After being on sankirtan for almost two years, the German devotees rented a big castle, Schloss Rettershof. With hardly any time for renovation, we got to know that soon Srila Prabhupada is arriving. For me it would be the first opportunity to see Him personally. Instantly we decided to welcome Him with an increased sankirtan effort. A (typical German) idea became prominent: “Let’s collect a new Mercedes car for Srila Prabhupada….in one day!”
And so a day was set where EVERYBODY went on sankirtan. German yatra operated at this time with a modest number of sankirtan vans already, filled with enthusiastic distributors. I knew instantly the town I wanted to be at that day. Dusseldorf was a town which offered an opportunity to distribute literary day and night. As the old town red light district was directly connected to the main shopping street, we simply switched after the closing hour of the shops and kept on distributing most of the night in conditions surely not exactly suitable for a brahmacary. I remember scenes where some of my older godbrothers dashed into the bars and distributed Bhagavad Gitas to all the drunkards present.(Not to be imitated). I received donations on the street from ladies of not exactly representative appearance. (Not to be imitated either).We simply didn’t care. I saw devotees becoming in middle of the night so ecstatic that they started to grab people coming out of the bars and dance with them in the streets while chanting Hare Krsna.
I totally forgot my regular distribution mantra, simply telling people in most excited way, “He is coming! He is coming!” I got donations without even distributing any book. Some people cried. Nobody asked who is coming as nobody knew what is really going on. The image of Srila Prabhupada soon arriving took completely over our minds as we run from one drunkard to another.
By four o clock in the morning, after 20 hours of non-stop distribution, the streets became really empty and we met in an absolutely ecstatic spirit at our car. We spent the time driving back with wonderful kirtan and arrived exactly at the guru puja time in the morning. With our sankirtan bags hanging still around our necks we danced in the kirtan like madmen. This was the biggest one-day-marathon I ever took part in. Two weeks later Srila Prabhupada arrived.
Being lifted by the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu from the sentimental platform the conditioned souls dwell on all the time, one realizes the true meaning of spiritual rationality. It doesn’t apply to the puny “rational” concepts of the mundane speculators. Once one is acting in ones original constitutional capacity, the spiritual bliss the soul is experiencing cannot be compared to any “pleasure” of this material world. Just a glimpse of it leaves permanent mark in the heart of the conditioned soul and so both, the distributor and the receiver taste something they forgot long time ago: the bliss of Krsna-consciousness.
Some seek further, some don’t, but both are blessed forever. And so any concept derived from one’s mind is false. The true benefactor activity is remembering the souls again about their original position as eternal servants of Krsna and engaging them directly in service of Krsnas pure devotee. That night, as we danced through the streets of that sinful city, rejoicing about the arrival of Sri Krsnas most confidential servant, we got a glimpse of a spiritual reality far beyond the reach of our mundane mind and the material senses. Some forgot and got covered again, some can still remember. Srila Prabhupada showed us that our home is not here, but in His place, the place where Krsna, His master resides. As he told once to one exhausted and discouraged devotee: “We have to always dance…even when the authorities don’t give permission”.