By Reading We Become Fixed In Kåñëa Consciousness, Free Of Doubt, And Leaders Especially Will Be Able To Answer All Questions
1. "I think all of these questions should be answered by the presidents locally. So you study all our books very nicely, and all the doubts and questions may be answered locally. In case of difficult questions, it may be referred to me."
(Letter to Gurudäsa, March 2, 1970)
The temple president is the spiritual and philosophical leader of the local Kåñëa conscious community. Other community members look to him for answers to their questions, and it is his responsibility to encourage the members and guide them in their spiritual lives.
The spiritual strength to steadily guide and encourage the devotees can only come by regularly reading Prabhupäda's books. It takes more than an ability to manage. Accountants and business consultants may from time to time be hired from the karmé world, but only a qualified Kåñëa conscious brähmaëa can serve as a temple president. For this reason, the program of reading daily from Çréla Prabhupäda's books should begin with the temple presidents. Just as we require daily food, exercise, and rest for physical strength, so too must the leaders and teachers of Kåñëa consciousness imbibe Bhagavad-gétä and Çrémad-Bhägavatam on a daily basis in order to maintain the spiritual strength needed to guide this movement.
2. "All the devotees who desire to know may ask their questions to the elderly members, but still they are open to write me for all their questions. . . . I reply each and every letter I receive. . . . but it is better if simple questions are solved among yourselves in the iñöa-goñöhé class. Every one of you must regularly read our books at least twice—in the morning and evening—and automatically all questions will be answered."
(Letter to Raëadhéra, January 24, 1970)
In this letter Çréla Prabhupäda orders all devotees to read his books every day, both in the morning and evening, and he says that by doing this all of the devotees' questions will be answered. In this letter Prabhupäda also instructs the newer devotees to turn to the "elderly members," or the senior devotees, for answers to their questions. And from where do the seniors draw their sustenance? From Prabhupäda's books. The whole world will be drawing sustenance from these books for the next ten thousand years. Why should we lose out on the mercy'? Everyone should take advantage of these books, especially those devotees who are looked to by others.
Iñöa-goñöhé means to discuss what the spiritual master has said. In such discussions the most significant contributions are made by those devotees who have realized the knowledge gained from reading Prabhupäda's books. Such devotees are of real help to the others, not those who dominate others by bluffing.
A devotee is a living transcendentalist who must think on his feet and answer difficult questions without hesitating. In a Bhagavad-gétä purport, Prabhupäda states that when one has a bona fide spiritual master he can know everything (purport to Bg. 2.7). When asked what this means, Prabhupäda replied that it means the disciple should know everything the spiritual master knows. One achieves this by regularly hearing from the spiritual master and by serving his order.