The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Reaching Out to the Needy in Fiji

By: for Fiji Times on May 31, 2009
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Photo Credits: Fiji Times
Dr. Dasi Gurumarna Devi

Her passion to help the poor and needy while spreading the word of God has motivated Dr. Dasi Gurumarna Devi to build an ashram and a temple in Sigatoka.


Living with the teachings of the Hare Krishna movement, Dr. Dasi has been working with the poor trying to give them a better standard of living.


Dr. Dasi joined the Hare Krishna society 15 years ago while she was still studying to become a doctor at the Fiji School of Medicine and has never looked back since.


Dedicating her thoughts and actions towards spreading the word of Lord Krishna, Dr. Dasi has embarked on a journey of fulfilling her guru Swami Prabhupada's dream of building a Radha Temple.


Construction of the $0.5 million temple has begun in Sigatoka Town. Dr. Dasi said the temple would also house homeless people who would approach them for assistance.


"We are trying to build the car park, ashram for the homeless, the next level will house restaurants and gift shops with a Prasad (offerings) room, and a complete floor to the temple that will finish off with a dome," she said.


"The temple will be maintained and looked after from money earned from these restaurants and gift shops with the premises.


"We hope to house close to a 100 people once the ashram has been built."


The thought of building the ashram originated from her guru and the daily struggles of people who approached the Krishna devotee for help.


Dr. Dasi said she had seen a lot of people asking for help and was motivated to doing something for them.


A doctor by profession and operating her own clinic in Sigatoka, Dr. Dasi and her sister Gita Kriti are also assisting three teenagers in furthering their education.


A strict vegetarian, Dr. Dasi said: "Our guru initially had this idea to build a temple for the devotees but passed away before his dream could be fulfilled which as taught us a lesson that we also might pass away one day and our dream will just remain a dream.


"Sister Gita and I pushed through this project and approached a lot of people for help and what little we gathered we used into the project to keep it going.


"This is a two-year project and we are still gathering funds to help complete this project."


Dr. Dasi said through this temple, they hopedc to bring the members of the society together.


Originally from Suva, Dr. Dasi said she moved to the West after she got an opportunity to work with a medical professional couple as a locum in their clinic.


"They went overseas for a vacation but didn't return so I looked after their clinic based out of Sigatoka," she said.


Hobbies of the petite woman include community work, providing free medical help in rural areas and helping spread the word on the Hare Krishna movement.


"I don't do much for myself, I try to get involved as much as I can with devotion or spreading the word of Lord Krishna but lately the construction of the temple has been taking up most of my time," she said.


"I like working for the homeless and through this ashram homeless persons will never again feel neglected or uncared for as they will reside in an atmosphere conducive to spiritual life."


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