By Radhanatha Swami
Malati devi dasi
Urmila devi dasi
Acutya Priya dasa
Dear Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis,
Please accept our obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
It’s not often that we get an opportunity to do deeply satisfying service for a devotee who directly sacrificed his own body for the sankirtana movement. In the past few weeks, we have raised the funds—thank you!—for medical treatment for his most pressing difficulties. Please join us in donating to provide a very literal shelter for him and his family—a simple home that will allow them the peace for sadhana and preaching.
You are probably already familiar with Sarvabhavana dasa, one of the heroes of the book “Salted Bread.” For the so-called “crime” of distributing books in the former Soviet bloc, he was imprisoned and repeatedly beaten severely. The results? KGB agents knocked out several teeth, and there was permanent damage to the ones he kept, both due to being beaten and the poor diet in Soviet prisons and labor camps. A prison guard deprived him of most of the sight in one eye, and, by jumping on his back, gave him disability and pain that never went away. He was put in psychiatric hospitals and administered drugs to disturb his mind and harm his body. But he remained firm, like stone or iron. He never gave the KGB information on who was printing Prabhupada’s books in the USSR, where the press was hidden, where the books were stored, or what other persons were heading the spread of Prabhupada’s teachings. He refused to sign papers denouncing the movement of Krishna consciousness that could be used to arrest other devotees. For his non-cooperation, he was imprisoned and tortured for years. He followed all the devotional principles in prisons full of rats and rat-like men, in cold Siberian labor camps where his fingers grew numb while in forced sewing for the Soviet armies. Chanting 16 rounds a day at the price of beatings when his chanting was heard, preaching to the criminals there, and tolerating hell for the sake of Mahaprabhu’s mission.
Since being released from prison, he has done much preaching and befriended many devotees. He kept pushing his damaged body in service, with some kind devotees helping him here and there along the way. He wrote a book about his experiences that has inspired thousands. And now we have an opportunity to offer him some service in return, as the combination of aging and the abuse he suffered from the KGB have left him destitute.
Kindly donate to help us purchase a simple, two-bedroom house in Armenia for him and his family that he can use until the end of his life. At his passing, either the house or the money from its sale will go to the Garuda Foundation for the use of other devotees with similar needs. In this way, our care for Sarvabhavana dasa will be the start of care for others. Houses in Armenia are relatively inexpensive. The cost will be US$30,000-40,000. As of Februrary 23, we have received about 1/4 of that amount from many devotees, including some ISKCON leaders. Kalidosa-pranasana dasa will find and purchase the house to give to Saravabhavana dasa.
We need to receive donations by March if possible—the need is great, and Kalidosa-pranasana has a small window of time when he can be away from his own family to arrange for the purchase of a house in Armenia. See the bottom of this letter for the ways you can donate.
We hope this meets you in good health and blissful Krishna consciousness.
Malati devi dasi
Urmila devi dasi
Acutya Priya dasa
The donations are being handled by Padma, Inc. All donations are US tax deductable: Padma, Inc. tax ID# 56-1969986
Four ways to donate to Padma Inc.
Donate through Paypal:
for donations of less than US$500, please send the funds as personal/gift
for donations of more than US$500, if you have a bank account in the US, UK, Australia, or Canada that is linked to your Paypal account, then please use the echeck option rather than regular Paypal. To do this you need to click on “funding options” before you finalize the payment. Echecks have much smaller fees for the recipient
Send a cheque in the mail:
Made out to: Padma, Inc.
Mail to: Keshava Best, 445 Corporate Dr., Suite B, Escondido, CA, USA 92029
Please write on the cheque that the donation is for Sarvabhavana
To send a donation this way, we have to be able to deposit the cheque in a US account
For wire transfers:
Wells Fargo Bank
1510 W Valley Parkway,
Escondido, Ca 92029
Tel: +1 760-480-3300
* Domestic (USA) wires: 121000248
* International wires: WFBIUS6S
Bank Account Number: 1992663698
Bank Account Name: Padma Inc.
(If you send a wire transfer, please email me to inform me of the amount and when it was sent so that we know it was given for Sarvabhavana firstname.lastname@example.org)
For Western Union, Monneygram, etc.:
Send to Keshava Best, San Diego, California, USA. Send an email to me informing me of the amount so I can ask Keshava to pick it up and deposit it (email@example.com)