Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā 5.18, “The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].”
In his Purport to this verse, Śrīla Prabhupāda explains that “differences of body are meaningless from the viewpoint of a learned transcendentalist. This is due to their relationship to the Supreme, for the Supreme Lord, by His plenary portion as Paramātmā, is present in everyone’s heart.”
But how do we develop this equal vision? This evening, Rishi R. gave us a practical example.
Before the two Rishis, Chirag and I went out on door-to-door book distribution, Rishi R. told us that since Śrīla Prabhupāda is non-different from the teachings in his books, we are not just giving people books. We are giving them Prabhupāda himself, and by doing so we are giving them access to Kṛṣṇa, which is the most special thing we can give to someone.
We then attempted to distribute books on a couple of streets near the Harrow Bhakti Centre. At 9:00pm, we began heading back. I have to admit that because our allotted time was over, my mind was telling me that the job was done, and my book distribution mindset was therefore “switched off”. Without a second thought, I simply walked past a man who was smoking a cigarette outside one of the houses. But Rishi, on the other hand, was still switched on. He saw the man (who turned out to be a Portuguese man named Bruno) as another soul in desperate need of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and immediately started up a conversation.
When Rishi presented the Bhagavad-gītā to him, Bruno was a little reluctant to take the book, but he took an interest in the smaller books. When he saw the cover of Chant and Be Happy, Bruno recognised the photo of George Harrison as the man who donated the Manor to ISKCON, and recognised Śrīla Prabhupāda as well. He had been to the Manor before. Chirag and I looked at each other with amazement when we heard all of this. Rishi asked him how he knew so much, and Bruno explained that his ex-girlfriend was a devotee. An even greater look of amazement passed between Chirag and I.