THE PRABHUPADA CONNECTION
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The Qualification for Writing Vaiṣṇava Literature
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"These Gosvāmīs, they were always writing books. Guṇānukathane. Guṇa. What is the writing books? When we write these books, what is that? They are simply describing the different activities and attributes of Kṛṣṇa. Anukathane. Anu means not whimsically; following the superior authorities. You cannot write anything which is not approved by the superior authorities. Therefore, we have to give examples, quotations from the śāstra, that 'What I am speaking, it is supported by the śāstra.' Not that 'I have inventive power.  I have..., I can do, I can write anything I like.' That is nonsense. Anukathane. Anukathane means you must hear from the authority perfectly. Then try to write. Not that you write whimsically, whatever you like. That is not allowed. And that will not be accepted."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Paris, June 15, 1974)

"So unless one is self-realized, there is practically no use writing about Kṛṣṇa. This transcendental writing does not depend on material education. It depends on the spiritual realization. You'll find, therefore, in the comments of Bhāgavatam by different ācāryas, even there are some discrepancies they are accepted as ārṣa-prayoga. It should remain as it is."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, March 31, 1976)

"Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī has written in his Hari-bhakti-vilāsa:

    avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam
    śravaṇaṁ naiva kartavyaṁ sarpocchiṣṭaṁ yathā payaḥ

'One should not hear anything about Kṛṣṇa from a non-Vaiṣṇava. Milk touched by the lips of a serpent has poisonous effects; similarly, talks about Kṛṣṇa given by a non-Vaiṣṇava are also poisonous.' Transcendental literature that strictly follows the Vedic principles and the conclusion of the Purāṇas and pāñcarātrika-vidhi can be written only by a pure devotee. It is not possible for a common man to write books on bhakti, for his writings will not be effective. He may be a very great scholar and may be expert in presenting literature in flowery language, but this is not at all helpful in understanding transcendental literature. Even if transcendental literature is written in faulty language, it is acceptable if it is written by a devotee, whereas so-called transcendental literature written by a mundane scholar, even if it is a very highly polished literary presentation, cannot be accepted. The secret in a devotee’s writing is that when he writes about the pastimes of the Lord, the Lord helps him; he does not write alone. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 10.10), dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ yena mām upayānti te. Since a devotee writes in service to the Lord, the Lord from within gives him so much intelligence that he sits down near the Lord and goes on writing books."

(Caitanya-caritāmṛta Adi 8.39, Purport)

"Who will read these things? Krishna's name is only mentioned in two poems in the whole book. What is this? There are so many poems written by great acaryas. Why do you try to concoct something like this? It is not in our line. How is that our Kirtanananda Swami is there and he has approved printing this? It is a waste of time, paper, money, ink, and labor. There is so much work to do for spreading this Krishna Consciousness. Who will become attracted by such things as this. You should all spend more time reading my books very carefully and stop all this unnecessary manufacturing.

N.B. Why there is no picture of Krishna on the cover? If you have the desire to write poetry, better if you read one chapter of Krishna book very carefully. Then put it into poetry. But, do not concoct anything. There is no need for that type of poetry. If you do this, I think it will be appreciated nicely."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 26, 1975)

"Regarding your question about writing songs about Krishna, this is not very important thing. You can write, but one cannot take it very seriously. If any Vaisnava is writing song about Krishna, that should be from one who himself has realized Krishna, just like our great saints and acaryas like Madhvacarya, Ramanujacyarya, Rupa Gosvami, six Gosvamis, Bilvamangala, Bhaktivinode Thakur, like that. They are self-realized souls, therefore if they write something song about Krishna, that is perfectly from the transcendental platform, without any tinge of mundane influence or nonsense imagination. Unless someone comes in the category of these great leading Vaisnava personalities, his manufacturing some songs will be misleading to himself and to others. And unless his writing of poems and songs can be accepted as gospel, as Vedas or the Absolute Truth, such writing is diverting the attention from the subject matter only and should not be regarded very seriously. Now you should become serious to pursue this Krishna Consciousness movement with full energy of body, mind and soul. If you are writing poems and songs, that's alright, you can do it also, but if you can write articles for our Back to Godhead magazine, that is better, that is solid preaching work. No one should write songs of Krishna unless he is self-realized soul, that will spoil the value of the whole thing. But try to use your writing and singing talent for Krishna's preaching work, by writing articles, singing the kirtan, like that."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 12, 1972)

"To keep oneself free from material contamination and attain the Lord’s favor, one must be sincerely eager to render service to the Lord. This is the only qualification necessary. As soon as one is favored by the mercy of the spiritual master and the Lord, one is immediately given all the power necessary to write books and propagate the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement without being hampered by material considerations."

(Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 19.135, Purport)

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