By Madhava Smullen

With most ISKCON temples around the world now closed except to residents due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and most devotees staying at home under “shelter-in-place” orders, day-to-day life can be a challenge. 

In these times, it can be good to hear from a well-wisher who is grounded in both real-world smarts and spiritual understanding. We spoke to Vaisesika Das, Prabhupada disciple, temple president at ISKCON Silicon Valley in California and longtime inspirational leader, and asked him to provide some practical advice and uplifting words on how to stay safe and sane during a pandemic.

Take COVID-19 Seriously and Follow Precautions

“I don’t think that as a whole, from what I’ve heard, we ISKCON leaders are taking this seriously enough,” Vaisesika says. “I think we should set a good example by simply following what the scientists are telling us about the Coronavirus, and what we should do about it. We shouldn’t speculate, put forward conspiracy theories, do things halfway or say it’s not a big deal.”

“I think that’s dangerous not only because it could help to spread the virus in our communities and all over the world,” he adds. “But also because it’s a bad image for us, showing that we didn’t really care, or that we didn’t put the most into it that we could have.”

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