Fire Strikes ISKCON Again

First we lost Aindra Prabhu to fire, then a fiery explosion took out our Leicester Temple in the UK. Now, a massive wild fire has engulfed Pandavas Paradise, our 1000 acre Hare Krishna retreat center in the grassy plateaus of central Brazil (Chapada dos Veadeiros).

Though a common occurence at this time of the year, this wild fire was allied with a powerful wind. We are coming to the end of the dry season here, it is very dry and we haven’t had a drop of rain for about 120 days now.

Despite the best efforts of the team of 13 volunteers fighting the fire, we lost our best guesthouse, recently renovated and redecorated, with three comfortable guest rooms and a storage area.

Here’s a picture of the guesthouse and one of its rooms before:

And here’s what’s left:

The landscape now appears bleak but by Krishna’s mercy our other buildings were saved, despite the land around them being badly burnt. A spark of fire, carried by the wind, landed on the grass roof of our temple and the roof caught but one of our volunteers bravely climbed up and managed to put out the fire. Fortunately nobody was hurt and the deities are safe.

The fire has left us with a loss of tens of thousands of dollars, but we have wasted no time in lamentation, knowing well that everything Krishna does is for our benefit. We have started a campaign to raise funds for reconstruction and have already received dozens and dozens of emails, and donations are beginning to come in.

If you can help too, please let us know.

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