By Madhava Smullen
Although 2020 has been a tough year for us all, some have discovered silver linings amidst the challenges. When ISKCON New Vrindaban, West Virginia went into a two-week lockdown on Thanksgiving Day to keep the community safe, two women from opposite sides of the world found themselves in an unexpected quarantine. However the experience turned out to be a blissful one, as they learned new skills, nourished their spiritual lives, and forged a strong friendship.
Sharaniya Nathan, originally from the UK, had been living and working as a dentist in Sydney, Australia, and had received an exemption to COVID-19 travel restrictions so that she could attend a work conference in the U.S.
Meanwhile Sarah Ferrer from Florida had previously worked in substance abuse prevention, and was in a transitional phase in her life, pursuing a “grand adventure in Bhakti.”
The two had been visiting New Vrindaban when a member of the greater New Vrindaban community (not a temple resident) tested positive for COVID-19. As the community member isolated with their family, ISKCON New Vrindaban closed the temple property and buildings to the public and the rest of the community until further notice. All resident devotees tested for COVID-19 and remained in quarantine inside the temple. Continuing to wear masks and social distance, the greatly reduced personnel took on all the services required to take care of the deities and maintain the temple throughout the lockdown.
Sarah, who had never lived in a temple before, says, “Because it was such a small group of people, I was engaged in services that I probably would have never been engaged in otherwise. I feel like it was a personal gift from Krishna to show me what life so connected to a temple can be like, and all of the different ways one can serve Krishna.”
Read more: https://iskconnews.org/two-devotees-share-their-surprisingly-blissful-lockdown-experience,7644/