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Book distribution, what is the focus in ISKCON?

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Book distribution, what is the focus?


The other day I was reading an article which was talking about the preaching work done be the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormon’s in relation to devotees book distribution. They noted that from what they could see that both were more successful in making followers, and questioned why this could be?

One is focus, what is the purpose of book distribution?

Is it the book score?

Is it the money raised?

Or is it something more deeper?

I can only talk for the Jehovah’s Witnesses as I used to be a regular pioneer (yes the ones who knock on your door); the focus was not the amount of books distributed, yes big numbers was nice but this was not the focus.

The focus was this, the bible study through the study of the bible they will see the need for God in there lives and too become a follower of Jehovah and his son Jesus.

Each Friday night service was focused on helping us all develop the skills needed and to inspire.

As we went from street to street, house to house we logged and returned not only to those homes that had taken a book, but those who had shown an interest and asked questions. Time would be taken to note facts, name, address, family details, what was talked about any interesting detail; so that on the follow up call we could use these, if a family member or pet was ill we would know to ask how they are. This is a personal touch a personal interest in them, people respond well to this and it demonstrates concern.

The aim is simply that one day they will come to the house group, this is held once a week in a persons home and is a page by page discussion of one of the societies books; it gives the person association of others and helps develop more personal relationships

Eventually they will come to the Kingdom Hall and eventually will enter into the House to House ministry school

Yes this was the simple program in order to make disciples.

Srila Prabhupada wrote this:

When Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami went to Vrndavana, there was not a single temple, but by their preaching they were gradually able to construct various temples. Sanatana Gosvami constructed the Madana-mohana temple, and Rupa Gosvami constructed the Govindaji temple. Similarly, their nephew Jiva Gosvami constructed the Radha-Damodara temple, Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami constructed the Radha-ramana temple, Sri Lokanatha Gosvami constructed the Gokulananda temple, and Syamananda Gosvami constructed the Syamasundara temple. In this way, many temples were gradually constructed. For preaching, construction of temples is also necessary. The Gosvamis not only engaged in writing books but also constructed temples because both are needed for preaching work. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted the cult of His sankirtana movement to spread all over the world. Now that the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has taken up this task of preaching the cult of Lord Caitanya, its members should not only construct temples in every town and village of the globe but also distribute the books that have already been written and further increase the number of books. Both distribution of books and construction of temples must continue side by side in parallel lines.

Adi 7.164

We see that the Gosvami’s by there preaching work also gave facility for those who they had convinced to become God Conscious a focal point to share, to praise, to sing and dance, to worship Sri Krishna.

The value of preaching is not only the number of books but that we develop the congregation; that we concentrate our book distribution in areas were we have or are wanting to set up a centre.

That our focus in not the good book score or amount of money we raised, but that of follow up.

I look at the book scores and myself wonder, why if so many books (and by Krishna’s mercy they are higher than that of the Witnesses) how come so few come end up coming to our centers.

It is this as we give a book do we give contact details?

Does it give the times for the outreach classes?

The question is this, does it appear that we are interested in them taking the book, or are we interested in them?

As we go out on book’s are we looking to make devotees?

This should always be our focus, not the high book scores or the money, then our centers will be full.

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