He just looked at the cover and looked back at the beers
Recently, my sankirtan partner and I went out and set up a book table outside Kilbirnie Countdown, Wellington City, just for a few hours. We were originally inside the mall, in the foyer area, but that interrupted the pedestrian traffic, so we got permission to move outside as customers walked in. We decided to use time efficiently, so my partner went on the street and I stayed at the table.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a young man in a black hoodie hovering over our table. He and I started talking about the books. He was touching some books, saying: “I have this one, I have the Bhagavad-Gita.”
So I thought he had met devotees before, and he looked serious about reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. At this point, I asked about him. He pointed over to his trolley behind him which had a 24-pack of beers. He said this is my only problem. I told him that I know how difficult it is to give up vices, and for some time he revealed his struggles.
At one point, I handed him the Twelfth Canto and showed him the cover. I had never done that before, knowing it was a bold move.
I said, “Yeah, man, the present condition of the world is that we’re all searching after happiness, but our search leads us into conditioned life instead.”
He just looked at the cover and nodded his head, looking back at the beers.
I asked: “Do you have this encyclopedia yet? You’re a sincere and serious student of these spiritual books. This is a complete set, and it will without a doubt perfect your life.”
I handed him the First Canto, tore open the plastic and said: “This is yours” as I handed it to him. Start with the first one, and I’ll look after the rest until you’re ready to move on to the next one.”
He looked up at me, then at Srila Prabhupada’s book and back at me again. He pulled out a fifty-dollar note and held the First Canto to his chest. I said, “Just throw down fifty more, and you’ll get the whole set, you can pay off the rest later. He thought for maybe 3 seconds, reached into his pocket and drew another fifty and placed it in my hand.
This young gentleman made a very remarkable impact on me that day and I couldn’t help but think that Lord Chaitanya is causelessly merciful because there is no way that he or I would receive this great fortune to be in contact with these transcendental books without the mercy of Krishna’s representative, the spiritual master.
Attached is a picture of him.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Vaishnavebhyo namo namaha.
Your aspiring servant,
Nanda-Patni Devi Dasi