Chakra Announcements

Dying in Vrindavan -read this first

submitted by Dhananajaya das

Posted July 25, 2005


Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

It has come to our attention that some temples are sending devotees to Vrindavan with terminal diseases for the purpose of leaving their bodies in the Holy Dham, expecting support, facility and cooperation.

We are sorry to inform everyone that at this time ISKCON Vrindavan has NO Hospice facility or funds for this nor is there any medical personnel or support group to assist such terminally ill persons. We have encountered serious difficulties while attempting to accommodate dying devotees without the proper arrangements, and therefore we have decided not to accept any more terminally ill persons on our ISKCON properties until proper arrangements are secured.

If a person decides he/she wishes to come to Vrindavan to die they will have to take full responsibility themselves and do so on private property. For your information, please keep in mind the following:

  1. Any visitor to India who enters the country with a reportable contagious disease such as HIV, AIDS, TB or venereal diseases is liable to be deported by the Government of India. At our ISKCON Vrindavan properties we are legally obligated to report such persons to the local authorities, as are all public guest facilities in Vrindavan.
  2. Medical facilities and doctors in Vrindavan are not at all up to western standard and are often insufficient for handling the problems that terminally ill persons have. The nearest adequate hospitals are 3 hours away.
  3. Staying in Vrindavan during a terminal illness may not be as expensive as in the west, but everyone who has come here in the past with dying devotees have faced stress or difficulties meeting their expenses. Our temple cannot assist dying devotees financially. The care of the dying person, food/water and accommodations, maintainnance of support persons, doctor visits, transportation, communications, needed supplies and all the legalities and procedures must be paid for by those persons accompanying the dying person.
  4. There are multifarious legal complications that must be dealt with before and after the death. The individual or temple sponsoring the devotee must be prepared to pay for these and should bring a person whose sole job it will be to process these formalities. Our temple is not able to process the legalities nor provide persons to arrange for them or the posthumous formalities such as embassy and police notification, obtaining the death certificates, the do-it-yourself cremation, etc.
  5. Persons who arrive in Vrindavan without their legal documents, medical reports, Doctors prognosis/orders, living wills, property wills, power of attorney and who have not already notified the next of kin/closest relatives and have not filed with their Embassy will not receive permission for a cremation in Vrindavan and will encounter difficulties with the embassy and police.
  6. Dying persons who are not accompanied by a licensed caregiver or trained relative to administer the appropriate care are risking possible legal difficulties here and at home.
  7. Persons who decide to come to Vrindavan to die must fully understand that they are coming into a third-world situation where western facility is practically not available and ANYTHING could happen and that they may have to endure the very same sufferings as all the dying sadhus here.
  8. No terminally ill person should arrive here unprepared and expect help from ISKCON. This kind of irresponsibility in the past has made many difficulties for us with local and international officials and our public image.

Persons coming to Vrindavan to die should do so responsibly, not whimsically or illegally. Further information on requirements is available from: Iskcon Vrindavan Community Services email:

Your servant,
Dhanajaya das, MVT,
Ganapati das, KB Guesthouse,
Devamrita das, KBM TP