Battlefield Bhajans Vol. 26
Battlefield Bhajans Vol. 26
written in Olympia, WA
Dedicated to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
We have a tradition in my unit to dress up every year before Halloween and go for a run around base. Since it was so cold, I decided to not dress up and stay warm. As the first sergeant told everyone with a costume to come in front of the formation and we are going to vote on who has the best costume. Their were so many people dressed up, we had basketball players, skateboarders, a cat burglar; even two soldiers dressed up as mormons compete with pamphlets. One by one all the soldiers came out and everyone cheered to vote. After everyone was judged we wondered why the 1SG had not announced a winner. She said," so we have one more costume but it is a group." As soon as she said that, three soldiers walk up dressed as devotees, chanting the maha mantra and with books in their hands!!!! Wow, everyone was cheering so loud, some soldiers started to follow along. When finally after six or seven minutes everyone quieted down, the first sergeant asked, " Who are you guys supposed to be?" One soldier stepped forwarded and announced proudly, " We are servants of God, here to give you this simple method of purification." The second soldier stepped forward and stated that they were SFC Sonnenberg (me) and his friends. I was blown away because all these boys were atheists, and they did a lot of research on Krsna Consciousness. One explained to me that they wanted to dress up in far out costumes that no one would think of. They remember me walking around Iraq in a dhoti and thought thats it. But as they researched more and more and got more and more into character they felt at home in devotional cloth. They took some books from me today and are thinking of visiting the temple sometime.
I am almost finished with this commitment, I am just waiting for department of the Army to sign and send back. I was at a ceremony for our outgoing command sergeant major (csm) and the squadron commander came up to me and asked about my status. As I explained he told me that he is actually sad to see me leaving. He started laughing and we were sharing stories back and forth of my time under his command. One comment he made was that he would never thought in twenty-three years of service one of his sergeants would be a Hare Krsna and that he has a new respect for them. I thanked him for signing my paperwork and recommending approval. He said," I didn't want to, but I though who am I to decide this kids future. He has given this organization so much over the years and here is my chance to do a good deed, to help you move closer to your spiritual goals. Weighing all the facts, I thought I was being very self centered and selfish, and right away signed." He had to leave but before he left, I told him I would never forget what he did for me, and if he ever needs anything, please let me know. He smirked and said, " Put in a good word with Krsna for me."
Japa: I am still trying to strengthen my chanting, to feel the mantra in my heart. Our mind is so confused, just when we think we are in control of it during chanting, there it goes again. I am chanting and trying to call out to Krsna and beg Him to engage me in the service of Him. (25 daily)
Reading: Since it is Kartika, I decided to start over with spiritual life, and by that I mean re read the Bhagavad Gita, and do so in a more absorbed mood. I feel that even though I read the BG a few times, I have missed many key points. Also I reading some Srila Prabhupada nectar everyday. Now we are reading Siksmrta Vol. 2. I love these letters, they bring so much clarity to our lives. But when reading I have to remind myself that Prabhupada gave instructions to individuals according to their time place and circumstance. Memorization of Verses: I was focusing more on this and then stopped, but thanks to HG Dravida Prabhu association, I am focused again on it. I pick a verse Sunday evening, memorize during the week, then offer to Their Lordships Sunday morning. I pick verses that inspire me, and I can use in daily preaching.
Sankritan: BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS!!!!!
Get out there and distribute these books. So many people never heard of Krsna, then why don't we go out more? It is time to give this nectar to the public and beg them with all sincerity to take spiritual life seriously. Our tradition is a preaching tradition. Take one hour out of your week and help humanity, we all make so many excuses about why we cannot go out and distribute books, but who are we actually cheating?
My scores to date: maha big: 10
big hard: 16
big soft: 10
We beg of all the devotees to pray for us, that we can fully dedicate our life to Lord Caitanya. That we can fully surrender to our Spiritual Master. That we can have the determination to push forward and preach this glorious message.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada
Partha Sarathi Dasa