Prabhupada’s Vision: Our Mission.


Village Association Liaison Selected


New Vrindaban - Sudha Krsna Prabhu

Dear devotees,­­­­

The Steering Committee is happy to announce it has selected Sudha Krsna prabhu as the liaison for the Village Association. The committee took this decision after publicly advertizing the position for 10 days, and after duly considering all submitted applications.

We hope this will be a first of many effective ways for your future elected representatives, the Village Council members, to hear your ideas and concerns, as well as for you to be regularly updated with relevant information.

Strengthening our community means to increase our communication and to discover ways to help each other.

What follows is a brief Bio of Sudha Krsna prabhu:

My name is Sudha Krishna das. Many devotees know me as “SD” or Sanatan Dharma das. I joined ISKCON in the summer of 1981 in Toronto, Canada and moved to New Vrndaban in the mid 1980’s where I served until the late 1990’s. In 1999, I received diksha from Srila Govinda Maharaja who has inspired my faith in Srila Prabhupada from the day I met him.

After leaving New Vrndaban with my former wife, Lila Avatar d.d., I attempted to be successful in business and relationships for close to 20 years. But after repeated failed attempts and having learned many valuable lessons, I contacted Jaya Murari Prabhu who reminded me of the importance of sadhu sanga, living in the holy tirtha, and taking only Krishna Prasdam.

I therefore recently came back in New Vrndaban with every intention of staying. I feel immensely grateful to be back and my foremost desire is to be of service to all devotees, past, present and future.

While away from New Vrndaban, I have acquired a decent amount of experience in the fields of human services, as a drug and alcohol counselor, in non-profit management, as a caregiver for the elderly suffering from dementia, and as a professional salesman.

Now back to New Vrindaban for less than two weeks, I have already been blessed with various opportunities for service. One that I am highly looking forward to is as a Village Association Liaison. I find it exciting and inspiring to be building bridges amongst community members and being instrumental at communicating with, and informing devotees without personal agenda.

I currently have been provided an office space in the Wellness Center where from I can speak with devotees confidentially.

I feel I can be a productive member of the community as well as a responsible and confidential Village Association Liaison. I look forward to connecting with all of you in the near future.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity,

Your servant,

Sudha Krsna das

Sudhakrsnadas@gmail.com

Krishna Janmastami and Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja Schedules


Please join us for our wonderful Janmastami and Vyasa Puja festivals this week!

JANMASTAMI CELEBRATION New Vrindaban ISKCON

Srila Prabhupada’s Appearance Day ISKCON New Vrindaban

We hope to see you there.

Your Servant,

Anadi Radha dasi

Lord Balarama’s Appearance Day is Thursday, August 18th, 2016!


Dear Reader,

Lord Balaramas Appearance Day 7 copy

(Fasting until noon)

We hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

Anadi Radha dasi

July 2016 Brijabasi Spirit Newsletter


Please read our July 2016 edition of the Brijabasi Spirit Newsletter in New Vrindaban!

July 2016 Brijabasi Spirit Newsletter

Read Full Article by clicking below:

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Kulimela Blends Service, Fun, Family and Community


Kulimela 2016 New Vrindaban ISKCON Visvambara Mayapuri Juggernaut Family Community

Vishvambhar from the Mayapuris gets the crowd chanting

Kulimela Blends Service, Fun, Family and Community

Written by Madhava Smullen. Published on ISKCON News June 24, 2016.

The first Kulimela, held in New Vrindaban, West Virginia in 2006, was an effort by ISKCON’s second generation to move away from party-style gurukuli reunions and explore their identity and what they could accomplish both materially and spiritually.

The 10th anniversary of that Mela, which also took place in New Vrindaban from June 15th to 19th this year, took those themes further and showed new levels of maturity and stability amongst the Kuli community, while still being full of joy and celebration.

With a large percentage of the Kulis that attended the 2006 Mela now raising their own children, the 10thanniversary festival focused on celebrating family and building community.

Kulimela 2016 New Vrindaban ISKCON Acyuta 24 hour kirtan

Acyuta Dasi sings at the 24 Hour Kirtan

Around 700 people flooded into the emerald hills of New Vrindaban for the event. They included Kulis from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and across Europe and South and Central America; but also over 100 of the Kulis’ children, as well as a sizeable amount of first generation devotees. This was part of organizers’ efforts to broaden the meaning of the word “Kuli” which literally just means “community.”

No longer just “youth” as they’re still often erroneously known as throughout ISKCON, the second generation attendees themselves ranged in age from teens to mid-forties, many of them working professionals, parents, and valued contributors to their communities.

Kulimela 2016 New Vrindaban ISKCON Ganga Anapayani

Ganga Sheth and Anapayini Jakupko dazzle with their Gambling Match dance from the Mahabharat

This audience, of course, was perfect for the Mela’s themes of family and community, and therefore many of its nearly thirty seminars were geared towards such themes. There were classes on parenting, homeschooling, child protection, finding the right marriage partner and permaculture.

Meanwhile two plenary sessions saw a panel of experts in their fields talking about the importance of family and community in ISKCON and how to improve it, with questions and comments from participants. There were also classes on drama, Indian classical music, Sanskrit grammar, cooking, and yoga.

Kulimela New Vrindaban ISKCON Krsnatone family community

Krsna Tone invites kid dancers on stage to join in with his Krsna-infused dance music

Other seminars focused on healing, taking a serious look at the trauma that ISKCON’s second generation have historically gone through and how to care for oneself. Outstanding issues of child protection and other areas of strained relationship between ISKCON’s first and second generations were also discussed, with attempts at understanding and progressing.

And in the most well-attended session of the Mela, Karnamrita Dasi and Ananta Vrindavana Das, both alumni of Dallas and New Vrindaban Gurukulas, were honored and presented with a plaque by the Kulimela Assocation for their “unique contributions and sacrifices as a pioneer member of our community.”

Kulimela 2016 New Vrindaban ISKCON Family Community

Kulis from the UK hard at service in the kitchen

A heartfelt affair, the ceremony was full of laughter and tears, and generated a newfound appreciation for our brothers and sisters. The hope is that it restarts a tradition born in 2006 of regularly honoring Kulis’ service, inspired by Srila Prabhupada’s assertion in the Nectar of Instruction that “The International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been established to facilitate these six kinds of loving exchanges between devotees.”

Such loving exchanges were a constant throughout the Mela, with Kulis seen throughout tightly embracing old friends, taking prasadam together and sharing their deepest thoughts in confidence. Service was also a huge part of that expression of love, with volunteers cooking and washing pots in the kitchen, giving the morning Bhagavatam class, and working crazy hours to set up the tents, stages and other facilities. Meanwhile teenagers from the Kirtan Experience tour chanted constantly in the all-day bhajan kutir.

Kulimela New Vrindaban ISKCON Family Community Hot Air Baloon

Kulis get hot-air balloon rides over New Vrindaban

Of course, there was plenty of time to cut loose and have fun too. A sports field was active throughout, and every evening from 6:30pm till late, Kulis of every age shared their talents to entertain and uplift. There was magic by Dattatreya Yogesvara, comedy by Ekendra Das, Bharatanatyam by Anapayini, a fashion show by Kuli designers, dance music with a Krishna conscious twist by Krsna Tone and funky kirtan with the Mayapuris, among many, many more acts. All created a sense of togetherness, support and celebration, as everyone danced and sang to their heart’s content.

Caring for our children was a huge focus of the Mela and was evident during the entertainment, with Krsna Tone inviting a huge group of little kids to dance on stage with him and take bows afterwards. The Mela also featured an all-day kids camp run by Vraja Johnson with help from parent volunteers that cared for nearly 100 kids throughout, giving them arts and crafts, storytelling, a gardening experience, Prabhupada’s Palace tour, lots of play time and their own fashion show.

Kulimela New Vrindaban ISKCON Family Community Skylanterns

Getting ready to send lanterns into the sky

“There’s practically no better way to express our themes of family and community than taking care of the future generation,” says co-organizer Chaitanya Mangala Das, whose brother Bhima headed up the Mela.

Reflecting on this 10th anniversary of Kulimela, Chaitanya feels that it was a definite success. “When we look around and see elements of our four main objectives – serving together, building community, transforming hearts, and empowering each other – happening everywhere, and done with smiling faces, we know that we’ve achieved our goal,” he says.

ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 06/26/2016


ECO-Vrindaban New Vrindaban

ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 06/26/2016

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 Directors: Anuttama, Bhima, Chaitanya Mangala, Ranaka and Sri Tulasi Manjari

Participating Advisors: Jaya Krsna, Navin Shyam, Radha-Krishna, Vraja

Participating Managers: Mukunda, Nitaicandra

Recording Secretary: Jamuna Jivani

1. Village Association Liaison

WHEREAS: The ECO-V Board wishes to support the development of a “local self-governing village” in New Vrindaban.

RESOLVED: The Board approves up to $5K to help pay for the cost of hiring a part time Village Association Liaison for one year, under the following terms:

  • INV also commits a matching amount, up to $5K, in order to meet the full $10K request
  • ECO-V receives a report after six months
  • After one year, the pilot program will be reviewed
  • Moving into the second year, the Village Association would be expected to contribute to the Liaison’s salary, up to one third of the total

2. Mukunda’s Monthly Report

Mukunda has reported on the previous month’s projects:

  • Mukunda worked with a crew to clean up the Community Garden and other areas used for Kulimela
  • He has almost finished rebuilding the fence along the edge of the Community Garden that INV took down during construction of the new apartments

3. Nitaicandra’s Monthly Report

Nitaicandra reported on the previous month’s projects:

  • Ox yokes have arrived. Caitanya Bhagavat and Nitaicandra have been working with Hari and Priya for about a week, and they have responded well, even after a long layoff, which Nitaicandra explained is due to the excellent training they previously received.
  • Strawberries have been planted
  • Vegetable starts have been planted out (tomatoes, peppers, okra, kerala, eggplant, and marigolds)
  • Seeds have been directly planted (carrots, beets, radish, squash, beans, herbs, greens, cucumbers, salads, sunflowers, melons and amaranth)
  • Cover crop has been a success so far: cooling the soil, attracting beneficials, discouraging pests, and outgrowing weeds.
  • Heavy mulching has minimized weeding and held moisture during the long dry spells that we have recently experienced.
  • Covering our young fruit trees with netting has protected them from the cicadas
  • Some of our young trees are fruiting for the first time (apple, cherry, peach)
  • Went on an educational paw paw tour with Soma prabhu
  • Regular staff meetings have been going well
  • Electric deer fence is not yet active

Anticipated projects for the upcoming month:

  • An increase in flower production is anticipated and documentation will begin.
  • Berry season is here. We will be collecting cultivated and wild types soon.
  • Preparing and planting our large beds for our grain nursery. This year our grain production is for collecting seed for future use.
  • Our other ox teams will resume their training in the next few weeks.

4. Internal Funding Request: $12K for Two Mowers

WHEREAS: The ECO-V Board wishes to invest in equipment to support its ongoing farming-related projects.

RESOLVED: The Board approves up to $12K for the purchase of a brush hog and lawn mower.

5. Kulimela 2016 Review

Chaitanya Mangala expressed appreciation for the hard work the ECO-V staff contributed to help make it a successful event. The ECO-V members present at the meeting shared their impressions and feedback regarding the event. All thought it was overwhelmingly positive and agreed that New Vrindaban, and particularly INV, was showcased in a way that was well received by festival participants. The organizers reported they are finalizing the financial reports and once ready will provide those to INV & ECO-V as previously promised.

6. Regular ECO-V Staff Meetings

Mukunda reported that staff meetings began approximately one month ago on alternating Fridays from 10:30-11:30 am.  These meetings have been well-attended and are helping to create a more positive culture, as well as provide added support and improved communications between the individuals involved.

June 2016 Brijabasi Spirit Newsletter


ISKCON New Vrindaban Takes Rathayatra to Wheeling for ISKCON’s 50th


By Madhava Smullen

 RYFeature

Devotees from the East Coast of the U.S. and beyond are warmly invited to attend the first ever Rathayatra festival in the city of Wheeling near New Vrindaban, West Virginia on Saturday July 16th.

Previously, since 1973, New Vrindaban residents held their own local, rural Rathayatra, a sweet and bonding tradition with a certain rustic charm.

“Lord Jagannath had several different carts in the early years,” recalls Rupa Ramesvari Dasi. “One year, He had a stage coach like you see in cowboy movies; another He rode Radha-Vrindabanchandra’s teakwood chariot; and for a long time, He had a simple trolley car.”

Then in the early 2000s, Malati Devi, one of the organizers of San Francisco’s 1967 Rathayatra – the first outside India – commissioned a proper traditional chariot to be built. Along with a small cart for the children, and American-style prasadam, the festival grew in popularity as a kind of spiritual family picnic.

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Lord Jagannath Baladeva and Subhadra on chariot with pujaris Jayasri dasi and Vani dasi.

But of course, the Lord of the Universe is for everyone, and when Srila Prabhupada transplanted Rathayatra to the Western World in the 1960s, he focused on cities to reach the most people possible.

“So we thought the 50th anniversary of his ISKCON would be a wonderful opportunity to reach out to our neighbors, particularly the people of Wheeling,” says organizer Vrindavan Das. “For years, we’ve been a bit isolated, and there’s been a gap between the people of Wheeling and New Vrindaban. We want to bridge that gap, share what we have with them, and educate them about our culture and beliefs.”

Wheeling authorities and the Wheeling-Ohio County CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau) agreed, excited about adding a “Festival of India” to their already-existing roster of Greek, Lebanese, and Italian festivals.

“We are looking forward to July 16th’s Festival of India as the latest addition to Wheeling Heritage Port’s summer schedule of events,” says CVB marketing assistant Michael Biela. “This inspirational festival will bring the wonders and enchantments of New Vrindaban and the Palace of Gold to downtown Wheeling for a unique experience that the entire family can enjoy!”

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Ratha Yatra 2015 in New Vrindaban

Some three thousand people are expected for the event, including about 500 devotees from many locations such as New Vrindaban, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cleveland, and New York City.

Beginning at noon, the two-and-a-half-hour Rathayatra parade will make its way from Water Street at the WesBanco Arena through the main streets of busy downtown Wheeling and back.

It’s bound to be quite an eye-catching sight for locals, most of whom will never have seen anything like it before. New Vrindaban’s five-foot tall Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra Deities will beam out from Their hand-carved chariot, its vibrant red and yellow canopy topped with a gold spire rising thirty feet into the air. Srila Prabhupada’s murti will also be on board, with a huge banner above him showing his photo and proclaiming “ISKCON: 1966 – 2016, the Joy of Devotion” and “Celebrating 50 Golden Years” in sparkling golden letters.

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Devotees pulling Lord Jagannath’s chariot in New Vrindaban 2015

Below, hundreds of devotees will be pulling the cart with thick ropes, dancing and chanting in ecstasy, and waving bright, multi-colored flags and balloons in the air. And to refresh the crowd, they’ll be distributing prasadam watermelon, milk sweets and drinks.

Following the parade, there’ll be a cultural spectacular from 3pm to 6pm at the amphitheater in Heritage Port Park, a beautiful space with the magnificent Ohio River as its backdrop.

Lokah Bhakti, a regular favorite at New Vrindaban’s Festival of Colors, will bring his unique brand of energy and Bhakti dance music, along with mantra rock by local New Vrindaban devotee bands. A “color throw” of dyed powders every hour will add to the live music experience and tie in with Festival of Colors, the event for which New Vrindaban is best known locally.

Meanwhile there will also be Bharat Natyam dance by Mansee Singh from Columbus, Bhangra Dance by the Carnegie Mellon University Bhangra Group, and bhajans and kirtan by kirtaniyas from New Vrindaban and Queens, New York.

Adding extra depth will be dramatic storytelling about Lord Jagannath’s appearance by award-winner Sankirtan Das. Sankirtan, who speaks at various universities, has been described by audience members as narrating “with such vivid enthusiasm that one can ‘see’ the scenes as if they were staged.”

Wheeling Mayor Andy Mackenzie will also attend and give a speech. Other VIPs, such as the county commissioner and CVB directors, have been invited and are yet to confirm.

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Lokah Bhakti, yoga instructor and entertainer, on stage at Festival of Colors 2015 in New Vrindaban.

Creating a lively festival vibe, there will also be a number of activity tents hosting a “mantra meditation” japa chanting experience; yoga classes by Lokah Bhakti and New Vrindaban’s own Ananga Manjari; face-painting, music, clowns and yoga for the kids; and a Gita Walk where people will take steps while reciting verses on the soul, reincarnation and devotion.

Finally, for the palate there will be food booths selling Indian, Italian and Mexican prasadam cuisine from New Vrindaban’s Govinda’s Restaurant, as well as smoothies and drinks. And as with most of ISKCON’s spiritual public festivals, there will also be a charitable aspect, with about one and-a-half-thousand free plates of rice, dahl, subji and halava to be distributed.

“It’s going to be a great day of good clean family-friendly fun,” says Vrindavan. “We look forward to developing friendships with the people of Wheeling, and sharing our culture with them.”

ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 05/15/2016


ECO-Vrindaban New Vrindaban

ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 05/15/2016

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 Directors: Anuttama, Bhima, Chaitanya Mangala, Kripamaya, Ranaka and Sri Tulasi Manjari.

Participating Advisors: Jaya Krsna, Radha-Krishna, Vraja

Participating Managers: Mukunda, Nitaicandra

Recording Secretary: Jamuna Jivani

1. Designate Remaining “Project” Topics to ECO-V Managers

Jamuna Jivani will compile a list of ECO-V’s projects list for everyone to review and the managers can discuss in their regular Thursday meetings.

2. External Grant Request: ISKCON Alachua

The Board indicated it is not currently funding additional external grants. Chaitanya Mangala will respond to Mukhya prabhu’s request and inform her.

3. Kripamaya’s Sabbatical Request

In anticipation of the opening of his upcoming Ramayana musical work, Kripamaya has requested a three-month sabbatical from June to August. The Board has agreed to this request with the stipulation that he be available should an additional Director be necessary to constitute a quorum for a vote.

4. Mukunda’s Monthly Report

Mukunda reported on the previous month’s projects:

  • Working with, and engaging Krsna Nama prabhu part-time in various hands-on projects.
  • Repaired the gates at the flower garden.
  • Repaired some fencing at Nandagram and Bahulaban
  • In the process of providing and taking inventory of the needed equipment to our various service locations.
  • Helped with some of the logistics for Festival of Inspiration and Kuli Mela ‘16.
  • Continuing to act as Chair of the Steering Committee meetings and help with the recent Village Association expansion.

Anticipated projects for the upcoming month:

  • Clean and organize the area outside of the milking goshala
  • Build a fence for Dharma the bull
  • Continue to prepare sites to be used for upcoming festivals

5. Nitaicandra’s Monthly Report

Nitaicandra reported on the previous month’s projects:

  • Ordered ox yokes (should be ready soon)
  • Planted potatoes with Ranaka and Ray
  • Started summer vegetable and flower seeds indoors about three weeks ago. Caitanya Bhagavat was caring for them.
  • Cows have been moved to Bahulaban. Caitanya Bhagavat is caring for them.
  • Tilled and planted a cover crop in community garden
  • Krsnanama prabhu composted and mulched about 75% of our young trees in Madhuban.
  • Mukunda and Krsnanama prabhus have been helping with the clean-up of the community garden
  • A half dozen or so devotees claimed garden space in the Community Garden
  • Strawberries arrived
  • Vidya and Julie planted out flower starts in the teaching garden and Vidya’s gardens.
  • Meeting held at the Goshala to discuss how to best serve the cows, cow herds and guests. We came up with a plan to improve the overall appearance and ease of use, including moving the dung pile, improving drainage, adding gravel to road and parking area, and painting.

Anticipated projects for the upcoming month:

  • Covering young fruit trees for cicada protection
  • Planting out early seeds
  • Plant strawberries
  • Plant starts (tomatoes, eggplant, okra, peppers, herbs, etc.)
  • Heavy mulching
  • On-going maintenance
  • As soon as the ox yokes arrive, we will kick start the ox program and resume training.

6. Monthly Team ECO-V Meetings

Ranaka, Mukunda and Nitaicandra are establishing monthly meetings for those involved in ECO-V projects with the intention of increasing camaraderie and cooperation between team members.

7. ECO-V’s Involvement in Kulimela 2016

For the upcoming Kulimela Festival, ECO-V plans to:

  • Prepare sites to be used, including moving stones from the stage area, making the sites look presentable, building a fence and removing trees
  • Offer tours of various locations with cows and gardens
  • If possible, offer demos or workshops

8. Upstairs Bahulaban Barn Community Center Proposal Update

The Board has determined that in order to proceed with any plans for usage, first they must investigate possible health code requirements and have an evaluation made by a structural engineer. The Board asked Mukunda and Ranaka to work on those two issues and report their findings.

9. Village Association Liaison  – Service Description & Funding Request

The Board had a brief discussion on the topic, but due to time constraints, agreed to wait until the next meeting for further discussion.

10. Funding for Dump Trailer

WHEREAS: The ECO-V Board wishes to invest in equipment to support its ongoing farming-related projects.

RESOLVED: The Board approves up to $10,250 for the purchase of a dump trailer.

Brijabasi Spirit Newsletter May 2016


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Welcome to Brijabasi Spirit

Thank you for taking the time to visit the New Vrindaban community blog. Think of visiting our blog as making a virtual pilgrimage.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
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"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