September 2013 | By Janardan das
By Krishna’s arrangement I have moved to Seattle again. In the last month many things have happened and I feel I am being inspired and motivated by Guru, Vaisnavas, and Krishna to do more book distribution.
I have been going to organic grocery stores, library’s, Co-Ops, yoga studios, spiritual type stores and centers and other community places to put stacks of books. In these types of places there are sections where people can place business cards, flyers, coupons, etc. I had the thought that these places would be a good place to leave books, flyers, and mantra cards because people look there for information. So what better information could I give them then Krishna, and the bhakti yoga process? (below there are some pictures)
Every week here in Seattle a devotee by the name of Visvambhara das prabhu goes out on Harinama sankirtan in downtown Seattle. He is a Diksha disciple of Srimad B.V. Bishnu Mahraja. I go with him on sankirtan and we do kirtan and give out Srila Gurudeva’s books and Srila BV Swami Maharaja Prabhupada’s books for about 3 hours. It is very enlivening and the experience makes me feel more fired up to do my own spiritual practice and deepen my knowledge of bhakti. Sometimes though I feel like not going out into the big city and being in the association, what feels like an ocean of materialistic people, who don’t even give me the time of day and laugh at me. But there is one quote by Srila BV Swami Maharaja Prabhupada that helps me.
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Sudama, 25th November 1972)
“Yes, we shall base our preaching work on Lord Caitanya’s formula: sankirtana. After all, He is God, and if He recommends, what is the question of failure? That is not possible. If we simply stick to this program as I have done it since the beginning, namely, kirtana, preaching, kirtana, distribution of prasadam if you do like this only that will be sufficient. Of course, you may make the kirtana as nice as possible, with dancing, many khols, karatalas, conches, and if you preach sincerely, anyone will listen and become convinced. The potency of Krsna consciousness movement does not come from some outward showing, no, it is the transcendental sound vibration of Hare Krsna mantra and the words of Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, like that. So now go on and develop the things in this spirit, that will be nice. We are not interested to attract millions of men to see some show. Better we attract one sincere soul to join us in ecstatic chanting and hearing, that will be of real value. And distribute books, as many as possible. If anyone hears something philosophy from us, that will help him. But if he purchases one book that may turn his life. So selling books is the best preaching activity. Sell books, hold the kirtana in public places like schools and colleges, preach if you practice these things, and try to improve them more and more, simply by your practicing sincerely, that simple program will please Krsna the most and you will see that very soon.”
I recently had the good fortune to get the association and do some service for Srimad Bhakti Vichar Bishnu Mahraja. He is the Diksha Guru of my friend Visvambhara das prabhu who lives only 5 mins from where I am staying here in Seattle. So I was able to go everyday to serve Maharaja and get his association and instructions. When I first met BV Bishnu Maharaja he told me of how he use to go on Vraja-mandala parikrama with my Srila Gurudeva when he was a Brahmacari. While he was here he gave very nice Hari-katha at all the programs we went to, and lead some very blissful kirtans. I hope to get his association again, for he inspired me greatly.
During the time when BV Bishnu Maharaja was here there was a program for him in Bellingham, Wa which is about 2 hours from Seattle. Visvambhara das prabhu and I where invited to a “Skills” festival near by where the program was going to be by an ISKCON devotee, to do kirtan. So we went a few hours before the program to give out books and do kirtan on the main stage for a half hour. At first I was afraid to chant in front of so many people, but after 3mins of chanting, the maha mantra destroyed all fear and nervousness. That experience really helped me to see, feel, and realize the true power of Harinama.
I hope to continue my book distribution, preaching and sankirtan here in Seattle. I ask for the blessings of all the vaisnavas so I may do this.
Aspiring for the service of the vaisnavas,
Janardan das anu das
PS I also had the good fortune of finding the first Hare Krsna Temple here in Seattle, where Srila BV Swami Maharaja Prabhupada first came to Seattle.