Ya, I know, it doesn’t look like much now…but it has “Great Potential.”
Great Potential @ New Vrindaban
by Vyasasan das
In some of my previous posts entitled Ox Barn Project and the Eco-Village I have been chronicling some of the positive changes that are beginning to happen here at the New Vrindaban Farm Community in West Virginia. Although there is so much that needs to be done, some of the improvements that are taking place, are beginning to change the atmosphere, and enliven some of its residents and the locals as well. For too long, New Vrindaban was caught in some kind of ‘time warp’ where things were simply neglected and had fallen into a state of disrepair and abandonment. Roofs were leaking, floors were caving in, post and beams were beginning to rot, and the elements of Nature were reclaiming the land once again.
Which was sad to witness, because New Vrindaban has so much history, and so much infrastructure, which was mostly a product of bhakti (devotional service) that it was sad to see it fall into ruin. But as it is in nature after a storm, the sky again clears, and the sun reappears, so it is with New Vrindaban, that there were dark days and the hope is beginning to return, a glimmer at a time. This I attribute to a small circle of devotees who remembered that two of the main purposes of New Vrindaban is agriculture and protecting the cows. And as one famous devotee here pointed out “that cows come in two sexes” and thus the Oxen Project was re-born.
“Agriculture and protecting cows, this is the main business of the residents of Vrindaban, and above all simply loving Krishna.”…..Srila Prabhupada, July 1973.
The second of New Vrindaban’s purposes is to create an ideal village, a Vedic or Eco Village. This topic has been openly discussed and greeted with enthusiasm by some of the residents and outside supporters of the plain living concept. The Eco Village is a hot topic at the moment.
“It may be an ideal village where the residents will have plain living and high thinking.” – Srila Prabhupada, June 1968.
I have maintained since the beginning of these discussions, that it is of topmost importance to establish “Cottage Industry” (i.e. small business’s such as a woodworking shop, blacksmith, pottery, candle/soap making, agricultural products etc., just to name a few) to support such a communal ideal.
This is where the Utility Building at New Vrindaban can come into play. It is a monumental building, that at one time housed devotee businesses and many devotee residences. It is well built and surprisingly, it is in very good shape structurally! It has Great Potential!
Some time back I was asked to give an estimate on a new roof as ISKCON New Vrindaban was in a position to put a new roof on half of the building to stop the water damage. It was decided we would ask some local Amish workers to do the roof repair, and they put on a new metal roof on the one half of building.
This was a great decision on behalf of the current administration, because it saved the building. Without immediate attention, the building was sure to decline rapidly as the following pictures will testify. The water damage was becoming so severe that a whole section of floor caved in, and this was sure to lead to more damage if it was not addressed.
With the new roof, in essence saving the building from further decline, it opened up the possibility of reclaiming the building again, for use by members of the community.
The second floor has a woodworking shop, some office type rooms, and 19 residence type rooms down main hallway, plus an area for bathrooms and shower facility. I personally see that it has great potential for either guest housing (retreats, festivals, etc.) or devotee housing.
*Now of course this is just my vision, and ISKCON New Vrindaban Management will have their own ideas on what should be done and where, but for me, I believe that renovation and remodeling old buildings is a better use of the resources, than tearing down structures and building new building from scratch. I like to save buildings and resources…maybe this is my understanding of “reuse reduce recycle.” Or maybe it is just a good practice. Hare Krishna!
“I am always thinking of your New Vrindaban. The milk which we are taking here is not at all comparable with New Vrindaban milk.” – Srila Prabhupada, 1969.
Click here to read the rest of the letter at the Vanipedia website.
Here are the 8:00 A.M. Srimad Bhagavatam Class Speakers –week of Feb. 28- March 6, 2015
Sat 28th – HG Kripamaya Prabhu
Sun 1st- ?
Mon 2nd – HG Gopal Hari Prabhu, visiting from Boise
Tu 3rd– HDG Srila Prabhupada
Wed 4th – HG Malati Prabhu?
Th 5th- Gaura Purnima: HG Nityodita Prabhu
Fri 6th – HG Ananda Vidya Prabhu ?
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
As we do twice a year, the board members of ISKCON New Vrindaban and ECO-Vrindaban are organizing a weekend of open presentations, discussions and tours.
We humbly invite all New Vrindaban residents and well-wishers to participate.
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 (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)
We would be honored if you join us throughout the weekend and look forward to seeing you then.
Jaya Krsna das
ISKCON New Vrindaban Community President
Everyone is invited to GAURA PURNIMA FESTIVAL in New Vrindaban.
Thursday March 5, 2015
5:00 AM MANGAL ARATI
5:30 AM NRSIMHA PRAYERS
5:45 AM TULASI PRAYERS
6:00 AM JAPA
7:30 AM GURU PUJA
8:00 AM GREETING THE DEITIES
8:20 AM SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM CLASS
11:00 AM GOVARDHAN PARIKRAMA ( weather permitting)
1:00 PM ARATI
1:30 PM CLASS
2:15 PM *Lunch Prasadam (for those who are not fasting)*
2:30 PM GAURANGA BHAJANS
4:00 PM Special Presentation by Sankirtan das:How & Why the Hare Krsna Mantra Came West
5:00 PM ABHISHEKA ON THE ALTAR
6:00 PM LECTURE BY HIS HOLINESS VARSANA SWAMI
7:00 PM ARATI
7:40 PM MAHA KIRTAN
8:00 PM PRASADAM FEAST
Your preparations for the Lord are welcome. Please bring them by 5:45 PM. Thank you!
Everyone is invited to a CD release party for the “New Vrindavan Mellows” CD.
Sunday March 1, 2015
1:30 PM- 2:00 PM (instead of Sunday feast lecture)
Sadaruci and Govardhan (British) prabhus have completed production of a CD called “New Vrindavan Mellows”.
It features a variety of local devotee musicians singing different bhajans and kirtans.
On Sunday, we will get a short preview of some of the songs by a few of the performers in the temple room for the pleasure of Their Lordships and the devotees.
The CD Producers are also sponsoring the Sunday Feast.
Jesse and Lilasuka dasi
Abhay das (mrdanga)
“To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all people in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.” Srila Prabhupada, Seven Purposes of ISKCON, 1966.
Click here to read the other purposes at the ISKCON.org website.
“I am sure this Prasadam attraction will make our neighbors friendly and surely they will come in number in future so that New Vrindaban will be ideal place for visiting from the neighboring provinces [&] counties.” – Srila Prabhupada, 1968.
Click here to read the rest of the letter at the Vanipedia website.
By Nityodita das
Recently there was a flurry of pictures online of the Grand Opening of Srila Prabhupada’s Palace, 1979. The memories evoked from those photos reminded me of the wonderful years spent rendering concrete service (pun intended) there and the community momentum that was built alongside its construction.
In 1980, I, along with several devotees were interviewed by BTG magazine and they quoted me as saying that my experience was that building the Palace actually built us into devotees! It was way more than a construction project, it was devotional training in the art of offering love to guru and Krsna!
Now that the Palace is undergoing major renovation work by hired professionals , I was contemplating how to generate, at least in my own heart, a revival of the original enthusiasm of those special days leading up to and immediately following the several years of grand festivals at the Palace.
As I was praying, a tiny group of devotees, Trevor, Kalpa, Daivata were pulling me with their invitations to the Palace to attend Prabhupada’s Mangal arotik at 6am. I was torn, as that was my japa time. But after a few days, I agreed to go…just one day….just to “encourage” them. Lol
But what happened though was truly amazing! Although, there was only a handful of us, the transcendental acoustics generated by the enthusiastic singing of Samsara Davanala Lidha Loka……in the temple room somehow super amplified our voices and I had to look up towards the dome to make sure I wasn’t missing the presence of any demigods singing! The intimacy I felt between us kirtaneers, who were chanting and dancing with abandon, seemed like something out of Chaitanya lila. This heart to heart feeling was enhanced by Prabhupada’s powerful presence magnified by the compactness of the sacred space of his gold and marbled temple room.
This Kirtan transported me back to a place of intense joy and service, the Grand Opening………..of the heart. This renovation is universal! It is available for all! No previous experience necessary, no resumés required! The only tools needed are your hands for clapping or making music, legs for dancing and voice for singing! No professional chanters needed!
Now, I regularly attend Prabhupada’s Mangala arotik every day that I am at New Vrindaban, have made it a regular part of my sadhana and am humbly inviting everyone to help renovate Prabhupada’s Palace!
by Vidya dasi
Wouldn’t it be nice to fix up the play ground at the New Vrindaban Home School Co-op, Gopal’s Garden?
Wish they would do that!
Wait! Who’s “they”?
It’s me! Us! What could I do? Well I’ve been part of some great projects in the past at New Vrindaban. Why not try something else? So, for 2015, I am making this playground improvement my service. If you have ideas for this, or would like to help, please let me know. I already have some things we can use. Plus, the added attraction is that Ruci is cheering me on!
See the link below for a great sand box for the school.
Vidya 304 845 5416
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Hari Bhakti-vilas 16.252