I actually never do this!!! The other day I had to go shopping super late at night for some school supplies and I stopped for gas on the way. I had just woken up from an unexpected nap, was still half-asleep… I wasn’t in a social mood. I was wearing a baggy sweatshirt, wasn’t exactly considering to dress to represent the the entire Gaudiya Vaisnava movement… I just wanting to rush to Gainesville, get my stuff, and come back. At the gas station, the cashier asked me if I was Indian. I gave an unenthusiastic “Uh huh…” not sure where this was going. He wanted to ask about where the best place for Indian food in town was. Of course, I said there’s this hidden gem in Alachua only about 15 mins from here, and every sunday theres the best Indian food ever! Best part, it’s free. I proceeded to invite him to our Hare Krishna farm, and left smiling, to go fill gas (I had to pay cash inside first). After he helped some customers, he followed me outside!! He asked me if I was vegetarian, and told me he had been trying for years but just couldn’t. I replied, “it’s all about having the right recipes!” while internally cursing myself for not having a higher taste book on hand. Sure enough, the next thing asked was “Do you have a recipe book?” I felt sad… And rummaged through my trunk. I found a Krsna reservoir of pleasure pamphlet and Spiritual Yoga. I gave those to him, and promised to return with a cook book (and a Gita). This all happened over a week ago. Things got busy.. anyway, today I had books, and in my way back from grocery shopping, I stopped by to see if James was on his shift. Sure enough, there he was with bright eyes as a smile recognition lit up his face! I told him all about the Gita, gave him higher taste, reminded him another the Sunday Feast, and finally, asked him if he believes in the power of prayer. Of course he does! What a spiritual man!! So we chanted together, and I spoke briefly on the Holy Name. I have no deep realizations to share, but I can say that chanting it every day grounds me and prepares me for the day, and that a tangible difference can be felt. James was over the moon!!! I am normally timid, and though I love to go on Sankirtan, usually I assist quietly, hold book bags, keep count, and smile. I never do this!!! My car license plate says NITAI and I feel honored and amazed that the Lord let me be His Divine instrument today. Little grungy timid me… I’m wearing loose bleh comfy but unattractive clothes cos I wasn’t feeling great. I look like a slob but James is so ripe he approached me, asked the questions, and asked for books!!! His life is forever changed. May he never forget Krishna. Oh, and I also happened to have Maha cookies from Krishna Balarama in my purse that I gave him. He was overjoyed. It’s amazing, because even if I am shy, I can feel confident thinking, It’s not me!! It’s Nitai, and I’m just speaking his message, but it’s not my own thing! And I feel confident, and happy to share. I hope I can always keep my NITAI car stocked with books and Maha for hungry Jivas! On behalf of my spiritual master, and the Panca Tattva, I am honored to be an instrument in Their divine Lila. Jaya Nitai!!! Param Vijayate Sri Krsna Sankirtan! Christmas marathon 2018 Ki Jaya!
Last December I was seeing off Bhakta Ozo before he drove back to Grand Rapids. Somehow I was carrying a few Spanish books with me and he is a native Spanish speaker. In the parking lot we both noticed a hispanic guy working to break down cardboard outside a dumpster. Seeing him I suddenly understood why I happened to have a few Spanish books with me.
We both ran to the guy and explained to him the importance of the books. He happily took the books and gave a donation on square. He especially made a point to let us know he would share the spiritual knowledge we’d discussed with his family.
Thank you very much for your sincere endeavours to distribute my books widely. If you continue with such desire and determination, Krishna will give you all strength to increase more and more. – Letter to: Srutadeva, Bombay, 16 January, 1975.
Written on palm leaves, a letter from Narottam Das Thakura to Srila Jiva Goswami contains the annual book distribution scores for the year ending on Gaura Purnima of Shaka 1501 (AD 1579):
- Bhagavatam with Vaishnava Toshani – 6
- Jnanadas’s songs – 23
- Govinda Dasa’s songs – 19
- Narottam Dasa’s Prarthana – 11
- Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu – 1
- Chaitanya Bhagavata – 22
- Lochan Dasa’s Chaitanya Mangal – 6
- Hari bhakti-vilasa – 1
- Murari Gupta’s kardaca – 1
- Bhagavatam – 2
- Jnanadas’s songs – 21
- Prarthana – 56
- Chaitanya Bhagavata – 45
- Chaitanya-candramrita – 5
- Vasu Ghosh’s Gauranga-padavalis – 34
- Bhagavatam – 4
- Jnanadas’s songs – 10
- Govinda Dasa’s songs – 11
- Other songs – 34
- Narottam Dasa’s Prarthana – 16
- Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu – 5
- Ujjvala-nilamani – 1
- Chaitanya Bhagavata – 25
- Chaitanya-chandramrita – 15
- Vasu Ghosh’s Gauranga-padavalis – 14
Narottama Thakur concludes his letter with the following emotional comment:
“Until we are able to develop another type of technology to print the books, due to the difficulty involved in creating books by hand (which is being neglected), most of our book distribution program will be postponed. We are sure that one day some magnanimous person will come and will develop the movement of ecstatic love of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, distributing books all over the world. Until then, what will we — persons who are poor, bereft and abominable — do?
“What is the benefit of discussing the stories of the Lord’s incarnations, worshiping the Lord’s Deities, giving musical recitations of the Lord’s pastimes, chanting the Lord’s holy names on beads, etc., when we have such small scores