(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada's books)
"There is no literature throughout the universe like Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. There is no comparison. There is no competition. Every word is for the good of the human society. Every word, each and every word. Therefore we stress so much in the book distribution. Somehow or other, if the book goes in one hand, he will be benefited. At least he will see, 'Oh, they have taken so much price. Let me see what is there.' If he reads one śloka, his life will be successful. If one śloka, one word. This is such nice things. Therefore we are stressing so much, 'Please distribute book, distribute book, distribute book.' A greater mṛdaṅga. We are chanting, playing our mṛdaṅga. It is heard within this room or little more. But this mṛdaṅga will go home to home, country to country, community to community, this mṛdaṅga."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, January 5, 1974)
"We have given the list of qualification of a devotee. One of the qualification is poetic. Poetic means not write poetry. Poetic means literary man. They must give literature. Naturally they'll give. That is the nature of devotee. Because without literature, how can we enlighten the people at large? My Guru Mahārāja used to say that this press is bṛhad-mṛdaṅga. Bṛhat means bigger, at large, bigger mṛdaṅga, bigger. Just like we are playing mṛdaṅga. This mṛdaṅga can be vibrated in the neighboring quarter, but our mṛdaṅga, Back to Godhead, that will go far, far away. So therefore this press was considered by my Guru Mahārāja as bṛhad-mṛdaṅga. He said. You'll find in the picture: there is this mṛdaṅga and press. He was very much fond of press. In the very beginning of his, this life, he started one press. You'll find in his life a small press.
So this press propaganda, this literary propaganda, is required because it is not sentiment. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not sentiment. It is not that some sentimental people have gathered here and dancing and chanting. No. There is background. There is philosophical background. There is theological understanding. It is not blind or sentimental. So therefore Nārada advises Vyāsadeva that 'You are not only fortunate, but you are amogha-dṛk. Your vision is perfect because you are liberated.' Amogha. Our vision—we are not perfect. Therefore you'll find in Vedic version, anuśṛṇuyet, anuvarṇayet. Anu. Anu means following. Following. We have to follow the ācāryas."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New Vrindaban, June 11, 1969)
"Our Guru Mahārāja, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī, he was publishing one small paper, Dainika Nadiya Prakash, in Bengali. And if a brahmacārī would go and sell a few copies, he would be very, very glad. He would be very, very glad. And similarly, he advised me also that 'If you get some money, publish book.' And he used to say that 'This press propaganda, the publication propaganda, is bṛhad-mṛdaṅga.' So just to satisfy him we are trying to publish this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Caitanya-caritāmṛta— very, very authoritative books—in English. And by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, it is unique in the history that religious book can be sold forty lakhs of rupees per month. It is record-breaking. There is no such instance. Because we are trying to give the opportunity, yasyāṁ vai śrūyamāṇāyām (SB 1.7.7). Simply by hearing he will become pious. People are suffering on account of becoming impious. So one cannot understand what is God, what is Kṛṣṇa, unless he has finished his impious activity.
yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ
This is the principle, that you cannot keep men in their impious activities, at the same time he becomes religious, or God conscious. That is not possible. That is not possible. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu has prescribed a very easy method to become pious. That is the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). The real disease is within our heart. Hṛd-roga-kāma. Hṛd-roga-kāma (CC Antya 5.45-46). We have got a disease, heart disease. What is that? Kāma, lusty desires. That is called hṛd-roga-kāma. So we have to cure this heart disease, hṛd-roga-kāma. And that will be done simply by chanting and hearing the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. The heart is all right, but it is covered by the material dirty things, namely the three guṇas: sattva-, raja-, tamo-guṇa. But by hearing simply Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, by hearing chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, you will be purified."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, April 24, 1975)
"It is certainly not good to write literature for money or reputation, but to write books and publish them for the enlightenment of the general populace is real service to the Lord. That was Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī’s opinion, and he specifically told his disciples to write books. He actually preferred to publish books rather than establish temples. Temple construction is meant for the general populace and neophyte devotees, but the business of advanced and empowered devotees is to write books, publish them and distribute them widely. According to Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, distributing literature is like playing on a great mṛdaṅga. Consequently we always request members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness to publish as many books as possible and distribute them widely throughout the world. By thus following in the footsteps of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, one can become a rūpānuga devotee."
(Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 19.132, Purport)
"My Guru Maharaj used to say that these literature are the 'Brhat Mrdunga,' that is to say, the big mrdunga, because like the mrdunga which can be heard from a long distance, simply a few words can have a tremendous effect on millions of people if they are propagated widely. So it is our duty above all to print these words for the general benefit of mankind. Therefore if you can assist me in this manner then that will be the greatest service."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 21, 1972)
"So go on with your organization for distribution of my books through press and other modern media and Krishna will certainly be pleased upon you. We can use everything— television, radio, movies, or whatever there may be—to tell about Krishna and outside of devotional service all these modern paraphernalia are just so much rubbish."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 24, 1970)