Goal for 2013 - 50,000 + books!

Last Update: Jan 31, 2013

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Books on own merit

I met a lady at University of Toronto and she was going to walk away but stopped to talk. She told me she had already got a book from me a few weeks ago and I was inspired to hear that. So I asked her if she had read it and she said she had. At this point I showed her another one of Srila Prabhupada's books and asked her if she would like to read. Without much discussion she quickly gave some more laxmi from her purse and took this book. She said she would come visit us at our centre. It is often explained that the books sell on their own merit; this was a chance to see the principal at work.

Sacred activism 2 years later

This Saturday enjoying Sankirtan in Kensington with enlivening sankirtan devotees I met a lady. She was going into the Cheese shop and stopped to speak with me. I asked her if she had heard re Yoga and meditation and she told me she was a yoga teacher. I asked her what kinds and she said she taught hot yoga - i didn’t think much of it but quickly showed her the Bhagavad gita explaining how as a yoga teacher she can use it for her classes. She appreciated the Sanskrit and the translations. Then, as I was out of Bhakti Lounge cards, I pulled out an old Inspirit card that had a picture of Devamrita Swami and told her to use the website on the card. To my greatest surprise the lady said she knew the Swami as he had been to their studio. I still could not connect the dots but as conversation continued I realized she was referring to the 'Sacred Activism' event at Moksha yoga about 2 years ago. It was a 6 hour event and people were dancing and chanting towards the end. However even though there were 70+ people in the room we were discussing that day how to pep up people to get the Bhagavad gita. Little do we know how Krishna's plan works - 2 years later this lady recognized us from an old card I was not supposed to have and got a Bhagavad gita.

2 Ratha Yatras and a yoga show later

I am starting to realize gradually that there are many people who have seen Srila Prabhupada during Ratha Yatra and tasted our prashad.This week at Ryerson University I met a young lady who was initially unenthusiastic but when she saw the perfection of yoga she recognized it from the Yoga show. Then she told me she has been to our Ratha Yatra and really enjoyed it. I asked her if she did the yoga this year and she explained how she was sick this year and all she could do was to come for a few hours and walk around. Then to my further surprise she said she had done the yoga the year before. Inspired by the association of devotees she had already receive, I offered her a Chant and be happy and told her to come visit us if she wanted to be reminded of her Ratha Yatra experience. She gave a small donation and happily took the book, running as she was in a crazy rush.

Govindas in Ottawa

I was at Ryerson University and there is some road construction happening inside the campus in preparation for new students to arrive. It was very hard to speak with anyone in such high noise levels but we were trying and praying for help. At this time, a tall man in a red T-shirt looked in my direction. I spoke with him and quickly upon seeing the books he recognized who were. He started to explain he was from Ottawa and used to visit Govindas there on University campus. He had very fond memories and was explaining ever since he moved to Toronto he was missing the Prashadam in Ottawa. I asked him if he knew Shankar prabhu who managed that centre and he started to explain how much he liked his association and cooking! I showed him the Bhagavad gita and he heard attentively about the contents of the Gita and gave a donation for it. He said he would come visit us simply because he missed the food so much and would like to know more. It is so nice to see how one devotee's efforts cascade down the boundaries of cities and countries.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Prashadam at music festivals

I met a young boy at University of Toronto and at first he was simply walking away, but then he started to talk. He looked at the Chant and be happy and exclaimed how he was from Liverpool and a big fan of Beatles. As he saw Srila Prabhupada picture he started to understand that we were Hare Krishnas. He got all excited and showed me the bracelets he was wearing from all the music festivals he attended. He told me the Hare Krishnas were at every music festival he attended in his country and he always ate our food and gave a donation. So I encouraged him to take a book but he had no laxmi. At first I told him cant give you the book for free but later as he was going away I remembered how appreciative he was of our philosophy and prashad, and how he mentioned he was looking for us. So I gave him a book. He told me he was 18 and starting his Engineering degree at UofT this year.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Penny Power

Submitted by : Bhakta Sam
The best example of a surprise donation came with a mother and young son in Kensington market. The two of them had stopped to talk to me as I was giving out books on the street and the mother was interested in learning more about yoga, as I had explained that the Perfection of Yoga book was about the spiritual roots of yoga practice. She had no change on her at all, but her young son of about 8 years of age piped up with "I have only ONE penny!" and held it out in his hand. I couldn't help but laugh and said replied that "yes, that'll do fine". I had already received some larger donations and was more than happy to give a book for the penny, especially because I wanted to reward the boy for his spontaneous service to the sankirtana movement. Even though he probably had no idea what he was supporting, I still found it so nice to see that spontaneous appreciation for spiritual literature from such a young person!

The power of the Maha Mantra... on paper!

Posted by : Bhakta Sam

On sankirtana at the University of Toronto, I found the passing students to be mostly very friendly. One incident that sticks out in my mind involved a young lady who was walking towards my direction and visibly looking at the cover of the book I was holding (Chant and Be Happy). She was quite curious, so I made a point to talk to her as she approached. I wasn't surprised when she slowed down and stopped by me - we talked for a couple of minutes about meditation and the contents of the book. She looked through it and was interested in taking it, but when I asked for a small donation, she became hesitant and gave the book back. I felt disappointed but didn't know what else to do, so I gave her one of our prasadam cookies. This cookie had a printed copy of the Maha Mantra inside the plastic baggy. She noticed this right away and I took the opportunity to say "that's a mantra - you would learn more about it in that book". Right away she said "give me the book", reached in her purse and found some change for a donation! It
was a stunning change of mood and all because of the Maha Mantra.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A sincere endeavor

The sincere servants of Caitanya Mahāprabhu are vigorously endeavoring to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement for the pleasure of their spiritual master and Lord Kṛṣṇa. At the present time thousands of devotees in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, in all parts of the world, are working long hours under difficult conditions to distribute transcendental literature and thus enlighten the general populace. In this effort the devotees have no personal motivation but are simply desirous of pleasing their spiritual master by distributing his books. The people who receive this literature usually have no previous experience of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, yet they are so impressed by the purity of the devotees they meet that they eagerly purchase the books and magazines. In order to execute the tremendous task of spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the devotees are tirelessly laboring day and night because they are on the platform of loving devotion. Although superficially such busy devotees may occasionally not think directly of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, such loving devotion will undoubtedly take them back to Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, and being pleased by their service, the Lord Himself will again arouse their unflinching meditation upon His personal form. This is the beauty of bhakti-yoga, which depends wholly and solely on the mercy of the all-merciful Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This is the only totally safe means of uprooting the deep desires for material enjoyment, attaining pure love for Kṛṣṇa and going beyond the material universe to the kingdom of God.

SB 11.7.6

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Glories of Sankirtan movement

Those who are actually advanced in knowledge are able to appreciate the essential value of this age of Kali. Such enlightened persons worship Kali-yuga because in this fallen age all perfection of life can easily be achieved by the performance of sańkīrtana.

Thus, love of Kṛṣṇa and entrance into Kṛṣṇa's planet in the spiritual sky is the most supremely perfect and exalted status of life available anywhere, at any time, throughout the totality of existence. That perfection is available in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the holy names of God: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Therefore every sane man, woman or child should deeply understand the unprecedented opportunity offered by Caitanya Mahāprabhu and seriously take up this chanting process. Only the most unfortunate and irrational person will neglect this transcendental opportunity.

Sb 11.5.36

Indeed, there is no higher possible gain for embodied souls forced to wander throughout the material world than the Supreme Lord's sańkīrtana movement, by which one can attain the supreme peace and free oneself from the cycle of repeated birth and death.

However, in Kali-yuga living conditions are so unbearable, modern governments are so obnoxious, our bodies are so ridden by physical and mental disease, and even self-preservation is so troublesome, that the conditioned souls intensely cry out the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, begging for relief from the onslaught of this age. The members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement have vivid and unforgettable experiences of the terrible contradictions inherent in human society in this age, and thus they are firmly convinced that there is nothing to be achieved except the mercy of the Supreme Lord. In ISKCON centers throughout the world we observe wonderfully ecstatic kīrtana performances in which men, women and children from all walks of life chant with startling enthusiasm the holy names of Kṛṣṇa and dance in ecstasy, becoming completely indifferent to so-called public opinion. In America a prominent professor from Oberlin College visited a Hare Kṛṣṇa center in California and was astonished by the enthusiasm with which the devotees chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa in their congregational performances.
Thus, due to their helpless and pathetic condition, the living entities in Kali-yuga have great impetus to surrender fully to the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, putting all of their hope and faith in the Lord's holy name. Kali-yuga is therefore the best age because in this age, more than in Satya-yuga or other ages, the conditioned souls become disgusted with the kingdom of illusion and surrender fully to the Lord's holy name. This status of full surrender is called paramāḿ śāntim, or supreme peace.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A unique experience

Submitted by : Mahabhagvat Das
One evening, one day before this year's Ratha Yatra, we were out on Sankirtan, accompanying Bhaktimarga Swami and a group of devotees out on Harinam.I had fallen back, each conversation would put me about 50-100 metres behind the devotees and lost sight of the Harinam party which was moving very briskly.

I saw two men staring at me as I was chanting the Mahamantra silently and waited to strike up conversations. I approached them with a book. One of the men practically jumped out of his skin, almost dropped the cigarette he held, and hastily moved away. The other man, slightly older-looking, disgust evident on his face, with the index fingers of his hands brought together and held in front, to form a cross, roughly told me to get away and that this chanting and these books were all satanic, that it was evil, from the devil. I was taken aback. I had received strange responses before, but this was far out! I didn't want to push this poor man to any further acts of who-knows-what, but at the same time, I didn't want to go away, because then he would have thought that the sign of the cross "repelled" me, further strengthening his misunderstanding. :-) So I hung around there, smiling at him, telling him that this was actually the same way preached by Lord Jesus Christ, the way of devotion to God, that Jesus Christ had said "hallowed be Thy Name", and I was chanting names of the same personality Jesus Christ worshiped in his heart! But he wouldn't relent, he kept mumbling something under his breath, pulled out a cellphone, then a camera, and began snapping pictures of me, of the other devotees on Sankirtan.

Just then, the happily ecstatic and enthusiastic Harinam party, who had long passed out of our sight, returned from the other end of the street. The men got even more agitated, they began to grunt noises of disapproval, and mutter to each other, taking even more pictures, even crossed the street to take better pictures of the Harinam party, keeping a "safe" distance of course. I was angered, saddened, amused and disappointed at various times as I reflected on this experience of being treated as part of an evil empire. Of course, Sankirtan conversations can go any which way, and one has to know when to not push and when to back away - leave the unripe fruit.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kevala Ananda kanda

kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann
asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya
mukta-sańgaḥ paraḿ vrajet
Kali-yuga is an ocean of hypocrisy and pollution. In Kali-yuga all natural elements are polluted, such as water, earth, sky, mind, intelligence and ego. The only auspicious aspect of this fallen age is the process of chanting the holy names of the Lord (asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ). Simply by the delightful process of kṛṣṇa-kīrtana one is freed from his connection to this fallen age (mukta-sańga) and goes back home, back to Godhead (paraḿ vrajet). Sometimes the preachers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement also use the parokṣa, or indirect method of persuasion, offering a nice transcendental sweet to the conditioned soul to entice him to come to the lotus feet of the Lord. Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement is kevala ānanda-kāṇḍa, simply blissful. But by the mercy of Caitanya Mahāprabhu even one who is indirectly attracted to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement achieves very quickly the perfection of life and goes back home, back to Godhead.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pure Logic

Mere logic cannot explain how even material objects expand their potency. These things can be understood by mature observation. The Absolute Truth expands His potency in the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the material world just as fire expands its potency of heat." (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 1.3.2) Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī explains that one can understand the power of a valuable gem not by logical statements but by observing the effect of the gem. Similarly, one can understand the potency of a mantra by observing its power to achieve a particular effect. Such potency doesn't depend on so-called logic. There is no logical necessity for a seed's growing into a tree and giving fruits that nourish the human body. One may argue that the genetic code for the entire tree is contained within the seed. But there is no logical necessity for the existence of the seed, nor for the seed's expanding itself into a gigantic tree. Ex post facto, or after the manifestation of the wonderful material nature, the foolish material scientist traces out the expansion of a seed's potency in an apparently logical sequence of events. But there is nothing within the realm of so-called pure logic that dictates that a seed should expand into a tree. Rather, such expansion should be understood to be the potency of the tree. Similarly, the potency of a jewel is its mystic power, and various mantras also contain innate potencies. Ultimately the mahā-mantra — Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare — has the potency to transfer one to the spiritual world of bliss and knowledge. In the same way, the Absolute Truth has the natural quality of expanding itself into innumerable varieties of material and spiritual worlds. We may logically describe this expansion after the fact, but we cannot deny the expansion of the Absolute Truth. The conditioned soul who purifies his consciousness through the process of devotional service can scientifically observe the expansion of the Absolute Truth as described here, just as one who is not blind can observe the expansion of a seed into a huge tee. One can understand the potency of a seed not by speculation but rather by practical observation. Similarly, one must purify his vision so that he can practically observe the expansion of the Absolute Truth. Such observation can take place either by the ears or by the eyes. Vedic knowledge is śabda-brahma, or transcendental potency in the form of sound vibration. Therefore, one can observe the functions of the Absolute Truth through submissive hearing of transcendental sound. Śāstra-cakṣus. When one's consciousness becomes fully purified one can perceive the Absolute Truth with all of one's spiritualized senses.

SB 11.3.37

An enthusiastic student

I was outside the University of Toronto farmer's market on Thursday afternoon and there were a lot of students in the area. That’s when I met a young and energetic University student and she was enthusiastically checking out the Bhagavad Gita. She told me she had seen me near Carlton Street talking to people before and I explained how I lived in the area. As we talked we found out that we were actually neighbors. She looked very interested in the pictures and intrigued by the philosophy. It also turned out that she was starting a job at the Multifaith centre in September where we generally hold our club activities. It also turned out that she coordinates the farmers market and we were looking to serve food out in the area for students on Thursdays - there were too many things in common. She said she would read the books and keep in touch and we can only pray that it actually happens.

Let's get to know each other

I had been seeing this man for a few weeks now. Each week he would come out of the University building with a group of his friends and each week I would wave at him asking if he was interested in Prabhupada's books and he would just smile me by. So this week when I saw him I decided not to bother him anymore, I simply smiled and did not say a word. He walked a few steps with his friends and then he turned back, walked up to me and asked me what these books I had were. I was shocked but sure this had nothing to do with me.

So I showed him the Perfection of yoga but his eyes fell on the Gita that I was holding. He told me he had read it already and I was really surprised. I then showed him the Krishna book saying if you have read the Gita you must read about Krishna. He deeply admired the pictures and the explanations and agreed to take the Krishna book. I was remembering how I have heard in a lecture by Devamrita Swami that if we simply stay in an area for a while and even though someone is initially not receptive, eventually they will come around. We are making clear to them, we are here to stay and you are here to stay - so let's get to know each other.

Rightfully naughty

A few days ago it was quoted in Bhagvatam class how Srila Prabhupada had said that naughtiness in early childhood is a sign of future intelligence. Maharaj gave examples of how Srila Prabhupada changed the consciousness of children by this encouragement. So yesterday as I was in Kensington market I met this man with a little boy. He was semi-interested in the book but the little boy was just snatching it, looking into it and enjoying a thorough inspection. While I was trying to explain the book to his father, the little kid asked his father to simply buy the book. As the father was looking for laxmi he started to express how naughty his son was and completely impossible to control. I could see he was running everywhere but then I remembered what we had heard in Bhagvatam class and told this man that it was a sign of future intelligence. He was looking at me in disbelief and trying hard to believe me. He and the little boy left with a book.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Everlasting Joy

According to Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī, those who are advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness should not envy one another or quarrel among themselves. Giving up all such mundane feelings, they should gather together and chant the glories of the Supreme Lord for mutual purification. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has pointed out that glorification of the Supreme Lord is especially potent when performed in the association of pure devotees. When devotees engage in sańkīrtana, chanting the glories of the Lord together, they experience the highest transcendental bliss and satisfaction. Thus they encourage one another to give up material sense gratification, which is based on illicit sexual connections with women. One devotee will say to another, "Oh, you have given up sense gratification. Starting today, I shall also give it up."
One should learn to increase one's love for the devotees, to satisfy them and to give up sense objects unfavorable to serving Kṛṣṇa. And one should learn to view the entire universe as paraphernalia for the Lord's service. By engaging the objects of the senses in Kṛṣṇa's service, one automatically becomes detached from them. And as one passes one's days in the association of the Lord's devotees, one's transcendental ecstasy increases more and more, through discussions about the topics of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore, one who wants to be free from the harassment of māyā in the form of sense gratification must constantly associate with pure devotees of the Lord who have no engagement other than chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord and carrying out His mission on earth.

SB 11.3.30

Monday, August 8, 2011

A first time magic

Submitted by : Bhaktin Rashmi
Last Friday was not the first time I was out on sankirtan, but it did feel like I had never done it before. I joined Mangal Aarti to share Srila Prabhupada’s books with students at Ryerson University in the heart of downtown Toronto. As the weather was very good, I found that a lot of students were on campus but they were very unresponsive to my meager attempts to get them to stop and listen to me. After spending 10 min not being able to stop a single person, out of impatience I approached Mangal Aarti for advice. She made me watch what she has learnt from HG Vaisesika Prabhu as she approached a person and distributed a Perfection of Yoga to him making him walk away chanting the name of Gauranga. Watching this inspired me to be more confident and doing my duty of at least putting the book in their hand. As Vaisesika Prabhu has taught us, every person I approached after that, I made sure that they touched a book and somewhere my new found confidence inspired me to go that extra distance in making sure they took the book. My hesitation had suddenly disappeared. I found that in the next half an hour, I had successfully distributed 6 books just by breaking out of my comfort zone and putting my trust in Srila Prabhupada’s books. The joy I got from distributing those 6 books was unmatched by anything I had ever experienced. It made me realise how powerful the art of sankirtan is and how essential it was for my progress in Krishna Consciousness. I was so desperate to experience that happiness again that I couldn’t resist but keep distributing books, this time outside Urban Edge Yoga. Having the same mood and confidence, I managed to distribute 2 more books and came to the realization that there was nothing more pleasing in this world than this.
Lord Chaitanya's mission is all happiness : Saba avatara Sara Shiromani - Kevala Ananada Kanda

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The revolution within

I met a young man at University of Toronto. His hair had several braids and his skin had cuts – it looked like he was under the influence. I also noticed wounds on his arms and I didn’t think he would take a book. Krishna proved me wrong and this man took a book and I asked him if he could join us at our centre tonight for a special event with a travelling Swami. He said he would but I did not think he would. Then around 10 minutes before the event he called me that evening as he could not find our place. I started to give him directions and he went from one location to the other for over an hour trying to find us. Finally he arrived almost close to the end but he was surprisingly calm. He went and sat in the front and started to listen. He had several questions and was very revolutionary in his approach. He could see the emptiness of the material life but did not have a constructive way out. He sat next to Maharaj until 10 pm asking a series of question that Maharaj patiently answered. Then he got up towards the end and left. Later next morning he sent me this text “I have decided I like all of you a lot. Next Friday the Swami is in?? I will make sure I check the net next time so I don’t get lost. Thanks”

Design or coincidence

I was walking back towards the street car and hoping to get to Bhakti lounge in time for the special event with BB Bhagvat Swami but both Rashmi and I were stopping everyone and giving out fliers as we walked. Going down the street I met a young man and started to show him the flier and he showed me the same flier in his hands. His friend had met me some time ago and taken a flier from me that he gave to this guy. While his friend did not take a book, he was very interested. He appreciated the Sanskrit and the philosophy and readily took a book giving a small donation. He said he would talk to his friend and try to come but I did not have much hope. To my great surprise, less than 2 hours later they were both a Bhakti Lounge and sat with us listening intently near Maharaj's feet until 10 PM (2 hours after the event was over) they seemed enlivened by the conversation and said they would keep in touch.

It's a mad mad world

Submitted by : Bhakta Sam
One memorable interaction from today's book distribution was with a man who recognized the picture of John Lennon on the cover of 'Chant and Be Happy'. Mangal-Aarti was talking to him, but looked uncomfortable so I came over and starting chatting with him. Rolling up his sleeve, he pointed out a tattoo and said that John Lennon was his hero. He said he was a musician from a famous band in Manchester, although I forgot to ask which band it was. He was also somewhat puffed-up, claiming to have millions of dollars and being very proud of his position. Unfortunately, he was totally intoxicated and also somewhat belligerent on the subject of John Lennon and after his
initial curiousity, not very interested in taking a copy. He started quoting Lennon's famous song "God": "I don't believe in Jesus, I don't believe in Gita... I just believe in me" and saying that he had heard every interview John ever gave. I tried to stay positive and pointed out that John was the kind of person who only believed something he could experience and that the book was also not about belief, but
rather about how to have a genuine experience. I talked about other songs John Lennon and pointed out that he had never read his words from Chant and Be Happy. Turning to page 45, I read him something from John's interview and tried to stay focused on just getting a copy into his hands, trusting that Krishna would work his magic if this man just give him a chance. At one point I remember him trying to impress me by
telling me he had $30 million dollars and that I should know him - just replied by saying that one quarter would be sufficient to support printing costs and so please take a copy. I'm not sure what made the difference and we weren't talking for all that long (although it felt like longer!), but eventually he just stopped and said "Yes, man. Okay, I can respect that" and moved to give me a big, fragrant hug. In
the moment, I was just so happy that he chose to connect by taking a copy that I returned the hug, despite the smell! He pulled out a loonie, gave it to me and moved on. It was a great lesson in staying positive and remembering to remind the reluctant that the benefits of chanting do NOT come from belief at all. We can feel them with just a little sincerity and an honest curiousity. I think John Lennon would

Power of Krishna Book - Bhagvat Katha

I was at University of Toronto trying to connect with some students when I met a tall pale looking guy. It was a very hot day but he was wearing a black leather looking jacket with a woolen hat and I thought perhaps he was crazy. Still I started to speak with him and to my greatest surprise he said he had a Bhagavad Gita but he had left his copy in his old home. I asked him to take another copy and give a donation which he readily agreed to do. As we kept talking I realised that he had impersonal philosophies. He started to talk about how he doesn't believe in personal form of God and I felt it best not to argue with him and preserve my energy. But to my greatest surprise he proceeded on to quote mantras from Bhagavad Gita and how Krishna was the 'Supreme Personality of Godhead' and he did not believe it. Then he went on to describe the Brahama Vimohan lila in great details from Krishna book like he had read it yesterday. He was speaking almost verbatim about how Lord Brhama stole all the cows and Krishna expanded himself into all calves and cowherd boys. As he kept claiming to be a non-believe he kept repeating Bhagavat Katha. I started to relaise the potency of Srila Prabhupada's books and the influence of Sri Krishna's passtimes on one's consciousness. Even though he didn't believe anything, glories of the Lord were etched in his mind. Out of curiosity I asked him what he did and to my further surprise he said he was a Philosophy major at University of Toronto.

As you read Srimad Bhagvatam, the heart is naturally cleansed and the hankering to read increases.

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido

bhavanti hrit-karna-rasayanah kathah

In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.

Why do I still live ?

Yesterday at Yonge and Dundas I was struggling to keep a straight face as there are a lot of people and they are very intoxicated. I had been there 15 minutes and had already been called things and seen some crazy people include a man with a snake around his neck. In this craziness I saw a girl go by who didn’t stop at first but then she turned around and came back to ask me what I had. Inspired by her desire to check what we had I started to show her the chant and be happy and she was very appreciative. She gave a donation for the book but I kept talking to probe a little deeper. She looked really young so I asked her if she had any idea what stress is. She answered in affirmative so I further probed what she wanted to do with her life. She said she wanted to be a cop and get drugs off the street. So I asked her how is it that she is 19 and yet so clean and focussed. I inquired if it was her parents who inspired her and she said no it was quiet the opposite. I insisted I wanted to know what is behind the pretty young face and then she showed me her wrist. I could see she had dried to slit it open several times and by the wounds one could tell they were recent marks. Then she started to narrate her horrifying experiences with a smile and she could not have been older than 16/17 when going through all this – I was simply in shock. As she told me she could read any amount – I handed her a Bhagavad gita and showed her the reincarnation picture. As I explained the picture and told her she needs to know who she is – she turned around and said I really need to figure out who I am and what my purpose in life is. She gave a donation for the Gita and promised to read it and come visit us. Last night she texted me that she would read it but I do not know if she will. Please give her blessings so she can make progress – I cannot imagine how such a little girl goes through so much. She was 19 with a broken relationship and parents who did not support her and she was living alone in this world – until now that she has Lord Chaitanya with her.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Krishna conscious preacher - signs of a sadhu

"A sādhu as described above is a devotee of the Lord. His concern, therefore, is to enlighten people in devotional service to the Lord. That is his mercy. He knows that without devotional service to the Lord, human life is spoiled. A devotee travels all over the country door to door preaching, 'Be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Be a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Don't spoil your life in simply fulfilling your animal propensities. Human life is meant for self-realization, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.' These are the preachings of a sādhu. He is not satisfied with his own liberation. He always thinks about others. He is the most compassionate personality toward all the fallen souls. One of his qualifications, therefore, is kāruṇika, great mercy to the fallen souls. While engaged in preaching work he has to meet with so many opposing elements, and therefore the sādhu, or devotee of the Lord, has to be very tolerant.

SB 11.2.5