Why should we read the scriptures? Is chanting alone not sufficient?
A girl devotee asked like this:
“Hare krishna prabhhu ji …. is it compulsory to know about vedas n shastra n other precious things abt god to preaching the lords of lord …. If one person chanting mahamantra hare krishna regularly … so it is important to knw abt ol shastra n vedas”
I had ordered a long and modern table of about 8 feet long with lockers for my office reception. The carpenter purchased all the required things and prepared the table in my office itself. When he was doing his work, I talked to him. He said:
“Sir, I was doing this same carpenter job in my village. However, as the population of my village is very small, I did not get daily work. So, I wanted to expand my works in city. However, I thought that though I am very talented, I thought if I learn making the modern types of furniture according to the needs of the modern world, I can do still better in city. So, I worked in a carpenter shop in this city and learnt everything about modern furniture. Then, I opened my own firm for making the furniture. Now, I have 10 employees with me. I have no time even to eat my food. I am that much busy.”
I appreciated his correct understanding of this world, ie, only the fittest can survive here. He was somehow managing in his small village. But, when he came to settle in the city, he learnt the city needs, taste and the latest developments in carpenter field. That is why, he grew very fast and now very busy.
Same applies in following Krishna Consciousness. Chanting is accompanied by reading about Lord, it will fasten our growth in Krishna Consciousness. Actually Chanting is the ultimate sadhana one should adopt sincerely. Chanting itself will take a person to Krishna’s abode because, Lord resides in His Name in this kaliyuga. When we start to chant, Lord comes and starts to dance on our tongue as said by Srila Prabhupada. And, As soon as we start to chant, a direct link is established between us(athma) and Lord(Paramathma).
So, Chanting is the ultimate sadhana and that alone is sufficient. There is no doubt. But, that chanting should be done without any offences and we should not involve in any prohibited acts when we increase our chanting day by day. We must start to abandon prohibited acts that will make us to chant without offences. For example, if a boy chants Hare Krishna thinking that he must finish the chanting earlier and then go and meet his girl friend for having pleasures, what will be the benefit in that chanting?
So, we have to purify our thoughts. So, we have to follow certain regulations. Scriptures speak about various disciplinary codes for us and many secrets about these creations and so many details about Lord, Demigods, Celestials, etc.
So, when the ordinary persons who involve in some prohibited activities read such scriptures, they can be easily cleansed fast and can come up in devotional practice and can attain Lord WITHIN THIS BIRTH.
However, if a person is already following all regulative principles sincerely and are fearing for sinning, such a person does not require any reading to go back to Lord within this birth. Chanting is enough.
For example, there are so many sinners who were transformed as devotees after reading the Books of Srila Prabhupada. The books about Lord are more effective as they are capable to transform sinning people into devotees. If we advice those sinners to just chant and no reading, he may chant, but, may be with offences, ie, he will chant as well as involve in prohibited acts also.
Reading the literature about the Lord will also keep us always in the thoughts of Krishna. We will be engaging with Krishna by reading the literature about Hm.
Since the Gopis and some exalted devotees were already pure souls, they did not need any such practices.
But, we have plenty of anarthas, ie, impurities of material attachments. So, we need such scriptures to cleanse ourselves.
Thus, to transform and purify the minds of people, reading scriptures are recommended.
Hope you are clear.