Sri Govinda Divya-vani Seva Ashram servitors
book distribution and kirtan in downtown Salem, Oregon
Attended by Sriman Radha-Syama dasa brahmachari,
Indra Bandhu dasa, and bhakta Ben
Photos taken by Radha-Syama dasa and Indra Bandhu dasa
Commentary by Indra Bandhu dasa and Radha-Syama dasa
Indra Bandhu prabhu and bhakta Ben begin their loving search.
Commentary by Indra Bandhu dasa:
The servitors of Sri Govinda Divya-vani Seva Ashram are aspiring daily to spread the Holy Name of Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga around the world, mercifully distributing everywhere we can, aspiring to participate in the Loving Search for the Lost Servant. On this day in Salem, Oregon, Sriman Radha-Syam prabhu, myself Indra Bandhu dasa, and bhakta Ben (our new bhakta who moved into the ashram during Srila Govinda Maharaja’s Divine Appearance Day celebration, and one year anniversay of the ashram), canvassed the streets and parks of downtown Salem on a book distribution and flyering mission. It was a crisp and chilly day, but sunny with a clear blue sky, and brightened further by the smiles of the aspiring disciples of Sri Gurudeva, Srila Giri Maharaja whose Divine Grace and spiritual presence is felt as we do this service, as His Divine Grace is so pleased by book distribution following the Divine Will of Srila Sarasvati Thakura.
The journey began with some kirtan with Radha-Syama prabhu playing kartals. We’d barely got out of the ashram van and crossed the street and a lady was interested. I handed her a flier, as we turned around, she called after us and Radha-Syama dasa asked her name, introduced himself, asked her if she had a tape player, he distributed Songs of the Heart to her, Amy gave an offering of $20 to start our Loving Search. “This is just what this town needs!” she said, and indicated that she wished to come by the ashram for a program. Bhakta Ben and I handed out over one hundred flyers over the course of the day, going throughout downtown, the waterfront park, the skatepark, and by the local Willamette University. A few individuals expressed outright interest in coming to the ashram. Fliers were also put up on bulletin boards in coffee shops and a World Goods shop (supporting cultural diversity). All 3 members of the party engaged in glorious kirtan led by Radha-Syama dasa walking the streets, shouting “Nitai Gauranga!” and chanting the Lord’s Holy Names.
Today was bhakta Ben’s first distribution mission, and really his first time canvasing people in public at all. Bhakta Ben initially had some fear and apprehension, but it was overcome by the grace of Gurudeva, and the mercy of distribution. He pushed himself to do something he had never done before and made signifigant progress throughout the day. He also realized how fortunate he is to even know of the Lord’s Names and pastimes.
A day spent in aspiring service to Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga is the most worthwhile cause, our spiritual fortune, and the soul’s only prospect.
Commentary by Radha-Syama dasa brahmacari:
Yes it was a great day from the beginning, with a long class led by Indra Bandhu prabhu teaching bhakta Ben further how to tie a dhoti, prepare Ganges water, put on tilak with mantras, put on a kurta, and be presentable for service life in the Sri Govinda Divya-vani Seva Ashram, even as we take that shelter with us doing distribution work throughout Salem, OR. Bhakta Ben is on a steep learning curve but as we know, we are often met with frustrations in our service life, including the wonderful experience of beginning, when all is both new, and yet mysterious, and those of us who continue on in the service line of our Gurudeva are always remembering with humility, tolerance, and respect, to care for the new devotees, the jiva who is attempting their own journey back Home, back to Godhead. Already in one very auspicious weekend he has cleaned himself up under the guidance of servitors here, and rather than rest, is busily working beside us in his new work uniform, and I am not only inspired by that brave attempt to throw oneself into service, but also your working with him so fondly Indra prabhu. Hare Krishna:)
I think the pictures are very nice, and we’ve posted them here for everyone to be inspired by. Hari Bol!
Radha-Syama prabhu calling out the Names of the Lord.
Radha-Syama dasa supporting the distributors with kirtan.
Radha-Syama dasa playing kartals from Mayapur Dhama.
Radha-Syama dasa singing kirtan downtown Salem, OR.
Radha-Syama dasa on street corner supporting distributors with kirtan.
Bhakta Ben distributing fliers and asking for offerings for Sri Govinda Ashram.
Bhakta Ben talking with lady about attending Sri Govinda Ashram.
Bhakta Ben finishes handing out flier as lady tells friend about ashram.
Radha-Syama dasa chanting the Names of the Lord.
Indra Bandhu prabhu speaking about the Sri Govinda Ashram, distributes Home Comfort.
Bhakta Ben standing with boy he has given flier to and invited to Sri Govinda Ashram.
Bhakta Ben and Radha-Syama dasa on a mission.
Bhakta Ben and Indra Bhandu dasa approach the downtown skatepark.
Indra Bandhu prabhu talking with skateboarder about Sri Govinda Ashram, books, and prasadam.
Bhakta Ben speaking with the public and flyering.
Radha-Syama dasa and bhakta Ben canvas another corner.
Radha-Syama dasa and bakta Ben sankirtana.
Radha-Syama dasa and bhakta Ben distributing.
Radha-Syama dasa and bhakta Ben together in service and sankirtana.
Bhakta Ben blissed out on the nectar of devotional service… Hare Krishna!