From work in progress, from Jayananda Thakur volume two,
"A Day in the Life"
by Vishoka Dasa
Lord Caitanya's golden lotus of mercy expands unlimitedly as He marshalls His transcendental minions to wage sankirtan war against the forces of maya. Jayananda's beaming smile resonates with joy as Srila Prabhupada's sankirtan soldiers proceed to invade the bay area with his transcendental bombs. They charge out into the day, with vigor and determination to serve their master, just as Lord Rama's faithful monkey warriors invaded Lanka with great energy and enthusiasm, just for the pleasure of their dear lord and master ... Lord Sri Ramachandra.
Jayananda is very happy to see the poor souls of Kali yuga get inundated with the ocean of mercy, the divine words emmanating from Srila Prabhupada's lotus lips, which are immortalized on the pages of his Srimad Bhagavatams and his many other wonderful books. Jayananda sometimes likes to go out and do BTG's, but most often he is required to get permits and supplies, and get the carts and devotees ready for the upcoming Ratha-yatra.
Some devotees are going to the parking lots, to do sankirtan with books and magazines. They stand in front of big stores and try to persuade people to take a moment from their mundane activities, and look at a "Back to Godhead" magazine, or take one of Srila Prabhupada's books. Some devotees go to the airports to distribute big books. Other devotees go to Fisherman's Wharf to give out flowers and BTG's to the tourists. Some temple devotees plan to go out that afternoon, to have harinama sankirtan in the park or at the Wharf.
Bhakta John gets a nervous lump in his stomach as his van approaches the parking lot where he is to do his day of sankirtan distribution of candies and BTG magazines. His nerves are grading on edge, because approaching strangers, accosting them and presenting what appears to be an eastern religion to them ... that is not a very easy task for him to do, seeings how he is nervous around people and strangers in the first place. He's done this before a few times and he is still not accustomed to it, he still gets the jitters before the van stops at his spot. But he thinks of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, and remembers Jayananda's words, "just do your best for Krishna .. keep on chanting." Jayananda is his hero, and so Bhakta John meditates on Jayananda's firm resolve to serve Lord Krishna, and he chants strongly right before the van door opens wide to let him out. He walks around the lot for a while trying to get up courage to do his duty, keeping the images of Srila Prabhupada and Jayananda and Lord Nrsimhadeva in his mind, softly chanting the prayer to Lord Nrsimha for protection.
He approaches a little old lady, thinking that she might be kind upon him. He gingerly addresses her so as not to cause any alarm. She is delighted to talk to John for a while, and digs in her purse to get some change for a donation, and John gives her a magazine, and she smiles. After a while John forgets the stress of accosting strangers, and he dives into the ocean of the previous acharyas' strong desire to give Krishna's mercy to all the fallen souls, and feels the inspiration of Srila Prabhupada and Jayananda in his heart. He feels the spirit of sankirtan take over his mind and senses, and he hands out many more magazines and feels the bliss of Sri Krishna sankirtan, a esctasy more intoxicating than any drug can give.
Bhakta Tom is asked by Bhakta dasa to drive Lokasaranga prabhu to the Oakland airport, because Loka didn't have a driver's license. On the way to the airport Loka tells Tom how Jayananda was the first to initiate book distribution. They arrive at their spot in the terminal, and Tom holds the book bag like a caddy for Loka. With awe and respect, he worshipingly watches Lokasaranga approach people in the airport, to persuade them to stop for a minute and take a look at Srila Prabhupada's books. A few would stop in curiosity, but most just walk on by, ignoring him, like he didn't exist. Some even took a moment to say something rude. Lokasaranga shines like a lotus flower in muddy water, tolerating and deflecting insults, like water off a duck's back. The Lord's devotee is ready to tolerate all troubles while spreading Krishna's word, and they offer all respects to others, even those who try to defame and embarrass.
Lokasaranga overcame all these difficulties, by Lord Krishna's grace, and was able to give out a number of Srila Prabhupada's books, and he felt the ever increasing and extreme esctasy of Sri Krishna sankirtan.
Dhanistha dasi also does big books at airports, and Jayananda helps her by providing her with a car and prasadam. The car has a makeshift throttle, improvised by Jayananda, and Dhanistha dasi depends on Krishna's mercy to keep the car from crashing. By Krishna's mercy, she must accept whatever vehicle that Jayananda can provide for her, and she safely arrives at the airport and everything turns out fine, and she distributes Srila Prabhupada's books to her heart's content.
Some devotees go to Fisherman's Wharf, to distribute flowers and BTG's. Some devotees go to work on the ratha carts. Some cook for the deities, some clean the temple. Everyone is serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna in some way, and Prabhupada is very pleased.
Jayananda initiated book distribution in America
On DVD 5 "Following Srila Prabhupada" by Yadubara das, there is the recollection by Pragosh Prabhu-
"The first discussion on the morning walk was who initiated book distribution in America. Somebody said it was Keshava.and somebody said it was Karandhara. But Prabhupada said, "Jayananda was the first." So Jayananda Prabhu was walking way in the back, and so he was called to come up front to speak to Prabhupada. Prabhupada said: "You were the first to organize the books distribution." Jayananda was very shy and he said: "I don't know, Srila Prabhupada, I don't think that I was the one". But Prabhupada said: "Yes, you were the first." And Jayananda said: "Thank you, Srila Prabhupada."
from- DVD 5 by Yadubara das
Jayananda worked so very hard to propagate and maintain Srila Prabhupada's sankirtan movement as he was always encouraging all the sankirtan devotees to distribute Srila Prabhupada's books and BTG's. He prepares prasadam for them, keeps the vehicles fit and road worthy for them, and personally tries to send off each devotee and give them spiritual and moral support. He is happy to see Srila Prabhupada's books fall into the hands of the suffering people of this world.
Although he is behind the scenes,
everything goes on nicely
because of his presence.
- Balabhadra dasa
I was fortunate to drive Lokasaranga prabhu to the Oakland airport, and I would watch him do Bhagavatams, and I would absorb the mood of big book distribution from him. Later on, I also had the good fortune to do some big books in the San Francisco airport. I remember one time a very large lady stopped to look at the new Caitanya-caritamrta, the large size Adi volume two. She appeared highly educated, and was dressed very refined. She was so delighted to get the large size Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi 2, and she would look blissfully at the many paintings of Lord Caitanya, with an expression of amazement on her face. It was as if she had waited a lifetime for that moment to arrive. Caitanya-caritamrta says that material life is a dessert-like tongue that only gets drops of water. When this lady got the Caitanya-caritamrta, it was like an ocean of nectar cascading down upon her parched tongue. Devotees love to see people get the mercy like this.
Sometimes I did ok with big books, sometimes it was real difficult, it wasn't my main service. One time there was only three of us at the airport and Caru dasa asked me how to distribute books, and he was a very good preacher who was able to communicate with people on a high level, but it was hard for even him. We all tried our best, and some devotees were more gifted in doing big books. Sometimes the people were extremely rude and so we practiced the mood of "lower than straw and more tolerant than a tree." I remember how one lady was impressed by the "trinad api" qualities of tolerance of the airport devotees in the face of constant rejection and insults. She actually stopped and expressed her appreciation to me of the humble and tolerant qualities of the airport devotees.
The airports hold such sacred memories of so many devotional activities, like book distribution. The most blissful of all, were the numerous airport arrivals of His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada, in which the devotees went wild in esctatic bliss upon seeing their master suddenly appear through the doorway, and walk regally into the terminal admist profuse showers of flowers upon his pathway, and there was roaring kirtan and the devotees were jumping up and down, and running hither and thither, and falling down like sticks onto the floor with heartfelt prayers.
From Jim Lyles-
"When Prabhupada came down the ramp, Jayananda was holding a parasol umbrella over Prabhupada's head. Well, at that time the Spiritual Master was glowing. He was glowing like a light bulb. The lobby was illumined by the brightness. And when a devotee used a flash bulb to take a picture the glow came back. A black janitor responsible for sweeping the floors was there leaning on his broom. His eyes got comically wide & he exclaimed, "That man is shining. I tell you that man is shining.." Apparently I was not the only person sharing that magical moment." - Jim Lyles
I offer my heartfelt obeisances millions of times unto the feet of Lokasaranga prabhu and Dhanistha dasi and Jayananda prabhu, and all the sankirtan and temple devotees, who are full of compassion for the fallen souls, who most lovingly served Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga in those glory days of the San Francisco yatra, when Jayananda was splendidly manifest in our world.
Website for Jayananda-