Samsara Hogya

Posted on March 6, 2011 by Raghava

By Jai Sri dasi

Overcast skies were no match for the jubilant smiles of the ladies book distribution team as we headed for Har Ki Pauri, the main ghat in Haridwar for this years observance of Siva-ratri. Last year’s Siva-ratri was also Kumba-mela and consequently we could hardly walk a few feet without a tidal wave of Siva bhaktas eagerly reaching for a copy of Siva-tattva. This year, as we strolled down the same path, I was a little worried to see only small tributaries of people coming our way. Luckily, all my fears were dispelled once we reached Hari Ki Pauri and I remembered its India! There’s always a crowd waiting nearby! My eyes met a kaleidoscope of colourful jivas gathered around the Ganga for bathing and puja. Initially I was a little nervous about approaching unknown people (it having been a while since my last book trip) but Gurudeva is ever full of surprises and eager to ease my anxiety in the wake of his seva.

I was happy on the first night to meet a young boy from Japan. We shared our common love of India and he told me he was hoping to study some yoga during his 6 months here. As I began to tell him about Bhakti yoga he instantly pulled out his journal and starting taking notes. I was really charmed by his eagerness to learn and told him I had some books he could take with him. Joyfully he replied “For me?!” He gladly took three books and gave a donation. At that point I noticed he had tulsi around his neck. He didn’t know anything about it but said he had gotten it in Rishikesh. I assured him it was a sign. I left feeling so inspired by his openness! With nothing to fear he was able to take away precious jewels in the form of Srila Gurudeva’s transcendental books. And now he is planning to come to Navadvipa!

The next day I met a young Indian boy who told me he wasn’t much interested in Indian culture and explained how he didn’t think people should go to temples to ask for things that they can easily work hard for, and at the same time, he said, their karma would determine what they would or wouldn’t receive. I agreed with him and we spoke about the importance of approaching Krsna instead with our spiritual desires, our need for Truth and True Love. He identified with this need and said “Yes, that is what I am looking for” and confessed “I am quite an emotional guy.” I could see his sincerity and depth despite trying to profess that he wasn’t spiritual. We agreed to keep in touch and continue our conversation. Using his interest in the west, I was able to use a film example to explain how our consciousness is covered by ignorance. In the movie Inception, the characters find themselves within several layers of dreams, trying to make their way back up to the surface of reality. As I see it, we are in a similar predicament. A dream within a dream, ad infinitum, and Srila Gurudeva comes to wake us up to the reality we seek.

That wasn’t the last time I got the opportunity to use my immersion in maya for prachar. Later that day I was feeling tired and decided I needed some ice cream. Yamuna devi dasi also came and as we walked inside the shop she started to share books with the men working. She had a group of seven surrounding our table. At first I wanted them to go away, I just wanted my ice cream! But then as I was sitting and enjoying, I remembered the Hindi Jaiva Dharma I was determined to distribute. I reached into my bag and handed the Jaiva Dharma to one man standing in front of me, “This is the book you want.” I said. (Jedi mind trick *wink*) He took the book and after looking through it for a while, decided he did in fact want it! I was so astonished! Have no doubt; Srila Gurudeva is always many steps ahead of us. The young man held his Jaiva Dharma, and with a simple heart said “I have a feeling this is a very special book.” A village man who bought several books from Karunamayi dasi also felt the same way when he kindly expressed to her “It is very rare to meet someone like you and to find books like these.” It’s moments like these that make book distribution worth every second.

One evening Anita dasi was asked if she could explain the topic of the books in hindi. Put on the spot she quickly scanned her brain for the best combination of the 50 or so hindi words she knows. Being the ever clever Anita we love, she discovered the most succinct way to explain Bhakti yoga to beginners. “Bolo Hare Krsna, Samsara hogya, chelo (while pointing to the sky)” For those of you that need a translation “Chant Hare Krsna, the cycle of birth and death will be finished, then off we go” We all got a good laugh about the brilliance of this explanation and I even found myself using it later.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva’s magical endeavors to put us in the right place at the right time! How wonderful it is that has given me this opportunity to meet people and instantly engage in transcendental conversation. Without him my life would certainly be meaningless.