Los Angeles SD Newsletter VOL.3, ISSUE 18

Holloween street party



By Candraçekhara Äcärya däs

Srila Prabhupada called his books, "the time bombs." The people buy them, and in due course of time, they explode.

20 years ago, Mr. Ragbir Singh, a current aspiring disciple of His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami, was walking casually down Oxford Street in London. All of a sudden, a charming Western lady dressed in a sari approached him and gave him a "Sri Isopanisad" in exchange for a donation. Mr. Singh never read the book, but he kept it with him and brought it over to Canada when he moved there the following year. This Sri Isopanisad had been sitting on the bookshelf of his home in Vancover for 19 years until one day (11 months ago) he resolved that he should become serious, once and for all, about his spiritual life. He prayed intensely to Hanuman for guidance. In the middle of that same night, Mr. Singh woke up abruptly. Someone or something was telling him to get up from bed. As if guided by this mysterious force, he approached the bookshelf and grabbed, for the first time in 20 years, the "Sri Isopanisad." He read it all throughout the remaining of the night. He could not put the book down. The next morning, after looking for the address of the ISKCON temple in the back of the book, Mr. Singh went to the Burnaby temple. All the while he was carrying the "Sri Isopanisad" close to his chest under his raincoat. As he entered the temple room, a devotee told him that the Deities were closed and that he should come back later. However, he didn't mind because his intention was to prostrate himself in front of Srila Prabhupada's deity. He walked right up to Srila Prabhupada and offered his full obeisances to him, holding the "Sri Isopanisad" to his heart. At that moment he resolved that he would dedicate himself to Srila Prabhupada.

The interesting thing is that during these 20 years, Mr. Singh had occasionally gone to different ISKCON temples and had never paid attention to Srila Prabhupada's murti. Rather, he had always walked directly to the Krsna Deities on the altar and had prayed to them without paying any attention to Srila Prabhupada. But simply by reading Srila Prabhupada's "Sri Isopanisad" for several hours, Mr.Singh instantly developed such admiration for him that he went to the temple wanting only to prostrate himself in front of his murti. This confirms the numerous statements in which Srila Prabhupada said that if someone simply reads his books, there is no doubt that he or she will become a devotee. People are in ignorance, but when they read even a few lines of Srila Prabhupada's books, they immediately awaken. "There is no doubt about it. To distribute books is our most important activity."


By Anadavidya däs

We had a pretty far out experience the other night. Every year in Kent, a famous college town in Ohio, they have a big Holloween street party where they block off the streets for a big gathering of students and local kids all dressed up in costumes and mostly under the influence of alcohol and other substances. It would appear to be one of the most degraded and demoniac events of the year, but by the mercy of Lord Caitanya it set the stage for a completely transcendental sankirtan festival. Devotees from New Vrindavan, Columbus, and Cleveland arrived on the scene with mrdangas, karatals, loudspeaker, and of course, books. There was a huge, ecstatic harinam that went late into the night and many books were distributed also. The amazing thing about Halloween parties is that because everyone is wearing masks and costumes and are under the influence of alcohol they pretty much lose all their normal inhibitions and they dance and chant more freely. So many people joined in and danced in ecstasy. Many even chanted along with the devotees. There were witches, vampires, and various other demoniac entities, and at one point there were even two students dressed up as Hare Krishnas who entered into the harinam. It was great.

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