The possibility for distributing Srila Prabhupada’s own books and the books of His bona fide and talented disciples are unlimitedly immense. And the clever follower will make a lifetime business out of it.
After participating in the wonderfully melodious and musically attractive Tulasi Aratik by HIs Grace Sachikumar Prabhu of ISKCON Mayapur, I arrived before sunrise at the Lamberts Look Out, an elevated rocky promontory overseeing the Pacific Ocean. I said to myself: “What else could I want in life?” This is a perfect situation of Krishna conscious happiness. It was Krishna conscious indeed, as I was chanting my 16 rounds as well i.e. chanting the following mantra 1728 times:
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA
KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA
RAMA RAMA HARE HARE.
Please do not listen to those who deprecate distribution of the Hare Krishna cook books. They have no idea. Not only can Hare Krishna cookbook distribution be the door and key to Prabhupada book distribution but Hare Krishna cookbook will often go where the Prabhupada book is banned, banned for the time being that is, thus effectively establishing an initial contact with Srila Prabhupada’s and Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtan movement. Therefore Hare Krishna cook book distribution can be the first field clearing assault in areas where later there will be innumerable and successful Prabupada books assaults as well. On the 15th June 1969, Srila Pabhupada wrote to Srimatee Krishna Devi the following enlightening words:
“I am pleased to learn that you are thinking of putting together a cookbook of our Krishna prasadam recipes. I understand that in London, Yamuna Dasi has already done some work on this same project, so you may correspond with her in this connection. I know that at our feasts especially many persons become interested in preparing foodstuffs in this way, so this cookbook is a nice thing to instruct such persons in preparing and offering nice prasadam for the Lord. So when there is some tangible book ready for publication, please inform me, and we shall try to arrange for its publication. I am pleased to note your description of the increasing interest in vegetarian diet in this country. Actually, the practice of meat-eating is very detrimental to spiritual life, because in spiritual life the goal is to become free from all sinful reactions, and meat-eating means simply to force oneself to suffer the sinful reactions of killing our fellow living entities. So as many people will be taking to practicing spiritual life through the influence of our Sankirtana Movement, such cookbook will be very important, and you should work for this as you are able. Please convey my blessings to your husband, Dinesh, and to your child, Visnu Arati. I hope this will find you all well.”
It was around 05.00 hours in the Australian fall / winter on the 10th day of May 2020. Gradually the light heralding the arrival of the divine sun appeared and increase from zero percent to one hundred percent, culminating with the appearance of his majesty the sun itself. This, of course, is not an instantaneous process, comparable to the clicking of a computer mouse. It would be catastrophic if this process or any other natural processes were an instant process. I mention this because all too often we are conditioned by this clicking of the mouse and think the whole world must dance at our orders and at the clicking of our computer mouse. Through the observation of natural processes, we can therefore often find proper balance and appropriate pace.
But the best part was to come. As the light increased the number of visitors to the Lamberts Look Out increased as well. This was an unexpected situation. I made however sure to approach everyone and offer a book. The result was quite amazing. One lucky and remarkable loving couple bought a cookbook and a Bhagavad-gita As It Is, hardbound. Modern technology allows instantaneous internet payment from one mobile phone to another. I generally carry softbound Bhagavad-gita As It Is. But this instance made me change my approach. And I shall from now on carry hardbound Bhagavad-gita As It Is as well. I made an appointment with another lady to deliver the book to her nearby home and this was successful sometime later. Everyone who buys a cookbook gets a complimentary copy of Srila Prabhupada’s pamphlet Krishna, the Reservoir of Pleasure. Additionally, I had some constructive philosophical conversations / discussions with some. I even got an excellent and free tip about how to restore the functioning of my diesel engine preheating indicator light of my Toyota Sankirtan van. Prabhupada book distribution has always been for me the source of all material and spiritual improvements.
Caitanya Caritamrta enjoins us to induce people to chant the holy names of God, Krishna, in the form of the Hare Krishna mantra. In most cases, therefore, at the conclusion of our meetings, I ask people to kindly chant the Hare Krishna mantra with me. I chant the mantra in eight parts and I ask them to repeat in eight parts. Most of them are very happy to comply with my request and actually feel satisfaction from the chanting and are happy with the experience. Some of course, will decline for various reasons. But we are not the controller of the result of our activities. Neither are we responsible for the result, as long as we act strictly on Krishna’s account. That is an essential message of the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, In other words, Sri Arjuna was not a killer at all.
CC Madhya 7.101
Such an empowered person would request everyone and anyone—whomever he saw—to chant the holy name of Krishna. In this way all the villagers would also become devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In order to become an empowered preacher, one must be favored by Lord Shri Caitanya Mahäprabhu or His devotee, the Spiritual Master. One must also request everyone to chant the mahä-mantra. In this way, such a person can convert others to Vaishnavism, showing them how to become pure devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
We notice here that an alternative is given. It does not say here that one must be favored by both the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His form as Prema Avatara AND the Spiritual Master. But it says One or the Other’s satisfaction is a sufficient condition. The satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly is, according to our Vaishnava philosophy, not only an impossible task but also an illegal procedure, whereas satisfaction of the Spiritual Master is a very practical and achievable reality. It also brings about automatically the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as per stanza 8 of Gurvastaka by His Divine Grace Srila Vishvanata Cakravarti Thakura, where the essentially transparent medium position of the Spiritual Master is confirmed.
yasya prasädäd bhagavat prasädo
yasyäprasädän na gatih kuto ‘pi
dhyäyan stuvams tasya yashas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh shri-caranäravindam
“By the mercy of the Spiritual Master one receives the benediction of Krishna. Without the grace of the Spiritual Master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the Spiritual Master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my Spiritual Master.”
Of course the Spiritual Master may also decide to bestow His causeless mercy upon us. Then we are even more fortunate. And for those who wonder what is the meaning of the expression “causeless mercy of the Spiritual Master” there is a relevant life story in the dealings of the Super Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada and His disciples. I am referring especially to one instance of exchange between Srila Prabhupada and His disciple Sriman Guru Das, who did ask directly the same question to Srila Prabhupada. This is to be found in the Vedabase.
All or most of Srila Prabhupada’s books have very catchy slogans as titles, such as Matchless Gift, Perfection of yoga and King of Knowledge etc etc… Srila Prabhupada is without a doubt, the most accomplished and effective marketing manager in the world. But in the pamphlet Krishna, Reservoir of Pleasure, page five, there is a wonderful picture of a pensive Srila Prabhupada holding his chin. We like to remember Srila Prabhupada in this way, as the most influential brahmana the world has seen for a very long time in the past and into the future.
My point is that the book distributor must always be ready 24 / 365 at a few seconds’ notice, just like the soldier in wartime must always have his armament ready to fire. Often, in fact, the window of opportunity lasts only for a few minutes or even a few seconds. It is the duty of the intelligent and alert book distributor to always be ready for the opportunity, to spot and gauge the opportunity, and finally to actually take advantage of the opportunity. Whence my title idea:
Better become one with your fully filled up Hare Krishna book bag. That kind of oneness is not only allowed but also recommended for the successful accomplishment of one’s book distribution duties.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of ISKCON, Founder of BBT and BTG and His distinguished worldwide family of Hare Krishna devotees!