I still remember that small town in middle of Germany where we parked our car. The town was indeed very small and on top of that we had already days and days of rain pouring down on our water soaked books and bodies.
Getting sick, I chanted in the hotel my rounds in a dizzy type of condition, trying to get my feverish mind under control. Finally arriving in the middle of the town I watched the devotees getting out of the car, with great roar and determination once again ready to push Srila Prabhupadas books into the laps of the stubborn and obstinate (German:-) conditioned souls.
I decided to stay back for little while, hoping that the fever will somewhat be reduced during the day. But after few minutes sitting in an empty cold van, I could see the first karmis passing by the condensate water covered windows of the car I was imprisoned in. The sight became intolerable.
I decided to get some books into my sankirtan bag and “try it out at least for few minutes”. Maybe it was possible to overcome my mind which indicated to me that I am indeed a sick man.
I got out of the van and felt truly weak. A woman passed by and I just turned around, not taking even one step and whispered:”Hello”. She stopped instantly. Caught by surprise by such instant response following such a little action, I kept on whispering my distribution mantra, not believing that she can hear me at all. She looked seriously at me and then at the book, took out her money bag and bought it. I thought, “Well at least one book I sold today”.
Then I took few steps, turning to a man passing by. He stopped also instantly, but not been able to hear me, came very close. I simply whispered again my mantra, thinking how wonderful Srila Prabhupada is that He allows me to be here. My voice chocked at the memory of Srila Prabhupadas gratitude towards His disciples He so wonderfully demonstrated in one of His Vyasa-puja lectures. I lost the contact to the man standing in front of me, but somehow he didn’t lost contact with me. He asked me how much the book did cost and….bought it.
Next person passed me by, but stopped and came back. Almost like in a silent slow motion movie, I passed over the book and like in some sort of dream returned to the car to fill up my bag again. Whole day passed by and I started to cry, not believing that I could still walk and whisper. It was getting dark and so I returned to the car where already the rest of the sankirtan party was sitting, counting the laksmi and exchanging their ecstatic sankirtan stories.
Seeing me, soaked wet from the rain, dragging my feet along, practically popping into the car with only one ability left, to start it, the bhaktas compassionately looked upon me and asked: “How many books did you do?”
I whispered again:”I don’t know I have to count them”.
This was the first day in my life I did 108 books in one day. This was at that time the ISKCON record. And it was the day I felt most weak, most desperate and most dependant on Srila Prabhupadas mercy.
Next day I woke up more refreshed, felt much better, chanted my rounds in much more concentrated spirit and full of passionate enthusiasm jumped on the street with another load of Srila Prabhupadas books. I laughed at the first approaching man and pushed the book into his hand. He looked angrily at me and said loudly: “Get lost!”…..I struggled the whole day.
Krishna’s mercy cannot be attracted by our pathetic heroism, youthful passion or heavy duty sadhana. It’s our pride Krsna sees and He is not impressed. After all, He is the Supreme Person and can clearly see what our true motivation is. To impress the world with our heroic deeds puts us in comparison with Krsna’s gigantic display of His energies into the category of fools and comedians.