Solace for All
HERE ARE SOME experiences and realizations of devotees who give people Krsna consciousness by giving them books by Srila Prabhupada and his followers.
Death Wish Stopped
Once I was distributing Srila Prabhupada's books in a small city in Belgium, and I met a woman who listened very emotionally as I showed her a book. She told me she didn't need the book, because she had just bought some pills in the pharmacy (she showed them to me) and was on her way home to take them all at once and end her life.
Shocked, I asked her why. She said her husband had died and she couldn't live without him. I told her about reincarnation, and I explained that committing suicide would not solve her problems. I said that this knowledge was in Srila Prabhupada's books and they would be a great help and shelter for her.
She decided to read the book before taking the pills and asked me to come to her house so that she could pay for the book. After she had invited me to sit down, we started a conversation. She showed me photographs of her husband, and to my amazement I came across some pictures of she and her husband visiting Radhadesh [the main Hare Krsna center in Belgium] during a marriage ceremony.
I said, "Hey! That's where I live! And the girl getting married there is my friend, and she's also here in town right now."
I went to get my devotee friend. As we spoke with the woman, she gradually became more and more enthusiastic and bought all five books we had with us. She promised us she was going to throw the pills away, read the books thoroughly, and keep contact with the devotees.
She kept her promise. Now she often visits the temple, and she opens her house for any devotee who wants to stay overnight or distribute books from there.
Haraprana Devi Dasi
I met a woman in Dingolfing, Germany, who at first wasn't interested in the books but then revealed she was very disturbed because her husband had recently died. I showed her a copy of Srila Prabhupada's Second Chance. After looking at the cover, she became thoughtful and looked at me, pondering whether or not she should tell me her problem.
She told me that her husband had been very cruel but she was such a faithful wife that even when he became terminally ill she nursed him until death. After his death she started having terrible dreams and then visions. She was regularly terrorized by his ghost. She had never believed in ghosts, but now she knew they exist.
I gave her three big books, and since we were right next to my van, I also gave her a copy of Reincarnation, a German book by Raja-vidya Dasa.
About a year later I met her at the same shopping center. She told me she had become convinced by the books and when she started reading them in her room, her husband stopped visiting.
She was very grateful, only lamenting that since reading the books, she could no longer relate to her mundane friends and their trivial talks in the workplace.
Bhaktavatsala Dasa adhikari
A few years ago in Norway I approached a woman in a parked car. She rolled down the window, and I handed her a book. On seeing the book, her face lit up and tears came to her eyes. She was so emotional she couldn't speak for a few moments but just swayed back and forth.
She then told me that twenty years ago she and her son had seen a group of devotees chanting in San Francisco. She was captured by the rhythms and the atmosphere of the chanting party, and without wanting to, she started to dance to the beat and couldn't stop.
Her son tried to stop her. "Ma, what are you doing?"
After a while a devotee went over to her and gave her a book. Now, on meeting me and seeing the same type of book she'd received twenty years ago, she felt the same ecstasy again. As she was relating the story, she demonstrated the dancing. She bought two more books, and I went away thinking, "When will the day come when I will appreciate Srila Prabhupada's books as she has with joyful tears coming to my eyes upon receiving such a treasure."
Tapasa Dasa adhikari
Navina Nirada Dasa, a disciple of Harikesa Swami, has been a leading book distributor for many years. He heads ISKCON's book distribution ministry and travels worldwide to train and inspire book distributors.