Krsna helps (really!)
One sentence that Srila Prabhupada used to repeat frequently, according to memories of many of his disciples, is “Krsna will help”. Many times, in response to a disciple’s desperation when fighting against long odds, he would say, “Don’t worry, Krsna will help”.
"Therefore one who has understood Krsna by this process of chanting Hare Krsna mantra, svayam eva sphuraty adah, Krsna reveals to them. Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam, buddhi-yogam dadami tam [Bg. 10.10]. Krsna is situated in everyone's heart. As soon as one takes to Krsna consciousness, Krsna helps him. If he comes forward one step, Krsna comes forward ten steps." (Prabhupada, lecture, 29 March 1971)
One of the situations where we can realize more directly that Krsna is in charge and ready to help is when we are facing difficulties distributing books. More than in other activities, this situation you really need to depend on Krsna’s protection.
One interesting story that I can say to illustrate this point is that one Sunday, many years ago, I was coming back from a two-week trip, distributing books in different cities. I was already feeling tired from many days doing long hours in a row, and that particular day I had already driven many hours on the way back and hadn’t had a very good sleep. Still, Sunday morning is a good opportunity to distribute books in that particular spot, so I didn’t want to miss the chance. I took a few stacks of books and struggled to carry the boxes to the field.
One good thing about going out on many consecutive days is that the chores of packing the books, carrying them, etc. become more or less automatic, so the mind doesn't interfere so much. On that particular day, however, I was feeling so tired when I arrived that I started thinking about what I could do to distribute these books. Looking at the people, the task seemed even harder. I was feeling powerless. I started praying: “Oh my Lord, if you want me to distribute these books today, please help, I can’t do it on my own”.
It was difficult to start moving and approach the first person, who at first glance didn’t seem very interested anyway. Yet, to my surprise, he took three books and gladly gave a good donation. The same happened with the second person: the books went away almost effortlessly. Even with these two consecutive incidents, I was still on the mental platform, moving slowly from person to person, spacing out for some time after each interaction, but still, to my astonishment, almost everyone would readily take books -- quite a difference from a typical day experience.
This went on until I distributed about half of my books. Then it turned into a normal day: some people taking and others refusing, but by now I got off the mental platform and could finish the remaining books. Apparently, since I was feeling helpless in the beginning, Krsna gave me some special mercy, making it easy, and when He saw that I could go on normally, He withdrew the mystic curtain, so I could also get some purification.
As Queen Kunti mentions in her prayers, Krsna is the property of the ones who are materially exhausted. As long as we think or feel that we can do things by ourselves, Krsna tends to just allow us to act and remain out of the picture. But when we, somehow, reach a point where we feel completely hopeless, then Krsna starts acting and miracles occur. Many of the difficulties we face as devotees are just Krsna helping us to abandon our false notion of being doers, and to just surrender unto Him. On book distribution, we can really see this process taking place on a daily basis.
In a class, HG Rohini Suta Prabhu comments that it’s easier to distribute 200 books than 20 books, because when we go out to distribute 20 books, we are depending on our own energy, but when we try to distribute 200, we are forced to depend on Krsna, and therefore we act using Krsna’s energy. The more we can see ourselves as simple instruments, the more Krsna can empower us to fulfil His mission.
"Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the spiritual master of the entire world, Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by whose mercy even a dog can swim across a great ocean". (Cc. Adi 9.1)