The Following is an excerpt from “Our Family Business” By His Grace Vaisesika Dasa, available here.
There are a couple of myths that have grown up around the service of distributing Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books. One of them is that it’s difficult. While that may be true at first, once you commit to doing it, Kṛṣṇa helps you from within and without. From within He gives you courage, intelligence, and a taste of spiritual happiness. In a letter to Rāmeśvara Dāsa dated January 11, 1976, Śrīla Prabhupāda called book distribution “really intoxication.”
From without, Kṛṣṇa sends sincere souls to take the books you are distributing. Even when people don’t take books or they choose to ignore you, with time you will become more patient, detached, and determined. You will learn to become unflinching in your devotional service. When the cowherd boys in Vṛndāvana entered the mouth of Aghāsura (in the twelfth chapter of Kṛṣṇa Book), they told one another: “If we all at one time entered into the mouth of this great serpent, how could it possibly swallow all of us? And even if it were to swallow all of us at once, it could not swallow Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa will immediately kill him, as He did Bakāsura.”
Talking in this way, all the boys looked at the beautiful lotuslike face of Kṛṣṇa, and they began to clap and smile. And so they marched forward and entered the mouth of the gigantic serpent. So when you go out to distribute books with friends, together you will laugh off the fear or disappointment, remind one another that Kṛṣṇa is protecting you, and, with the beautiful lotuslike face of Kṛṣṇa in your mind’s eye, march forward to fight māyā together.
Wherever I go, I see that the devotee communities dedicated to distributing Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books are unusually inspired. When devotees see people reading Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books for the first time, they remember how sweet their own beginnings in Kṛṣṇa consciousness were, and how they too had a first discovery of the power of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books in their lives. What’s more, devotees who go out to distribute books come back with a natural enthusiasm to hear and chant about Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Caitanya. They also dream of ways to increase book distribution and how to follow up with the people they are meeting: collecting the names and contact information for interested persons, keeping in touch with them, and inviting them to participate in Kṛṣṇa conscious programs that appropriately address their needs.
So let’s distribute Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books and, like the cowherd boys, laugh in the face of any apparent danger. Let’s help Śrīla Prabhupāda further Lord Caitanya’s saṅkīrtana movement and thus lift the world from its current state of degradation. You will feel a surge of Kṛṣṇa conscious enlivenment – the moment you pick up his books and start thinking of ways to distribute them, your mind and senses will come alive with spiritual energy, just as if you had touched a wire electrified by spiritual current.
When I meet with devotees who are nervous about going out to distribute books for the first time, I ask them to repeat the following mantra: “Book distribution is fun and easy.” When they repeat the mantra, I can see some of them are still wondering if I’m serious.
Yes, I’m serious.