As usual, this particular Monday, I went to Mangal aratik at ISKCON Brisbane. In Vaishnavism, Mangal Aratik is the first temple ceremony of the day and is generally held at 4.30 AM. In the yoga discipline, early rise is essential. 4 AM is the deadline. It helps to overcome the three modes of material nature. In the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, chapter 2, text 45, Lord Krishna says;
“The Vedas deal mainly with the subject of the three modes of material nature. O Arjuna, become transcendental to these three modes. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in the self.”
I did not immediately realize that I had locked myself out of my Sankirtan van, as I had forgotten the keys in the ignition lock. Neither did I realize that this was in fact Krishna’s special plan to bless the employee of the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland with two pieces of Krishna conscious literature. Krishna confirms in Bhagavad-Gita As It Is 15.15: “mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca, ..from Me comes remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.”
I usually carry a second or even a third vehicle key, just to be able to easily solve such a situation quickly, with my own resources. As I had just acquired this vehicle however, the only key available was now stuck in the ignition lock. I had no alternative but to call the RACQ and possibly wait 60 minutes for the arrival of the break down van.
Membership of such clubs always proves itself extremely useful in difficult situation and always represents good value. The marketing slogan is “RACQ, wouldn’t want to be without it”. That is true, literally! These are qualified and courteous mechanics, who are often prepared to go over and above the call of duty. So the man came and got me out of trouble in less than a minute. Suddenly he said: “I am a vegetarian”. I almost could not believe my ears to hear such a proactive and favorable statement at six o’clock in the morning. I immediately showed him 7 vegetarian cookbooks, four Kurma cookbooks, “Egg-free Cakes”, Adiraja Prabhu’s publication and the “Higher Taste”. He did not carry enough money for “World Vegetarian Food”, so I gave him a discounted “Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking” and a complimentary copy of “Renunciation through Wisdom” by Srila Prabhupada. I said: “This is the Brisbane Hare Krishna temple.” He replied: ”I know I was here the other day. Someone had a flat battery.” He also confided that he lives with his daughter and that is daughter is a vegetarian. But that over the years he had sometimes given up the vegetarian life style. This comment is made often and here we see the power of association. One tends to merge with one’s association and it is Srila Prabhupada’s plan to give the whole world the best possible association through His institution, The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, a huge but not impossible task. I discovered that he lived not very far from the temple. I therefore invited him to come to the temple anytime at his convenience and especially to the Saturday Love Feast. I also gave him one of my pamphlets, which prominently displays the great Hare Krishna maha mantra of deliverance:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
This was my first sale of the day and it was 6 AM. Let us always agree to be puppets in the Lord’s hands. All glories to Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of Iskcon, Institutor of the BBT and Founder of BTG magazine!