Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Unity in Adversity: Devotees in the Mall Attack in Nairobi, Kenya
By ISKCON Nairobi Media Team   |  Oct 04, 2013

As devotees came back from Harinam on the 21st of September 2013 and were settling to savor some of the delicious prasadam prepared at the Sri Sri Radha Bankebihari temple Nairobi, they heard about the terror attack that was happening at one of the premier shopping malls in the other part of Nairobi Kenya.

Everyone was confused and concerned. Many devotees grabbed their phones and started to call friends and families to find out if they were safe, while other devotees started praying to Krishna for the protection and wellbeing of those who were inside the mall. It was a very terrifying and tense atmosphere.

As the day progressed, most of the devotees stayed tuned to the news to know about what was happening. Two of our very own devotees were victims of this ordeal and were inside the mall for some time. One being a youth boy, who was present when the terrorists opened fire. He ran for his life and bravely jumped from the second floor and by Krishna’s mercy escaped from the mall within an hour with a sprained leg. Another was a Mataji who fortunately was able to hide in one part of the mall for six hours before she was rescued by the Kenyan Defense force.  With Krishna’s grace, all devotees were safe and sound.


Terrified women and their babies get rescued

Out of the compassionate nature of devotees, one very brave man named Harish Dariya Patel of Krishna Squad, who always provides for security during Rath Yatra, was part of the rescue team at the mall. He saved many innocent lives and fought bravely against the terrorists. He confirmed that his mission was to get people out of the mall or die trying.

Some of our devotees rushed to offer voluntary services in many hospitals and institutions requiring help. They stayed for long hours helping in whatever capacity they could. Other devotees at the temple prepared and distributed prasadam to various institutions that were feeding victims, volunteers, army and blood donors. Taking advantage of the Holy Name Week and the 12 hour Kirtan that was organized at the temple, all the results were offered to the Lord for the victims and all those affected.

The holy name week was further extended because of the three day mourning period that was declared by the President. Devotees have been visiting homes of the affected victims to do house programs, Kirtan and also console the families of the affected.


The Nairobi mall after the terrorist attack

As devotees, this has been a wakeup call for all of us. Death knocks at our door at any time, without a prior notice. Therefore, we should always be engaged in devotional service 24 hours a day. This will keep us protected and will give us the assurance of being under the shelter of Lord Krishna forever. Such a situation also makes us realize that we are the soul and not the body. Hence, we should all make the best use of a bad bargain.

During such a situation we tend to hold on to Krishna even more than we usually do on a daily basis. It is amazing how we saw people look beyond this bodily platform and unite in adversity while praying together. Hence the slogan “we are one” was used by Kenyans.

We give our condolences to all those who lost their family members and friends, we condemn such violence. We humbly pray to Lord Krishna to bestow unlimited mercy on all and give us the strength to face such situations. We all need to take full shelter and invest all our faith in Lord Krishna for He is the only one who can truly protect us.

Tag: attack , kenya , nairobi
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