Report from Malawi

Malawi, in Africa, is a place where very few have heard of Krsna. But there are many people here who are always ready to buy the books, and as soon as they look at them, they say how beautiful they are.

Once I went into a bakery named Ali Baba Bakery and showed the books to the fair-skinned man at the cash counter. His name was Nicholas and he was immediately interested. He took SSR, Raja Vidya, Beyond Birth and Death, and Perfection of Yoga. He paid half the amount and asked me to come and collect the other half on the next day.

The next day he asked me whether I had the book with the silver cover (Coming Back) that I was carrying the previous day, but that was the last copy we had in stock and had already been distributed. He looked disappointed, but then when I showed him the Bhagavad Gita and asked him whether he knew something about it. He said that he knew what the Gita was and immediately bought it. The next day I took the temple copy of  Coming Back, and he bought it. I keep meeting him regularly and give him prasadam and discuss the philosophy.

Once while I was walking on the street, I heard someone behind ask me if I was a Hare Krsna. I was surprised, as not many people in Malawi know about the Hare Krsnas, and so I asked him how he knew. He told me that he has a friend in Ivory Coast, West Africa, who is a Hare Krsna (wears saffron) and keeps calling him and asking him if he has got the Gita yet. I showed him the Gita, but as he did not have the money at that time. We just exchanged contacts. His name was Mavin and he was a Malawian. He met me after a few days when he had the money and got the Gita. Haribol!

One time I entered into small shop and showed the books to the shop owner, whose name was Yohanna.  He saw the books and said that they were good books, but he did not have money and asked me to come back at the end of the month. As I was busy with the book stall at the Malawi Trade Fair, I was not able to go to him at the end of the month. Later, when I went to him again, he said that he thought I had forgotten him and thanked me for remembering him and coming again. He said that he wanted to take many of the books and fill up a shelf in his home for his two-year-old daughter to eventually read. He said that his daughter was very intelligent. She was already speaking three languages — English, Chichewa, and Chitumbuku — and he wanted her to grow up reading these books. But as he had no money again, he asked me to come back at the end of the month.

When I went at the end of the month, he was looking at the books more deeply and was showing them to his friends and was again and again saying “These are beautiful books”. He selected a Bhagavad Gita, Krishna book, Science of Self Realization, Journey of Self Discovery, Renunciation through Wisdom, Life Comes from Life, Path of Perfection, and Teachings of Prahlad Maharaj. The books amounted to a total of 5000 Malawian Kwacha, but again as he did not have money at that time, he said that he would keep the books and would give me a call whenever he had the money. He gave me a call yesterday, after three weeks, and said that I could come and collect the money.

One time, at the place where I regularly stand and show the books to the passers-by and tell them that these are nice books, a man asked me “How nice are these nice books?”

We both started laughing, and then he invited me to his office. He was a lawyer and was heading a law firm. We discussed religion and philosophy for an hour. He told me that most of the divorces take place because the wife is unsubmissive to the husband. He also told me that one of the reasons why divorces take place in Malawi is that the husband goes to one church and the wife goes to another and they are taught different things, which creates differences between them, leading to a divorce. I told him that the divorce problem could be solved if the wife is submissive to the husband and the husband is submissive to God’s laws. He agreed and bought a Bhagavad Gita.

Once, I showed Elevation to Krsna Consciousness to a young Malawian man, Cyiza, who immediately bought the book. Then he asked me what was the source of the book, and so I showed him the Gita and he bought it immediately. He said that he had seen me quite a few times before selling books but was hesitant to approach me. He was happy that finally I had approached him. He asked me to write something for him on one book, as he was buying a book on Asian religion for the first time. The next day I got a call from the government registrar office, saying that I had left a book there. They had found my name and number on the book. So I went and picked it up and found it to be the one that I had sold to Cyiza (as it had the good wishes written by me on it). So I called him and asked him to come and meet me to collect the book, but he was out of station. We could not meet for a month. The next time we met, he bought a Krsna book and Srimad Bhagavatam First Canto. He said that he had a degree in theology and was interested in Eastern philosophy.

Your humble servant,

Nitai Nimai Das

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