May 31 2019, late afternoon. All of a sudden I was in front of the butcher’s. It was a back row of shops on the glorious Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. I am saying glorious because in my humble estimation, there are here very many nice people, who could well become Krishna conscious devotees under proper cultivation. There is here already, in this lovely small town, HG Suvilasa Devi Dasi, an initiated disciple of His Holiness Devamrta Swami, who conducts since several years a steady and successful first and second hand book shop cum cafe. All glories to her divine service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and her Guru Maharaja!
There was only the butcher’s and an empty shop next door.
I thought: “Well today I am not going to offer the butcher a vegan or vegetarien cookbook.” and took the Bhagavad gita As It Is, hard bound copy, from my left carrying hand into my right hand in preparation for the Sankirtan aggression.
In letter 750730Let.Jagaddhatri,Pasupati,Sailogata&PamelainDallas, Srila Prabhupada writes:
“My Dear Daughters:
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated July 29, 1975 and have noted the contents. Regarding the problem of how to be aggressive on Sankirtana and submissive in the temple, my request to you is that you should go on being aggressive on Sankirtana. I myself was aggressive in coming to your country. No one invited me. Even you boys and girls did not invite me. But, I came and I preached aggressively, and therefore you are now my disciples. So now you well know you have to approach the men and women of your country, and it may appear that superficially that you have to disturb them. They are doing their business peacefully, and you come and disturb them, “Please take this Krishna book.”
Of course it is good that you are concerned about being chaste, shy, and submissive amongst your God-brothers. Canakya Pandit said that every man should see all other women as mother, and similarly a woman should see all men as son. So what is your difficulty? If you are completely aggressive on Sankirtana, there should be no material aggressiveness and pride remaining. You have to distinguish between devotees and non-devotees.
Aggression for the cause of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is pure. If you become completely absorbed in such aggression to spread the Sankirtana Movement, there will be no question of wanting to lord it over in the temple. Preaching purifies us of these material tendencies for sense gratification. It is simply a matter of time that you will see this. Do not worry. Krishna will help you.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
As paradoxical as it may sound, I often offer a vegan or vegetarian cookbook to the butchers I come across. And even more paradoxical, they often respond positively by accepting to buy such book, if not for themselves, then for a vegan-or-vegetarian-cookbook-needy relative or friend. As I entered the premises, the butcher was in front of the counter (customer side) and I had the chance to engage him immediately. He was young too.
Good day Sir, how are you today?
This is Bhagavad-gita As It Is, a five thousand year old book, spoken by Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, on the battlefield of Kurukshetra and presented by His special envoy, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (New York, 1966) and Founder of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and Back to Godhead magazine as well.
Kurukshetra, in the state of Haryana, is situated about 150 km north of New Dehli, India, on the way to Chandigar, where there is a very wonderful Hare Krishna ISKCON temple, well worth a visit and a nice donation.
Because it was a battlefield, millions of people died in 18 days.
It was a kind of a world war, because all the different kings, along with their armies from different parts of the world had assembled on the battlefield of Kurukshtra and sided with one party or the other. From God’s or Krishna’s perspective, it was an occasion to annihilate completely the multitude of armed forces unnecessarily created by these independent and belligerent minded kings. In those days war was restricted to the ksatriya class or the warrior class. Nowadays, because everyone is sinful and freely transgresses the laws of God, Krishna, everyone suffers heavily in war time.
Today we have a very similar situation around the globe. 195 or so proud countries in the world are profusely diverting states resources into heavy, expensive and deadly armies.
For the purpose of this article, the above is indeed an embellished version of my presentation. The following is verbatim though:
So there was blood, lots of blood, tonnes of blood, rivers of blood!!!
Being a butcher you like blood don’t you???
And Sir please note: it was not animal blood, as in your case.
It was HUMAN BLOOD. Lots of it.
The butcher’s reply was brief and something like:
O, that sounds good to me.
I’ll have a copy.
How much is it?
And the exchange of money and Bhagavad-gita As It Is, hard bound, took place immediately at full retail price. There was no haggling whatsoever.
One female attendant was gazing at him with a surprised look on her face.
When I left the shop, I was flabbergasted myself at what just happened and what I had just discovered by Sri Krishna’s grace.
Due to their slaughtering a multitude of animals, butcher’s may have a heavy karma, but more often than not, they are enthusiastically engaging in the Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtan mission. Some kind of generosity is present in the butchers, which can be engaged in Lord Caitanya’s service. Because this butcher made a conscious decision to acquire Lord Krishna’s and Srila Prabhupada’s words, he was indeed a super special butcher! We even have a God-brother who used to be a butcher in his pre-devotional life. So let us give all butchers Lord Caitanya’s mercy unhesitatingly and let Krishna sort out karma matters. Our business is NOT to judge. We are NOT divinely appointed judges. Our duty and divine mission is to spread Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtan mercy with an equal mind. And let Sri Krishna and His appointed representative sort out karma matters.
All glories to Lord Caitanya’s divine Sankirtan mission! All glories to Srila Prabhupada, Lord Caitanya’s representative for the next ten thousand years!