Seeking The Essence

Clearing Life's Webs and Weeds….

Srila Prabhupada’s Vision For New Vrindaban (in his own words)

Srila Prabhupada’s Vision For New Vrindaban:

Compiled by Chaitanya Mangala Dasa

1. Cow Protection.

2. Sustainable Agriculture.

3. Simple Village Life.

4. A Place of Pilgrimage in the West.

5. A Place of Higher Learning.

6. Above All, a Place for People to Develop Their Love for Krishna.

1. Cow Protection:

“Krishna by His practical example taught us to give all protection to the cows and that should be the main business of New Vrindaban.” Letter to Hayagriva — 14 June, 1968

“Therefore the special feature of New Vrindaban will be cow protection, and by doing so, we shall not be loser.” Letter to Hayagriva — 14 June, 1968

“Therefore, my special request is that you should try to maintain as many cows as possible in your New Vrindaban.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 24 June, 1969

“The cow is so wonderful and valuable in society. But you should also use the bulls by engaging them in tilling the ground. People may call this the primitive way but it is very practical for engaging the bulls – have them work in cart loading, transporting, etc…” Letter to Kirtanananda — 7 January, 1974

“If you give the right protection to the cows, then they will give so much milk, that the ground of New Vrndaban will be muddy with milk.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 31 May, 1975

2. Sustainable Agriculture:

“The whole idea of New Vrindaban is that men who are living there should produce their own food, of which milk is the principal thing.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 31 July, 1969

“So these duties are there in New Vrindaban, and we shall have to live there self independently, simply by raising cows, grains, fruits, and flowers.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 12 January, 1969

“Agriculture and protecting cows, this is the main business of the residents of Vrindavan, and above all simply loving Krsna.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 27 July, 1973

3. Simple Village Life:

“Yukta Vairagya, means that we should simply accept the bare necessities of our material part of life, and try to save time for spiritual advancement. This should be the motto of New Vrindaban.” Letter to Hayagriva — 14 June, 1968

“It may be an ideal village where the residents will have plain living and high thinking.” Letter to Hayagriva — 14 June, 1968

“New Vrindaban does not require to be modernized because Krishna’s Vrindaban is transcendental village.” Letter to Hayagriva — 14 June, 1968

“Go on acquiring the surrounding lands and in this way we will establish a local self-governing village and show all the world a practical example of spiritual life as Krishna Himself exhibited in Vrindaban.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 27 July, 1973

4. A Place of Pilgrimage in the West:

“I understand the spot is very beautiful, and the hills may be renamed as New Govardhana. And if there are lakes, they can be renamed as Syamakunda and Radhakunda.”  Letter to Hayagriva — 14 June, 1968

“New Vrindaban should be taken up very seriously because actually I want to develop a replica of Old Vrindaban. I have got ambition to construct there 7 temples as follows: 1. Radha Madan Mohan, 2. Radha Govinda, 3. Radha Gopinatha, 4. Radha Damodara, 5. Radha Raman, 6. Radha Gokulananda, 7. Radha Syamasundara.” Letter to Hayagriva — 18 November, 1968

“So you have now taken charge of the sunrise of New Vrindaban. Our program is there for constructing seven temples.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 12 January, 1969

“Now I am hopeful that our New Vrindaban will be an exact replica of Vrindaban in India.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 18 February, 1970

“Therefore, I may once more request you to try your best to construct New Vrindaban an exact duplicate of Vrindaban, and that will give me the highest pleasure.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 18 February, 1970

5. A Place of Higher Learning:

“One Rupanuga Vidyapitha—that is a school for educating brahmanas and Vaisnavas.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 12 January, 1969

“You remark that in New Vrindaban the capacity is lacking for taking care of the children. If you can organize a higher level school of theology under your care, I shall very much appreciate it.” Letter to Rupanuga — 24 July, 1969

“Another important thing is our theistic school in New Vrindaban.” Letter to Hayagriva — 9 March, 1970

“Regarding using New Vrindaban land for building for the older Gurukula boys it is a very good idea.” Letter to Bali-mardana — 13 April, 1974

6. Above All, a Place for People to Develop Their Love for Krishna: 

“Agriculture and protecting cows, this is the main business of the residents of Vrindavan, and above all simply loving Krsna. Letter to Kirtanananda — 27 July, 1973

“The cows, the trees, the cowherd men and gopis, their chief engagement was loving Krsna, and in New Vrindaban we want to create this atmosphere and thereby show the whole world how practical and sublime our movement is.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 27 July, 1973


May 23, 2011 Posted by | As It Is, Education, Hare Krishna, India, ISKCON, Krishna, New Vrindaban, Philosophy, Prabhupada, Uncategorized, Vaishnava | Leave a comment

The Brahmana & The Prostitute

The Brahmana and the Prostitute

Once, in a peaceful village, there lived a scholarly brahmana (priest). Opposite his home, there lived a prostitute.

As a daily observance, the brahmana would sit in his doorway and recite the Gita. Meanwhile, across the street, the prostitute would tend to her business.

As the years passed, the brahmana grew ever more disturbed by the prostitute. “Just see how lowly she is.” he would think to himself and continue with his recitation.

It so happened that both the brahmana and the prostitute died at the same time. To the brahmana’s surprise, the Vishnuduttas (the Lord of Heaven’s messengers) came to deliver the prostitute while the Yamadutas (the Lord of Death’s messengers) came for him. “What is this?” he protested. “There must be some mistake!”

Both the Yamaduttas and the Visnuduttas replied, “My dear brahmana, there is no mistake. While you were busy meditating on the lowly activities of the prostitute, she listened to you recite the Gita and prayed that she could one day elevate herself to your position. In this way the prostitute achieved liberation while you only degraded yourself.”

August 11, 2007 Posted by | As It Is, Hare Krishna, India, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Reality Check: An Editorial from the As It Is Magazine

Front Cover of the As It Is Magazine Issue #4 Winter 1993    Editorial Page of As It Is Magazine Issue #4 Winter 1993

Below is an editorial I wrote for the As It Is magazine Issue #4 in the Winter of 1993. 

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August 7, 2007 Posted by | As It Is, Education, Gurukula, Gurukuli, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, Jagadish, Prabhupada, Vaishnava Youth | Leave a comment

The Guru & The Cat

Guru & Cat 

Once upon a time in a certain village in India there lived a guru.  Every evening the guru would sit on his seat and deliver a lecture to the public. It so happened that the guru had a cat, and just at the time of giving the lecture the cat would create a big disturbance.

Being greatly annoyed by the cat, the guru decided to tie the cat to a tree before starting his lecture. So doing, the guru then delivered the lecture without disturbance. It worked so well that the guru regularly tied the cat to the tree before beginning his discourse.

 After some years the guru died. His disciples carried on the guru’s program. They also continued tying the cat to the tree.  When the cat died, they bought another cat and thus the ritual of tying a cat to a tree continued generation after generation.

In the fifth generation that followed the guru, one of the renowned followers wrote an elaborate treatise on the spiritual significance of tying a cat to a tree before beginning one’s studies of the scriptures.

“For the current of our spiritual life creeds, rituals and channels that may thwart or help, according to their fixity or openness. When a symbol or spiritual idea becomes rigidly elaborate in its construction, it supplants the idea which it should support.” Rabindranath Tagore

September 9, 2006 Posted by | As It Is, Hare Krishna, Humor, India | 8 Comments

Something To Remember:

asitis93001.jpg 

I wrote the following paragraph as the conclusion to a longer article about the 3rd annual Gurukula Reunion in Los Angeles, CA.  This was published in the first issue of the “As It Is” magazine January, 1993. In retrospect, I may have been a bit overly optimistic in regards to the the time line for recovery on the part of the gurukulis and discovery on the part of the older generation.  I know from personal experience that it has taken me much more time and effort to deal with some of the more difficult issues than I initially thought it would.  And realistically, many of these challenges will be with me for the rest of my life.  Still, I stand behind the principles I briefly described.  A side note: at that time I was signing my correspondence “Keeping the Faith.” Eventually I felt that “Seeking the Essence” was more appropriate.

Something to Remember: 

Many of us [gurukulis] have already passed through the hardest parts of forgiving (but not forgetting) the past and have begun the healing process – both individually and collectively. Unfortunately, much of the first generation has not.  Only lately have the majority of them truly begun to come to terms with the reality of the past and their pain and guilt is quite literally tearing them apart.  Now is a good time to remember how we felt and find for them the compassion (karuna) and understanding (samajna) we so badly wanted at that stage.  In this way we can show that what we learned in Bhakti Shastri class went well beyond the mindless mimicry of a few select verses.

Keeping the Faith (alive and kicking!),

Chaits

August 30, 2006 Posted by | As It Is, Gurukula, Gurukuli, Hare Krishna, ISKCON | Leave a comment

A Play-full Plea: (A glance in the rear view)

As It Is cover #2

I originally wrote and published this article in the “As It Is” magazine issue #2, the Spring of 1993. Ok, I’ll admit my approach was a bit idealistic and arrogant, though it also contains a touch of humor and optimism. While the way in which gurukulis are viewed and treated in ISKCON has gotten much better in the thirteen years since this was first published, there is still plenty of room for improvement.  I think we could find paralell examples today.  For example, Kulimela is one positive expression of the ideals found in the “Final scene.”

I post this both as a bench mark of how far we’ve come and as a reminder of how far we’ve got to go. 

FYI: I intentionally removed the names and locations referred to in the original article because my purpose is not to draw additional attention to them, but “rather to address the overall issue.”

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August 30, 2006 Posted by | As It Is, Gurukula, Gurukuli, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, Kulimela | 1 Comment

   

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