Determination in preaching changes people
Srila Prabhupada wrote in a letter, “There is a lot of ground to be covered to spread Krishna consciousness to millions and millions of our slumbering brothers and sisters!”
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming that there is so much work to do and we often don’t see the results of our small preaching efforts.
I want to share a wee story that exemplifies how all the devotees’ little attempts to share the books add up to gradually changing people’s lives.
During this marathon I was getting rejected literally the whole day in the Hamilton CBD, its premier business, entertainment, and shopping precinct. Not even a single book went out till 3 p.m., which hasn’t happened before. Anyway, pushing on in the evening at Warehouse Hillcrest, I thought,
“There’s some reason why Krsna is testing my perseverance, so let me continue with my duty.”
I remembered the preaching determination of my spiritual master, H. H. Devamrita Swami. He often explains how sometimes a devotee may seem to do very little one day, thinking the attempt useless, but then a person met that day may become a devotee.
I pushed on, thinking that Krsna may send someone sincere. The night went on without much result, and I approached one last person. Nonchalantly I introduced the books, without explaining much, and asked for a donation, keeping it brief as the night was ending.
Then the young Maori guy, Symien, casually responded, “Yeah, I know these books! I’ve read Chant and Be Happy, Easy Journey, and Hiding in Unnatural Happiness front to back.”
He’d gotten them over the last year or so from the Hamilton monks. He loves them. I showed him the Gita, and his face became bright. He said that he’s been really wanting this book, after reading about it in the small books.
“I have been waiting to receive Bhagavad Gita.” He said that he knew we didn’t sell them at shops, so during the last few months he’s been waiting for the day that the Gita would come to him. He missed seeing the monks out because of lockdown. He felt it would come when the time was right.
I told him that I was all day praying to meet someone sincere, who is looking for the knowledge in these books.
He responded, “Yeah, I’m always praying too. I pray with the Hare Krsna mantra. Since I found out about the mantra a year ago (from Chant and Be Happy) it is always going through my mind, when I work, drive, wait for something, or feel bored.”
I asked whether he had beads, and he said, “Nah, but I want them. I can’t find any.”
I went to the van to get him some. And came back to find him reading the Gita.
“You like it?”
“Yeah, I’ve wanted to read this for so long! I’m so grateful!”
Then I put the beads in his hand and he lit up.
I said, “Now you can chant in the morning on these beads.”
He responded, “Yeah, japa! I’ve read about it.”
I showed him where to put his fingers, and we chanted the mantra together.
We exchanged contacts. I hope that he makes it to Mantra Lounge to develop his bhakti in good association with the devotees there.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All glories to all of Lord Caitanya’s sankirtana soldiers!
Saumya-mayi Devi Dasi