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Utility Is the Principle
To answer your question about distribution during colder or wetter days, I can simply say that any place that is legal, or at least not going to get you or the movement in too much trouble, and where it is possible to distribute is fine. There are no restrictions as to where you can distribute these wonderful books of Shrila Prabhupada. Some devotees only go to these places. It is purely a matter of taste and of legality. Sometimes it gets one in great trouble to go into these offices or shops, but in other places there is no problem at all. So you all there in Finland know your own country far better than I. Therefore, you can all decide on your own where to distribute and where not to. I am not at all qualified to say. I can simply say that you should increase the distribution more and more, since this is our main activity in spreading this Krsna consciousness movement throughout the world under the direct order of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. (July 16, 1988) If a materialist gets any of Shrila Prabhupada's books, including a Srlmad-Bhagavatam 5.2, he will be benefited, since these books tell about the essence of spiritual life. Even if the book is somewhat esoteric, like the Chaitanya-caritdmrtas, for example, the person who gets the book is benefited, simply because he has touched it and paid a donation for it. This will eternally benefit them and they will get another chance to perform devotional service in the future. Therefore, any book is beneficial for the people. Better though is to give them a Bhagavad-gltd along with a Bhdgavatam or Gaaanya-caritamrta and then tell them that this is the introductory work and the other is the more advanced work. (November 19, 1991)
I recommend for sankirtana devotees a stay in India not longer than three weeks, even if they have not been to India for five years, and in some cases, where the devotees might get sick or are liable to get spaced out, two weeks. They should only go to ISKCON temples. Prabhupada wanted them to go to Mayapur and Vrndavana during the festivals and not to other ^laces. V/e do not nave tourism in spiritual life Tnev should always go under authorized programs. The best program is one week in Mayapur, one week in Vrndavana, and some davs transiting either Bombav or Delhi. The problem is that there is a lot of possibility to not be engaged during these visits, which leads to mdyd and, ultimately, a disruption in the sddhana, which causes a diminishing of devotional service. Is this enough information? (January 21, 1992) It is not the best that an uninitiated devotee cooks on sanklrtana. It is best that an initiated devotee does it. But if there is no other choice, then it may be all right. It is Krsna conscious to accept things as they come without your asking for them and also to ask the temple to supply you with something you need, if you are giving all your collection to the temple. You should live simply without too many demands for your own satisfaction. But you can also arrange with the temple president if you require something special. For example, if you want to go to India for the festival one year and you have no other means of getting a ticket, you can ask the temple president to let you keep a percentage ot your collection, which is over the normal collection for the temple, or allow you to do something else which is agreeable to you both. In other words, you can always arrange special collections with the temple president, and so long as it is authorized then it is Krsna conscious. (May 15, 1990) It is very nice that you have understood that only the san-klrtana-yajna is the means to free oneself from the material nature. This is a good realization. It is all right that a new driver drives long distances, as long as she is caretul in all respects and does not tall asleep while driving. All cars should be heavily insured, in case there is an accident. A wise temple president will set aside some of the collection from the sankirtana devotees to pay for the new cars when the old cars break down or have to be replaced. This is the duty of the temple president. The temple president might arrange that the sankirtana devotees make a special collection just for the cars, but that is up to him. (May 15,1990]. It is not exactly a material desire to want a sankirtana van to do sankirtana with. But I think that such a decision, whether to collect for a sankirtana van or not, should be made bv vour temple president. Since you are here now in Germany, you should discuss this with your temple president. I think that it is not required, and you should just depend on your authorities, wherever you are, to tell you when it is required to collect for a sankirtana van. It is good to distribute a lot of books for the satisfaction of Lord Chaitanya and the spiritual master. All spiritual authorities become pleased when you distribute a lot of books. It is not good to think that you are the doer of this service and that it is to your credit that you are distributing so many books. You should understand that it is the credit of the spiritual master and Krsna. Krsna is actually the one who is distributing these books and all credit should go to Him. Never take credit yourself for anything that has gone on in the past, and you will live happily beyond all material desires. (September 15, 1991) I am very glad to hear that you are dedicated to rebuilding the sankirtana mission there in France. However, you should get in the practice to distribute the books for twice the BBT price, so that the temple authorities will see book distribution as a viable means of supporting the temple economically. Sankirtana is a good means to support the temple and it is the means which Shrila Prabhupada wanted ISKCON to use to support the temples, so you can also do like that. (May 15, 1992)
This is the material world and there is danger at everv step ot the way. As springtime comes and summer approaches, and as the modes of passion arise very strongly again, lust increases, after the deep modes of ignorance of late winter. This causes everyone trouble. I think that in your letter you yourself have come up with a very nice solution to the problem which you, and perhaps others, are facing. That is, to always go on sankirtana together with others. I have also personally distributed with both methods, alone and with others. Although there is a certain type of sankirtan ecstasy that comes when one is alone and completely depending on Krsna, I would still prefer to go with one other. We used to perform sankirtana on the subway trains in New York this way one devotee on each end of the train meeting in the middle. We still do bus sankirtana this way in South America.
There is strength in numbers. When one must go alone all the time, that is gradually weakening one. It is generally better to go with others as much as possible. If you are alone, then your mind takes over and starts to speculate. But when you are with others, it is much harder for the mind to do that, and therefore, it does not like the idea of you going with others and it rebels. Therefore, there is initially some trouble in this system. However, this can be overcome if you try to stick to it for some time. Please continue your service nicely and things will definitely get better. This seems to be a test from Krsna, but certainly you can pass it. (May 30, 1986) If you are happy in the sankirtana mission, then please go on serving Krsna in this way. Do not be disturbed with thoughts of marriage. If Krsna wants you to get married, then He will arrange everything Himself, and you will not have to make any endeavor for it. Just go out and distribute and whatever Krsna arranges is perfect. ^November 1, 1991)