We are giving people a chance
IN THE TRAIN TO SARCELLES
A few nights ago, on the train from Gare de Nord to Sarcelles we sat in the train after a day on book distribution. Opposite us was a young lady whose colorful appearance looked a little different from the norm. I looked at her, and she smiled; showed her the Bhagavad-gita, and she became attracted. As a student of French literature in a Paris university, she loves to read. She had never heard of the Hare Krsna movement or Bhagavad-gita in her life. She spoke fluent English, and with no question of doubt she wanted the book and more. Where does she live? A few blocks from the temple in Sarcelles. There in the train she started to chant Hare Krsna with us. Amazing arrangement of the Lord! Krsna had her sit right next to us on a packed train leaving Gare de Nord.
AWAKENING A SPARK IN THE DARK
The next day in Gare de Nord station, we had harinama, along with a book table. Many people came to the table and stood around watching the kirtan or taking part. Most of our devotees were distributing books nearby. Gare de Nord is where unending street people, touts, drug dealers, drunks, illegal immigrants, refugees and what-nots hang out. Almost every day there is a hairy experience: someone grabs the donation box or someone’s bag or tries to harass devotees. But it is hard to go anywhere else with no metros, because of the strikes.
I stood behind our small table and kept an eye on the books, the table, the bags, the donation box and tried to talk to or encourage those who came up.
A young lady stood there looking at the table.
“Hare Krsna! Where are you from?” I asked.
“I live in Brittany.”
“But you sound English.”
“Yes,” she said. “I am from the north of England, and I’m going home for Christmas.”
“Wow, I used to live there.”
She became fascinated.
“What do you do?” I ask.
“I like to WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and live a simple life.”
“Are you vegetarian? You look really pure.”
“Yes, I am a Vegan.”
“Have you ever practiced yoga?”
Oh, yes, I try, and I like to meditate.”
“Really? Then this is surely for you.”
She took three hardbound books in English.
“Have your ever heard of us before?”
“No.” she said.
We talked longer about her desire is to stay in a community of spiritual people who are living simply on the land with spiritual goals.
“We have the place for you: New Mayapura. We have a program just for you:
working on the land, spiritual practices, vegetarian diet. And you can help us to fulfil our spiritual teacher’s instruction to us to live a simple life.”
She was overjoyed, and she happily gave me her contact details for later, when she returns to France. She then picked up the Maha Mantra card and started to chant. Her name is Ruby.
There are gems everywhere as Srila Prabhupada wrote: “The potency of spreading Krsna Consciousness is everywhere the same. That was experimented by me in your country, where I came alone without any support; and Krsna is so kind that He has sent me so many boys and girls like you. Lord Caitanya said that every village and town on the surface of the world will know the message of the sankirtana movement. This very statement affirms that in every village and town all over the world there are many candidates who are awaiting this message.” (letter to Sudama, 17 February 1970)
Without the devotees’ having been there, she would have continued on her journey for who knows how long. Now, by the grace of Srila Prabhupada, she has been given the chance to make the greatest step of her life.