We were fortunate to be able to start 2011 off on the right foot by distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books during the morning of January 1st. The quick “numbers” are 131 books and over $800 in Laxmi with most popular titles totally sold out including English Bhagavad Gitas and Krishna books. But Prabhupada’s mercy and how Krishna makes all necessary arrangements is the real story, so keep reading below…
When we got there there was a bit of a hiccup to get permissions from the Hindu Temple but after giving a few Bhagavad Gitas this was sorted out. Vandita Mataji found the new temple trustee and made the arrangements. They were telling us to move the tables to not block the hallway and she was rather enthusiastically asking for more tables. Successful book distribution outings are always a group effort and enthusiastic youth like her are always an asset.
We did not have much manpower. I had arranged for my sister, Minakshi devi dasi, to help but she had to take over morning deity changing duties to Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar and was not feeling well…so we were short staffed. On top of that it was raining and we needed to unload the books and set the tables up. As soon as I entered the hall I spotted a Indian ISKCON devotee, namely Govinda das in front of Balaji deity. A few minutes later he passed me and asked what we were doing there. I told him about the planned book distribution and without hesitation or even so much as a request, he served along side in book distribution. Krishna arranged…manpower issue resolved.
The second special story of the day came from a friend of ours, Geeta. She is a successful dental surgeon in Toronto. We sent her to the temple in the past and it was not her “cup of tea” and did not get the desired “customer service” experience in her initial visits. Anyhow, on a couple of occasions we have given her books. Initially the Higher Taste as a cookbook and recently a Bhagavad Gita. After giving Geeta the Gita, she inquired about our reasoning and after a bit of preaching, she told us she wanted to come out the next time to distribute with us. I did not take it seriously but when we saw her on New Year’s Eve at another event for the kids, I mentioned our plans for the next day and she insisted on coming along. On New Year’s morning we were too busy setting up and distributing and did not get a chance to call her….but there she was on the phone wanting to join us. As it turned out Vandita Mataji needed to drop her mom off back home and like a coordinated shift change Geeta showed up to assist. Her new ISKCON experience was in distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books and after distributing about a dozen books and being attracted in this Krishna Conscious service she could not resist picking up books for herself. She took $40 of Laxmi out and asked me to help her pick out good reads….which of course they all are!
So this is how Krishna provides and the magic of Prabhupada’s mercy which he has so merciful allowed us to distribute on his behalf.
At these Hindu temples I am always pleasantly surprised with the youth. They WANT the books and are genuinely interested to the point of sometimes pleading with their parents to get books. They WANT answers which are logical and based on scripture. It also surprises me how some parents find it difficult to whip out $10 to quench some of this thirst, perhaps the same $10 being easily spent at McDonald’s or some other frivolous sense gratification. The youngsters might be following the ritualistic behaviour of their parents but in this day and age they need answers and logic to work through the maze of hodge podge Hinduism. Without this well presented and preserved Vedic knowledge the younger generation will simply think it is a lot of mumbo jumbo. So when this scenario plays out, then we need to be “pushy” to get Srila Prabhupada’s books in their hands, even if this means joining the kids pleas to his/her parents.
So this was a nice start to the new year and we can only thank Srila Prabhupada for his mercy and using us as his insignificant instruments to spread the glories of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
your insignficant servants…
Indresh & Kishori