I must have met the owner of Lady Bird boutique several times over the last years. This time she was comfortably seated between two rows of merchandise and performing what seemed to me some kind of a stock take, when I approached her from behind and handed her a copy of Rajesvari Devi’s excellent and popular “With Love” cookbook. She looked at it carefully and on the whole spend quite a bit of time on the event.
Then she took my portfolio and examined it page after page to which I have no objections. When we arrived at the picture of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and after giving relevant information about Bhagavd Gita As It is, she demanded to see Bhagavad-Gita As Is It. It fetched a copy from my Sankirtan van.
She was then standing behind the shop counter and read the first verse and purport of chapter four, titled “Transcendental Knowledge.” I was wrongly assuming that she was going to buy Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and after some minutes she decided that it was not for her.
Twice she said she didn’t need another cookbook and she also had to serve her own customer, which added some tension to the exchange as the clock keeps ticking in all circumstances. She ended up choosing Kurma Prabhu’s “World Vegetarian Food” along with a complimentary copy of “Reservoir of Pleasure” by Srila Prabhupada and admitted that she had already purchased Great Vegetarian Dishes from the health food shop previously.
During the chat several points came up.
For example she asked me why onions are tamasic or in the mode of ignorance.
When I mentioned offering the bhoga to Lord Krishna she mentioned that her sister had a child with a foot deformity. With a view to get relief from the bodily abnormality, this lady regularly offered food to some deity and obtained full satisfaction. She could not however remember the identity of the deity but I thought this was quite a revealing story.
This seems to be confirmed in the Bhagavad-Gita as It Is 4.12: ” Men in this world desire success in fruitive activities, and therefore they worship the demigods. Quickly, of course, men get results from fruitive work in this world.”
She had practiced transcendental meditation for some time and I am confident that in the future she will buy Bhagavad-Gita As It Is.
Lately I have also been meeting people who somehow or other had some connection with the Hare Krishna movement and who generally greet me with “Haribol”. First there was a lady whose ex husband used to have a close affiliation with an ISKCON temple. Then a brightly smiling guy in Hastings Street, Noosa, spontaneously greeted me with “Haribol”. He used to frequent the Henley St. Adelaide temple.
The third instance was another lady who personally used to frequent the Graceville (Brisbane) temple in the nineties. She stated that she needs to buy some neckbeads. I met Madan Gopal Prabhu’s niece who runs a flower shop. She qualified it as “the dream of her life”. Happy are those people whose dreams come true sooner or later.
Finally I met Tallula, an enthusiastic and generous young lady who loves Hare Krishna and prasadam. Of all preparations she likes kofta balls most. She purchased Quick Vegetarian Dishes by Kurma Prabhu where in the section “Savouries and finger foods”, the recipe “Kofta in tomato sauce” can be found on page 132 and accepted her complimentary copy of “Krishna, the Reservoir of Pleasure” by Srila Prabhupada. Jai Sri Krishna!