We have heard many times that Srila Prabhupada is present in his books and if one reads his books one does not need anything else; just by reading he can make all perfection. In this conversation, Srila Prabhupada explains why it is not enough to simply read his books.
Brian Singer: Do many people follow Krsna consciousness by reading books, in this method?
Prabhupada: No, not only reading books. By practicing, by understanding, then it comes right.
Brian Singer: But what proportion of those people, of all the people...
Prabhupada: You... You cannot expect any good thing to be taken up by mass of people. That is not possible. In university, when matriculation candidates, there are so many. Then B.A. candidates, so many. And when you come to the M.A., Ph.D., a very few number.
Doug Warvick: Why is that?
Prabhupada: You cannot expect that everyone should be M.A., Ph.D. So Krsna consciousness is like that. It is not meant for ordinary persons. Those who are very intelligent, they can understand it. Ordinary men, they cannot understand even that he's not this body. What he will understand about Krsna? Therefore the beginning understanding is that "I am not this body." When you are firmly convinced about this science that you are not this body, then Krsna consciousness beginning.
Brian Singer: And it's not necessary to live a temple life.
Prabhupada: No, temple life is a... Just like if you go to school. Without school you can be educated. It is not that we..., unless you go to school you cannot be educated. But if you go to school you get greater facilities. And that is the way. Just like in our country Rabindranath Tagore, he never went to school. You have heard the name of Rabindranath Tagore?
Pusta Krsna: Rabindranath Tagore.
Devotee (2): He's a famous Indian poet.
Prabhupada: So he never went to school, but Oxford University gave him Ph.D. That does not mean that "I shall also receive Ph.D. like Rabindranath Tagore. I shall not go to school." The general method is: one must go to the school. Exceptional cases, that without going to school one can become Ph.D.... But we should not imitate that, that "Rabindranath Tagore got Ph.D. without going to school. I shall sit down." But the fact is that even without going to school one can get Ph.D. That's a fact. But that is not the method. The method is that you must go to the primary school, then secondary school, then enter college, then take your degree. Then you become M.A., then Ph.D. That is the general process, step by step. And if you take the example of Rabindranath Tagore, that "He did not go to school. Then I shall not go to school," then you may be spoiled also, without going to school. That is the..., generally the case.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation with Guests – April 22, 1976, Melbourne