In light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, and the many questions that people have been asking us as a result, we have decided to write a quick update to let everyone know what’s happening with our various programs in and around Canterbury.
On Wednesday we sent out an email inviting everyone to this week’s Saturday Soul Feast. But as we all know, things are changing very quickly at the moment - not just daily, but often hourly. As a result, we’ve been speaking to various devotees, healthcare professionals, and people who run and attend groups like our one here in Canterbury, and for various reasons we have decided not to cancel today’s program, but to do it differently.
Attendances at similar programs across England have seen a sharp decrease, as people inevitably (and understandably) exercise caution about their actions during this time. Add to this the fact that we want to be conscientious in safeguarding the people who come to our programs, and it starts to make sense not to meet at the Umbrella Centre for the foreseeable future, as the risk far outweighs the possible benefit of continuing to run the programs. It’s something which we thought impossible a week ago, but which somehow seems sensible today.
We are also conscious of the amount of effort it takes to run such a program, and how wise it is to continue doing so if people are unlikely to come; consequently, we have been fervently discussing different ways of utilising that effort in order for us to be more productive in terms of helping people in their spiritual lives.
Of course, the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra must - and will - continue! There are no material considerations which can check the tidal wave of pure love of Krishna which is also spreading across the world as we speak, but which is sadly much less reported in the press.
The Vedic scriptures, which exist eternally for the ultimate benefit of all living beings, make it very clear that such crises as the one which the world currently finds itself in are the direct result of us collectively living lives which are out of tune with the cosmic laws which govern creation.
The indomitable Bhagavad Gita proclaims loudly - and with unrivalled philosophical rigour - that in order to bring ourselves back in tune with the purpose of creation, and to therefore live in a world of peace, prosperity and collective enlightenment, the practise of Bhakti Yoga (of which chanting Hare Krishna is a key practice) is second to none in its efficacy.
History is filled with examples of determined and dedicated personalities who have had to adapt and adjust in order to preserve, practise and propagate these teachings in order to benefit humanity at large. In our own small and perhaps insignificant way, we will be trying to follow in their footsteps over the coming weeks.
So, for today’s Saturday Soul Feast we will be coming together via Skype! Starting at 6.30pm we will chant Hare Krishna, followed by a discussion of the inspiring pastimes of Dhruva Maharaja (as advertised earlier in the week). Depending on the numbers of people who join and other practicalities, we may end up doing future programs as a Facebook live broadcast, with questions and discussion taking place in the comments.
In the meantime, please click this link if you’d like to join in our digital sanghas via Skype!
Of course, we all need to keep abreast of the developments that take place over the coming days and, possibly weeks. But please don’t let that be the only thing you read, see, or listen to.
Pick up a copy of Bhagavad Gita, or read it online here: https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/
Listen to our playlists of beautiful kirtan and inspiring lectures here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi_nmmYb_eLTYnWsKirdcuQ/playlists
Or, pick up your japa beads and gain peace, clarity, satisfaction and inspiration by absorbing yourself in the incomparable sound of Krishna’s holy names by chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare”.
You won’t regret it.
Naturally, this whole scenario seems as crazy to us as it probably does to you. We feel like we’re living in some weird sci-fi movie, or an unsettling dream. Perhaps we’re the victims of a bizarre practical joke. Who knows? But as they say, prevention is better than a cure; we might look back on this as an overreaction to a weird cosmic blip, but we won’t mind, because our program of chanting, dancing and discussing the divine activities of Krishna will continue no matter what. We’ll make it work, and we’ll have a jolly good time while we do it. Hopefully we’ll see you at 6.30 tonight. In the meantime, feel free to contact us via the usual channels if you'd like ask any questions; for anyone wanting a little more philosophical depth regarding our thoughts on the matter, you can find out more by reading this recent facebook post.