Two book distribution stories
By Yadavendra Das
DISTRIBUTING BHAGAVAD-GITA AS IT IS (BGAII) TO GOD HIMSELF.
On Friday July 29th 2012, I was talking to an old customer of mine,
when my cell phone rang. Some years before, this gentleman had bought
at least one Kurma cookbook from me. It was just about 5 PM, time of
shop closure. I decided to accept the call and gave him my apology for
the unexpected and untimely interruption. It was Sakhi Rai prabhu
enquiring about some detail about Vyasapuja offering. When I finished
the call, I went back to the shop but unfortunately the door was
locked and the man was gone. What a pity, I thought with the
concomitant disappointment, certainly I must have missed out on a sure
sale! I vowed to manage incoming calls differently and in a more
On Tuesday July 31 2012 and by Lord Krishna arrangement, I was able to
return again to the same shop. After some small talk, I asked him: “So
what is your philosophy”
Without any hesitation, shame or external signs of mental derangement
he immediately replied: “ Actually I am God. Through my mental prowess
I created and maintain the worlds”
So I asked the so-called God to please buy back his own book,
Bhagavad-Gita As It Is (BGAII), without omitting to pay the
recommended retail sales price.
He declined to do so but happily donated a lesser amount. Even for
God, times are pretty tough! He mentioned that he had some other, very
good books, which he recommended to me. One of them is called “Bible
Fraud”, wherein Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is
also supposed to be mentioned. In such cases and to give the relevant
links, I always mention Srila Prabhupada’s words to the effect that
the modern word Christ comes from the Sanskrit word Krishna via the
Greek Krishto. (To be found in conversation with Srila Prabhupada and
German Benedictine monk)
And then funnily enough, my phone rang again and I was taken away.
Goodbye God. See you next year.
On book distribution duties, Gold Coast, Australia, August 1 2012 2.30 AM
ISKCON BRISBANE, 32 JENNIFER ST.
The Returned Service League Club has been created in honor of all
those men and women who fought for their country, in this case
Australia, during the many past wars and also in honor of those who
made “the ultimate sacrifice” during these wars. One is therefore
expected to take of one’s head cover upon entrance as an open sign of
respect or else someone will certainly remind you to do so. Refusal to
comply will result in being asked to leave the premises in no
uncertain terms, I would assume. This is serious business.
In Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Srila Prabhupada explains that sacrificing
one’s body for the country is also an acceptable form of sacrifice and
may lead to a higher position of renunciation.
“Of course, Krishna consciousness is not dependent on any other
experience, because Krishna consciousness itself can purify one’s
mind, but if there are impediments to accepting Krishna consciousness,
one may try to give up the results of his actions. In that respect,
social service, community service, national service, sacrifice for
one’s country, etc., may be accepted so that some day one may come to
the stage of pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord.” BGAII 12.11
As I approached the receptionist and explained the purpose of my
visit, she invited me to go upstairs where the kitchen was located.
There I found Jennifer, who agreed to make a donation, as I had shown
her the Higher Taste. Instead of just handing over the Higher Taste to
Jennifer and walk away, I was inspired to offer her a choice instead.
People just love choices. Life is just more exciting when we are given
multiple choices to proceed. I indicated to her that she could accept
either Higher Taste or Renunciation Through Wisdom. Whatever she liked
better, she could take. At this point the customer generally and
enthusiastically accepts the Higher Taste and the transaction ends.
But I sensed that Jennifer was a thoughtful and serious young lady.
Instead of making a rushed decision, she carefully examined both
titles and after some time she decided to make another donation and
take both volumes. At that point, I decided to increase the
transcendental stakes even more and offered her the Bhagavad-Gita As
It Is. She declined. It is the duty of the Krishna conscious preacher
to always give people as much Krishna consciousness as they can
possibly handle at the time.
When I handed over the colorful and extremely well designed invitation
for Janmastami- courtesy leaders of Brisbane Krishna conscious youth,
among others Janardana Das and Mohini Devi Dasi- she noticed that
Iskcon Brisbane is now situated at 32 Jennifer st. and that particular
fact, I believe, was the highlight of the whole transaction, as if
there were some special sign in and meaning to the coincidence.
Devotionally speaking, let us see how Jennifer will develop.
The head chef himself was also very friendly and welcoming and not
only knew Kurma Prabhu’s books, but personally owned a copy of
“Cooking with Kurma” already. He volunteered to go around the kitchen
to find new buyers, unfortunately without any success. All glories to
Kurma Prabhu! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
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