(Dandavats.com) – An Offering From Sankirtana Das at New Vrindaban
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to Their Lordships Sri Sri Kisora-Kisori
My wife and I were living in Madison Wisconsin in the early 1970s. I had gone there to join an experimental theater group. In 1973 we decided to move to the Evanston temple. I arrived early, just a few days before the June installation of the Deities, Their Lordships Sri Sri Kisora-Kisori.
Actually my wife and I visited Chicago several times to see the devotees.
First in 1971 when Bahulasva and several brahmacaries had an
apartment. Then in 1972 when I got a ride with the devotees to the New Vrindavan Janmastami festival. They were in the process of getting the YMCA building in Evanston. Then we came in early 1973 to a Sunday feast. And after the installation in June, my wife and I became full time devotees.
There was considerable growth in just the couple of years from 1971. It looked like Chicago temple was growing by leaps and bounds. When we joined, there were about 40 devotees, and in 1974 there were over fifty. It certainly seemed that in the next couple of years the temple would easily grow to 100 and even 200 devotees. Prabhupada even wrote that Chicago would be one of the biggest temples. And I am sure the temple is on its way.
I just want to share one story.
I was involved in sankirtana, distributing books at the O’Hara airport and distributing BTG magazines in downtown Chicago. One time at the airport, two guys in suits and ties suddenly grabbed me. I could smell the whisky on their breaths. One guy was twisting my arm trying to get the Bhagavad Gita out of my hand while the other one was pulling at my book bag. They were both cursing. I saw the situation was impossible and immediately starting chanting the Narasimha prayer which offers protection.
After a minute of my loud chanting, these guys calmed down and started inquiring – “Listen, we don’t want to hurt you, we just want to know what your doing.” The other said. “What are those books that you have? What are they about?”
I told them “The Bhagavad Gita is about reviving your spiritual life. Just give a donation and you can take one with you and study it.” And one of them whipped out $10 and took the book and they started to walk away.
I followed them from a distance to see what they would do. In those days people sometimes left books on a chair or even threw them in a trash can. So I watched them. And an elderly black woman was coming in my direction, and the two guys stopped her and gave her the book and left. The woman continued in my direction and I approached her. I said, “I saw those guys give you a book. Do you really want it?” She was holding the Gita very tightly. “Oh yes,” she said. “I’ve been looking for this book for a long time.” I was amazed at how Krishna works.
One other little story about how Krishna works. I was not a big distributer. One day I was having difficulty and wasn’t doing much at all. At the airport, a business man walked pasted me and I was too discouraged to even approach him to show him a book. But as he pasted I said loudly – “Krishnas Tu Bhagavan Savyam.” The guy continued on for a few more steps and then stopped and came back. He took a book and gave a donation. Yes, Krishna can work in the most amazing ways. Thank you Sri Sri Kisora-Kisori.
For more about Sankirtana Das see www.Mahabharata-Project.com