54th issue - Nitya-seva Newsletter

 March 2020.

Dear Devotees,

The corona virus has flooded the world like a huge tsunami wave, submerging everyone and wreaking unprecedented havoc in its wake. It definitely highlights the fragility of our existence here in this material world. And despite being a Holy Dhama, New Vraja Dhama has been no exception; life here has also been turned upside-down.

When we first heard about COVID-19, most were unconcerned, thinking that these matters were a distant reality and would not get as far as the backwaters of Krishna Valley. But when the first reports started coming in of the infection reaching Europe, the leaders of New Vraja Dhama were rather proactive in taking various safety measures to protect our community. Devotees were forbidden from going abroad and trips to Budapest were minimised to the absolute necessary. Soon thereafter, the decision was taken to close New Vraja Dhama’s gates. No one was allowed to come in or out. As a result of this, the gurukula was closed down and devotees living in the village just outside the farm had to accept the sad reality of not being able to visit their beloved Lordships. Certain departments were closed, devotees’ services were changed, and further restrictions implemented. And all this for the foreseeable future!

Devotees who were in India, including our beloved Sivarama Swami, booked flights to return to Hungary immediately and join the community in this time of need. By the time we reached our second week of self-imposed quarantine, the difficulties that the world is now facing and going to continue to face for the duration, were undeniable.

Dear Nitya Seva donors, daily, our pujaris, as well as the Nitya Seva team, offer prayers to Radha-Syama to protect all of you and keep you and your families safe. We are praying for your health and wellbeing, but at the same time we are conscious that the Lord’s protection might not come in the form that one might expect. All of you are eternally connected to Radha-Syama by your donations and your services, and They never forget even the smallest service rendered. You are all deep within Their hearts, and of course ours. We know that many of you might be going through difficulties and the future seems to be extremely unclear.

It is in these times that we need to take even deeper shelter of the Lord and have full faith that He will indeed take care of us. Even when we are met with sorrow, we know that everything is given to us under the Lord’s ultimately protective hands and guidance. We may lose our source of income, we may lose loved ones, we may even lose our own bodies, but Radha-Syama will always remain with us.

An example of Radha-Syama’s protective love can be seen in the story of our beloved Priya Sakhi devi dasi from London, one of our Nitya Seva donors. Due to the corona virus, she sadly left her body on the morning of Lord Ramacandra’s appearance day. Her deep love for and loyal service to Radha-Syama garnered such wonderful reciprocation from Their Lordships in the form of initiation from Srila Sivarama Swami, less than two days before she departed. The Lord granted full protection for her soul by bestowing upon her the highest benediction possible, initiation into His disciplic succession. We continue to keep her and her husband (who also received initiation on the same evening and is now Rasesvara dasa) in our hearts and wish the family all strength in dealing with their loss.

We pray that you are all well and we hope to meet with you once New Vraja Dhama is able to open its gates once again. Until then, please remain safe, and Krsna conscious.

On behalf of the Nitya-seva team your servant,
Syamajiu Dasi

9th April 2020, New Vraja Dhama