Chakra Announcements

Book distributors fan out from Mayapura

by Vrindavan Lila dasi

Posted December 1, 2003

[1. Grinning Mayapura book distributors pose for portrait.]

[2. Sankirtana buses are packed to the roof -- and beyond.]

In the last week of November, travelling sankirtana parties left from Mayapura for a book distribution marathon. The devotees are distributing books in Assam, Sikkim, Orissa, Bengal and some central states of India.

The Mayapura Sankirtana department has six buses; the bus assigned to each travelling party carries books, supplies, the devotees themselves and their personal luggage. The buses are not very big. They travel for long distances to provide an opportunity for people in out-of-the-way places to come in contact with Srila Prabhupada's books. Some of these devotees have been in this service for nine, ten, twelve or even fifteen years without a break.

[3. Gaily decorated bus provides a glimpse of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai]

In the photos you can see the sankirtana devotees as well as their preparations for going out. Devotees are checking their buses, packing books, prasad, kitchen paraphernalia, bedding, etc.

To be on a travelling book distribution tour in India is not an easy service by far; yet these devotees are very humble, although rendering the service Srila Prabhupada emphasised the most. When they come home to Mayapur, they bow to all the other devotees, and do cleaning and other forms of menial service -- not because they been told, but because they really have such deep humility that they are actually thinking their position is that of a servant at all times.

To see their bright faces is bliss, so I wanted to share this experience with you. (Some of them were very shy and hid away when they saw my camera.)

[4. Devotees ensure that bundles are securely lashed to roof]

[5. The first of six sankirtana party buses pulls out]

[6. Rasa Gopal das is the top book distributor]

All photos by Vrindavan Lila dasi