From the Garden 4-17-2014


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This week in the garden the first flowers of the season began to bloom, the hyacinth. We are also seeing the first signs of peonies and lilies. A few of the bush cherries have also bloomed. Soon the garden will be filled with many beautiful flowers. We have planted lilac bushes beside the Garden of Gates entrance to greet visitors with their elegant fragrance and beautiful purple flowers.

Snap peas and shell peas were planted in beds that last year were the home to many marigolds. Legumes such as peas provide nitrogen in the soil. Peas are in the legume family, which means they have the unique ability to absorb nitrogen from the air as well as from the soil. But in order to achieve this, their roots must be in the presence of a particular strain of rhizobial bacteria, Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar vicaea. When the bacteria enters the roots of the plant, it forms nodule. Inside the nodules is where the atmospheric nitrogen is converted so it can be utilized by the plant as a nutrient. A powdered inoculant can be used by dry coating the seeds or making a slurry and soaking the seeds in the mixture. The trellises are up and now we are looking forward to a bounty of delicious peas in June.

Another project started this week was garden weed composting. We are trying a hot composting method. The weeds pulled from the garden are placed on thick black plastic and covered with a layer of black plastic. Garden waste, known as green manure is very high in nitrogen which allows them to break down into compost quickly. The weeds are left to heat up under the plastic undisturbed for one week. Then for the next 10-15 days the compost in mixed every other day, until is has broken down into a useable green manure. Cold composting (leaving uncovered and undisturbed) can take 6-12 months and can leave viable weeds seeds. When using weeds for compost hot composting is the best choice.

In the next few weeks we will be planting Carpathian Walnuts and peach trees. As well as planting beets, greens, and a few other early spring vegetables.

New Vrindaban’s Transcendental Throwback Thursday – 04/17/14


Back to Godhead - Volume 11, Number 01 - 1976

New Vrindaban’s Transcendental Throwback Thursday – 04/17/14.

Each week we highlight an earlier era of ISKCON New Vrindaban.

This digital photo is a bit fuzzy and it’s challenging, but not impossible, to identify people in it.

This week’s challenge:  We are hoping someone familiar with the photo can share some history as well as the names of some of the many devotees in it.

Extra credit: What year was this photo taken and what was the occasion?

What to do: Post your guesses on the “who, what, when, where & why” in the comment section at the New Vrindaban Facebook Page.

Technical stuff: We share a photo Thursday and confirm known details Sunday. Let’s keep it light and have a bit of fun!

Special request: If you have a photo showing New Vrindaban devotees in action, share it with us and we’ll use it in a future posting.

New Vrindaban Daily darsan @ April 16, 2014


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O brother, what kinds of enjoyment have you not already experienced in this world of birth and death? What kind of fame and worship have you not already attained in this world by scholarship, charity, and sacrifice? For today, O friend, simply accept whatever food comes unsought, look to see the good qualities in others and not their faults, do not put yourself forward, but remain obscure and unknown, and continually wander, without any companion, in this beautiful forest of Vrinda?vana.

[Source : Nectarean Glories of Sri Vrindavana-dhama by Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati Thakura, Sataka-2, Text-14, Translation.]

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Acyuta Gopi dasi leading New Vrindaban’s 24 Hour Kirtan – June 15th, 2013


Video of Acyuta Gopi dasi leading New Vrindaban’s 24 Hour Kirtan - June 15th, 2013.


Download Video with Vixy.net | YouTube to MP3

New Vrindaban Festivals Inspire and Build Relationships


FOI Poster

by Madhava Smullen

The Vaishnava tradition is famous for its festivals. And within ISKCON, the New Vrindaban community in West Virginia has become one of the most renowned places to celebrate — both because of its rustic beauty, and because of its unique Krishna-centered events.

As New Vrindaban finds a fresh start and rebuilds itself, festivals have been found to be one of the best ways to inspire and bring together devotees, as well as to develop a mutually appreciative relationship with the local public.

The longest running of these festivals, and the most important to Krishna devotees, is, of course, Janmastami, Lord Krishna’s appearance day. First observed in New Vrindaban in 1970, it’s now celebrated on four different days—August 16th, 17th, 23rd, and 30th this year. And it draws 400 devotees and congregation members on each, with 1,000 flooding in for the main event.

People pack into the large temple room, decorated to the rafters with festoons and balloons, to chant and dance before the three shining golden altars and to hear Krishna’s pastimes all day long. They even go on pilgrimage to an area of the community representing the sacred Govardhana Hill, just as they would in the original Vrindaban.

In the evening, Sri Sri Radha-Vrindaban Chandra are bedecked in outfits made entirely from flowers. And as darkness falls, They are seated on a 15-foot swan boat draped in festive lights, and glide out over the water of New Vrindaban’s “Swan Lake” in graceful figure eights.

From the banks, devotees belt out a tumultuous kirtan, as fireworks burst in the night sky. It’s the kind of atmospheric touch that New Vrindaban brings to all its events.

Many of New Vrindaban’s festivals have unique features. The community’s celebration of Lord Nrsimhadeva’s appearance, for instance, brings with it an increased spiritual depth, because New Vrindaban is home to the only full-size Nrsimha Deity in North America.

Sculpted by resident artist Soma Das and installed in 1986, the ferocious Lord with His deep black skin, sharp teeth and nails and golden mane stands seven feet tall.

Every year (on May 13th in 2014), local devotees and some from across North America come to worship Him with ecstatic kirtans and abhishekas. For them, there’s something undeniably intimate and sweet about bathing the fearsome Deity, Whom they look to for protection.

Lord Nrsimha Janmastami 2013

Lord Nrsimha Janmastami 2013

On a larger scale, meanwhile, is Festival of Inspiration. “It was started by Anuttama and Rukmini Prabhus in 2000,” says New Vrindaban festival organizer Vrindavan Das. “Then Malati Prabhu ran it for 12 years, before training me up and handing it over to me last year.”

The 14th annual FOI will run from May 9th to 11th over Mother’s Day Weekend this year, and is expected to draw 500 to 600 devotees. Twenty-two seminars and workshops on all aspects of Krishna conscious philosophy, arts and culture will be given by Radhanath Swami, Bhakti Marg Swami, Malati Dasi, Rukmini Dasi, Vaisesika Das, Srutakirti Das and many more.

Presentations at FOI are diverse, offering a Krishna-ized take on such topics as music, marriage, art and photography, travel, yoga, and holistic health. With several seminars on offer at any given time, attendees hop from classroom to classroom, trying to catch their favorite speakers.

Mornings feature themed classes by senior devotees on Srila Prabhupada’s pastimes or other inspirational topics. And evenings are full of the best spiritual entertainment for every taste – there’s bhajans, rock music, Bharat Natyam dancing, dramas, stand-up comedy and much more.

Lawn Bhajans. FOI 2013

Lawn Bhajans. FOI 2013

“Festival of Inspiration is perfect for devotees — they get wonderful association with peers and senior devotees, high quality presentations, and of course quality prasadam!” says Vrindavan.

Just as beloved by devotees are the appearance and disappearance days of ISKCON’s founder Srila Prabhupada, to be held on August 18th and October 27th this year. On both days, there are two programs – one in the temple, and one at Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold.

Devotees congregate for over three hours in each location to hear about Srila Prabhupada from senior devotees like Malati Dasi, and many who helped build the palace for their beloved guru with their own hands, like Varshana Swami, Gaura Shakti Das, Nityodita Das, and Soma Das.

“Prabhupada spent quite some time here at New Vrindaban,” says Vrindavan Das. “So as they recount their memories you can hear how each devotee has a personal relationship with him and how he touched each of them in an exceptional way. It’s very, very moving to hear them speak.”

New Vrindaban also uses some of its festivals to develop healthy relationships with the local community and to attract young American university students to Krishna consciousness. Chief of these is the relatively new Festival of Colors, introduced in 2012.

Vrindavan, who has a B.A. in Marketing, does a blitz of advertising for the event. He sends press releases to eleven newspapers, appears on local TV and radio stations, and speaks at Religion classes at eight different universities in the tri-state area.

It works. From 1,100 in its first year, 6,000 people are expected to attend Festival of Colors on September 13th this year.

Based on the traditional festival Holi, Festival of Colors connects powerfully with the general public because it introduces Krishna consciousness in such a fun, subtle way.

“The Festival of Colors is basically chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra for seven hours, but in contemporary music styles such as rock, reggae, and hip-hop,” Vrindavan says. “This year Namrock, the Mayapuris, the Gosh Brothers, Srikalogy and Ananda Groove will be playing.”

Every year, thousands of students dance energetically to the music, calling out Krishna’s names in response to the bands. Every hour, there’s an uproarious countdown, and multicolored dyes are hurled into the air, creating a joyous rainbow cloud against the bright blue sky. When they’re hungry, attendees tuck into delicious prasadam or check out Srila Prabhupada’s books.

This year New Vrindaban devotees will also put on a Festival of Colors in Pittsburgh on April 19th, which is expected to draw a further 5,000 students. There are also plans to expand the event to Athens, Columbus, and other cities.

Since its launch, Festival of Colors has vastly improved devotees’ relationship with Moundsville locals. New Vrindaban residents out shopping often get big smiles and comments like, “Oh you’re from the Hare Krishna temple? I’m coming to Festival of Colors this year!”

The festival is so popular that it inspires many to attend another of New Vrindaban’s biggest events. “Students like chanting at Festival of Colors so much that they come back for more,” says Vrindavan. “Last year, forty-four students joined the devotees at the 24-Hour Kirtan.”

All who do are in for a truly out-of-this-world experience. Up to 800 people gather for the kirtan, which runs non-stop from 8am on Saturday until 8am on Sunday. With prasadam provided so that only small breaks are needed, many chanters go for twenty hours and take a four-hour nap when they’re exhausted. A few very dedicated souls stay up all the way through.

The result is a powerful spiritual energy that fills the room and is felt by all. Devotees close their eyes, rock back and forth, and call out to the Lord like babies to their mothers, sometimes mesmerized by gentle melodies, sometimes pounding drums and jumping high into the air. Afterwards, they return home with what Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu called “the looking glass of the heart” cleansed, and an increased clarity and enthusiasm for their path of devotion.

This year will see two 24 Hour Kirtans – one on the summer solstice from June 21st to 22nd, and one kicking off the month of Kartik from October 11th to 12th. A number of kirtan singers known for their heartfelt devotion will lead the chanting, including Bhakti Charu Swami, Gaura Vani, and the Mayapuris.

24 Hour Kirtan 2013

24 Hour Kirtan 2013

This year, October’s 24 Hour Kirtan will be followed for the first time by a brand new festival, “Kartik at New Vrindaban,” a weekend event during which devotees will offer hundreds of candles and absorb themselves in the pastimes of Lord Damodar. For those unable to make it to the original Vrindavan in India for Kartik, the festival at New Vrindaban will be a Godsend.

Another planned new event is the Srila Prabhupada Festival. This will see many senior Prabhupada disciples from around the world visiting New Vrindaban to share their memories of the ISKCON founder in the peaceful, rural atmosphere of one of his favorite communities.

“Every festival at New Vrindaban attracts hundreds of pilgrims to the community,” says Vrindavan Das. “And all participants get an opportunity to experience New Vrindaban’s unique atmosphere, thus cultivating appreciation for the holy dhama.”

“We are very happy to invite you to our upcoming festival, the most ecstatic of all, The Festival of Inspiration,” he beams. “It will be held on May 9th-11th. We look forward to serving you!”

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Srila Prabhupada Encourages Devotees to “Work Cooperatively” to Build New Vrindaban – July 1971


SP IN NV 1969

Srila Prabhupada Encourages Devotees to “Work Cooperatively” to Build New Vrindaban – July 1971.

From a series of letters written by Srila Prabhupada outlining his vision for New Vrindaban.

Thanks to Vanipedia for the source material.

——————————————————————

July 31, 1971

My Dear Satadhanya,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to thank you very much for your kindly letter dated 25th July, 1971. Very soon I am going to Europe; London and Paris, but soon thereafter I will be returning to USA. At that time I may very well visit New Vrindaban. In the mean time you work cooperatively with the others to make our New Vrindaban a very nice place. Then how I can refuse to visit there? So far your name, Satadhanya was a great devotee king.

Hoping this will meet you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

New Vrindaban Radio FM 88.0


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Live locally, as in near the Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Chandra temple?

Tune into FM Radio 88.0 and hear all temple programs that are going on in the temple room.
Check it out!
Radio FM 88.0- Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Chandra’s special radio broadcasts!

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New Vrindaban’s Transcendental Throwback Thursday – 04/10/14


NV TBT 04-10-14

NV TBT 04-10-14 V2

New Vrindaban’s Transcendental Throwback Thursday – 04/10/14.

Each week we highlight an earlier era of ISKCON New Vrindaban.

From the Holy Scriptures we hear about the sacred nature of all things in Vrindaban, both animate AND inanimate.

Here’s a photo of a public pay phone that, for many years, faithfully served the New Vrindaban residents, pilgrims and guests.

This week’s challenge: What was the location of this phone and when was it there?

What to do: Post your guesses and share your memories on the “who, what, when, where & why” in the comment section at the New Vrindaban Facebook Page.

Technical stuff: We share a photo Thursday and confirm known details Sunday. Let’s keep it light and have a bit of fun!

Special request: If you have a photo showing New Vrindaban devotees in action, share it with us and we’ll use it in a future posting.

NV_ISKCON_Logo_black_small

Agnideva dasa leading New Vrindaban’s 24 Hour Kirtan – June 15th, 2013


New Vrindaban Daily darsan @ April 7, 2014.


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With Their soft flower-petal hands Sri Ra?dha?-Krishna carefully watered the trees and vines from the time of their first sprouting. They nourished them and made them grow and, at the proper time, married each vine to an appropriate tree . When They saw new flowers beginning to blossom, They became delighted and spoke many playful joking words. Let us bow down and offer our respectful obeisances to these trees and vines of Vrinda?vana forest.

[Source : Nectarean Glories of Sri Vrindavana-dhama by Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati Thakura, Sataka-2, Text-11, Translation.]

Please click here for more photos

From the Garden 4/7/14


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Greetings from the Garden……

It has been another busy week in the garden.  Unfortunately, the April showers are keeping us from doing much planting and tilling. In the teaching garden post have been put in for the new fence. The plan for the teaching garden is to have 1/3 flowers, 1/3 greens, and 1/3 perennials & herbs.  In the Garden of Seven Gates we planted Cayuga and Mars grapes this week. They are genetically the most resistant to black (also called brown) rot the bane of Eastern grape growers.

Some of the perennial plants to look forward to in the Garden of Seven Gates include: blueberries, red raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, bush cherries, grapes, honey berries, elderberries, and asparagus.

The newest addition to the perennial fruits in the garden are goji berries. The picture above is of goji berries, they are also know as the wolfberry. Goji berries are often used in traditional Chinese medicine. They are usually cooked or dried before eating.  The berries are high in nutrients and are believed to have many health benefits. You can grow goji berries in your home garden they grow well in containers and in your garden soil. They can be pruned as bushes or trained to grow on a trellis.

Over the next few weeks we will be planting fruit trees, flowering bushes, perennial fruits, and hopefully if the rain holds off spring vegetables.  Until next week, happy gardening.

New Vrindaban Grows Through Care & Communication


by Madhava Smullen

Lilasuka with glasses.

Lilasuka with glasses.

Since moving back to New Vrindaban three years ago, Lilasuka Dasi has used her people skills to inspire residents to care for each other and communicate positively with one another. This, she feels, is the key to the community’s recent attempt at rebuilding and growth.

Originally from Toronto, Lilasuka first lived in the rural West Virginia community between 1980 and 2000, teaching at the day school there.

She then relocated to Pittsburgh until New Vrindaban president Jaya Krishna Das, who calls her “the mother of New Vrindaban,” invited her back to head up the communications department.

From the way she talks about the community, it’s clear that Lilasuka loves New Vrindaban deeply. And that makes her ideal for the job.

“I know the ins and outs of New Vrindaban, and am friends with just about everyone, because I lived here for so long,” she says. “It’s ideal for a deep spiritual life, and is full of interesting people. I just like people, so I like studying them and figuring out how to work with them.”

Initially, the goal of Lilasuka’s department was to establish communications amongst a variety of external groups like the media, the local municipal departments, and the academic community.

And she does nurture a relationship with some, like the Marshall County Tourist Board, whose website advertises New Vrindaban’s festivals and lists Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold as one of the top six tourist attractions in the county.

But her first priority, she felt, was to focus on internal communications amongst New Vrindaban devotees and nearby ISKCON communities.

“A lot of people didn’t know what was going on in New Vrindaban — even those who lived here!” she says. “Now many devotees tell me that they are glad to see the regular updates about what’s happening.”

lila harmonium

Lilasuka writes these updates herself and posts them once or twice a week on Brijbasi Spirit, an online newsletter started ten years ago which she has helped expand from an agrarian-focused publication to a broader community-wide news service.

“I post interviews with devotees, write articles about festivals, and announce seminars, new calf births and more,” she says. “I also write almost every day on the New Vrindaban Facebook page, and have helped to rewrite the community’s official website to make it more accessible.”

As well as keeping devotees informed, Lilasuka’s service has also naturally evolved into devotee care.

“My office has become like a revolving door,” she says. “People come looking for help or advice.”

Some come complaining about other devotees or management, too. Lilasuka encourages them to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. She offers to go with them to discuss their differences with other department staff, or with community president Jaya Krishna. She even helps couples who may be having difficulties in their relationships.

“A lot of misunderstandings come from miscommunications,” she says. She adds that her work has helped devotees embrace a positive attitude and has improved their support of New Vrindaban’s new leadership.

Lilasuka also provides practical care for New Vrindaban residents, and encourages others to help.

“It’s been snowing every day here for weeks, and some of the older devotees can’t even get out of their houses,” she says. “So I’ve been shopping for them or helping them to find rides. I have helpers too. One devotee drives some of the single women who don’t have cars into town to do their shopping every week.”

Lilasuka also recently arranged for the local Department of Health and Human Resources to give a seminar at New Vrindaban on how to apply for President Obama’s mandatory new healthcare plan. Around twenty-five devotees attended. Many expressed their appreciation for making the process a lot easier for them.

Lilasuka has also helped facilitate Canada-based homeopathic doctor Visvadhika Dasi to visit New Vrindaban every few months to care for ill devotees. All this kind of care and communication, she feels, is essential.

“New Vrindaban is such a big place,” she says. “Sometimes people can can get lost here, or feel like they’re not being looked after. There’s definitely a need for that, that I’m trying to fill.”

Lilasuka plans to continue building on this work. One of her most recent steps has been to join the New Vrindaban Community Advocacy Group, an organization formed in December 2013 and comprising of residents rather than management.

“We want to be advocates of devotees in the community who feel they don’t have a voice,” she says. “Our first topic is devotee care: we’ve already had volunteers help older devotees by bringing them basic necessities such as firewood and water.”

As far as communications is concerned, she’s working with North American ISKCON Communications Director Keshava Das on a new print and online newsletter, with news from New Vrindaban’s different departments.

She also hopes to add more staff to the communications department and to increase its outreach efforts amongst other local groups. Already, media communications for festivals is being handled by the aptly named Vrindavan Das.

Lilasuka is clearly excited by her service, and how it can help New Vrindaban in its current rebuilding phase.

“I think it’s making more people aware that working together cooperatively, caring for each other and communicating properly with each other is the key to helping New Vrindaban grow,” she says.

New Vrindaban Daily darsan @ April 6, 2014.


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Happily picking many kinds of flowers from the trees and vines, Radha and Krishna praise the forest of Vrinda?vana. They bathe and sport in the lakes of Vrinda?vana forest and They play with the birds and other creatures there. Who would not serve Vrinda?vana forest, the supreme transcendental abode?

[Source : Nectarean Glories of Sri Vrindavana-dhama by Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati Thakura, Sataka-2, Text-10, Translation.]

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Srila Prabhupada Expresses “Great Hope” & Encourages “Gradual Development” for New Vrindaban – February 1972


Srila Prabhupada reading at the original New Vrindaban farmhouse, 1969.

Srila Prabhupada reading outside the original New Vrindaban farmhouse, 1969.

Srila Prabhupada Expresses “Great Hope” & Encourages “Gradual Development” of New Vrindaban – February 1972.

From a series of letters written by Srila Prabhupada outlining his vision for New Vrindaban.

Thanks to Vanipedia for the source material.

February 28,1972

My dear Satyabhama,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of January 24, 1972, and I am very much pleased that you and your good husband are developing the New Vrindaban land very peacefully, and I think that you both are perfectly suited to remaining there and managing things very nicely, and you may gradually bring that New Vrindaban property to its full potential by stages, and that will please me very much. I always had great hopes for New Vrindaban, and gradually we are developing, as I can understand from Hayagriva’s recent Cow Protection Report.

You are experiencing some doubts, that you cannot believe that the Krishna from Krishna Book can be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that it must be like some fairy-tale. To clear up these things the best remedy is to discuss amongst yourselves all members regularly all our books in classes, then these doubts will be killed. Without reading books it becomes hackneyed and such obnoxious ideas trouble us. Our thoughts are always changing, that is the nature of the mind, so you cannot expect that even the great saintly persons are free from thoughts coming and going. But after thinking there is feeling and willing, willing being the stage of putting the thoughts into action. So if we are able to employ our intelligence, then we kill the thoughts before they become manifest in activity, but because we are so much inclined to enjoy something unintelligently, we have to therefore daily sharpen our intelligence faculty by reading and discussing and preaching to others. In this way we are able very easily to defeat all challengers to our philosophy and everything becomes very clear as it is revealed from different angles of vision. Krishna makes promise to one who is striving to serve Him sincerely that He will give such devotee the intelligence by which he may come to Him. Therefore we should always pray that Krishna may kindly provide me the intelligence to kill all demons of doubt, and because He understands the heart of His sincere devotee, immediately He gives assistance. For my part, for example, I am absolutely certain that anyone who challenges me I can defeat you. Why is that? Because Krishna gives me the intelligence.

Your idea to start a nursery school in New Vrindaban is very good proposal and you may immediately try for it by cooperatively consulting amongst yourselves how to do it. But one thing, we are teaching Bhakti by practical attendance and by decreasing playing desire or drive. If the children simply do as their elders are doing, that is, regularly attending mangal arati, rising early, chanting, eating prasadam, looking at books, worshiping the __ like that, then automatically they will become trained up in right way and there is no need for special program for education. Children will always do as they see others doing, so if by the good association of their parents and the other older persons, they will come out nicely fixed in Krishna Consciousness, and because they are not spoiled by an artificial standard of sense gratification, they will think that performing austerities is great fun, just like in India we see the young brahmacaris are sent out to beg for their spiritual master to teach them humility and non-attachment, and they spend the whole day in the hot sun and come back at night, take a handful of rice, and sleep without blankets on the hard floor—and they take this type of life as very much enjoyable and great fun. This is how we train our children in Krishna Consciousness, just be keeping them always attending our regular program and associating with Krishna devotees, teaching them in spiritual realization by giving them the idea that sacrifice and tapasya for achieving the highest goal of life is a very nice way of life. Not that we shall give them many games for playing, these so-called scientific methods of learning are artificial, unnecessary, and on the whole I do not have much trust in this Montessori system or any other such system of teaching. Your idea for having altars to train the children in deity worship is very nice.

So far your Jagannatha deities which have become badly cracked, it is better to replace them, but if that is not possible then you may repair. The story of Lord Jagannatha is like this: Once King Indradyumna wanted to establish the picture in the temple of Krishna, Subhadra, & Balarama coming in a car or chariot during solar eclipse to Kuruksetra so he employed Visvakarma to carve them from wood, and actually the carving was going on behind closed doors, but the King was very impatient to see, so Visvanatha (Visvakarma) stopped, but the King was satisfied with them half-finished.

Hoping this meets you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

ACBS/sda

New Vrindaban Daily darsan @ April 5, 2014.


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Please worship and serve this effulgent transcendental couple enjoying transcendental amorous pastimes together in this grove of Vrinda?van, His complexion the color of sapphires and Hers the color of gold, He holding a splendid flute and She a red long-stemmed toy lotus, He with a splendid peacock-feather crown and She with long splendid braids, He dressed in splendid yellow garments and She in splendid red garments.

[Source : Nectarean Glories of Sri Vrindavana-dhama by Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati Thakura, Sataka-2, Text-9, Translation.]

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Shankari the Cow Injured


Shankari

Shankari hanging out in her OSU Veterinary Hospital recovery stall.

Early morning on the 14th of March, Shankari, one of the milking cows in the New Vrindaban Goshalla, was found in the milking barn lying in an unusual spot. Lalita Gopi & Venkata Prabhus encouraged her to get up to no avail & knew something must be wrong. They gave her grain & water & kept a close eye on her for the rest of the day to see if she would move on her own. Later on in the day, she got up on her own & they observed that she had a bit of a limp. It was not immediately apparent what part of her was injured – the leg or the shoulder – as she was still putting her weight on it at that time & was let out to pasture which most certainly aggravated the injury.

On Monday the 17th, one of the community doctors came by to take a look at her. He advised the cowherds to monitor her leg closely by measuring it daily for signs of increased swelling, keep her confined inside, &  isolate her from the other cows to prevent them from touching her & thus aggravating her injury further. He said to call the local vet, if there was any sign of it getting worse.

On Tuesday the 18th, Lalita Gopi noticed that the swelling had increased by a half inch & decided to call Dr. Moore, the cows’ usual vet, who was unfortunately not able to make it out until a few days later. In the meantime, Ananda Vidya Prabhu went to Wheeling to pick up another cow vet, Dr. Rana & some first aid supplies for Shankari. Dr. Rana identified that Shankari’s leg was fractured. With the help of Dr. Rana, they bandaged Shankari’s leg & gave her some cow-sized aspirin to reduce the pain & prevent her injury from getting worse until Dr. Moore could come out.

PreOpXray

An x-ray of Shankari’s leg before the operation.

Dr. Moore came out on Friday the 21st & x-rayed Shankari’s leg. He confirmed that it was broken. Dr. Moore contacted the doctors at the OSU Veterinary Hospital in Columbus & they said that surgery was the best treatment option for her. With just a cast alone, the doctors gave her 0-5% chance of recovery, whereas with surgery her chance at recovery was 50%. Typically this type of injury for a cow would be a death sentence, but by Krishna’s mercy, Shankari was fortunate to be in the care of devotees who would go out of their way to do whatever they can to aid in her recovery.

ShankariAtHospital

(left): Murti Prabhu looking at Shankari in the trailer after she was loaded up. (right): Shankari loaded up on the cow stretcher at OSU

On Saturday,the cowherds arranged a divided stall for Shankari in the milking barn to keep her isolated from the other cows & allow her to peacefully rest. By Sunday night all the logistics of transporting Shankari to OSU were worked out & first thing Monday morning Rafael & Murti Prabhu drove her out to Columbus to be treated.

postOpXray

An x-ray of Shankari’s leg after the surgery with all the pins, plates & rods in place

At OSU the surgeon decided that the treatment method that would give Shankari the best chance at full recovery was to put two metal plates/screws & a rod in her leg as the break had produced many fragments. The surgery was performed on Tuesday the 25th.

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(left): Malati Prabhu chanting Hare Krsna to Shankari (center): Malati Prabhu talking with Dr. Andy (right): Dr. Andy Neihaus, Shankari’s good surgeon

On Wednesday, Malati Prabhu & I stopped by to visit Shankari at the OSU where she was recovering from her surgery. We brought her some maha-water from Radha-Nathabara at the Columbus Krishna House. Malati Prabhu chanted Hare Krishna for her benefit, as well as, for the benefit of all the other fortunate souls at the veterinary hospital. We spoke to the surgeon, Dr. Andy Neihaus & he was very happy with Shankari’s recovery. He said she was eating & drinking normally & seemed pretty comfortable getting around in her cast. The doctor said her chance of recovery is 50% & the way things were looking Shankari will be able to go back home to heal peacefully in the holy dham within the next few days.

Shankari showing off her fancy red cast that Dr. Andy put on for her.

Shankari showing off her fancy red cast that Dr. Andy put on for her.

As of right now, Shankari is back in New Vrindaban & her healing journey has just begun. In six weeks she will have another x-ray to make a new cast & see how her healing is progressing. It will be many months before she is able to go out to pasture again. Please send a lot of love, healing energy & prayers Shankari’s way, so that if Krishna wills, she may resume her service to him for many years to come.

Shakari will be recovering in a special stall in the big barn, next to Ranaka’s office and the ox pen. She would love visitors to stop by & see her. For her safety please don’t feed her, go inside with her, give her garlands or anything else before contacting Rafael in person, by phone or email.

 

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