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Be Bold

Thursday, 30 November 2006 / Published in Book distribution, Vaisesika Dasa / 5,328 views

By Vaisesika Dasa

Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble pranams at your feet. All glories to the founder/Acarya of ISKCON and his unparalleled books.

Srila Prabhupada made our lives exciting. He pushed us and he was definitely not accustomed to thinking small. In thinking of what my life was like while Srila Prabhupada walked the planet, I often recall a famous quotation from Helen Keller: “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

Life with Srila Prabhupada was and still is a daring adventure.

After arriving in America, at times, Srila Prabhupada barely had enough money to pay his rent. Even during these lean financial times, he wasn’t at all poor. He carried the most valuable currency of all: absolute faith in the words of his guru and Krsna. He took every risk for Krsna. He was fearless at all times.

Because of this, when meeting Srila Prabhupada, young people — with little or no worldly training — became emboldened and went out to conquer the world on Krsna’s behalf. And they did it!

They were convinced that by following the order of their guru, they would not fail. They were correct.

Young boys and girls traveled the world, meeting dignitaries and rock stars, opening temples, making hit albums, organizing festivals, and publishing and distributing millions of magazines and books.

Remembering the miraculous accomplishments of all these devotees, I’m reminded of another quotation, this one by Goethe:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

Speaking of boldness, in 1975 the BBT was moving too slowly to keep up with Srila Prabhupada’s translating. The manuscripts for the Caitanya Caritamrta had been sitting for some time without being published.

Then on a morning walk at Venice Beach in Los Angeles, surrounded by senior devotees and the heads of the BBT, Srila Prabhupada suddenly said that he wanted all seventeen volumes of Caitanya Caritamrta published within two months.

Until that time, the BBT had only been able to publish one book every four months. Now, Srila Prabhupada was ordering that all seventeen be finished in two months! The head of the American BBT, Ramesvara dasa, shocked upon hearing Srila Prabhupada’s order, replied, “Srila Prabhupada, I think that’s impossible . . .”

Upon hearing this, Srila Prabhupada suddenly stopped walking. He planted his cane in the sand and said, “Impossible is a word found only in the fool’s dictionary.”

The devotees were practically speechless.

But as Srila Prabhupada’s order began to sink in, Ramesvara dasa and the other devotees began to feverishly plan how they would execute his order.

With this, the famous Caitanya Caritamrta marathon began. For the next two months, the devotees worked practically without sleeping or eating to publish the seventeen volumes in just two months.

In Bhagavad gita 3.15, Lord Krsna says “the all-pervading Transcendence is eternally situated in acts of sacrifice.”

Human life is not for working hard for bodily maintenance, but for reawakening our eternal relationship with the Lord and then going back to Godhead. All this can be achieved by acts of divine sacrifice.

The best sacrifice is to please the pure devotee. Fortunately for us, we’ve been given that chance. Srila Prabhupada has left us with as much service as we like – if we like. It is entirely up to us.

Let us be bold in his service.

Think big.

Don’t hold back.

Go Go Go!

With gratitude, Your servant, Vaisesika dasa

Please, Please, Please, each ISKCON center should do two things
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4 Responses to “Be Bold”

  1. Suresh das says :

    The first time I saw Vaisesika Prabhu, in 1975, I was convinced of the power of Krishna Consciousness. I had already heard that he was a powerful Brahmacari preacher and book distributor at that time, when he visited our temple. His face glowed and was slightly translucent with what seemed to me to be a slight halo around his head. He had become rather famous and yet he possessed tremendous kindness and humility. He has always inspired me to keep going and not give up.

  2. Payonidhi das says :

    Book Distribution Is the Hare Krishnas Most Important Activity There is no doubt about it, to distribute books is our most important activity. The
    temple is a place not for eating and sleeping, but as a base from which we send out our soldiers to fight with Maya. Fight with Maya means to drop thousand and millions of books into the lap of the conditioned souls. Just like during war time the bombs are raining from the sky like anything… (Letter from Srila Prabhupada)

    Payonidhi das

  3. Udayananda dasa says :

    Dear Vaisesikha Prabhu,

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    This is your old friend Udayananda dasa. You and Praghosa Prabhu are my heroes. Srila Prabhupada once wrote, “Your letter is very much pleasing to me with the report of the book distribution. Whenever I get report of my book selling, I feel strength. Even now in this weakened condition I have got strength from your report. You should know that in this work you have Krishna’s blessings.” (letter to Satsvarupa Sept. 8, 1974)

    Thank you so much for giving our Srila Prabhupada so much strength for the past 33 years. When we were on the Radha Damodhara Party one devotee asked Srila Prabhupada if we died out on book distribution would we go back to Godhead. Srila Prabhupada responded, “Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam; tyajaty ante kalevaram; tam tam evaiti kaunteya; sada tad-bhava-bhavitah.” Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.” Srila Prabhuupada elaborated that we must keep our minds fixed on Krsna always praying for His mercy.

    We were collectively dissappointed, we were hoping for the proverbial “Get out of jail free card”. Srila Prabhupada could see our dissappointment so he said, “But if you dedicate your whole life to distributing my books, then I guarantee you that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will personally come and take you back to Godhead in this very life time!”

    Prabhuji, both you and Praghosa Prabhu are still distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books almost every day after all these years. You are very intelligent and fortunate. There is no doubt in my mind that you will again be with Srila Prabhupada at the end of this life. Please bless me that I might once again become freed from the shackles of thinking there is something more important than book distribution, and once again assist Srila Prabhupada in this most intimate service.

    Your servant,
    Udayananda dasa

  4. dayananda says :

    Vaisesika Prabhu is a saint.
    I can only echo the words of Udayananda, Suresh, and Payonidhi. His example and words extend the transcendental carrot of sankirtana yajna.

    The other side of this “coin” is the stick. Prabhupada wrote Tusta (76-1-9), “So far devotees being hesitant to distribute books on account of pressure, sometimes pressure is required, especially when one is not so advanced. Of course it has to be applied properly, otherwise there may be some bad taste. But spontaneous service can only be expected from advanced devotees. Just like a child by pressure goes to school and is made to read.”

    Also, “Anxiety to sell books is Krishna anxiety.” (760426mw.mel)

    With utmost gratitude for Vaish’s example and association,
    Dayananda

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