“ I am only one person, but because all of you have kindly cooperated with me, this movement has now become a success all over the world. . . . Even if one does not read the book but simply holds it and sees it, he is benefited.” (Bombay – May 6, 1977)
The staleness of everyday life is transformed into the fresh and exciting ecstasy of the spiritual world by a sense of anticipation that at any moment we could be an instrument of the Lord’s pleasure. For our own benefit, we’re all called to become full-time Sankirtan devotees: ‘kirtaniya sada hari…’
Carrying a few transcendental books with us everywhere we go is the easiest way to give traction and meaning to this prayer of becoming an instrument of Mahaprabhu’s mercy and pleasure.
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