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Earthquake: ISKCON Christchurch temple wrecked, deities smashed

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Scene of Devastation in Christchurch city, New Zealand.

Four or five hours ago another earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 struck New Zealand causing serious damage to the Christchurch ISKCON Temple. Unconfirmed reports describe the temple as being "in ruins" and say that with the exception of Srila Prabhupada's murti the deities are smashed.

Christchurch temple before the earthquake.

The city center is widely damaged and the spire of the cathedral there has collapsed. Phone lines are down, and buildings are said to be in ruins. New Zealand police say there are reports of multiple fatalities.

Early reports say the damage exceeds that of last years 7.1 magnitude quake.

Please pray for the devotees and well wishers in New Zealand particularly those in the affected areas.

So far there are no reports of injuries amongst devotees. A further report will be made as news comes to hand.

Post Script: Eyewitness description of quake from NZ Herald News

Facebook posts: "Its worse than I thought. Multi-story buildings flattened, people dead, temple will have to be demolished and worst of all the deities have been smashed beyond repair. City closed. Mayhem. Major quakes continue at random. smaller on rictar but closer to surface so damage many many times worse."

Earthquake

This is so sad. So many people left hurt or dead,so much destruction.
I used to live in Israel at a time when there was lots of violance. I witnessed on at least one occaision the aftermath of a suicide bombing, the pain and devestation it caused.
But amoungst all that pain I also saw good things arise. Strangers comforting and helping poeple they didnt know, rushing to rescue those hurt or dying, giving whatever they had to comfort those that needed it in any way.

So my point is, maybe the fact that the Prabhupad Mrti survived points us to a lesson to be learned. A reminder that nothing in this life is permanent, be it mrtis or our way of life. And that any moment forces way beyond our control can take every thing away from us.

In these situations, we see what is truely important and maybe we learn just a little that we can survive with the bare minimum of material things - or even nothing at all.

Even without a temple or mrtis,books or japa beads, Krishna sits right their in our hearts, and all we need to worship him is to speak the holy name. It maybe hard and painfull, but it is possible.

I pray with all my heart for the pain of those devotees in Christchurch to be lifted. For the mercy of Krishna to fall on them and for the swift restoration of their temple and the good work they do. But even more, I pray that those devotees and all others around the world will be free from material bondage and the fear of having nothing or loosing everything.