Srila Prabhupada, he once ordered his disciple Dhananjaya, one of his early intimate disciples, who was a householder – Srila Prabhupada liked him.
Dhananjaya was Scottish and Dhananjaya knew a lot about British history and Prabhupada also knew a lot about British history and they had these big exchanges about British history and there was really a lot of intimacy there. Dhananjaya is a treasure house of information about Srila Prabhupada so he said that: ‘Once in Vrndavana, Srila Prabhupada wanted him to do some business because he was a householder and he had to maintain a family.
So Prabhupada said, “Why don’t you start a business? You give an order here in Vrndavana for 50 sets of Deities of Gaura Nitai and these Deities, you export them to the West and give them to the book distributors.
The book distributors can take these Deities of Gaura Nitai and they can give them to people and they can just say to people who are a little interested, along with the book that they can take a set of the Deities – And we can explain that ‘these are just the Hare Krsna souvenir dolls!’”
Just like in any country you buy some dolls you go to Spain and you get some doll or here in Africa you get some African statues- you can buy them in the millions by the side of the road- and every country has something like that; in England they’ve got those guards with some funny hats on them and everything!
So wherever you go they’ve got something.
So Prabhupada said, “Like this- souvenirs! Like dolls they can keep -And you tell the people, take these dolls, these Hare Krsna Dolls, and if you keep them in the house, they bring good luck. You say that every day, if they want to, they can offer these dolls a little water. That will bring even more luck!”
Like that, you know! Not considering whether the people were qualified, not considering that:
‘Deities?!! Ah! Deities! Putting Deities in the house of meat eaters! No! Maha aparadha! This is against the sastra! How is this possible? We’re breaking all the rules and regulations, this cannot be! How is this possible?’
Prabhupada said it was! This is the spirit of Lord Nityananda; it is that spirit of just overlooking all impurities and just seeing the positive and recognising the little service that someone’s doing and encouraging people. If someone did a little service to buy a book:
“Ah! They’ve started their devotional service! Now they’re qualified to worship Gaura Nitai.”
“But Srila Prabhupada, what will they give to the Deities?”
“That’s trivial! They can offer a little water and everything will carry on…”
Transcribed by Savitri Devi Dasi
(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Capetown, September 2010)