As we so often hear, the marathon never ends. For rather than being an external activity, it is an internal determination to spread Krsna consciousness, by pleasing Srila Prabhupada and seeing that his transcendental books are received by all members of society. In trying to follow this mood, eager to return to the field of battlefield against the illusory energy after being fired up by a retreat and sadhu-sanga, my roommate, Meik, and I headed over to the paradisiacal Waiheke Island, to give literature and prasada to anyone willing to accept.
I used to head over there with my parents from a very young age, as they had a holiday batch there, bought a year prior to my birth. Hence we had a place to stay while distributing books there. Having not returned in at least five or six years, I figured it was worthwhile to find those who would otherwise generally be devoid of devotee association.
Two days after leaving the retreat, our feet hit land, and within an hour we were down at the local markets. We spent most of our time in the center of the town called Oneroa, but also went to a few main beaches, as well as the island's only supermarket.
I met a lady who stood out from the rest. (Short, other nectarean moments occurred, such as the first person who walked past me on the first day and shouted out Haribol!) But this lady, Tasha, definitely took the cake. As she walked past the first time, she recalled that she already received a book. She was stumbling over the words as she recalled: Bha…Bhagavad Gita!
She left, but returned a few minutes later for more discussion. She explained that she had to move her car. As a girl of ten or fifteen, twenty years ago, she came across the devotees in Wellington. She had received prasada (nectar), but her parents had advised her that that she shouldn't trust the devotees. A few years later, after she received a Gita and read it, she noted that she had felt sorry for her parents, because they were critical of such "divine and caring people."
She said she simply is desiring happiness. Seeing behind the veil of the paradise island, her children, wealth, life experiences, traveling, and so on, she was bewildered that she still hadn't attained happiness. Immediately enticed by the title, Hiding In Unnatural Happiness (and already owning SSR, BG & SB1.1), she was saying that she should be wiser with age, but seems to have lost the link to what matters most.
Back to the past, she explained how she had worked in Sydney (as a professional chef) seven years prior and had received prasada at Govinda's many times. Exclaiming with full sincerity that the Hare Krsna food was the best, she added that she had also been accustomed to allowing the harinam party in Sydney to parade through her restaurant on many occasions.
She now could understand that she had been stopped for a reason, as she had acclimatized to the subtle reality that material facilities couldn't produce the satisfaction her soul desired. With the children, and being between jobs, living away from the city and achieving what some might consider the pinnacle of material fruition, she was even eager to somehow preach to her son in a heartfelt way to pursue meditation and discontinue the same path she had aspired for.
Though pictured in the attached photo with one book, she came back again and received another small book and another loft flyer. She gained determination. Hopefully she's flown close enough to the sun to reconsider her travel route.
She was also the last person I stopped over the four-day period before heading home. Krsna is so kind! Just by our being out there, He'll send whoever desires these books the most. Altogether, after four days of steady patience and determination, together we distributed 54 books between the two of us.
This expedition taught me patience, as each day we may have met one or two eager jivas desiring books. Geared with hats and sunblock, we were plummeted with AucKland sunrays, as there was a great lack of shaded areas. We were in the sun for four to five hours on end, and only within the last half hour or hour were the books mostly being distributed.
As we constantly hear from Srila Rupa Goswami in the Upadesamrta, Text 3: Six principles are favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient and so on. With these three qualities, we can be humble instruments and let Lord Caitanya's mercy flow through us without cessation.
Your aspiring servant,
Narayana Rsi Das