Looking Back on an Eventful Year 2021

9964681679?profile=RESIZE_584xFrom New Raman Reti’s Temple President, HG Mukhya Devi Dasi (Alachua)

No one could have imagined the many changes to our lives that the COVID virus pandemic brought in 2020. But there was always the feeling that 2021 would have us back to ‘normal’, the way it always had been.
Instead, we are seeing a new normal, new ways of coming together, more online seminars, classes and kirtans. Online reading groups and study groups, getting to know devotees around the world through their talks, reflections, inspirations, their deity photos. Though we travel less we learn more about the holy dhamas, about the sadhus and saints and teachers who inspire our own Krishna consciousness.
This house “where the whole world can live” is getting bigger, even when a worldwide pandemic seems to keep us within borders and confines.
So it was surprising to me, when I looked back on this year, to see that so much has happened at New Raman Reti in 2021.
Although masked and socially distanced, all of our annual festivals went on in their full glory, and whether you came in person who participated through live streaming, you felt uplifted.
Our Eco Farm Retreat project was approved by Alachua County, and we were able to hire a contractor to build the first three of the 12 guest cottages we are permitted to have there, along with a thousand square foot ‘craft house’ to teach yoga, kirtan, shastra, and yes, crafts.
Thanks to a generous donation as well as the encouragement from our Gainesville Krishna House we contracted to build an ashram where BTG & Krishna.com used to be, that will house new devotees who will stay with us to learn about temple life and how to incorporate Srila Prabhupada’s teachings into their lives.
The Festival of the Holy Name was live again this year, and although the COVID protocols were strict, over 1,000 devotees attended, without any virus spreading, and everyone left feeling refreshed and enlivened.
We lost our beloved Shanka Dasa this year after a long bout with cancer. Although we feel his absence with sadness, just seeing how beautifully he was cared for by this community, and the auspicious way he passed from his body, increased our faith in this process more and more.
The End of Life Care Team was formed ( https://www.facebook.com/AlachuaEOLteam ) so that we can improve and expand the way we care for devotees as they reach the end of their lives. This project brought us many interesting important seminars this year, stay tuned for many more to come.
Nectar Talks continued all year, introducing us to devotees in our extended community, everyone with an inspiring and interesting story to tell.
Sridevi dasi finished up her years long work telling the stories of the Srila Prabhupada disciples who call New Raman Reti home. We hope this will be Volume I, with another to come as there are still more devotees here with stories to tell. https://www.alachuatemple.com/the-spiritual-journeys-of…/
While we still can’t sit together to take prasad, there was no break in serving it out to you. Without missing a beat Hanan and his crew have packed up 650 boxes of feast prasad every Sunday, and lunch prasad goes on as always back on the veranda again.
Krishna Radio podcast ( https://www.alachuatemple.com/radio/ ) continues, improves and expands with more exciting and interesting programs to help you keep your mind on Krishna 24/7.
As Srila Prabhupada said in 1966, December 31, at the Matchless Gifts temple “for us, every day is New Year’s. Krishna is always new, always fresh, and we are always celebrating Him”. May we all find new and fresh ways to serve at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna in this new year.

Source: https://dandavats.tumblr.com/post/671903766463823872/looking-back-on-an-eventful-year-2021-from

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