Tuesday, June 9, 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


Good morning. Lots of good news this week: the temple will be implementing Phase 2 of the gradual reopening plan, allowing a socially-distanced number of 44* devotees, including pujaris, residents and visitors, to come for Mangal Arati and Japa (to be chanted outdoors), Greeting of the Deities and Guru Puja (you’ll need to sign up in advance to reserve a spot during that popular time), and the morning Bhagavatam Class. You can continue to sign up to lead a kirtan with family members during one of the daily aratis. Sunday Darshan will continue as it has been, from 4:15-6:30 PM, with the addition of more people allowed to participate in the kirtan, socially distanced, for a few minutes each.


*There are now 44 marked "X" spots on the temple room floor, spaced 6′ apart. Nine spots will be reserved for temple residents, pujaris, kirtan leaders and their family members, and 35 for community members to sign up for in advance on a day-to-day basis using an online form, for the busy time slot of Greeting of the Deities and Guru Puja. At other, less busy times, devotees can come and fill in the gaps, standing on the marked squares, first-come first served. Wearing of face masks and staying 6′ apart will continue to be required, with some exceptions. See details below.


ISKCON Alachua temple building, view of front entrance

From the Temple President



Mangal Arati

We will reopen for mangal arati starting Wednesday, June 10. The temple room is marked off at 6’ intervals; we will ask everyone attending to pick a marked spot and stay on it. Wear your mask during arati, especially during the kirtan. We will still hold off on passing around the ghee lamp, the offered flower and the maha water. After arati, for the Nrisimha prayers, sit on your designated spot or on the bench, keeping 6’ apart from others.


You can chant japa outside after mangal arati; we are holding off from letting devotees in the temple room to chant japa at this point.

Greeting of the Deities and Guru Puja

If you would like to attend Greeting of the Deities and Guru Puja please sign up below. List how many from your family will be coming. We have 35 spots available per day, and this option will close (for that particular day) once we have reached that number.



We are also open for class now. You can take a seat on a designated spot, or on the benches 6’ apart from each other. Once class is under way, after the Jaya Radha Madhava prayers and any communal call-and-response chanting of the verse is over, you can temporarily remove your mask, but maintain social distancing!

Sign up to Lead Kirtan

You can still come over to see the deities during other arati times by signing up to lead a kirtan below.

Sunday Darshan Continues

You may come for darshan between 4:15 pm – 6:30 pm on Sundays, entering the temple room on the ladies’ side door nearest Srila Prabhupada. Please offer your obeisances standing, not bowing down on the floor. Follow the route delineated with marked yellow tape and arrows.

The attendant at the door will allow up to three persons at a time to enter for darshan. You may stay in the kirtan for a few minutes on one of the designated spots on the floor. After a few minutes, the attendant at the exit door will ask you to leave so the next group can come in.

Prasad To-Go: You can pick up a to-go box of Krishna prasad at the front gate on your way out: roll down your back window or pop your trunk and the devotee will put the number of prasad boxes you request into your car (one per person please).



Govinda’s Gifts Now Open on Sundays

Govinda’s Gifts is now open on Sundays from 4 pm – 6:30 pm. 

  • 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. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR COOPERATION. 
  • 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 prasad to-go meal box into your car. Donations accepted.


Basic Rules

The following basic rules remain in place.

HAND WASHING: Before coming to the temple, wash your hands with soap and water (for example, at the outdoor plate-washing sink next to the kitchen.) On entering the temple room, use hand sanitizer. 

MASK-WEARING PROTOCOL: 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 walking alone on the property, working in the garden alone, doing service outside of the temple room alone where no one else is around, you do not have to wear the mask. However, keep it on and practice social distancing whenever you are near, or talking with, other devotees. Do not lower or remove your mask when speaking with other devotees. The whole point of wearing the mask is to minimize the chances of contaminating each other with aerosolized micro-droplets of our bodily fluids while speaking, singing, coughing or sneezing in close proximity to others.

Cotton masks MUST be washed with soap and water each day. Remove your mask by the elastic ear bands (not the front of the mask). Disposable masks should NOT be washed and reused (washing weakens the fabric and they become useless).

Wearing masks is mandatory in Alachua County. 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.

SOCIAL DISTANCING: While staying 6 feet apart isn’t a magic number, it will reduce the amount of body fluids that escape in a sneeze or while talking from reaching you. Maintain this distance when you are near others at the temple.

This COVID-19 virus will be with us for many months to come. This is simply a medical fact. Some amount of spread and infection is inevitable. The symptoms from this active disease range from making you feel very uncomfortable to extremely sick to a possible loss of life. 

PERSONS WITH UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITIONS: You must assess your personal risk and your state of health. We are urging everyone who is vulnerable to this disease to continue sheltering at home, such as senior citizens with underlying health conditions, including but not limited to diabetes, high blood pressure or auto immune diseases. You can continue to watch the temple programs online at our YouTube channel as you have been, to greatly lower your risk of infection.

IF YOU ARE FEELING SICK, STAY HOME: If you, or anyone in your household, is currently, or has recently been sick with a cough, cold, ‘flu or fever, please stay home. Do not come to the temple and risk infecting others.

RETURNING FROM HIGH-RISK AREAS? SELF-QUARANTINE FOR 14 DAYS AT HOME: If you, or any members of your immediate household, have recently returned from locations with high concentrations of community spread of COVID-19 such as large metropolitan areas, airports, New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Seattle, the Miami area, overseas countries such as Brazil, and continents such as Europe or Asia, stay at home 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 why you are entering. They may ask you questions about your health, whether you have been traveling out of state, and may ask for your email address and phone number for contact tracing purposes. From 9 am – 2 pm, Radheshyam Pokhrel will be out front. At 2 pm, Vishnu Das will come on, and Gadagraja will continue from 6 pm until the last pujaris leave for the night.


We want to have more devotees trained to monitor activities at the temple so that we can feel secure and follow "the new normal" as it develops. If you are interested in doing security guard service especially on weekends, please contact Mukhya D.D. or Tamohara D. via the contact information a the bottom of this newsletter.

Mukhya Devi Dasi

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 even when they cannot come here in person.


PS: Calling all community announcements! If anyone has any milestones to share please let our community know, so we can honor you and your loved ones. Send announcements along with a photo, if possible, to our contact email below.




Sunday Darshan Protocol


You are invited to come for Deity Darshan on Sundays between 4:15 PM and 6:30 PM. Here are the details you need to know, along with a short video demonstrating the procedure:


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 so they can get tested.)

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) Social 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 in line until the next space becomes available. Please follow this strictly.

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


5) There is a yellow tape mark in front of each altar marking the spot where we request you to offer standing obeisances. We have now added additional yellow tape X markers spaced 6′ apart on the temple room floor for more visitors to stand 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.





  • Wear a mask whenever you go out and 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.




Black Lives Matter – Feeling the Pain

by Madan-gopal dasa, ISKCON Towaco, North American Communications Ministry Co-Director


Someone posted the following question on Facebook:


"Why should we, as devotees, get into this whole debate to begin with? Isn’t it just another promotion and aggravation of the illusory bodily consciousness? Isn’t it veering away from our basic philosophy where the very first lesson is ‘You’re not this body’?"


Here’s what I wrote in reply:


Our existence in this world is compared numerous times in the Bhagavatam to a dream. Now within the nightmare, knowing fully well that it is nothing but phantasmagoria, I feel that we should learn to feel the pain of the suffering person, to feel the full effect of the particular nightmare that they are going through.

This is a very specific flavor of compassion known in Sanskrit as anukampa. You know, from the famous verse tat te anukampamKampa means tremble, and anu means following. This is a form of compassion wherein we align our feelings so closely to the person we are trying to be compassionate to, that we too tremble along with them – a form of resonance that happens when two strings are tuned to the same frequency. From this platform, when we give solace, love and some knowledge through our tears, that compassion pierces the misgivings of the heart of the recipient. This is the key difference between sympathy and empathy. In sympathy we understand the other’s pain, in empathy we FEEL the other’s pain.

The more we advance in spiritual life we are expected to become para dukha dukhi… to FEEL the distress of others, not merely UNDERSTAND their pain. So at least let us make an attempt to first UNDERSTAND the pain of others (illusory though it may be). The nightmare is very real, albeit just a nightmare. Let us learn to resonate. Let us make some attempt to understand each others’ nightmares. Let us at least get on the same page on the level of the heart.


An official statement by ISKCON on Black Lives Matter.

And here’s a very moving, informative discussion on this topic on The Late Morning Program with Namarasa, featuring guests Vraja-lila Devi Dasi, Ekavira Das, Jaya Jagannatha Das, and our very own Alachua youth, Kishor Gopal Das, who pours his heart out in this episode. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRlnKQsUHiw




Online Youth Retreat: Seeking Eternal Shelter


The Sanga Initiative (TSI) will be offering a 3-day online retreat for youth and young adults themed Seeking Eternal Shelter, July 17-19, 2020, including seminars, sangas, and enlightening discussions with various guest speakers.

Here’s the description from their website: "In the midst of all the personal and collective suffering being experienced throughout the world right now, there is only one permanent source of refuge: Krishna. His unlimited mercy is something that is always available to us if we have put on the correct lens to see it. As we aspire to become better devotees through experience, we must follow the examples of those that have experienced the most unbreakable shelter in the most trying of circumstances. How can we understand their moods of service? How do we remain unhindered while the reality of suffering surrounds us at every moment? How do we seek shelter and gain strength from the greatest of devotees? Join us for our 3-day online retreat where we will have seminars, sangas, and enlightening discussions with our amazing guest speakers! Explore how to seek the eternal shelter (at home, of course) of our acharyas and their teachings!"

For more information and to register, click here… 




Because of social distancing requirements, there’s a chance that some of the voting in Florida’s August primary, and the November general elections may be done by mail. (Some, especially the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, may prefer to vote from the safety of their homes.) Click on the infographic below to go to the website where you can sign up to vote by mail.




Things to do…


We’ve moved our expanding list of ideas for activities to do while social distancing to the temple website. New additions this week, the TSI youth retreat, and information on a series of study guides with curriculum for parents to teach the Bhagavatam to their children, developed by Aruddha Devi Dasi. Click here…




Class Schedule & Vaishnava Calendar


Week of June 9, 2020


TUE 9 – Chaturatma Das – SB 1.7.5

WED 10 – Phani Bhushan Das – SB 1.7.6

App. Vakreshvar Pandit

THU 11 – Pushkar Das – SB 1.7.7

FRI 12 – Ekadasi Vrata Devi Dasi – SB 1.7.8

SAT 13 – Pran Govinda Das – CC Mad. 17.150-156

SUN 14 – Karnapur Das morning class | Tamohar Das SF lecture

MON 15 – Narayani Devi Dasi – SB 1.7.9

TUE 16 – Nagaraj Das – SB 1.7.10



Morning class times are 8:00 a.m. EST unless otherwise noted. The Sunday afternoon lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. Tune in live to our ISKCON Alachua Temple YouTube channel, or watch recordings of previous classes. You’ll also find past Alachua temple classes in our lecture archive.




Departments and Features

Govinda’s Gifts (closed during pandemic)

Guest Facilities at Temple (closed during pandemic)

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: Mantrini Devi Dasi, Manoram Das

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!





ISKCON Alachua Temple FacebookISKCON Alachua Temple InstagramISKCON Alachua Temple YouTube


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

Email: contact@alachuatemple.com

Website: www.alachuatemple.com

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