Message from Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa
President - ISKCON, Bangalore
Please accept the blessings of Their Lordships Sri Radha Krishnachandra, Sri Krishna Balaram, Sri Nitai Gauranga, Sri Srinivasa Govinda and Sri Prahlada Narasimha.
I hope you and your family are safe and healthy.
I am writing this letter to you in the most unusual of circumstances.
Generally, during this time of the year, the ISKCON-Bangalore campus on Hare Krishna Hill would be bustling with activity with thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country, hundreds of children participating in summer camps.
The Srinivasa Govinda temple would be reverberating with loud chants of Govinda! Govinda! Our devotional souvenir counters and prasadam counters would be crowded with visitors. Every visitor would be relishing the piping hot khichdi in leaf cups near the temple Kalyani (pond).
This is also the time of the annual Brahmotsava - the twelve-day festival to celebrate the appearance of the Deities on Hare Krishna Hill. Their Lordships Sri Radha Krishnachandra would be adorned in various alankaras and carried on different vahanas to the accompaniment of ecstatic kirtans.
These magical evenings have always filled the devotees’ hearts with spiritual joy and created indelible memories for a lifetime.
This year also, we had made elaborate arrangements to give everyone a spiritually elevating experience.
Unfortunately, all these events had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The temple has been closed for public since 18th March to strictly abide by the rules of the complete lockdown.
I guess you too will be missing your regular temple visits and the darshan of our beloved Sri Radha Krishnachandra and other Deities. We also miss the lively presence of the devotees and their families, children, patrons, supporters and visitors in the temple.
When the world is grappling with no solution in sight, Lord Krishna is our only refuge and we have to exclusively depend on His mercy. Our scriptures remind us to take shelter of the Lord and sincerely seek His protection at all times. Especially in calamitous situations that are beyond the comprehension and control of our limited human intelligence.
In the temple, about 200 resident devotees are praying fervently for the welfare of humanity in these difficult times and seeking the Lord’s protection. We are ensuring that the regular sevas - from 4 AM to 9 PM - such as Mangala arathi, Shodasha Upachara puja, Naivedya seva, Sri Narasimha homa, Abhishekas to Sri Srinivasa Govinda and Sri Prahlada Narasimha, Shayana Arathi, Shayana Pallakki Utsava, Bhagavata Pravachan are being performed.
All of these sevas can be witnessed by visiting our website. Live Darshan
Along with these activities in the temple, the missionary devotees are involved in COVID-19 relief measures by extensively distributing food through Akshaya Patra Foundation.
With the support of Government of India, various State Governments and generous donors, we are currently distributing food relief kits and freshly cooked food across India and have already distributed more than 3 - crore meals all over the country.
Since the announcement of the lockdown, all the sources of income to run the temple have come to a complete standstill and the resources required to manage the temple are depleting fast.
We need to take care of 200 full-time resident devotees, maintain the Goshala comprising of about 40 cows and we also need to care for about 1,080 workers and their families (90% are blue-collar), who are solely dependent on the temple for their livelihood.
With the inflow of funds reducing to a trickle since the last few weeks, we are facing an uphill task in paying these salaries.
ISKCON Bangalore is not simply a monument of glass and steel but a beacon of hope and inspiration for lakhs of people. As you are aware, this temple was built and is being maintained with the support of devotees, donors and well-wishers.
In these difficult times, we are humbly requesting you, a valued member of the Sri Radha Krishnachandra family, to continue supporting us, as you have done in the past, in order to maintain the temple and to continue all the sevas to Their Lordships as usual.
In the meantime, please follow the government directives on the lockdown and keep yourself healthy. Please make the best use of your time by chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra at least 108 times daily.
We pray to Sri Radha Krishnachandra and other Deities to bestow Their supreme protection and shelter upon you and your family.
Yours in the service of Lord Sri Krishna,
Madhu Pandit Dasa
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