Vaishnavas C.A.R.E. is dedicated to 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.
Latest Vaishnava News
Priya Sakhi Devi Dasi From Spain Passed Away in UK Due to Coronavirus
It is with great regret that we inform the members of our community that Priya Sakhi Devi Dasi, age 57, passed away at 7.10 am Thursday April 2, 2020, in London from the Coronavirus. She was found in her room alone after she passed away.
Message from the family:
Dear Devotees, family, friends and well wishers.
At this time, we request your prayers and blessings for our dear Panna Mulji’s (Priya Sakhi Devi Dasi’s) onward journey, and for the family that we may have the strength to persevere and serve in her example.
All glories to Guru and Gauranga.
His Grace Rameshwara Das Passed Away in England
With tears of sadness and separation, the Vaishnavas of the ISKCON world continue to celebrate Rameshvara Prabhu. His reputation and glory are very deep, very expansive and have touched many thousands of devotees in a variety of projects around the world. He was a pillar. He was a source of sound advice. He was bold and always ready to take risks. He was a very generous. He would chastise out of love and correct to bring focus on the tasks at hand. He was fatherly. He cared. He brought many to Krishna and he was devoted to serving his spiritual master, His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami, Srila Prabhupada and the ISKCON Mission unconditionally. His presence of clarity and uncompromising to get things done will be sorely missed. Rameshvara Prabhu's 35 years of service spans thoughout the UK, Europe and India. From the late 1980's, his family started hosting the North London sanga's with His Grace Harivamsa Prabhu. Attracted by the mission and feeling concern for the need to support Bhaktivedanta Manor, he became more committed. As a founding member of the Manor's Patron Council, he, along with other devotees, inspired many other families to commit their financial support for Bhaktivedanta Manor. During this phase of the late 80's and early 90's, the Manor was also gripped by the legal battle due to the threat of closure. Rameshvara Prabhu personally took on many risks in raising funds and strategically working to secure the land for building the new road in the Manor. The florious victory of the Manor campaign in 1996 is testament of how Rameshvara Prabhu worked with and served tirelessly to get the desired result, the only result that could offered to Srila Prabhupada and his beloved Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda.
Prayer Request for Couple in Phoenix Community with Coronavirus.
Hare Krishna! We are seeking your prayers for two wonderful devotees, guides and mentors in our ISKCON of Phoenix community. His Grace Kanha Priya Das and Her Grace Syama Mohini Devi Dasi, have been admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of COVID19.
Please offer prayers to Sri Sri Radha Madhava Hari and Sri Nrsimha Dev to protect them during this difficult time.
In Honor of Govinda Hari Das
By Sacinandana Swami
Today we are remembering Govinda Hari Dasa, who was known to most people as Igor Spasov. He was a very sincere servant of Krishna, the devotees and mankind.
I first met Govinda Hari during a big public program in Serbia where thousands of people came to learn about the Krishna Consciousness and the chanting of the Holy Names. At that time, Govinda Hari was a well-known TV Host. He inspired many of his professional contacts to film such public programs and broadcast them. In this way the programs came to the awareness of the general public. Due to his efforts, Krishna Consciousness soon became well-respected in the countries where these TV broadcasts were seen. Later Govinda Hari made documentaries about devotees.
Govinda Hari first started as a host on TV, and then became my personal host in Belgrade. Whenever I used to visit Belgrade, he would graciously host me in his apartment. During those times, I had many opportunities to associate with him, discuss with him and explore the depths of the Bhagavad-gita. I always found Govinda Hari to be extremely curious and eager to learn more. In this way our relationship became more and more personal.
How to Become a Caregiver While Still Caring For Yourself
A large aspect of succeeding in caregiving is making sure you have adequate time, energy, and resources to properly be there for your parent as well as yourself. There’s a famous quote by Rumi that says: “Never give from the depths of your well, but from your overflow.”
Keep Tending to Important Areas of Your Own Life
Do you have a career? A family? School? Pets? Make sure that you keep doing what needs to be done in these areas of your life.
Caregiving is going to encompass an entirely new slice of your life, so be sure to prioritize planning for your weeks to come. Keeping journals, planners, and calendars will help you stay organized and on top of your responsibilities while not feeling overwhelmed.
You might also want to consider formulating daily or weekly rituals to remain committed to the things you don’t want to compromise. Some examples are family meals with your partner/spouse and/or children, time for catching up on work projects, and social activities with friends.
Evaluate Potential Financial Options
While you don’t “become” a caregiver as daughter or son, it’s possible to obtain government assistance for being a family caregiver depending on the area you’re located in. There are resources that can help in your search for stipends and other potential benefits.
Prioritize Self Care
Aside from caregiving, work, family, and everything else going on in your life, it’s crucial to focus on your own personal care. This is your “me time” — the time spent making sure you’re healthy, happy, and feeling OK.
Caregiver depression is unfortunately a real thing, and it’s not uncommon. It can be quite challenging to be around someone you love who is aging and who may have conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
To avoid losing yourself in your caregiving and other demanding responsibilities, it’s important to prioritize self care.
Do your best to eat well, get plenty of exercise, spend some time alone (and out in nature when possible), and participate in the activities you enjoy as often as possible.
Support groups are a great form of self care — it often helps discuss your challenges with others who are in similar situations. As Rumi so eloquently stated, you want to make sure you’re able to give from your overflow.
Thinking About How to Become a Caregiver Is Your First Step
Caregiving as a daughter or son is a powerful act of love and commitment that your parent is likely to appreciate and may prefer more than a professional service.
Being a family caregiver can be an enormous adjustment. As you make yourself more available for your parent, you’ll have to prioritize other important areas of your life and work to make sure you can still have mental, physical, and emotional support and balance.
With enough knowledge about your parent’s needs, and all the love you have in your heart for your mom and dad, you all can get through this time together and make the most of each moment. Just make sure you give yourself the time to focus on any personal care programs you may have.
What’s your future looking like as a caregiver? Are you a daughter or son who’s expecting to provide home care for your parent soon? Reach out to us with any questions and concerns you may have. We want to hear about your caregiving journey.
Suddenly --A Poem
Suddenly, we slept in one world and woke up in another. Disney has no more magic and Paris is no longer romantic.
Suddenly, in New York everyone sleeps. And the Great Wall of China is no longer a fortress.
Suddenly, hugs and kisses become weapons. Holding hands and walking the parks become outlawed.
Suddenly, not visiting aging parents and grandparents becomes an "act of love."
Suddenly, our bombs and machine guns, our tanks and artilleries begin to gather dust.
Suddenly, we realized that power is with God alone. And that money has no value when it can't even buy you toilet paper!
Suddenly, we have been put back in our place by the hands of the universe.
And we've been made aware how vulnerably "human" we truly are, when faced with a microbe so powerfully inhumane.
Srila Prabhupada Said...
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.26, Srila Prabhupada writes in the Purport,
"In the Brahma-samhita it is stated that although He (Krishna) is the oldest personality among all living entities, He always looks like a new, youthful boy. That is the characteristic of a spiritual body. The material body is symptomized by birth, death, old age and diseases, but the spiritual body is conspicuous by the absence of those symptoms. Living entities who reside in the Vaikunthalokas in eternal life and bliss have the same type of spiritual body, without being affected by any signs of old age. "
Bhaktivedanta Hospice in Vrindavan, India
Bhaktivedanta Hospice, in the video to the left, is a modern 40,000 square foot inpatient hospice facility in the Holy Land of Vrindavan. The doors opened in 2010, offering charitable inpatient and home care to local residents (Brajabasis) as well as to terminally ill Vaishnavas who travel from around the world to receive hospice and palliative care during their final months. Every effort is made to give each patient the Krishna conscious departure from this world that he or she desires and deserves.
Patients receive medical care for pain and symptom management, including complementary care, such as massage therapy and acupuncture, when available. Along with physical care, patients and their family members receive emotional, social and spiritual care from staff and volunteers.
The Bhaktivedanta Hospice offers a warm and safe environment that quickly becomes a "home away from home," to patients and families, giving shelter to over 200 dying patients and families per month.
Vrindavan and adjoining areas have over 20,000 elderly widows and many destitute people live in this area.
Bhaktivedanta Hospice is one such effort to support those who suffer from terminal illness.
These patients who are totally shattered medically, physically, emotionally, and economically are offered in-patient hospice care or home care, when available.
Considering the plight of these poor villagers, we provide the following care and services free of cost:
Nursing care, Pain & Symptom management
Complementary Therapies for comfort care like Relaxation techniques, Music Therapy, Massage Therapy, Herbal Therapy, etc.
Spiritual Care, Grief Counseling, Respite care for the Caregivers/Family members
Special and personalized care at the time of dying
Post-Mortem care, Cremation Care
Memorial service, Spiritual Bereavement Counseling, Healing and support services for the family.
Our Hospice physician and team of nurses
travel several times per week to visit approximately 200 patients in their homes in the surrounding villages of Vrindavan.
Staff Registered Nurse from the Bhaktivedanta Hospice visits a terminally ill patient in a nearby village.
Taking Some of the Fear Out of Dying Alone
By Barbara Karnes, RN
I see families devastated by not being able to be with their loved one as they are dying. I am writing this for any person who is faced with a loved one dying alone in a hospital, nursing home, or some other place away from you. My hope is that some understanding hence comfort can be found among these words. This guidance can also be used by healthcare workers when they face the difficult job of telling families they can’t be present. These ideas can’t fix this horrific situation but they can bring a bit of understanding and “something to do” to an otherwise bleak message.
There are so many areas I want to address to neutralize some of the fear associated with dying. Dying is very, very sad but the actual moments before actual separation really aren't that bad. Scary for us the watchers but not bad, as we perceive bad, for the doer.
Why do I say that? THIS IS WHAT I AM CONFIDENT ABOUT:
1. The person dying is so removed from their body they do not perceive it the way we, the watchers, perceive ours.
2. The person is non responsive to the world around them. They do not respond to sound or touch.
3. Their world is like a dream. Everything is out of focus, disconnected, from afar.
4. Normal physical changes: eyes partially open; random hand movements, slowed breathing, gapping-like mouth movements; 2 or 3 or 4 long spaced out breaths before actual breathing stops.
This goes beyond what I know to WHAT I HAVE COME TO BELIEVE:
1. We do not die alone. In the moments to hours, even days before death there is often talk to and about those that have died before us.
2. Fear of dying is replaced with the body’s efforts to detach from living.
3. A person can hear even in the moments following death.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU CAN DO WHEN YOU HAVE THE GIFT OF BEING WITH SOMEONE IN THE MOMENTS OF THEIR DYING:
(Remember they are non-responsive but they can hear as if from afar.)
1. Touch, hug, hold, sing, reminisce, pray if that is comforting to you and them, cry, tell stories and yes, even laugh.
2. During private time tell the person about how they have touched your life. Talk about the challenging times as well as the good times.
3. When all words have been said, just holding a hand or laying in bed next to your special person is a gift of comfort to both of you.
4. You can have soft music playing (favorite songs), or not.
5. Because we have limited control over the time that we die, and can hear from afar, tell the person dying who is arriving, who and when people are leaving. If you are there at the moment of death you are there because that was a gift to you. If you aren’t, and you tried to be, then that too
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU CAN DO IF YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO BE WITH YOUR SPECIAL PERSON WHEN THEY ARE DYING:
1. Sit quietly and comfortably, close you eyes and in your minds eye see your loved one in bed, peacefully sleeping.
2. Picture yourself next to the bed, hold their hand or lay down with them if that seems more desirable.
3. Begin talking to them. Talk from your heart. Say everything you need to say, the positive and the challenging nature of your relationship. Remember there is no perfect relationship. Every relationship has its rough hurtles; talk about those areas as well as the positive.
4. When all words from your heart have been said sit quietly, in your mind, and just be with your loved one. Know unfinished business has been addressed and the two of you have said goodbye.
5. Stay as long as you need. There will come a point where you will know you can get up. Say one more time “I love you”, if it is true. Just a goodbye is okay too.
When someone we care about, or someone we don’t care about, is dying it is scary and challenging to our idea of how life is suppose to be. Other people die, not someone close to me or even someone I know. When dying reaches into your personal sphere (and it will eventually) I hope these thoughts bring some comfort. Blessings, Barbara