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tat te 'nukampam susamiksamano
bhuñjana evatma-krtam vipakam
hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak

“My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.”
[Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.14.8]

Vraja Līlā dāsī was born in Russia on December 19, 1974. She came into contact with the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in August 1991. In an article she wrote for a devotee youth magazine just before her passing away, she recounts how she first met the devotees.

“Devotees are always trying to satisfy the Lord and His representatives by their sincere efforts. This is especially evident during book distribution marathons in Russia, where the devotees are young and full of energy. Holding Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books in their hands they feel confident to melt the hearts of the materialists. My heart was melted during one of these marathons, and I started on the path that eventually led me to the shelter of the lotus feet of my spiritual master, Indradyumna Swami Mahārāja, Śrīla Gurudeva.

Before becoming a devotee, I used to wander the streets of Moscow looking for meaning in my life. Sometimes I would visit museums and study ancient civilizations. Other times I would go to the cinema to watch educational films or to the theater to watch dramas. And every day I would spend hours in bookshops looking into different philosophies of life. I soon realized, however, that what I required was a person who could answer my many questions and show me the goal of life.

One day I met the Hare Kṛṣṇa devotees in the Moscow subway. Entering a subway station, I saw two boys enthusiastically preaching to a group of people. Behind them, reaching far above their heads, was a mountain of books. Other people were selling things there as well; there was even a man singing for donations. But I was simply attracted to the devotees.

As I came closer, one of the devotees approached me with a book. He said, ‘Please take this Bhagavad-gita As it Is. This Vedic knowledge has been given to us by our spiritual master. It will answer all your questions and reveal to you the goal of life.’ I asked where the book had come from. Showing me a picture of Śrīla Prabhupāda he replied, ‘It has been translated by the founder of our movement, Śrīla Prabhupāda. He brought Kṛṣṇa consciousness from India to the West.

I purchased the book and tried to understand it according to Śrīla Prabhupāda’s purports. One statement in particular that Śrīla Prabhupāda made inspired me very much. He said that if one is seriously interested in understanding the Bhagavad-gītā As it Is, one must take shelter of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Soon after reading this I went to the temple and met many wonderful devotees. Almost all of them seemed to have come to the movement in the same manner as I, through Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books.

In this way, I understood that the happiness of the first devotees I had met came from being able to give Śrīla Prabhupāda’s mercy to others. Although they had to go into that hellish subway day after day, their compassion melted the hearts of the people, who then purchased their books. I even saw that new devotees, being dedicated to Śrīla Prabhupāda, were also able to distribute many books.

I have told this story in order to glorify the sa‰kīrtana devotees. I pray that all devotees who are beginning book distribution may get inspiration from it. There are souls waiting in each and every country for your mercy.”

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