Getting books and surrendering to Krishna without reading them
While visiting the Kolkata temple, I met another devotee visiting the temple, who told me about the interesting way in which he joined.
He’s from Algeria. As a young man visiting London in 1977, he would see the devotees, and they would sell books to him, which he wouldn’t read.
But he would take them to the youth hostel and give them to the young people there. Sometimes he would find our books lying around the city, and he would pick them up and bring them back to the hostel and give them to the youth.
He never read the books, but he’d give them to people. And he would even follow the devotees around when they went on harinam, just tagging along with them, because he liked being around them.
While in London, he met another African man, from Morocco. They would visit bars and dance halls to enjoy life.
Once, the man from Algeria found that some of his valuable things were missing, and he discerned that it was his so-called friend from Morocco who had stolen them. The Moroccon denied it, but it looked clear, so the Algerian called the police.
When the police came, they told him to take them where the Morrocon stayed. He did, and the police found that he was a big thief. They found so many stolen things, and they arrested him and took him to the police station. There he told the police that the man from Algeria was also a thief, that they were partners, though it wasn’t true. So the police took him in, too.
They were in jail for months, and finally the young man from Algeria took shelter of Krsna, begging for mercy. Shortly after that he was released. He went straight to the temple and surrendered to Krsna. He’s still a devotee, forty-one years later.
What an amazing example of someone distributing books before ever reading them and then deciding to join before reading them.
His name is Gaura Bhakta Dasa. He lives in France, and has been there for the past 40 years, so he also went through a lot in France.