Learning from the marathon how amazing things can happen
My sankirtana partner and I were busy distributing books outside of New World, a local supermarket in Foxtrot, New Zealand. By Krishna’s grace my partner had managed to convince the store manager to let us have a table outside of his shop for the day. We loaded our table with stacks of books nicely tied with ribbons. This marathon we focused on two main stacks – the Tridandi set of 3 books and the Bhakti Bomber set of 7.
The first couple that took a stack were both Jehovah’s Witnesses. The exchange was quite fast. At first they seemed uninterested, but when I asked them if they could help us share the message of love of God at the small cost of $20, the woman nudged her partner. He got out his wallet, gave a donation, and walked away with a Tridandi stack.
Around lunchtime our table was nearly empty. A woman and her grown daughter exited the shop and came over to our table, asking what we were selling. My partner and I introduced ourselves and the books and we asked if they have ever heard of stress before. They laughed and said they’re teachers. The daughter taught preschool, and the mother cared for special needs students. I used to work with special needs children, so I could relate with her stress.
The woman mentioned it was especially stressful at the moment, because they were dealing with the recent suicide of a student, an 11-year-old boy. We could all relate to the need for knowledge about how to deal with the mind and care of our real selves. She happily gave a donation and took a Bhakti Bomber stack, saying that she’d share the books with her co-workers, who were also struggling with the recent passing.
Shortly after this, a cool looking young guy walked out of the shop. I brought him over to our table and showed him the books. He told me he didn’t have time, because had to go home and feed his kids. I picked up a KRSNA Book, showed him it, and said, “You should read this to your kids. It will transform them into angels and teach them good life principles.” He took out his card and gave a donation.
As the payment was being processed, I asked him how many kids he had. He said ten kids! I was shocked and without thinking said, “Man you’re busy!” He laughed and acted as though that was something to be proud of. He said his oldest is 15 years old and his youngest is still in the womb. Before he left I asked him how old he was; he’s 29. That means he was 14 when he had his first kid.
As the sun disappeared behind the clouds and the temperature dropped, a car screeched around the corner and pulled up on the curb by the New World. A very angry woman kicked open her door and started shouting, screaming, and cursing at two Maori girls who were walking on the sidewalk.
The girls, who were in their mid-20s, stood there awkwardly as this older woman made a scene and publicly shamed one of the girls. Everyone stopped and watched.
A young boy in the front seat stared at the ground as his mom got back in her car, cursing all the while, and drove off. Later, the girl came out of the shop. I asked if she was all right and explained that we are showing stress relieving starter packs. She explained that the woman was her ex-boyfriend’s mom. She expressed how hard it is to deal with a bad breakup, let alone his crazy mom.
She told me, “I really need these books; maybe this is what I’ve beenlooking for.”
Her friend came over and supported her purchase of Srila Prabhupada’s life changing books. They took a flyer for our studio and said they would look into our yoga and meditation retreats.
I was really impressed by this marathon, how by following the desire of the pure devotee amazing things can happen.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental sankirtana mission!
Madhupana-lila Devi Dasi