Tracy finds a clue
I was distributing books in the Northern England town of Chester, when I met a middle-aged lady called Tracey. On approaching her with a Bhagavad Gita, she said she already had one, that she practiced ‘Transcendental Meditation’ and had lived in a TM Community for some time in the past (devotees are probably familiar with ‘TM’, the movement started by Maharishi Mahesa Yogi, whom Prabhupada critized for the bogus practice of charging money for initiation into one’s own personal mantra).
“Oh,” I said. “You must have Maharishi’s version of the Gita, that only goes up to Chapter 6.” I have heard he didn’t even comment on verse 6.47, which, as we know, clearly says that the best yogi is a devotee.
She agreed to buy a ‘Hiding In Unnatural Happiness’ for her son, who she said was ‘really searching’ and she wanted to ‘bring to the path.’
As she was getting her purse she began to talk: “Truth be told, I don’t really practice the TM anymore. When I lived there, I… I felt I’d hit a dead end. The people were very… they were always buying expensive crystals for healing… and they were very into Ayurvedic health…”
She was struggling to make her point so I helped her: “Yes, maybe sometimes people can distract themselves by getting very involved with these things when they don’t feel their making real spiritual advancement.”
Continuing her story, she said, “I went back to the Catholic Church and started chanting on the Rosary again. But I didn’t feel it was a ‘heart-practice.'”
“Of course,” I said. “We’re looking for love, a connection, a relationship. That’s why, in only going up to Chapter 6, Maharishi misses the most important part of the Gita, the devotional chapters. Krishna explains you can only reach perfection through devotion!”
Seeing the opportunity, I said, “I’d really love to have you receive this Bhagavad Gita,” and put it back in her hand. She was happy to pay for both books and, seeming moved, she said, “I’m really glad I met you. I think you’ve given me a clue as to why I got stuck in my spiritual life.”
Not only had she received a clue, but a detailed road-map for how to reach her destination.
She had sensed Prabhupada’s movement had something she needed. I felt fortunate to be part of a community where pure devotional service is on offer, when most of the world is cheated by anything-but. I was moved by a number of such appreciations of our books this marathon, especially two
people who separately expressed to me their delight at starting ‘Hiding in Unnatural Happiness’.
Certainly such exchanges are Lord Caitanya’s mercy in action. Asking for all of your blessings to remain an insignificant part this wonderful book distribution movement!
Vamsi Vilasi Dasa