1. "Study Bhagavad-gétä As It Is and Çrémad-Bhägavatam and continue to help your Godbrothers in developing Kåñëa consciousness. Develop your preaching in this way, and this will be the most successful and appreciated endeavor.
"When you study very carefully all of the literatures which are available, especially Bhagavad-gétä As It Is, you will have in your grasp answers to all questions that may be put to you. Please encourage the others to read this Bhagavad-gétä at least one chapter every day."
(Letter to Upendra, January 6, 1969)
In this letter, Prabhupäda advises the devotees to read one chapter of Bhagavad-gétä daily. Although Prabhupäda does not absolutely require that the devotees do this, a suggestion from the spiritual master is very valuable, and those devotees who take up this advice will be successful. Ultimately, each devotee has to help himself. We must each shoulder the personal responsibility of remaining strong in spiritual life. But by studying Prabhupäda's books and by encouraging our fellow devotees to do the same, we can all help ourselves. And it is only by remaining strong that we can preach. The spiritual strength to remain enthusiastic in our service and the strength to preach to the nondevotees are both based on reading Srila Prabhupäda's books. And of all of Çréla Prabhupäda's books, Bhagavad-gétä As It Is is especially well suited for meeting challenges while on the preaching field.
2. "You should all read very carefully Çrémad-Bhägavatam and Bhagavad-gétä and should be able to answer all questions ... and only in rare cases approach me [for the answers]. But it is important that our students must be able to answer all questions for becoming preachers."
(Letter to Aniruddha, November 14, 1968)
"I am very pleased that you are inclined to read and study our books with such seriousness. Thank you very much. We want good preachers also. Preaching shouldn't depend on me only. My disciples should all become good preachers, and that depends on studying the books nicely so that you can arrive at the right conclusion."
(Letter to Hådayänanda, July 5, 1971)
Preaching depends on the ability to answer all questions, regardless of how intricate or complex those questions may be. Although tirelessly willing to answer any of his disciples' questions, Çréla Prabhupäda indicates in these two letters that the answers to all questions about Kåñëa consciousness may be found by a thoughtful reading of his books.
In the present age, it is not possible to remember everything that we read. Gone are the days of çrutidhara, in which a devotee could remember for his entire lifetime what he had heard only once or at most three times. But when we speak, we should not have to rely upon the indexes of Prabhupäda's books for information, nor should we have to reach for a book whenever we are asked a question. Prabhupäda once mocked the learning of a person who says, "I do not know the answer personally, but I will get the book." Our own explanations of the philosophy may not be as perfect as the explanations found in Prabhupäda's books, and we should direct others to the books. But when directly preaching to either devotees or nondevotees, there is no substitute for realized knowledge acquired by regularly reading. And even if we do have poor memories in this age, we may nevertheless go on reading and appreciating the books in new ways. Reading all of the books once or even three times is not enough. We should never be satiated or think we know it all. And daily reading is especially important when one is not a çrutidhara.
3. "You should make effort to finish your sixteen rounds whenever possible. As you are an important worker there and you have so many important duties, especially to take care of the cows, it may not be possible for you to stop your work for chanting sixteen rounds. But as much as possible you should try to fulfill the goal of sixteen rounds daily. You should not fall too much short of this goal. That will not be good. Similarly, you must read Bhagavad-gétä at least a few verses every day and think about them throughout the day. The best thing is to read one chapter daily, but if you can meditate upon a few verses of Bhagavad-gétä every day, that is better than reading for simply one hour and then forgetting the topics until the next reading.
(Letter to Paramänanda, July 29, 1969)