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In the News:
Pandharpur Flood: Biggest In History

by Prabhupada.org

Posted August 16, 2006


www.Pandharpur.org/

Srila Prabhupada began his journey from India across the Atlantic ocean on this historic day 41 years ago. We are reminded of that Atlantic Ocean by the now oceanic Candrabhaga River as she floods her banks. We remember Srila Prabhupada's sacrifice and struggle. We pray for the inner strength and courage to follow in his footsteps.

As we gaze out the window this morning we see another ocean outside of ISKCON Pandharpur. Our land has become an ocean - a wet, wild, swirling, breezy, windy ocean.


The current estimated damages to ISKCON Pandharpur are Rs. 10 lahk (USD $20,000).

Newspapers report, "Swirling floodwaters inundated several towns and cities in western and southern India on Tuesday as the military deployed helicopters and boats to help hundreds of thousands of marooned people"

Just outside our ashram, a small transistor radio has a group of devotees gathered around it. They strain to listen through the interference as the announcer jabbers excitedly in Marathi.


The translation - "In Maharashtra, 650,000 people are now homeless due to the flood. More than 100 are dead as a result of the rushing waters."

Bala Krishna Das dons his gumcha (swimming gear) as the sun rises. Climbing down the metal stairs to the water below, he sets out across the fields. Lofting his camera high above his head, he avoids submersion.

The photos attached to this text are the result of Bala Krishna's adventurous morning walk/swim approximatly 12 hours ago, this morning. I am also attaching one photo he took yesterday afternoon with some of our devotees in front of the temple. Please visit www.Pandharpur.org for more photos and information.

Yesterday, there were some smiles. Today, devotees are sober and serious.

The temple now lies almost completely underneath the water. It is submerged at least three feet deeper than during last year's historical flood. We are afraid that the ceramic tiles on the roof of the temple may drift away with the strong current. And the flood continues to rush in and rise.

A friend with connections in a Maharashtra Government office calls urgently, "They are releasing more water", he says intensely. "Be prepared for the water to rise another three feet!"

A new thought arrives on my mental horizon,

"Wow! That current, right outside my window, sure is fast. I hope the foundation of this building holds."

Mental images of the building collapsing into the water wash across my screen.

The wind is whipping our ashram, making cooking a challenging task and shaking our sheet metal roof causing dust and tiny pieces of plaster to fall.

dattva cakram ca raksartham na niscinto janardanah svayam tan nikatam yati tam drastum raksanaya

"Lord Janardana is not content even after engaging Sudarsana to protect His devotees, so He personally goes to see and protect them."
[Narada Pancaratra 1.2.34 ]

As I take my noon bath in the rapidly flowing Candrabhaga River helicopters are flying overhead. The military seems to be checking on us. They fly across the Candrabhaga to rescue those stranded by the flood.

In the evening, Solapur devotees send prasadam by boat. Bala Krishna returns to Solapur with them to upload images to our website.

www.Pandharpur.org

Please pray for us to your local Deities, Lord Janardana, and Lord Nrsimhadeva for the protection of Sri Sri Radha Pandharinath and Their devotees.

I would like to thank all the devotees who have voiced their support, and who have written encourage us.

I would especially like to thank our first donors:

  • From USA: Karen Lowens (My mother): USD $200
  • From Belgium: H.G. Raktambhara Das: EU 50 EUR.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity. May Sri Sri Radha Pandharinath bestow Their most merciful blessings upon you.

As the flood waters increase to historical proportions, the damages are also rising correspondingly. The current estimated damages are Rs. 10 lahk (USD $20,000). I would humbly like to beg the devotees of our ISKCON worldwide community to please give generously to help us through this hour of dire need. Please send your much-needed donations today.

Kind donors, please send us your complete postal address so that we can send you a receipt for your tax purposes as well as a special gift from Sri Pandharpur Dhama.

If anyone is inspired to help us distribute ISKCON Food-For-Life, to feed the victims of the flood with Sri Krishna Prasadam, we would like to spend Rs. 35,000 /- (Approx USD $760) for one week or Rs. 5,000 /- or (Approx USD $108) per day to bring Prasadam and Harinama to the poor residents of Pandharpur who are now homeless - having had their homes on the bank of the Candrabhaga, now washed away by the flood.

Here's the information on how to send your donation for ISKCON Pandharpur Flood Relief:

Send your donation through Paypal to Balarama Prabhu in the USA at:

BPW@Brianpwalter.com

To send your check in the USA, please use the following address:

Karen Lowens
36 Hopke Avenue Hastings-On-Hudson NY 10706

Address the check to: Karen Lowens

Please write "Pandharpur Flood" in the subject line.

www.prabhupada.org/rama/?p=2860