AN INTERVIEW WITH PARTHA SARATHI DASA on the 30th of September and 3rd of October
By Hari-sauri dasa
* He first shouted out the name âKrsna!’ when he was six years old. He didn’t know what it meant at the time nor did his Jewish parents but it stuck with him.
* He first met the devotees in 1998.
* He is a sergeant on his fourth tour of duty in Iraq. He is in charge of â40 devotees’ as he put it.
* He has an asrama in his barracks in Iraq where he worships 3 Ugra Narasimha-shilas, big Laksmi-Narsimha and also Krsna-Balarama govardhan-shilas.
* The asrama is a small room. He sleeps on the floor and cooks for himself on a single hot plate.
* Some of his men are chanting and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books regularly (see photo of Bhakta Kennedy).
* He goes on missions everyday, for 12-16 hours a day.
* In his spare time he is building a ratha from materials donated by US contractors, and doing sankirtan.
* When I asked where he finds the time he replied, “I average 3 hours sleep so that I can maintain my sadhana, worship my Sila’s and preach.”
* He takes a shila out with him whenever he goes on a mission, and keeps Him in his body armor.
* On a recent mission he had to give medical aid to 56 dying Iraqis. Many of them died as he was treating them, so he was chanting to them, giving Jagannath prasadam in their mouths and placing his Ugra Nrsimha-shila on their heads as they left their bodies.
* He said they were very grateful to have some spiritual input while they were dying.
* He sent me the attached photo of his Krsna Balaram shilas. I told him, “They look really blissful, like They are enjoying your service like anything.”
* His reply: “I hope so… funny I have had a dream for the last 2 weeks, of 2 Govardhan Sila’s, saying “Come and take care of US, we are Radha Syama!’”
* I told him: “Haribol! You are really getting some special mercy there. Sounds like there is some transcendental competition going on for your services.”
* His reply: “Ha. I think They have pity on me. I also had a dream that a sadhu gave Vaish Prabhu (Vaisheseka dasa) and Kesava Bharati Goswami
2 Govardhan Silas for me.”
* In the short conversation we had today Oct. 3, he told me he was taking the day off because the mission he was on last night was hit by three IEDs â roadside bombs. So he is taking some time to try and recover his hearing.
* He is keeping a positive perspective on it all: “I lost most of my hearing in one ear last time and now I wear an earplug in the good one… but it did some damage.. So I walk around and scream to people standing next to me. Its actually humorous. Krsna is really amazing to put me through all this, just to bring out my attachment to Him and his devotees. If I never found this movement I would be mad at God, now I understand that He will give me exactly what I can handle and no more. That a life without KC is a wasted chance and I want to share that with others.”
* When he finishes this last tour next September 2008, he wants to visit India. It will be his first trip there.
* I would like to request the readers of Dandavats.com to keep this great soul in their prayers and hearts and encourage him in his preaching. You can’t get more front-line than this! Please bless him so that he can visit the holy dhamas when his military business is finished.