Devotee Caregiving


Mother Siki Mahiti receives a Lifeline button for emergencies.

By New Vrindaban Communications and Devotee Care Team

Caregiving is an integral part of family life and often has the spouse or parent putting his or her needs on the back burner. Many New Vrindaban devotees have played the role of caregivers and have never been recognized for all their efforts.

We would like to acknowledge these devotees, beginning with Mother Vidya, who was Madhava Gosh Prabhu’s caregiver for over ten years while he was in various stages of disease and deterioration. To care for someone over such a long period of time takes great patience and strength of character.

Mother Vidya has also quietly played a role of keeping in touch with devotees who have left New Vrindaban. This has all been done without compensation or acknowledgment. This shows a true caregivers heart of generosity.

Triyadisha devi also spent the last few years giving care to Vidura Prabhu, while his body slowly dwindled away. She was an ever-faithful companion who never crossed him, though it was sometimes challenging to watch him suffer in silence. At the very end, though not tech savvy, she managed to turn on Srila Prabhupada’s voice, and supported her husband to his very last breath being an example of true servitorship.

Another stalwart in caregiving, Manasa Ganga devi actually had a job caring for the disabled and handicapped over 15 years ago. Around the same time, she also cared for Mother Adhara devi, New Vrindaban’s head seamstress, who had a form of dementia – where she forgot everything except Krsna. To this day, Manasa Ganga is still actively and considerately supporting devotees, listening to their concerns and calming their anxieties.

Advaitacarya Prabhu and his wife Madri devi cared for Maha Yoga, who was institutionalized most of his life. Advaita and Madri took it upon themselves to visit Maha Yoga in Pittsburgh, provide special prasadam, and listen to him talk about Krsna until he recently left his body. They considered it their honor and privilege to have his association.

Lalita Gopi devi is a caregiver who goes above and beyond the call of duty. For over ten years she has assisted Pradyumna Prabhu and Rukmavati devi in caring for their children. She has also cooked for Jaya Murari Prabhu and Varsana Maharaja for years until her other duties consumed her time. Recently, as apartment manager, she put her heart and soul into cleaning up all around the apartments for the pleasure of the devotees. Her over-the-top determination shows a heart of compassion.

Other caregivers include, Lila Suka devi, who is always trying to help others. She has spent many hours assisting Lila, along with Jayasri devi and Gopa, by providing meals and transportation. Gopa has spent many hours sitting and listening to Lila. Behind the scenes these devotees offer their time and energy in caring for others.

Over the years, Patrick and Dharmakala devi have served Jaya Murari Prabhu by doing laundry, delivering meals, giving rides to town and calling or visiting him on a regular basis. These kinds of services give a shut-in devotee the sense that they are valuable gems.

Along with the disciples of Varsana Maharaj, Madri devi, Gaura Shakti’s wife, has continually been a support by organizing meals and cooking for Maharaja. Many other devotees have provided a large variety of services to assure proper health care and healing for Maharaj.

Although the majority of caregivers have been women, Gopisha Prabhu has offered heating pads and special oils to help the soar muscles, of many an ailing devotee. He was also a support for both Madhava Gosh and Vidya, especially in the last few years.

Jasoda Gokularani devi has come from Los Angeles offering caregiving to Sikhi Mahiti, Madhava Gosh and Triyadisha. Her experience in this field has proved very helpful in giving proper and respectful care to devotees.

More recently in late January of this year, Sacimata underwent a hip replacement surgery. While at home recuperating, she had a stark realization of what it feels like to be bedridden. In this mood, she researched various support systems in town and worked to connect devotees to the Senior Center as well as requesting Das and Vrsni from Pittsburgh to install a Lifeline for Mother Sikhi Mahiti. Her aim was to help alleviate the various concerns experienced by devotees living alone and needing extra care.

Sacimata thus was inspired to initiate a new Extended Devotee Care Program in order to facilitate the needs of devotees in New Vrindaban. She and her daughter, Nityananda dasi, will be available by telephone and can assist devotees in receiving their proper care. Sacimata hopes that other community members will also be inspired to care for one another. You can reach Sacimata or Nityananda dasi at their home number, 304-845-1199.

There are many other New Vrindaban devotees who have been involved in giving care. If we wrote the whole list, it would probably include almost every devotee. Most of these community members have helped out of the kindness of their hearts. We cannot thank them enough.

Japa Workshop

Japa session at Japa Workshop (April 8-10, 2016)

Over the last two years there has been a real shift in the community’s perspective on devotee care, both individually and collectively. The Prabhupada’s House, used as the New Vrindaban Wellness Center, has been refurbished and is now designed to provide proactive and preventative health care and educational programs. This past weekend world famous caregivers Ekavira prabhu and Vraja Lila devi initiated new beginnings by conducting a japa workshop at the Wellness Center for the spiritual well being of all attendees.

Devotee care is also one of the four main areas of focus for the newly formed Village Association. There is a lot of excitement and energy to bring forth new relationships and to create a truly loving, caring family community.

We are ever grateful to Srila Prabhupada who showed by his example the need to compassionately care for the devotees by being das das anudas.

Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.

Write a Comment

Take a moment to comment and tell us what you think. Some basic HTML is allowed for formatting.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Click here to login.

Reader Comments

Be the first to leave a comment!