Book Distribution Report- Karmafest, Cockeysville, MD

Posted on June 27, 2014 by admin-vasanti

Submitted by Radhika dasi

On June 7th and 8th 2014, Jai Sri Dasi from New Jersey, Malati Dasi who lives in Vrindavan, and me, Radhika Dasi from Washington DC, attended a two-day festival in Oregon Ridge Park, Maryland, one hour north of Washington DC, to distribute Srila Gurudeva’s books. Considering that we are three relatively inexperienced and older ladies, overall the event was very successful. I can say that we all felt encouraged by Srila Gurudeva every step of the way.

The event was called Karmafest.  It was attended by people from all over the country, who are attracted to New Age thought and alternative thinking, or who are seeking enlightenment.  We had a picnic table under a pavilion for our book table, along with our own fold out table.  The tables were decorated with flowers, posters and a lovely framed photographs of Srila Gurudeva. Except for the occasional wind disturbances, the weather was perfect.

Even people who did not buy books were attracted to our table.  Some stopped by just to talk. One fascinating thing is that several people who were currently practicing Buddhism expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that Buddhism doesn’t really talk about God.  Thus they were happy to talk with us about a personal conception of God.  We made friends with other vendors such as one lady (also a part-time buddhist) who had a son named Sajjan  and had been to an ISKCON temple before.  She was happy to hear that there are also other devotees and groups having programs.  She had a watermelon which we offered to our Thakurjis (who were present by photo) and she helped us distribute it to all who wanted.

We also met Casey who had lived in a temple for a while and then gone back to practicing Tibetan Buddhism which is what he grew up with because his parents were Buddhists.  He was happy to see devotees again and seemed to miss mornings in the temple when he used to rise early and “lovingly offer flowers to Krsna”. He chatted with us on Saturday and on Sunday.  He got the Way of Love and Harinam Mahamantra books.

We gave prasadam to a musician who was also an Islamic preacher in prisons.  At first, he talked to us about Islam but nothing specific was said.  In the end, we were delighted and surprised that he started giving hari-katha, speaking some things he knew from the Bhagavad Gita!

Malati didi asked some old friends she hadn’t seen for many years to meet her at the festival. Coincidentally, they lived nearby the festival site.  They had some faith in her since she had helped them with a difficult pro bono legal matter in the past.  They had never seen her with tilaka and white cloth before.  She preached to them very nicely for about 30-45 minutes. In the end they took about 5 books, offered a nice donation and also took neem beads to begin chanting.  If this had been the only thing that occurred, the whole event would have been more than worth the effort.  We know that Srila Gurudeva was just using us a little to help these souls along.

We met so many other persons who had so many interesting things to say about their journey and were, for the most part, receptive to Srila Gurudeva’s message of love of Godhead that we were sharing.  Our table was like an oasis.  Many mayavada types were there along with really earthy folks with a lot of tattoos and also people who have experienced alien visitations and regularly channelled other entities.  In almost every case, no matter what philosophy or situation the person presented, they could not help but be interested in Srila Gurudeva’s books or his message. We know that even those who just touched the books, or admired the pictures got so much sukriti.

Over the two days, we distributed books that included Way of Love, Sri Harinama Mahamantra, Yoga of Peace, Essence of Bhagavad Gita, Sri Brahma Samhita, The Moonbeam of Complete  Astonishment, Journey of the Soul and many others.  In addition, some people chose greeting cards (with Srimati Syamaranis didi’s art on them) or stickers, and a couple desired neem beads to start chanting.

The grounds were very beautiful and grassy and the hosts were friendly and accommodating. We’re looking forward to doing this festival (and perhaps others) again next year.

We always tried to remember that WE were not doing anything, and that Srila Gurudeva and Sri Krsna are the doers.  But somehow Gurudeva invited us to witness his very sweet pastimes with these soul-searching jivas.  All our gratitude is to Srila Gurudeva, to whom we are eternally indebted.  Srila Gurudeva, you have helped us immeasurably by allowing us to watch and learn as you change peoples’ hearts.  We pray that by this attempt to serve you our hearts will also be changed.

Here a couple of pictures. I regret that we did not stop to take a group photo. But we do have these, kindly taken by Jai Sri didi.

It was so nice to talk with Casey and friends (above). There is Malati dasi on the lower right, probably off to converse with another spiritual seeker.

Jai Sri and Malati didis are very wonderful god sisters. Their association and their unflinching dedication to Srila Gurudeva is a great source of inspiration for me.  I feel so fortunate that we were able to work together in service to Srila Gurudeva’s mission.

Book distribution? Anyone can do it!

Srila Gurudeva Ki Jaya! Transcendental book distribution Ki Jaya!