“I want that you all my students shall very vigorously try for this book distribution.” Srila Prabhupada, Letter to Kirtiraja — Vrindaban 27 November 1971
Mahotsaha Das has proven that the words of our founder Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are still living strong in the hearts of many. Our beloved Srila Prabhupada’s heartfelt call to all his students of Bhakti Yoga to push vigorously for book distribution is amazingly still being carried down with great enthusiasm and fervor by his grand disciples.
Such as Mahotsaha Das, residing in Atlanta, who has distributed a record-breaking number of books in a single day. ISKCON News asked Mahotsaha Das some questions about his book distributing talents.
Congratulations on breaking the record of most books distributed in a single day, How many books was it?
On the whole, it was 1,458 books. So it was awesome, distributing many Srimad Bhagavatam sets, it must be 307 medium books and the rest were maha and big books. It was something. I took three breaks in 10 hours!
How did you feel after hearing you broke this record?
I never shared this but it’s been my goal since I was 22 (now 26). I actually read this book by Harikesha Prabhu called ‘All glories to Sankirtan Devotees’ and met some disciples who were previously initiated by Harikesha Prabhu, from them I knew Harinamananda Prabhu. Harinamananda Prabhu like you know is a legend. I have been looking up to these devotees for a long time. Then I read another book, Nectar of Book Distribution. I strongly recommend that book to anyone. (Nectar of Book distribution is a BBT authored book and BhaktiVikasa Trust has been given rights for reprinting). In that book, Harinamananda Prabhu speaks about how he broke his record. Ever since I hear about it, I was always wondering…Will Krishna let me do it? That would be really fantastic, something special indeed. I have been thinking about this for a long long time and have been trying and trying ever since.
Actually, I got close to breaking the record one day! I was doing like 100 books an hour. What happened was that all the stores had shut down at the place I went and I was 150 books behind Harinamanda Prabhu’s record. That stuck with me – if you get close to being a millionaire, you’re just about to be a millionaire but you just miss it by a chance…all you can think of is only that.
What has been your inspiration in your book distribution, what keeps you going?
My main inspiration in book distribution is His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami. When he heard about the record, he actually sent me an email “Maha abhinandana and ashirvadam’ which means great congratulations and blessings. He continued: ‘”Records are for breaking and Christmas is still young. You are doing the real work of Srila Prabhupada’s movement”. So I am happy that he is very pleased.
To make more book distributors is my goal in life. Some people may call it fanatical, like that is all I care about. But that is the only thing on my mind and I don’t have time for anything else. It is Prabhupada’s instructions – We are in a war right now and we should recruit as many soldiers as possible – this is THE most important thing. More people should join this Krishna Conscious book distribution revolution and do this amazing book distribution activity. It brings upon the greatest benedictions for every person around them and on oneself.
Does this change the way you are now distributing books or managing things?
We call our center here in Atlanta. The ‘World Sankirtan Headquarters’ and I have been entrusted this role of being the Sankirtan Leader of the World Sankirtan Headquarters. Many devotees want to learn how to distribute books. I have the desire to distribute a lot of books myself but it’s always all about handing it down to the younger generation, empowering more younger devotees to take up book distribution. I wanna distribute books like crazy but I also wanna make sure everyone in the world is distributing books like crazy the time but the bigger picture is to encourage more devotees to take up book distributions.
How do you feel about the state of book distribution going on at present time?
We do not do the sponsorship programs very much. The whole idea is to bring back the old tradition of book distribution where people go and distribute books hand to hand, person to person, and get a donation for the books. I do not know much about how book distribution is going on around the world. I am sure book sponsorship programs may have a role in our movement, but it seems to dominate the book distribution.
What is the plan for the future of book distribution for you now?
I am in Atlanta distributing books and getting as many as possible to distribute as many books as possible.
Are there any words of wisdom or inspiration you wish to share with people reading this?
I really pray that devotees actually go out on the streets more and they get money for Srila Prabhupada’s books. His books are more worthy than even gold! If you stack Prabhupada’s books and weigh them out in gold, even that much gold would not be enough!
Srila Prabhupada said he has hatched this transcendental plan, sell his books and maintain and build temples. We go out on the street and we distribute Bhagavatam sets and convince them to buy the sets, and we take their number and call them for our Sunday programs and gradually they become devotees.
Money is never a problem when you distribute books because you are serving the master of the Goddess of fortune. Krishna is unlimited and therefore his service also is unlimited. Hence, an unlimited number of servants can be engaged in the service of Krishna by Krishna. Because we are trying to engage as many people in the service of Krishna, Srimati Radha Rani is the head of the department of the service to Krishna, they will provide unlimitedly, so we do not have to worry. Our only worry is how we have to distribute more and more books. Those are only Srila Prabhupada’s words that I repeat.
Distribute books, distribute books, distribute!