The Nectar for which we are always anxious for! by Madhu Mangal das
Please accept my humble obeisances, all glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga, all glories to the sankirtan devotees of the Lord!
During Srila Prabhupada's 2003 December Book Distribution Marathon, I sold a book to a Russian lady, who told me that she was a ballet teacher for the Cape Performing Arts Society. Before she had come to South Africa during the early Communist years, she had been a principle dancer for the world famous Bolshoi Ballet Dance Theatre. She gave me a donation and I thanked her for taking Srila Prabhupada's book from me. I told her, that dancing is the closet thing that we can come to seeing the soul in action. Devotees love dancing, when they chant the holy name of God, they begin to dance in ecstasy. This dancing is not ordinary dancing, you should come and experience it for yourself, it might even help you in your teaching of dance,"
I invited her to our weekly programs at the temple and gave her an invitation flyer. She told me that she would like to come, but she was too busy teaching and did not have the time. They say the face is the index of the mind: I could see her eyes, the window of her soul, beneath them dark blue lines, silently screaming: "Please let me out." No doubt about it, she was in a stressful condition, yet at the same time she was humble and tolerant. Srila Prabhupada says in his purport in Srimad-Bhagavatam:
"People are working hard day and night for the illusory happiness of the body. This is not a way to achieve happiness. One has to get out of this material entanglement and return home, back to Godhead. That is real happiness. The Vedas therefore enjoin: "Don’t remain in the darkness of this material world. Go to the light of the spiritual world." To counteract the distress of this material body, one has to take on another distressed condition. Both situations are only illusion. There is no gain in taking on one trouble to counteract another trouble. The conclusion is that one cannot be perpetually happy as long as one exists in this material world. The only remedy is to get out of this material world altogether and return home, back to Godhead." Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.29.35.
I asked her if she could perhaps come on a Sunday, after all, it was the day of rest. But on Sunday she teaches underprivileged in the townships to make extra money. "My dear lady, you really need a break, you can't carry on like this. Please try and see if you can come perhaps just once?" She told me that she would try and come to one of our programs at the temple. On the glorious appearance day Of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu I was distributing Srila Prabhupada's books at a shopping center around the corner from the temple. I saw the same ballet teacher. I told her that it was nice to se her again. "Today is a very special day for us, it is the birthday of the Person who make's us dance in ecstasy, please do come." I gave her a special invitation flyer. "Well I am not so sure if I will be able to come," she said. In desperation I almost begged her, "Please try, we are going to have lovely music and dancing, and there is going to be a sumptuous feast, you will really enjoy it. Besides, you remember last time I saw you, I told you, you need a break. By the way, there is another young lady from Moscow I know that will be there, I am sure she would be very happy to meet you." She said she would not promise, but maybe she would try to come. I said goodbye to her and told her that I was looking forward to seeing her at the festival. I was not sure if she would come and prayed to Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The temple room was packed to capacity as the devotees chanted the glories of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as his grace Ranchour prabhu bathed the Divine Body of the Lord. The devotees lined up to have their turn to bathe Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu – To my astonishment, I saw mother Manjari, who is from Moscow, assisting the lady ballet teacher, as she bathed the Lord. I prayed to the Lord at that precise moment: "All glories to you Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, please bless this lady, she is your servant, if it is You desire, please bring her back to you. Hare Krsna!" All glories to Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His mercy upon such an insignificant insect such as myself, I am trying to spread the glories of His sankirtan mission and get everyone I meet to chant His holy name by giving them Srila Prabhupada's books. After the ecstatic kirtan, I met the lady and told her that I was so glad that she could come to the festival. To my further astonishment, speaking to her together with mother Manjari from Moscow, was another mother who is one of our congregation members, the Russian lady ballet teacher said to me: "I can't believe it, this lady is my next door neighbor!" Not only did she come to the program and bathed the Lord, but she had met her next door neighbor, she did not even know that she was a devotee, now that she knew, she would try and come and be with the devotees again. So this is the Divine arrangement of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Hare Krsna!
Distributing Srila Prabhupada's books at the university town of Stellenbosch, I was showing some books to a young African student. He wore a T shirt with an environmental logo on it. I introduced myself to him and told him that I was a traveling monk and that I was interested to see his T shirt and that I was also interested in spreading awareness of the environmental problem facing our planet. I told him that I am trying to make more people aware of the problem, by giving them higher knowledge, in this way they will come to understand the sacredness of life and it's origin. He told me that he was a zoology student and that he had always been interested in Nature. I began to show him some of Srila Prabhupada's books – while doing so, a young man was watching me while I was showing the books to the zoology student. He let him continue to look at that books. I greeted him and introduced myself to him.
"Are you selling those books that you have?" I told him that the books that I had were text books of higher knowledge, I did not really like to call it selling, rather I like people to give from the heart, no matter how much they give me, it was the thought that counted. The zoology student told me that he could not take a book, but if I gave him an address he could come and have a look at them another time and maybe take some. I gave him a invitation flyer to our regular temple programs and thanked him for his interest in looking at the books and looked forward to seeing him again.
I continued to show the young man the books, as he started looking with interest, He told me that he was gladthat he had seen me, as the books that I had were hard to come by. He asked me if the books were about Buddhism. I told them that they were not, but came from the same source in ancient India. He asked me what book I could suggest, as he really would be interested in reading them. I gave him an SSR and told him that I though that it would be a good one to start with, as it could be compared to a encyclopedia of spiritual knowledge, it covered just about every topic that he was interested in. He looked at the SSR and other books. I showed him a Bhagavad-Gita as it is. He looked at it and glanced at the front cover as if transfixed, turned to the back cover an silently read, he looked at me and said: "Oh, this is such a beautiful book, yes, yes, I will definitely take it." He gave me a nice donation and said that he was glad that he had met me, this is just what he had been looking for for a long time (everyone's looking for Krsna). He was such a sincere soul, that I could not help myself so I gave him a hug, as he had become so fortunate and blessed me so much by taking the Bhagavad-Gita.
He began to tell me about himself and that he came from a conservative Afrikaner background, although his mother was a reiki healer and encourages him in his search of spirituality. He told me that he would like have liked talk to me more, but he was in a bit of a hurry. I gave him a invitation flyer to our temple programs and gave him my email address and asked to please write to me and I would try and help him in any way I could. I thanked him again and told him that I looked forward to meeting him again. He turned to go with a friend of his who arrived – he waved and said goodbye, as he did so I said to him: "Say Hare Krsna, he replied with an amazing smile on his face, "Hare Krsna!
As stated in the Bhagavad-Gita Seventh Chapter (7.3),: those who are trying to elevate themselves to the platform of spiritual realization are not ordinary men; they are superior to millions and millions of ordinary men who have no knowledge of spiritual realization. But out of those actually trying to understand their spiritual situation, one who can come to the understanding that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the proprietor of everything, the unborn, is the most successful spiritually realized person. In that stage only, when one has fully understood Krsna’s supreme position, can one be free completely from all sinful reactions."
I prayed to Lord Sri Caitanya, to please bless that young man and if He so desired, that he may come back to Him. I prayed to Srila Prabhupada and thanked him for allowing me to help him distribute his mercy in the form of his books and how glorious it is, that the Bhagavad-Gita can change the hearts and minds of men and woman and help them to go back home, back to Godhead.
Srila Prabhupada ki jay!
The very next day I got this reply – it was a very humbling letter and made me grateful and thankful, that even though I have so much false ego and innumerable imperfections, I can take shelter by distributing Srila Prabhupada books.
Good morning Mr Madhumangala
Remember the boy ( 19years of age ) you met in Stellenbosch on a monday afternoon? I also bought a Hare Krsna book from you, which I will start to read tonight. My name is JC Visser. I turn 19 in May. I am glad someone came across my path to help me along. As you could see, I am very interested in working on my consciousness and also to spread knowledge and inner-happiness to those around me. But as of yet, I did not have anyone I could come to for guidance. My background does not allow the exposure I need. I come from a typical Christian Afrikaans family in the Boland, and went to high school in Stellenbosch. I now live with a friend in a flat and work to pay my rent and to give time for my music (my passion) to develop further. My mother is a natural healer and encourages me on my spiritual path, since she has realized only now, that this is the only way to truly helping other people. She does refelxology, iridology, reiki and chinese medicine and regularly travels to give seminars, but she admits it is the emotional support the patient really needs. So all my information came from books like Lobsang T. Rampa, Robert Monroe, Buddhist Bible (Japanese edition) and then the internet, various 70's "craze" books, etc, etc. I am also qualified in reiki at the age of 12 (It was not my decision). A few years ago, It felt as though I was really growing in the right direction. But now it seems as though I have regressed. I hardly meditate anymore nor do I read or think about such things since I am so tired from my work. This is why I see you as such a blessing! Please tell me where I can go to grow and learn so that I can also spread the awareness. I also have a few friends that would dearly like to join. I was hoping in the situation that the earth is in now, that such help would be easy to find, but its not. Please reply as soon as possible. I have lots of questions I would like to ask. Thank you very very much Love, peace, Light.