Letter From Tranakarta dasa (ACBSP)

The following is a letter from Tranakarta dasa to the devotees who are taking on the renovation of Bahulaban as a project.

Dear Devotees

Hare Krsna!!!
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First I would like to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for what is happining in Bahulavan,New Vrindavan.

As you know it is a most Holy place due to the fact His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada walked all over these grounds, gave many lectures in the temple there and of course Bhagavat discourses were also given there.

Srila Prabhupada’s instructions to us were that better than expanding we take care of the devotees we have already made and establish the farm communities. Indeed he wanted to come back to America for this very purpose but Lord Krsna took him as his mission of establishing Lord Caitanya’s movement all over the world had come to a close. Now it is up to us to continue this great preaching effort. Srila Prabhupada has left us an ocean of devotional service. Whatever one can do to help this project will be most pleasing to Srila Prabhupada.

You should all realize what you are doing there is of utmost importance. It will be an example for the world how the Hare Krsna’s have made such a nice place of simple living and high thinking as their material world of sinful activities crumbles around them. They kill millions and millions of cows and they kill millions and millions of their own children so how can it not be tossed into destruction. Srila Prabhupada foresaw this and it will come to pass. That is why we must set an example of love and cooperation and make this project a success.

Adi Guru Prabhu has asked me to write some remembrances of Bahulavan when I was a young boy in New Vrindavan.

I am from Chicago and grew up in an catholic Italian family. My father owned a very famous Italian restaurant on the north side. When I was 16 he bought a farm north of Chicago. At that time I was seeking the truth asking Jesus to help me.

In october of 1972 I found a Krsna book in the woods of Lake Zurich. There are many details but to make a long story short I started chanting Hare Krsna.

Actually my dog led me to that Krsna book and he was the reason I wound up in New Vrindavan.

I was chanting the Holy Names for 6 months or so never knowing there was a worldwide movement going on and that Lord Krsna’s pure devotee was blessing the world with His Divine presence. One day I found out there was a temple in Chicago and headed right there.

I had long hair and the first day there the devotees took me on book distribution. They were doing BTG’S and my first day out I did 40 of them. I had been in real bliss chanting those months but when I distributed Srila Prabhupada’s books that day I was really feeling blissful. I knew it’s what I wanted to do but I felt I had to save some of my so called friends so I did not join right away.

One day I came to the temple and Kirtanananda Swami was there. He asked me what I wanted to do and I told him I wanted to join but I had a dog and I wanted to keep him. He told me to come to New Vrindavan and bring my dog. I liked the idea.

When I came to New Vrindavan my old car pulled up right in front of the temple in Bahulavan and died out never to start again. The devotees had to tow it out.

I moved up to the Vrindavan farm as I was a bramacari. My service was in Bahulavan working on construction there. I was working with Soma Prabhu who I remember as a sweet devotee. He may not realize to this day how he had an effect on me in my Krsna consciousness. He was and still is a wonderful devotee and my dear friend.

We used to walk from the Vrindavan farm to Bahulavan every day to do our service. I know the trail was called Agasura Trail but I always call it Prabhupada trail as Srila Prabhupada walked it. I hope one day the name will be Prabhupada trail for good.

Anyway I remember being on top of the barn in Bahulavan pounding nails and being in complete bliss as we took turns reading Krsna book. The whole atmosphere was Vaikunta. It was and will always be a most sacred place. I can remember the temple there and how powerful Radha Vrindavan Chandra stood beaming out their mercy upon all the devotees.

The devotees would cook outside in big pots and all would assemble for lunch prasad. Then a little kirtan and back to work pounding nails etc…

One night at the bramacari farm while asleep Srila Prabhupada came to me in a dream. It was a very powerful dream and I remember it like it was last night.

I was writing in a room when the door flew open. There was His Divine Grace effulgent as the sun coming toward me the whole room lit up. Srila Prabhupada grabbed me by the shoulders and stood me up and was hugging me. Then He started saying over and over again “thank you for helping New Vrindavan, thank you for helping New Vrindavan”. I started to exclaim “Prabhupada, Prabhupada, Prabhupada!!!”. Chanting Srila Prabhupada’s name in my dream woke up the other devotees who started shaking me “bhakta Tom, bhakti Tom” I remember a devotee name Gatravan Prabhu who was the one shaking me and he was joyful at the situation. I had never seen Srila Prabhupada in person yet but that wonderful night He came to me in that sweet dream.

So I have always felt a duty to New Vrindavan with that dream always fresh in my mind over the years.

One day in Bahulavan while doing service Kirtanananda Swami came up to me and said he had bad news for me. I said what is it Maharaja and he told me my dog (a doberman pincher) had been shot by a neighbor down the road. He took me in his old pick up truck and drove me to the spot where my dog’s body lay in the driveway of some man’s house.

I picked it up, put in in the back of the truck and we drove off. Maharaja explained to me that when we come to Krsna He takes all our attachments away and that my dog would soon go back home back to godhead. In my heart I already knew this and accepted my dogs fate as Lord Krsna’s mercy.

As time went on many letters came from Srila Prabhupada stating His desire to distribute His books. Like ” if you want to please me in the best way, distribute my books, distribute my books, distribute my books”. Having already a taste for this great service I asked Kirtanananda Swami if I could go back to Chicago and distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books. He could see I was sincere and he paid my way back on a Greyhound bus.

There in chicago I did books in the airport for many years. Srila Prabhupada called it “O’Hare Krsna airport”.

I pray one day we can also make Bahulavan a base for book distribution along with everything else.

Thank you for allowing me to write some things. All glories to your service.

Your Servant,
Tranakarta dasa

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