Distribution in Queens
My name is Kamalakanta dasa.
This past June at the New Braj Hari Katha festival , I was given a sponsorship for $200.00. I was never a big book distributor , but sometimes I would bring back books from the Badger festival and do a little distribution, but never steadily . When I received harinama initiation from Srila Gurudeva at the 2010 Badger festival , I had asked him to give me his blessings to distribute his books . Since then I really have not done so much distribution at all . I felt like I asked for this service but was neglecting to do it . This was partially due to my financial situation. Working as a Union Carpenter in the trade show industry it has been really slow in this sluggish economy. So I had a desire to get a large quantity of books for distribution but was lacking extra money to do so. So by Srila Gurudeva’s mercy Radha dasi at the book table told me about the sponsorship program.
I came home from Badger with $ 200.00 worth of books. I am living in the Richmond Hill /Ozone Park section of Queens, New York. The members of the sanga in this area are trying hard to establish a preaching center for Srila Gurudeva. As soon as I got back from Badger I started doing a book table on Liberty Ave which is the main strip in this area. It is a predominantly Indian and West Indian area. All along Liberty Ave there are many shops that sell everything from murtis to devotional clothing as well as puja items. The majority of the Community are Hindus, so they have a natural familiarity with Lord Krishna. However, not so many are familiar with Lord Caitanya. This gives me the opportunity to preach to them about who Lord Caitanya is and what is his mission as well as the yuga dharma .
One of my favorites to distribute is “The Speciality of the Gift of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” . Although this is a small book , it is very informative. I always tell people ” This book is about the golden form of Lord Krsna , and it explains why He has descended in this age to give what no other incarnation has given in a very long time.”
I usually bring my mridanga out with me too and do kirtan . Sometimes I do solo kirtan and sometimes a nice devotee named Bhakta Phil comes out to play mridanga and chant with me . Overall the people are very receptive and happy to see us chanting and it helps attract attention to the book table . Some people just want to put a donation in the box but not take a book , I try my best to get them to take a book. Even if they don’t take a book their donations help me to get more books , or give one to a person who strongly desires a book but is low on cash. One day my book table was visited by a Bengali gentleman who identified himself as the brother of H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami from ISKCON . There is also a big Bengali community in one section of Ozone Park . Even the Sikhs are happy to see us chanting and always say ” Hare Krishna , Hare Rama.”
I just want to say how grateful I am for the sponsorship program . With the $240.00 worth of donations I received from the book sales I was able to purchase another shipment of books. I am so thankful that Srila Gurudeva has mercifully arranged for me to do this service . I will continue this service steadily and with as much enthusiasm as I possibly can to please Krsna and Srila Gurudeva . With all of the preaching opportunities I get talking to the local people , it makes me read more and study more, to properly convey the sublime philosophy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu . I always keep a picture of Srila Gurudeva walking with Sripad Madhava Maharaj on my table . Srila Gurudev is my Harimana Guru and Sripad Madhava Maharaja is my diksa Guru . In this way they are always there for me to pray for their guidance and mercy.
I pray Srila Gurudeva continues to give me his mercy and blessings to distribute his books and continue doing this service . It is so purifying and I feel it has helped my spiritual life tremendously . All glories to Srila Gurudeva and all glories to the GVP sponsorship program . I also give thanks to all of the wonderful book distributors in Srila Gurudev’s sanga who have given me so much inspiration to take up this service.
Begging for the mercy of all the Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis.
Your lowly servant,