Celebrate Rama Navami in New Vrindaban Sat. Mar. 28 2015


Come Celebrate with Us!
We would like to invite you and your family to celebrate Lord Ramacandra’s Appearance Day with us on Sat. March 28, 2015.
You will have the opportunity to:

Hear Rama-Katha
Bathe Their Lordships
Join in an ecstatic kirtan
Honor a sumptuous prasadam feast
Offer a special pair of paduka to the Lord

The Schedule is below.

ramnaumi poster 2015

Festival Schedule
12:30pm:  Arati
1:00pm:    Bhagavad-Gita Class
4:00pm:    Storytelling by Sankirtan Prabhu
5:00pm:    Shanti Havan for Kalash Donors
6:00pm:    Go-Puja
7:00pm:    Arati
7:30pm:    Rama-Katha
8:00pm:    Paduka Arpanam & Kalash Abhishek
9:00pm:    Dinner for  Kalash Donors
9:30pm:    Sri Rama Parivar Jhulan Yatra

Sivarama Swami Features New Vrindaban In His Book Intro


Sivarama Swami

Sivarama Swami

Nava Vraja Mahima Sivarama Swami

Below is an excerpt from the introduction to “Nava Vraja Mahima,” the nine volume series is “an epic work of over 4,000 pages on The Glories of New Vraja Dhama,” written by His Holiness Sivarama Swami.

——————————–

Among Srila Prabhupada’s many innovations is the concept of “farming communities,” of which the first was New Vrindaban. The instructions that Srila Prabhupada gave the leaders of New Vrindaban were extrapolated from two of the seven “purposes” included in ISKCON’s original articles of incorporation: “To erect for the members and for society at large a holy place of transcendental pastimes dedicated to the Personality of Krsna” and “To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life.”

Srila Prabhupada envisioned that these purposes could be realized in New Vrindaban if the devotees there concentrated their efforts on cow protection, sustainable agriculture, simple village life, and higher learning. It was also essential, he instructed, that they make New Vrindaban into a place of pilgrimage and an environment in which anyone could learn to love Krsna. Though perhaps never presented as such, these principles can be seen as New Vrindaban’s founding principles.

Srila Prabhupada saw that the expansive area of New Vrindaban provided an opportunity not only for his followers to live as Krsna did, but also to remap Krsna’s land on the natural topography of the Appalachian Hills. As was the case in Visnupura, Srila Prabhupada had the natural features of New Vrindaban identified with those of Vraja – the hills would become Govardhana, the lakes Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda – indeed, Prabhupada wanted New Vrindaban to be a “replica of Old Vrindavana.” In his transcendental ambition to glorify Krsna, Srila Prabhupada also envisioned that seven hills of New Vrindaban should each feature a separate temple with its own Radha-Krsna Deities to commemorate the seven main Deities of Bhauma Vrindavana. In short, Srila Prabhupada envisaged that his American followers “should have a place like Vrindavana.”

While encouraging the development of New Vrindaban, Srila Prabhupada was also constructing a temple in Bhauma Vrindavana. ISKCON’s history testifies to the great pains Srila Prabhupada endured to establish the Krsna-Balarama temple in Vrindavana. It would be a place where his disciples could visit the original land of Krsna and where their children could study in Gurukula and naturally become Krsna conscious.

And while pouring energy and resources into ISKCON Vrindavana, Srila Prabhupada knew that it would not be possible for all of his followers to visit, what to speak of reside there. Thus he continued to encourage the global development of farming communities based on the template of New Vrindaban – holy dhamas in the Western world. Devotees could be successful in their efforts to establish these Western dhamas provided that they followed Prabhupada’s instructions. The potency to invoke the dhama was with Srila Prabhupada, and those who sincerely followed His Divine Grace could be empowered instruments in his will.

While other farming communities were established during Srila Prabhupada’s time, His Divine Grace did not directly instruct that they “replicate” Vraja, as he had done in the case of New Vrindaban. Instead he emphasized self-sufficiency and communal living based on the principles of varnasrama-dharma. In all cases, however, he installed Deities at the center of the community, and by his disciples’ adhering to the activities of pure devotional service, those farming communities also became holy places.

CLICK HERE for more info about Sivarama Swami’s books.

 

Board Members Host Lively Community Dialog In New Vrindaban


Community Dialog on the topic of a possible “Village Council” at the onsite Joint Board Meetings in New Vrindaban

by Lilasuka dasi

The weekend of March 14 and 15, 2015 was a jam-packed, exciting and informative two days for New Vrindaban (NV). There used to be two weekends a year when the two Boards of Directors, namely ISKCON New Vrindaban (INV) & ECO-Vrindaban would get together with their managers and staff so all involved could connect and communicate. Starting two years ago, however, the joint board members decided to expand these weekend gatherings and open them up for all New Vrindaban residents and well-wishers to participate as well.

Devotees at the community dialog.

Devotees at the community dialog.

During the weekend of March 14 and 15, the activities were divided into four sections:

  1. morning: Dept. Heads presented their yearly reports- accomplishments and goals.
  2. afternoon the Community Dialog sessions were held – formal opportunities for board and community members to interact and share concerns with each other, the goal being to improve overall relationships. This year a Village Council idea was introduced.
  3. Sunday morning, everyone was invited to go on a tour of the spots around New Vrindaban that are being improved and/or renovated, such as the Deity kitchen at the RVC temple, and the ox barn at Bahulaban, and more.
  4. Sunday after the feast there were service appreciations given for some devotees who have been serving New Vrindaban for some time in different capacities but have recently stopped these services.

 

Jaya Krsna introducing the dept. head meeting.

Jaya Krsna introducing the dept. head meeting.

And, in between, on Sat. evening there was a relaxed, yet informative event at Prabhupada’s Palace. Sankirtan prabhu gave his dramatic, visual powerpoint  presentation called “How the Hare Krsna Mantra Came to the West”.

The account in this article is a glimpse into Saturday afternoon’s discussion, just one of the weekend’s events, to inform anyone who missed it. There will soon be a series of detailed articles written by Madhava Smullen who also participated in the weekend activities.

Of particular interest to the residents of New Vrindaban was a lively community dialog,, after lunch on Saturday March 14, 2015, which was well attended by many community members. Chaitanya Mangala introduced the topic of a possible Village Council for New Vrindaban, which is just in the idea stage with no details worked out yet. The proposed Council could ideally consist of a body of local devotees working together, where all residents could feel that they have an increased voice in their community of New Vrindaban.

Chaits mentioned how previously leaders of New Vrindaban had made valiant efforts to manage a community through a non-profit religious corporate structure, but this doesn’t work because the required legal structures have restrictions that can’t be transformed into a broader democratic system. Therefore, we need to approach this from a broader perspective.

Chaits emphasized three buzz words for such a Village Council: small, local and simple.

“Small: Let’s just have a few people on the Council, at least to begin with. Later it can expand as needed.”

“Local: The members should be available to regularly meet face to face, for optimum effectiveness and communication.”

“Simple: Let’s create as few pre-conditions as possible, so as not to restrict the group from starting. They can develop the rules they will operate under as they move forward.”

Chaitanya Mangala’s proposal for a “Village Council” is based, in part, on the following quote from Srila Prabhupada:


“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.” 

Here is a link:

 

Then the discussion was opened up. Devotees were expressing themselves very respectfully, but frankly as well. Many remarked afterwards that this was a mature discussion coming out of people’s honest desires to have a “village voice”. That is, the residents of New Vrindaban want a voice in how the community is run, so they spoke up frankly, but also showed much appreciation for the current leaders and managers and all the challenges they’ve faced.

At the community dialog.

At the community dialog.

The apathy in NV over the years was mentioned as one of the many challenges. This apathy has different sources. There is much skepticism that things will change, yet others still have hope. Some devotees have complained that, in their opinion, New Vrindaban is being run as more of a corporation than a spiritual institution. Some asked what kind of influence would a Village Council really have on the decision-making process in New Vrindaban. The NV Advocacy Sanga has been discussing many of these issues for the last year and a half.

One devotee appreciated that this year has been identified by Jaya Krsna prabhu as the year of “deepening relationships”. Just as we have to continuously deal with the structure of the roads and buildings of NV, dealing with ongoing devotee relationships is also essential.

A suggestion came up for us to possibly study how a few successful intentional communities run and what their successes are based on. Mukunda das said, “Those communities, although they may not be based on spirituality, have many of the “0’s” in the equation, but we have the “1” (Krsna) to make it perfect. So we can still learn from them.”

An old friend and well-wisher of the Hare Krsna movement, Burke Rochford, a professor of sociology, was present at the meetings. He expressed that he sees these types of dialogs as very important. He said that since Srila Prabhupada had set up New Vrindaban as a community, as opposed to a city temple, that we have had to face certain special challenges. He has also come to understand that the voices of the residents need to help shape the direction of New Vrindaban.

There was a short discussion on the topic of the Sunday feast. People were expressing both sides, namely what enlivens and what sometimes discourages the devotees’ attendance.

Although many topics were touched upon, the themes that were recurring throughout the afternoon were the need for the residents’ voices to be heard and the challenge of rebuilding trust. It was suggested that a Village Council could address these types of concerns for a win/win situation.

crowd at comm dialog4

The NV Advocacy Sanga announced that the Sanga will continue the discussion of a Village Council and try to come up with a solid proposal from their side. They also expressed their wish, along with the joint Board members, that this healthy, open discussion will continue in the community at large.

Jayapataka Swami and Others to Present at Festival of Inspiration’s 15th Anniversary in New Vrindaban


by Madhava Smullen

Poster for Website

Since its launch in 2000, Festival of Inspiration has been a unique standout of the festival season. It has just the right mix of enlightening presentations by ISKCON’s best speakers; top-quality entertainment from dramas to stand-up comedy; rip-roaring kirtans; and mouth-watering prasad.

This year, 600 to 700 devotees from all over the USA, Canada and beyond are expected to flood into the emerald hills of New Vrindaban, West Virginia from Thursday May 7th to Sunday the 10th for FOI’s unmissable 15th Anniversary event.

World-renowned kirtan singers Agnideva Das and Karnamrita Dasi will kick off proceedings on Thursday with an evening of ecstatic kirtan and bhajans from 6 to 10pm.

On Friday and Saturday, after a special themed Bhagavatam class by a VIP guest, the presentations will begin. With three on offer at once, devotees will have the chance to pick their favorite from 18 different seminars over the weekend.

Jayapataka Swami, making a rare appearance outside of India and his very first at Festival of Inspiration, is expected to draw quite the crowd for his presentation. He’ll also give one of the weekend’s special extended Bhagavatam classes.

Also presenting for the first time will be Vrindavana pilgrimage guide Deena Bandhu Das, who is expected to take audiences for a dive into Lord Krishna’s nectarean pastimes with his unrivaled storytelling skills.

Other speakers will include walking monk Bhaktimarga Swami; Srila Prabhupada’s personal servant Srutakirti Das; New Vrindaban’s own simple living expert Varshana Swami; and academic scholars Ravindra Svarupa and Radhika Ramana.

Also appearing will be Prabhupada’s early disciple Malati Dasi; respected educators Laxmimoni Dasi and Urmila Dasi; ISKCON Communications Director Anuttama Das, BBT editor Dravida Das; and inspirational university preacher Kalakantha Das.

Topics are expected to range from practical life skills such as public speaking to in-depth looks at the lives of Vaishnava saints, to Srutakirti’s wonderful stories of his time with Srila Prabhupada.

Attendees will also have the option to take part in two special 15th Anniversary treats offered simultaneously alongside the seminars. They’ll be able to join a host of renowned kirtaniyas for bhajans in the covered “yajnashala” on the temple grounds. And they’ll get to spend quality time with visiting Swamis and senior devotees in the question and answer tent.

Choose from many nectar seminars.

Choose from many nectar seminars.

Parents will be free to attend all of this, with experienced child-carers running an all-day Kid’s Tent where children will be engaged in a variety of fun Krishna conscious activities.

In the evenings, senior devotees and kirtaniyas will lead “Nama-Yajnas” from 7 to 10pm in the temple, delving deeper and more joyfully into the Holy Name.

Meanwhile Sunday morning will see devotees running to the community hall to save their seats for one of FOI’s most popular offerings – two hours of transcendental entertainment including an epic drama by Bhaktimarga Swami, and a collection of side-splitting comedy sketches by professional New York comedian Yadunath Das.

The festival will then conclude with a delicious classic Sunday Feast.

Of course, prasadam throughout the Festival will be top notch, with breakfast, lunch and dinner served every day, a variety of international menus, and healthy options at every meal.

“The prasadam at Festival of Inspiration is legendary,” says organizer Vrindavana Das. “Nothing can compare. We spend most of our budget on prasadam.”

Accommodation is also first class, with the recently renovated Palace Lodge offering fully-furnished onsite motel quality rooms with either double queen or king beds. Guests are advised to register early as onsite accommodation is expected to be booked by the end of March. For overflow guests, rooms will be booked at local hotels within a 15 to 30-minute driving distance.

“Festival of Inspiration is always a consistently enlivening experience,” comments Kalakantha Das, who has brought students from Gainesville’s Krishna House to FOI for years. “It’s uniquely educational in nature — you have a chance to hear from very experienced and educated devotees in interesting fields. Attendees get a good sense of the veracity of Krishna consciousness and the variety of ways that it can be practiced and experienced.”

“It’s a rare opportunity for devotees to come together for the purpose of association,” adds book distributor Vaisesika Das, who attended last year. “And the varied choice of presentations lets everyone fill up their devotional plates and eat to their full satisfaction!”

Register now by calling 304.843.1600 ext. 134 & 129, or visiting http://www.festivalofinspiration.net/registration/

For the schedule and more details, visit http://www.festivalofinspiration.net

ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 02/22/2015


ECO-Vrindaban Logo New Vrindaban ISKCON

Mission Statement: ECO-Vrindaban promotes Simple Living, Cow Protection, Engaging Oxen, Local Agriculture, and above all, Loving Krishna, as envisioned by Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON New Vrindaban.

Participating Members of the ECO-V Board of Directors: Bhima, Chaitanya Mangala, Kripamaya, and Ranaka.

Participating Advisors: Jaya Krsna, Radha-Krishna, Sri Tulasi Manjari

Participating Managers: Mukunda

Recording secretary: Jordanna

1.  Refining ECO-V Mission Statement

Whereas: The ECO-V board wishes to continue refining its mission statement for clarity and brevity.

Resolved: The board adopts the following as our updated mission statement:

Mission Statement: ECO-Vrindaban promotes Simple Living, Cow Protection, Engaging Oxen, Local Agriculture, and above all, Loving Krishna, as envisioned by Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON New Vrindaban.

2. ECO-V Posters

Whereas: The ECO-V board wishes to have posters designed related to its mission and “Prabhupada’s Vision for New Vrindaban.”

Resolved: The board authorizes up to $500 for poster designs.

3. Kacey’s Retirement and Replacement Search

Kacey got an opportunity to be a director at a non-profit called Grow Ohio Valley and she resigned from ECO-V in February. The board members are simultaneously sad to see her go and happy to know she found a position where she will still be able to regularly interact with ECO-V because she oversees Grow Ohio Valley’s local food production efforts in Marshall County. There was a general discussion defining Kacey’s contribution to the garden and what sort of person should be considered for the position. The ECO-V team will continue a search till a suitable Garden Manager replacement is found.

4. March Onsite Meeting Preparation

A brief overview of the weekend schedule:

Saturday

Morning: Department Head Presentations

Afternoon: Community Dialogue

Evening: Sanga with Prabhupada at his Palace

Sunday

Morning: Parikram Tour

Afternoon: Temple Program & Service Appreciations

5. Mukunda’s Relocation Plans

Mukunda plans to relocate to New Vrindaban the end of March; he will have a clearer idea of when exactly that will be by the on-site meeting.

ISKCON New Vrindaban (INV) allocated $25K budget toward the renovation of the Prabhupada House (aka the “Green House”). Vyasasana will start the renovations. Once underway he will be able to give a clearer picture of the timeframe required.

6. ECO-V Bahulaban Barn Rehabilitation

This project has been on hold since January due to the weather and will resume once conditions improve.

7. INV Bahulaban Utility Building Roof & Window Repair

The roof was completed in December and some exterior clean-up has been done. The Stone Shop roof has not been done. The Amish workers are offering a good price to finish that section of the roof. The Joint Boards will look at this project during the on-site meeting.

8. INV Palace Renovation Matching Grant

There are three projects currently in the works:

1)      Part of the exterior wall

2)      The upper stairs

3)      Expanded 80-car parking lot.

9. INV “Reduce/Reuse” – Water Filling Stations

The existing stations are being used. The outside filling station still needs to be installed. This should be done by summer in time for the festival season.

10. INV “Reduce/Reuse” – Signs

A sign was placed at the new water filling station near Prabhupada’s Palace. This project has been completed.

11. INV/ECO-V Garden of 7 Gates 3 High Tunnel Greenhouses

These are completed, but still need shelving. David will install them when weather warms up. Vidya will start growing flowers in March.

12. Solar Equipment

Additional panels will be installed on the existing solar electric system to offset the increased electric usage at the Prabhupada House (formerly known as the Green House).

The Hero’s Journey in New Vrindaban – April 3-5, 2015


Prabhupada’s Vision For New Vrindaban


Prabhupada Sangam Invitation, Saturday March 14 with Sankirtan Das


New Vrindaban Prabhupada Palace

Srila Prabhupada in his Palace

Sankirtan dasa New Vrindaban

Sankirtan Das

Presentation created and given by Sankirtana Das.
The Program this Saturday at Prabhupada’s Palace starts promptly at 5:45 PM, beginning with kirtan followed by the “Presentation” at 6:00 PM, shown for your pleasure and education with open discussion afterwards. The evening Aroti will be followed by prasadam.
“Voyage to the West: Why & How the Hare Krishna Movement Came to America” -
A power point show of 130 pictures commemorating the 50th  anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in America. The presentation will include  background & history  on the Movement’s origins in India, Srila Prabhupada’s improbable Journey to America, and the socio-political climate when he arrived here.
The show is prepared and presented  by Sankirtana Das, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, 40 year resident of New Vrindaban Community, a sacred storyteller and author of the award-winning book Mahabharata: The Eternal Quest. see www.Mahabharata-Project.com  and professional programs at  www.Sacredvoices.com

Open Invitation Reminder: March 13, 14 & 15, 2015


New Vrindaban Logo color    ECO-Vrindaban Logo New Vrindaban ISKCON

The board members of ISKCON New Vrindaban and ECO-Vrindaban humbly invite all New Vrindaban residents and well-wishers to participate in the upcoming weekend activities.

Weekend schedule:

Friday, March 13th.

7:00 to 8:00 pm: Dinner Prasadam with Board Members & GBCs (at Radha Vrindaban Chandra’s Temple)

Saturday, March 14th.

9:45 am to 1:30 pm: Department Head Presentations for 2015 (under the Lodge)

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm: Lunch Prasadam (at Radha Vrindaban Chandra’s Temple)

2:30 pm to 4:30 pm: Community Dialog (under the Lodge)

6:00 pm to 7:30 pm: Srila Prabhupada Sangam & Prasadam (at his Palace)

Sunday, March 15th.

10:00 am to 1:00 pm: New Vrindaban Parikram Tour (various locations around the Community)

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm: Sunday Program & Feast (at Radha Vrindaban Chandra’s Temple)

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm: Community Service Appreciations (under the Lodge)

Prabhupada’s Vision for New Vrindaban: Holy Pilgrimage


New Vrindaban Radha Gopinath Seven Temples

Artist rendering of the Radha Gopinath Mandir under construction in New Vrindaban.

“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.” – Srila Prabhupada, 1970.

Click here to read the rest of the letter at the Vanipedia website.

2cowsbylake.jpg

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Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
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Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

"May cows stay in front of me; may cows stay behind me; may cows stay on both sides of me. May I always reside in the midst of cows."
Hari Bhakti-vilas 16.252