QUESTION: If one knows the essence of the sastras, is one exempted from reading difficult portions of the sastras which are very philosophical? Like we at least know theoretically the conclusion of sastras that we are not the body but a spirit soul, a part and parcel of Krishna and as a part, its our duty and nature to love and serve the whole, Krishna. Basically this is the entire philosophy and conclusions of sastras, so why read and acquire more knowledge?
If you simply know the conclusion, then you do have the qualification to practice sādhana, but your qualification is weak (kaniṣṭhā) because you don’t know why that conclusion is better than any other conclusion. If someone questions your conclusions and very clearly explains a different conclusion, you will likely lose your conviction in the bhakti-conclusion, and give up on sādhana-bhakti.
If you want better qualification to practice – which enables you to practice with more conviction and commitment and depth – then you must study śāstra to understand why the ultimate conclusion is what it is.
If you study and comprehend a bit, your qualification is “middling” (madhyama).
If you study and comprehend śāstra very deeply and broadly, your qualification is “high” (uttama).
Depending on how much you want Krishna prema, that determines how much you will study and learn all the śāstra very thoroughly. If you want it badly, you will want to practice with full conviction and depth, and that will require that you have the high qualification (uttam-adhikar), which comes only from studying very deeply and thoroughly from an expert.