Chakra Discussions

The Day the First Book Distributor Left

from Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta, volume 6, Uniting Two Worlds submitted by Pandava das

Posted February 20, 2008


Although Srila Prabhupada wanted his disciples to be as eager to distribute Krsna consciousness literature as we was, no one of them knew how to do it. Distributing a magazine and asking for small donation was one thing-but a big hardbound book? When the entire shipment of "Teaching of Lord Caitanya" had arrived in New York in April of 1967. The devotees had hired a truck, picked up the books at the dock, and unloaded them at 26 Second Avenue. They had then shipped them to ISKCON centers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Montreal, and elsewhere. And there they remained, in the temples.

Some devotees had tried placing ads in magazines and leaving books in book stores on consignment. But the books didn't sell. How to sell these big, hardbound books remained a mystery-until something significant happened, an accidental discover.

One day in 1971, while driving back to the temple after chanting in downtown San Francisco, two brahmacaris stopped at a local service station for gas. When the attendant came to the window for money, one of the devotees(Buddhimanta) showed him a "Krsna" book. the Attendant seemed interested, and the two devotees began preaching the glories of Krishna consciousness. When they suggested he take the book as payment for the gas, he agreed.

Astonished at what happened and inspired at their success, the two brahmacaris went the next day with several "Krsna "books and stood in front of a grocery store. And again it happened: this time they sold two books.

When Buddhimanta began selling as many as five books in a day the devotees in other temples especially Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver wanted to follow his example. And whoever tried and sold a book became caught up in a euphoric excitement.

from Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta, volume 6, Uniting Two Worlds

Srila Prabhupada sent Buddhimanta to different places where he showed the devotees how to distribute Srila Prabhupada's books. Buddhimanta had a habit of always calling all devotees Maharaja. Sometimes he is referred to as the inventor of book distribution . Something he never took credit for.

On February 13, 1990 he left his body in Vrindavan.

All glories to Prabhupada's servant, Buddhimanta dasa.