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Devotee: Sometimes people are not interested in the subject matter of the books. How is it possible to awaken their desire to take a book?
Harikesa Swami: You have to awaken their desire little by little. For example, you can talk to them about specific problems in the material world. People like to talk about the ignorance that causes disturbances to the environment or problems such as wars and disasters. There are so many things you can talk about; it just takes practice to choose the right topic. Whether the person relates to these problems is not so important; the point is to lure him into a discussion and gradually swing the focus to the book.
Devotee: How does one deal with people who have heard negative news reports or propaganda about Krsna consciousness?
Harikesa Swami: Shrila Prabhupada said that any publicity is ultimately good. The people may have heard something that seems bad on the news, but when they see a devotee with a book, and he looks good and is friendly to them, they may remember that they heard something on the news, but it is no longer important. They may not even remember what they heard, and even if they do, you can change a negative impression into a positive one by being a friendly person. You should not worry too much about what people have heard on the news: meditating mn much n^m" >cnrh thin"1-' will undermine your faith.
Devotee: Sometimes one meets friendly people who do not want to take any books. Is it bad to feel sad and lament about this?
Harikesa Swami: A devotee laments when people don't take up Krsna consciousness, but he doesn't lament for long.
Devotee: But why should it go on like that?
Harikesa Swami: The people do not take up Krsna consciousness because they are in may a, and it is our duty to try to get them out of maya. Therefore you should think it unfortunate when you are not successful in bringing people out of may a, but you should immediately snap out of your lamentation and move on, because to just stay there and feel «orry for vourself is sense gratification.
Devotee: We meet many people who have gotten Srlia Prabhupada's books and have tried to read them, but they could not understand a single word. Can you explain how they will be benefited?
Harikesa Swami: Those persons are glorious, because they have tried to read the books. Even if they didn't understand anything, still they are purified. They may remain dull and foolish in this lifetime, but in the next lifetime they will get another chance to study Srlmad-Bhagavatam or Bhagavad-gitd with more facility. You have given them the greatest help — long-range help — and you should never feel that they are not benefited.
Devotee: If people don't understand what they are reading, how will the books change society'
Harikesa Swami: Only the grossest people do not understand what they read. Change will develop gradually. The books will be handed down to the younger generation, who will understand what they read, and who will be able to change. We just keep distributing the books. We don't know who is going to read them or what is going to happen. Maybe the person who buys the book cannot understand anything he reads, but then he dies and his son becomes attracted and reads the book.
The books travel all over the world. Devotees have joined in Germany or Scandinavia because of books they have received in Los Angeles or Chicago. These books are acting, but the change in society will take time. We should keep on pushing forward, and then one day, because of all these books, this huge cement structure created by the materialists, this big castle in the sky, will crack; as the Chinese proverb says, "Little drops of water on the rock make a big hole."