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.
Please Pray for this Dear Devotee,
14-years old, Who Passed Away in Mexico.
We humbly ask for your blessings and prayers for Dharma Gunaraja Castillo Ramirez, a dear, brilliant, devoted 14-year-old from Mexico, who departed this world in an unexpected way leaving a deep heartbreak for his family and friends.
Kindly pray for his soul and please pray for the grieving family and friends.
Your servants at Vaishnavas CARE LatinoAmerica
His Grace Rashik Shekhar Das Killed in
Please say a Prayer for this Devotee and his Family.
"In a sad and shocking turn of events, a Mayapur community devotee, Rashik Shekhar Das, was shot dead in his office in Gournagar, just adjacent to the ISKCON property in Mayapur, West Bengal.
The victim was shot point blank four times during the attack, which took place on the night of February 1st, between 6:45 p.m. and 7:00 pm.
“This was not a random incident but a planned attack,” said Balakrishna Seva Das, speaking on behalf of the Mayapur Secretariat Office.
Police are currently investigating the case, and are holding a suspect. They have also recovered CCTV footage showing two people with covered faces in the office at the time of the shooting.
ISKCON Mayapur has made contact with State Police authorities so that the case will be given due diligence, and are hoping that it will be solved and a motive found.
The victim, Rashik Shekhar Das, was a Mayapur community member involved in several businesses, including ghee production and land sales.
Mayapur managers requested the community that they should "inform the ISKCON Security Office if any of the community members feel any threat to their personal security, or see any suspicious activities in the community,” Balakrishna Seva Das said."
Letter from Indradyumna Swami About His Disciple Rasa Kishori Dasi
By HH Indradyumna Swami
My Dear Disciples,
Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
A few days ago my beloved disciple, Rasa Kishori Dasi, passed away in Omsk, Russia. We are all feeling deep separation from her.
It has come to my attention that her friends and well-wishers are planning a Shraddha ceremony in her honor. Although the Shraddha ceremony is part of our Vedic culture, it is not part of the process that Srila Prabhupada has given us in the present day and age. Therefore, I request her friends and well-wishers not to proceed with that ceremony.
Srila Sanatana Goswami says in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa 9. 308:
“O exalted sage, glorious are those persons who, in the age of Kali, worship the Lord for the benefit of loved ones who have passed away. They need not perform the Sraddha ceremony by going to Gaya to offer oblations to the forefathers. Rather simply by worshiping the Lord their loved ones will be delivered from hellish life and attain the supreme destination.”
And what is meant by “worshiping the Lord in Kali Yuga? The answer is found in Kali-santara Upanishad [ 5.6 ]
“The sixteen words of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra are especially meant for counteracting the sins of the Age of Kali. To save oneself from the contamination of this age there is no alternative but to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. After searching through all the Vedic literature, one cannot find a method of religion for this age so sublime as the chanting of Hare Krsna.”
On certain occasions Srila Prabhupada conceded that devotees may perform a Shraddha ceremony. For example, he writes in a Srimad-Bhagavatam purport
[ 9.10. 30 ]
“To save a deceased person from ghostly life, the funeral ceremony, or Shraddha ceremony, as prescribed in authorized sastra, may be performed.“
But in general, he was not in favor of the Shraddha ceremony. In “TKG’s Diary” [ A book by Tamal Krsna Goswami, who was Prabhupada’s secretary for some time ] we hear:
“Svarupa Damodara Goswami received a telegram informing him of the passing away of his grandfather and requesting his presence for the Shraddha ceremony, especially as there were no other senior members of the family. He approached Srila Prabhupada and said, "I do not know if it is proper. My grandfather has expired. May I take leave?"
Prabhupada answered by citing the verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam, "Devarsi bhutapta...” That those who are engaged in Krsna’s service have no necessity for such things.
The full verse is Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.41) states:
“O King, one who has given up all material duties and has taken full shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, who offers shelter to all, is not indebted to the demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind or even one’s forefathers who have passed away. Since all such classes of living entities are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, one who has surrendered to the Lord’s service has no need to serve such persons separately.”
It is not necessary to appease or satisfy the demigods or anyone else in the departure of a loved one. Even if the demigods are posing obstacles to the safe passage of the loved one’s soul, those obstacles can be removed just by kirtan. The holy names are all- powerful.
yad bibheti svayam bhayam
“The holy name of Krsna is feared by fear personified.”
Srila Prabhupada gave us very simple and clear instructions what to do when a devotee departs. In a letter of November 14th, 1973 he wrote:
“Regarding the auto accident, just hold a condolence meeting for Raghava dasa brahmacari and pray for his soul to Krsna for giving him a good chance for advancement in Krsna consciousness. Certainly Krsna will give him a good place to take birth where he can again begin in Krsna consciousness activities. That is sure. Know that prasadam must be distributed. Three days after the demise of a Vaishnava a function should be held for offering the departed soul and all others prasadam. This is the system.”
You could say that is an “abbreviated version” of the Shraddha ceremony. And we must follow those instructions of Srila Prabhupada and not invent anything new.
When Srila Prabhupada’s father, Gour Mohan De was passing away Prabhupada asked him, “Father, what is your wish? Tell me.”
Gour Mohan told him to give their cow to the Allahabad Gaudiya Math. So Prabhupada took the cow, along with her calf, and donated them to the local maṭha.
Afterwards, Gour Mohan said, “When I depart, invite all the Gaudiya Vaisnavas of Allahabad, and other Vaishnavas also. Let them chant Hari-nama and you supply them with good food. That is my wish.”
So this is our Gaudiya Vaishnava system. Even though Lord Chaitanya performed the Sraddha ceremony for his father, our previous acarayas and our own Srila Prabhupada felt that chanting the holy names and distributing prasadam to the devotees was sufficient for the modern day era of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in observing the departure of a devotee.
So my request is that my disciples always follow this dictate.
Regarding my beloved spiritual daughter, Rasa Kishori Dasi, hold a program in her honor consisting of beautiful kirtan, delicious prasadam and discuss her wonderful service and contributions to our Krsna Consciousness movement. I will be with you in my blessings and in my prayers for her safe progress back home to the spiritual world.
Your ever well wisher,
Tom Hopkins, one of the ISKCON Movement’s best friends and scholarly supporters has just passed away
By Garuda Dasa
The picture above is of Tom and me in his library at his home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, taken about two years ago, when he was eighty-nine years of age. Tom and I were very good friends and close colleagues. Please note the books on some of the shelves behind us: all the Līlamṛtam volumes, the three original “Delhi” Bhagavatams, other books by devotees, and a complete set of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies on the top shelf.
Saturday, February 20, 2021
My Dear Vaishnava Sisters and Brothers:
I offer all of you my affectionate pranamas. Jaya Srīla Prabhupada!
I write to inform all of you that one of the ISKCON Movement’s best friends and scholarly supporters has just passed away in the morning of Saturday, February 20, 2021. I have known Tom Hopkins for decades and he has been such a supporter of devotees and well-wisher of the Movement. He met Srīla Prabhupada and the early devotees in 1966 at 26 Second Avenue, and purchased his first set of Srīla Prabhupada’s “Delhi” Bhagavatams at that time (those volumes are currently in my possession). At one point, Tom even arranged for Śrīla Prabhupada to teach a course at Franklin and Marshall College, where he was a professor. In the end, Śrīla Prabhupada declined the generous offer of Tom because Srīla Prabhupada was too busy establishing the ISKCON and its temple-centers.
Tom contributed his eloquent writing to many ISKCON publications, such as his article entitled, “A Vital Transition: The Molding of the Hare Krishna Movement in British India,” for the BTG Magazine (Vol. 16, No. 8). A “Preface” to one of Kusakratha Dasa’s works, a “Foreword” to Hari Sauri Dasa’s book, A Transcendental Diary, another “Foreword” to Satyaraja’s fairly recent work entitled, Swamiji: An Early Disciple, Brahmananda Dasa, Remembers His Guru, and other works.
But perhaps Tom’s most well known is his wonderful “Foreword” to the second volume of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami’s wonderful biography of Srīla Prabhupada, entitled, “Planting the Seed,” with his famous first words: “The story you are about to read is, like many true stories, highly improbable.” He goes on to write, “What follows is a remarkable tale of faith, determination, and success beyond anyone’s expectation.” These observations that Tom makes about our Srīla Prabhupada are truly precious.
The obituary I just wrote for academic colleagues around the world is found below, and will give you an idea of Tom’s whole academic life. Just keep in mind that he had truly a great love for devotees, for Srīla Prabhupada’s ISKCON, and for the vibrant Vaishnava tradition and its rich literature.
So, my Vaishnava Sisters and Brothers, let us wish Tom well in his sojourn from this world, where his unique contributions to Srīla Prabhupada’s legacy will never be forgotten. Let us wish him well as he leaves this world after having given so much to the understanding of Krishna Bhakti in the intellectual world. And let us wish him well by celebrating him who offered both his mind and heart to the spread of Krishna’s love around the world.
Daso ‘smi premni,
The following is what I wrote to nearly one thousand scholars worldwide:
It is with much sadness (but also many sweet memories!) that I report to all of you that our beloved colleague and friend Tom Hopkins gently passed away this morning in his asleep at the age of ninety-one. A couple of months ago, Tom suffered a stroke, but appeared to be recovering quite steadily and well from it, so his departure today comes unexpectedly.
Tom was born on July 28th, 1930 in Champaign, Illinois. He was married to Fran (Skinner) Hopkins on December 22, 1956. Together they had four children, five grandchildren, and even four great-grandchildren. He will be very missed by all of them.
Tom’s colorful educational background can be spelled out as follows: Tom earned his B.S. in Physics in 1953, and went on to MIT earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in the same year. He then went on to Yale Divinity School to earn his B.D. in Religion and Culture, and then completed the M.A. in 1959 and the Ph.D. in 1962 in Comparative Religion from Yale University Graduate School. His unpublished dissertation is entitled, The Vaishnava Bhakti Movement in the Bhagavata Purana.
From 1961 to 1996, Tom taught in the Religious Studies Department at Franklin and Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he also served as department chair from 1974 to 1994. From 1998 to 1999, he was Director of Academic Affairs for the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, an independently recognized centre by Oxford University, where he acted as liaison between the Centre and various Oxford academic program, tutored two graduate students, and gave a seminar and series of lectures on Hinduism under the auspices of the Faculty of Theology of Oxford University.
His chapter, entitled, “The Social Teaching of the Bhagavata Purana,” was published in a landmark publication in the field at the time, entitled, Krishna: Myths, Rites, and Attitudes, edited by Milton Singer (published by East-West Center Press, 1966, and then in softcover edition by University of Chicago Press, 1969). Among Tom’s many publications, he is perhaps most well-known for his book, The Hindu Religious Tradition, originally published by Dickenson Publishing Company in 1971, used in the classroom as a standard textbook by so many colleagues. During his last years of life he had practically doubled the size of the book to produce a second edition to bring his work up to date with current research. Over the past year, I have been in the process of working on Tom’s behalf to get this second edition published, and will continue to do this for him.
Many of us in the field knew him back in those days when he was a very active and vibrant participant at every annual international meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). In fact, he was a member of the AAR from its very inception back in 1963, up until 1990. I myself remember him very well when I started attending the AAR 1977, and was amazed by his generosity toward budding graduate students as well as his wise counsel to accomplished scholars in the field and to the Academy as well. His personality was warm and intellectually active, and had a tempered sense of humor that was enjoyed by everyone. He was very gregarious, a good friend to so many, and just an example of the finest of humanity. And though he has been retired for well over twenty years, his contribution of mind and heart will never be forgotten and will always be remembered especially by those whose intellects and hearts he has touched.
His Grace Karnamrita Das Passed Away
"Today, February 9, 2021, a most dear friend and fellow Grihastha Vision Team member, Karnamrita Prabhu left this world. Karnamrita was someone who cared about others in a deep meaningful way and devoted his life to make the lives of others better; someone who knew the meaning of love and lived it through his words and actions; someone who made everyone feel relaxed, valued and accepted.
Karnamrta always added an element of humor and lightness that would allow even a six-hour meeting to pass like a few moments. In our numerous meetings, we always knew that one of Karnam’s quips might be coming around the corner, and he never failed to deliver.
With the loss of his and Krsnanandini’s association, a large void is left in our hearts. Rather than praying for the wellbeing of these two great souls after their departures, I pray that from their exalted destinations with Lord Krsna and Srila Prabhupada, they will look down and pray for us."
--Partha Das (ACBSP)
Please watch our newest Vaishnavas CARE Slideshow "Honoring the Departed Vaishnavas" (Volume 15) produced by His Grace Dayavira Das Prabhu in Hillsborough, North Carolina (U.S.).
If you would like a departed friend or Loved one honored in a future slideshow, kindly email us a photo (400 Pixels or greater) & their name to this website by sending the photo & name to "Contact Us" at the bottom of this Home page. Thank you!
(Slideshow is 1 minute)
"Please Pray for His Grace Krishna Nama Prabhu (Keith Battle)
By Pooja Sharma
Krishna Nama Das Prabhu, (who attended the Hillsborough, North Carolina U.S. ISKCON Temple), passed away last evening on the glorious Appearance Day of Sri Advaita Acarya!
When a Vaishnava departs he takes with him the wealth of talents he possess. Knowing Prabhuji was a blessing. He was kind, caring, loving and always concerned about everyone's well being. His kirtans were melodious, his guitar playing skills were amazing. His hearty laugh during prasadam... Heat or cold he used to attend every harinam sankirtan.
He personally guided me to always keep Krishna in the center and lead a simple Krishna conscious life . He had a wonderful personality! I will miss him so much.
Articles & Quotes
Laughter: Medicine for the Heart
by Jane E. Maxwell
“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” —Kurt Vonnegut
Laughter is like a breath of fresh air that we desperately need. This seemingly simple act affects most of your body systems. Laughter strengthens the immune system by stimulating your body to increase production of immunoglobulin. It improves your heart rate and circulation by boosting the oxygen supply to your brain. Laughter controls pain by decreasing muscle tension, distracting attention, and increasing the production of endorphins, natural pain killers. Laughter is like giving yourself an internal massage as it stimulates and soothes. It truly is medicine for the heart.
Sometime when we feel inept, like a duck out of water, in our efforts to care for our loved one, the healthiest way to respond is to laugh at our own imperfections. We are human and at times say the wrong thing, spill soup down the front of the patient’s shirt, or mess up at the most inopportune moment. But if we can’t laugh, all we do is cry.
Humor, like prayer, helps us to rise above our circumstances. Seven years ago the idea of laughter was difficult for me to apply to the care of my terminally ill husband. Because I had worked as a registered nurse for over forty years, I was much too intent on fixing the symptoms of his illness and controlling his reactions to the chemotherapy and radiation. I was increasing not only my stress level, but also his.
Then we began to laugh. Tensions faded, muscles relaxed, pain was lessened and we reconnected. Laughter reminded me that one is much more than his or her illness. We are all persons first, still alive and able to enjoy levity. Joy is still possible for the patient and the caregiver.
Try keeping a journal of humorous things you see, hear or read.
Place cartoons on your refrigerator or bulletin board. They will be there when you need them.
Avoid negative people.
Don’t put yourself down.
Call someone today to arrange to meet for a few hours to renew your spirit. It truly will be medicine for your heart.“
"A sense of humor can help us overlook the unattractive, tolerate the unpleasant, cope with the unexpected, and smile through the unbearable.” —
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 180 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 in a Grief Counseling Certification Program (GC-C).
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, is 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 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.
For Family Caregivers, Everywhere,
From all of Us at Vaishnavas CARE.
Psychotherapy and the Practice of
By Karnamrita Das and Arcana siddhi Devi Dasi
I have been speaking to a friend about how personal and spiritual growth can be related, or how our being balanced human beings in the mode of goodness is a good foundation for Krishna consciousness. Thus I thought of posting this article by my wife and I:Chanting the holy name and engaging in Bhakti-yoga (Krishna consciousness or devotional service) is the ultimate process of purification and healing in our tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. The process of counseling should be seen as an adjunct to the process of Krishna consciousness, and although it can be helpful for some devotees, it is not in itself the panacea for all our problems. The reason for bringing this up is that sometimes the question arises: “Why do we need anything other than our spiritual practices to be successful in our spiritual life?”
One answer is that we don’t. Only bhakti, can give bhakti, or Krishna consciousness. However, therapy can create a favorable mental environment for the practice of Bhakti yoga. A “favorable mental environment” generally means a healthy psychology which is balanced and strongly influenced by the “mode of goodness.”
There has been much criticism for going to a “non-devotee” therapist. There is validity to this concern to the extent that the therapist doesn’t support or understand the practice of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Putting that concern aside for now, what if a therapist is first and foremost a devotee and is a therapist by profession and as a service to devotees? What if such a devotee therapist is using therapy in the pursuit of helping a devotee in their spiritual life? If therapy is used in this way, then that therapy is part of Krishna consciousness because it serves it.
Even though psychotherapy isn’t innately spiritual or necessarily supports a belief in God, there is more and more acceptance in its’ practice of the spiritual dimension to life. The development of transpersonal and other more spiritual therapies attest to this. In addition in the last 20 years we have seen a shift (at least in social work) from not acknowledging a person’s religion or spirituality, to seeing them as a great aid to the process of therapy.
We can give our practical experience about the value of therapy with devotees. Sometimes even mature devotees come to us with relationship problems or difficulties in performing their sadhana due to their negative perceptions and feelings (anarthas). Often these devotees are “doing everything right” from the external point of view of faithful spiritual practice, and still they are feeling “stuck” in the preliminary stages of devotion. Or in other cases, the devotee’s mental disturbance is so severe that they are not able to perform their sadhana at all. In either case, there is obviously something internal they are doing which needs to be changed, and frequently counseling can be very helpful. These devotees have generally exhausted other opinions.
For more conservative devotees, psychotherapy itself (or any process not found in Srila Prabhupada’s books or in Vedic literatures in general) is really on trial since it is a material art that may on the surface disagree with the tenets of Krishna conscious philosophy. Therapy like anything else–such as the practice of medicine, law, architecture, etc–is only a tool, and it can be used or misused. One of the biggest fears against therapists is that in some respects they are in the position of being a type of Guru and they give spiritual (or “material”) advice.
This is a reality, and it means that ideally a devotee’s therapist should be an advanced devotee who is well aware of their great responsibility to give good advice. In some cases, this “advice” may appear to be a step backward to outsiders, yet the goal is a healthy psychology that fosters sadhana and wholesome relationships with devotees and others. In extreme cases the goal may initially be physical survival.
It seems we need to demystify counseling, or frame it in terms that are comfortable for devotees. What exactly is counseling or psychotherapy? Although we can label counseling in a stereotyped way based on its misuse, we see Krishna conscious counseling as a very specific and focused type of devotee association. This process allows a trained person (who is ideally compassionate, balanced, and also a devotee of Krishna in good standing) to help us change our unhealthy patterns and learn more productive ways of interacting with the external world, as well as helping us make the mind our friend and not our enemy.
Though our pure chanting and serving dissolve the subtle body (our material mind, intelligence, and false ego in which our material desires and anarthas are stored), it is generally a slow process. Our habitual mental patterns and attitudes often hold us back. They can become so much a part of us that we often don’t notice them or we think there is nothing we can do to change. Counseling is one way to facilitate change, and change, or moving toward our spiritual identity is really what spiritual life is all about. We should be willing to accept whatever will assist us in our progressive change or spiritual awakening.
Therapy and counseling can help us take better advantage of our spiritual practices. Though not everyone needs it, it can be an additional support to help us to remain fixed in our goal and avoid offenses that may be caused from unhealthy attitudes (anarthas). Offenses and anarthas feed off each other, and can become part of a downward spiral that if not addressed will prevent our spiritual progress, and if severe enough, will take us away from Krishna.
Below is a brief outline of what we understand to be the essence of the therapeutic process in Krishna Consciousness.
1) The therapeutic relationship allows a person to feel safe revealing his/her mind, since confidentiality is a basic principle.
2) The therapeutic relationship gives the devotee a place to vent bottled-up feelings that would otherwise come out in dysfunctional or destructive behaviors towards self and others.
3) The therapeutic relationship helps the devotee to confront behavior patterns that may be hindering relationships with others and sabotaging his/her service.
4) The therapeutic relationship helps the devotee to acknowledge anger, lust, greed and envy in a non-judgmental setting and together with the therapist can generate creative ways to tackle the behavior and keep it in check.
5) The therapeutic relationship helps the devotee to understand how the past, i.e., relationships with parents etc., have helped shaped his/her current perceptions and behaviors. This understanding can help unconscious patterns become more conscious.
6) When our behavioral motivations come into the conscious realm we can then understand them and make choices to correct them. They no longer have the power over us that they did when they were submerged in the unconscious.
To conclude, Krishna conscious counseling is meant to help the devotee deal with their presented problem in a way that is conducive to healthy relationships, and to their spiritual practices. The guidance of the therapeutic process can help retire anarthas, and enable one to chant and serve with more attention and purity. In this sense therapy can be seen as a strong rod to give support to the tree of Bhakti, meant to assist the primary goal of Krishna consciousness. In our assessment therapy when applied properly goes well with the practice of Krishna consciousness. The efficacy of any process can be judged by the result. If something is helpful to our spiritual life we can certainly see that as a manifestation of Krishna. [As an aside, we require many devotee therapists to meet the demand, so I hope our youth will consider a career in counseling. Helping devotees is a very satisfying service and benefits our entire society of devotees!
Are You Living with a Chronic Illness?
You are NOT Alone!
Here are some key facts about
End-of-Life Care in Latin America
In Latin America alone, more than one million new cancer cases and 600,000 cancer deaths occur each year.
While 13 countries in Latin America have a national cancer program that includes palliative care within the program’s framework, only four countries (Uruguay, Mexico, Colombia, and Panama) have dedicated national palliative care laws.
Only SIX countries in the region have specific legislation regarding advanced directives (ADs), which are legal documents that allow patients to express their wishes about their end-of-life care before they become too ill to do so.
Mexico is one such country that has Advance Directives legislation; however, utilization of Advance Directives is low, with only 3,000 Advance Directives documents signed in all of Mexico between 2008 and 2014.
Within countries, palliative care is often limited to privileged, urban centers.
Less than 15% of physicians working in palliative care in the region have received palliative-specific education as part of their training.
Only 2.1% of global palliative care publications come from Latin America.
Latin America consumes nearly 13 times less than the global average of morphine per capita, due to issues of availability and affordability.
The median price for oral morphine is 5.8 times higher than in wealthier countries.
The price of one month of injectable morphine is several times the minimum wage in Mexico, where it is not provided by the public health system.
Cultural aspects of end-of-life care in Latin America — including family decision-making and spiritual support — are also important to consider, but research on these topics is scarce.
These shortcomings negatively affect patient care and health system performance.
Editor's Note: Vaishnavas CARE is working hard to form more teams in Latin American countries so the members of our ISKCON temples and congregations receive the end-of-life care they need and deserve. We thank our Volunteers and the Leaders within our ISKCON temples for all they are doing to help spread this cause throughout our Temples and communities within Latin America.
Yours in service,
Sangita Devi Dasi
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
THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR NEW VOLUNTEERS & TEAM LEADERS!
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
Lord Buddha, an incarnation of Lord Krishna said...
Last Night The Grim Reaper Came For Me
By Karnamrita Das
I saw the grim reaper in my dream,
feeling no fear, I was curious to see him.
Coming near, he pointed his bony, pale hand toward me.
His other palm raised in blessing pose where it was written, the number 65—my age!
Then with both hands, he pointed to the sky, and shrugged.
His sickle and dark robes then transformed.
He showed his true self, as a blissful, radiant sage.
Smiling enchantingly, he said, “People dress me with their fear, thinking I have come to destroy them and take everything away.
You can see me as I am, because you have no fear,
and you live the life of Godly devotion, the life of the soul.”
“Death only pertains to the body, having nothing to do with the soul.
I only come to help souls have another opportunity in physical form.
Life is a great blessing to realize the soul and God,
but souls cover themselves and hide behind matter’s disguise.
People fear me because of their false attachments to temporary things that are actually the cause of all their suffering, such a great irony.
They fail to know the purpose of life and death, and
that physical life is short for a very good reason.
Not knowing this people complain about superficial things instead of searching for answers why life is temporary,
what life is for, and why there is birth, death, disease,
old age, joy and sorrow, and a feeling of incompleteness.
“Souls in physical dress cling to false things
that have nothing to do with themselves as a soul,
thinking they are a body, that material things belong to them,
that bodily relationships and designations define them,
that kinsmen only come from blood ties—
but actually every being is our kinsman
as we are all children of the same God, our Source.
To study this is life’s curriculum, to realize it, is true knowledge.
One can’t wait till the time of death to contemplate this but must study it in life, endeavoring to live the life of the soul.
The great prophets throughout time come to teach this—
following their example you must share this wisdom
about the proper use of this temporary physical life;
real life is eternal in the great joyful celebration of God; we find meaning and purpose in the spirit;
and everything we search for is within already.
“You should remember that you may die today—
or tomorrow, or before you turn 66, or in twenty years.
It matters not, if you live the life of the soul.
For one truly devoted to God, life and death are the same—
to the extent you live the “soul purpose” of life and remember God.
This truth has to be chosen moment by moment
until you are completely purified of matter’s influence.
You must teach by who you are, and your highest ideals.
Let your soul’s light illuminate and guide you at every step and help receptive souls awaken to their divine potential or that which they search for without knowing.
Thus you have to demonstrate what they are searching for
by radiating the joy, peace and wisdom of the soul,
and speak from your soul heart to theirs—
that is your life work now and forever.”
Then I woke up, praying to Krishna to completely wake up!
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