Petrol Station Sankirtana

By Madhumangala Dasa

Dear devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to our dearest Srila Prabhupada, all glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga, and all glories to the sankirtan devotees of the Lord!

One evening recently, after relishing the nectar of sankirtan, I was waiting at a gas station for my ride back to the temple. I approached the pump attendants and urged them to chant Hare Krishna. At first they couldn’t understand what I’d said, but after I’d repeated the mantra a few times the normal symptoms of one who hears the Lord’s holy name began to take effect. They all looked at one another, and while smiling and laughing they began to chant in response. Between filling up the cars that pulled in for gas, they joined in with the other gas station workers, and very quickly the whole station was vibrating with the holy name as cars pulled in. After we had chanted for some time, I explained the meaning of the maha-mantra. Then I approached one pump attendant and showed him the Zulu “Beyond Death and Death.” He began reading. I asked him, “Did you understand what you read? Please explain it to me.” He began to explain very nicely, yes, he’d understood the first paragraph he read. I asked him, “Please take it with you we just ask for a small contribution.”

He looked at his friend. They both nodded in agreement and gave me a donation.

“Thanks!” I said. “Don’t just read the book; try to study it every day.” The next day I was dropped off at the same gas station to distribute books at the Pavilion Mall across the road. As I began to walk across the intersection I heard a voice call out to me from behind. “Hare Krsna!” It was the pump attendant who’d received the book from me the previous day. I called back, “Hare Krsna!” He dug his hands into his pocket, pulled out the BBD, and exclaimed, “Look! Here it is. You told me to read and study the book you gave me, and I just wanted to let you know I am and it is very interesting.”

What an inspiration it was for me to see that he’d brought the book to work and was appreciating it. Yes, indeed — he was blessed, and I was also blessed.

Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

Yours in the service of Lord Sri Krsna and His devotees,

Madhumangala das

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