Rambhoru MatajiRambhoru was initiated in 1974 in Cologne, Germany, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. She spent the next twenty-six years assisting her husband, Prithu Dasa, to establish and manage ISKCON temples in Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, and India. During that time she and her husband had two sons, Madan Mohan (Madi) Dasa and Nila Madhava (now Sri Madhava Mahotsava) Dasa. In 1999, Rambhoru returned to Guilford College to complete her BA in Religious Studies, and spent the next ten years studying interfaith dialogue, practical theology, pastoral care, and religious education. She also earned a Master of Divinity degree from Claremont School of Theology, completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Yuma Regional Medical Center in Arizona, and earned a masters degree in Patient Counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she worked as an adjunct faculty member at the Allied School of Health. In 2007, Rambhoru began training to be an ACPE Certified Educator (www.acpe.edu) at Virginia Commonwealth University, and served as resident senior chaplain there.

In 2008, Rambhoru became a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains (www.professionalchaplains.org), a fourth-level Healing Touch Practitioner, and a therapeutic harpist while ministering bedside to suffering persons at the Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital. In 2010, Rambhoru became the Director of the St. Camillus Center for Spiritual Care: Urban Interfaith Chaplaincy program in downtown East Los Angeles, which serves patients at the Los Angeles County Hospital and University of Southern California Medical Center, Eastlake Juvenile Prison, Homeboy Industries, and other inner-city hospitals, hospices, and projects. Rambhoru became certified as an ACPE Educator (doctorate equivalent) in Clinical Pastoral Education in 2015. Rambhoru has been a member of the ISKCON Prison Ministry since 2015, and has corresponded with and provided Srila Prabhupada’s books to prison inmates since that time.

In 2017, Rambhoru took a leave of absence from her directorship at St. Camillus Center and relocated to Northern Virginia to care for her elderly parents. After her 92-year-old father died on New Year’s Day in 2019, she began to serve at the ISKCON of DC temple in Potomac, MD, counseling congregational members, writing blog posts for the ISKCON of DC website, assisting the ISKCON of DC book table and harinama parties, and providing spiritual care and counseling to airport staff and passengers at the Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC on behalf of ISKCON.

Rambhoru has served as a part-time contract chaplain training supervisor, both in-person and online, at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the St. Camillus Center for Spiritual Care in Los Angeles, and the Institute of Clinical Pastoral Training (www.clinicalpastoraled.edu).

Why Rambhoru established Karuna Care Education?

For a long time, Rambhoru wrestled with how she might use her many years of study and practice to serve her spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founding spiritual master of and visionary for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). In 2017, after taking a leave of absence from her directorship at St. Camillus Center, Rambhoru strategized how she might use her education as an offering to Srila Prabhupada. Through an ongoing process of prayer, consultation with ISKCON leadership, and experimentation with distance-learning programs, Karuna Care Education gradually evolved.

Rambhoru seeks to serve the ISKCON Vaishnava community by training qualified, second-initiated devotees as lay ministers, or chaplains, equipping them with the tools to work in settings such as hospitals, hospices, prisons, assisted living homes, orphanages, and within ISKCON communities, as compassionate caregivers and servants.