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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Book Distribution > Book Distribution Glories > Sankirtana Forum > Becoming Steady

Becoming Steady


Devotee: How can we become steady on book distribution?


Harikesa Swami: The goal of every devotee in the movement, whether he is distributing books or not, is to become steady in his service. Shrila Prabhupada wanted the devotees to be steady, so that rhev could become experts and have good results in their services. It you are always changing your service, you will not learn anything properly. Imagine hav≠ing different cooks every day. No one would ever learn how to cook prasddam, and you would never be satisfied. The preaching department especially requires steadiness because preaching is so difficult, and of all the different types of preaching, book distribution requires the most steadiness. You must wait years before you become an expert. First you must meet many different kinds of people in many different cir-cumtances,and then you must go on for the rest of your life ,learning the art ot surrender, which doesn't come cheaply. Every day you have to wake up and surrender. Therefore,


Devotee: Will the results increase just by being steady? Harikesa Swami: Oh, are you worrying about your results? Devotee: Not so much worried, but if the goal is to distribute as many books as one can...

Harikesa Swami: Yes, distribute as much as you can, but when you start worrying about results, thinking that you should be number one, you are getting into trouble. Distribute out of love for the spiritual master and Krsna, without expectation of results. If they want, they can cause you to do seventy books a day, or if they want, they can cause you to do seven books a day. Become a tool in the hands of Krsna, and do not consider whether you are going to distribute a lot or not. Every day you should think, "Let's see what Krsna arranges today. Maybe Krsna will arrange for me to meet nice people, or maybe for my purification, He will arrange that I meet nasty people Let us see what Krsna has in store for me today."


You are not a fruitive actor. Krsna says in Bhagavad-gltd: karmany evddhikdras te ma phalesu kaddcana. You have a right to perform your sankirtana service, but you don't have a right to enjoy the results of your service. Leave the results up to Krsna and don't be attached to not doing your service. Of course, if you are never doing very much, that's also not good. That means something is wrong in the surrendering depart≠ment. But don't give up, thinking that you cannot do very much anyway. You should go on and try to improve, but von should not be attached to the results. One attached to the results can only go on for a short time, maybe a year or two. If you are attached to the results, and the results and your expectation do not match, you will become discouraged, your results will dwindle even more, and you will fall down from the sankirtana service.


Devotee: Sometimes authorities push one to be fruitive. One hears, "Oh, how many are you going to do today?" If one isn't doing a steady amount of books in a year, they consider him to be in maya.


Harikesa Swami: The temple has economic requirements, and your responsibility to the temple is to try to do as much as you can. Becoming free from the fruits of your results dosenít mean that you become irresponsible. As long as the authori≠ties are pushing, you should try to do your service up to standard. I personally never push the book distributors to fulfill quotas. Transcendental competitions are better. The distribu≠tors do not compete for sense gratification or glorification, and they surrender to the service and distribute as much as they can to please Krsna and the spiritual master.


Since the authorities have opinions on how much you should do, you can tell them, "I'll try my best to satisfy Krsna and not be a disturbance to the sankirtana mission, but the results are up to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and not me. Let's see what happens." I think they will accept that. After all, it is the duty of the sankirtana devotees to pass on to the authorities and others their realizations on how to work without fruitive results. Only the sankirtana devotees can un≠derstand that art well, because every day they have to meet good and rotten people on the street and be completely de≠tached from how many books they are going to distribute. If you distribute completely free from fruitive desires and your heart's only desire is to satisfy Krsna and the spiritual master, then the books will start flying out of your hands, because you are not distributing anymore, Krsna is. As long as you think that you are distributing the books, you are going m have a hard time. People will push vou down, spit on vou. or slap you in the face ó and unless you are tree trom fruitive desires, you will fall apart.


If you want the books to go out of your hands in a transcen≠dental way, you have to understand that it is all up to Krsnaand become a tool of the Supreme Lord. But that doesn't mean you have nothing to do with it. Krsna told Arjuna: ma-yaivaite nihatah purvam eva nimitta-mdtrarh bhava savya-sdcin. Krsna called Arjuna "Savyasad," or one expert in shooting arrows. He said, "By My arrangement, these men are already p'u\ lG CiCaLii, 50 y0u v^tin ^ccoinc uul tin insLruiTicni. in mC tight, O Savyasad." Although Krsna used Arjuna's expertise to do a service in which the result was already fixed, that didn't mpqnArinna bad nnthino to do with it†† He did†† but his service was to be Krsna's tool. As Krsna's tool, you should do your best, but let Krsna use you. That is the secret of success. You have the ability to distribute a book, so let Krsna use your abilities as if you were an instrument in His hands. Becoming the tool of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very difficult because the false ego is always telling us, "You are great. You are an important personality. You are going to distribute these books. You. You. You." Others may drag you into this bodily conception of life too: "How many did you do today? You are really great!" A sure way to fall into mdyd is to start believing what they say, instead of remembering that you are just a tool, an agency through which Lord Chaitanya's mercy can work to distribute these books to the fallen souls and nothing more. You should never want to be anything more, because that's already the most exalted position in the universe. Arjuna was Krsna's tool, and look what happened! He became the most exalted personality in all three worlds by destroying his opponents on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra; he is glorified to this day, five thousand years later. Similarly, you too can attain perfection in your service by becoming Krsna's tool.

Devotee: How do we become Krsna's tool and go beyond the platform of false ego?


Harikesa Swami: Becoming Krsna's tool is not a "how can we" formula: "Take three cups of this, four cups of that, shake it well, and you become Krsna's tool." You have to surrender unto Krsna's lotus feet. You have to give up the feeling that you are the doer and accept within your heart that although you try your best, Krsna is responsible for the results. After a while, you will realize, "Krsna is doing it. I have no problems. I just go out, and Krsna makes things happen as He always does." Then you will never want to feel anything other than the ecstatic feeling of being a tool of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.