Dear readers and friends,
Please accept our best wishes, all glories to our founder Acharya Srila Prabhupada!
In the previous newsletter we invited you to follow some of the nectar lectures we were sharing on daily basis but a few days after its publication, we were totally unable to broadcast any lectures for a few weeks. That does not make us seem very credible but there is a very good reason for it all!
In the beginning of May, a very powerful wave of material energy crashed onto the heads of the Goloka Dhamis. This wave is well known as Covid 19 or to be precise Covid India (to stay in the mood of our tradition 😊)
First everyone thought it was a regular flu and many of us tested negative with cheap testing kits. But when a serious test was done, it was clear that Covid had entered Goloka Dhama. By that time it was much too late to save some of our members. Day after day, devotees were missing in the temple program and service because of the overwhelming fever that was harassing them. After a few days, around 16 devotees, out of around 20 were in bed and the temple was put into total quarantine. Thanks to the 4 or 5 who remained standing, help and support was found. Many thanks also to our congregational devotees who were bringing us something to eat. The worship of Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohan had to be radically decreased but done in the mind of the devotees.
Two devotees had to be hospitalised for around one week to get oxygen and support in fighting the disease and by the mercy of their Lordships, they are now out of danger. Despite the fever and the anxieties many noticed how the virus also had a strong impact on the mind. Still, despite the power of this invader, many devotees got some deep insights in their spiritual lives and decided to take advantage of this situation by making some distinct changes in their lives. When one suffers, one naturally feels the sufferings of others and becomes empathetic towards them.
Deep in the Vrindavan forest, on a hot day, Krsna noticed that the trees were providing nice shade, and in appreciating their compassion, He said to His cowherd friends: “Just see these greatly fortunate trees, whose lives are completely dedicated to the benefit of others. Their birth is successful. Their behavior is just like that of great personalities… It is the duty of every living being to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with his life, wealth, intelligence and words.”
Krsna’s appreciation of the trees echoes the universal spiritual truth – in order to advance on a spiritual path, one needs to become compassionate; to feel the suffering of others and a strong desire to relieve them of that suffering. That kind of genuine compassion – compassion which goes beyond the theoretical, mind-seated understanding – can only sprout in the heart. It is there, in that sacred space, that we can bring compassion to life, and from there light it in the hearts of others.
It is said that the essence of compassion is sama-darsinah, seeing all living beings with equal vision. To develop this kind of compassionate mentality and start interacting with people in a loving, personal way is to develop this deep vision of seeing them as Krsna's eternal associates, our own eternal friends, and to honestly try to help them in every respect to come closer to the Lord, without demanding anything in return. That kind of compassion is the fundamental principle of spiritual life and the expression of love of God. As travelers on the spiritual path, we are all seekers of that love on our journey to that place beyond life and death. What lights our path are the acts of compassion we gifted to others with our body, mind and words. Let us infuse our lives with compassion and with our body - give, with our mind - wish well and with our tongue – encourage with loving kindness.
That is life enlightened by compassion. When we find that light within ourselves, we can freely shine in the lives of others that same light of compassion.
With our gratitude for your continual support.
On behalf of Goloka Dhama community,
Your servant, Gaurahari dasa