Nitai Chaitanya Goswami is one of ISKCON Russia’s first sannyasis and seniormost devotees.
"Your merry rides have been thwarted, / Your house has been fenced, / Amazing you are, O mind, / You still don’t wish to be cleansed..."
These days, by a reversal of fortune, we are the ones that are locked in like zoo animals, while they are the ones that can roam free. Good for them. They have deserved some break after all the millennia of mistreatment and abuse they had to suffer by our hands.
It was once again practically demonstrated that those who are practicing self-sufficiency either to the full extent or at least to some degree are definitely less vulnerable in times of upheavals.
This unprecedented environment has also created an unprecedented state of affairs for ISKCON, with all events cancelled, and temples across North America closed to the public, as well as to devotees except temple residents.
Millions of people are lying low to limit the spread of COVID-19. Self-isolation and social distancing, they say, will help curb the crisis. Next problem: how do you cope with being cooped up for days on end? How do we use this time wisely?
Sometimes I wonder, do we forget we are going to die? What is the difference between dying from any other situation or dying from corona virus?
With different countries around the world at different stages of COVID-19 precautions, ISKCON Mayapur has introduced its own safety measures for visitors, community devotees, and stranded foreign devotees.
With the current world situation, and the ongoing spread of the Corona Virus, authorities around the world are imposing quarantines and other restrictions on people which may lead to difficulty in maintaining the regular standard or schedule of deity worship in ISKCON centers.
In Italy, the worst hit country in Europe, neither the general public nor devotees can visit the temple because all places of worship – churches, mosques, temples – have been closed down, and everyone has been quarantined in their homes.
The Bhaktivedanta Manor temple, UK, has been has been closed after a member of the congregation tested positive for coronavirus.
When I read the news this morning, I got scared. People all over the world are starting to brace themselves in fear of the coronavirus epidemic.