A little help from everyone’s best friend
Five years ago, I did book distribution in Budapest in one of my favorite sankirtan spots, called “Stop Shop,” a posh shopping center. During the last week of the Srila Prabhupada marathon, I wanted to do BIG, especially because Sivarama Swami, my beloved guru, was at the temple. Every night he was waiting for us to return. He personally asked everyone, “How was your day?”
On one of my most difficult days ever in my life, around 5 p.m., I had only two more hours to go. I had done practically no books and had nothing in my pocket. This had gone on for four hours. Everyone was running away from me. People were shouting at me, sending me to hell, telling me to get a job, being harsh, and NO ONE TOOK A BOOK AND GAVE.
I was upset. So finally, having no other hope, I wrote a text to my Guru Maharaja, begging for his mercy. He immediately answered. He sent me a darshan picture of Shyamasundara (from the Krishna Valley altar). Shyama had an amazingly beautiful, huge turban in purple and blue colors.
Maharaja wrote: “I made this turban for Shyama. You must meditate on this turban while approaching people and keep the turban on your mind and project it to them. That will mesmerize them, and they will take books.”
It was an amazing instruction. I started to memorize the turban’s colors, what flowers were on it, and so on. When I had remembered it, I went to the first person. He was sitting in a big Mercedes. He was around sixty, and a girl next to him, his daughter. The window was closed, so I went there smiling, waving, and most importantly meditating on the turban and projecting it on the man. He looked out of the window and seriously made the gesture with his hands: NO!
I was now meditating on the turban more strongly, with an even bigger smile, and I asked him to open the window. Finally he started to laugh and opened the window. Keeping the image of the turban in mind, I explained to him what I wanted. He took out a 20,000 HUF note (around 60 EUR) and gave it to me saying: “I don’t want a book, but use this for your good activities.”
I inmediately started to beg him to please take a hard-cover Gita, but he said he was not interested and started to close the window. At that moment his phone rang, and his ringtone was the famous Beatles song: “All You Need Is Love”.
When he finished the call, I cried out, “You like the Beatles!”
He said, “Of course.”
“So please wait here!”
I ran to my trolley and brought a beautiful Krishna book to him. I showed him George Harrison’s words, ending with “All You need is love (Krishna).”
The man laughed again and happily accepted the book. I asked for his contact info and spoke about Krishna Valley, our farm, and invited him.
He promised to come the next year. This was the beginning of a wonderful friendship!
In Janurary I invited my new friend, called István, to the temple and fed him maha-prasadam and showed him the temple. I learned that he owns the most successful private business university in the country. And he is also one of our country’s most successful businessmen. He is a billionaire (a millionaire in euros).
I kept up a relationship with him, and he started to give nice donations every year before Christmas and sometimes visited us. Two years passed, and in 2017 before Christmas I invited Istvan to the temple. He came, but he was very sad. He explained that his wife moved away from him and wants a divorce.
I promised him that I would pray to Krishna to help and ask Krsna whether He wants to help them fix their relationship. The next April, I invited Istvan to Krshna Valley for our cow festival, and he came with his wife, Katalin. István said that after six months, this was the first time that he’d met his wife, because she was interested in Krishna Valley.
During the two-hour drive, they argued so much that they wanted to turn back. But finally they reached the farm. They loved everything. Kati was mostly interested in organic gardening and natural living, while István was interested in meditation and philosophy.
To their great surprise, they met Astasaki Mataji, our head pujari, who had been a good friend of István’s for more than thirty years, so they had a lovely talk about Krishna consciousness.
A few weeks later, István called me and happily said that His relationship with his wife was fixed and she had moved back in with him. They were very happy together again.
He said, “The tipping point was that we finally found something that we both appreciated: Krishna Valley. We were so happy there. You know Mohana, Krishna saved my marriage. I’m eternally indebted to Him and to you.”
After this István started to come to the temple every one or two months, happy to eat prasada and talk and listen to kirtan with closed eyes.
In the same year, before Christmas, I asked István and Kati to come to the temple, and I introduced them to the service called Nitya Seva, or sponsoring a day of worship for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha-Syamasundara in Krishna Valley for the next 10,000 years. I explained that we will invest
their donation in real estate, and the yearly interest from the donation will maintain the worship on the day that they choose.
I also explained our philosophy of watering the root of the tree, which is beneficial for all.
Kati said, “Till now I gave donations to charities with the idea to help others, but what you are saying is that if i give for this, it will also be good for me, right? I like this!”
Istvan said: “You know, Mohan, to be honest with you, I’m an atheist. But I like what you devotees do, so I want to support you.”
They sent 14,000 euros and chose April 15th as their Nitya-Seva day, the day when they came to Krishna Valley for the first time and Krishna saved their marriage.
Last year before Christmas, I met István and explained that our Hungarian Food for Life foundation was in trouble, because we lost 75% of our governmental support. I asked him to help. He became enthusiastic and promised not just that he will support FFL regularly every year but he will
approach his richest friends to become regular donors.
“It’s my personal responsibility now,” he said.
He started his fundraising mission last December. He even visited the mayor of the district where our Budapest temple is and asked him to give FFL a building. We have also discussed that during the coming year we will go to business people together as a team and collect all the financial needs of FFL.
So the story has not ended. It will continue, and I’m sure it will have a happy ending.
Please, dear devotees, bless Kati and István and all the souls we try to serve by connecting them to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, and give Your blessings to me as well to be able to continue my service and one day become a real devotee.
Srila Prabhupada, ki jaya!