Last night in Sridham Mayapura during Gita Jayanti, Vinod Gopal Prabhu and I were stationed inside one of the temple’s book shops. We were trying to give out Bhagavad Gita As It Is to the colorful array of universally fortunate pilgrims, the guests of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

I spotted a slightly more Westernised-looking man in his 30s, wandering through the crowded shop, looking at the books, and at Lord Chaitanya’s Lila exhibit. I decided to speak to him in straight English, instead of my laughable attempts at Bengali.

Anticipating the usual excuses, I introduced the Gita As It Is as being especially transformative and special, having turned people from all over the world toward Krishna-bhakti. Moreover, the Gita would protect him and his young family from the influence of Western values, especially as those values entered India via Bollywood, video games, and so on.

As the young man listened with seriousness and attention, his son of around 3-4 years started throwing one of the best tantrums I have ever witnessed. There was pulling and screaming and throwing fists at his mother, grandmother and grandfather, and at times even threatening his father. The family then dragged the boy to the shop’s doorway, as we continued to speak to the young man, who was becoming more and more receptive to our pleas about the Gita’s great importance.

As the boy’s yelling, scratching, and hitting rose to the level of full hysteria to the point of annihilation, the man’s wife and mother started to lose their patience. They yelled to their man to leave, to help, to come NOW!

But despite their desperate facial expressions and dramatic appeals, the Gita held the young man there so strongly I was amazed at how the world’s illusory energy was powerless to drag him off. He dismissed everyone’s cries for solace and took the sacred edition of Srila Prabhupada’s and the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is straight through the huge crowd to the cash counter for purchase.

I was stunned by what I had just witnessed. The more the young man’s family had pleaded with him to forget the Gita, the more Krishna as Hrishikesh, the owner and master of the senses, had worked His magic. With the Supreme Lord’s support, nothing would deter this sincere soul from stepping toward Krishna.

We shook hands as he left, and I said we were proud of his sincere interest in this sacred subject as he merged into the crowd, blessed with Lord Krishna’s living words of direction.

Begging to remain witness to these magical sankirtan experiences.

Your fallen servant
Bala Gopala dasa

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