Seeing Krishna’s Plan Amid Disaster
Sandamini Devi – Iskcon Tucson
On the evening of Tuesday, July 2nd, I was in our temple yoga class when the peacocks in our aviary started screaming. I heard popping sounds and thought early July Fourth revelers must be out. Then the sounds increased, loud shouts among them, and suddenly one of our main cooks, Manohar Prabhu, burst through the door yelling “FIRE!”
I ran out to see 25-foot flames engulfing one back side of the kitchen—-including our walk-in cooler, bulk-food shed, and deity-storage annex—-then leaping to the apartment atop the temple. Within minutes the windswept blaze (begun at the tire shop next door, we would learn) reduced those structures to ashes, too fast for the firemen and fire trucks who would soon arrive.
The morning after there we were, in the wicked desert summer heat with no gas, no electricity, no running water, and no way to continue Govinda’s Vegetarian Buffet, our community’s sole means of livelihood. For some long, hot months to come, I pondered, our oasis would be a desolate ashcan.
‘I thought Krsna protects His devotees,” my mind complained. Then in the next instant, I realized He had. No injuries or deaths, nothing lost that was irreplaceable. And soon, a tidal wave of love, support, and help I haven’t seen in the nearly 30 years Govinda’s has been open. Some of our loyal patrons even came that day to help with the cleanup. Congregational members brought lunch and dinner for us. Others started fund-raisers, and the global sanga of Krishna devotees has been offering sincere prayers to the Lord, to help get us back on our feet.
Faster than the fire spread, Krishna has been turning our disaster into a miraculous blessing. So many kind souls offering practical love and support. And the buildings that burned were old, even decrepit, and grandfathered-in to an electrical system that badly needs updating to current city and county codes.
Would we have done that on our own? Probably not, considering the time/money constraints we’ve been operating under for decades. But now Krishna has called a super dramatic TIME OUT! And is showing us a way to regroup and serve Him better moving forward.
Not that we won’t have to work very hard to get there. To rebuild Govinda’s, we’ll have to navigate insurance adjusters, attorneys, contractors, code inspectors, more challenging, in many ways, than the fire itself. But with Srila Prabhupada, Krsna, and His devotees’ ongoing support, we’re confident we’ll be able to serve the Tucson community again even better than before.
Here is a link you can use to make a donation. Any help graciously offered will be gratefully received.
Local NBC news station covering the fire
Local ABC station covering the fire