ISKCON North America Health Policy

Dear Temple Presidents and other NA Leaders, 

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

The COVID crisis is far from over. The number of deaths and new cases remain alarmingly high, hospitals in some areas are at full capacity, and the roll out of the vaccine will take several more months in the United States [and Canada]. 

Just this week in the US, the President has mandated additional preventive measures, including that masks be worn in all federal buildings. 

All ISKCON temples have had mandates to social distance and wear masks in our temples for months. Please be vigilant to uphold those requirements. Any temples that have become lax should reestablish these mandates immediately. 

In addition, some ISKCON communities are now sending Harinama parties into the streets to share the purifying effect of the Lord’s Holy Name. We appreciate and commend these efforts. 

At the same time, out of concern for our devotee’s and the public’s health, we are directing all Temple Presidents to assure that any and all devotees interacting with the public, whether on Harinama sankirtana, delivering public talks, or any other public devotional service such as prasad or book distribution, must wear masks at all times. In addition, they should maintain 6 ft social distancing from other devotees and the public, as much as possible, at all times. 

Certainly these guidelines apply to practices within our temples and projects as well as public activities. In addition, please follow any local public health guidelines and restrictions.

These simple procedures will not diminish our ability to chant, or speak about the philosophy, or spread Krishna consciousness. While wearing masks and social distancing may be a little awkward or uncomfortable, it is required for ISKCON devotees over the next several months in the United States [and Canada].

Following these mandates is a small price to pay to protect our health and that of the public, and to demonstrate that we are reasonable people willing to take reasonable steps to respect and protect ourselves and others. 

Your servants, 

North American Leadership Council 

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