The battlefield setting of the Gita often prompts people to ask the question: “How can God instruct a peace-seeking person to fight a deadly war that caused so much suffering?”
Over the past weeks, the international media has been reporting about an escalating political situation in Ukraine, which is now close to a civil war. The government has launched a massive military offensive on the insurgent-controlled parts of Eastern Ukraine, using heavy weaponry, aviation, and troops to subdue their resistance. Many ISKCON centers and hundreds of devotees are also seriously affected by the conflict.
“When the military operations intensified our home turned out to be on the front line. Until the last moment, I had hoped that the war would be over soon.” They were not so lucky. When Lugansk got attacked by mortars and the neighboring street became a battlefield, it was time for Nilacala Dasi, her husband Vrajamani Das and daughter Vrinda Gopi to leave.
Over the past few weeks the Ukrainian refugee crisis has intensified. Risking their lives, many more ISKCON devotees are trying to flee from the troubled region. One of ISKCON's refugee coordinators in the Donetsk region has been arrested by separatists.
Refugees who fled the turmoil in Eastern Ukraine made a video plea, where they hold a poster with the hashtag #DontKillUs.
Some veterans are discovering that kirtan—a form of chanting from India—is helping them cope with conditions such as PTSD, as well as life back home.
Hundreds of ISKCON devotees, including families with small children, had been displaced and rendered homeless due to the military conflicts in Eastern Ukraine. Please help volunteers to provide them shelter.
"We have good news and bad news from Ukraine.The good news is that practically all devotees from the Lugansk region have been safely accommodated elsewhere. Devotees are still fleeing the Donetsk region. On August 28th, eight more devotees from Donetsk, including three children, were assisted into safer accommodations."
The shelter project for the devotees displaced in Ukraine has been going on smoothly over the past weeks. At this point, with the generous donations offered internationally, ISKCON Ukraine has raised enough to provide basic care and support for the devotees in need. Their focus right now is the development of buildings that will shelter devotees as the cold winter months quickly approach.
In a country torn apart by war and suffering a plunging economy, Ukranian devotees are braving sub zero winter temperatures to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books this December. And they’re being rewarded by a receptive public. “People are very grateful,” says ISKCON Ukraine Regional Secretary Acyuta Priya Das.
Mukunda Goswami’s new book Spirit Matters has been released by Torchlight Publishing is now available as e-book for free download for 3 days only on dates May 11-13. The book is a compilation of Mukunda Goswami’s articles published in the Hindustan Times discussing topics related to war, peace and love.
All of us are like Arjuna in so many ways. We stand on the battlefield of life faced with all kinds of challenges which often seem overwhelming. Sometimes we too don’t know which way to turn but the message of the Gita is also there for us.
Syria's civil war is the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Half the country's pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been killed or forced to flee their homes. Families are struggling to survive inside Syria, or make a new home in neighboring countries. We need more of music and prayers and less of war and violence. Dr. Sahadeva dasa is singing and playing a concert Ukulele and Govinda is on the flute.
Our "Paramahamster" comic strip follows an enthusiastic devotee as he navigates a 9 - 5 work day in the corporate world. Please check back weekly for new episodes!
November 11th 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the 1918 armistice of World War I. On this occasion, France was very busy receiving 72 heads of state and hundreds of diplomatic missions who had come for a collective rememberance of the terrible war during a grand celebration inmemory of the millions of soldiers who gave their life.