Danakeli Dasi: We again met many nice students this week while distributing books at the Univ. of Tennessee in Chattanooga.
One student was impressed w/ the colorful art & original Sanskrit in the Bhagavad-gītā, saying several times, “This is so beautiful.” When he disclosed he was a musician & composer & that he wanted to write lyrics w/ philosophical import, I told him about how George Harrison incorporated Krishna consciousness into some of his songs. He replied, “Oh, yes, I know his song ‘My Sweet Lord.’ That’s where I heard the chanting.”
After conversing for a few minutes, he took BG & a copy of “Chant & be Happy.” He left, shaking my hand, saying, “I just want to thank you for finding me amongst these thousands of students!”
One boy who talked w/ my husband was happy to be a recipient of BG. He said his girlfriend’s grandmother has been into this for a long time as a “non-Indian practicing Hindu”. When he saw Śrīla Prabhupāda’s photo, he exclaimed, “That’s him! That’s the person she has in her home shrine.”
Another student who spoke w/ him, a pre-med student, explained she will be going to India over the semester break for an internship. She was excited to receive BG, as she’s known about it for awhile. She additionally took two other books & a copy of “Origins” magazine, saying, “As a scientist I’ll appreciate reading this magazine.” She also happily acknowledged having heard the Hare Krishna mantra in George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.”
The last BG of the day went to a thoughtful girl who, although previously reading excerpts of a different translation of BG, didn’t know it was a dialogue on a battlefield. When I told her Arjuna was entering a fratricidal war & was having existential questions, she embarrassingly said, “That’s me!” I told her that human life begins when we ask such questions. She seemed relieved. She gratefully took the gift of BG, saying she would definitely read it, apologizing she had no donation to give.
Even the gardener at UT took interest! He approached me asking, “Where’s the kirtana?” because he saw that my jacket said “Sadhu Sanga Kirtana Retreat.” He’s played in a kirtana band before, though they didn’t chant Hare Krishna. He took an “On Chanting Hare Krishna” pamphlet & promised to try the mantra.
We’ve decided to rename Chattanooga “Chant-anuga.” 😃