High thoughts, high thinking on the front lines
Today was one of my worst days on this trip. Even though I feel that I was kicked around in the fire of sankirtana, or, better yet, by the material energy, still I sit here waiting to meet up with the sankirtan van, drinking a lemon/ginger drink and thinking “Krsna is the taste of water.” Even without effort, I still feel Krsna's presence in my consciousness. But I earlier felt moments of tears behind my eyes when no one was taking books.
While doing my service at the temple in Los Angeles, I feel that my life is simple and comfortable for a single male with few possessions. Still I don't feel as appreciative then, as I do at this moment, for Krsna in my life. I feel embarrassed sometimes, frightened, and alone on the field trying to stop persons engrossed in maya, trying to give them some opportunity to escape the burning fire of material existence. Just as an exit sign can be covered by smoke and be unseen, similarly, no one can see the value of such an opportunity to be free, offered by the sankirtan devotees. So I was feeling that my service to society was just as unwanted today.
While sitting down to read, I felt the presence of gratitude, and glimpses of realization came over me. When out on books or even harinama, I feel like my mind is always seeing Krsna's hand in the mix. How Krsna is arranging everything and yet also doing everything all at once. It is only my will and desire to serve, to be some variable in the service, that is being performed.
I had a discussion with my partner, Ananda Kirtna Prabhu. He was saying how some days he just doesn't feel like going out, and some days he just doesn't know whether this is changing the world the way he would like to see. But then he told me, "I just have a limited perspective on the big picture. Maybe there is a great plan involved with these books going out for mass distribution. Just like Prabhupada says about Communist Russia and how they started communism in other countries with literature. We just need to keep pushing on and getting the books out there. All the services are absolute and all services are important, but Prabhupada stressed this book distribution the most. he said. ”He said, "Whatever service you do, at least continue to distribute books alongside it."
This gave me a lot of insight. It really finally clicked what it means to be a foot soldier in the sankirtana army. It doesn't mean just going by foot, but laying down the foundation for the movement on a greater scale. In fact, we looked up the word pioneer today.
Definition 3: One of a group of foot soldiers detailed to make roads, dig entrenchments, etc. in advance of the main body.
So that fits all of the book distributors. Although book distribution has been going on for forty some years, on a scale of ten thousand years, this is the beginning, laying the foundation of an international movement. This book distribution is not just another service. No service is just another service, but the International Society for Krsna Consciousness is for the welfare of all beings, like the benediction moon. That means not stopping at our own comfort or with our own salvation, but seeing that spiritual presence within everyone and everything and being willing to help others, not just ourselves, realize our eternal position as spiritual living beings: part and parcel of Lord Sri Krishna. That's the engagement of sankirtana, be it harinama, books, or prasada. It is greater to give than it is to receive. That is our true happiness as devotees. That is spiritual life.
Your aspiring servant,
Sri Nitai Dasa