During preaching, how important is it to provide relevant material information in addition to the paramapara’s message?
Transcription by- Keshav Gopal Das & Ambuj Gupta
Question: How much is necessary to acquire material information while preaching Krishna consciousness because that material information can attract and impress people and then they become more eager to hear about Krishna but then we also have to read this material information? Can we just stick to the message that we got from parampara and preach and attract people?
Answer: Prabhupada said that realization means to speak a subject in a way that is interesting to the audience. This Prabhupada says in the first canto and Prabhupada told several of his disciples who are specialists. He told this to Garuda prabhu who was a scholar, he told to Bhakti Swarupa Damodar Maharaja who was a scientist. He said you speak the message that I have given you in their language. So Prabhupada said I am not a scientist but you are scientist and you speak in their language. So it is important to be able to present Krishna’s message in the language that people can relate with. Now language is not just English, Hindi, Marathi but it is the specific terms and the specific jargon that people use. For example, if we are preaching to software people and if we compare say how lust, anger, greed are like viruses and people can connect with that message quickly. So every field has certain things with which if we present the relevant message then people can relate nicely and for this learning some fact and some information about the audience is always helpful and that is actually a responsibility of the preacher to present the message in an interesting way.
But at the same time it may not be necessary for all the preachers to preach to specialist audience. For example, there are good number of people who directly come to the temple and they are already dharmic and they want to know about Krishna. They don’t need all this information. In fact they may find it distracting, they may think that all this we can get at home also. So there are people who directly want Krishna consciousness and then we can show we can give Krishna consciousness without having to read other things.
Secondly, also when we are preaching to devotees we have to do it differently. There is preaching to new people but then there is also preaching to devotees which is also very important. As our movement is becoming bigger, there are large number of people who are inside ISKCON and who also need to understand the philosophy deeply. For them there are bhakti shastri courses, bhakti vaibhav courses, and many other courses. For sharing Krishna with these people, again we don’t need any new information.
If we want to preach to specialized audiences then we should learn their language and we should be able to present Krishna conscious appropriately but if we want to stick on the messages that we got from acharyas and we want to present the message in those words only, then it’s best that we preach to audience whom we can directly give Krishna katha or we focus on ISKCON’s inside audiences to take them deeper in Krishna consciousness. Thank you.