Recently while distributing books at our local market we had some interesting encounters.
** These Are Books of Knowledge, Not Religion **
I showed a set of small books to a young man and explained their contents. He said, "I'm an atheist and don't want to read these religious books."
I replied, "You've never been exposed to this subject matter, and that's why you feel you won't be interested because you're an atheist. But these aren't religious books they're books of knowledge. If you give one a try you'll benefit immensely. So many movies are released, and we go to watch them even without knowing their contents. Out of all the movies we see, we find some really nasty and others that interest us. You spend Rs. 200 on a movie that lasts only three hours, and there's always the risk it will be really bad. On the other hand, one of these books of knowledge is half the cost of the movie, and thousands of people throughout the world, without any distinction of caste or creed, are reading these books and taking guidance from them throughout their life. There is absolutely no loss in giving a little donation and taking one of these books."
Interested, he said, "You guys should have some basic books which prove the existence of God."
I said, "We have exactly what you're looking for," and I showed him an SSR and a "Beyond Illusion and Doubt." He purchased both of them.
** Lord Ganesh Is a Devotee of Krishna **
My next encounter was with a well-dressed gentleman. When I showed him some books, he said, "I'll come back."
But I knew that those who say "I'll come back" don't come very soon. So I persisted: "It's a small donation, and you'll really be benefited."
"I'm reading a book on Lord Ganesh," he replied, and I want to finish it before I start another book."
"Look," I said, "there are 33 million demigods! Even if you worship one demigod every second, you won't be able to worship all of them in a whole year. Suppose you neglect to worship Lord Nimish, who controls our blinking. If you displease Nimish, you won't even be able to blink! But there's an easy way to please all the demigods. Since they're all devotees of Lord Krishna, if we please Krishna then all of them will be pleased. Even Lord Ganesh is a great devotee of Lord Krishna, and in fact the Bhagavad-gita was written by Ganesh on the dictation of Bhagavan Vyasadeva, an incarnation of Krishna. Lord Ganesh will be most happy if you try to serve Lord Krishna."
Finally he accepted Srila Prabhupada's mercy and took a set of five books.
All glories to sankirtana! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!