A Muslim bussiness man has a change of heart

Around one and a half years ago, while distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books on a street in Blantyre, Malawi, I met Mr. Khan, a Muslim businessman from India. He was amused to see an Indian sadhu in a dhoti and kurta on the busy streets of a remote Central African country and asked me in Hindi what was I doing. I explained to him that I was from the Hare Krishna movement and was distributing books about how to develop love for God. At that time he bought some small books. A few days later, when we met again on the street, he started criticizing Srila Prabhupada, saying that he uses abusive language and calls people rascals.

When I met him again on the street after a few days, he had started appreciating the books and said that Srila Prabhupada was actually very intelligent. After that I met him quite a few times on the street and also we crossed paths a couple of times while devotees were doing harinaam sankirtan. He consequently bought Bhagavad-gita As It Is. During the marathon, when I met him at his lodge (he runs three lodges), he said that he was going to India in February and wanted to visit Varanasi and buy copies of the Vedas, as he had knowledge of Sanskrit and liked to read in Hindi.[...] read more

Srila Prabhupada Is Coming Marathon Day

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.[...] read more

The Rainy Day

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.[...] read more

The Prabhupada Marathon

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur used to say, “The only lack in society is Krsna consciousness.” Krishna consciousness is the greatest need everywhere, and there is no better place to get it than from Srila Prabhupada’s books. This is why part-time and fulltime distributors – and devotees who never distributed books — will increase or start their service of book distribution all over the world during the Prabhupada Marathon in December.

In a lecture that Srila Prabhupada gave, while speaking about the importance of preaching, he said, “Krsna is feeling a little pain; therefore yada yada hi dharmasya.” He feels pain, knowing that His parts and parcels are suffering, and therefore He comes to help us.[...] read more

What did Srila Prabhupada mean by stating that “Books are the Basis”?

It is not difficult to understand that his books are the philosophical basis of ISKCON. Many, many times He pointed out that he is living and will continue to live in his books. His books are so unique that Srila Prabhupada studied them himself. Being written down as direct dictation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they provoke even Srila Prabhupada’s admiration. But it is less commonly understood that “Books are the Basis” is indeed THE BASIS of Srila Prabhupada’s mission. Basis means “that on which everything rests.” That means everything rests on this basis economically, philosophically and constitutionally.

Srila Prabhupada wanted even construction of temples being absolutely linked to book distribution with BBT as the main supporter. Of course, especially in India, donations play great part as well, but for the members of the International Society of Krsna Consciousness Srila Prabhupada wanted it to be the law, that their life revolves around His books, their production and their distribution.[...] read more

Anything Can Happen At Any Time

Back in the 1980s we’d work the Kennedy Space Center, where the shuttle spacecraft launches from, using ice breakers and Easy Journey to Other Planets and Coming Back. 

When we were negotiating where we could distribute with the authorities, it was going back and forth for a long time and finally they just said,”Would you be satisfied if we just gave you the whole parking lot?”[...] read more

That is the best book!

I was on sankirtan with Mangal-Aarti on a bitterly cold winter afternoon at Eaton Centre and had spoken to a few people and was just recuperating from the snow and rain a little, standing in the shade.

A man walked by and I asked him,”Have you tried yoga or meditation, sir?” He stopped for a while, as I showed him some pictures, but I could tell he wasn’t going to buy a book. He walked away, but from the corner of my eye I spotted a thin, tiny man with an old, torn jacket and a little hat and a cigarette in his hand.[...] read more

Book distribution in Sarajevo

SP Book Distribution

Last summer, two interesting incidents happened on book distribution in Sarajevo, Bosnia, which illustrate how non devotees can distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books. I was only assisting them.

I was distributing books in front of a big mall, and after some time I took a break on the bench in the street. From a distance an elderly couple (around the age of 70) approached and ask if they could sit beside me, because the other benches were taken. I had no objection. I thought that maybe this was some kind of providential arrangement for me to show them books, but I was so exhausted that I remained silent. After a few minutes I opened my book bag to take out a bottle of water.[...] read more