Feb 13 - The Day the First Vaishnava book Distributor Left -
by "Pandava vijaya dasa"
Srila Prabhupada wanted his disciples to be as eager to
distribute Krsna consciousness literature as he was, but no one of them knew how to do it.
Distributing a magazine and asking for small donation was one thing - but a
big hardbound book? When the entire shipment of "Teaching of Lord
Caitanya" had arrived in New York in April of 1967. The devotees had hired a truck, picked up the books at the dock, and unloaded them at 26 Second Avenue.
They had then shipped them to ISKCON centers in Los Angeles, San
Francisco, Boston, Montreal, and elsewhere. And there they remained, in the temples.
Some devotees had tried placing ads in magazines and leaving books in book
stores on consignment. But the books didn't sell. How to sell these big,
hardbound books remained a mystery-until something significant happened,
an accidental discover.
One day in 1971, while driving back to the temple after chanting in
downtown San Francisco, two brahmacaris stopped at a local service station for gas.
When the attendant came to the window for money, one of the
devotees(Buddhimanta) showed him a "Krsna" book. the Attendant seemed
interested, and the two devotees began preaching the glories of Krishna
consciousness. When they suggested he take the book as payment for the
gas, he agreed.
Astonished at what happened and inspired at their success, the two
brahmacaris went the next day with several "Krsna "books and stood in
front of a grocery store. And again it happened: this time they sold two books.
When Buddhimanta began selling as many as five books in a day the
devotees in other temples especially Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver
wanted to follow his example. And whoever tried and sold a book became
caught up in a euphoric excitement.
from Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta, volume 6, Uniting Two Worlds
Srila Prabhupada sent Buddhimanta to different places where he showed the
devotees how to distribute Srila Prabhupada's books. Buddhimanta had a
habit of always calling all devotees Maharaja. Sometimes he is referred to the
inventor of book distribution . Something he never took credit for.
On February 13, 1990 he left his body in Vrindavin.
All glories to Prabhupada's servant, Buddhimanta dasa.