Discovering the Questions asked to Srila Prabhupada
"An intelligent person must inquire from the spiritual master about the goal of life. A bona fide spiritual master can answer all such questions because he has seen the real truth." (SB 7.7.47, purport)
For decades, Srila Prabhupāda’s books have been studied and analyzed, word by word, by thousands of devotees. However, his spoken teachings have not received nearly the same level of analysis until now. Already more than a million quotes have been compiled in Vaniquotes from Srila Prabhupāda’s lectures and conversations. While immersed in our mission to bring to light these spiritual gems, we repeatedly found ourselves admiring Prabhupāda’s expertise in relating to all different varieties of people. Srila Prabhupāda was just as prolific in his lecturing as he was in his writing. He never missed a chance to preach, whether to reporters, academics, politicians, priests from other faiths, the parents of his disciples, newcomers to the temple, regular devotees, or his senior disciples. While relating to all these different audiences, he displayed a very mature and congenial standard of dealings. He had great skill in understanding the moods and backgrounds of the people he spoke with, which let him talk with them in the way in which they could best accept his message.
The most recurring feature in these discussions was the format of questions and answers. Everyone had questions for Prabhupāda, and Prabhupāda almost always gave very insightful answers. The questions ranged over hundreds of topics, and we found, as time went on, more and more deeply profound exchanges. After all, asking questions to a spiritual master is truly the only way to gain genuine spiritual knowledge. We decided, therefore, to take on the monumental project of bringing together, for the first time, all of the recorded questions asked to Prabhupāda. A team of several devotees searched painstakingly, throughout all the conversations, lectures, and letters, for Prabhupāda answering questions. It took several months to find them all, and several more months to present them in an organized, thematic fashion, but the result was well worth the effort. We have now gathered all of the recorded questions, 10,194 of them to be precise. Each is on its own separate page, all of them are searchable, and they are situated within 142 different thematic categories.
These 142 question categories are further divided under four main thematic groups, which are Society, Culture and Human Experience, Philosophy, Science and Religion, Mission and Practice of Krsna Consciousness, and Places and Personalities. You can search them by year, as well as by who asked the question. We have categories for questions asked by Academics, Religious Clergy, Parents of Devotees, Public Officials, Journalists and Interviewers and Artists, Musicians, Poets. We also have a category with a selection of Introductory-level Questions on various important topics.