New Vrindaban’s Ongoing Community Dialogs Show Increased Interest

A Progressive Community Dialogue

On Wed. July 30, 2014 Jaya Krsna Prabhu invited all the residents of the New Vrindaban Community to come together for a dialog.

He opened the evening by asking the devotees for their concerns, input or feedback on topics of their choice.

A discussion ensued on the topic of the need to reduce waste at the temple, and to recycle materials. Sukhavaha dasi and Bhakta Michael agreed to build a sub-committee to come up with proposals.

New Vrindaban Community Dialog under the Lodge Aug. 2014

Community Dialog under the Lodge Aug. 2014

Then, Jaya Krsna presented Srila Prabhupada’s five-fold vision for New Vrindaban, including cow protection, self-sufficiency, a holy place of pilgrimage, spiritual education, and above all developing our love for Krsna.

Jaya Krsna concluded that New Vrindaban is currently in phase number four of the six phases of the transformation of a spiritual community. He feels that the painful transition phase is over; the current phase is the process of stabilization.

Different community members arriving since the last Community Dialog were officially introduced to everyone present. We very gratefully welcome Lakshmana Isvara das (Lakshman Poddar’s initiated name), Brihat Kirtan das, Mangala Carana dasi, Vrindavanesvari dasi, Daivata das (one of the very early Brijbasis), Premarani dasi, Rajesvari dasi, Pundarika Vidyanidhi das, his wife Janaki dasi, and their daughter Harina. We are glad to have Bhakta Trevor back from Denver, as well as two new bhaktas: Bhakta Michael and Bhakta Andre.

Six additional devotees have been helping out for the summer, doing a lot of nice service, namely Bhaktin Autumn, Bhaktin Rose, Madhava Kanti dasi, Madhavanta das, Premarani dasi and Sri Nama das.

Jaya Krsna has observed that many of our annual festivals have become even deeper this year than ever before, such as the Snana Yatra, Ratha Yatra and Puspha Abhishek, to name a few. New Vrindaban’s number of visitors is increasing year over year. He has also noticed that the cooperation amongst the devotees is increasing, as people are making more endeavors to work out their differences. The department heads are moving in the direction of solving challenges more on their own, supported by the devotee relations dept.

New Vrindaban Jaya Krsna Community Dialog

Jaya Krsna das speaks at Community Dialog

He went on to share some of New Vrindaban’s many successes. The monthly Palace sangams have been going on steadily. There is an official new department for devotee relations. And, interestingly, since the arrival of our new temple commander, it seems as though Krsna has reciprocated by sending some new bhaktas.

Overall, Jaya Krsna feels that the challenges this year have been minor, compared to some previous years.

To give an overview, we can start with reporting one very nice improvement at the Palace. The beautiful and unique Palace Rose Garden is entering an exciting new phase.   Great progress is already being made on its way to going “green” and sustainable.

Meanwhile, down at the temple area, fresh, organic vegetables have been delivered regularly throughout the summer to Krsna’s kitchen from our organic gardens. Fresh home-grown flowers can be seen in all the Deities’ garlands and vases as well.

The devotees who attended a recent workshop at the Lodge, on healthy diet have become encouraged by the move to decrease the use of sugar and oil in the devotee kitchen, and to increase the overall use of healthy produce.

ISKCON NV is about to acquire the land at Govardhan from Varsana Maharaj, with the aim of supporting its ongoing development, under the inspiration of Maharaj.

Renovations and improvements are taking place all around town. There is the elephant’s new facelift, the temple guest wing renovations, the upgrading of cabin two, and an extension on the small cow barn. You have probably also noticed all sorts of new signage around the community to help guide the guests. You may have also detected the quantities of mint sprouting up around the temple and lodge buildings.

In response to the requests of many residents, there are various new projects in the works. There will be an ox barn at Bahulaban, sponsored by ECOV. The basketball court down by the apartments will be fixed. Renovations on the swan boat house have already begun. There will be one or two apts. reserved as assisted living quarters for future hospice patients, to be overseen by Yasoda dasi.

The many projects to be financed by the Uttica lease bonus were presented during the meeting.

Jaya Krsna then spoke about some of the preaching in ISKCON from which New Vrindaban can take inspiration. He explained that throughout ISKCON, some of the Western preaching is being adjusted to appeal to the current new age scene. This is, of course, in line with Krsna consciousness and Srila Prabhupada’s vision. He is referring to such topics as expanding to deal with animal rights, not just cow protection; and focusing on the ECO movement, which considers four main necessities for success: water, energy, food and waste.

Jaya Krsna reminded everyone of a deep understanding offered in a workshop recently given in NV by Gauranga Prasad das from Mumbai. He warned us of the three “cancers” to be avoided in relationships in Kali Yuga.

They are:

  • Comparing
  • Blaming &
  • Criticizing.

In the mood of avoiding these three “cancers”, Jaya Krsna is urging devotees who have any concerns, input or feedback to consider several options. They may feel free to approach the New Vrindaban Advocacy Sanga, which is not a management group, but rather a group of concerned residents available as potential advocates for any other residents. Its members are Caitanya Bhagavat dasa, Gaura Shakti dasa, Jesse, Lilasuka dasi, Lokadrsti dasi, Nityodita dasa, Pritha dasi, and Vyasasan dasa. Sukhavaha in the devotee relations department is also available, as is Jaya Krsna himself.

On the subject of gas drilling, Jaya Krsna informed the community members that Chesapeake is planning to drill at Bilvaban (dump field) in December 2014. Fossil informed the community informally that they do not plan to drill on our land due to the many limitations of the Uttica contract.

Some devotees who attended the community dialogue gave some feedback.

One devotee commented that New Vrindaban is “not just another Hare Krsna farm”. They wanted people to remember that in addition to a farm’s duties of protecting cows and practicing self-sufficiency, Srila Prabhupada made it clear that he very much wanted the NV devotees to keep NV a holy place of pilgrimage.

Sankirtan expressed his concerns about the imminent coal mine shaft that the coal company intends to put up on the Rose property right behind the temple

One devotee visiting from another temple asked for a copy of the overview of this community dialog. She exclaimed, “We never have such nice gatherings like this at our temple, so I’d like them to see what you are doing here at NV, to encourage them to also have such conversations.”




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Reader Comments

Good to hear that we are addressing recycling etc. Tell Sukhavaha to get hold of me. We recycle as much as we can from the store.

I just tonight ran into a reference on one of the tech boards about an open-source plastics recycling system suitable for small communities and co-ops- this would be THE BIG DEAL in handling one of the major problems in our modern waste stream that is nearly impossible to avoid, and configured correctly could very nearly close that part of the loop of our consumption- making our own plastic spoons, etc. for instance.