BY ANITA DASI
For the fourth year in a row we journeyed to Haridwar for book distribution for Siva Ratri. Once we arrived at the train station we found our train was delayed one hour . . . then another hour. . . then another hour.
To release our frustration we began a kirtan. Soon a group of enthusiastic ladies who had spent some days in Vrndavan & Mathura on pilgrimage joined our kirtan. We broke open a box of books and began to distribute to them as well as onlookers.
On the train we also distributed books. I was amazed how powerful the books are and the deep impression and effect that just seeing the book has on a jiva’s sukriti. Some devotees went one direction on the train, and Vasanti dasi and I went the other direction. We would both offer books to each compartment. When we came to the end of the train we made our way back, both of us again offering books in every compartment. I was amazed how many people who refused books the first three passes, would finally take one on the forth opportunity.
In Gita it says, “Krsna preserves what we have and carries what we lack.” I saw how true this was on our first day of book distribution in Haridwar. We set up a book table on the bank of the Ganges.
The portable table was something of a novelty and just the act of setting it up drew a crowd. I am no kirtaneer and I have no idea how to play mrdanga, but since there was already a crowd I thought to start kirtan. Even though it was rather – err – simple the crowd increased. Other ladies from our group took turns and a sweet mood developed. We were able to distribute books to the gathered onlookers.
Suddenly an expert mrdanga player appeared. A group of ISKCON devotees from Bangladesh came by and joined our kirtan. The mood swelled and we all began to dance. The crowd grew to hundreds many of them singing along. Lots of books went out and we all felt electric to have participated in such a kirtan.
Nagar sankirtan ki jaya!