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Help Devotee Family in Distress

$26,192 of $32,000 goal

Raised by 242 people in 13 months
Created June 28, 2018
Team Chaitanya
on behalf of Alister Taylor
Help Advaita Chandra’s Family
End Their Heartbreaking 8 Year Ordeal. 
 
My name is Hari-sauri das and I have been a close friend of Advaita Chandra and his family for 38 years. Their son Chaitanya's  2 suicide attempts, 35 stays in hospitals, as well as massive medical bills  have had a devastating impact on their emotional, physical and mental well-being. Financially crippled with the loss of their home, savings and most of their possessions, they need help now to pay for Chaitanya's urgent hospitalization and medical care for Advaita's declining health.
 
Many senior devotees are familiar with Advaita Chandra Prabhu and his wife Radha Sundari dasi. They have been active, full-time devotees since 1980. Both gave up successful careers, he in business in NZ and the UK, and she as a top model in New York and Europe, to dedicate their lives to Prabhupada’s mission. Both are initiated by HH Sivarama Swami. They live in Sri Dham Mayapur with their two children, Chaitanya Nitai Prana das and Kishori Radha dasi. 

Advaita is a real gentleman. I have never seen him get angry in the 38 years I have known him. He is extremely hard working and has rendered invaluable service over the years. 

He has been a trustee of Srila Prabhupada’s Mayapur Vrndavan Trust for 30 years. 20 years ago he founded Torchlight Publishing which has distributed devotional books world-wide in 27 languages.  In 2005 he moved to Mayapur with his family so he could assist Ambarish Prabhu with the development of the TOVP, and on completion of that service they continued to remain there.

Reversal of Fortune
 
Unfortunately the family has suffered a severe reversal of fortune since January 2010 when their son Chaitanya tried to commit suicide by jumping from the roof of a six-story building in Mayapur. At the time he was 20 years old and we have since come to find out, was suffering from mental illness. Due to his psychological imbalance and depression over his crippled life, he tried a second time to kill himself in September 2015. 

By Krsna’s mercy he miraculously survived both attempts, but suffered multiple injuries including an L3 spinal injury and serious fractures to his sacrum (base of spine) and both ankles and wrists.

Hospitalization and Permanent Disability
 
Over the last 8 years Chaitanya has been in and out of various hospitals 35 times in Thailand, India, and New Zealand, undergoing 12 different operations.

He is clinically disabled and his physical condition, including bladder and bowel dysfunction requires daily assistance. He has nerve damage in his legs but after 8 years of treatment is now able to walk with crutches to some extent and is ambulatory in a wheelchair. 

Concurrent with his physical condition he has suffered mental instability and since 2010 has been receiving psychiatric care.

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Re-integration into the Community
 
Returning to Mayapur it seemed that Chaitanya was on the road to recovery and that he could resume a semi-normal life within the ISKCON community. He was chanting 16 rounds every day, read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books, learnt Bengali so that he could distribute books to the pilgrims, observed Nirjal every Ekadasi and was initiated by HH Lokanath Swami. He began helping his father in his Torchlight Publishing business. He appeared to be managing his daily life reasonably well with a helper who would wheel him in his wheelchair and assist him, particularly with his beloved book distribution outside the Temple.

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 Current Set-back
 
However, from late February 2018 he suffered a rapid deterioration of mental health. Whereas he used to be known for his polite and gentlemanly manner and speech, he began to display unexpected aggression, anger, and delusions. 

It became impossible for his parents to manage his care at home. At the beginning of April he was admitted by his psychiatrist, Dr. Basu, to a clinic in Kolkata and needs to remain under the care of mental health professionals in a protected environment for the next 6-12 months. 

Old Age and Disease
 
His parents are now 70 years old and beginning themselves to experience the debilitation that comes with advancing age. In 2012 Advaita Chandra Prabhu was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Last year, after suffering a bad fall, he broke his hip and had to have two replacement operations to fix it (the first one was botched and the success of the second one is still uncertain). In the last 2 years he has also had three hernia operations. He is physically frail and realistically, his working life is over.

Radha Sundari has spent the last few years, often under intense emotional and mental stress, running the household and caring for the needs of her husband, son and daughter Kishori, all of whom have suffered in various ways from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
  
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How You can Help
 
Advaita and Radha Sundari are wonderful, caring parents and committed devotees. For the last 8 years they have tried to the best of their ability to manage Chaitanya’s care at home in Mayapur and facilitate his numerous hospital stays and operations.   

They are now physically and emotionally drained. Although initially, kind friends and family stepped forward in 2010 to help with Chaitanya’s urgent surgeries, because of the ongoing expenses associated with his medical care they have suffered severe financial hardship, losing all their savings, their home, car, furniture and many of their possessions. Advaita still tries to work from home but he can no longer secure an income as before and they are scraping by on a small government pension and help from family.

As a result they no longer have the resources to cover the costs of Chaitanya’s urgently needed hospitalisation and rehabilitation.

Realistic Goals for the Near Future
 
The doctors feel that with the right care and counselling Chaitanya can return to a reasonably semi-independent life as part of the greater Mayapur community.  

Our Aim with this Campaign is to Raise Sufficient Funds to Realize the Following Objectives:
 
·   Physical rehabilitation to optimize Chaitanya’s walking ability and mobility

·   Through the implementation of psychiatric care and psychological counselling, to rehabilitate him to a point where he is able to live and work in the general community

·   To enable Advaita Chandra and Radha Sundari  to recuperate from the constant ordeal of the last 8 years so they have the time and resources to regroup and make positive plans for the future of the family
 
As we all know, health care is expensive. Even in India, where it is significantly cheaper than in the West, to meet the needs of Chaitanya’s treatment for the next one year will cost approximately $32,000.00. This funding will cover the expenses of Chaitanya’s full-time medical and psychological care in a residential mental health facility. 

It is our humble request to our readers to help them realize this goal.    

Every contribution, large or small, will help.  

The family is feeling overwhelmed with humility and gratitude at the thought of devotees far and wide offering them assistance. They would like to reciprocate by doing a Nrsimha-puja in Mayapur for each person and family that makes a contribution.

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Hare Krishna
Thank you for giving your valuable time to read this appeal
 
Your humble servant
Hari-sauri das 

Donations can be made to the following:  https://www.gofundme.com/please-help-devotee-family
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Our Wounded Soldier -
Back on the Preaching Battlefield!

Ratha Yatra Comes to the Hospital

On July 22nd, Chaitanya’s 29th birthday, he organized for Lord Jagannatha to mount a small toy Rath cart his mother had bought for him, and do a tour of the men’s hospital ward for Ulta Rath.

Everyone in the ward participated happily in the small procession and festival, pulling the string “ropes” and chanting Jaya Jagannath and Hare Krishna.

After the Ulta Ratha Yatra, Chaiti (looking a bit like a Hobbit these days – his parents are from New Zealand!), cut his cake (Mahaprasadam from Mayapur) and distributed it (along with some other packets of prasadam) to all of the 115 patients and staff.

All in all it was a wonderful event, and despite continuing to fight his demons, Chaiti is dedicated in engaging whoever he meets, wherever he is, in the Lord’s service.
Jaya Jagannatha!
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Incredible! We are at a loss for words. Truly! In two weeks and with the generosity and kindness of more than two hundred devotees and well-wishers from around the world, we are almost THREE QUARTERS of the way towards our goal of $32.000 in our Go Fund Me Campaign launched by Hari-sauri Prabhu (Denis Harrison) on our behalf, to help with our son’s hospitalization and medical care for my husband Advaita Chandra.
On this very auspicious day of Ratha Yatra in Sri Dham Mayapur, we feel as if the Lord is raining His blessings down upon us, and He probably will, literally, as well, given that it almost always rains here on this glorious festival day. As I wrote in my debut article for www.Dandavats.com published this past week and entitled “Vaisnava Krpa – A Gift of Love by Srila Prabhupada’s Family”, we feel as if we have been sitting in the middle of a magic circle surrounded by hundreds of devotees, well-wishers and members of the international Vaisnava community, and flooded with blessings, prayers, gifts from the heart, pledges of laxmi and messages of hope, wisdom, comfort and succour.
For the first time in a very long time, inundated with these blessings, we have been given the gift of time. And of course Krsna says that He is Time, so really we have been given the precious gift of consciousness of Krsna. Time to be able to absorb ourselves more fully in our spiritual practices with attention, and peacefully read, hear, meditate and connect with God whom we call Krsna. Time to connect with friends after always having been too busy to keep in touch, and to attend the spiritual programs at our Temple. Time to think and plan clearly for the next step in putting our family back on track after the ordeal of the past 8 years. Time and the opportunity to heal our bodies, minds and hearts – we have been so fortunate recently to spend a few days in Kolkata getting Ayurvedic treatments for Advaita’s Parkinsons and the pain that still persists after his hip operation last March. And time no longer spent in worrying about how we are going to take care of Chaitanya and the exorbitant costs of his hospitalization and rehabilitation. All of this is due to Vaisnava Krpa and the blessings of the devotees, of our dear friends, family and the world-wide network of Srila Prabhupada’s far reaching family.
Last week we went to see Chaitanya. The doctors may have tweaked his medicines a bit, but it is obvious that he too is experiencing the transcendental effect of the blessings of the devotees and well-wishers. He is so much more peaceful, clear, in good spirits, enthusiastic about his preaching efforts in the Clinic and the response he is getting from the staff and patients, and in general in a much better state than he was a couple of months ago. Felt almost like talking to the old Chaiti, although even though there has been improvement, he still has quite a long way to go.
We feel so grateful and inspired by the results of all the blessings we have been so fortunate to receive. Thank you for your on-going prayers and love. We are eternally indebted to you all.
If you feel so inclined, please do help and share Hari-sauri’s appeal at: www.gofundme.com/please-help-devotee-family on Facebook or your other social media. And do please visit www.Dandavats.com to read "Vaisnava Krpa – A Gift of Love by Srila Prabhupada’s Family" by Radha Sundari devi dasi (published July 11th), where I have tried to share my realizations about the extraordinary mercy and love with which you have all showered us.
With love and gratitude
Radha Sundari along with Advaita Chandra (Alister and Victoria Taylor)
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Dear Devotees and Friends,
Hare Krishna!
We are deeply moved and immensely grateful for the outpouring of love with which the Vaisnava community and our friends world-wide have blessed us over the past few days. Generous, heart-felt donations, messages of love, affection, wisdom, comfort, encouragement and your sharing the campaign on Facebook and other social media – we are the recipients of great love and we are eternally indebted to you all. Thank you again and again.
We are also incredibly grateful to Hari-sauri Prabhu and his wife Sitala who inspired this campaign and selflessly worked for so many days on getting it up and running.
We have reached almost half our goal of $32,000 already - $14,284 as of today – absolutely, unexpectedly amazing! In five days! This means that we as a family can finally catch our breath without worrying how we can keep Chaitanya in the safe environment of a Mental Health facility for the next few months where his challenges will be properly met with by professionals.
Although he continues to struggle in the Clinic with his mind and his physical disabilities, he is chanting his rounds (saying his prayers), reading his spiritual books, preaching to the other patients, distributing prasadam (blessed food), doing pujas (ceremonies) and having kirtans (singing spiritual songs) together with them. In his own way he is such a dedicated servant of God and it is so heart-warming that so many people are helping him, and us, to learn to cope with his mental illness.
For several weeks leading up to Snan Yatra (June 28th), the day our GoFundMe campaign was launched, Chaitanya begged desperately, constantly, to be allowed to return to Mayapur and be present for the Abhishek, especially as it is the one time every year when he is able to touch the Lord’s feet. Of course he is not well enough to come back, but finally the poor, worn-down head of the Clinic agreed that he could have a supervised outing to the Gurusaday Rd. Temple in Kolkata for Snan Yatra, where he was kindly taken care of by Prema Manjari Mataji and her husband Dayaram Prabhu. Here is a picture of him at the feet of Lord Jagannath.
With deepest respect and humble obeisances to you all we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, dear devotees, friends and well-wishers.
With love and gratitude
Advaita Chandra das (Alister Taylor) and Radha Sundari devi dasi (Victoria Taylor)
+ Read More
Dear Devotees and Friends
We are deeply moved and immensely grateful for the outpouring of love with which the Vaisnava community and our friends world-wide have blessed us over the past few days. Generous, heart-felt donations, messages of love, affection, wisdom, comfort, encouragement and your sharing the campaign on Facebook and other social media – we are the recipients of great love and we are eternally indebted to you all. Thank you again and again.
We are also incredibly grateful to Hari-sauri Prabhu and his wife Sitala who inspired this campaign and selflessly worked for so many days on getting it up and running.
We have reached almost half our goal of $32,000 already - $14,284 as of today – absolutely, unexpectedly amazing! In five days! This means that we as a family can finally catch our breath without worrying how we can keep Chaitanya in the safe environment of a Mental Health facility for the next few months where his challenges will be properly met with by professionals.
Although he continues to struggle in the Clinic with his mind and his physical disabilities, he is chanting his rounds (saying his prayers), reading his spiritual books, preaching to the other patients, distributing prasadam (blessed food), doing pujas (ceremonies) and having kirtans (singing spiritual songs) together with them. In his own way he is such a dedicated servant of God and it is so heart-warming that so many people are helping him, and us, to learn to cope with his mental illness.
For several weeks leading up to Snan Yatra (June 28th), the day our GoFundMe campaign was launched, Chaitanya begged desperately, constantly, to be allowed to return to Mayapur and be present for the Abhishek, especially as it is the one time every year when he is able to touch the Lord’s feet. Of course he is not well enough to come back, but finally the poor, worn-down head of the Clinic agreed that he could have a supervised outing to the Gurusaday Rd. Temple in Kolkata for Snan Yatra, where he was kindly taken care of by Prema Manjari Mataji and her husband Dayaram Prabhu. Here is a picture of him at the feet of Lord Jagannath.
With deepest respect and humble obeisances to you all we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, dear devotees, friends and well-wishers.
With love and gratitude
Advaita Chandra das (Alister Taylor) and Radha Sundari devi dasi (Victoria Taylor)
+ Read More
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$26,192 of $32,000 goal

Raised by 242 people in 13 months
Created June 28, 2018
Team Chaitanya
on behalf of Alister Taylor
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