HERE ARE SOME experiences and realizations of devotees who give people Krsna consciousness by giving them books by Srila Prabhupada and his followers.
Distributing Krsna conscious books is a wonderful service because it puts you in situations where you allow Krsna to purify you.
One day I went to a busy shopping area to distribute books. When I showed the books to a girl, she looked at me and started to cry.
"I already have two books from you people," she said. "I read the books, and because they're so wonderful, I can understand that you are a wonderful person. You are actually a saint. You are sacrificing everything just to give us the chance to become purified."
Enjoying her praise, I thought, "Yes, Krsna is the well-wisher of everyone, and since I'm His representative, I'm also everyone's well-wisher."
In this frame of mind, I continued trying to distribute books. When the next five or six people showed no interest, I thought, "They're in ignorance. They can't see me as the messiah of this place."
Then I met a man who took the books in his hands and said, "These books are from Swami Prabhupada, aren't they?"
I said, "Yes, you know them?"
"Yes," he said. "I like these books because they describe the good qualities of saintly persons."
I thought, "Here we go again all my good qualities."
But then he gave me back the books and angrily said, "These books are wonderful, but I don't think you have the good qualities they describe." And he walked away.
I thought, "Anyway, he's not as intelligent as that girl. She really understood."
I couldn't interest anyone in the books for a while after that, but I still thought, "It's their ignorance. It's not because of me."
Then I approached a man who screamed, "You're my worst nightmare!"
Shaking, I went to the van to read about the good qualities I was supposed to have.
Ekacakra-grama Dasa, Belgium
The Proof Is in the Taste
In Gorway, in western Ireland, I presented a book to a girl who seemed interested. But after I talked for a couple of minutes she said, "I'm not really convinced. Why should I take this book?"
I said, "Well, this book is just like a cake. I may say, 'This is a nice cake,' and you may say, "No, I don't think so." But how will you know unless you taste it. So unless you take the book and read it, you'll never know how good it is."
She replied, "You don't know how relevant that is. I work in a bakery. Every day people come in and ask, "Is this one nice? Is this one nice?' And it drives me crazy." Then she asked, "How much is the book? I'll take it."
Bhakta Mick, Ireland
A Cool Day in Finland
It was winter in Scandinavia, the temperature around minus ten degrees Celsius. I was walking on an outside shopping street when I saw an old woman. She walked with crutches and was shaking. I showed her the books, and she was getting quite interested, when behind me I heard a loud crash. The sound was so loud and it startled the old woman so much I thought she might die.
I turned around to see that a huge mass of snow and ice had fallen from the eighth floor of a building onto the sidewalk and the cars parked there, crushing them. Anyone who would have been under that ice would have died.
Just before I had stopped her, the old woman had been about to walk there. Realizing she could have died, she eagerly bought some books.
Tattva-vada Dasa, Finland
Srila Prabhupada's Books Save Lives
Viditri Dasa, from Belgrade, was distributing books door to door. He rang at one door repeatedly, and no one answered. But because he heard sounds inside, he kept trying.
Finally, a woman opened the door, but she was not happy to see him.
"Who are you?" she asked. "What do you want from me?"
Viditri replied, "Good afternoon, I have some nice magazines for you. What are you doing, by the way?"
She said, "Why are you disturbing me? I was going to commit suicide."
He looked inside and saw a chair in the middle of the room and a rope with a noose hanging from the ceiling.
"Life is not as bad as you think," Viditri said. "You just need some spiritual guidance."
They talked for some time, and at the end she bought a magazine and said, "Ok, I promise you, I won't commit suicide."
Bhakti Grantha Dasa, Yugoslavia
Navina Nirada Dasa, a disciple of Harikesa Swami, has been one of ISKCON's leading book distributors for many years. He is based at the ISKCON temple in Zurich.