Distribute the Knowledge and Benefit the World
27th June 2016 • Illuminations on Bhakti
HH Candramauli Swami, SB lecture, 3.4.25, May 19th, 2014, NVD, Hungary
Everything material is easily, readily available, yet people are still suffering. Why? Because they don’t have what they truly need - real knowledge. They’re getting everything else. They’re getting material facilities, they’re getting material knowledge, they’re getting opportunities to enjoy… still! People are suffering.
I remember, when we were preaching in America, we were working with other religious groups. And most of these other religious groups would engage in what we call material welfare work. Opening places to feed poor people, housing the homeless… Srila Prabhupada would say it’s all temporary. And we would be giving transcendental knowledge. That was ISKCON’s way of distributing charity to others. And I remember I was criticized by one person. He said: “You know, we’re giving food, this is important. What are you guys giving? Just some philosophy? You can’t eat philosophy.” But we’re giving the philosophy that teaches you how to get your own food. We’re giving the philosophy that will teach you what you really need is the right philosophy on life! You need a lifestyle that is free from anxiety about your bodily needs.” It’s hard for them to understand such things. But when one has transcendental knowledge, he is free. He is free from suffering, that’s the immediate benefit. Free from ignorance, which is a cause of suffering. And he becomes happy. So this knowledge is precious. And so must be distributed.
Srila Prabhupada spent so much time translating Srimad-Bhagavatam and so many other Vedic scriptures, so the entire world could receive this knowledge. It’s truly amazing how Srila Prabhupada took the purports by the acaryas, understood them and incorporated them in his own purports. By taking his realizations of transcendental knowledge, he made them into something that would fit the Western mentality. And the result was that when people read these books in a serious way, their life was changed. It created a completely different understanding of what life is and how to live it. People were truly benefitted.
Srila Prabhupada is saying to all of us: “Take the gift of knowledge you have received and give it to others!”