Yadavendra Das: Corners, recesses and little out the way customers are not to be neglected. On May 27 2013, I was doing my book distribution rounds and there was a side street with very few shops and which one would have a tendency to skip, thinking:” Oh to few customers here, insignificant!”
I thought: ”Is this the recess where I shall find a good customer?” And it was. I found a nice lady who had tried to be a vegetarian, with relapses. She happily bought our best selling vegetarian cookbook “Cooking with Kurma” and gracefully accepted her complimentary copy of Renunciation through Wisdom. I also gave her my one sheet A4 catalog prominently displaying the Hare Krishna Mantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
with a request to chant it.
All glories to the Supersoul, Who is the constant friend of the living entity and especially guides the Sankirtan person towards that conditioned soul who has developed even an atom of inclination towards Him!
In the same town and same area but on the main street side walk, two well-dressed gentlemen in elegant suits were looking at buildings, one Indian, one Caucasian. They were driving an expensive dark blue Jaguar car. I approached the Caucasian gentleman first, made my standard presentation. He declined. I commented: “Are you looking at your next business venture?” He replied:” I am not, but he is.” designating with a nod of the head the Indian gentleman, who had in the mean time, nonchalantly walked a little distance away. I developed the impressions that the Caucasian gentleman was in fact a real estate agent, showing some rental properties to a prospective customer and that the Indian gentleman was trying to avoid me. So be it!
A few doors down and moments later, here they were again, in the ice cream shop! I immediately approached the Indian gentleman and showed him my folder with picture of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. He replied that he was already in possession of BGAII. “Ok, the next step is Srimad Bhavatam, Sir please!” He agreed to buy one volume Srimad Bhagavatam, although he declined to buy the whole set, when I offered. He handed me the note that was already lying on the ice cream shop counter, which a changed. I went to my Sankirtan vehicle to fetch a copy of SB. He appreciated the darshan of Lord Shiva, Who was pictured on the dust jacket, in the act of drinking poison. On book distribution Sankirtan, it is always refreshing to meet Indian ladies and gentlemen because they have a head start in Krishna culture having obtained the Indian body due to their past pious activities. The Indian body therefore also carries a special responsibility. Caitanya Caritamrta Adi Lila 9.41:
bhÄrata â of India; bhÅ«mite â in the land; haila â has become; manusÌ£ya â human being; janma â birth; yÄra â anyone; janma â such a birth; sÄrthaka â fulfillment; kari‘ â doing so; kara â do; para â others; upakÄra â benefit.
The magnanimity of Lord Caitanya MahÄprabhu is expressed in this very important verse. Although He was born in Bengal and Bengalis therefore have a special duty toward Him, ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu is addressing not only Bengalis but all the inhabitants of India. It is in the land of India that actual human civilization can be developed.
Human life is especially meant for God realization, as stated in the VedÄnta-sÅ«tra: athÄto brahma jijÃ±ÄsÄ. Anyone who takes birth in the land of India (BhÄrata-varsÌ£a) has the special privilege of being able to take advantage of the instruction and guidance of the Vedic civilization. He automatically receives the basic principles of spiritual life, for 99.9% of the Indian people, even simple village farmers and others who are neither educated nor sophisticated, believe in the transmigration of the soul, believe in past and future lives, believe in God, and naturally want to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His representative. These ideas are the natural inheritance of a person born in India. India has many holy places of pilgrimage, such as GayÄ, Benares, MathurÄ, PrayÄga, VrÌ£ndÄvana, HaridvÄra, RÄmeÅvaram and JagannÄtha PurÄ«, and still people go there by the hundreds and thousands. Although the present leaders of India are influencing the people not to believe in God, not to believe in a next life and not to believe in a distinction between pious and impious life, and although they are teaching them how to drink wine, eat meat and become supposedly civilized, people are nevertheless afraid of the four activities of sinful life â namely illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling â and whenever there is a religious festival, they gather together by the thousands. We have actual experience of this. Whenever the KrÌ£sÌ£nÌ£a consciousness movement holds a saÅkÄ«rtana festival in a big city like Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Ahmedabad or Hyderabad, thousands of people come to hear. Sometimes we speak in English, but even though most people do not understand English, they nevertheless come to hear us. Even when imitation incarnations of Godhead speak, people gather in the thousands, for everyone who is born in the land of India has a natural spiritual inclination and is taught the basic principles of spiritual life; they merely need to be a little more educated in the Vedic principles. Therefore ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu says here, janma sÄrthaka kari‘ kara para-upakÄra: if an Indian is educated in the Vedic principles, he is able to perform the most beneficial welfare activity for the entire world.
At present, for want of KrÌ£sÌ£nÌ£a consciousness, or God consciousness, the entire world is in darkness, having been covered by the four principles of sinful life â meat-eating, illicit sex, gambling and intoxication. Therefore there is a need for vigorous propaganda to educate people to refrain from sinful activities. This will bring peace and prosperity; the rogues, thieves and debauchees will naturally decrease in number, and all of human society will be God conscious.
The practical effect of our spreading the KrÌ£sÌ£nÌ£a consciousness movement all over the world is that now the most degraded debauchees are becoming the most elevated saints. This is only one Indian’s humble service to the world. If all Indians had taken to this path, as advised by Lord Caitanya MahÄprabhu, India would have given a unique gift to the world, and thus India would have been glorified. Now, however, India is known as a poverty-stricken country, and whenever anyone from America or another opulent country goes to India, he sees many people lying by the footpaths for whom there are not even provisions for two meals a day. There are also institutions collecting money from all parts of the world in the name of welfare activities for poverty-stricken people, but they are spending it for their own sense gratification. Now, on the order of ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu, the KrÌ£sÌ£nÌ£a consciousness movement has been started, and people are benefiting from this movement. Therefore it is now the duty of the leading men of India to consider the importance of this movement and train many Indians to go outside of India to preach this cult. People will accept it, there will be cooperation among the Indian people and among the other people of the world, and the mission of ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu will then be fulfilled. ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu will then be glorified all over the world, and people will naturally be happy, peaceful and prosperous, not only in this life but also in the next, for as stated in the Bhagavad-gÄ«tÄ, anyone who understands KrÌ£sÌ£nÌ£a, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will very easily get salvation, or freedom from the repetition of birth and death, and go back home, back to Godhead. ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu therefore requests every Indian to become a preacher of His cult to save the world from disastrous confusion.
This is not only the duty of Indians but the duty of everyone, and we are very happy that American and European boys and girls are seriously cooperating with this movement. One should know definitely that the best welfare activity for all of human society is to awaken man’s God consciousness, or KrÌ£sÌ£nÌ£a consciousness. Therefore everyone should help this great movement. This is confirmed in ÅrÄ«mad-BhÄgavatam, Tenth Canto, Twenty-second Chapter, verse 35, which is next quoted in the Caitanya-caritÄmrÌ£ta.