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Old Distributors Never Die
Devotee: If book distribution is the topmost activity, why do most devotees give it up after some years? Harikesa Swami: There are many reasons to give up book distribution, and none of them are bona fide. I know many old book distributors who are still book distributors. Sometimes, because the sankirtana men are the most qualified, we make an older sankirtana man temple president. Then he becomes not only the sankirtana leader for a sankirtana group, but for the whole temple. He hasn't given up. He may not be able to go out all the time and distribute books himself, but he inspires everyone else to participate in the sankirtana mission. And that is glorious.
One should never give up the sankirtana mission. Even if a devotee has ip direct street distribution because his body is broken down from carrying tons of books, he can still help others to go out and distribute books. Only the form of distribution has changed. To engage everybody else in book distribution is a higher service than to be engaged in it oneself, and only one sincerely committed to the book distribution mission can do it. Someone not convinced may talk big and inspire the devotees for ten minutes or so, but they soon realize he is a nonsense and forget about him. But a real book distributor at heart can inspire hundreds of thousands of people to distribuete prabhupadas books.old sankirtan devotees never die — they live torever in their instructions. An old distributor can make preaching programs, inspiring nennle to start nama-hatta centers and distribute books themselves. He can also encourage the nama-hattls to read the books, for the more they read and study the books the more they will want to distribute them. Can you imagine when we have a network of nama-hatta centers all over the place, and in each of these centers a couple goes out and distributes maybe twenty books a week? It doesn't sound like much, but if you have a hundred centers, that is two thousand books a week distributed by householders going from door to door in their own neighborhoods. Can you imagine, little by little, a huge book distribution network spreading over every country, flooding every place with books?
The sankirtana devotees should pray to the Lord for the strength to continue even though their bodies are aging. After ten or fifteen years on sankirtana, you should not give up, thinking, "Now I'm too old." No, you are still not old. Prabhu-pada used to say that old is when you are in your seventies. Of course, from his point of view it was like that. So if you are an old man and your hair is gray and you need a cane to walk, you can still preach and inspire more and more people to distribute books. This is actually the way a book distributor thinks. He thinks that his whole life will be engaged in distributing Prabhupada's books.