A gradual process….
The following story shows how sankirtan devotees (knowingly or unknowingly) can be instrumental in bringing someone to the lotus feet of Krsna's representative.
Beginning of 2009:
Billy, a 24-year-old English traveler, comes across a male devotee distributing books in Sydney. Billy rejects the book (for now).
August 4, 2010:
Billy arrives in Auckland, New Zealand.
Wednesday, August 11, Billy's 7th day in Auckland:
I had been on Queen Street, Auckland's busiest, for three hours. I had managed to distribute only one small book and had to return to the Loft (Urban Outreach Centre) to do some other service. I stopped a girl after thinking she would be the last person to stop, and out of the corner of my eye I noticed Billy. I thought, "He'll be the last person I stop today, and he'll get a Bhagavad-gita." I ended the exchange with the girl and caught Billy.
By Krsna's grace it was one of these exchanges where you feel especially empowered to say the words that hit the right chords with the person. Billy revealed his disappointment with traveling. After seven days in the country he had realized he wasn't going to get any different sense gratification just because he was on the other side of the world. He emanated a lack of fever for material pleasures. Perfect candidate for Lord Caitanya's mercy! I got a bit fired up at one point in the conversation when he started asking about the next life and karma, so I showed him the picture in the Gita of the man killing the cow. (Later I learned that the picture had inspired him to stop eating meat.) Billy took the Gita, and I strongly encouraged him to come to our Sunday Krsnafest. When I returned to the Loft, I told Sukanthi Radha about this exchange.
Thursday, August 12, Billy's 8th day in Auckland:
Sukanthi Radha was on Queen Street the next day when she met Billy. She immediately knew who he was when he said he'd bought the Gita the day before. She said to him, "Well, you've met two of us in two days D so who will you meet tomorrow?"
She gave him some sankirtan sweets that are so tasty you can't get them out of your mind.
Friday, August 13, Billy's 9th day in Auckland:
I was in a harinama party of thirty or so devotees dancing up Queen Street when the hood of my jacket was pulled from behind. It was Sukanthi Radha pointing out Billy, who was happily watching the harinama. Billy was becoming more curious — especially after meeting us three days in a row.
Saturday, August 21, Billy's 17th day in Auckland:
Billy met a brahmacari distributing books on Queen Street. The devotee reminded Billy that he should come to the Krsnafest the next night.
Sunday night, Billy's 18th day in Auckland:
It was just after 5pm. Sukanthi Radha was getting out of the car parked outside the Loft when she noticed Billy wandering around on the opposite side of the street. He was lost, trying to find the Loft. If she hadn't been there, he might not have made it. Tonight happened to be the night our spiritual master, His Holiness Devamrta Swami, was giving the class.
Today Billy is working his way through the Gita, getting some realizations and coming to the Loft regularly.
This story brought to life a text message our spiritual master sent to a book distributer when she told him a sankirtan story. "See? The world needs your service. Who else will be an instrument to help this boy take to Krsna consciousness?Ó
All glories to the efforts of the sankirtan devotees!
Gokula Lila dd