Srila Prabhupada's Brand

Recently the congregation from CBD Belapur (a suburb of Mumbai) began harinama-sankirtana after the weekly evening program.  I was ecstatic as book distribution becomes easier during the harinama-sankirtana. But the first day I was thinking, “Will it be a good idea as it is already 8 pm and people are in mode of ignorance? Will anyone take books now?”

I heard my heart’s voice, “Try to serve Srila Prabhupada.” I fought hard to overcome the lethargy and fear and prayed to Srila Prabhupada, “Please take me to people who are waiting for your books.” The next hour did lead me to some needy ones.

Three young men in their late twenties were chit-chatting oblivious to the world as I approached them. One of them was drunk but I could not make out who it was as they were all quite balanced. I handed one Laws of Nature to one of them and started telling about the book. Other fellow interrupted me, “Have you heard of Alcoholism to Non-alcoholism?”

“No,” I replied.

He seemed disappointed. “I attend their programs. They help me,” he said. “Your sect is mythology, right?”

“No,” I said, “it is based on history, not mythology.”

 He was completely stunned.

“I am sorry,” I continued, “but I have not heard of your organization. When Srila Prabhupada, author of this book started ISKCON in US, he had many visitors who took drugs and alcohol, but after becoming followers, they turned into saintly persons. Big change, isn’t it?”

They seemed mellowed down. They took books and we thanked each other, and I gave them an invitation for weekly program.

A hundred meters down the lane, when the sankirtana party took a turn, I noticed a boy in early twenties sitting sadly on the side. I
approached him.

“Can you tell me why I am going through this?” he asked. “I just broke up with my girlfriend and I am feeling great pain.”

“You cannot have everything in this world, dear,” I encouraged him and showed some books. He took one and asked for another one. He had only Rs. 50 but still he took two books worth Rs. 45. He began reading the contents. Suddenly his phone rang. He picked it. “Where are you? OK I am coming in two minutes.” He rose with twinkling eyes. “She wants to be back.”

He gave credit for immediate relief to Krishna as it happened soon after he touched the books. He gave me his phone number and asked me to invite him for seminars. I wished him luck. I thought he might face the same thing again but now he has Srila Prabhupada with him to support him. I pray that he gets shelter at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.

The sankirtana party now was back in the program hall. I too headed there where I saw a man waiting for his girlfriend outside a hostel. “Should I approach him?” I thought, “Or is it enough for the day?” Before I could reach him, he was joined by his girlfriend. Finding it more difficult now, I thought of not giving a try. But again my heart pushed me, “Go ahead. Give a try. No harm in asking.” I did so. He patiently asked me about the books. “I am interested in spiritual books.” Although his girlfriend was not too positive, by Krishna’s mercy she didn’t object. After knowing that the books are from ISKCON he bought three books. I was again reminded that it is Srila Prabhupada’s brand that works.

Though only a few books were distributed, I was happy at the end to have heard the call of my heart. I thanked Prabhupada for the joyful experience.