Sankirtan Adventures 2019.77-78 MARATHON! Old City Hall, New Ocean Supermarket

What is it that makes Srila Prabhupada book marathon so enlivening, so energizing, so inspiring and empowering? Here are some Sankirtan stories!

Mahabhagavat Das, 03 December 2019

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

By your mercy, Sankirtan continues. By your mercy may this marathon season be successful! Please bless! PRABHUPADA MARATHON!

My prayer to Sri Sri Gaura Nitai almost every day, in Marathi, with some variants sometimes.

Mee naalaayak aahe (I am unsuitable)

Mee murkha aahe (I am a fool)

Pan tumhi malaa sveekaarla (But You have accepted me)

Tar aata tyaa saglyaanvar krupa karaaa (so now please have mercy on all those others too)

Tumchi krupa aso, kaahitari karu dya (Please have mercy, please let me do something)

Das’ regular prayer

Summary:

27 Nov 2019 – Old City Hall

30 Nov 2019 – New Ocean Supermarket

———-

Total 2 Outings

Marathon magic!

What is it about the Prabhupada Marathon that inspires, empowers, and energizes? How is it that during the Prabhupada Marathon, impossible miracles occur? I don’t know. I am diving in. Please dive in too. You can only taste the nectar by diving in, not, as my spiritual master said to me before I started practicing “by licking the outside of the jar”. I pray that I can fully surrender to that instruction! ๐Ÿ™‚

My son asks for a report – Baba, how many books, who took them, and so on. And he just LOVES to pack books for me, and accompany me too, whenever his 6-year-old busy schedule allows him to!

Ongoing conversation with Max… he’s asking questions, hopefully he reads a book! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m writing this “fresh”, in other words, as soon after the outing. There may be more of these writings with more detail, because I remember more, so please bear with me.

At City Hall one afternoon after a rainy day, collected a lot of no’s, some curiosity, but mostly no’s…

3 young men, walking by and I said “meditation”, and they said something I didn’t hear clearly and walked by. One of them turned around, the other two also turned around. I placed books in their hands and asked the first one “ever tried meditation”, he said no, and opened the Gita and started reading “…Personality… Godhead… Spoke… Sun God…” – flipped some more pages. I said this was spoken 5,000 years ago and that Einstein, Thoreau, Gandhi, they all read it, and we’re looking for people who want to read it, that we don’t sell them but accept donations. The others were busy flipping through their own books in the meantime. Turns out they had no money, high school kids, or maybe didn’t want to give, but high school kids! Pressman gave me his email, Euan gave me his Instagram, and the other one who said his name was Lucas said he had bad experiences with giving people his emails – so just for kicks, I let them read a crazy email I got (some of them, they’re really out there!). After a good chuckle, they all chanted, once, twice, and thrice, so the deal was sealed. Pressman handed me the Gita back because he felt he couldn’t accept it without giving me something. So they took small books and left with a good impression. Will one of them be a Vaisesika Prabhu? Will one of them be a friend of Vaisesika Prabhu? Will one of them be a Krsnadasa Kaviraja Prabhu? Will one of them teach their friend the Mahamantra and that person would be a Sankarshan Prabhu? They were all artistic and musical, so they played with the idea of making the Mahamantra as their “producer tag”. And we parted ways.

M sidled up to me, like literally rubbing against me before I jumped out of the way. She was unusually and uncomfortably close. With her high heels, cigarette blowing horrible smoke too close to me, dark skin, eyelashes, and makeup and heavy perfume, I could tell she was intoxicated, I asked her, “what do you do M” and she almost purred “I’m a working girl”. I could see her expression changing gradually as I spoke to her about meditation and a higher non-material inner pleasure. She took a book “yeah I will take one” and sobered up really quickly, stubbed out her cigarrette on the ground, crushing it with precision with her stiletto, and unfortunately didn’t chant the Mantra – didn’t want to push her, I was a bit nervous to be honest – who knows how it could go! I hope she will read the book “Conquer Your Mind, Conquer the World” by Sankarshan Prabhu, my spiritual master.

Teddy looked at me as I said “meditation” but passed me by. Then he slowly turned around and said “what did you say”. For a moment, I was fearful that I had met another interesting character and might possibly be in trouble. But as I handed him the Chant and Be Happy, I said “I said, are you interested in meditation, sir”. Teddy is into stoicism, and said he “got that orange book” (Bhagavad Gita), but cannot understand it. I said “see, stoicism is fine, but if you don’t feel anything how will you ever connect? You need to feel, but you can’t get carried away by every feeling”. That resonated with him. So he took Chant and Be Happy saying it “looked simpler”, chanted the mantra, and as I dropped him an email – he said he would be in touch. In parting he said “namas to you”, so I said “namaste” with joined palms, and he did the one-handed pranaam in the Oriental way and left, and I was happy to note he was not stoic but had a wiiiide smile!

Karan was my most memorable candidate that day. He approached me with “Sir, do you like Kids”, and I said of course and asked him if he was with Sick Kids Hospital. He said no, I think he is with Amnesty or some other welfare organization trying to save the children. I said, look I do a lot of this, I just spent a whole bunch of time standing over there trying to see if anyone is interested in their own spiritual welfare, it’s the month the Gita was spoken. He said “I’m Sikh, and I always wanted to read the Gita”. I said, today is your lucky day. So he got a Gita, and we exchanged emails. He was so moved. Who knows what prayers Karan has made to Krishna and what his relationship is with Krishna? But he couldn’t believe it, he was clearly very emotional about this turn of events. I pray he will serve all souls with Sankirtan.

I was meant to go out for at least 2-3 more Sankirtan outings, but somehow or the other I could not go. This is how life can pass me by, one day at a time, no Sankirtan, no Sankirtan, no Sankirtan!

New Ocean Supermarket

Murlidhar Seva Prabhu, in tandem with the Sankirtan Organization Team carefully planned and organized for the Sankirtan warriors to go out to 6 different stores last Saturday. Not one, not two, but 6! Many many books were distributed, mostly Bhagavad Gitas! It was a masterstroke, on a cold day!

I went to one of them, and joined Sriman Peran, Rameshwar Prabhu, Mother Geetha. Vitthal Bhakta and I were then also joined by the power team of Radha Mohan Prabhu, Govinda, and Ananya Bhakti.

Conversations were simple, either super-easy, or impossible ๐Ÿ™‚

All I had to say was, to place the Gita in someone’s hands and say something like “sir, look at this Gita... sir Gita Jayanti coming up, as a service to Krishna we want to distribute 24,000 of these in the GTA. Please sir, take at least one. We are from the temple sir. No business sir. Just cost price sir, 10 dollar, if you give more, give more, goes to Krishna”. Most said “I already have”, to which I’d respond “yes sir yes sir, of course, surely you have, sir, this is not for you, this is for you to bless someone else sir, as a service to Krishna sir”. I replaced the “sir” with a “ma”/”ma’am”/”amma” depending on who I was speaking to.

There was the man who took one Gita and spontaneously gave us $50 (we gave him a couple more to distribute). There was the lady who didn’t know were accepting donations and left with the Gita (lucky winner). There were the souls who didn’t have any cash so they went to the cash register, with Peran and Rameshwar Prabhu tagging with them because you know, some “escaped”! To get cash back… There was the store owner’s wife Shobana who promised to come to the temple on Gita Jayanti with her kids.

We ran out of all the Tamil Gitas very quickly, and almost all the English ones too. I didn’t collect contact details here, though Peran Prabhu did collect a few.

There were the difficult ones of course, like the parents who discouraged their children “you don’t have time, too much studies”, I was thinking “what are they afraid of, that their child is going to become the emperor of the world by reading the Gita?”.

Anyways, after some delicious Prasada packed lovingly by Mother Shyama Mohini, we headed home. Vitthal Bhakta was very happy with the “really nice people taking so many Bhagavad Gitas”.

My Sankirtan outings goal for 2019 is 108, and write about them all, and I now have 30 to go, in 29 days. Please bless me that I may humbly perform this service. I am very greedy for your blessings. In fact, I am 100% convinced that I can only go out on Harinam Sankirtan because of your blessings, because otherwise I am just a useless fool.

Praying to be always out on Harinam Sankirtan, or at least be in Harinam Sankirtan consciousness 24X7, this is my humble desire, though I must admit that unfortunate as I am, I still maintain all sorts of material attachments.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Preeti, 03 December 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhuji 

I love to read your report on sankirtan!

It is soooooo inspiring. Please keep sending more.

Hopefully one day I will have the opportunity and courage to go on sankirtan myself. 

Hari Bol

Preeti 

Tapas Chakraborty, 03 December 2019

Hare Krishna

All glories to Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Thank you so much for sharing the inspiring stories of reaching out to help millions of souls in directing them to the world of Krishna consciousness for realising truth transcendental peace and ecstasy. In its truth you are serving the lord residing in dormant consciousness within each soul to awaken and enjoy the heavenly peace and joy. No more service is better than this.

Going through the passages I felt nostalgic as if missing the divine consciousness of all your holy company in this mission to make the whole world Krishna conscious.

I am enjoying a lot and visualising my presence in this holy mission.

Thanks a lot to you again.

Tapas

Rasika Krishna Das, 03 December 2019

Jaya !! Hare Krishna !!

Rasika Krishna Das

Haladhar Das, 04 December 2019

Hare Krsna prabhu Dandvat Pranam 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata 

Thank you very much for sharing the nectar. It’s really inspiring that not only you are distributing Srila Prabhupada mercy but also then share your experiences with us. 

By your blessings and regular motivation I am too trying this year to contribute in Gita marathon. Have started once a week, will increase to twice thrice a week and have already made up mind to do whole year.  Will share some realizations soon. 

Looking forward to your next visit to India soon. Everyone in Pinjore remembers you.

Thank you very much for being part of SDA family 

your servant 

Haladhar Das, Pinjore, India 

Mahabhagavat Das, 05 December 2019

Dear Sriman Tapas,

Thank you!

I am saved by this Krishna Consciousness movement, by Srila Prabhupada, by Srila Gurudeva, by all these devotees. So I am trying to spread my good fortune around.

Please do your best too, knowing that your best will surely get better by Krishna’s mercy.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Mahabhagavat Das, 05 December 2019

Dear Mother Preeti,

Hare Krishna!

Anyone and everyone can distribute books. In fact, the books are so potent that they distribute themselves!

Please take some books and go out – try to tell people what you know about the books, tell them you’re not selling but asking for any donation from their heart. Do this in a reasonable way taking into account, place, time of day, type of people around, your own personal safety etc., into account, and I guarantee that you will distribute many books.

Please try it out and write about your experiences.

If you have any difficulties, please let me know.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Mahabhagavat Das, 05 December 2019

Dear Haladhar Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your kind encouragement Prabhu. Yes, I can do so very little, but if we can together amplify our efforts by encouraging and motivating each other, then that will be a great thing.

Any kind of “sankalpa” – determination to serve is all-auspicious. I do remember all the devotees in and around Chandigarh very fondly and am deeply grateful to them for giving me an opportunity to serve, and tolerate my mistakes and imperfections.

I look forward to returning. Right now, I have made a sankalpa to attend Srila Gurudeva’s next Vyasa Puja in Vrindavan. If by Krishna’s grace, I can come, then I will feel most fortunate to have your association.

We should thank Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada for bringing us together, this is indeed one amazing transcendental family!

bhadram te!

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Gautam pal, 05 December 2019

Hare Krishna

All glories to Gurudeva 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada 

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Prabhu,

Please give me the guidelines so that I can get Krishna’s mercy.

Sincerely,

Gautam Pal

Mahabhagavat Das, 06 December 2019

Dear Sriman Gautam,

Hare Krishna!

Distributing to persons of different cultures is slightly different… you need to tailor your approach. For examples, Indians get offended if you ask them to read the Gita – they feel they already know it, their mother read it to them, and their grandmother had it all memorized, their great-grandfather was a Guru equal to Srila Prabhupada and so on…

To Indians we say “Sir, you are a gentleman, know so much about the Gita, this knowledge flows in your veins. But so many others don’t know. We want to spread this knowledge all over the world. We want to distribute x Gitas this December to those who don’t yet understand. We are from the temple, we are not doing this for money. Please help us by taking one or more and spread this pure knowledge. Our cost is x, if you give more donation, it will go to the temple”.

These are the basics:

1. Get books and keep them with youย  – you cannot distribute books if you don’t have them with you always.

2. We are ambassadors of goodwill – no arguments, no fights, give everyone what they can accept. A smile, a Maha Mantra, an invite to the temple, a little bit of Krishna Prasada, a book, and the service of giving a donation

3. Don’t worry about money. Don’t be shy about accepting a donation on Krishna’s behalf, but if someone is interested but cannot give the full amount, as long as you are not at a temple book stall, give the book to them – that is your service to them. For example, 20+ years ago, I got my Gita free of charge – someone had sponsored! Now every Gita I distribute, that original sponsor is also getting benefit for helping me connect to Krishna!

4. The more you show, the more you distribute – show to everyone as far as possible, put the book in their hands as soon as possible, and “give to the hand”, at hand level, the hand takes

5. Start with a personal connection – wave at people, smile at them. Don’t approach them if they are hostile or do not reciprocate. Save your energy for those who reciprocate. Krishna Himself says “manushyaanaam sahasreshu” – among thousands, one is interested.

6. Ask them questions about themselves and be genuinely interested in them, also tell a little about yourself as appropriate and build trust. Build trust before you ask them for anything.

7. There is no hard-and-fast rule, except don’t pursue people who are not ready, let them go. Especially fanatics, avoid them!

8. Above all, MOST IMPORTANT – leave everyone with a good impression, we are doing a service to Krishna, we don’t want to do any disservice to Guru and Krishna!

9. Stay humble, we are doing this more for our own purification than for others’ benefit, if someone else benefits, that is a bonus, but Sankirtan, especially rejection builds our spiritual blood for our spiritual body

10. Sankirtan and book distribution is the highest sadhana, the more you go our on Sankirtan the better your chanting will be, and the better you chant, the more effective you will be on Sankirtan… actually this is the mood of the Gopis, especially Srimati Radharani, how to engage everyone in the service of Krishna

11. We are all one big global/Universal team – if I miss someone, you will get them, if you miss someone, I will get them, but important to approach everyone to increase their good fortune that one day they will say yes

Remember that we can be soft like the water, but the water has carved continents and mountains! We are on a project to redeem a soul that has been in the material realm for millions, billions, trillions of lifetimes, so we should have patience, we (at least I) cannot take them to Goloka in one conversation ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyone with more interest, look for the BBT book “Our Family Business” by His Grace Vaisesika Dasa Adhikari, a Godbrother of Srila Gurudeva.

Spiritual books by Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva are very powerful. They will attract the right candidates, you just be their instrument.

I can speak or write about this for ever (and I hope to), but you will only taste the nectar if you try yourselves!

Please everyone, try, and report back here. We are eagerly waiting to hear your adventures on book distribution!

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Rupa Manjari Devi Dasi, 07 December 2019

Hare Krishna! Jai, 30 more things to do, you can do it!

Rupa Manjari Devi Dasi

Haladhar Das, 12 December 2019

Hare Krishna dear devotees,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Encouraged by HG Mahabhagavat Prabhu, have again re-participated in this year Gita Marathon, once a week as of now, trying to convince myself to increase to at least twice or thrice a week. Except 1 or 2 atheists a very small number to discourage, mostly there were many nice experiences during book distribution on the streets during last 3 Sunday’s, sharing some of them :

1. A seeker – a Sikh gentleman carrying his small baby on his shoulder was very pleased to receive Bhagavad Gita. He said I have been searching for Bhagvad Gita for the last 2 years and have even gone to the other city for the same but could not find. I don’t know how fortunate I am that I have come across you. People don’t value the price of Bhagavad Gita. It’s a priceless jewel. I somehow never saw you people distributing Bhagavad Gita earlier. Hearing this I felt embarrassed and replied yes we do only during the Gita Marathon only and that too only on Sunday’s. Though he lived little far, yet I shared with him our Centre address and program details and invited him to attend the programs.ย 

2. School girl fan of Krishna – A young girl came across and when I showed her the Bhagavad Gita, she was so blissful to see Krishna’s picture and hearing Krishna’s name. She was not much aware about Bhagavad Gita. When I tried to tell her something, she kept interrupting and asking is this book of Kanha ji (Lord Krishna) and I said yes, she was very pleased and very happily asked to kindly give her. She had INR 30 less but the attraction and love which she had for Krishna was worth it. She gladly took Bhagavad Gita and moved ahead.

3. A seemed to be stubborn old man – He returned back on his two wheeler, took the book and said, I don’t need Bhagavad Gita, but I am very inspired to see you in this young age making so much effort to distribute Bhagavad Gita on roads. Ofcourse it was like nectar pouring in my ears as after so long I have heard someone calling me young ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I thanked him for being part of Vedic literature distribution and told him that Bhagavad Gita won’t stop, if you won’t be reading, someone else will definitely.ย 

This confirmed my thoughts that I share with younger devotees that if you preach, go out on Harinam, do book distribution, more people will feel inspired to connect with the movement.

4. Are you a Salesman – One gentleman who was observing since long finally came near and told you should go to a nearby place and sell there in the weekly vegetable market. I replied, we are not selling Bhagavad Gita, we are giving them on donation, so more can be printed and distributed and more and more people can get Lord Krishna mercy.

5. Appreciative but non-receptive: Many people though did not take the books, but they showed appreciation for distributing Bhagavad Gita. If time permits we are taking their contacts to keep them updated of ISKCON programs. Many ladies as usual replies we already have at home. When told to take for gifting to some near & dear ones or to donate, they show reluctance. Some who seemed to be non-receptive outwardly turned out to be appreciative and took books while those who seemed appreciative outwardly were reluctant to take the books as well as cited their unwillingness to come to Sunday programs due to various reasons like distance from the Centre, working etc but promised to read the books. It was a sweet reminder that I should approach everyone, as Krishna has His own ways to inspire people.

6. I’m not always right: Like some, one person came but when he was shown the Bhagavad Gita, he said this one I have. I thought may be lying like others, but anyhow to give a try I reluctantly invited him to our books table and showed him Krishna book and other small books, he happily took them and also took details of the ISKCON center of his city. Realized that day that we cannot just judge a book by its cover, we have to open it and try to go through.

These are some experiences which I could remember. What really amazes me and motivates me to keep going are those devotees who are distributing Srila Prabhupada books in foreign land, where people are of different backgrounds, different religions, different mindsets, different cultures…… whereas in India its not so difficult as almost everyone at least have heard about Lord Krishna and Bhagavad Gita, still the wicked mind finds reasons to avoid participating in distributing Srila Prabhupada mercy to one and all. I have a deep desire to do door to door book distribution, but not the courage to do so. Hope someday by Vaishnavas mercy would be somehow able to do it.

Kindly keep blessing, else I see no hope for carrying forward my spiritual life especially book distribution which at times if not done for long, seems too tense, fearful and stressful in the beginning like having an injection from some Doctor’s inexperienced looking young assistant after a long time but once the needle goes in and comes out generally it is more or less unnoticed. Similarly to me, distribution of Srila Prabhupada books 

Kindly forgive if you find any mistakes in above dealings and do correct for my betterment so as to properly help the society as much as possible.

Hare Krishna.

trying to be servant of the servant of Sri Guru and Gauranga

Haladhar Das, Punjab, India

Sacinandana Das, 12 December 2019

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees, 

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji. 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

I along with three other devotees went for book distribution last Sunday but we could distribute only 1 Bhagavad Gita and only one responded to me by saying Hare Krishna. 

 Please bless me this weekend so I can distribute more books. 

your servant, 

Sacinandana das. 

Rasika Krishna Das, 12 December 2019

Jaya !! All glories to your services Prabhuji ๐Ÿ™‚

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Rasika Krishna Das, 15 December 2019

Jaya !! All glories to your services Prabhuji ๐Ÿ™‚

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

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Author: Mahabhagavat Das SDA

I am a formally initiated disciple of His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari. My spiritual master was initiated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1971. He is the author of the famous Ultimate Self Realization Course. Check it out at www.joincourse.com.

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