Are Gurukula Kids Trained to Do Book Distribution?
What is Book Distribution, Really?
A Deeper Meaning of Book Distribution

Prabhu: I would like to ask a question about Gurukula, although I don't have any candidates for sending there. As I understood that you spoke that they are studying philosophy, I am sure they study how to worship the Deities nicely and I am sure they are studying how to make nice Vedic ceremonies. But I think the most important activity that Prabhupāda meant, it was Sankīrtana, book distribution. Are they prepared to do that or are they trained to do that?

His Holiness Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Svāmī Mahārāja: To sell something, how much time does it take to learn? Devotees are doing so many things. They join Kṛṣṇa consciousness...

Prabhu: Not selling something, it's books...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, no, no... Wait a minute. Because your question was: were they selling something?

Prabhu: I meant distributing books.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, what are you distributing? You are distributing knowledge. And when the books are distributed then you have to train what is in the book. But what I am talking here, this is 2nd Canto Bhāgavatam. How many years the devotees in this room have been here and reading Bhāgavatam? How many in this room understood anything I was talking about for the first one hour? All I talked about was the Catuḥ-ślokī, that's all.

So, therefore, you are distributing the book, but if you don't even know what is in the book, how effective will your book distribution be? Now, there is devotees that to this day, they were distributing books in the seventies, they are still distributing books. And there is thousands of devotees who distributed books for, you know, one, two, three years. What is the difference? The lifestyle and the knowledge of the philosophy.

So my point is is to sell the book, how long is the training for the new bhakta who comes? You just say: "Go out there, hand this to somebody, tell them this much and get the money."

Prabhu: Some learn to do it after many years also...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, but the point is is that's because they don't know how to sell, because that's what we do, we sell books, we don't distribute knowledge. Do you understand?

Prabhu: Devotees especially hearing this...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: The thing is is...

Prabhu: ...they know what is this knowledge...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Do they? Do they? Do they? I look around. I see a lot of things that I wouldn't call that. I talked about the brahmacārī knows cleanliness. How long did we have to clean up this room? We cleaned it up. Do you understand? We walked in this room, it was a mess. The Deities are here. You call that knowledge?

Prabhu: You clean something in this room and now you are upset...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, my point is is but I am.  The point is is you are saying all these things, oh, do they do book distribution? It takes about ten minutes to teach someone how to do book distribution, but the lifestyle of Vaiṣṇavism, to have the cleanliness, to have all the different things like that, that takes a lifetime to train. I can go into everybody's house here and I probably wouldn't see the standard that these children are being trained. So now, you are going to say that for ten minutes to train someone to do a book, 'Oh, you are not training them in the highest stuff.' This is, this is really narrow! This is really narrow!

Prabhu: I didn't say this...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: You didn't say it, you didn't say it because you didn't use those words, but that's the intent that I am seeing. I may be wrong. The point is is, you know, a 5 year old, that's the main thing if they can distribute books, that's all they need? Or do they need to know how to wash their clothes, do they have to know how to wash the floor?

You talk to the ladies, half of their problems is the men don't know how to behave, they drop their socks everywhere, they do this and that, they are slobs. And they would really love to have a husband who was considerate enough to appreciate to keep the house clean. We teach the kids that. We teach that to the kids. How many men on the planet know this? And that's just a basic principle that we are starting with. And if you just added that one thing, one thing, three and a half billion women would be very happy. Do you know what I am saying?

So the thing is is, we are talking something way beyond. These little litlte things, 'Oh, is it this? Is it that? Is it..." Because everybody is going to have their thing that if you are not doing that, you are not Kṛṣṇa conscious. But the point is is, Prabhupāda wanted people, having distributed the books to study the books. He wanted by 1975 devotees would be Bhaktivedāntas. There isn't one course running in the movement today on Bhaktivedānta. So the point is is, we got the books go out because we can see the selling part, but the studying part, that has gone over everybody's head.

Prabhu: They should be together.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: They should be together, so therefore we are starting with that. You know that, then you can distribute the book, it takes ten minutes to teach them to distribute the book...

Prabhu: So one has to also teach them book distribution...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: That's all that you teach anybody here, you give them a book and say, 'Go out and flog it!'

Prabhu: If you can make this...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: The thing is is, the problem is is you are using a form of the book distribution, but you are saying about the mood of preaching. That's your intent. But why do you use the book distribution? Because then you can say, 'Oh, the boys aren't out doing book distribution.' We are teaching them how to distribute knowledge, they teach the classes to kids. They learn themselves, they teach it themselves. So they learn class from one person, they teach it to another group of kids. That's how you teach them how to distribute books, that's how you teach them how to distribute knowledge. So that we are doing.

And then to bring this up, right when I am telling about the curriculum, and then you say: 'But what about this in your curriculum?' That is detail, I was starting at the top of the concepts and coming down.

Prabhu: I was just wondering.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: I know you were just wondering. But the point is, your just wondering was presented in a, you know, basically in an offensive way. And then you get upset that I'm so strong.

Prabhu: I'm not upset.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Ok, then that's good. Then that means, you are better than most.

Prabhu: I appreciate.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Do you understand? The point is, book distribution is a lifestyle, it is not the technique of selling the book. But the point is is, therefore the lifestyle takes twenty years to learn. That's why you don't see many people doing book distribution as a full, as that's their purpose.

So the point is, our boys can distribute books, because they learn the lifestyle of a book distributor. But it is not just about distributing books. People who only focus on only distributing books, they are not distributing books for a very long. Where are they? People like Vaiśeṣika, who is a book distributor to this day, he was top back in the seventies, he is still top now, because to him it is knowledge you are distributing, so he does classes, he practices, he does a whole lifestyle of book distribution. Right? That's the point.

So knowledge is the point, education is there. You say, 'Well, they learn some philosophy, some...' What do you mean "some philosophy"? No one in this room understood stuff that my kids understand.

-End of Lecture-

From Questions and Answers after a Home program in Israel, Ariel

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