So that is the real preaching, selling books. Who can speak better than the books? At least whoever buys, he will look over. If you have to sell books, do it by hook or by crook. The real preaching is selling books. You should know the tactic how to sell without irritating. What your lecture will do for three minutes, but if he reads one page his life may be turned. We don't want to irritate anyone, however. If he goes away by your agressive tactics, then you are nonsense and it is your failure. Neither you could sell a book, neither he would remain. But if he buys a book that is the real successful preaching.
“…selling books they are doing the greatest service. What your one hour of preaching will do, they will hear and go away, but if they have one book at home, they will read, their friends will read, and something solid work is done. So the art is to sell many many books and not to irritate the public…”
~ Srila Prabhupada . Excerpt of Letter written in Los Angeles September 30th, 1972
Sharing books on Christmas Eve at Union Station, Canada's largest and historic train station
We are sharing the above powerful quote from Srila Prabhupada to emphasize the "sharing" of Srila Prabhupada's books. Book distribution is a humbling service and it is all about compassion.
It is not about lecturing or somehow thinking that we are superior since we do 16 rounds or have this treasure trove of knowledge but rather compassion and humility so it is pleasant and people want to interact with us. Sharing is the key and Srila Prabhupada's words say it all.
It is our prayer that this sharing and compassionate nature comes out first amongst ourselves within the temples, to the souls that visit the temple in a mood of interest and discovery and finally out on the streets and venues where we do sankirtan...
Victory!!! All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Word leaked out from the court rooms about 1/2 an hour ago that the ruling is in favor of ISKCON!!! Media reports have confirmed a few minutes ago. A translation of one article is below.
___________________________________________________________The court refused to recognize in Tomsk extremist book "Bhagavad-gita As It Is"
Siberia / Society
Tomsk. On December 28. Interfax-Siberia - Tomsk Lenin District Court on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit Tomsk Oblast Prosecutor's Office to recognize an extremist book "Bhagavad-gita As It Is," which is one of the interpretations of Hinduscripture "The Bhagavad-Gita."
The court found no grounds to satisfy the claim, reports "Interfax".
Last summer, Tomsk Oblast prosecutor's office filed a claim for recognition of an extremist book "Bhagavad-gita As It Is" with commentary of the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON, also known as themovement of "Hare Krishna") Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
In a few hours the court case in Russia will resume with their feeble attempts to ban the greatest dialogue in history, the Bhagavad Gita. Through the media coverage millions have read about the Bhagavad Gita and worldwide the distribution of the Bhagavad Gita has taken on even greater meaning. Krishna is in control of everything and we pray to Krishna to protect the Russian yatra and the distribution of the Bhagavad Gita As-it-is.
Of course no matter what the results the collective devotee community has full faith in Krishna. His Holiness Gopal Krishna Maharaja asked that we restrain from worldwide protests. Hopefully tomorrow the results are for celebration and we can hit the street with more vigor distributing Srila Prabhupada's books. If not, we hope with the blessings of HH Bhakti Vijnana Goswami, HH Gopal Krishna Goswami and other senior leaders of ISKCON Russia we can hit the streets with hundreds of mrdangas, kartals, books and voices to use this as a catalyst to spread the timeless message of the Bhagavad-Gita on behalf of Srila Prabhupada and fulfill our duty in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's sankitan movement...
[The title of the article chosen by TOI created some wishful thinking for a moment but the contents are more reflective of the current status. Of course, there are now hundreds upon hundreds of articles about this case and thus we are selectively posting only a few since the devotee community at large is well aware of the case...]
Moscow courts had dismissed Gita cases
Mona Mehta, TNN | Dec 28, 2011
Tomorrow at 12:30 hours IST, Tomsk court, Russia, is due to pass its verdict on banning the Bhagavad Gita. An "anti-cult" group affiliated to the Russian Orthodox Church, has called for a ban on the Gita terming it an 'extremist' text. And the verdict can have far reaching repercussions - either way.
An expert panel was constituted to examine if the text incites religious hatred and humiliation.
"Banning the Gita as an extremist piece of literature would mean banning the Russian chapter of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness - one of the biggest Hindu organizations in Russia with a following of around 40,000, of which nearly 1,000 people visit the temple in Moscow every day," said Swami Bhakti Vigyan (nee Vadim Touneev), scientist by training and head of ISKCON, Russia, currently in Delhi.
This is not the first time that the Bhagavad Gita has been involved in a court case. "There were two others in a Moscow court, but Moscow being more cosmopolitan, these cases were dismissed. This one time, they have gone ahead and pressed charges and it has come to court for hearing in Tomsk," said Swami Bhakti Vigyan.
So what is so objectionable about the Bhagavad Gita - the text or commentary by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada? "Contrary to what the Russian government's spokesperson has to say, what the court is objecting to is not Prabhupada's commentary but the Bhagavad Gita itself," Swami says, who helped translate the text into Russian. "I have been involved with the translation of the Gita, especially its third edition, released in 2007. All I did was to make a few stylistic changes. The rest of the book remains the same as it was in 1984 when the Gita was first distributed in Russia. We have given out more than 10 million copies since," he adds.
A majority of the Russian population, 70 percent, would align themselves with the Russian Orthodox Christian Church, the religion prevalent in Russia before the Soviet rule, say experts, while 10 percent follow Islam. The rest are mostly atheists. "I do agree that there is a difference in the Christian and ISKCON conception of God, I understand the court has a problem with terms such as 'demons' for asuras and 'fools' for mudhas but Russians are philosophical by nature, with a high level of receptivity. They seek answers to what is the meaning of life after death and why we are born. Many Christians have told me that their understanding of the Biblehas become deeper after reading the Gita," said Swami Vigyan. "The contention is that we differ at a theological level, but a normal court is not the place to debate these differences. The core teachings of both Christianity and ISKCON are the same - love thy neighbour, love God," he added.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON Toronto Sankirtan Team for crossing the target of 35,000 books for 2011 and 10,000 books for Prabhupada Marathon. With the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, a young, enthusiastic and dedicated team of young devotees have poured countless hours into sankirtan to spread Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's message throughout the city. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and so many of his disciples who made the way and many who continue to provide directions and inspiration. All glories to Srila Prabhupada's sankirtan warriors!
Below is another unsolicited letter received by Minakshi. Not only is she grateful to receive the Bhagavad Gita but she takes the time to write Srila Prabhupada's full name and position. She also "hits the nail on the head" when she mentions that the Christian Chaplain found it "very worthwhile" and also the comment that "non-Hindus read" it as well.
Thank you very much for sending the copies of the Sacred Vedic Indian Text, Bhagavad Gita As-it-is, translated by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada..
The three hard-cover books will be displayed in our library and during our festivals; such as Diwali, Eid al Fitr, Christmas, Wesak and Spiritual & Religious Care Awareness Week. Many of our community visitors, patients and family members will view them and will be able to use (and take home) a copy of the soft cover books.
One of our Christian Staff Chaplains from India found it very worthwhile for our hospital and knew of the writings. Several of our Hindu Lay Spiritual Caregivers have commented very favourable on the book and have advised that non-Hindus read some of it as well.
Thank you again for sending us these books.
FYI – Scarlett Cheng at our Birchmount Campus has also received your delivery.
Hope you have a nice day,
Betty Ann Moore
This inspirational video is especially poignant today, the Disappearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami. The video has direct instruction from Srila Prabhupada! In this important month of Prabhupada Marathon, Srila Prabhupada's mandate and priority is crystal clear...Print and Distribute books to increase the Krisna Consciousness movement.
It also exemplifies how Srila Prabhupada followed his guru's instructions and a conversation on the bank of Radha Kund was taken to heart and Srila Prabhupada broadcasted the glorious Gaudiya Vaishnava treasure throughout the whole world.
Jaya Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada!
Obeisances to his exemplary disciple who has provided the ultimate treasure and parampara link to all of us devotees.
Subhavilasa's son, Indresh here...
As regular blog readers can see, the daily blog posts have fallen off the rail over the last month. A lot of that is my fault as there are many notes even from a couple of months back that I have yet to transcribe. My biggest regret is not blogging an offering on Srila Prabhupada's disappearance day. Attending Guru Puja at Srila Prabhupada's home at ISKCON Toronto is always emotional and HH Bhaktimarga Swami leading chanting and hearing 10 offerings from sanyasis and Srila Prabhupada disciples still serving Srila Prabhupada's lotus feet is uplifting on such a day. I am fortunate that I can count my parents among those devotees at Srila Prabhupada's lotus feet and during the month of Damodar my father recited a prayer to Srila Prabhupada to keep him bound to Lord Damodar's lotus feet and I will be happy as long as my parents keep me bound to the lotus feet of Srila Prahupada. The association, blessings and inspiration of that day/weekend come from two ends of a spectrum, Srila Prabhupada's disciples on one end and at the other end young devotees, most that were not even born when Srila Prabhupada perfomed his lila in Toronto and around the world. The inspiration and even potency comes from both ends since they encourage an offering to Srila Prabhupada. Last year the offering as in the form of words. [click here] This year the offering was not in the form of written words but in the form of what Srila Prabhupada desired most, transcendental book distribution. It has been a while since I posted about sankirtan, so this was our humble offering to Srila Prabhupada. Like Srila Prabhupada disciples and the new generation of devotees has inspired me personally to make an humble attempt to serve Srila Prabhupada, I hope that the following pictures and short comments may encourage others to join in Srila Prabhupada's marathon starting this coming weekend!
This was a long conversation but it ended up with this family taking over 40 books for Halloween distribution when kids come "trick or treating". He loved the concept of book distribution and gave us his contact details in hopes of participating more in future transcedental book distribution endeavors.
Two pronged attack but giving Srila Prabhupada's books to the youth is of the highest urgency.
My mom, Ashalata devi dasi preaching out of the Bhagavad-Gita. Book distribution is bliss.
We moved locations. This is Kishori convincing a mom to buy a book for her child. The potency of Srila Prabhupada's books being delivered to the youth.
Great association. Multi generational book distribution with Viky and Raj Prabhu.
Yesterday our home was blessed with the oppurtunity to serve 2 great Vaishnavas and senior disciples of Srila Prabhupada, Vaisesika Prabhu and Nirakula Mataji.
Last time he was in town my dad invited him and he was kind enough to remember. Shyama Mohini Mataji kindly made all the arrangements.
Vaisesika Prabhu has made a few trips to Toronto and has fired up sankirtan in the yatra. However, every time he comes my schedule does not match so with the exception of a bhajan night I did not get much association. So during his last trip I heard his discourse for the very first time and I could understand why he was inspiring so many to hit the streets with Srila Prabhupada and Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy. As a result there are a few young people that are organizing sankirtan so nicely that even useless devotees like me can participate in Mahaprabhu's sankirtan movement.
It is not only inspirations that they are both at it so many years later but the mood is trancedental. So here is someone leading a sankirtan revival.
Sankirtan! Sankirtan! Sankirtan! It is the best way to serve. Admin will always be there but it is glorious to see a sankirtan revival in the making. I think Srila Prabhupada would be very happy to see everyone out on sankirtan again...senior or junior; bold or meak; Indian or American accent; old or young; saffron or white; it just does not matter...at least when you are around sankirtan leaders like Vaisesika Prabhu!
The Sastra Dana banner stand made its debut appearance at this event. It was sharp thanks to the beautiful picture of Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha as well as Srila Prabhupada. It was also informative with pictures and messaging around sankirtan outreach efforts by the ISKCON Toronto Sankirtan team.
Last weekend we had the oppurtunity to set up a book table at a centre in Mississauga which was hosting a kirtan. In some of these recent events we had the pleasure of reporting over 200 books or over 100 books distributed but this was not the case at this event as only 55 books went out. So you can say that it was not a resounding success, however it serves to remind us of the purpose of why we are there...not to sell books but distribute mercy and even if one of Srila Prabhupada's books gets into the right hands it can change someones life.
On a couple of previous sankirtan experiences I wrote about youth wanting the books and parents being stingy and not wanting to purchase the books. However last week the case was reverse...a father was insisting that his daughter should take one book and she refused. I tried...Kishori tried...she still refused. She did not want a book. So it dawned on Kishori to send her to a table set up by ISKCON Brampton accross the hall where they had pictures, japa malas and other boutique items. She told me later on that I had not been listening to my dad's lectures where he says leave them with something...anything. Books are the basis but perhaps in her case attraction has to start with a picture of Krishna.
Later on there was an older gentleman. He had already told Kishori that he wants to browse through the books on his own but I had not heard that part...so in typical style tried to "distribute" the book to be met by a critical scowl and on top of that a slap on the arm from wife telling me that he wants to be left alone. A few minutes later he has a couple of books in his hands and starts asking questions...I answer the questions but this requires other books...so 2 $2 books turns into 5 books but he only has a $20 for $25 worth of books....but we are not selling books....we are distributing books. And "don't judge a book by its cover" applies here since we felt this guy was a critical older man...but he turned out to be a insightful open minded gentleman.
There were not many people left to preach to so we wrapped up. After stacking about 10 boxes of books in the back of the mini-van we came back in and a lady tells Kishori that she wanted a Bengali Bhagavad Gita. So Kishori asks me to get one...and I am not very enthused to dig through 10 boxes to find 1 particular title. So I open the trunk and open the first box. Sitting right on top of the very first box is the Bengali Bhagavad Gita! She was meant to get this book. I bring the Bhagavad Gita in and Kishori gives it to the lady and she is panicked since she cannot find her hudband and only has $5 (for a title that is listed as $10). This again serves as a reminder that we are not selling books but distributing them. I never mind "topping off" the laxmi count from my own pocket. It is obvious that she values the book more than you can put a dollar value on the book.
So these experiences reminded us that we are not "selling" books but distributing them. We have a long way to go to purify our consciousness so we do not judge a book by its cover but rather distribute this mercy without discrimination. And Sankirtan can only be done with the mercy of Guru and Gauranga since we are mere instruments.
And perhaps the title of this post is wrong...every book distributed is a resounding success for the mercy it delivers to the recipient.
Thank you Srila Prabhupada for the opportunity to distribute your books and be of menial service in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's sankirtan movement.
~ Your insignificant servant,
Sharing another item from our email inbox. The most important service is Sankirtan! Please read about this wonderful endeavor and simply join in. If we get back to the basics and focus on sankirtan I am certain Srila Prabhupada will be very happy!
Hare Krishna. I'm sending you the following inspiring letter from Vaisesika, confident you will enjoy learning about this innovative program to serve Srila Prabhupada's book publishing and distribution mission.
Once you read this, I hope you will also be inspired to join me and be "one in a 1008" at 7thgoswami.com!
So, read on and enjoy!
Please visit 7thGoswami.com and Register.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur ki Jai!
___________________________________________________Dear esteemed devotee interested in the spiritual welfare of the world.
Please accept our humble respects“All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu!”We bring you warm greetings from ISKCON of Silicon Valley (ISV), where our mission is to serve all living beings by widely distributing the Holy Names of Krishna.We invite you to join in a fun and blissful drive that will bring good fortune to everyone it touches.
Benefits for you:
• Feel great about yourself
• Have fun along with your friends and relatives
• Link up with positive-minded, dynamic devotees around the world
• Make new friends
• Serve the great Acaryas
• Alter the destiny of the world
• Get recognized and promoted by Lord Chaitanya
• Be a part of a winning team
Over a five-week period from May 27 to June 30, 2011, we will assemble a team of at least 1,008 members to actively distribute transcendental books to benefit people of the world. We will offer the results of this event to the great Acharya (world teacher of spiritual knowledge) Bhaktivinoda Thakura on his disappearance day, Thursday, June 30th.
Around the same time last year, with much less time to plan, 550 people joined this campaign. We are starting earlier and in a much better organized way this year.
Our principle for success is to get a lot of people, each one doing a little and while doing making it fun and easy. And to make it even more exciting, we ask everyone to invite their friends, family members, and colleagues to join them, asking everyone to do a small bit
To support you we have assembled a kit to help you and your friends get started. It contains:
• DVD (audio video introduction to the mission)
• Manual on where & how to get books, report scores, and so on
• Pamphlet on how to sell a book
• List of materials you’ll need and where to get them
• Language cards (so that you can sell a book in any language)
• Wrist band (Shows your participation and attracts others to join you)
• Contact info for a mentor who will guide you
• Links to information websites
• Links to YouTube videos where you can see examples of devotees distributing books
This kit will be sent to you after you sign up.
By joining this festival you will feel inner happiness because you will be contributing directly to the spiritual welfare of people of the world.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krsna says that the person who spreads spiritual knowledge does the highest welfare work and is dearest to Him. And there has never been a better time to please Krsna in this most exalted way.
People of the world are unsettled as they see their fellow citizens rising up against their leaders, while the leaders are blindly employing stopgap measures or violence to stem the tide. The Middle East is broiling. Japan, New Zealand, Chile, and Haiti are all facing epic natural and man-made environmental crises. Even affluent nations are going through times of economic uncertainty and working people everywhere are juggling finances just to stay afloat. And these are a few samples of what is happening throughout the world.
Fading is the promise of happiness through material acquisition or advanced scientific research. People are now hungry for a spiritual practice that will give them direct experience of the supreme transcendence and tangible inner happiness that they can share with others.
The ancient Vedas — now available in beautifully presented books – show this path. We have stockpiled these books and are ready to distribute them to the masses.
You can make a difference!
Join our team of world-wide distributors for this unprecedented mission that will distribute thousands of transcendental books, providing effective spiritual solutions to sincere people of the world.
Following Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and displaying his own compassion for the people of the world, Bhaktivinoda Thakura sent transcendental books to people outside India. As the first Acharya in our line to do so, he sent the book entitled, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, His Life and Precepts, to scholars and literary luminaries of the time, thereby planting seeds for the sankirtan movement (the movement for cooperatively spreading spiritual knowledge) in the West.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur entrusted Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan movement to his son, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, who in turn passed it on to his disciples, among whom was Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who personally brought Lord Chaitanya’s mission to the United States in 1965. Following the order of his spiritual master and the example of Srila Bhaktivinoda, Srila Prabhupada brought trunk loads of his transcendental books on Krishna consciousness for distribution. He also tirelessly traveled throughout the world, speaking, writing, and training his own disciples in the science of Krsna consciousness as taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura says . . .
jive doya, krishna-nam-sarva-dharma-sar
The showing of compassion to all fallen souls by loudly chanting the holy name of Krishna is the essence of all forms of religion.
Passed down through this chain of teachers and students (disciplic succession), this treasure of transcendental knowledge has now been laid at our doorsteps by Lord Chaitanya and his followers. And they are inviting us to distribute this knowledge. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has put all of Lord Chaitanya’s teachings into beautifully illustrated and perfectly bound books that are waiting to be distributed to millions of people all over the world.
Help pass these books on!
“The more such literatures are read and distributed, the more auspicity will be there in the world.” (Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada; quote from letter to Lilavati; 26 March, 1972)
Srila Prabhupada not only fulfilled Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s prediction that “a great General would soon appear to spread Lord Chaitanya’s teaching’s all over the world,” but also ensured that it would continue through the generations by passing the torch to his disciples and followers, training them and empowering them to “do as he had done.”
Catch these divine orders from the disciplic succession and in honor of Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
Reap the mercy of Bhaktivinoda Thakura!It’s fun and easy.We look forward to assist you.On behalf of Team ISV,
Vaisesika DasaPlease visit 7thGoswami.com and Register.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur ki Jai!