On this page you’ll find the darshan times, restrictions and protocols that apply at the ISKCON Alachua Temple during the COVID-19 pandemic, as of August 1, 2020.
4:30 – 5:15 am. Everyone attending should stand on a physically distanced marked yellow X. Wear your mask during kirtan. For the Nrisimha prayers, please sit on your designated spot or on the bench, 6 feet apart from others.
5:15 – 7:15 am. You can chant japa outside after Mangal Arati, not in the temple room.
Greeting of the Deities and Guru Puja
7:15 – 8:00 am. This is our busiest darshan time slot of the day. Please be aware that physically distanced spaces in the temple room are limited to 35 X marks on the floor. First come, first served. To avoid the crowd, come at another arati time during the day.
REMEMBER TO OFFER YOUR OBEISANCES / RESPECTS STANDING UP TO REDUCE THE RISK OF INFECTION.
8:00 – 8:45 am. You may sit on a designated yellow X spot, or on the benches 6 feet apart. After the communal call-and-response chanting of the verse, you may temporarily remove your mask during the lecture.
Visit During Arati Times Only
In addition to the above mentioned morning program, the temple will be open for deity darshan only during arati times as follows: 12:00-12:30 pm Raja Bhoga noon arati, 4:15-4:30 pm Dhupa Arati, 6:30-7:00 pm Sandhya evening arati. Do not come outside those times. The temple will close at 7:00 pm every evening, including on Sundays. You must wear a mask and maintain physical distancing of 6 feet, and may be asked to leave if you don’t. Please plan your visit accordingly.
Sign up to Lead a Kirtan
Click here to sign up to lead a kirtan during one of our daily aratis throughout the week, including on Sundays. The person leading the kirtan must also wear a face mask and maintain six feet distance from others.
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 here 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, 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.)
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 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 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.
- 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.
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. DO NOT COME OVER TO THE KITCHEN. There are devotees at work packing up the prasad, please do not disturb them. Donations accepted.
The following basic rules 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.
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.
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, Brazil, Russia, India, the UK, Europe, Asia, Atlanta, Miami, other 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.
THE 4 SAFETY PROTOCOLS:
- 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.