Jaya Krishna Das (Josef Imseng)
ISKCON New Vrindaban
The Hare Krishna Movement
To Members of the Tree of Life Synagogue and the Jewish Community
Condolences from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
Dear Brothers of God,
We are deeply saddened by the sudden tragedy that struck your community and the hearts of the supporters of the Jewish faith and advocates of universal brotherhood. It is disheartening that Anti-Semitism and hate crime are not only prevalent but also escalating in our society. We pray that this incident will create more awareness of religious intolerance and initiate measures to end heinous acts such as these.
The Bhagavad-gita (our sacred book of knowledge), the Torah, and other holy texts emphasize that universal brotherhood and social cohesion can only be achieved if we understand and realize that we are all one in the eyes of the same creator—as children of God we can live in peace and harmony in the world.
Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita(6.19) indicates the means to see one another as children of God, irrespective of caste, race, faith, or creed: “A true yogi observes Me [God] in all beings and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized person sees Me, the same Supreme Lord, everywhere.” Similarly, the valuable teaching in Judaism “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus19:18) promotes unity and love. Now, more than ever, we need to flood the world with our efforts of educating people about unity in diversity, thus bringing about world peace and goodwill.
In the meantime, we are praying for the departed souls of your synagogue, whose efforts to connect with God will not go in vain. Their devotion and commitment to God’s teachings will ensure that their destination is auspicious. On Saturday at 8.30 pm, during a 24-Hour prayer vigil in which more than 200 members of our society were present, we each offered a prayer and a candle for the deceased and their families. We hope to set an example of universal love that would break all boundaries of religious intolerance and discord in the world.
With love and heartfelt condolences,
Jaya Krishna Das
(Temple President – ISKCON New Vrindaban, WV)