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Don't Become Fried
During the book distribution day, sometimes devotees feel weak. It is too difficult for them to go on. In this condition some book distributors go to sleep, some sit and read, some eat prasadam, and some just go crazy. If you feel that you cannot go on, my advice is to stop going on. Bring yourself someplace where you can chant Hare Krsna, take out your beadbag, and walking back and forth, chant ten to sixteen rounds. Nothing is better than chanting Hare Krsna to get your head together. We sometimes have to chant many rounds in one day to get ourselves together. After you chant, sit down and read a little. Then you will have the strength to face the cruel material world again. Then if you feel all right but notice yourself gradually weakening again, I recommend that you chant between persons. Nothing is more powerful for the sankirtaner than the holy name of the Lord, and no technique is better than to chant more.Taking a nap may be enlivening if you are tired, and that is OK. But if you are in mdyd, taking a nap is the worst thing you can do. It throws you further into the mode of ignorance, with no chance to get out.
After many years of sankirtana, the devotee's body may start wearing down. Sakirtana is one of the most physical taxing services. One may need more than six hours ot sleep (maybe seven or eight hours), especially if he was a fanatic in the pqrlv dav<; Shrila Prahhunada authorized the taking of more rest by the book distributors because of the heavy physical activity required, so one should not feel bad about it. One should go to bed early and get up at a good time, so that throughout the day one has enough energy to do one's service. Sankirtana devotees have to take care of their bodies. They should eat properly. (They should not throw some half-chewed peanuts down their throat that come out whole at the other end.) Prasadam should meet a proper standard. Every sankirtana vehicle should have a little stove and a pressure cooker. One can cook kicharl with all kinds of vegetables in it or make capatls. One can have bread from the temple with sufficient, but not too much, butter and some fresh tomatoes or other fruits. One should have a healthy, balanced diet.
Of course, one should not eat so well that it becomes a sense gratification party. This has happened in the past. In the guise of taking care of their bodies, the sariklrtaners tell asleep after eating and never got out the door. There must be a proper balance. One should eat properly and then go out and burn up some of those calories. Hanging around in the van after prasadam means death. Sankirtana devotees may take a little break during the day to finish their rounds if necessary or to read a little bit to keep themselves Krsna conscious.I have been asking sankirtana devotees to read two hours a day because they have to learn Shrila Prabhupada's books. Prabhupada told me in South Africa, "They think these books are just tor selling, but actually 1 have written them tor reading." It is important to read these books. To distribute books for a lifetime means that one has to be firmly convinced that these books are the topmost perfection of literature in existence. You must read to purify your intelligence and develop your Krsna consciousness. If you can read more and maintain the distribution results, it is all right to increase the allotted daily reading time. If you become so fired-up that you do the same or more than when you read less and go out all day, then it is authorized. Otherwise it is better to read two hours and go out all day. If one falls into maya during the day, he shouid chant more and read a little bit. Then he should get back on his feet and immediatelv strike back at maya again. Don't let mdyd get the upper hand on you. But if you become so fried out that you cannot go on, you should immediately go back to the temple and tell the president. You should get another service—going on harinama, distributing prasadam, helping in the kitchen, or worshiping the Deity. Don't worry! Every warrior in the battlefield becomes a little weak sometimes and has to go back to the base for a rest. After a short time, the spirit will well up again and you will want to go back out.