New Vrindaban’s current cowherd boy

Jaya Prabhupada Prabhu has an extensive background in agriculture, both in his education and in practical application.  He is using these experiences from his life, along with his dedication and commitment to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s desire for varnasrama,  to put together a paper for  the Agriculture, Cows and Self-Reliance Committee of the Master Plan Vision Team of New Vrindaban. It will describe New Vrindaban’s Natural Resources, including prime farmland locations, soil conditions and water resources.

 Jaya Prabhupada was born in Colombia, South America, but at the age of 17 he left home and moved to Puerto Rico and later to France, where he graduated with two master’s degrees, one in rural space and one in rural development.  Moving back to Colombia, he then worked for a few years for the government, drawing up plans for hydrographical basins. He explained, “Many people live in a certain geographical radius from a river basin, and you need enough good water- both quality and quantity- to maintain those inhabitants.  I would draw up the plans so they would have this facility.” Although the work was interesting, he quickly became disillusioned with the cheating ways of some people and organizations in the material world.

 He reached a turning point in his life when he was traveling back to Colombia from French Guyana along the Amazon River.  He was robbed of all his I.D. and money.  He had lost everything and was homeless on the Amazon.  “So I became a hippie!” exclaims J.P. “I began to make and sell all different kinds of crafts just to stay alive.  Then I met Santendriya, who was another kind of hippie/artist, selling her wares. We were married later on.”  The next major turning point was when they joined the Hare Krsna temple in Peru, eventually moving to the temple in Brazil in 1984. 

 At the Hare Krsna community in Brazil, Jaya Prabhupada began a wonderful adventure in his life.  “They gave me land and a cow and helped me build a house and asked me to live simply, setting an example by following Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and inviting other families to join us and do the same.  I was in bliss! Eventually, five other families came and received the same wonderful facilities of land, cow and house. We lived an ideal Krsna conscious life for quite a while.”  They had two children while living on their farm community there, and there was even a gurukula in Brazil.  But it became too difficult to pay the tuitions and to maintain their idyllic lifestyle so they had to move to Ecuador after some time.

 Eventually, Jaya Prabhupada answered an ad posted by New Vrindavan, for a cowherd man, and he is still here today, one of New Vrindavan’s steadiest and most educated cowherd men!

 Jaya Prabhupada is still holding onto the ideal of living a simple, rural life in Krsna’s service. He maintains that: “If you give priority to living from the richness of the land and the cows, just like Srila Prabhupada recommended, then you will have success.”


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