At the right place at the right time

By Madhumangala Dasa

Lord Caitanya’s causless mercy isn’t something mysterious, in one sense. It really enters the hearts of special souls via the medium of the sankirtan devotees. Thus everyone has an opportunity to remember Krishna, though they may be almost unaware of it.

About two weeks ago, coming back to Durban from Johannesburg, as usual I brought books with me on the bus. I began observing the passengers, who looked sleepy or else quite bored while staring out the window. I smiled at them, and in no time they smiled back.

“Now that looks better,” I said and began asking people what their names are.

One Indian gent sitting next to his wife said that his name is Harrison.

“Yes, you have a very nice name, Hari means the Lord, and you are the son of the Lord.”

He was from a Christian family.

I began having an interactive conversation with everyone, and spoke about the soul. So by this time the bored passengers looked less bored. They made comments, and a luster appeared on their faces, which just a moment or two before were almost expressionless.

I told an African lady that I was a traveling monk and that for fourteen years I’d traveled mostly in southern and East Africa with books of wisdom for the people.

I had a call of nature, and upon returning I saw that she was holding The Science of Self-Realization. It was almost as though the book appeared at the right time and place.

She told me that she’d bought it from a second-hand bookstore. Then she began to explain how interesting the book was and began to glorify Srila Prabhupada. I got out some books for her and gave her a large selection to choose from. I told her to look through them and that when we reached Durban, she could give me a donation.

During the journey, I watched her from behind. She became absorbed and read the books all the way. At the end she took two books, and said that she really looked forward to reading them and asked me for some contact details.

Here is an e-mail I received three days after I distributed a book to a man at the Pavillion Shopping Mall in Durban:

Hello Madhumangala,

We met at The Pavilion this week, and I purchased “Yoga for the New Millenium”. I enjoyed it very much and would like to purchase a few more books. Can I do this at your Chatsworth Centre & leave the donation with your people to pass on to you? I have my own way of being Present & being Conscious so I do not wish to become a Krishna devotee. Thanks & regards.

Your servant,
Madhumangala das

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