Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Krishna Disaster Relief

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Please note: The following article was posted today in The Sampradaya Sun. Today's issue has been mostly dedicated to the deteriorating state of our planet and how it is going to impact all of us. This is my response and I wanted my friends here, to read it also.


Krishna Disaster Relief





May 01, AUSTIN, TEXAS (SUN) — Founded in 1990, Krishna Disaster Relief (KDR) was truly an unexpected paradigm that resulted from an act of kindness toward the village of Limon, Colorado after it was hit by a tornado. This was KDRs first mission.



The most impressive memory from that fateful day was the intense degree of appreciation that the residents of that small community expressed to me. Compared to feeding the ill-mannered and habitually homeless milling around Denver’s infamous “Devil’s Triangle,” the temporarily homeless in Limon actually gave a heartfelt, “thank you.”



As the editors of the Sun have so correctly pointed out, a global doom does seem to looming. Even my latest issue of Wired Magazine has devoted a number of pages pointing out that our planet is running out of drinking water. An inedible fruit, Kali yuga is ripening.



Remember those Mighty Mouse cartoons? Hm…OK, Superman or Batman will work, too, but I’m partial to Might Mouse. Regardless of your favorite hero, some type of doom is hell-bent on inflicting as much suffering as possible, prompting Might Mouse to fly to the rescue. This is what stirs us: seeing our heroes come to the rescue.


When I was in the Air Force, our entire squadron was shown a film about the Air Force’s response to a massive earthquake that seriously jolted Alaska on March 27, 1964. Nobody knew in advance what the film was going to be about and after watching it I was stunned. Not at all the damage. Not at the speed in which the United States Air Force mobilized. Rather, what I’ll never forget was how all around me grown men, including my self, swelled with pride and eyes watered tears of appreciation. The dramatic feelings that this film brought out in me were profound and totally unexpected. It was just a normal day, after lunch and out of the blue these intense feelings suddenly surfaced without warning.



In the same way that my laptop has been programmed to pop-up a little box to alert me when my battery is low, mankind has been programmed by God to love a hero. On queue, grown men will swell with pride and become emotional when watching a film about the Air Force rushing to the rescue. We all love heroes. It's just the way we are wired. Part of the human-side of our dharma. Even dogs are awarded medals - such as the Carnegie Medal of Honor - for acts of lifesaving valor. Everyone loves a hero.



Have I fallen victim to sentimentality? So far what I've said sounds rather emotional. But I say, “exactly what the doctor ordered!” The most valuable kind of wisdom is knowledge that can be employed intimately in fulfilling the highest realm of devotional service. What am I talking about? What can be more intimate than helping Srila Prabhupada achieve his fondest dream? Listen to our beloved Gurudeva reveal what is on the altar of his heart.



"Let us try to make them Krishna conscious. That is our only interest. Because I love Krishna, I want to see all - everybody in the world to become Krishna conscious." (Because I love Krishna, I want to see all - everybody in the world love Krishna).



The love that Srila Prabhupada has for his Krishna is very much the “heartfelt kind” and there were many instances of Srila Prabhupada’s eyes filling with tears. Because Srila Prabhupada loved Krishna so much, he came to America to introduce us so that we, too, could fall in love with his Lord and Master. Srila Prabhupada says this himself. He wants the whole world to love Krishna. I would like to see Krishna Disaster Relief take a leading role in making this happen.



This is my first public article on KDR in nearly 20 years, still addressing what I have always seen as a tremendous opportunity to serve Srila Prabhupada. Although this is just a concept piece, still, if there is any profound wisdom here, then at least on paper let KDR transform the gloom and doom of today’s topic into the topmost service: fulfilling Prabhupada‘s hearts’ desire.



Doesn’t it strike you a bit odd that when you watch one disaster after another that you seldom, if ever, hear a word on the nightly news about Lord Krsna? Because I am interested in this, since 1990 I have watched countless newscasts covering everything from tsunamis to tornadoes, earthquakes to hurricanes, wars and famine. Not one single time did I hear the sound of Lord Krsna’s Holy Name come out of my television set. Hm, that doesn’t at all square with what we preach. Srila Prabhupada taught us that Lord Krsna is the greatest person. What this means is that Krsna is also the Greatest Hero! There is no greater hero than Krsna. Well, OK ...so where is He? This void, along with the unfulfilled dream of Srila Prabhupada can be traced directly to our failure to present to the world Lord Krsna, as He is. My proposal has always been that devotees, everywhere, turn their combined talents and resources into showing the world the Greatest Hero via Krishna Disaster Relief; right actions produce right results.



I am not saying to do away with Food for Life. It has a tremendous place. And I am not saying to do away with Bhaktivedanta Charities, etc. What I am saying is that Krishna Disaster Relief should be created and brought to the forefront. As Rush Limbaugh, the greatest talk-show personality in the history of radio has said countless times, “words mean things.” I seriously doubt that if a group of average citizens were asked, “What does Food For Life mean?” …that any of them would say Krishna's name. As far as Bhaktivedanta Charities, very few could even pronounce it, what to speak of knowing what it means. But Krishna Disaster Relief …either look at those three words or utter those 7 syllables and with a snap of the fingers, everyone understands that Krishna has come to the rescue.



Let me tell you a little known fact. In 1990, I received a phone call from the head of the American Red Cross in Denver, Colorado. She asked me to meet her in an underground bunker beneath the Denver Federal Center and speak with the acting president of NVOAD (National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters). He had heard of Krishna Disaster Relief. After going underground, past a military checkpoint and walking down a long tunnel, I met with this esteemed gentleman from Washington D.C. who told me an amazing thing. He said that NVOAD was being confronted with so many vegetarians during disasters that they had no way of providing them the necessary meals. He then asked if Krishna Disaster Relief would consider becoming a member of NVOAD. Now, I ask you, why is this so important?



Disasters are a unique occurrence in many ways. They certainly get enormous media attention with the “event” streamed into the living rooms of millions and millions of homes. CNN, Fox News, CBS; they all send their news teams right into ground zero. Although often affecting large areas, disasters are also well protected by police, national guard, and even dog catchers and game wardens. They are all utilized to stop the general public from entering these dangerous areas. Most want to just look while others want to loot. Similar to a stage at a rock concert, unless you have a stage pass, you cannot enter. You have to have the proper credentials, no matter who you are. Just like in the military, there is a disaster chain of command that has to be followed and obtaining a stage pass is crucial. It is hung around the neck. This is how to understand the anatomy of a disaster. These valuable federal credentials are what NVOAD was offering Krishna Disaster Relief. With them, KDR can get through the police lines and right up onto stage, right next to the CNN cameras and where all the media focuses their attention. As far as I know this invitation still stands.



Let me get back to transforming the gloom and doom of today’s topic into making Srila Prabhupada’s dream come true: (Because I love Krishna, I want to see all - everybody in the world love Krishna). Right now there is an existing Food for Life network. How difficult would it be for them to simply put on a different hat when called upon and perform disaster relief work under the banner of Krishna Disaster Relief?


This is my vision of Lord Krishna in the 21st Century. In the global marketplace of religious ideas, devotees of Lord Krishna are also advertising. "Please stop and examine what we have." The most important thing is to get the public to stop and take favorable notice. Why is this so important? In one word, appreciation; appreciation of Lord Krishna. And if you think about it, the word, "appreciation" has many meanings and they all apply: to prize, regard, cherish, relish, savor, acknowledge, thank, comprehend, realize, recognize and understand. Once appreciation has been kindled within the heart, a monumental event takes place. Srila Prabhupada explains:

  • August 19, 1972, Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.16 - “This is the beginning of spiritual life - people are praising our activities - this appreciation is a lift for such persons. If he doesn’t hear, doesn’t come, simply says, ‘it is very nice.’ Yes!”


The beginning of spiritual life ...this is the result when appreciation is awakened for Lord Krishna. Appreciation is where love for Krishna begins.


In a nutshell here is the formula that Krishna Disaster Relief represents: A tornado strikes downtown St. Louis. Monitored by KDR, the Food For Life teams in St. Louis, Dallas, and Chicago are activated. Mobile kitchens are dispatched, the St. Louis team deploying first. City officials already know about KDR from its participation in city and state disaster drills. As a member of NVOAD, Krishna Disaster Relief is allowed to enter the hardest-hit areas. Within 24 hrs. the Dallas and Chicago KDR teams arrive, one of them sporting KDR's newest, state-of-the-art mobile pizza kitchen. If you had omnipresent x-ray vision, you would see billions of televisions sets across America and the world tuned-in to find out what’s happening. In these countless homes people watch as Krishna comes to the rescue. On queue hearts swell and eyes water. Over the next 100 years, every time a disaster strikes, on all the news outlets, people everywhere see the Greatest Hero coming to the Rescue. Appreciation for Lord Krishna reaches monumental proportions. Public support for KDR surpasses the 10 billion dollar mark. Srila Prabhupada smiles. This is the formula.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


great stuff, let's see it happen. How can i help make it happen? Money, men and organizational intelligence required?:confused:



Personally, I would be hard pressed to think of a more interesting service than Krishna Disaster Relief. It has massive potential! It just needs to be properly organized. Perhaps you are the one to make it all happen. I hope so. I can say this as a matter of fact: In just over a year (before the Internet was around) ...using the Food For Life mailing list to send out my little newsletter, hundreds of devotees - everywhere - had signed up to join KDR. All I am saying is that I was astonished at the superfast and positive response I received using a KINKO copy machine and the U.S. mail. Right, as you have indicated, much is needed. Here is thought.... somebody needs to buy the domain name, www.KrishnaDisasterRelief.com. Then a dedicated website could be built. I would be willing to build the website, but seriously, a much better webmaster should get involved. At best I am simply a rinky-dink webmaster. And yes - organized. But again, that person can't be me because I have no brain. Seriously. I would make you laugh. Anyhow, this might be a starting point.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

As dear as you are to Lord Nityananda, if you would pray to Him for His help, that would be just tremendous. More than tremendous. Hare Krishna. My humble obeisances to you. Thank you for your kindness.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Where is the Greatest Hero? This cyclone hit a few days ago. If KDR was established properly, a timely press release to Reuters (etc.) outlining KDRs response would be published. I know this could be done.


YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's military junta believes at least 10,000 people died in a cyclone that ripped through the Irrawaddy delta, triggering a massive international aid response for the pariah southeast Asian nation.

"The basic message was that they believe the provisional death toll was about 10,000 with 3,000 missing," a Yangon-based diplomat told Reuters in Bangkok, summarizing a briefing from Foreign Minister Nyan Win. "It's a very serious toll."


The official toll on state media stands at 3,394 dead and 2,879 missing, although those figures only cover two of the five declared disaster zones, where U.N. officials say hundreds of thousands are without shelter or drinking water.


The casualty count has been rising quickly as authorities reach hard-hit islands and villages in the Irrawaddy delta, the former "rice bowl of Asia" which bore the brunt of Cyclone Nargis's 190 km (120 miles) per hour winds.

After getting a "careful green light" from the government, the United Nations said it was pulling out all the stops to send in emergency aid such as food, clean water, blankets and plastic sheeting.


"The U.N. will begin preparing assistance now to be delivered and transported to Myanmar as quickly as possible," World Food Program (WFP) spokesman Paul Risley said.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

BEICHUAN, China - 5.18.2008 Thousands of Chinese earthquake victims fled areas near the epicenter Saturday, fearful of potential floods from a river blocked by landslides.

Soldiers carried older people out of Beichuan town — one of the areas hit hardest by the magnitude 7.9 quake Monday — while survivors cradled babies on a road jammed with vehicles and people. The death toll jumped to near 29,000.

A policeman told The Associated Press that rescue officials were worried that water from the choked river would inundate the town.

"The river was jammed up by a landslide, now that may burst. That is what we are worried about," the policeman said as he hurried by, not giving his name.

"I'm very scared. I heard that the water will be crashing down here," said Liang Xiao, one of the people fleeing. "If that happens, there will be over 10 yards of water over our heads."

The official Xinhua News Agency said earlier that a lake in Beichuan county "may burst its bank at any time," without giving details on why the water was rising. Residents left homes for higher ground, but 46 seriously injured were still at risk, the agency said.

In what apparently was a similar landslide-blocked river, Xinhua said more than 2,000 people were being evacuated farther north near Qingchuan town, where blocked parts of the Qingzhu river formed a large stretch of water.

The confirmed death toll rose Saturday to 28,881, Cabinet spokesman Guo Weimin said.

But more than 10,600 people remained buried in Sichuan province, the regional government said, according to Xinhua. The government has previously said at least 50,000 people were believed killed in the disaster.

Survivors were still being found under destroyed buildings five days after the quake. A 52-year-old man buried in the ruins for 117 hours was pulled to safety in Beichuan, just after a German tourist was found in Wenchuan county, Xinhua reported.

The vast majority of survivors are rescued in the first 24 hours after a disaster, with the chances of survival dropping each day, said Dr. Irving "Jake" Jacoby of the University of California, San Diego, who heads a medical assistance team that responded to a 1989 earthquake in California, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and other disasters.

A person trapped but uninjured could survive a week or even 10 days and in extreme circumstances two weeks or more, he said.

Continuing aftershocks made digging through unstable buildings dangerous. On Friday afternoon, an aftershock rattled parts of Sichuan, burying vehicles on a road leading to the epicenter, Xinhua said.

Rescue teams from South Korea, Singapore and Russia got to work Saturday. They joined a Japanese specialist group, which was the first international rescue crew to arrive in the disaster area after China dropped its initial reluctance to accept foreign personnel.

A U.S. Air Force cargo plane loaded with tents, lanterns and 15,000 meals left Hawaii on Saturday, the first aid flight from the United States to help in Sichuan province. Another Air Force delivery was to fly in from Alaska.

The United Nations announced a grant of up to $7 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund, to be used by U.N. agencies and programs.

The government has not given a figure for the number of people left homeless, but Housing Minister Jiang Weixin said more than 4 million apartments and homes were damaged or destroyed in Sichuan province. He said the water supply situation was "extremely serious" in Sichuan, and not flowing at all in 20 cities and counties.

Caring for the untold tens of thousands or more survivors across the earthquake zone was stretching government resources.

Just north of the provincial capital of Chengdu, the town square in Shifang had become a tent camp for 2,000 people, and coordinator Li Yuanshao reported a lack of tents. Many people walked in from surrounding towns with few belongings.

"We brought almost nothing, only the clothes we are wearing," said Zhang Xinyong, a high school junior who walked several hours to the camp.

The Ministry of Health said there had been no major outbreaks of epidemics or other public health hazards in the earthquake area, according to Xinhua. By late Friday, hospitals in Sichuan had received 116,460 patients, including nearly 16,000 severely injured.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...