People in Hamilton getting the books
I've been in Hamilton for the second time, as our Mantra Lounge here is flourishing. The atmosphere is vastly different to that of Auckland: less rushed, a thinner populace, but intriguing individuals nonetheless.
I met on two occasions, two individuals attending rehab and recovering from addictions. One from alcohol, the other from synthetic marijuana. Both related how their search for spiritual matters had been kindled after distressful experiences overwhelmed them.
I mentioned how it tends to be a common theme that one realizes the futility of material, temporary satisfaction and then inquires into deeper topics.
One had already delved into meditation, the other sought genuine relationships and a high that never comes down. The first took a Gita the other a Hiding in Unnatural Happiness.
The next day I crossed paths with a middle-aged man of Fiji-Indian descent. Considering he most likely owned a Gita, I showed him the First Canto and tactfully explained its contents, while getting to know him.
He told me that he owns all the books already, but he was looking for one book: the Krsna book. Somehow during his move to New Zealand from Fiji, his Krsna book had been misplaced. He had been seeking it out in Hamilton to no avail, so he had resorted to hearing the pastimes on audio. Very sweet gentleman. I just happened to have them so he purchased both volumes of the timeless classic.
On the way home that day, I met an elderly lady on a casual walk, someone who comes into the Hamilton city area only once a year. She explained how she had been performing meditation for forty years as a daily practice. Familiar with mantra meditation & ISKCON, she happily purchased a Gita to add to her plethora of other books at home.
The next day, Atma-Dharma and I were casually exploring Hamilton to see what interesting people we'd come across, and I pointed out a small shop named Hamilton's Spiritual Centre. Considering that the people may be “hippie minded,” I was of two minds about it, but hoping that the Supersoul was guiding me, I went inside.
To my pleasant surprise, two elderly ladies were volunteering while the owner was away. One was a reiki healer, with a guru in New Zealand who comes from India. She has read a different version of the Bhagavad Gita.
Explaining the theme that purity is the force, I described why ours has the title As It Is.
She happily gave a donation, eager to learn more through Srila Prabhupada's transcendental wisdom and association. (I later found out that the lady who taught her Reiki is a regular guest at the Mantra Lounge).
A younger lady had also been present from the start of our conversation, tuning in to the nectar. She explained that her parents had been devout Jehovah's Witnesses, and she had found it inspiring in youth, but had withdrawn as the years went on. Sensing our genuine desire to spread universal wisdom, she, too, was eager to delve deeper in spiritual wisdom. She was excited to grab a Gita and the First Canto.
What amazed me most about this place as I surveyed the room was that the bottom shelf of a bookcase was entirely filled with Srila Prabhupada's books. They had been there for years, giving his association to the workers for a while.
Please find attached a photo of the books in the store.
Going out a few days later, I saw a young lady approaching the local mall on crutches. Asking her what happened, I heard a reaffirmation of the plights of Kali Yuga.
Named Grace, she had been attending a workmate's birthday a few weeks prior. Still new to the workplace, only having been there a month, she was the new girl on the block. Unfortunately, someone had figured it was a bright idea to spike her drink. The proceeding events are a blur to her memory, but she ended up somehow falling from a two storey window, plummeting to the ground, landing on her feet and but injuring her back. She had been concerned whether to continue working at the same location, without knowing the culprit.
Enthusiastic about meditation, having a notion of not being the body, and being a generally social person, she thankfully took a Gita with her on her way. Her picture is also attached.
Last, on the way home that same day, I met a young man from Turkey close to my age. I don't meet many Turkish people. He told me about his traveling journey.
I presented the book, and in a good spirit he replied that he wasn't a reader and wasn't the best at reading English. Still, he courteously opened the book to flip through it. The first page he landed on was the picture depicting karma, with the bull and man and axe. Within thirty seconds he said that he wanted the book to learn more about what this picture represented. He exchanged a donation for the Gita.
The Supersoul is very inspiring to see in action. On every street, someone desires one of these books. There's no limit to Srila Prabhupada's mercy. We are so unqualified to perform this service in regards to our karmic bank balance and our previous activities, yet we can be instruments in distributing these fruits of Mahaprabhu. All we require is sincere endeavor.
Sankirtana yajna, ki jaya!
Your aspiring servant.
Narayana Rsi Dasa