Preaching to the Choir

Posted on July 28, 2015 by Anita dasi

I really like “preaching to the choir”. Sometimes there is more focus on street book distribution or meeting new people. However, bhakti is a process and the books assist devotees in going deeper and deeper. At preaching programs there is a great opportunity to provide more advanced books to experienced devotees.

Panchkula is an area that ISKCON and several Gaudiya mathas have been preaching in for many many years. Events like a Bhagavat-saptaha draw many long time devotees. While I do believe that any book can inspire even the newest person, many of Srila Gurudeva’s books presuppose a basic understanding of the philosophy. Bhagavat-arka-marici-mala is a collection of meditational verses by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. It is not really a “hot seller” on the streets. But one night at the Bhagavat-saphatha I was in the wonderfully awkward position of two devotees fighting over the only copy we had. It was thrilling to see such greed for that book. I promised them that I would bring several copies the next year.

The Bhagavat saptaha in Ambala was mostly devotees who have become inspired by bhakti in the last few years. There greed and enthusiasm is wonderful to experience. I was exciting to see them rush to the book table after a class when Sripad Siddhanti Maharaja glorified the book Damodastakam.

One evening a women came to the book table and said she wanted any book we had by Srila Rupa Gosvami.

Of course the organizers of the saptahas also make an effort to attract new people from the community so we keep a selection of all types of books and try to find the right book for each person who stops at the book table.