South Africa to Mozambique – February 2013
by Madhumangala dasa
On the 19th of February, Deve Prabhu and myself left the BBT House at seven in the morning to head east on the N12 towards Nelspruit. Deve Prabhu works for an instrumentation company and he had previously asked me if I would like to accompany him to Mozambique, where he had some clients to see in a sugar mill in the north of the country. We made our first stop in Benoni to get refreshments. As we were leaving the store, I motioned to a gentleman behind me that he could leave first. He smiled and, motioning back to me, declined and requested me to go first. No, I told him, he should go first. But he insisted that I should do so, and I did. Standing outside, I introduced myself to him and asked him why he had been so humble. He replied: “I can see that you are a Hare Krsna. I have always had the utmost respect for what the Hare Krsnas are doing in society.”
I thanked him for his kind words and showed him a selection of books. He liked The Hidden Glory of India and said he would gift it to his daughter as she is interested in ancient Indian spirituality. The man also found the other books interesting and purchased two of them. He gave me a donation and his business card. By the mercy of Guru and Gauranga, it certainly was an auspicious start to our sankirtan mission as we were heading to Maputo in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan mission to spread the glories of His holy name.
Our second encounter occurred when we again stopped for refreshments near Schoemanskloof in Mpumalanga. Once again, as we were leaving the store, I met a macadamia nut farmer. I asked him if he only farms in macadamia nuts – no, he said, he also had some cows. I showed him a copy of The Higher Taste and got him to look at the section entitled ‘Living cows are an economic asset’. He took the book and gave me a donation. We then stopped at Nelspruit for lunch and I met a young doctor from Cape Town who was doing his internship at a hospital there. He had heard of the Hare Krsnas but was a bit reluctant to talk at first.
Soon, by the mercy of Guru and Gauranga, he became a friend of Krsna. I said to him: “I suppose you have seen many dead bodies as a doctor.” Yes, he replied, he had. As our conversation turned to the topic of reincarnation, I handed him a copy of Coming Back. I asked him if he ever wondered why dead bodies could not walk or talk. I began to explain the analogy of the driver and the car: just like the car can only move with the presence of the driver and it cannot move when the driver has left, so the body is like a car and when the driver leaves it, the body is useless. He began to read some parts of the book, nodded his head and said yes, he would like to take the book. Halfway into our journey and by the mercy of Guru and Gauranga, we had already touched the lives of 2 souls. What lay ahead in Maputo?
We crossed the border into Mozambique at about 15h30 and headed toward the capital Maputo. After eventually arriving in the city centre, we decided to find suitable accommodation. We parked the car and decided to walk along the streets. Fearing we might be lost, we stopped a gentleman for some assistance. We asked him if he could point us in the direction of some good hotels. The conversation veered toward the subject of philosophy. Soon we were discussing life and death. The gentleman turned out to be a lawyer and actually seemed interested in what we had to say. He looked at the selection of books I showed him and said he would like to take Dharma: The Way of Transcendence. But unfortunately he did not have any money to pay for the book. Alright, I said to him, give me your address and I will come and get the money from you tomorrow. The next day I went to his office to get the money. I sat there as he asked me to look for him the next time I was in Maputo for he looked forward to seeing me again.
We left Maputo, heading back to South Africa. We crossed the border in no time and decided to stay overnight in Nelspruit. Early the next morning, we went outside the hotel and distributed books to people who were on their way to breakfast at the restaurant. How glorious it is to be travelling and preaching the glories of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s holy name and to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books – what a transcendental adventure!