Madana Gopal das (left) and Krishna Tattva das, who both perished when the Food for Life kitchen building collapsed, were close friends
On July 22nd, a Memorial Service for Krishna Tattva das and Madana Gopal das took place. The devotees died as a result of a missile attack in Alchevsk, Donbass region. According to a Reuters news report of July 17th, the missiles originated from Ukraine’s armed forces.
The survivor of the attack, Arjuna das, is recovering in the hospital. He spoke on social networks about what had happened. According to Arjuna das, on the evening of July 16th, they had just returned from Severodonetsk. There were three of them in the car. As soon as they entered the territory of the Food For Life kitchen, the shelling began, and everyone scattered. Arjuna hid under a wall to hide from the shards. He fell to the ground, and bricks rained down on him. He understood that the building was hit. There was no way to breathe or move, there was no light, no air. He could not even push the rocks from over him. After about five minutes he blacked out and woke up only when they were pulling him out from under the rubble. He was put in an ambulance and brought to the hospital.
All three devotees who suffered in the attack were residents of Alchevsk, Donbass region.
Krishna Tattva das was born in 1982. Having joined ISKCON in 1998, he received his first initiation in 1999 from Srila Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja. The second initiation was more than 10 years ago from Bhakti Vijnana Goswami Maharaja. He was one of the active leaders of the Alchevsk yatra, always doing a lot of service for the devotees. According to the instructions of his spiritual teacher, he began to engage in the service of Food of Life in 2000, making it his life’s mission.
In 2014, he moved his family to Russia, collected donations, and returned to Donbass to continue his service. He organized “FFL Donbass” in Alchevsk, formed a group of dedicated leaders who cooked in several cities of the Lugansk region with volunteers of up to one hundred people who were feeding about 3,000 people in the region, mostly elderly people in need.
Madana Gopal das was born in 1982. He was a wonderful Vaishnava, a member of the Yatra Council (leadership council), a disciple of Bhakti Vijnana Goswami Maharaj, a good kirtaniya, and a very sincere devotee with deep spiritual realizations. He had been practicing Krishna Consciousness since 2004.
On the day of the bombing, Krishna Tattva das invited Madana Gopal to participate in the distribution of food in the city of Severodonetsk, Donbass region. The two devotees were good friends and often served together.
According to the devotees of Alchevsk in Donbass region, the FFL kitchen has been located there for many years. Right before the strike Krishna Tattva das received a call from another devotee. “Hare Krishna”, said the devotee. “Hare Krishna,” answered Krishna Tattva. That is when the explosion took place.
Since 2014, devotees have served hundreds of thousands of portions from the FFL kitchen in Alchevsk in Donbass.
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