We decided to celebrate 25th Dec i.e. the birthday of Jesus Christ by distributing the transcendental teachings of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Jesus Christ is the messenger of God, the son of God. He appeared in this world to free the suffering souls from the miseries of material existence and wanted us all to return to the kingdom of God. And Bhagavad Gita, one of the most sacred and popular literatures of the world, informs us how we can attain liberation from material miseries and return back home back to godhead.
When Srila Prabhupada started disseminating the unadulterated teachings of Gita then it immediately attracted the people all over the world. Be it a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian or people from any other religion they started appreciating the message of Gita. “Bhagavad – Gita As It Is” written by Prabhupada has widely got distributed in almost every country of the world, have got translated in almost all the languages of the world.
Srila Prabhupada had a desire that everyone should read and distribute this literature to as many people as possible.
So we thought that 25th Dec being a Christmas holiday we should utilize our time in sharing the knowledge of Gita with other people.
We were total 15 devotees and we planned to distribute books at Eco Park, Kolkata. It was estimated that more than 1.5 lakh people will come there on the festive season. We divided the task among ourselves.
Parthasarathi Prabhu, Sayak Prabhu, Ashok Prabhu, Gaurav Prabhu had the responsibility of identifying the place where we could put our table to distribute the books.
Biswa Swaroop Prabhu Prabhu was to collect the books from the Iskcon temple. He then came to my house so that we both can carry together table and other books which I had.
Although we had decided to start distributing books from 1:30 pm onwards but we could start only by 3:45 p.m. It was becoming very difficult to find the venue. Biswa Swaroop Prabhu and I was driving on the road for almost 2 hours searching for the venue. We had initially thought of doing book distribution at Gate No: 2 of Eco Park but there were barricades everywhere. We then looked for Gate 3, Gate 4 and at Mother’s Wax Museum. Gate 3 and Gate 4 was not a good venue.
Mother’s Wax museum appeared to be a good place but meanwhile the devotees figured out that we can put up our book stall at Gate 1. But before taking the final decision we thought to analyse which would be a better venue – Gate 1 or Mother’s Wax museum. Biswa Swaroop Prabhu and I were at the Wax museum. Parthasarathi Prabhu and Sayak Prabhu came from Gate 1 to see the crowd at Wax museum. After short discussion we decided to go to Gate 1 of Eco Park.
So finally after hectic search we put up our book table at Gate 1. Although the search was tiring but we got immediate reciprocation from Krishna. As soon as we put our table we saw people coming and buying Bhagavad Gita and other Vedic literatures.
Kirtan was playing in the background and devotees especially Ashok Prabhu, Gaurav Prabhu, Sayak Prabhu and Parthasarathi Prabhu were making announcement on mike narrating the glories of Bhagavad Gita, stating how Gita’s wisdom words can transform their lives.
Ashok Prabhu convinced a young boy to buy SSR – Science of Self Realization. Parthasarathi Prabhu immediately distributed one Bhagavad Gita. Gaurav Prabhu took the books and went directly into the crowds to distribute the books and was able to convince people to buy it. Sayak Prabhu got immediate success and started distributing the books. Swarnavo Prabhu along with his father, Biswa Swaroop Prabhu, also started distributing. Swarnavo Prabhu was able to convince one of his teachers who had come to Eco Park to have Bhagavad Gita. Bijit Prabhu and Parthasarathi Prabhu’s father (HG Chinmoy Gokul Prabhu) also immediately got into the service of distributing the books. Later on Subramaniam Prabhu joined with his wife (Padmalaya mataji) and son, Satyavrat. My parents also joined.
Service for the pleasure of Krishna has to be always followed by delicious prasadam.
And we had planned about it in advance. Priyanka Sukla mataji had prepared Bhel, Padmalaya mataji had prepared Pakoda, Ashok Prabhu brought sweets. While we were doing book distribution my wife (Kanchana Madhavi) was busy preparing Veg Biryani. We had thought after hectic day of service devotees should not go back home to cook dinner.
I went to my house with Biswa Swaroop Prabhu to pick my wife and of course prasadam. We got terribly stuck in traffic jam. My house is just 2.5 km from Eco Park but it took almost 1 hour to reach my house. We immediately picked the prasadam and left for the venue.
It was already 7:30 p.m. but devotees were still enthusiastically distributing the books. Now we thought that everyone should take prasadam. So everyone sat together to relish the delicious prasadam. It was a spiritual picnic for all of us.
My wife who was at home cooking immediately began distributing the books. And she was able to inspire people to take Bhagavad Gita. One lady was eager to take the books but her husband was too adamant so she gave her at discounted rate.
This we observed that people are ready to spend their money in gratifying their senses, in watching non sensical movies, eating in restaurants but they feel great pain in spending few bucks to buy the sacred books. This is just one time purchase but it can transform their lives forever.
But it is also true that some are very eager to take the books. As a student of Gita and as follower of Srila Prabhupada we just have to keep on trying.
It was a great day for all of us. It was the best way to absorb ourselves in service of the Lord and serve the humanity by gifting them Bhagavad Gita which has transformed the lives of millions of people since time immemorial.