Tuesday, September 29, 2020

ISKCON Alachua Hare Krishna Temple, Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Weekly Temple Newsletter

Photos of the ISKCON Alachua temple deities, Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, Sri Sri Radha-Shyamasundara, and Sri Sri Krishna-Balarama

Hare Krishna! In this week's newsletter we share more information about our plan for the month of Damodara, Karttika, including a sign-up form where you can register to attend Damodarastakam. We encourage you to reach out to a Prabhupada disciple, Sarvasatya Dasa, who is bedridden in a nursing home. You can help Team ISKCON Alachua distribute 108 sets of Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita. Take a Mantrabreak (.com) with friends and co-workers, and participate in online events hosted by the GBC Strategic Planning Team, including an interview with Rama Raya Prabhu about the NYC Harinama program, Applying the Law to Care for Devotees with ISKCON lawyer Devakinandana Dasa, and finding out what it's like to be on the Frontline with COVID-19, with Madhavananda Dasa, director of the Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai. For details, read on...

Our Plan for Damodara Month - Karttika

To safely accommodate all of our community members who wish to attend the Damodarastakam part of the morning program during Karttika, October 31 - November 29, we will adopt the following plan (subject to change).

1) Everyone is invited to come daily for a brief walk-through darshan from 7:30-8:00 a.m., where you can offer your ghee lamp to the deities, three people at a time, wearing masks, standing on marked spots in a safe, physically distanced manner. You'll line up on the veranda, enter from the men's side door near the altar, offer your lamps, exit from the ladies' side door on the opposite side, and then return home to watch the rest of the morning program online (no lingering.)

2) Sign up in advance to attend the Damodarastakam prayers, sitting on the X marks on the floor, limited to twice a week per person. We hope this system will give everyone a fair chance to attend. Up to three family members can share one spot. (If you have more than three family members, sign up for an additional spot.) Please be at the temple by 7:25 a.m. to claim your spot, wearing your mask. An attendant will usher you into the roped-off area, where you can participate in Guru-puja and then sit on one of the X marks during the Damodarastakam prayers. You'll offer your ghee lamp to the deities inside the roped off area, on designated spots, three devotees at a time.

3) You'll also have the option to attend the Damodarastakam program in the evenings, 6:30 - 7:00 p.m, with no signup required, wearing your face mask and sitting on the designated X marks. However, if we see that the temple room gets too crowded in the evenings, this could change.


The Glories of Purushottama Month

From now through October 16, we'll continue to observe the auspicious Purushottama month, which occurs once every three years. This is a very special time to engage in devotional service, as all sincere service rendered during this month is magnified many times over. Some ideas include:

  • Increase your chanting of Hare Krishna
  • Wake up early and attend the Lord's first arati of the day
  • Engage in practical services, such as cleaning the temple, working in the gardens, helping in the kitchen
  • Make a donation for deity seva, prasad distribution, giving out Srila Prabhupada's books or helping the brahmanas
  • Read daily from Srila Prabhupada's books, and share what you've read with another devotee

Lord Krishna says in the Naradiya Purana:

“I offer all My qualities to this month. Becoming like Me, from today onwards this adhimasa is the monarch of all the other months, and is the most worshipable and most adored in the world. .. Those who worship this month, either without any desires (akama) or with all types of desires, will have all their karma burnt. Then they will achieve Me. .. Those who are filled with bhakti will take advantage of this Purushottama month to worship Me. After enjoying worldly happiness, such as wealth, sons and so on, they will eventually attain residence in Goloka.”


A VERY BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CONTINUES TO TITHE AND SUPPORT THE TEMPLE. It is incredibly heartening to see how much our devotees love and appreciate this temple, especially in challenging times like these.


Reach Out to Sarvasatya Prabhu

Sarvasatya Dasa, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and longtime resident of our New Raman Reti community, is bedridden at Riverwood nursing home in Starke, Florida, and needs some devotee association. He has no use of his arms or legs due to injuries he received in Vietnam, where he was captured by the Vietcong and escaped. When he found American troops he ran up to greet them but was shot, being mistaken for the enemy, and was left in a pile of bodies, presumed dead. As one of the soldiers went through the bodies, collecting valuables and IDs, he recognized Sarva, noticed he still had a heartbeat and transferred him to a hospital where he gradually recovered, but lost one arm and the use of his legs.

Sarvasatya Prabhu joined ISKCON in Hawaii and was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1975. He has rendered various important services in the movement, including founding, publishing, editing and paying for (with his veteran disability checks) the publication of the monthly ISKCON World Review / Hare Krishna World newspaper during the 1990s.

The nursing home doesn't allow visitors during the pandemic, so Sarva lies there day after day by himself. He chants his rounds, and periodically someone will read to him over the phone. Our Puri is one person who stays in touch. We're hoping that more devotees will write to Sarva or call him, sharing a story or some Krishna conscious news, or read to him. It doesn't have to be long. When a member of our devotee family is suffering like this, it is an opportunity for us to rise to the occasion and offer our help. You could even send him a postcard. During this month of Purusottama, this simple offering of reaching out to a dear disciple of Srila Prabhupada will surely be pleasing to the Lord.

Ron McClellan


808 Colley Rd.

Starke, FL 32091

His phone number is 904-964-6220, if you'd like to read to him. (When you call, please remind the nurses that he needs assistance to pick up the phone.)


Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita Set Campaign

Team ISKCON Alachua (TIA) has set a goal is to distribute 108 Lilamrita sets by Wednesday, November 18, 2020, Srila Prabhupada's disappearance day. For this campaign, the seven volume set of Srila Prabhupada's biography is being offered for a donation of only $51. Click here to order the set for yourself, gift it**, or sponsor it for TIA to distribute on your behalf. For more information, please contact Nandini Kishori D.D., nandini.kishori@gmail.com.

**We can drop-ship the set to any address within the contiguous United States at no extra cost. Please inform us of the details in the memo field during the payment checkout process.


Take a Mantrabreak.com


Purushottama Month Challenge for Kids

ISKCON CDM Children Services have organized a 29-day spiritual challenge for kids during this auspicious month. There are various Krishna conscious activities such as chanting japa, reading pastimes and offering ghee lamps. 

To REGISTER please click here.

You will:

  • Receive a weekly calendar that contains different Krishna conscious activities to do;
  • Be able to join our virtual sangas twice a week with your friends and make new friends as well;
  • Receive a certificate for participation by HH Jayapataka Swami;
  • Collect 1000x the benefit in your spiritual bank account, and
  • Please Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna with your efforts to come closer to Him.

A family who observes Purushottama month together, stays together; a perfect opportunity for spiritual family time. For more information, watch this video. And here's ISKCON CDM Children Services Facebook page.


New Faces at ISKCON Communications

(From Left-to-Right) Madan Gopal Das, Anuttama Das, Kumari Kunti Dasi

ISKCON North America (NA) Communications Department is under new management, with the recent appointment of Madan Gopal Das as Director and Kumari Kunti Dasi as Administrative Director, as well as back-to-back events to boost the North America teams with a Training Workshop and Communications Conference this fall. 

The NA Directors of Communications work directly under the guidance of Anuttama Das, ISKCON GBC and Global Communications Minister, with the aim of providing resources to the North America Communications teams in their respective yatras/Temples. 

Read the rest of this article at ISKCON News...


Information on Elections

There is a major US election coming up on November 3. If you would like to have your vote counted, go to https://www.votealachua.com/

REGISTER TO VOTE, or update your information. Apply for a vote-by-mail ballot and send it in free of charge or drop it off on Main Street in Gainesville.


Online Sanga Events & Courses

Broadcast on ISKCON Alachua's Facebook page and YouTube channel. Questions and comments will be relayed to the speaker. Zoom login information will be shared on our ISKCON Alachua Devotees Facebook group. All times are in EDT (Eastern Daylight Savings Time).

Daily Srimad-Bhagavatam Class by various speakers from the temple room, 8:00 - 8:45 AM. See Class Schedule posted below.

Thursday, October 1, 5:00-6:00 pm, Bhagavad-Gita reading and discussion with H.H. Bhaktimarga Swami.

You'll find recordings of previous live video events at our ISKCON Alachua Temple YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/alachuatemple.


The following events will be broadcast on the GBC Strategic Planning Team's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/gbcspt and YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/GBCSPT/

Wednesday, September 30, 10:00 a.m. EDT, New York City Daily Harinama, interview with founder Rama Raya Dasa.

Thursday, October 1, 10:00 a.m. EDT, Applying the law to care for devotees, with Devakinandana Dasa, an ISKCON lawyer from Singapore who serves as general counsel for the GBC.

Friday, October 2, 9:00 a.m. EDT, Frontline with COVID-19, with Madhavananda Dasa (Dr. Ajay Sankhe), a pediatrician and director of the Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai.


Other broadcasts: Every Thursday and Friday, Sept. 16 - Oct. 16, 5:00-7:00 pm, Purushottama Month Vrata bhajans, shlokas and Gaura Lila pastimes with Pran Govinda Prabhu and the ISKCON New Orleans congregation. Zoom meeting ID: 898 2906 4239, passcode: 108


September 28 - October 9, 9:00-10:30 AM EDT, Bengali Language for Beginners, by Bhaktivedanta Vidyapith Research Center in Mumbai, only $28 (Rs. 2,000). “The time will come when the people of the world will learn Bengali to read Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta.” –Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. Click here for more information and to register.

November 11 - March 15, Bhakti Sastri in English and Hindi, as well as Bhakti Vaibhava and Bhakti Vedanta in English, by the Mayapur Institute, with repeating online classes staggered at different times of day to accommodate participants in different time zones, $170 (Rs. 12,501). For more information, visit mayapurinstitute.org.


Darshan Times and Procedures

Click here to read the details about the various darshan times, restrictions and protocols we are currently observing at the temple, including a video demonstrating the modified Sunday Darshan. Here's a brief summary:

Throughout the week, the temple is open only during scheduled arati times, with a maximum capacity of 35 persons standing or sitting on physically distanced X marks. First come, first served. Everyone must wear a face mask in the temple room at all times and maintain physical distancing of 6 feet between others. Wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer before entering the temple room. Don't touch surfaces. Pay your respects (obeisances) while standing, and avoid bowing down on the floor at this time.

On Sundays we have a walk-through darshan from 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM, where you can come and pay your respects to Their Lordships, receive darshan, and pick up a prasad to-go box on your way out at the exit gate. Please don't socialize and linger on the property.

On festival days, additional restrictions apply. Usually, the temple remains locked during the day, while aratis and other worship ceremonies are performed only by the pujaris (priests) and a handful of designated kirtan singers, broadcast live on our YouTube and Facebook Live channels. On such days, to safely manage the crowds, we generally only open the temple for walk-through darshan in the late afternoon, 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM, similar to Sunday Darshan times.

The temple closes at 7:00 PM each evening.

If you're feeling sick, stay home. If you've recently returned from international travel, airports, large metropolitan areas or any place with a high concentration of virus spread, please stay away from the temple for 14 days as a precaution. Our guards will ask you questions to this effect at the entrance gate. Thank you for your cooperation.


Be Careful, Avoid Infection

Devotee: It was by chance that I got infected.

Prabhupada: No, no. Not chance. Why did you go where there is cholera case? That is your foolishness. Why did you go there? When there is infectious disease a man is forbidden to go there. You went there without any knowledge and you got infected. Now you are suffering. That’s all. There is no question of chance. That is foolishness. Chance means ignorance. Ignorant people, they do not know this. They perform sinful activities, and [when there is a karmic result] they say “by chance.” There is no question

of chance. Krishna says, “kāranaṁ guṇa-saṅgo ‘sya” — there is no chance.

(Srila Prabhupada on a morning walk in Nairobi, Kenya, 1 November 1975.)


If You're Feeling Sick, Get Tested

The spread of COVID-19 continues to rise in Florida. If you have any of the following symptoms you should be tested for the virus:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

For the sake of your friends and family members you need to know if you have the virus. If you just stay home and nurse yourself through your symptoms you can be spreading the virus to people you care about. Please get tested. These medical groups give quick turnaround results:

  • Emergency Physicians Medical Center for Covid 19 at 9181 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville; call 352-727-7755.
  • Emergency Physicians Medical Center for Covid 19 at 2445 SW 76th Street, suite 110, Gainesville; call 352-872-5111.
  • First Choice in Jonesville (down 235), 8 am – 8 pm. No appointment needed, plan on about an hour of time.
  • Urgent Care at 3925 NW 43rd Street (intersection with 39th Ave), Gainesville; call 352-415-9095.
  • UF Shands Hospital, 1515 SW Archer Rd, Gainesville; call 352-265-0111.
  • Alachua County Health Department, 15530 US-441 #10010, Alachua; call 352-334-8810 or 386-462-2542.

For Spanish speakers, we're listing a directory of helpful Gainesville COVID-19 resources in Spanish language.


Sunday Darshan

You may come for darshan between 4:15 pm - 6:30 pm on Sundays. (The temple closes at 7:00 pm.) Enter the temple room via the right side door nearest Srila Prabhupada. Please offer your prayers and respects standing and avoid bowing down on the floor. Follow the route delineated with marked yellow lines outside, and pink arrows inside the temple room.

The attendant at the door will allow a limited number of people at a time to enter for darshan. You may stay in the kirtan for a few minutes on one of the designated X spots. After a few minutes, please exit so the next group can come in.

SUNDAY FEAST PRASAD BOXES WILL BE AVAILABLE BETWEEN 4:30 - 6:30 PM AT THE EXIT GATE. You can pick up a to-go box of Krishna prasad at the exit gate on your way out: roll down your back window or pop your trunk and a devotee will put the number of prasad boxes you request into your car (one per person please).

Sponsor a feast to honor an occasion or a loved one. Click on the button below to sponsor the Lords' prasad and distribute it to all the devotees. We will place a sticker with your name and occasion on every box; get the blessings of the Lord and His devotees!

Sunday Darshan Protocol

Here are the details you need to know for visiting the temple on Sundays:

1) When you drive in, stop at the Guard Desk. You will be asked a series of questions, such as "Do you have a cough, cold, fever, or shortness of breath?" You will also be requested to give us your name and telephone number for contact tracing purposes (in case anyone later finds out to be COVID-19 positive we can immediately contact those who attended that day's functions.)

2) It is imperative that you wear a mask when coming to the temple; please bring your own. (See protocol above for wearing them.)

3) Physical distancing needs to be maintained. We have put yellow tape markers on the floor outside the temple room for visitors to stand 6 feet apart, where we request you to wait until the next space inside becomes available.

4) You will be required to use hand sanitizer provided by the greeter before entering the temple room.

5) Follow the pink arrows around the temple room and take a moment in front of Srila Prabhupada and each Deity altar to offer your prayers (remain standing up). If you would like, you can stand on one of the yellow X markers spaced 6' apart on the floor and participate in the kirtan for a few minutes. Please limit your time in the temple room for the benefit of other visitors. If there is no crowd you may stay longer.

6) As you exit the property with your car, you can receive Sunday Feast prasad boxes to-go from the attendants at the exit gate between 4:30 - 6:30 pm, one box per person please. Open your trunk or back door and the attendants will place the prasad boxes in your car.

Govinda's Gifts Open on Sundays

Govinda’s Gifts is open on Sundays from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm, and during the week by appointment (get in touch with us via the temple office contact information at the bottom of this newsletter.)

  • Please be wearing your mask when you come in.
  • Three shoppers allowed inside at a time. Please no hanging out or socializing inside the gift shop.
  • If there's something you want that you don't see, just ask and we will try to get it for you.
  • WE HAVE MASKS FOR SALE: 100% cotton, adjustable, breathable, comfortable, reusable and washable $3; the disposable, single-use masks are $1. EKADASI HING is also in stock.

Temple Lunch

If you would like to get temple lunch prasad, come to the front entrance at 12:30 pm and our guard will place the prasadto-go meal box into your car. DO NOT COME OVER TO THE KITCHEN. There are devotees at work packing up the prasad, please do not disturb them. Donations accepted.

Basic Rules

The following basic rules for visiting the temple remain in place.

HAND WASHING: Before coming to the temple, wash your hands with soap and water. On entering the temple room, use hand sanitizer.

WEAR A FACE MASK: Your mask protects me, my mask protects you. We are a community that cares about each other. Everyone coming to the temple must bring and wear a face mask; If you are doing service alone, you do not have to wear the mask. However, keep it on and practice physical distancing whenever you are near, talking with, or singing with, others.

If you do not have a face mask, cotton masks are now available for sale in Govinda's Gift Shop on Sundays, 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm for $3 (reusable) and $1 (single-use). Children over 2 years old should also wear a mask. This is not optional.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING: Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance when you are around others at the temple.

PERSONS WITH UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITIONS SHOULD SHELTER AT HOME: We urge anyone who is at higher risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19 to continue sheltering at home, such as senior citizens and anyone with underlying health conditions. You can watch the temple programs online at our YouTube channel to greatly lower your risk of infection.

IF YOU ARE FEELING SICK, STAY HOME: If you or anyone in your household is currently sick, or has recently been sick with a cough, cold, 'flu, fever, shortness of breath, or any possible COVID-19 symptoms, do not come to the temple for at least 14 days after you and everyone else in your family has recovered.

IF YOU OR ANYONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, do not come to the temple until you and all of your household members have fully recovered and have subsequently tested negative. Please notify temple authorities if you suspect you are sick with, or have tested positive with COVID-19 within 14 days of visiting the temple.

RETURNING FROM HIGH-RISK AREAS? SELF-QUARANTINE FOR 14 DAYS: If you, or any members of your immediate household, have recently returned from locations with high concentrations of community spread of COVID-19, including international travel, large metropolitan areas or any dark purple counties on this map showing the highest concentration of current COVID-19 cases in the US, self-quarantine for 14 days and do not come to the temple during this time.

ENTRANCE GATE CHECK: When coming to the temple, stop at the front gate to let our guards know the reason for your visit. They may check your temperature with a no-touch thermometer, ask you questions about your health, whether you have been traveling, and may ask for your email address and phone number for contact tracing purposes.

If you are interested in serving as a security guard, especially on weekends, please contact Mukhya D.D. or Tamohara D. via the contact information a the bottom of this newsletter.


  • Wear a mask whenever you will be among other people.
  • Keep at least a 6' distance between yourself and others.
  • Wash your hands frequently throughout the day.
  • Assess your own health, stay home if you don’t feel well, and keep your immune system strong.

Class Schedule & Vaishnava Calendar

Week of September 29, 2020

TUE 29 - Narayani Devi Dasi, SB 1.9.6-7

WED 30 - Prana Govinda Dasa, SB 1.9.6-7 cont.

THU 1 - Tamohara Dasa, SB 1.9.8

FRI 2 - Nanda Devi Dasi, SB 1.9.9

SAT 3 - Puskara Dasa, CC Mad. 18.50-52

SUN 4 - Karnapura Dasa morning class | Mahatma Dasa SF lecture

MON 5 - Adikarta Dasa, SB 1.9.10

TUE 6 - Chaturatma Dasa, SB 1.9.11

Morning class times are 8:00 a.m. EST unless otherwise noted. The Sunday Feast lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. Tune in live to our ISKCON Alachua Facebook page or YouTube channel, where you will also find video recordings of previous classes. You'll also find past Alachua temple classes (audio) in our lecture archive.


Departments and Features

Govinda’s Gifts (open Sundays 4:00-6:30 PM)

Morning Sweets Sponsorship

Newsletter Online

Temple Volunteer Services

NRR Community Radio

Website Links:

Child Protection Team Info

Vaishnava Calendar

Temple Prayer Circle

Temple Website

Other Websites & Resources

Bhaktivedanta Academy (BANA)

Child Protection Office

Grihastha Vision Team


Krishna Lunch

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Cow Protection

Vaishnava Calendar Reminder Service

Hare Krishna Social Services:

For information or needs inquiries, email hkssalachua@gmail.com or call Radha Selvester 9 am - 9 pm 352 727 8211. Night time calls for serious emergencies only.


Newsletter Staff

Editor-in-Chief: Mukhya Devi Dasi

Production Assistance: Manorama Dasa

Article submission deadline: 1:00 p.m. Fridays

Send articles and photos to contact@alachuatemple.com. The editors reserve the right to exclude or edit submissions.

Dedicated to our ISKCON Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 

ISKCON Alachua Temple

17306 NW 112th Boulevard 

Alachua, FL 32615


Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

... and be happy!


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Questions? Contact us at 1-386-462-2017

Email: contact@alachuatemple.com

Website: www.alachuatemple.com

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