The last year has been turbulent and challenging for everyone, irrespective of place or situation, but as Sri Krsna promises in the Srimad Bhagavat-gita (9.22), “yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham, I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.” This has indeed been our experience and somehow or the other, all temple activities have been going on smoothly by the mercy of the Lord.
Still, the sadness of losing some of our dear community members to Covid runs deep. Some devotees serve in such a way that they are simply irreplaceable. The biggest blow to date was dealt to our local community over the past one month, and we lost six of our congregational members to this virus. These devotees, H.G. Sat Dharma prabhu, H.G. Vrindavan Bihari prabhu, H.G. Jayananda prabhu, H.G. Tara devi dasi, H.G. Radha devi dasi and H.G. Yamuna Bhakti devi dasi, will be remembered and greatly missed by the entire community.
Almost all the devotees in Iskcon Vrindavan knew one on more of these devotees personally. In the first wave of Covid last year, devotees were infected and had to suffer some bodily disturbances, but in this second wave, devotees were not only affected but some left their bodies. We therefore request all the devotees to keep those departed souls and their families in their prayers.
Fortunately, at the present time, there are no serious cases of Covid among the temple devotees or congregational members. The temple still remains closed for unrestricted, public darsanas, as the state restriction on free movement continues, but congregational members are now being allowed to come for darsana, as long as they strictly observe the Covid safety guidelines, like wearing a mask, social distancing and proper sanitization. Krsna willing, we will be able to soon open the temple to all of you to again come and visit us in Sridham Vrindavan and participate in our temple programs, kirtanas and darsanas.
We are extremely grateful to those devotees and well-wishers who have come forward and supported our endeavor to procure or kindly contributed towards oxygen cylinders and other medical equipment like oxygen concentrators. We secured such equipment for our community in case of a medical emergency. We hope and pray that no devotee in the future falls victim to this virus, but in the case of such a situation occurring, we want to be well prepared with good medical facility. May our Lordships Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Sri Sri Krsna Balarama and Sri Sri Radha Syamsundara bestow Their mercy upon all those who have come forward and helped our wonderful community in these difficult times.
We request everyone to please take care of your health and most importantly, increase your chanting and reading, for they are the true remedy. They are not just the cure for the temporary transient troubles of this material world but are the medicine to overcome the most dangerous of all diseases, the disease of material existence comprising birth, death, old age and disease. By properly taking the remedy of hearing and chanting, we shall be able to overcome this miserable situation in this material world and taste true bliss in the service of Sri Sri Radha Syamsundara in the spiritual realm, where these tribulations are non-existent. It tastes bitter in the beginning due to our being diseased, but is in fact most relishable when taken in accordance with the directions of the expert physicians, our most worshipful spiritual master and the entire Guru-parampara. Thus we all must chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishan Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare to be truly happy.