By Lila Shakti Devi Dasi
After months of meditation and preparation, on the auspicious day of Sayana Ekadasi, (June 30th, 2012), Team NC inaugurated their ongoing Monthly Sankirtan Festival. We fanned out in Chapel Hill to spread the mercy of Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada. It was 108 degrees that day, and, as HG Vaisesika Dasa observed, â€śThe heat baked this experience firmly into our consciousness.â€ť It did indeed, and we are now focusing our efforts to obtain a team goal of 5008 books distributed by the end of the year.
On the Friday evening before we went out, Vaisesika prabhu lead a beautiful bhajan and then eloquently presented a slideshow conveying the reason to go out and help the conditioned souls. He also began giving us the philosophy of book distribution, making it sound very easy, practical, and sublime. Most of those present had never been out on book distribution, yet after the presentation, we felt confident and enthusiastic to go out right then! Predictably, many of us couldnâ€™t sleep that night in anticipation of Saturdayâ€™s events.
Saturday morning (finally!) came, and immediately following the morning program, Team NC started crash-course training on the nuts-and-bolts of book distribution. Vaisesika prabhu is most certainly the undisputed master in his field, able to overcome any objection while validating the individual and keeping the tenuous sales relationship pleasantly intact. He was able to easily show us how to sell the Bhagavad-gita As It Is on its own merit so we were able to replicate the method. After having a light and nutritious Ekadasi breakfast, we loaded up the trucks, organized the teams, and spread out as Lord Caitanyaâ€™s army, at war with Maya. It was very exciting, with the best was yet to come.
The teams went door-to-door or store-to-store; My team went door-to-door to an apartment building. The feeling of carrying around a powerful arsenal of Srila Prabhupadaâ€™s books to show to a person youâ€™ve never seen before in your life while talking about Krishna conscious philosophy is indescribable. As Vaisesika prabhu had taught us, we choose only the â€śripe fruitsâ€ť and left the others on the tree for Krishna to ripen further. This eliminated the pressure to try and get each and every person to take a book, and also allowed us to leave everyone with a good impression. Some of us were addicted, wanting to knock on just one more door, but the oppressive heat of the day impeded us. A few of us had heat stroke and some dehydration, but overall the team experienced an exhilarating and powerful sense of fulfillment distributing books, prasadam, and the holy names. Vaisesika prabhu left an indelible impression on our souls, compelling us to be bold and share Krishna with whomever we come in contact with.
The Monthly Sankirtan Festival continues, and as of today, we have distributed over 800 books, which exceeds last yearsâ€™ total by about 300%. To reach our goal of 5008, Team NC is getting creative to get the books out. We are planning to invade the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, set up numerous book tables around the state, increase smart boxes, and just carry books around to distribute to anyone we meet. Sankirtana is fun and easy, and we are confident that Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga will be pleased with our attempts. We humbly beg all the Vaisnavas to bless us in our endeavor. Transcendental book distribution ki jai!