Tuesday, June 2, 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. Today is Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi, a fast day for many of us. See this week's new radio program including seven hours of inspiring bhajans, talk shows, interviews and kirtan recordings by devotee artists. The Hare Krishna documentary film continues to stream for free on YouTube – share it with friends and coworkers. Congrats to our Bhaktivedanta Academy Class of 2020 who graduate this week (see names and group photo below). Everyone's invited to come for Sunday Darshan again between 4:15 pm and 6:00 pm. HG Narayani Devi Dasi will be giving the Sunday lecture (listen online). Govinda's Gift Shop now has reusable and single-use face masks for sale, and the rules for wearing them while walking around outside the temple have changed. Here are the details...

ISKCON Alachua temple building, view of front entrance

From the Temple President

We have slowly begun steps to reopen our temple. Community members can sign up to lead a kirtan during arati, and we invite all of you to come on Sundays between 4:15 pm and 6:30 pm for darshan, and to pick up a prasad to-go plate, following the below protocols.

Leading Kirtan during Arati

Sign up to lead a kirtan during one of our daily aratis via the button link below. You may come alone or with family members you have been sheltering with at home. Come over wearing your mask. Before entering the temple room, use hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water at the outdoor dish-washing sinks. Enter through the men's side door. Offer your obeisances standing up (we are not getting down on the floor for now). In the temple room, the kirtan leader can remove his / her mask while leading, but accompanying family members will need to keep their masks on. Everyone needs to observe social distancing, staying 6 feet apart.

One new addition to this is, that if you have signed up to lead mangal arati, alone or with your family members, you may stay and chant japa in the temple room if you like. You would leave at 7 am, so the next individual or family leading kirtan can come in.

If you have signed up to lead guru puja and greeting the Deities kirtan, you can stay for class if you like. As long as you are 6-feet distanced from others you do not have to keep your mask on during class. 

Sunday Darshan

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 pay 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. After a few minutes, the attendant at the exit door will ask you to leave so the next group can come in. 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, comfortable, reusable and washable $3; the disposable, single-use masks are $1. EKADASI HING in stock.

We are looking at a continued phasing of small ways we can manage the amount of devotees coming over and allow more access to the temple as we head into the summer months. Please continue to be patient and work with us on this.

Temple Lunch

If you would like to get temple lunch prasad, come to the front entrance at 12:30 pm; our guard will place the prasad to-go meal box into your car. Donations accepted.

Class Givers

Class givers can continue to come over as you have been. You can now be accompanied by your mask-wearing family members.

The following basic rules remain in place. Please maintain:

HAND WASHING: Before coming to the temple, wash your hands with soap and water. 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 wear a face mask; not covering your chin, not hanging off of one ear, but covering your nose and mouth. We realize this takes a bit of practice to become a habit, but still, we don’t have the energy to remind you more than once; after that you may be asked to leave. If you are walking on the property, working in the garden, doing service outside of the temple room 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.

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).

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

These phases will be a trial run. If we find that we cannot make it manageable, or if virus cases surge in our area, we will again cut back on visits.

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. 

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.

Alachua County is a mandatory mask-wearing county. If you do not have a face mask and need one, we can try to help you. Cotton masks from India 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). You can contact Radha Dasi at Hare Krishna Social Services for resources for you. Children over 2 years old should also wear a mask. This is not optional.

When coming to the temple, stop at the front gate to let our guards know why you are entering. 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 in these difficult times when access is limited.

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 at the bottom of this newsletter.


Sunday Darshan Protocol

You are invited to come for Sunday Deity Darshan 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, 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 other devotees who attended that day's functions so they can get tested.)

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

3) Social distancing needs to be maintained. We have put yellow tape markers on the floor for visitors to stand on, where we request you to wait 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. Please limit the time you stand in front of each altar for the benefit of other visitors. If there is no crowd you may have darshan for a little extra time.



  • 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.

Hare Krishna Community Radio

by Sudharma Devi Dasi

The New Raman Reti community now has our own radio station: Hare Krishna Community Radio, where you can listen to hand-picked selections of Krishna conscious podcasts, talk shows, bhajans and kirtans from around the devotee world. Listen at alachuatemple.com/radio.

Our show this week includes a great line up: Jahnavi singing live, "Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya," "Namo Namah," "Give Me Love," and "Shri Krishna Sharanam." An interview with Jahnavi on Mindrolling Urban Bhajan Mix. The Mayapuris sing "Nityananda" and "Shyam's Party" from their Nine Islands album, as well as "Hari Haraya" with Sri Kala. Also, Chatamayee family and friends sing a tribute to Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda. 

In the Awakening of the Soul segment, there is "Jiv Jago" by Nilambary, "Chanting the Names of the Lord" by George Harrison, "Surrender" by Gauravani, and "Gurudev," "Oh My Love," and "My Sweet Lord" by Dhanya. Plus a bhajan by Amrita, to Bada Hari's tune Anandambudhi Vardhanam.

In Talk Shows, Chaturatma is interviewed on The Late Morning Program with Namarasa, and Vishvambhara Sheth on Wisdom of the Sages with Raghunath and Kaustubha.

Inspirational reflections include "Affection" by Rambhoru, "Gratitude" (Mangalacharanam) by Nilambari, "Freeing Oneself from Envy" by Radha Dasi...

That's seven hours of KC programming for your listening pleasure, a gift from the New Raman Reti temple.


Living Wills and Advanced Directives: What You Need to Know

Nataka Chandrika Devi Dasi reporting:

Haribol, perhaps you have already seen this recent video but I thought it was very well done. Kaunteya Prabhu interviews a devotee attorney who answers many questions about the importance of having a will, advanced directive, etc. If you know of any devotees "sitting on the fence" regarding the importance of having these documents, this would be the video to share with them. Especially important and pertinent during this pandemic.

Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKa_aTl3MA8


The Film HARE KRISHNA! on YouTube

by Yadubara Das

The HARE KRISHNA film continues to play for free on YouTube. Here is the link. 


There are 385,000 views after about 6 weeks with great comments, and 99% of viewers are giving it a thumbs up!

One of our viewers, Shreyash Parmar says: "Doesn't matter how many times I watch this movie, my heart is always hankering to watch it one more time. I experience that Srila Prabhupada is talking with me, His Divine Grace is giving me instruction, teaching me, lifting me up from this material world, motivating me, showering his love over me, blessing me in my spiritual advancement. My soul cries tears of joy, love & happiness, peace, harmony."

[Please share the above YouTube link with your friends, family and coworkers. This is a great film to explain to newcomers what the Hare Krishna movement is about.]


Congratulations Class of 2020!

Congratulations to Bhaktivedanta Academy’s graduating class of 2020: Krsnaya Burke, Champakalata Camacho, Shyamananda Esser, Vrindavani Fitch, Karuna Leslie, Radha Sharma, Shyam Simic and Chandramukhi Zaldivar.

In the face of a global crisis and a significant upheaval in their schooling, the Class of 2020 pulled through with great determination, focus and perseverance. What they have achieved is tremendous. All the teachers and staff at Bhaktivedanta Academy are so proud of them and we wish our graduates all the best for a bright future ahead!


Things to do...

To keep this email newsletter from getting too long, we've moved our ever expanding list of ideas for activities to do while social distancing to the temple website. Click here...


Class Schedule & Vaishnava Calendar

Week of June 2, 2020

TUE 2 - Nagaraj Das - SB 1.6.35

Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi

WED 3 - Akuti Devi Dasi - SB 1.6.36

THU 4 - Sukhada Devi Dasi - SB 1.6.37-38

FRI 5 - Tamohar Dasa - SB 1.7.1-2

Disap. Mukunda Datta and Sridhar Pandit

SAT 6 - Pundarik Vidyanidhi Das - CC Mad. 17.146-149

Disap. Shyamananda Prabhu

SUN 7 - Narayani Devi Dasi SF lecture

MON 8 - Pran Govinda Das - SB 1.7.3-4

TUE 9 - Chaturatma Das - SB 1.7.5

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 find past Alachua temple classes in our lecture archive.


Departments and Features

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

Guest Facilities at Temple (closed during pandemic)

Morning Sweets Sponsorship

Newsletter Online

Temple Volunteer Services

Website Links:

Child Protection Team Info

Vaishnava Calendar

Temple Prayer Circle

Temple Website

NRR Community Radio

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

Newsletter online