(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Vrindavan India 4 April 2019, SB 8.17.25-27)
So why should everyone just accept all these far out stories from the Srimad Bhagavatam? It is true that some are difficult to understand. Priyavrata did not like the darkness at night, so he got himself a chariot, followed the sun and it was sunny all the time! I mean, it sounds like mythology, right? The wheels of the chariot cut the land mass into seven pieces, and so we got the seven continents! It sounds as mythological as one could imagine. Some, therefore, have offered that the Bhagavatam has a mythological side and a philosophical side. But Srila Prabhupada was not in that mood; he would take the Bhagavatam very literally and directly.
Srila Prabhupada was not so much a bridge preacher. He was not one who was beating around the bush and was very careful. “Can the people actually accept this? Are they ready for it? Or should we package it a little more softly with cushions around it so that they can possibly take it? “ No, Prabhupada would speak very much from a transcendental platform and say things that went against current norms. In Chicago he spoke out against feminism. These were sensitive issues but he had faith that the transcendental knowledge will act. And that is the point. It is not about what we are going to say that is going to convince people.
Prabhupada on board of the Jaladuta in Markine Bhagavata-dharma writes, “What can I say to these people. They are completely steeped in all this sinful activities of Kali-yuga. What can I say to convince them? I cannot think of anything. All I can do is repeat Your words.”
At one point we just have faith that the Bhagavatam will act and that the holy name will act. So a little bridging is all right, but if bridge preaching becomes the norm then we risk losing our integrity. Ultimately our integrity is simply the Bhagavatam. Vyasadeva was trying to do some bridge preaching and wrote various Vedic literatures, but he had not written the Bhagavatam and he was despondent. So I would say that we should not be too afraid that people will not take it. People will take it. The Bhagavatam itself is convincing – it is penetrating.