FOR MANY YEARS members of the Hare Krsna movement around the world have gone out daily to distribute Srila Prabhupada's books. These devotees want to give everyone the chance to learn the transcendental knowledge contained in the Vedic literature. Many people have come to Krsna consciousness simply because they met such a dedicated devotee who presented Prabhupada's books with enthusiasm and conviction.
But why should only devotees living full time in temples distribute books? Book distribution is not a service limited only to them. In many spiritual organizations, members of the congregation do most of the work of passing out books and spreading the message in other ways. Just imagine the effect of all ISKCON temple devotees and congregation members taking part in distributing books.
As a member if ISKCON's congregation, you can distribute books anywhere, in any community. You may start small, but your every effort is most valuable.
The Centennial Year offers a special opportunity to give Prabhupada's books to our friends, to other people we know, or to whomever we meet. To gain inspiration in this service, we can commit ourselves to one or more of the following programs:
1. One book a day – To distribute 366 books in 1996.
2. One day a week – To go out one day a week to distribute books.
3. World Enlightenment Day – Organizers of the Srila Prabhupada Centennial have designated December 14 as the day for everyone to distribute Prabhupada's books. It could be the biggest book distribution event ever.
4. Srila Prabhupada Marathon – Each December devotees in ISKCON make special efforts to distribute large numbers of Prabhupada's books. You can take part.
During last December's marathon ISKCON's Radha-Gopinatha temple in Chowpatty, Mumbai (Bombay), had tremendous success in increasing book distribution. How? The members of the congregation took a big part in making it happen. Some gave books as gifts, some sold books to friends, some sold books door to door, some paid for books that others distributed. Some sold books from stalls at railway stations and other prominent locations. Some passed out books in their offices or persuaded their clients to buy books to give to employees or business associates. Some did service in the temple to free other devotees to go out.
Here are two examples of congregation members who distributed books while tending to their regular duties:
Sakhi Sarana Dasa. He inspired a man who owns a cloth shop to take five hundred Bhagavad-gitas, to be given free to any customer who bought a certain amount from his shop.
Madhupriya Devi Dasi. She is a devotee from the congregation, a housewife with three small children. She became the top book distributor for the temple simply by going out every evening and selling Prabhupada's books in crowded places.
If you'd like to distribute Prabhupada's books, inform the president of your local temple. He'll be happy to guide and encourage you in this important service of helping people by giving them the highest knowledge.
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.