It was a community Studio Gallery and Friday July 5th 2013, while “doing” the town, I did notice the Gallery and intended to visit. But somehow or other I forgot. Even though stationed about 20 km from this small town for a physically relaxing and recuperating weekend, I happened to pass the same Studio Gallery again on Saturday morning, past the “Rama-da” Hotel. This time I went in and there was Judith, a 78-year-old lady, caretaker for the day. We talked about philosophy. She volunteered that she had studied philosophy one full year in Sydney, some time ago etc, etc… and had some Buddhist affiliations. Then, after presenting BGAII, I made the decisive step: “Why don’t you please buy a copy of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is?” To my surprise, she simply said:” Yes, I think this is what I ought to do. This is a good idea” After checking her mode of payment, I went to my Sankirtan van and fetched a copy of BGAII for Judith.
The whole exchange was just perfectly smooth. From both side, it was a perfectly understood conversation. It was not one of those conversations were the interlocutors make their respective points without caring much for the feedback from the other side. It was a constructive and enjoyable conversation and culminated in the sale of BGAII.
Srila Prabhupada’s slogan is: “Utility is the principle”. When the book distributor therefore talks, he talks with the sole purpose in mind of selling book (s) to the recipient, even though that may entails talking about many different subject matters to many persons with different interests. He does not talk for the sake of talking, nor does he talk to show off his meager knowledge, as the neophytes sometimes do. As soon as the book distributor realizes that the interlocutor will not buy the book, it is his duty to politely break the relationship and immediately resume his search for the next candidate. There is no room for sense gratification. There is no spare time to waste and there are an unlimited number of candidates. The conversation that culminates in the sale of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, certainly represents the perfection of conversation. Who will dispute the fact? Please put your argument.
With no intentional flattery, I said to her that she was a wise lady. She replied in a humble manner and with a smile: “You know, I have been around for a while now.” Humility is a sign of knowledge. Socrates used to say: ”I know that I do not know.” And BGAII 13.8-12 confirms:” Humility; pridelessness; nonviolence; tolerance; simplicity; approaching a bona fide spiritual master; cleanliness; steadiness; self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification; absence of false ego; the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; detachment; freedom from entanglement with children, wife, home and the rest; even-mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me; aspiring to live in a solitary place; detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization; and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth—all these I declare to be knowledge, and besides this whatever there may be is ignorance.”
In contrast to her body, and to my own body for that matter, there were absolutely no signs of old age in this godly lady’s mind. Because she honestly admitted that she was not quite sure what happens after death, I clearly advised her to particularly read the second chapter of BGAII about the eternality of the soul.
“I am glad that you are reading Bhagavad-gita. Try to do this regularly. Chapter 2 is very important because it explains that we are not this body, that we are spirit soul, part and parcel of God. One has to have this preliminary understanding if he is to advance in spiritual life.” 751110let.Nyamiaka
If I would have entered the building on Friday, I would have never met Judith and she would have not gotten a copy of BGAII, which just came into her life at the right time. But obviously the plan of the Lord was totally different and He again had clearly manipulated me from the heart. BGAII 15.15:” I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedänta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.”
In the material world, we are often manipulated and the result may not always be in our best interest, but spiritual Krishna-manipulation is welcome and represents a very special kind of blessing from the Lord. Let us pray and act in such a way that Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, more and more chooses to use us for His divine plans and purposes.
“The real identity of the living entity is that he is eternally servant of God. We should not understand this word servant in the meaning of materialistic servant. TO BECOME SERVANT OF GOD IS A GREAT POSITION. That is not ordinary position. Just like people try to get some government servitorship. Government service. That is also servant, to become servant. Why? Or people try to get some service in some established firm, well-reputed business firm. Why? That service is comfortable, there is great profit in such kind of service. So if people are satisfied by getting a government service or service in some good establishment, then just think over if you become servant of God then what is your position? Because God is the government of all government. So to become servant of God… We are servant of God constitutionally. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, jivera svarupa haya nitya-krishna-dasa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109].”
I informed her that I may write and publish about our encounter and she did not raise any objections. My last words to her were:” It was a pleasure meeting you, Judith. Hare Krishna.”
Later on I understood that Krishna had another reason for bringing me here, as I noticed farther an unusually high number of motor vehicles parked on the side of the roads. Unknown to me, there was a Saturday morning market in full swing and on church grounds, which proved to be a good field for book distribution. Whatever the denomination, church grounds means pious background after all. Unfortunately some members of the management committee, excluding Madam President, who accepted a copy of Higher Taste, did not appreciate my presence and after a good deal of book distribution, I was asked to leave. At that point of time, I believe Krishna had already achieved His purposes. Another lady had commented previously: ”Go to USA.” She did not say: ”Go back to USA”, as if I were an uprooted American. She just said, “Go to USA”. Is it that my style is so Unaustralian?” Or is this an indication of my future Krishna-destiny?
All glories to His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Pabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Institutor of The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and Lord Krishna’s pure representative for the next ten thousand years!