The Magic of Book Distribution

Posted on November 30, 2012 by admin-vasanti

                               by Lasika dasi


In September 2012, I went to visit my older sister in Northern Oregon where she had been living at a sustainable, healing hot springs community. I had mixed feeling of excitement and anxiety, when I considered the trip I was about to make. I couldn’t wait to see my sister, who I had hardly seen in the last few years, but I had the typical phobia of imminent non-devotee association. You know how being a devotee sometimes makes you feel like you are a freak or a secret super hero? It can be fun but it also feels like I am hiding something that I just cannot relate to everyone. I wish I could and often I do, but the truth is sometimes people, particularly family members are not always ready to accept everything at once. My biggest anxiety was a social one however. The sort of association at a more or less hippy commune like this one, reminded me of the sort of culture I used to be a part of; the searching, spiritualist type. For me going to a place like this, I guess is kind of like the feeling you get when you see an old boyfriend or girlfriend, uncomfortable and slightly embarrassed of the person that you used to be. But one good thing is that if you can take advantage of your past; your specialty, you can turn it into a tool to spread Krsna Consciousness.

The day before I got on my flight, I had a sudden inspiration to bring a suitcase full of Srila Gurudeva’s books and art posters. I set up shop on the porch of my sister’s little staff cabin in the woods, lit up some incense, blasted kirtan from Radha Raman temple and it all started from there. Over the course of the next few days not a significant number of people came, but signifcant people did come : ). Those people who made it over to the improv Bhakti shop I had set up were very interested and appreciative souls. I had many long conversations with people about Krsna Consciousness and found out that due to the amazing effectiveness of Srila Gurudeva’s preaching, I was able to answer many of their questions. Srila Gurudeva has equipped all of his disciples so well that even the newest of us have such amazing knowledge by Gurudeva’s mercy. There are so many answers to life’s questions that even children in our sanga know. Every one of us has something very valuable to share with the rest of the world.

I remember one time on book distribution with the Gaudiya Girls, Syamarani didi told me when you are looking at the people on the busy streets and trying to find the courage to speak to them, you can imagine that you are seeing them passing through the many different species of life. Now they have a human body, but this cycle will perpetuate and next birth they may take an animal or plant form again. You can change that, by handing them a book. These books are not just books. These people are actually meeting Srila Gurudeva, himself. The whole course of their life will be altered by this seemingly small interaction. How can we not give them a book? We have an opportunity to distribute Srila Gurudeva’s mercy in the form of His writings, and those of our entire disciplic succession.

I have found in my very short and inexperienced history of book distribution that I often feel nervousness that no one I meet will want to take anything, or they might but they won’t give any donations. However, often times I have been pleasantly surprised, discovering that if you really know that you have something so valuable to share, people can see that and magical things can happen. Just at Breitenbush something serendipitous happened. I was sitting with the collection of books and posters I had set up when three women walked through the woods and approached me. The first one said “Haribol” with a smile, and I was very surprised. “Haribol”, I answered back. Seeing no neck beads, I wondered who she was. She and her daughter were staying at Breitenbush and their friend, the third woman, was visiting. The third woman now stepped up and looked at the posters and asked me if I was a disciple of Srila Narayana Maharaj. I said “Yes!”. She was too! Her name was Shanti and she was my Godsister. She said she had just been walking by and she and her friends had smelled the incense and came over. She told me how she had lost inspiration and had been praying to Gurudeva lately with a desire to get inspired about spiritual life again. Then she wandered through the woods in an unexpecting place to find an altar with Gurudeva’s picture, as well as his books and posters; images from his heart. The path of Bhakti is amazing. The magic of Krsna is amazing. Through book distribution we are so fortunate because so often we get to be a witness to this magic.



One Comment

  1. Anjali dasia
    6 years ago

    I love this report Lasika didi! Jaya Srila Gurudeva!!!