All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga! All glories to the Vaisnavas!
Under the shelter of our dearest Syamarani Didi, Gurudeva’s daughters have been touring around different parts of Los Angeles, California, distributing books, prasadam, and kirtan.This week marks the midway point in our Gaudiya Girls two week art and book distribution tour. So far we have visited Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Artesia, and the San Fernando Valley, to name a few.
In order to impart the full effect of the tour to our dear readers, we thought it best that you hear about it straight from the Gaudiya Girls themselves. Below are just a few of the many inspirational experiences we would like to share with you:
A day in the life of a Gaudiya Girl
“Every morning begins with arati, bhajans, class, and sloka recitation and lessons. Every day is focused on how we can please Gurudeva. It is an absolutely blissful experience to be in an environment and in association that fills you up with inspiration and gives you the time, energy, and desire to just focus on watering your bhakti creeper. Gaudiya Girls tour is in itself another form of festival, for it is full of seva, harikatha, association, and beautiful exchanges with other devotees. It is also just extremely fun to be able to be in a group of other devotee women, learning from their example how to be a better vaisnavi, and having the refreshing candor of fellow women. There is an extra special gentle mood that accompanies the Gaudiya Girls experience, and it is moving, delightful, and exciting, relished like a friend’s warm embrace.” (Caitanya Shakti dasi)
“While on this tour, in the moments when I have truly given myself as an instrument in the hands of Gurudeva, he has reciprocated by giving me so much energy in distributing his books. Indeed, almost one after the other, he sent those people who were ready to take the next step in their spiritual path. There was no need to intellectually search for what to say; I found that the words were coming automatically in a very natural flow or current. It was as if I wasn’t speaking, but listening as someone else said the words coming from my mouth…Gurudeva gave me his blessings so that I could remember and serve his harikatha.” (Mallika dasi)
The Miracle of Book Distribution
“At Panorama Mall in front of the Wal-Mart, I handed a Latino woman a Spanish edition of The Way of Love. We spoke a little bit. She introduced herself as Estella. Estella shared some recent losses in her life, and I listened. Just by this, I established myself as a friend with only good wishes for her, and the book in her hand worked on her internally. The more we talked, the more happy she became. She remarked on how nice it was to speak to a stranger and have a sweet exchange, and expressed her support of our loving, friendly mood in approaching people, and also for the spiritual nature of the literature we distribute. It made her cry. Even though she had never encountered bhakti literature before, just after holding the book and talking for a little, she seemed to appreciate it very much. Her smile just grew bigger and bigger. It reminded me that Gurudeva was in that book, giving her that effulgent smile and bliss. (Caitanya Shakti dasi)
“I felt shy and couldn’t make myself come over to people. Then I talked to Vasanti and she said to me “Don’t worry – if people don’t take a book it’s nothing about you, it’s that they don’t have enough sukriti” Later I found her words to be supported by my interaction with two young men whom I approached. One of them who was further away from me stopped and the second I initiated the talk and even changed spots with his friend, so to be able to listen and discuss things with me. He was really interested and we taught him the Maha-mantra and he said he’d try it out.” (Indira dasi)
“In the past few days of our gaudiya girls sankirtan, I was able to reach out to others. I have become even more aware of how many people are receptive to receiving these gem-like books. I met so many jivas who were hungry for something else. Many of them were in distress looking for answers about life. I connected with some people and they were so grateful we came in contact with them. One person that I met in particular (Diana), told me that she was going through a very stressful week and that meeting me made her day. In addition, she stated that everything happens for a reason and that she could see from the devotees’ sankirtan, that they were so ecstatic. She gave me a hug and asked me to pray for her. I pray that Gurudeva continues to inspire us to distribute His books not just once a year, but as much possible.” (Indulekha dasi)
“Chaitanya Sakti didi and I went outside Walmart one evening for a few hours to distribute books. At that time I approached one lady and gave her a Journey of the Soul book. As soon as she saw the title of that book she said ‘Oh, this is meant for me!’ Then she went on to tell me about her ‘near death’ experience and said that since then she’s never felt the same again. She was expressing how it very much brought her closer to God. She told me that every morning she gets up at 4 am and chants ‘Om’ and prays to God. That morning she was praying to God to reveal more to her, and indicate what the ‘next step’ is on her spiritual path. Then when she received Gurudeva’s books, she immediately understood that God had answered her prayers! She was asking me many questions and I showed her Bhagavad Gita and pointed out some important verses, and then she asked me to note down the page numbers so she could read them herself later. Then I invited her to our programs and the Badger festival and she said that she definitely wants to come! (Caru Chandrika dasi)
Nagar Sankirtan and Nama Hatta
“On the appearance day of Srimati Gangamati Gosvamini, we had a blissful nagar sankirtan in Pasadena. We attended the annual music festival last year, and since it was one of our best distribution days, we again returned this year. Singing and dancing around the festival, I saw many smiles, and the people were compelled to dance as they came near our blissful chanting. At one point Sivananada prabhu and Radhika dasi invited people to chant in our circle. Teaching them the mantra by call and response, the people were all enthused and enlivened by the holy names. We distributed books easily and brought home two young men to the house program we were having in the evening. One of them said that evening, during prasadam, that he felt more comfortable with us than he did with his family or friends, that he’s been suffering a lot, but finally feels relief. Already in the tour we’ve brought home three people with us from the streets. It feels like Syamarani didi said, the third year is certainly a charm.”
We hope that this report gives others life and inspiration to distribute all of Srila Gurudeva’s books. We also kindly request that if your heart is moved to serve Srila Gurudeva, that you will help us to continue to make this tour a success, by your sincere donations.
Aspiring to please Guru, Gauranga, and the Vaisnavas,
Radhika Dasi & Mallika Dasi
Gaudiya Girls 2014