Becoming A Learned Preacher


If someone only studies Prabhupada’s books and intelligently presents them is he no longer considered a “learned preacher”? I pray that we haven’t and will never come to that point in our understanding.


H.D. Goswami Profile Picture

Certainly one who studies Srila Prabhupada’s books can be a learned preacher. Consider your own preaching. Although you didn’t pursue formal academic studies after joining the movement, you have amassed a great wealth of practical information about the world. You acquired this through meeting thousands of people during your distinguished book distribution career, through all the lessons one learns in family life, through doing business in the world, preaching and organizing in foreign countries, keeping abreast, to some degree or other, with current events etc.

Prabhupada himself constantly recycled his mundane education in his preaching and we find this throughout his books and lectures. Among the so-called intellectual class, there are specific issues, assumptions, fears, biases, language etc. Knowing all that does enhance one’s preaching to that specific community. If you search on Vedabase, you will find that Prabhupada was truly thrilled when Swarupa Damodar, a doctoral student in science, joined the movement. Prabhupada insisted that devotee scientists had a special ability to present Krishna consciousness to the scientific community.

Prabhupada placed great stress on preaching and convincing the learned class. Prabhupada himself made this a priority and I have tried to fulfill his desire. This does not mean at all that one needs academic training to present Krishna consciousness impressively or effectively. There are many outstanding preachers who are doing much to change the world, without academic studies. And as you mentioned, there are a number of highly learned fools spoiled by academics.