By Partha prana govinda das
Most of us take to book distribution on roads and to houses on holidays or we allocate a time separately for that. What if we can distribute books during our travel in busses and trains, when we are going to our workplace. This can work well in India, as devotees use public transport for commuting to office. I am not sure of other countries. But this idea can be implemented wherever devotees use public transport.
Doing book distribution in buses while going to office was a inspiration from H.G.Ramvilas Prabhu(He works with Infosys Pune now) . When he was in Bangalore for 2 months, he stayed with us (@ Mathura BACE, Banglaore) , we both used to travel together to office. He took some of Prabhupada‚Äôs small books with him. And when we sat in bus, we will occupy different seats. He pushed me also to distribute the small books. We just show the books to the nearby people and ask them if they are interested to read and show the book at the same time. Many will be impelled to take the book in hand. That‚Äôs the natural tendency.
We need to carry just 3-5 small books per day, otherwise we may not carry after few days due to overload.
Then when they leave the bus or we get down at our bus stop, we ask them if they are interested to purchase, if they are we collect the proper Lakshmi for that book. It really works well, when we pray to Srila Prabhupada and do it. I was just contemplating further on it and sent to Mathurabace google groups the following calculation:
Suppose I meet 2-3 people on the way to office and 2-3 people while return from office. On an average, it is 5 per new people per day.
5 * 22 working days = 110 new people (as a auspicious number keep it as 108) per month.
If all of us take this initiative seriously, say 10 of us. 10 * 108 = greater than 1000 new people per month.
Out of 1000, few may buy books say 50 small . Apart from distributing books, we can speak about Krishna, Hare Krishna maha mantra, inviting to the temple etc.
Devotees who use public transport and even company busses can try this. We can carry may be few small books and may be 1 Bhagavad Gita.
Just imagine 100 new people * 200 devotees = 20000 new people will get in touch with Krishna’s devotees and Holy names per month. I have assumed 200 devotees for Bangalore only. For a Vaishnava community all over the world, 200 is very small. It should be 20000 or 2,00,000 devotees or more‚Ä¶ J !! And we never know the amount of books that will get distributed. And it is a good one to one advertisement for our local ISKCON temples also. We have to clearly mention about ISKCON while we interact. We can send the temple address through sms also for those who are interested. We need to send the sms then and there only.
And our travel will be no more dull and boring… It will be exciting. Shall we do this? If majority of devotee community does this, we can also say as Hutch used to say Wherever you go our network follows.
Expecting at least few will get inspired by this article so thought of sharing in the larger section of devotees.
In Mayapur, I heard from one of the Sannyasis, forgot the name , that we are coming across so many people every day. We never knew whether they will meet another devotee in their lifetime after us. So it is our duty to give Krishna to them. This statement was very much inspiring for me. I find giving out books is the best way to give Krishna for people in bus.
If we don‚Äôt get a seat also, we can give the books to those who are seated; If we travel in office bus also, we are just sharing the book with our travel partner, not as a professional preacher. Shouldn‚Äôt be any problems at all.
The specialty of this service is that it doesn‚Äôt require a new infrastructure, not a dedicated time from us, not a separate gathering of people. Everything is already there by Krishna‚Äôs arrangement, the infrastructure ‚Äď bus or train; time ‚Äď our commuting time; gathering of people ‚Äď also available easily. All it requires is just to sacrifice may be our travel sleep. Simple. And those who have just touched Prabhupada‚Äôs books also get the benefit. This idea can be extended wherever we travel. I felt it is better to carry Prabhupada‚Äôs books wherever we go, so that we can distribute wherever possible and read it also.
Recently on the way to Bangalore from my native, I distributed a Science of Self Realization book in bus by this approach. The receiver was a old man. He was saying, ‚ÄúEven if I don‚Äôt join the Hare Krishnas, I wanted to know what is this movement all about. That‚Äôs why I am buying‚ÄĚ
So‚Ä¶ ‚ÄúBook distribution is calling. Where are you?‚ÄĚ
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada,
Partha prana govinda das