Bookworm

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“If one becomes a bookworm, reading many books and scriptures and hearing many commentaries and the instructions of many men, this will produce doubt within his heart. One cannot in this way ascertain the real goal of life.” (Adi-lila 16. 11)

…Man has a general tendency toward fruitive activities, religious ritualistic ceremonies and philosophical speculation. A living entity thus bewildered since time immemorial does not understand the real goal of life, and thus his activities in life are wasted. Innocent persons misled in this way are deprived of unalloyed kṛṣṇa-bhakti, devotional service to the Lord. Tapana Miśra is a vivid example of such a person. He was a learned scholar, but he could not ascertain what the goal of life is. Therefore he was given a chance to hear Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructing Sanātana Gosvāmī. Lord Caitanya’s instruction to Tapana Miśra is especially significant for persons who loiter here and there collecting books and reading none of them, thus becoming bewildered regarding the aim of life.

.. Simply by studying, becoming bookworm, you cannot advance. The real secret is… Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau [ŚU 6.23] That is stated in the Vedas. Unflinching faith in God and spiritual master. Then things will be revealed from within.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Adi-lila Chapter 16, Text 11

The Pastimes of the Lord in His Childhood and Youth

bahu-śāstre bahu-vākye citte bhrama haya
sādhya-sādhana śreṣṭha nā haya niścaya

bahu-śāstre—by many books or scriptures; bahu-vākye—by many versions of many persons; citte—within the heart; bhrama—doubt; haya—there is; sādhya-sādhana—objective and means; śreṣṭha—about the best; nā—not; haya—there is; niścaya—certainty.

If one becomes a bookworm, reading many books and scriptures and hearing many commentaries and the instructions of many men, this will produce doubt within his heart. One cannot in this way ascertain the real goal of life.

PURPORT
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.13.8) it is said, granthān naivābhyased bahūn na vyākhyām upayuñjīta: “One should not read many books, nor should one try to make a profession of reciting many books, especially if one is a devotee.” One must give up the ambition to be a learned scholar and in this way earn a worldly reputation and financial facilities. If one diverts his attention to studying many books, he cannot fix his mind in devotional service, nor can he understand many scriptures, for they are full of grave statements and meanings. In this connection Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura gives his opinion that those who are attracted to studying many kinds of literature concerning various subject matters, especially fruitive activities and philosophical speculation, are deprived of unalloyed devotional service because of their splayed attention.

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