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100 degree fever of Sankirtana in the early 1970s in America can only be
described as an epidemic. At one point, when we were completely out of
Books, waiting for Dai Nippon's shipment of Krishna Books to arrive, the
leader on the west coast, the pre-GBC mega-authority was Karandhara.
office was in the breezeway of the Temple in New Dvaraka. During mangal
arti, the rumor spread that there were 100 cases of Krishna Books stashed
in Karandhara's office.
they were Karandhara's personal property, that they were earmarked for
some lofty and important purpose, that he was the "ultimate
power" meant absolutely nothing to us-Buddhimanta and the Gang from
New Jagannatha Puri, San Francisco.
mercilessly, without the least consideration for the exalted position of
Karandhara, without the least consideration for the extensive damage, we
mercilessly broke down his door, splintered it into tooth picks and took
every single book and went on a three day Book Distribution Marathon.
that time, the shipment of fresh Books arrived and the fever spread
further and further.
you must keep in mind, was the total personification of Maha
"outrageousness." Everything he did, every word he spoke, every
gesture, every thought of his should have been filmed for posterity.
was very handsome, 6'1,” 180 pounds, with an impish grin and reddish
blond hair...like the American movie star, Robert Redford.
was 100% convinced of only one thing: that Srila Prabhupada was the
embodiment of the Absolute Truth-that there was no need to look any
further. The only need was to distribute Prabhupada's books.
first Traveling Sankirtana Party, to my knowledge, left San Francisco
Temple, New Jagannatha Puri in the Summer of 1971.
consisted of about 15 brahmacaris crammed into two vehicles. We were out
for about 3 and half weeks and distributed an "astounding
number" of Back To Godhead Magazines, 3000.
the last day, the 25th day of our austerity, the day before
returning to New Jagannatha Puri Temple, we ended up in the East Bay just
north of Oakland in a tract of split level executive homes-nicely
landscaped yards, clean streets, lots of trees.
just as darkness fell, about 8pm on a pleasant Saturday evening, we piled
out of both cars, sikas trailing, dhotis blowing, shouting "Hari Bol,”
we descended upon this peaceful community like a hurricane.
ran "Hari Boling" from door to door, distributing as many of
Srila Prabhupada's Books as possible and running to the next house.
an hour, we were on fire. Buddhimanta especially. He ran up to a door and
rang the bell.
he stood, taking up the entire doorway space, eyes bugging out, sweating
profusely, neck beads taught against his throat, and fire engine
KRISHNA," he announced to the bewildered housewife who unwittingly
opened the door. His eyes bugged. His neck beads strained.
took one look at this escaped lunatic from the Nut House in Goloka
Vrndavana and fainted dead away on the spot.
only took about 5 minutes for a thousand police sirens to split the calm
surrounded us. They had us. It looked bad. But they didn't know exactly
what to do with us. We didn't really do anything wrong.
they didn't take us to jail. The did talk to Buddhimanta for about 30
minutes to make certain that even though he looked and acted spiritually
insane, that he was in fact, OK, not violent, and harmless.
like this happened in the days of the Sankirtana Revolution in America.
may the Flag of Sankirtana Book Distribution wave.
Godbrother, fellow distributor and friend of Sriman BuddhimantaJi,
© CHAKRA 8 April 2001
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