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Devotee: Since devotees also want to distribute longer on Ekadas'I during the marathon, is it OK to then chant only sixteen rounds instead of twenty-five?
Harikesa Swami: Shrila Prabhupada once said that if you are on marathon or something similar, it is all right to chant only sixteen rounds on EkadasI, because sixteen rounds is the standard he r*ri°finrHlv established
Devotee: is it better to distribute books in Vaisnava dress or in karml clothes?
Harikesa Swami: Distributing in Vaisnava clothes is good because people will understand what they are getting, but you can wear nondevotional clothes if it helps you get a better result. Shrila Prabhupada approved both methods. Devotee: To what degree should the devotees use materialistic sales techniques, such as wearing a suit and tie, in dealing with the public?
Harikesa Swami: You should not be artificial. Wouldn't it be artificial to put yourself in a suit? You would feel like a penguin. You can try it and see what happens. If you predominantly approach older people, then they will think, "Oh, he is nicely dressed; let me hear what he has to say." But we would like to get the books to the younger people, and they would think that you are weird.
Devotee: While distributing books, can we ask for donations to maintain ourselves and our families?
Harikesa Swami: It depends on what you say. You cannot ask for a donation for food relief or for the temple and use it for yourself. Then you are cheating and you will get into trouble spiritually, and it will also get the movement in trouble. It is more acceptable to tell people frankly, "I'm a monk, and I have no means of support, so any donation that vou could give would help me." Asking for extra donations for your personal maintenance is not required. It disturbs the people, and it doesn't mix together with book distribution. By selling books vou will automatically maintain vourself.
To maintain your tamiiy by distributing books is wonuei-ful. The temple managers should help householders to maintain their families by book distribution. If they were living in the temple, the temple would have to maintain them. To spare themselves this unwanted expense, the temple authorities should be liberal enough to give the householders enough of a percentage of the profit to maintain their families by book distribution. Shrila Prabhupada wanted the householders to support themselves by distributing books and running restaurants. 1 rake on my head the dust of the feet of any householder supporting himself by distributing books.