Give the gift that keeps on giving.
In the Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada's magnificent summary study of Rupa Goswami's Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, he describes the glories of pure bhakti.
Therein it is describes six features of pure bhakti.
- Krishna Consciousness bring relief from all distress. (Ajamil, the sinner saved)
- Krishna Consciousness is All Auspicious (the best welfare, BG 18.66)
- Krishna Consciousness produces supreme happiness (Material happiness temporary at best, Kholaveca Sridhara so poor but so happy)
- Extremely rare (Only bhakti can awaken bhakti)
- Bhakti minimizes the happiness of becoming One with Brahman (Prahlad says happiness of Bhakti is like an ocean whereas Brahmananda is like the small amount of water contained in a calfs footprint.
- Only Bhakti can attract Krishna. (Krishna says to Uddhava, "Nothing gets my heart like Bhakti"
These items are also summarized in the small book called Bhakti, The Art of Eternal Love.
Because of these reasons we are fortunate to participate in book distribution this month. Srila Prabhupada explained that the basis of giving others the opportunity to reawaken their Krishna Bhakti is by coming in to contact with Krishna Conscious books. Such books attract the heart to the All Attractive One, Sri Krishna. So for the past couple weeks during the weekends and as well as during the week we have been going out on book distribution.
All devotees are very ecstatic when they get the opportunity for this service. Here we see little Vrinda excited to pass out Kalachandji postcards.
The one that was really excited is 13 year old Govinda. He has been calling me everyday asking when we could go out again. Because of his enthusiasm I have been forced to go out almost daily. The picture on the top is of some young ladies who received books from Govinda. Everybody that we meet is eager to get these books, one young lady who didn't have any money gave us her lollipops in exchange for a book.
Last Sunday Mathuranatha and Dwaraka Prabhus did an amazing presentation about a newer and powerful way to distribute books about Krishna. It is called aSmart Box.
These boxes are so smart that they know how to alleviate all suffering and bring one to the service of Krishna. After the presentation at the Sunday Feast immediately 30 people signed up for smart boxes. Each box was to be their own project. Each signee purchased their own box and 20 small books and agreed to weekly stock the box at their own convenience. The method was that the devotees find a grocery store, salon, laundry mat, dentist/doctors office, etc, in their area and ask them for permission to place the box there. The same devotee then goes back every week to restock the box with more books and use the money to purchase more stock. It is genius! Brhat Mrdanga Sankitan Ki Jaya!!
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra das
Sat, 12/27/2008 - 19:06 — thirtho
this is such an awesome idea....
no doubt abt it....
Sat, 12/27/2008 - 11:25 — Navasi
My husband, Keshava das, said he particularly liked this post too.
Navasi devi dasi
Fri, 12/26/2008 - 07:30 — Navasi
This is a really wonderful article, Nityananda Chandra!
Smart boxes are such a great idea too!
I loved reading this. It's fantastic. Very inspiring.
I love how you got 'forced' to go out every day by 13 year old Govinda : )
Thanks so much!
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
Sat, 12/27/2008 - 11:55 — NityānandaChandra
Sun, 12/28/2008 - 02:51 — Navasi
Your are very welcome, Nityananda Chandra.
The thing is, this is really one of the very most important and essential services that anyone can possibly do.
Distributing Srila Prabhupada's books to everyone and anyone you can. It's so essential.
Everything we know now, or understand, has come from Srila Prabhupada, from his teachings. Even if we are learning it from one of his disciples, it has still come from him.
His books are the essence of his teachings and the distribution of those books was always very dear to him.
I don't remember the exact way he said it, so this is not a quote, but he said something to the effect that we can say so many things ourselves, but if someone gets one of his books then that is the most valuable thing. They are reading his teachings directly.
This is so wonderful, you and these other devotees going out and giving books to people. And the boxes too.
My daughter-in-law, Mandy, who you saw in the wedding photos has book racks similar to this that she maintains at some of the local Indian shops and restaurants where she lives, in San Diego, CA. There is a video interview of her about it on the Shastradana website (in case anyone is interested). I think it is just called "Mandy".
The only real difference is that she buys the books herself and then leaves them in the shop for people to take free. (I mean the difference between that and the smart boxes).
I like the smart boxes because it's also very good for people to give some money for the books if they can. Srila Prabhupada said that people value what they pay for more.
Of course there is also the time and place to give them free, I am not claiming one to be better than another, just discussing them both.
So, to me, this post of yours is really:
Catching the Spirit of the Holidays :)
(the real holiday of going Back To Godhead)
So, thank you for sharing it with someone like myself who is not out giving people books.
Navasi devi dasi
*I realize you know all this, of course, about the importance of book distribution. Just elaborating for anyone who might not.