Seeking The Essence

Clearing Life's Webs and Weeds….

Kulimela Business Development Conference

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Below is my “fifteen minutes of fame” from the Business Development Conference at Kulimela.  I was one of six gurukulis who were part of a panel.  We each gave a short presentation and repsonded to a Q&A session from the audience.  The other gurukulis: Govinda Syer, Samba, Bala, Kapila & Ananda Vardhani.  The keynote speaker was Hare Krishna prabhu.  He gave an inspiring speech that seamlessly incorporated KC philosophy with business principles.  I plan to transcribe some of his address soon.

Kulimela Business Development Conference

New Vrindaban WV USA

June 17th, 2006

What I’d like to touch upon today is the importance of getting an education.  For what ever it is that you want to do, getting the tools and the capacity to be able to achieve your goals is very important.  When I was growing up I remember being taught over and over about the uselessness of “mundane” education and hearing quotes from Prahlad Maharaj to support this position.  I know for myself it was a struggle to overcome the conditioning from that training.  I had to separate myself from the people who continued to advocate that way of thinking and reach out and find other people and sources that gave me the inspiration I needed to complete my education.    

We need to have strong relationships and support as a basis for long-term progress.  Yesterday I was explaining to Radhanatha Swami how there are so many people from New Vrindaban that I have known for more than 25 years.  I can tell all kinds of stories about different ways we worked together, but I can’t tell you how they felt or what they thought when something happened.  I don’t know them in that way, I only know about them.   I think it is very important that we take the time to build strong relationships amongst ourselves.  That’s what will give us a platform to launch into these other areas, such as developing an entrepreneurial spirit within our Society.  This spirit is growing.  It’s still small. People are working towards it, but it is still in its infancy stage.  

We need to further develop the vaishya class within our Society.   Having worked both with devotees and in the mainstream society I generally do prefer to work with people who have similar beliefs, understandings and backgrounds.  I find this to be more fulfilling.  Of course, this also has its challenges.  As Samba humorously mentioned, in gurukula we both were pulling our underwear from the same drawer.  So, there are times where this closeness can be a challenge to overcome, but overall it is more gratifying.  We know each other’s goals and can help each other achieve them.   

I think that Hare Krishna prabhu’s example is inspiring. I have confidence that many people in this room, as well as throughout our Society, can follow his example of hard work and dedication.  Twenty years from now we can be sitting in a similar place inspiring another generation to stand on our shoulders and continue to build. 

In closing, I think that events like Kulmela will be seen as a turning point.  I am confident that we’ll look back a few years from now and say that Kulimela was a particular point in time where the mood and the energy shifted in a positive way.  I sincerely want to be involved in a community that I can be proud of.  It has been a struggle for me for the last twenty years to find reasons to tell people I’m a member of ISKCON or even to tell people that I’m a devotee.  So, let’s really work hard and make something we can all be proud of. 

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September 20, 2006 - Posted by | Gurukuli, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, Kulimela, New Vrindaban

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