Asrama Items

by Suchitra devi dasi, as taken from the November Issue of the 1977 Brijabasi Spirit

 ITEM: Since becoming the official women’s asrama of New Vrindaban, Madhuban temple has shown a new face. Although an outpost in certain respects, Madhuban’s core has always been rigorous devotion.

 For example, after a genuine ice cold shower at 2 a.m. in an unheated tin bath house, Mother Hladini chopped the wood for the kitchen stove, started the fire and then went down the steep, slippery hill in the dark to fetch water from the ghata, sometimes facing harassment from cantankerous oxen, headed by the infamous Dharma.

  After that is cooking, then down for more water, and at last mangala aratrika; then water, cook, chop, etc. throughout the day. Madhuban is more developed materially these days, but the same enthusiasm, engendered by temple president Advaitacarya dasa, remains, and when one enters there that impression of devotion is very strong and the call to do something for Krsna is irresistable.

  Now Madhuban is taking a new turn, for the women living there are engaged in the new casting shop, intent on producing those beautiful plaques everyone is talking about lately. The molds for the plagues have been taken from Sri Sri Radha Vrndavana Candra’s srngasana throne, which was hand carved in India by master craftsmen. The plaques depict the incarnations of Godhead. The molds have been made by the Palace crew and to date Kuladri has been hand-painting them using real gold leaf on details such as Krsna’s jewelry, etc.

 Now the women are taking over the casting and painting on a mass scale and a colorful brochure dis­playing the plaques plus information on our New Vrindaban Community is being planned for distribution to temples and stores. In the future, Maharaja wants the mothers to do the plaques in clay and glaze them using a kiln for drying. Also, if they do well, the women will be able to try their hand at casting the larger pieces meant for the Palace!

 ITEM: Govardhana puja has been joyfully anticipated here by the devotees since the last Govardhana puja, for it is one of Kirtanananda Swami’s favorite festivals, as it glorifies devotional service as the most exalted principle of existence. Also, of course, Govardhana puja is well-noted for its volumes of super excellent prasada, spiritual food, certainly one of all-attractive Sri Krsna’s more famous features.

Our celebrations were further enhanced by the appearance of Their most beautiful, renown Lordships Sri Sri Radha Damodara, Who, along with Radha Damodara’s Traveling Sankirtana Party headed by Gopijan-avallabha das, graced us with Their glorious presence in order to further deepen our meditation on wonderful Krsna.


Certainly all the transcendental Deity personalities assembled on the altar were breathtaking in Their splendor. Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Vrndavana Candra were more beautiful than ever, if that is possible, with all new attire, intricate, layered crowns supporting mammoth Topaz jewels, a resplendent effulgence and dazzlingly jeweled silk clothing. Indeed, They must be seen to be believed and at that Their beauty is unfathomable.

During the ecstatic feast ara-trika a five foot palanquin, bearing a prasada replica of Sri Govardhana Hill, supporting giant sugar candy cows and peacocks and topped with an elaborate temple dome (cooked in Palace molds) was placed before the Deities, much to the amazement of all, especially the children there.

 Following a wonderful lecture by Kirtanananda Maharaja, during which the perfection of hearing was easily attained by all the assembled devotees and guests, the children of New Vrindaban school presented a very enlivening play concerning this celebration of the transcendental historical event of child Krsna’s lifting of Govardhana Hill to protect His devotees, and finally all was followed by another bountiful New Vrindaban feast.


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