A Last minute decision!

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By Gadi das ACBSP

Hare Krsnaā€¦ recently on a last minute effort, on Nov.18, I picked up Sikhi das and headed to Birmingham Al. from Murari Sevakā€¦.. It was goodā€¦ Good decisionā€¦.

At the Sheraton in Birmingham was a small regional convention of AAOHA membersā€¦. Asian American Hotel Owners Association. At the last international convention in June in Chicago, where I had met and made friends with the vice chairman of AAOHA, Mr. Hemant Patel,(next year he will be the chairman), my goal was to get a picture of he and I holding the Bhagavad Gitaā€¦ thus endorsing the placement of Srimad Bhagavad Gitas, and opening the doors to many more hotels. I did not know whether he would even be at this small convention.

When we arrived, we were a little early and just milled about talking to the various hotel ownersā€¦etc. We were making some contacts and suchā€¦ then one officer from the convention, asked us if we had made official arrangements to be hereā€¦ I explained that we came at the last minute and were just trying to meet a few members. She was quite nice and assured me that it would have been fine if we had made previous arrangements, but just showing up like this was not acceptableā€¦ so we meandered out into the lobby and pondered the circumstancesā€¦

After a short time she came back and said she is going to get us a table inside the vendor area and we could post ourselves there and meet and promote etcā€¦

Just after that, the promoter of this regional convention, Mr Jay Patel, came up and in no uncertain terms, said we would have to leaveā€¦.soā€¦.we were in ā€¦then we were outā€¦.then we were inā€¦and now we were out.

Sikhi had disappearedā€¦ so I just walked around the corner and sat down on a plush benchā€¦ pondering the next moveā€¦.I really wanted to get this picture with Hemant Patel, but no one could even tell me if he was even coming for sureā€¦so I sat there thinking this overā€¦..and suddenly like 2 luminescent demigods, around the corner comes Sikhi and Hemant Patelā€¦.I jumped to my feet and we greeted each other like old friendsā€¦. I asked him if he would mind taking a pictureā€¦he said sure…I handed the camera to Sikhi andā€¦. Got It!ā€¦ yea, the pictureā€¦.Got it!

Briefly we explained the ins and outs to the past few moments. He said donā€™t worry, I will talk to Jay and he did and in 3 min we were back inā€¦with a nice table, meeting everyone we could want to meet. Taking orders for over 1000 Bhagavad Gitas and making new friends.

One very interesting storyā€¦one hotel owner from Birmingham, after having received his Bhagavad Gitas from the last convention, said now he has to keep several cases on hand because the Gitas are always disappearingā€¦ I asked him how manyā€¦ and he said already 50 were ā€œstolenā€. I asked him how many bibles went missingā€¦ he said none!

Anywayā€¦ we are never in controlā€¦.we can only try to do our best with the limited intelligence we are affordedā€¦seems Krsna will always fill our gapsā€¦I think this is a paraphrase of a very famous Bhagavad Gita verse!

Hare Krsnaā€¦ yours in Prabhupadaā€¦ Gadi das

My special thanks and obeisances to my preceptorsā€¦Vaisaseka prabhu, Akruranath prabhu, Nandanandana prabhu, Milan, and other devotees of the Bhagavad Gitas to Hotels program, Iā€™m sure to hear from them after this article is releasedā€¦ Hare Krsna.

( can this count as Murariā€™s book marathon.?)

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1 trivikramaswami

Instead of having the Gitas stolen from the rooms why not put a sign on the book saying; “Please do not take this book, if you would like your own they are available from the front desk!”

Then charge them something.

Comment posted by trivikramaswami on December 20th, 2010
2 krishna-kirti

If they Gitas are being taken to prevent others from reading them, I would say Trivikrama Maharaja’s suggestion probably won’t stop it much. But it would be good to try it out and test it.

Nevertheless, this preaching program seems to be huge. Whatever effort some envious people are making to prevent it, we should overcome their efforts with a flood of Gitas in hotel rooms.

Comment posted by krishna-kirti on December 21st, 2010
3 krishna-kirti

My wife and I are right now staying overnight at a hotel. There is no Gita here, but there is a Bible. However, pasted on the inside cover of the Bible is this “warning” sticker:

WARNING: This is a work of fiction. Do NOT take it literally.

CONTENT ADVISORY: Contains verses descriptive of or advocating suicide, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, sexual activity in a violent context, murder, morbid violence, use of drugs or alchohol, homosexuality, voyeurism, revenge, undermining of authority figures, lawlessness, and human rights violations and atrocities.

EXPOSURE WARNING: Exposure to contents for extended periods of time or during formative years in children may cause delusions, hallucinations, decreased cognitive and objective reasoning abilities, and, in extreme cases, pathological disorders, hatred, bigotry, and violence including, but not limited to, fanaticism, murder, and genocide.

The Western culture war has just become multi-cultural.

Comment posted by krishna-kirti on December 24th, 2010
4 Dhanesvara

Haribol Gadi Prabhu!

All glories to Bhagavad-gita! All glories to book distribution! All glories to your service!

It’s very difficult to know that the Gitas are being taken by interested readers, or if they are maliciously stolen. I agree with Trivikrama Swami’s suggestion. A simple note explaining that that book was put there for the convenience of the hotel guests, and others are available at the desk for a small donation. Also, a card should include contact information for Bhakti-Life so the readers can learn more. A website dedicated exclusively to this purpose would give feedback about the theft v. interest ratio.

In either case, it is obvious that people are seeing the Gita, and even by simply touching it one receives eternal benefit.

Dhanesvara Das

Comment posted by Dhanesvara on December 25th, 2010

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