We Send Out Our Soldiers to Fight with Maya Akincana Staff

“There is no doubt about it, to distribute books is our most important activity. The temple is a place not for eating and sleeping, but as a base from which we send out our soldiers to fight with maya. Fight with maya means to drop thousand and millions of books into the lap of the conditioned souls. Just like during war time the Bombs are raining from the sky like anything. So you are the expert in this field.

I like also your programme of sending out your best men to teach the others. That is the actual process of Krishna Consciousness. To train others continue this programme so that in the future every devotee in our movement will know the art of distributing books. This is approved by me.

I hope this letter meets you well. read more

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.

Recently, we received a consignment of one Hindi and three Gujarati Srimad Bhagavatam sets. I thought that the local Gurudwara (Sikh temple) would take the Hindi set for its library, as the priest likes to read in Hindi and has read some of our books, but the Gurudwara committee declined to buy it because it was too expensive. So I was wondering who would take the Hindi set. as now there are not many people who want to read in Hindi. There was one person, and I told him we have the Srimad Bhagavatam set in Hindi. He said that I could bring it and he would take a look at it. The next day I went to his lodge and explained that Srimad Bhagavatm is the ripened fruit of the tree of the Vedas. He asked the price, and by the mercy of guru and Gauranga agreed to pay in three installments. I felt that the Bhagavatam set in Hindi came all the way from India in a ship for three months just for this Muslim gentleman. 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.

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. 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.

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. 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.

Recently, a medical magazine stated, “Stress is the Black Plague of the 21st century.” I’ve had students almost in tears in front of me, because they’re under so much stress. We have no idea how much people are suffering. If we don’t help them, who will? No one else is giving pure knowledge of the soul, of God, and of the process that will bring the soul and Krsna into a loving relationship. We have a treasure house of knowledge, and Lord Caitanya is the one who came and broke open the storehouse of love of God. read more

The best verse & some lines for evoking the right consciousness

While distributing at the Hollywood farmers’ market I approached a man who, after seeing my books, said, “No, it’s not my thing.” Then he went on his way.

Fifteen minutes later he came by again with his wife. I asked her, “Is that your husband?”

“Yes it is.” I said, “He’s got good energy.” Then, smiling, I said to him, “I knew you’d come back, it’s your fate to have one of these books.” 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.

On the basis of these books preaching is conducted, new bhaktas are joining and congregational members are engaged. From these books a whole picture of Vedic society arises, serving as the blue print for future generations to come. The “internal” meaning of “Books are the Basis” contains far more as the production and distribution of these books. 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?”

Of course, we agreed and our first day out we found out it was monitored by parking attendants, who kept cars going to the next open spot, which was great for us. One day, the next car that pulled in was a brand new, full-size Mercedes Benz sedan.  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.

He pointed to the Bhagavad Gita with the finger that was looped around the cigarette and said, “That is the best book!” He had a thick, raspy accent I was unfamiliar with — maybe from Australia or Africa — so at first I didn’t know if I’d heard him correctly. But when he came a little closer and repeated himself, now touching the pictures, I understood. I immediately broke out laughing and said, “Yes! Have you read it?” read more