The Authorized Version

I was out in a remote village in Gujarat, walking through the village, and many people said, “We already have the Gita.” This is a common response. It’s true, most households do have a copy, so then I ask the question, “Do
you read it?” The answer is often no. So I reply, “Please read at least a verse a day.” Or I introduce those stuck on their mobiles, who have “no time” to read to or another devotional site.

After receiving many rejections for the above reasons, I passed two homes and saw an old nondescript man sitting on a string bed, as people do in villages and other dwelling places.

He was reading a book covered with a newspaper page. I showed him the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, and he showed me that this was the very book he was reading. I exclaimed, “That’s wonderful!” and offered my respects. Nearby some teenagers were on their mobiles, and I encouraged these lads to offer respects daily to this gentleman, who could impart valuable knowledge that would help them throughout life.

As I walked away, he said. “Stop! Wait!” Then he called out to various family members outside their homes near his house, “Hey, do you have the Gita?” These were homes I had just passed with no luck. The same responses came: “Yes, we do.”

He said, “Bring them,” and they did. A strange thing then happened. Many times, we say that Bhagavad-Gita As It Is is different from other editions of the Gita, and we get the response, “Nope, they are all the same; the Gita is the Gita.” This gentleman, Mr. Patel, replied that those are duplicates. Now, in India, “duplicate” is commonly used to mean inauthentic. So he was saying that our Gita is the real deal. I was almost floored.

Then he told them, “You take this one,” and three copies went out. Furthermore, he called our Gita incomparable throughout the whole world and declared that he reads it every day. An old, average-looking gentleman in a remote village preached the glories of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, because he thoroughly reads it with faith.

I consider this one of my best days: an endorsement from a gentleman in a remote village who loved Srila Prabhupada’s book so much that he himself became a book distributor. It goes to show the power of a single book going out. It changes someone’s life. Then the changed person distributes three more copies. Srila Prabhupada, ki jaya!

Your servant,
Vasant Pancami Dasa

Author: admin

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