sent the note from him. I asked her exactly what Maharaja had told her. I was surprised that she said that it was her idea to request me to visit and that, due to miscommunication, it came out as if Maharaja was making the request. I probably wouldn’t have visited at this time if it wasn’t for her letter, but I am not unhappy that I did. Krishna works in strange ways.