Vaishnavas C.A.R.E. (Counseling, Assistance, Resource, and Education for the Terminally ill & Those in Need) is dedicated to
ISKCON Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who exemplified how to live one's life in Krsna consciousness, and in the end, taught us how to leave this temporary world of birth and death.
It is in his honor that we seek to give care and comfort
to those who wish to follow in his sublime footsteps.
Health UPDATE: H.H. Jayapataka Swami
Monday 4th Jan 2021
22.00 hrs (Indian Standard Time)
Dear God-family, Disciples and Well-wishers of H.H. Jayapataka Swami Maharaja,
Guru Maharaja remains clinically stable today. The doctors are continuing to watch his parameters and his physical condition closely. They had discussions with Guru Maharaja about his treatment protocol and a contingency plan in case of an emergency.
Guru Maharaja expressed his desire to remain in Mayapur and be treated by his doctors in consultation with transplant team in Chennai.
More Brahmachari’s are being recruited to take up various services and two ICU doctors have been brought into Mayapur to help the ground team. This is just to make sure there is enough back up, if more servants test positive , which is inevitable due to their close contact with Guru Maharaja .
All efforts are being made to see that Guru Maharaja and all servants are able to cross this crisis by the grace of the Lord and at this moment all your sincere prayers are invaluable.
We express our sincere gratitude and thank all of you immensely for the 24 hour prayers marathon and all other sacrifices conducted for the well being of Guru Maharaja and the servants team
On behalf of the Health Team and the JPS Seva Committee,
Her Grace Lilamrita Dasi Passed Away Suddenly
The spiritual family of Chaitanya Chandra Charan Prabhu's disciples suffered a significant loss.
Suddenly and very unfathomably, a wonderful Vaishnavi, senior student of Gurudeva, Dean of Vaishnavi Education SHLIS, Lilamrita Devi Dasi left her body. We are all shocked by this loss, although we understand that Mataji Lilamrita is now with Krishna and Radharani, but separation is unbearable.
Lilamrita Dasi warmed up thousands with her warmth, care and love! She gave everyone gifts and fed delicious prasad. Her house was the abode of Krishna. At the same time, Lilamrita devi dasi was a true warrior of sankirtana, strictly followed the instructions of Guru and Srila Prabhupada and gave Krishna consciousness to everyone she touched.
Lilamrita devi dasi left her body meditating on Guru while gathering for a meeting of students, which was held online with Chaitanya Chandra Charan Prabhu. Alas, she didn't get there, but we are sure Krishna gave her a personal darshan.
Jaya Vaishnava Thakur!
Let's pray for Mataji Lilamrite devi dasi and ask her to put a word in for us too. Hare Krishna!
Gopi Nandini De
Message from Ramesvara Das (Robert Grant) ACBSP:
Upon learning that His Holiness Jayapataka Swami has tested positive for Covid-19 I posted this reaction:
“Hare Krsna. Pamho. AGTSP!
I have just recovered myself from Covid-19 , although many symptoms take months to get rid of. During my illness Maharaja cared for me, sending me messages, prayers and having doctors he knew contact me. His love and concern for all souls is boundless. He is truly Srila Prabhupada’s Ambassador here in earth! We can’t imagine how to repay our debt to him.
One thing I learned from my experience with Covid is this:
Prayers from all Vaisnavas work! They reach up to Srila Prabhupada and Sri Šrí Panca Tattva. I believe I’m alive because of the devotees’ prayers.
Please, everyone, offer the most fervent sincere prayers for His Holiness Jayapataka Swami to recover. The souls of this world desperately need him, as do we all.
I beg to remain his eternal aspiring servant,
Ramesvara dasa “
His Grace Prabha Visnu Sing
Passed Away in South Africa
By Chaitanya Carana Dasa
Just received the very sad news of the departure of one of the stalwart Vaisnava leaders of the South African yatra, HG Prabha Visnu Sing Prabhuji.
He was a very qualified disciple, caring husband, loving father, doting grandfather and a gem of a Vaisnava...
Love and prayers go out to his family at this unfortunate moment.
At the same time, I'm rejoicing in the fact that he has gone back to the spiritual world to serve Krsna directly.
We will miss you, Prabhu.
His Grace Venkata Bhatta Das Passed Away
Please offer your prayers for our dear Venkata Bhatta Das who left us too soon. All the devotees, please offer your prayers.
"It is such a loss for this world to no longer have the association of Venkata Bhatta Prabhu. From so many responses on his passing away we see that Venkata Bhatta Prabhu has positively impacted lives of everyone he came in touch with. Like a spiritual jewel, wherever he went he left people's lives better in every way.
According to Canakya Pandit, it is rare for a person to be both qualified and humble. Venkata Bhatta Prabhu was both enriched with all good qualities and very modest and gentle. May Sri Panca tattva and Radha Syamasundara and Guru Parampara bestow all kindness on him."
--Adi Purusha Das
Dineshren Don Dino Daidoo Passed Away from Covid-19
By Krsnagi Radhe Dasi
I did not have the courage nor strength to pen my thoughts or share the emotions that I have carried through the past four days.
Writing coaching columns or giving interviews about COVID19 grief of losing loved ones during this time -- could not prepare me for the sadness and despair when I heard the news of the passing of a dear friend, devotee and someone who filled in the role of a brother in my life Dineshren Don Dino Naidoo. We spoke everyday during the past two weeks - always hopeful, always strong, always focussed of Lord Krishna.
So much has been shared of all Dineshren's good work, his personality and flamboyance - his devotion, kindness and caring - the selfless service that he offered the community... his ability to make things happen, host and organise major events - and be a pillar of strength through it all. He smiled and continued serving. He was simple hearted and knew the true purpose of life. He taught us through his own example.
Today we bid Dineshren farewell. A sad day - yet I feel lighter. I was grieving - thinking that during this time it is just so difficult to gain closure - or even offer final prayers as it usually would be done. Yet, today he had the most glorious send off - with the final rites being performed by the Devotee Care - Durban South team. This was clearly Lord Krishna's arrangement to have a Vaishnava send off in such a befitting manner. When I approached Mother Yamunangi - she was ready to help and made the necessary arrangements with her team. A heartfelt thank you to Mother Yamunangi and her team of Sad Goswami dasa and Bilvamangal dasa. It is so difficult to perform this service during this time - your team went above and beyond to ensure that Dineshren received a wonderful Vaishnava farewell.
Today, as a sister - my heart rests easier to know that your final farewell from this birth has been a fulfilling one. Lord Krishna has made the final arrangements for you Dineshren and your service will continue - you will arrange the best events and festivals for Guru and Gauranga!
Womens Day at the Sri Sri Radha Radhantha Temple will not be the same, neither will the PR Department or the Durban Festival of Chariots. Moreover, all my professional events will miss your added touch, your support and your know-how! Our relationship went beyond service at the temple - we were family in the complete sense.
Today, I have seen Lord Krishna's hand in our lives once again. Dineshren proudly wore his Vaishnava attire (with Tilaka) and greeted everyone in the Vaishnava way (in whatever circles he found himself in) - japa beads at hand - hence a Vaishnava send off for a devotee who led his life in service.
I will miss you my brother - yet, I know that your higher purpose is now on the way. You have proved yourself in this lifetime -- and we can all learn from that. Even in death - you have taught us so many lessons... listen with your heart.
To Mother Yamunangi and Devotee Care - Durban South - I am grateful as you have filled in this huge void today.
Go well my brother, for your higher purpose is surely awaiting you.
With all my love and gratitude for allowing me the experience of your association in this lifetime.
Articles & Quotes
Some Meaningful Grief Quotes:
“Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.”
“Grief is a funny thing because you don’t have to carry it with you for the rest of your life. After a bit you set it down by the roadside and walk on and leave it resting there.”
“The better we grieve, the better we live”
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”
“Grief never ends…but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith…It is the price of love.”
For Those Who Are Grieving
You are not alone.
Grief Support Group
Are you a Vaishnava who is grieving a loss of a friend or loved one? Are you seeking a Grief Support Group specifically for Devotees of Lord Krishna?
Please visit our Vaishnavas CARE Grief Support Group Page on Facebook and join our exclusive, Private, Closed Grief Support Group. It is important to express your feelings of loss within a group of like-minded people who can relate to you and your expressions of grief. Currently, we have 178 devotees who registered for the Grief Support Group.
Kindly visit our "Vaishnavas CARE" Facebook page to register for our Online "Grief Support Group" especially for Devotees of Lord Krishna.
Co-facilitators for this one-of-a-kind support group for Vaishnavas are Sangita Devi Dasi, RN, Hospice & Palliative Care Nurse, President/Co-Founder of Vaishnavas CARE, and Student of Grief Counseling Certification (GC-C Program).
In addition, Taravali Devi Dasi, RN, BSN in Toronto, Canada who specializes in Hospice & Palliative Care and who started our Toronto Vaishnavas CARE Team several years ago with her husband, Kevala Bhakti Das, will also be co-facilitating the Vaishnavas CARE Grief Support Group as well.
Srila Prabhupada told his disciples that when we take one step closer to Lord Krishna, He sees our sincerity and takes a thousand steps towards us.
In the service of Srila Prabhupada and the Lord, we are here to assist you during your time of loss and grief. If you choose to join us in our "Safe and Private Space," we look forward to seeing you there. Kindly register for our Online "Vaishnavas CARE Grief Support Group" on Facebook.
If you prefer one-on-one Grief Counseling by phone with our Licensed, Professional, Master's degreed Social Worker/Counselor, Janaki Devi Dasi, please write to us by clicking on the "Contact Us" button at the bottom of this HOME page.
Vaishnavas CARE -- LatinoAmerica
WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST VAISHNAVAS CARE TEAMS:
WELCOME TO OUR NEW TEAMS IN:
* EL SALVADORE
* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
...WITH MORE TEAMS BEING FORMED THROUGHOUT LATIN AMERICA
THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR NEW VOLUNTEERS & TEAM LEADERS!
What will 2021 hold for us
who are grieving?
by Gary Roe
I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to see 2020 disappearing into my rear view mirror.
2020 was a year of profound, debilitating grief. The sheer amount of change was stunning and crippling. For those of us who lost family members or friends, COVID added a thick, suffocating layer of complication to our grief journeys. It’s been frustrating, confusing, angering, and depressing.
I’m going to be personally vulnerable here. In general, my anxiety level is up. My sense of security and safety has been repeatedly shaken. My family (including myself) has been battered by sudden, seemingly out-of-the-blue health issues, most of them stress-related. At the time of writing this, we’re waiting on test results that could potentially throw us into even more trouble, stress, change, and uncertainty.
I feel like I’m stuck in a vice that’s slowly tightening. At times, I have trouble catching my breath. The slow, relentless grind of loss and stress is taking its toll.
Can anyone relate? I know you can.
For some of you, what I’ve written above is nothing compared to what you’re enduring. Loss, pain, anxiety, fear, anger, frustration, confusion, and depression are everywhere.
We’ve been hit hard and repeatedly in 2020. And as we look ahead at 2021, many of us are wondering what’s coming next. We’re hoping for better…
As I lean into 2021, however, I know that I have no control over what happens in the world or even in my own family. I have influence, but not control. So I find myself asking, “Amid all these challenges, what kind of person do I want to be in 2021?”
Over 3000 years ago, wise King Solomon said, “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring from which everything else in your life flows.” I have no control over what happens this year, but I do have a say in what happens in my heart.
I want an honest, authentic heart.
I want to be real with myself, God, and a few other people about what’s happening inside me – including my fears and concerns. Hiding never benefits me or anyone I love or care about.
I want a compassionate, loving heart.
I want to be a lifeline of acceptance, comfort, reassurance, and hope. I want a heart that see and hears the hearts of others, meet them where they are, and loves well.
I want a forgiving heart that releases offenses quickly.
I’m so limited that I can’t afford to let rude or unkind words or actions hijack of overly influence my life. I don’t need any extra baggage.
I want a hopeful, hope-giving heart.
When things appear dark, light becomes a treasure indeed. I want to be a person of hope who embraces, cultivates, and spreads hope.
Whatever 2021 brings, we all know there will be more challenges ahead. How we meet them matters – both for ourselves and those around us.
What about you? What kind of person would you like to be in 2021? What kind of heart do you want to pursue and cultivate?
Please know that whatever you’re going through, there’s always more than meets the eye. Please be kind to yourself. Accept yourself as you are in the present moment, as best you can. You’re more important and valuable than you can possibly imagine.
I’m glad we’re in this together. Grief is a lonely journey, but this grief path is well-populated.
I hope to support and serve you well in 2021.
It’s an honor to walk with you.
All you have to do is show up:
The Benefits of Nature
by Jane Vock
Heard of Vitamin N? Vitamin Nature. Vit N is needed, says nature advocate, Richard Louv, to combat what he calls a “nature deficit”. Pandemic aside, there is a strong case to be made for both kids and adults to spend more time in nature.
When I was growing up, a typical day involved heading out the door after breakfast, playing with friends until I flew back home for lunch and then dinner, and back out again until it was dark. Barring nasty weather, the lion’s share of this time was spent outdoors.
Life is pretty different for the average kid these days. Louv’s “nature deficit” seems like a pretty apt description. This deficit is powerfully captured by a fifth-grader that Louv quotes: “I like to play indoors better ‘cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.” I wonder what your reaction is to this quote. I also wonder whether the pandemic is having an impact on how much time kids are spending outdoors.
Want to boost your mood? Head outside
Want a quick boost to your mood? To your immune system? Reduce your stress? Experience awe? Spend some time in nature. Science confirms what most of us already know from our experiences – we feel better after we have spent some time in the great outdoors.
What is most beneficial are trees and grass. It can be as simple as spending some time in your backyard, heading to a city park or ‘green space’, or one of our abundant Canadian parks. And if it is literally impossible to make your way to the trees and grass, you can even benefit from looking at photos or scenes of nature and plants. This is something seniors’ residences and long-term care homes can easily provide.
Getting Vitamin N during a pandemic
All you have to do is stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household or within your bubble and:
Go for a short walk before heading out to work or starting work at home
Go for a walk and use earphones for outdoor meetings
Go outside on your break and/or lunch hour to get some fresh air (I know, I know this may mean being in the proverbial concrete jungle but at least you are outside)
Have family gatherings in a green space or with a view of a green space
Make a habit of going to the park
Have a family walk before settling in for the evening.
There aren’t many people that don’t enjoy nature. The benefits accrue to all ages and in fact it is a great way to nurture connections with grandparents.
Would You Like to Develop a Vaishnavas CARE Team in Your Community?
If you are interested in having a weekend Vaishnavas CARE seminar presented for your temple/community via Zoom, kindly write to us by clicking on the "Contact Us" button at the bottom of this HOME page.
Please leave your name, your temple location, what month in 2021 you are interested in having the seminar, your email address, and approximately how many devotees are interested in attending.
I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.
Yours in service,
Sangita Devi Dasi
Are You Living with a Chronic Illness?
You are NOT Alone!
For Caregivers, Everywhere,
From all of us at Vaishnavas CARE.
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