(Srila Prabhupada inspecting his latest publications—click to enlarge)
"I have instructed everything in my books."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 25, 1976)
"In my books the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is explained fully so if there is anything which you do not understand, then you simply have to read again and again. By reading daily the knowledge will be revealed to you and by this process your spiritual life will develop. Krishna Consciousness is not a hackneyed thing but it is something which is our natural and original consciousness. Presently our consciousness is clouded just like a mirror becomes covered with dust So the cleansing process is this chanting and hearing and doing some service and trying to please the Spiritual Master. By this process our consciousness becomes clear and we are able to understand everything."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 22, 1974)
"I am so much grateful that you have enjoyed studying my books. Many young intelligent persons such as yourself are studying these books in the colleges and universities all over the world. Actually anyone who tries to understand these books will become a great realized devotee of Lord Krishna gradually. The original potency of the sastra remains in these books because I have not added or opinionated anything of my own. I have simply presented the scriptures such as Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam as they are."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 19, 1975)
"You have asked me to tell you everything that you should know, and this, of course, is a great subject matter. We now have published several books which delve deeply into the topic of the Absolute Truth, so you should read them very carefully, and gradually the knowledge will become revealed to you. The first book you should study carefully is the Bhagavad Gita As It Is. The sum and substance of Bhagavad Gita is that we should surrender ourselves wholly and completely upon the Lotus Feet of Krishna. When one is not Krishna Consciousness, then he is Maya conscious, or in illusion. Just like when one is not in light, he is sure to be in darkness. Because absence of light means darkness. Similarly, to be forgetful of Krishna means one is in Maya, the darkness of ignorance. Just like when you turn away from the sun, you see the darkness of your shadow; but when you turn your face to the sun, then there is no question of a shadow. The whole principle of spiritual life is to turn our attention back to Krishna, and thus immediately be freed from all entanglements of Maya. There is no necessity to practice the various yogic postures, pressing the nose, and there is no need of becoming a great learned scholar to advance in spiritual life. Simply we have to turn our attention back to the Lotus Feet of Krishna, and then all spiritual perfection is automatically there."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 16, 1969)
"I am so glad to learn that you are reading my Bhagavad-gita As It Is with great interest, and I hope if you kindly read my books carefully that all your spiritual desires will be fulfilled."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 18, 1969)
"Because Bhagavad-gītā is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one need not read any other Vedic literature. One need only attentively and regularly hear and read Bhagavad-gītā. In the present age, people are so absorbed in mundane activities that it is not possible for them to read all the Vedic literatures. But this is not necessary. This one book, Bhagavad-gītā, will suffice, because it is the essence of all Vedic literatures and especially because it is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
(Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, Introduction)
"Everything is there. We have got so many books. At least, thoroughly study Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Yes. Understand the philosophy of life. Apply in own life and try to spread among friends."
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Hyderabad, August 23, 1976)
"So we have published our Nectar of Devotion. So every one of you should read this Nectar of Devotion repeatedly. The whole substance of Vaiṣṇava philosophy and activities, everything is there. So every one of you read this Nectar of Devotion once, twice, thrice. Unless you have got full-fledged ideas what is this devotional service.
That was written by... actually, it was spoken by Lord Caitanya to Rūpa Gosvāmī. For ten days continually He instructed Rūpa Gosvāmī at Prayāga, Daśāśvamedha-ghāṭa. You have seen the picture in TLC (Teachings of Caitanya). Caitanya Mahāprabhu was in Allahabad, Prayāga, and Rūpa Gosvāmī met Him there. He was offering obeisances flat. You have seen that picture.
So at that time Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally gave him instruction what is this cult of bhakti. So for ten days. And he took note of it, and later on he placed this book in the form of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. That is in Sanskrit. It will be difficult for you. Therefore I have presented a summary study, and the summary study has come to 407 pages. If we would have elaborately described each and every verse, then it would have come to at least thousand pages.
So the whole substance is creamed. You should take advantage of this. And don't indulge in much unnecessary talks. Time should be very properly utilized. Āyuṣaḥ kṣaṇa eko 'pi na labhyaḥ svarṇa-koṭibhiḥ (Cāṇakya Paṇḍita). Value of time is so great that one moment of your life lost, it cannot be returned even in exchange of millions of dollars. Therefore every moment should be properly utilized. Avyartha kālatvam (CC Madhya 23.18-19). When one is advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, his business becomes to see, 'Whether I am wasting my time?' That is one of the sign, advanced devotee. Avyartha kālatvam."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, June 23, 1970)
"So these things, one after another, everything is very clearly explained in this Nectar of Devotion. So each chapter you should read very carefully. And if you cannot understand, read it repeatedly. Don't all of a sudden, reading one or two page, immediately question, 'Prabhupada, what is this? What is this? What is this?' Go on reading, and the answers will automatically come. So this book is, this valuable book is now published. You should take full advantage."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, June 23, 1970)
"You cannot directly approach God. That is useless. You have no power to approach God directly. That is not possible. Guru kṛṣṇa kṛpayā (CC Madhya 19.151). Let them study this philosophy. We have got books, enough books. One cannot read all these books even throughout whole life."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, December 17, 1970)
Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda, when you are not present with us, how is it possible to receive instructions, for example, on questions that may arise?
Prabhupāda: Well, the questions are... Answers are there in my books.
Devotee: Other than that, for example, that we would ask you in...
Devotee: Do you direct us also through the heart? Besides the Paramātmā?
Prabhupāda: If your heart is pure. Everything depends on purity.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Los Angeles, May 13, 1973)
"Now I am feeling very much inclined for retiring behind the scenes to translate my Srimad-Bhagavatam. This means that now you all leaders, especially the GBC members, must become very much responsible and do the work that I am doing to the same standard. So I want you leaders especially to become very much absorbed in the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and become yourselves completely convinced and free from all doubt. On this platform you shall be able to carry on the work satisfactorily, but if there is lack of knowledge, or if there is forgetfulness, everything will be spoiled in time. So especially you must encourage the students to read our books throughout the day as much as possible, and give them all good advice how to understand the books, and inspire them to study the things from every point of view. In this way, by constantly engaging our tongues in the service of the Lord, either by discussing His philosophy or by chanting Hare Krishna, the truth is that Krishna Himself will reveal Himself to us and we shall understand how to do everything properly. Now we have got so many students and so many temples but I am fearful that if we expand too much in this way that we shall become weakened and gradually the whole thing will become lost. Just like milk. We may thin it more and more with water for cheating the customer, but in the end it will cease to be any longer milk. Better to boil the milk now very vigorously and make it thick and sweet, that is the best process. So let us concentrate on training our devotees very thoroughly in the knowledge of Krishna Consciousness from our books, from tapes, by discussing always, and in so many ways instruct them in the right propositions."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 22, 1972)
"Sometimes I become surprised how I have written this. Although I am the writer, still sometimes I am surprised how these things have come. Such vivid description. Where is such literature throughout the whole world? It is all Kṛṣṇa's mercy. Every line is perfect."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Vrindavan, June 28, 1977)