ISKCON devotee, Ganashyam Prabhu, has been caught in the epicenter of the pandemic – in the US, in New York, in New York Presbyterian Hospital, number 1 hospital in New York and one of the largest in the world where he works a chaplain, attending spiritual needs of patients dying from COVID-19. Usually palliative care patients come to the hospice when they are given six months to live but now people die within days or even hours, and so Ganashyam’s workload and pressure has increased tremendously. Some patients request visits by priests from their own churches but many have no one else to turn to, sometimes not even a family. With pandemic, Ganashyam is not allowed to enter the room so sometimes all he can do is to stand outside and chant Hare Krishna. Sometimes he has time to built rapport with dying patients and help them take stock of their lives and reflect on their deeper connection with God, sometimes he doesn’t. Hindu and Jain patients listen to his reading from Bhagavad Gita and he brings Ganga water and prasadam for them. One such patient took the news stoically and asked Ganashyam to reconnect him with Krishna. Ganashyam brought him picture of Sri Sri Radha Muralidhara deities from New York Bhakti Center. At first the picture was hanging on the wall but in his last moments he asked it to be placed in front of his eyes and when his eyes failed he placed it on his heart, and this is how he left his body. You can read the full story about Ganashyam here. In much more cheerful news here is a video of one devotee family in England participating in the Festival of the Holy Name that was picked up by a news channel in India and which has gathered more than 11 million views.
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