1008 Maha big books in one day

December 4, 2006 at 7:25 am Leave a comment

Dec 1, MUMBAI, (FRI) – “Ravana, the real but misunderstood hero” is the latest Mumbai frenzy and the city is excited by this television serial, with millions’ imagination captured by the posters splashed at all railway stations. Dadar is no exception.Dadar is the busiest railway station in Mumbai. Competing with the hawkers for space at the over bridge, around 80 devotees made their presence felt strongly. With the constant announcements over the public address system and thousands of Mumabities rushing back home from work, it was a challenge to grab the attention of the crowd. Historically it has been seen that the go getters of Mumbai, always on the move, hardly stop for anything, especially at the stations where catching the trains is priority number one. However the occasion of ‘Gita Jayanti’ had inspired the devotees to place themselves all around the bridge and each one of them was calling out loudly to the crowd, imploring them to take a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, offered at a specially discounted price. Even though there are hundreds of billboards enticing and distracting the masses, the devotees managed to bombard them with catchy phrases and slogans. As soon as a person climbed the bridge, he would see a devotee imploring him to take a Bhagavad Gita. He would refuse the first one, only to be confronted by another devotee, only a few steps ahead. Then another one and by the time he came down, there was this last table put up by the matajis, also calling out loudly to the hordes of office goers and those returning back home. Besides strategically placing themselves at the various parts of the bridge, devotees also had put up four tables, one each by the brahmacharis, congregation men, matajis and the IYS boys.One of the hawkers was preached to by Damodar Dulal Prabhu, and he packed up his table containing electronic gadgets and joined the devotees in distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books. One man refused a book by a few devotees and eventually at the last table he took a book and revealed why he wanted a book, “I said to a few of your guys that I already have a copy but later felt guilty for lying to such nice, well dressed and well mannered devotees. As I came down I resolved I will make up the next time I see one of you. As soon as I came down, here you are, I had to take a book”.

The event became glorious because it was spontaneous and no one planned or imagined at the way things turned out. Hrishiskesh Ananda Prabhu announced that all the book tables, across various corners in Mumbai should total up to 1008 on this one day. However Krishna and Srila Prabhupada had better plans. Initially only a handful of devotees, struggled at the book table, vying for space with many others. Soon, a few joined and then many devotees, returning home from work, were inspired. They left other engagements and decided to join the fun. This enthusiasm was contagious and it was amazing to see the usually reticent and shy devotees, also shout loudly and enthusiastically preach. As the last train left for the night, the total crossed 1100 Bhagavad Gita, at just, this one station.

As devotees packed up the tables at night, none of them had any voice left.

The shouting and preaching had left them exhausted, yet ecstatic. Returning home, the devotees did look up at the Ravana bill board, but couldn’t help celebrating Srila Prabhupada’s mercy that even in a crazy city like Mumabai, where values are fast eroding, Lord Krishna’s message still has takers.


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