Commenting On the Bahulaban Restoration Proposal

by Madhava Gosh

There were some legitimate points raised in comments on the post Bahulaban Restoration Meeting #1-The Minutes).

” I do think it’s a shame to let the buildings at Bahulaban just rot, and something definitely needs to be done about it, but first things first. When there’s so much basic maintenance needed on the temple and lodge, what to speak of the palace, Srila Prabhupada’s only pushpa samadhi outside of India, shouldn’t that be done first?”

One doesn’t preclude the other. If you feel more drawn to help with the Palace restoration, they will gladly welcome your help. They do have an ongoing restoration project there, but it could, and should, be increased if devotees are willing to provide additional positive inputs.

“Why are we focusing on the restoration/development of Bahulaban when we need to focus on what we already are using that is falling down-Lodge, Temple and Palace. I just don’t get it. I’ts like we have this pattern of always going on to the next big thing..”

Actually, going back to restore Bahulaban would be the opposite of “going on to the next big thing”. Bahulaban was what was abandoned due to that mentality.

“If someone is interested in investing in NV then let’s have a meeting on ways to build an eco-friendly lodge, cabins and temple.”

I agree completely with that in principle. However, I don’t think we need to “build an eco-friendly lodge, cabins and temple.” I think we need to retrofit the existing buildings, and starting by doing it at Bahulaban could be the example of how to do so.

While the maintenance on the currently operating temple complex is the responsibility of the current NV management, they haven’t shown any capacity whatsoever to work on preserving Bahulaban. While they should be encouraged to do more in their area of responsibility, that shouldn’t be a bar to others who want to work independently on other projects.

There used to be 3 temples in NV, each with a unique flavor. There was also some talk by Prabhupada of having first 7 temples, and then eventually 5,000 of them, so working to have a second functioning temple is a step in that direction. While the existing active temple has one mood, there is also a place for another temple where the mood could be different.

For myself, I know that in 3 of his 4 visits by Srila Prabhupada to New Vrindaban, he spent time at Bahulaban, and it was the main center of activity in New Vrindaban while he was still on the planet. He never visited the current RVC temple — that was a Kirtanananda project.

Personally, if it was a choice between renovating the currently active temple complex or Bahulaban, and I could only support one of them, I would support the Bahulaban project if it was done correctly.

Of course, that isn’t true — both can be ongoing simultaneously, but my heart is more drawn to support Bahulaban. If your heart is drawn to support the other parts of New Vrindaban, more power to you and I hope you are successful.

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