Something New

Posted on May 25, 2018 by Anita dasi

This is my ninth summer distributing books in Manali. In the past few years we established a good routine. Though the town was getting more and more into regulations. This year we got oral permission from the town vice-president, but on our second day of book distribution someone stopped us saying we had to have written permission. We called the vice-president and he said he would help us but he was out of town for some days. Then there was endless heavy rain. When we finally went into the office he was out but the president was there and she said she could give written permission, but we also had to get written permission from the police and the district magistrate. After another day of shuffling from office to office we finally got proper permission. The delays and all the bureaucracy sort of sapped my enthusiasm for book distribution. We were doing the same thing in the same place, Srila Gurudeva’s books were getting into hands of jivas, but honestly my heart wasn’t really in it

Then Venu noticed that our permission was actually for a few different locations. One is the Hadimba temple, just a few minutes from where we stay. Hadimba is the raksashi wife of Bhima, and the temple dedicated to her is a prominent local temple and very popular with the tourists. We decided to try book distribution there for a change.

It was such a great afternoon! Since it is a temple people are already in a devotional state of mind. The main market where we usually go is filled with people, but its more about shopping and eating ice cream. The line for temple darshan wraps around the temple and at times snakes through the courtyard as well. There is a good amount of people that steadily trickle out of the temple, take some selfies and then make their way to our book table. People are also relaxed in a vacation mood. We had really nice exchanges with those who stopped at the book table. They asked nice questions and many people left with two or three books.

The police and temple authorities tried to move us along, but once they saw our permit their mood completely changed. Ironically if we had not had to go through all the hassle and delay of getting the permit we never would have tried this new spot and found renewed enthusiasm for our book distribution.