You have to hear from the pure source, give aural reception, and think of it, meditate upon it. Simply by doing this, you are liberated. These are not bluff. Here is the evidence. Simply receive the message from the right source and contemplate and meditate upon that instruction. You are liberated. Chanting and hearing. Hearing and... Sravanam kirtanam. First hearing, then chanting. Hear from the right source and discuss amongst yourselves. Isthagosthi. Then the perfection.

(S.B. Lec. 1.5.13 New Vrndavana 13th June, 1969)




In this section we will be presenting some thoughts and describing some practices which devotees at the Prabhupada Sankirtana Society are daily using in their hearing from Srila Prabhupada.


At the Prabhupada Sankirtana Society centers during both morning and evening classes, after chanting the Sanskrit sloka and reading the text and purport, we play the relevant lecture by Srila Prabhupada.

There are now available more lectures on the Srimad-Bhagavatam, bringing the total to around seven hundred. This amount lasts about two years, when played daily during class. By materialistic calculation this is more than enough to keep the classes fresh, as know one can fully remember the classes given two years previous. Of course spiritually speaking there is unlimited nectar in every single lecture. As far as the evening lectures on the Bhagavad Gita are concerned, if they are supplemented with Nectar of Devotion and Caitanya Caritamatra lectures, they would total around five hundred. This lasts just under one and a half years.

While hearing the lecture we read along by taking the transcript of the lecture from the computer (Srila Prabhupada's complete works, Vedabase) and make the font larger, different colours are also used for the font and background. This is then transferred to a larger television screen so it can be read by many devotees. Pictures of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna can also be inserted on the screen. The sub-titles and pictures help capture the mind and focus it on hearing Srila Prabhupada's transcendental vibration. As the mission develops and the temples are full with hundreds of devotees we may be using very large screens and advanced sound systems.


After hearing the lecture one devotee usually leads a discussion, by trying to repeat word for word the instructions of His Divine Grace. This process is very important for the development of a preacher, as it checks the tendency of interpretation and speculation.

Your proposals for teaching them our philosophy are very good. But if we try artificially to explain sastra in our own words, there is every danger of interpretation and speculation. First the student must be able to repeat exactly the words of the guru and then after some time he may be qualified to apply the principles he has learned word-for-word to personal situations. It is not that we are a dry philosophy of dogmas and slogans. No. The language of Krishna Consciousness is ever-fresh and we can explain everything by it, just like my Guru Maharaja once lectured for three months on one verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam. But every precaution must be taken to preserve our basic guiding principles as they are and not change them because we want to hear something new.

(S.P.L Bhaktadasa, 20th November, 1971)

Questions are usually presented by the devotee leading the discussion and the assembled devotees answer. In this way everyone gets involved in bringing out the main and side points of the purport and class.

I have looked over the sample of test paper from Srimati Joanne and it is very nice. This question and answer practice should be encouraged amongst the devotees. Then they will become trained to reply questions from outsiders.

(S.P. Letter to: Jananivasa Los Angeles 7 July, 1970)

We then point out Sanskrit slokas used by Srila Prabhupada, and expand on them by referring to their purports and previous lectures. In this way the discussions open out more and more bringing in fresher and fresher angles of sastric vision. By this process all the devotees are also learning the verses which Srila Prabhupada quotes and how he presents them with other verses. The process of discussing together helps us all gain deeper realizations and savor new understandings about the Krishna Consciousness philosophy. Everyone becomes very much enlivened and realizes more about the exalted position of the Maha Bhagavata devotee Srila Prabhupada, and how he speaks with one hundred percent perfection on the ancient Vedic literature’s, presenting them so mercifully for the understanding of the fallen souls of Kali yuga.

We are holding our morning class here in Los Angeles in the temple and I am speaking from 7 to 8 am, and the process is that we are going through some chapters of Srimad-Bhagavatam by taking one sloka each day, and reading the Sanskrit aloud, each word is pronounced by me and repeated by the students and then altogether we chant the sloka several times until we have learned it. And then we discuss the subject matter very minutely and inspect it from all angles of approach and savor the new understandings. So you introduce this system in all of the centers in your zone, and you will discover that everyone becomes very much enlivened by these daily classes.

(S.P. Letter to: Madhudvisa Los Angeles 16 June, 1972)

Some souls may say Srila Prabhupada never instructed us to play his lecture tapes for Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita classes, he asked his disciples to give class. Therefore to play his lecture tapes for class would be introducing something new. To answer this, we can say that Srila Prabhupada gave the classes when he was physically present, so to hear him speak now is continuing that process not introducing something new.

He reasons ill who tells that Vaisnavas die when thou art living still in sound. The Vaisnavas die to live and living try to spread the holy name around.

(Bhaktivinode Thakur.)

According to Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, Srila Prabhupada's preaching will increase now by his presence in transcendental sound. So whatever Srila Prabhupada was doing when he was physically present shall increase. Srila Prabhupada is now available to lecture daily, in many many places simultaneously.

We should also understanted that only Srila Prabhupada, the self realized soul can recite Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita, he does this by his Bhaktivedanta purports.

According to the Vedic injunctions: yasya deve para bhaktih. The Srimad-Bhagavatam can only be recited by one who has unflinching faith in the lotus feet of Krsna and His devotee, the spiritual master.

(C.C. Mad 22.131)

When we speak we first read Prabhupada's recitation then bring out the points contained within it. Therefore why not also take advantage of these lectures, which we could understand as "extended purports".

Srila Prabhupada also says that hearing the sound vibration from the realized soul is more effective than reading, this would be another reason to also utilise his lecture tapes for classes.

Reading or hearing from the realized person there is no difference, but hearing the sound vibration from the realized soul is still more effective, better.

(S.P.L, to Punjabi premanand, 16th October, 1976)

In the following quote Srila Prabhupada says that what he's talking into the microphone will be recorded and can be heard by a big crowd of four hundred men. This would indicate playing his lectures during morning and evening classes, when the devotees gather in large numbers.

If somebody criticizes, "Oh, Caitanya Mahaprabhu walked on leg and you are travelling in the jet plane?" Shall I have to take that ideal? These are rascaldom. When you have to work, you have to work with the greatest facility. That's all. Now I have got the facility of the talking in microphone, and... So why should I not take it? It will be recorded. It will be heard by so many others. I am speaking to four, five men. It can be heard by a big crowd of four hundred men.

(S.P.C Vrindavana, 4thMarch, 1974)


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