Srila Prabhupada always said book distribution was one the most important services Krishna likes, so devotees should distribute books every day. Inspired by this statement mentioned by their spiritual master, Radhanath Swami, Shama Rasika devi dasi and Nikunja Ras das along with their daughter Samradni accepted the responsibility of distributing books to motels.
It was a wonderful team work they performed. Shama Rasika would search for motels owners and make appointments. Then, her daughter Samradni would speak with the manager and explain to them importance and advantage of having Srila Prabhupada books in their rooms. Finally, once the order was confirmed, Nikunja Ras would carry or mail boxes to the addresses, collect donations, and further maintain good relations with the heads.
In this way of collaborative teamwork, the family distributed quite an amount of books to motels. They all experienced many miracles of book distribution on their way.
One of the most astonishing miracles of placing Bhagavad Gitas in motel rooms was a man who was saved from committing suicide by reading just a few pages of Bhagavad Gita.
This incident took place in New York in 2014. Like always, Shama Rasika searched for motels but this time in New York as she was going there to visit a friend that summer. She dialed Hotel Ramada Inn and handed the phone over to her daughter. When the attendant transferred the call to the manager, Samradni introduced herself, ISKCON, and Srila Prabhupada’s books to him. He sounded annoyed and disconnected the call. But the family did not give up. Shama Rasika asked her friend, Rupali Raut, to follow up. She visited with books and showed the attendant, who seemed to be interested but the manager was still ignorant.
Shama Rasika prayed to Sri Sri Radha Madanmohan for help. Few days later, Nikunja Ras received a phone call; surprisingly enough it was Dhirubhai Patel, manager of Ramada Inn. He said he would like to look at the books and would also appreciate for Nikunja Ras and his family to come down to New York as he had an incident to share.
Nikunja Ras quickly noted down the number of rooms in the motel. With 250 Bhagavad Gita, all three of them set out for New York on the following weekend. They arrived at the motel with Rupali Raut. The manager walked them to his office and began talking. He told them because he knew Bhagavad Gita was the book with wisdom and highest spiritual knowledge, he had placed it on his front desk. One day, a very distraught, troubled individual arrived. He booked a room and angrily speed walked down the hall as grabbed the Bhagavad Gita, thinking of it as a magazine. He loudly shut his door. And put up a sign “DO NOT DISTURB”.
The staff was worried. The night went by and morning came. The man walked up to the front desk and desperately asked for a copy of the book. He had so many questions like “what is this book?”, “where can I get this?”, “who wrote this book?”.
Nikunja Ras and family provided him with all the information and asked the hotel owner why the man was so curious to know about this book. Then he told us what happened last night. The man had come to Ramada Inn to commit suicide. He had everything ready in the room; a chair, a fan, and a rope. He said he was tired of life and wanted it to end because there was no essence left. But before he took any actions he skimmed the room and saw the book sitting on the bed. He started reading and couldn’t stop. He fell asleep as read and by the time he had completely forgotten about his plan. He mentioned his appreciation for the organization in the book, how the instructor guided his student on the path of life and the student stuck in a dilemma took shelter and, with a cold heart, made the right decisions. He said this book had taught him to live, to forget the past and instead of lamenting, living happily with what we have and is given. This book guided him to the right path. He wanted the book.
The manager gave away his Bhagavad Gita copy to him. He said he then understood the real importance of Bhagavad Gita and how big of a mistake he had done by denying the offer by the Hare Krishnas. He immediately decided to call back thinking how such books can help his customers gain control and release stress. The manager further said he would like to actually buy the books for all his rooms.
Nikunja Ras, with his boxes ready with 250 Bhagavad Gitas, confirmed the deal. The family merely returned back home as they all thanked and admired Muralidhar for his sweet lilas.[ bhagavad-gita ] [ book-distribution ] [ motel ] [ sankirtana ] [ stress ] [ suicide ]