CC Madhya 22.118 (1975)
- avaiṣṇava-saṅga-tyāga, bahu-śiṣya nā kariba
- bahu-grantha-kalābhyāsa-vyākhyāna varjiba
avaiṣṇava—of one who is not a devotee of the Lord; saṅga—the association; tyāga—giving up; bahu-śiṣya—an unlimited number of disciples; nā kariba—should not accept; bahu-grantha—of many different types of scriptures; kalā-abhyāsa—studying a portion; vyākhyāna—and explanation; varjiba—we should give up.
"The twelfth item is to give up the company of nondevotees. (13) One should not accept an unlimited number of disciples. (14) One should not partially study many scriptures just to be able to give references and expand explanations.
Accepting an unlimited number of devotees or disciples is very risky for one who is not a preacher. According to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, a preacher has to accept many disciples to expand the cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This is risky because when a spiritual master accepts a disciple, he naturally accepts the disciple's sinful activities and their reactions. Unless he is very powerful, he cannot assimilate all the sinful reactions of his disciples. Thus if he is not powerful, he has to suffer the consequences, for one is forbidden to accept many disciples.
One should not partially study a book just to pose oneself as a great scholar by being able to refer to scriptures. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we have therefore limited our study of Vedic literatures to Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Caitanya-caritāmṛta and Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. These four works are sufficient for preaching purposes. They are adequate for the understanding of the philosophy and the spreading of missionary activities all over the world. If one studies a particular book, he must do so thoroughly. That is the principle. By thoroughly studying a limited number of books, one can understand the philosophy.