Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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12-Year-Old Devotee Distributes 13,000 Books in Six Months
By Kulavati Krishnapriya Devi Dasi, ISKCON News Staff Writer   |  Apr 21, 2024

Madhav Dasa Rupanuga, a 12-year-old boy who lives in Mayapur with his parents, Acintya Caitanya Das and Dr. Shiromani Devi Dasi,  recently distributed over 13,000 books in just six months. Acknowledged for his unwavering dedication, he was recently honored with a Chaitanya Charitamrita set from Vaisesika Dasa presented by Jayapataka Swami.

The catalyst for Madhav’s fervor is Vaisesika Dasa’s inspiring association. Madhava enthusiastically participates in the annual Puri/Mayapur/Vrindavan yatras led by Vaisesika Dasa, thereby witnessing firsthand the expert distribution of books.

His mother, Dr. Shiromani Devi Dasi, recounted a poignant moment that left an indelible mark on Madhav’s consciousness, “One incident deeply struck Madhav. At Puri, a beggar was sitting with his begging bowl. Vaisesika prabhu walked up to him, gave him a book, and asked for a donation. The beggar was so surprised because no one had ever asked him for a donation! The beggar gave Vaisesika prabhu everything he had collected that day! This was very inspiring for Madhav to see that books are for everyone.”

Employing diverse strategies, Madhav champions the dissemination of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings with a preference for the “Mountain Pose Method.” This method includes five steps, emphasizing the “silent eloquence” concept. The following are the steps involved:

  1. Initiating with a warm smile and offering prasadam, akin to Srila Prabhupada’s allowance, albeit substituting conventional lollipops with khaja, also called Jagannath’s tongue, resonating more profoundly with pilgrims.
  2. Presenting a devotional sticker.
  3. Placing a Srila Prabhupada book in their receptive hands symbolizing the transmission of profound wisdom.
  4. Graciously showcasing a printed card, courteously requesting a donation, devoid of verbal entreaties.
  5. Maintaining a dignified silence, assuming a posture akin to a steadfast mountain, until the person reciprocates.

The efficacy of the “Mountain Pose Method” transcends age barriers, gains the attention of both young and old, and ensures nearly everyone leaves with a cherished book.

Nurtured in an environment steeped in devotion, Madhav’s affinity for devotional endeavors kept increasing under his parents’ guidance. Dr. Shiromani Devi Dasi revealed, “We knew that book distribution is very dear to Srila Prabhupada. Jayapataka Maharaja always stresses giving Krishna Consciousness to the pilgrims who come to visit Mayapur. He often says it’s very easy to give Krishna Consciousness to the pilgrims here because they are coming to you (Mayapur), unlike other places where you have to go to people.”

She continued, “Keeping this in mind, we knew book distribution was the best way to give Krishna Consciousness to the visitors who come to Mayapur. When children give books, it’s very difficult for anyone to refuse. So we have been taking Madhav out on book distribution since he was very young, maybe three years of age.”

Inspired by the timeless anecdotes encapsulated within What is the Difficulty?, written by Srutakirti Das, Madhav aspires to amplify his literary endeavors, holding aspirations to transition from disseminating small tomes to distributing weightier volumes. He loves traveling and envisions propagating the sublime message of Srila Prabhupada through book distribution while traveling.

Book distribution is a transformative experience and involves the efforts of the whole family wherein each member contributes their unique role—procuring materials, orchestrating logistics, and more. Dr. Shiromani Devi Dasi said, “One parent does the part of purchasing the books, stickers, and prasadam, packing it daily for Madhav to go out, keeping accounts, managing the schedule, while the other parent takes him (and his six-year-old brother, Acyuta) out for book distribution. Other friends and children also help and join in book distribution occasionally.”

As parents, Acintya Caitanya Das and Dr. Shiromani Devi Dasi shared their deep insights on raising a child in Krishna Consciousness and how children must be taught to take the wonderful service of book distribution.

They concluded, “So basically our advice is ‘Please go out and don’t get tensed whether you can do book distribution or not.’ Vaisesika prabhu says, ‘Just touch the pavement’ to encourage people to go out with the books. Somehow every family should take up book distribution as one of the services they will offer. And they will see the magic in their spiritual lives!”