A Change of Heart
Early one morning, I was distributing books, when suddenly a man with an iron rod appeared, threatening to kill me. So I ran over the street into a pharmacy. This guy was on my tail, chasing me around the tables, and all the ladies working there began to scream. I ran out onto the street chanting the Nrsimhadeva prayers.
All of a sudden, a gentleman with an umbrella and a briefcase appeared. He stopped the man who wanted to kill me by beating him with his umbrella. At that moment a police car came around the corner, so I waved to them to come and help. They jumped out of the car. "What's going on here?" they said.
I told them that this crazy guy wanted to kill me. "Well what do you expect?" they replied. "You are getting on everyone's nerves with your stupid books."
Then the gentleman who had saved me rebuked the policemen. "He's a peaceful monk," the gentleman said, "and this crazy guy here wanted to kill him."
The policemen then asked the crazy guy for his identification, but he refused to hand it over.
Now if there's anything the German police dislike, it's somebody refusing to respect their authority. "What do you mean you won't show us your identification?" they shouted.
When he still refused, the policemen tried to take it by force. The crazy guy tried to run away, but they ran after him, grabbed him, gave him a good beating with their rubber sticks, and then arrested him and drove off.
I turned around to thank the gentleman who had saved me but he had disappeared. As mysteriously as he had appeared, he had disappeared within a second. I continued to distribute books.
Suddenly, in a reflection in the window, I saw a pair of shoes that I now knew only too well. I turned around. It was the same crazy guy who had chased me this morning. This time there was no way to escape, as I was standing against a wall.
"This is it, Prthu," I thought. "Your life is finished." I sat down and started to chant, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna..."
Then I heard somebody crying. As I looked up, the same guy who had wanted to kill me was standing there with tears in his eyes. "I'm so sorry," he said. "Now I see that you are a monk."
I immediately stood up. "No problem," I said. "You see, we have these books here."
I gave him one book, another book, and another book, until at the end he bought a whole stack of books. At that moment, the same policemen drove by and jumped out. "What's going on here?" they asked.
"He's just buying some books from me," I told them.
"Books? From you?" They couldn't believe it.
From Maha Srnga dasa, Prague
In the summer I was distributing from door to door in a small village together with Krsna-nayaka Prabhu. Soon after I started, three little girls around ten years old spotted me and began to make jokes about me. They even shot cherrystones at me.
I continued with my distribution and they became curious about why I was going from door to door and ringing all the bells. One of them asked me who I was and what I was doing there.
"We are monks," I explained, "and we have to distribute very important spiritual books."
I showed them my books. They became excited but didn't say anything. I went on and they followed me. I went uphill with only five books in my hand and left my trolley down at the bottom. One mom took a book and because I didn't want to go down and up again, I called on one of the girls."Can you please bring me the black book from the trolley, the one I showed you before."
She very quickly found the book I wanted and ran to me with it. I rang the bell at the next house but it seemed that no one was there. I tried the front door but it was closed. I wanted to leave, but one of the girls stopped me. "It's not possible," she said. "My aunt lives here, and she should be home."
The little girl tried the door and opened it effortlessly. I couldn't believe my eyes. We went inside together, and she called her aunt. The aunt was surprised to see her and asked what she needed.
The little girl took the books out of my hands and explained to her that these are very important books and she should just buy some. So the lady did. And it went on like this practically the whole morning. We approached some houses and they told me who lived there, if they were home, what they did and usually also distributed the books to them. I just witnessed how the books were going out. The little girls distributed almost all the books I had in my trolley.
We did most of the village, and finally we approached the house of the parents of one of the girls. She was the daughter of the mayor of that village, but her mother didn't want the book. But the daughter was pleading: "You must take it because it's very important and everybody in our village took some books."
So the mother surrendered and bought two books but said to her daughter, "Now you must stay 'cause it's time for lunch." "No, no. I want to go with him."
"No way," said the mother. "You must eat." The daughter almost started to cry but the mother was determined.
I went on with the two remaining girls till we approached the house of the second one. The same story was repeated. So with the last one, I went on but after half an hour I saw two little kids running swiftly down the hill towards us. Lunch was over, and our two little friends joined us once again.
Soon we met the other devotee and I showed our van to the girls. I explained to them how we live, gave them some maha-prasadam, thanked them for their help, and bade them farewell. That day I could very easily realize that I am not the one who is actually distributing Srila Prabhupada's books.
By Bhakta Chris (Vancouver)
While I was distributing in the subway, I approached a lady who was walking a lot slower than the rest of the people. She kind of stood out amongst the crowd, so I stopped her and presented her with the Bhagavad Gita.
She was a very sober and introspective person. She was very interested and so I asked her for a donation. She paused for a moment and then gave me ten dollars and took the book.
"Do you know what this has done for me?" she said. "For the last week I've been contemplating committing suicide, and I knew that today was the day. I was just about to go to the end of the subway and throw. . . . But now I have this book, and I'm going to read it, and I'm sure that things will get better from reading this book."
She thanked me and then left.
I was amazed to witness how Srila Prabhupada's books are really saving the people and that we never know who we might meet out on the street and what they maybe going through at the time. Therefore, it's so important for the devotees to be out there. The people really need these books more than we can imagine.
Bhagavad-Gita Saves a Man's Life by
I was distributing books on the street and saw a parked car. I took the opportunity that nobody was coming on the street to approach the driver and showed him the book The Science of Self-Realization, with a very ecstatic picture of Srila Prabhupada on the cover.
While I was speaking, I noticed that in the seat at his side were a big knife, some whiskey bottles and some strange stuff in silver-paper envelopes, like those packages they use to sell illegal drugs. I did not give much importance to this, and with the index, I explained the topics of the book and spoke about the Hare Krishna mantra.
The man seemed positive and gave me a good donation (20 dollars) for the book. Then he drove off and I went on with my service.
Half an hour later the man drove back and told me he urgently wanted to speak with me. "It's a matter of life and death," he said anxiously.
I tried to calm him down and told him to park the car. I sat down in the car, and he started to reveal his mind. "When you saw first me," he said, "I was going straight to kill a person. He owed me four hundred thousand pesetas [US$ 3000], and paid only half of it. He said he would not pay me the other half."
He showed me the knife. "I got myself intoxicated," he continued, "so I would have the courage to kill that person, but then I don't know what happened. I saw this monk on the cover of this book and chanted the Hare Krishna song you taught me, and suddenly someone was telling me from inside, 'You forget this two hundred thousand, and don't kill this person.' "
He was very much moved. "I just came to thank you," he said, "because you have saved my life."
Then I told him that not even a blade of grass can move without the sanction of God, or Krishna, and that he had to give thanks to the Lord, since it was this very Lord (Paramatma) who was dictating to him from inside to forget the money and the murder.
We became good friends, and I invited him to the farm so he could get deep into this philosophy.
In this story, we can see the inconceivable potency of Srila Prabhupada's books, that they are not different from Krishna Himself, and that Krishna is unlimitedly powerful and inconceivable.