On Wednesday, March 30, over 40 members of New Vrindaban Community gathered in the home of Raghunath dasa and Jamuna devi dasi. The gathering was organized to welcome Jaya Krsna Prabhu. Jaya Krsna became the new Community President of New Vrindaban on the auspicious day of Gaura Purnima (March 19).
“The welcome sanga really touched my heart,” said Jaya Krsna. “The devotees expressed so much gratitude toward me for taking up this service. Moreover, everyone offered their support for a revival of the Brijabasi Spirit in New Vrindaban. I feel inspired and encouraged in my new service.”
During the evening, Varsana Maharaja spoke eloquently about the “Brijabasi Spirit.” The Brijabasi Spirit, explained Maharaja, is found in the loving relationships between devotees. This love reaches its full expression in Goloka Vrindaban. “The dham is like a container that holds the loving exchanges between the devotees. Even after Krishna left Vrindaban to travel to Mathura, the Brijabasis could not leave Vrindaban because they are so attached to the dham,” said Maharaja. “Srila Prabhupada told us that New Vrindaban is non-different from Goloka. This means that the residents of New Vrindaban have the opportunity to experience the same quality of relationships amongst ourselves as the residents of Goloka.”
Maharaja expressed his hope that all the residents of New Vrindaban will support the new Community President in fostering a paradigm shift that will be conducive to the Brijabasi Spirit.
Jaya Krsna noted that as a new-comer to New Vrindaban, a crucial role he will play in fostering the paradigm shift is to act as a mirror for the community. Jaya Krsna sees three areas where mirroring will be effective. The first area is to appreciate the past sacrifice of the devotees who built New Vrindaban. The second area is to recognize the future potential of the devotees and the dham. Finally, the third area is to appreciate the good qualities of the devotees and to be willing to overlook one another’s weaknesses. “These three areas are directly related to creating an environment that is conducive to the Brijabasi Spirit,” said Jaya Krsna. “If I can help the community make progress in these areas, then I will feel I am successful in my goal of healing some of the wounds of the past and in creating optimism about the future.”
Next, Jaya Krsna discussed the management structure he is currently putting into place. “My goal is to see that the management structure is so well-established that it can withstand the coming or going of any individual,” said Jaya Krsna. His first step has been to create five Vice-President (VP) positions for community management and development. These positions are (1) VP for Legal, Finances and Administration, (2) VP for Congregational Development, (3) VP for Guest Services, (4) VP for Temple Services, and (5) VP for Facilities.
Jaya Krsna is personally covering the services of the VP for Legal, Finances and Administration. Yugal Kisore dasa, the Head of the Congregational Development Department, has accepted the position of VP for Congregational Development. The VP for Guest Services is Damodar dasa. Damodar’s three goals will be to ensure that the pilgrims and guests receive proper care, to attract additional guests, and to organize programs during the weekends for the guests. The VP for Temple Services, Arya-siddhanta dasa, will be responsible for all activities in the temple. During his first year, Arya-siddhanta’s main focus will be to increase chanting and hearing of the temple devotees, to establish clear service agreements with the devotees, and to attract new devotees and bhaktas. Finally, the position of VP for Facilities is still vacant.
Jaya Krsna and the other devotees who spoke also expressed their thanks to Nityodita dasa, Rupanuga dasa, Jayasri devi dasi and Tapahpunja dasa for their long-lasting service as board members and managers of New Vrindaban Community. “I am more happy than anyone to see Jaya Krsna here,” said Nityodita, the outgoing Community President. “I feel like the reinforcements have arrived and New Vrindaban is in good hands.”